Damien Simonneau, « Chameleon Wall. Inside Two Competing Coalitions of Pro-“Fence” Actors in Israel », Journal of Borderlands Studies, 2016

Abstract :

Fourteen years after the start of the construction of the “security fence,” the idea of the West Bank Wall as a concrete separation from the Palestinians is a norm for the majority of the Israelis. The “security fence” represents a consensual security solution among the Israeli public opinion that is assumed to have stopped Palestinian attacks in Jewish-Israeli populated areas during the Second Intifada. This article explores the various meanings ascribed to the Wall by certain segments of Israeli society, specifically by pro-fence actors pressuring the Government between 2001 and 2005. Based on the identification of beliefs associated with the fence by such actors, the Wall appears to act as a Chameleon “solving” issues concerning security, identity, territory and separation. Beyond military and control purposes, the Wall also acts as a tool of reassurance on these issues to the Israeli public. The demonstration distinguishes between divergent and convergent meanings ascribed by pro-fence actors to the “security fence.” Nowadays, separation is favored over negotiations and territorial or political compromises. The Wall is thus a consensual public policy for most Israelis. It normalizes their daily life and perceptions of safety, and it moves them away from the Oslo period.


crédit : E. Ritaine, Le mur depuis l'université al-Qods, avec la silhouette de M. Darwich collée par E. Pignon-Ernest, Jérusalem, 2010