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4 December, 2007

West Banksy

The Guardian reports that graffiti artist Banksy is in Bethlehem again, to stencil artwork onto Israel's security barrier 'in an effort to revive the tourist industry and stir interest in the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.'

I can't help wondering whether this is the best approach. Turning it into an artistic statement could, perversely, increase the world's acceptance of the illegal barrier, even encourage its preservation ("you can't remove that section – the artwork's worth hundreds of thousands of pounds!").

Better to leave it blank, to ostracise it as a scar on the community until tearing it down at the earliest (negotiated) opportunity. The last thing anyone outside the Israeli government would want is for people to actually like it.

Now I think about it, didn't a local tell Banksy precisely that in 2005?

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