Last Updated: Tue Nov 02, 2010 20:27 pm (KSA) 17:27 pm (GMT)

UK rocker "horrified" by Israel's "apartheid wall"

Waters spray-paints "We don't need no thought control" on the wall
Waters spray-paints "We don't need no thought control" on the wall

The United Nations on Wednesday premiered a film narrated by former Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters on the plight of Palestinians living in the shadow of Israel's controversial separation barrier.

The 15-minute film entitled "Walled Horizons" was made in honor of the fifth anniversary of the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) opinion that the barrier's meandering route through the occupied West Bank is illegal.

 The reason for walls is always fear, whether the personal walls that we build around ourselves or walls like this that frightened governments build around themselves 
Roger Waters -- Pink Floyd rocker

The film opens with a wide shot of Waters, the songwriter behind Pink Floyd's hit 1979 album "The Wall," walking along a towering concrete segment of the barrier beneath the painted silhouette of a giant lying on its back.

"The reason for walls is always fear, whether the personal walls that we build around ourselves or walls like this that frightened governments build around themselves," Waters says.

"They are always expressions of a deep-seated insecurity."

Apartheid Wall

Palestinian children in a protest against the separation wall in the West Bank

Israel says the barrier, which it began constructing in 2003, is for the security of the Jewish state but Palestinians and most of human rights organizations view it as an "Apartheid Wall" that carves off large segments of the West Bank, splitting families, separating farmers from their land and slicing east Jerusalem off from their hoped-for future state.

The filmmakers interview a Palestinian farmer who has lost several dunams (hectares) of land to the wall and a family caught in the "seam line" between the wall and the 1967 Green Line separating Israel from the West Bank.

The film concludes with a shot of scores of Palestinians packed into a fenced-in corridor waiting to pass through an Israeli checkpoint.

"It fills me with horror, the thought of living in a giant prison," Waters says as he spray-paints "We don't need no thought control" on the wall.

Waning awareness

 It is first and foremost a reminder that the world's highest court has essentially said you cannot build a fence on your neighbor's yard 
Film director

Organizers of the project said they made the film out of concern that international awareness of the barrier's effect on Palestinians may be waning five years after the court's decision.

"It is first and foremost a reminder that the world's highest court has essentially said you cannot build a fence on your neighbor's yard," Yohan Eriksson, the Finnish director of the film, told AFP.

Israel has long accused the United Nations of bias towards the Palestinians.

But Chris Gunness, a spokesman for the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency, insisted that "as well as being a powerful piece of advocacy, the film is also a very balanced piece of journalism."

The UN film called Walled Horizons shows the plight of Palestinians living in the shadow of the wall

The film features top Israeli security officials involved in the wall's construction who defend the overall project as a desperate response to the violence of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, which erupted in 2000.

It also includes footage of the aftermath of suicide attacks carried out prior to the wall being built.

According to U.N. figures, Israel has so far completed 413 kilometers (256 miles) of the planned 709-kilometer (435-mile) barrier, a network of walls, barbed-wire fences, trenches, and closed military roads.

When completed, 85 percent of the wall will have been built inside the West Bank, leaving 9.5 percent of the territory and 35,000 Palestinians between the barrier and the 1967 Green Line.

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