Migrants erecting fences to keep out migrants

The border between Israel and Egypt certainly counts as one of the most dangerous borders for migrants. So far the main danger for african migrants trying to enter Israel from Egypt has been the Egyptian military, which seems to be exceptionally trigger happy when faced with migrants attempting to cross the border. Photo by Ahikam Seri Seems that the Israeli government is not satisfied with the services rendered by the Egyptian Army (or they expect that a post-Mubarak military has bette…

Cyclorama vs. Reality

During my recent trip to Cairo, in we visited [on suggestion of the my barbarian crew] the 6 october (a.k.a yom kippur) war memorial that is situated in Heliopolis just off the road to the international Airport. The memorial consists of a large circular building housing a 360 degree rotating cyclorama surrounded an open-air display off tanks, fighter-jets, artillery pieces and anti-aircraft missiles [mainly those used by the Egyptian army during the war but also a few ones captured from the Isra…

God went surfing with the devil

Seems to be a title of a documentary film about life in Israel and gaza in production right now (no IMDB entry yet). From what i can tell it looks like an attempt to portray everyday life in both Gaza and Israel by following surfers in both territories. According to juxtapoz.com the film should be ready in about a year, but for now the filmakers have a daily blog covering the process of shooting in Isreael and Gaza (where they have just been arrested by hamas) with some of the best photography I…

If lives are in immediate danger, then lethal force is permissible. If not, it is not....

Since about a year i have been coming across reports of sub-saharan migrants getting shot by Egyptian border police when attempting to enter Israel from egypt. So far i have refrained from listing them as part of the noborder.org dead count because Israel is not really Europe (although they participate in the UEFA cup and the Eurovision song contest). Since the beginning of 2008 these incidents seem to have increased in frequency as noted by Amnesty International (UK): On 19 February Egyptian se…

Essential humanitarianism (the Gaza Zoo)

Leila points to a pretty intresting article by Darryl Li written after a recent visit to the Gaza strip. In his article ‘From Prison to Zoo: Israel's "Humanitarian" Control of Gaza‘ (watch out, this is a link to a .doc file, what the fuck are they thinking at adalah.org?) he examines the policy of essentail humanitarianism develloped by the Israeli state after the take-over of the Gaza strip by Hamas last summer. Li claims that the conditions in Gaza have changed in such a way that it…

Defiance chocolate bars

While traveling through Iran there are very little signs of the looming crisis over Iran’s alleged nuclear arms programme. There are a couple of down-with-the-U.S.A murals and posters here and there (but i believe they have been all over the place since 1978) and there is a fairly large number of anti-aircraft guns and rockets sticking out of the desert around the nuclear facility at Natanz. More interesting however is the fact that on a beautiful autumn day there are lots of Iranian families pi…

Wearing clown's hats in Beaufort castle

Finally managed to source a copy of Beaufort (בופור) with english subtitles yesterday. Had been waiting to find a version that i could understand for a while and it was definitely worth the wait. Beaufort tells the story of the last IDF unit occupying Beaufort castle in Southern Lebanon in the days before the withdrawal of the IDF from Lebanon in the spring of 2000. It is one of the most impressive war movies i have seen in a while, also because it is the only war movie that i remember that does…

Hollow land

Just finished reading Eyal Weizman’s impressive Hollow Land – Israel’s Architecture of Occupation. In the book Weizman describes of how the Israeli occupation gradually hollows out what is left of Palestine, by means of architecture. His understanding of architecture is fairly broad and includes aspects like spacial theories of urban warfare, the separation wall, airborne occupation, the strategic locations of west-bank settlements and the system of checkpoints. The chapter on checkpoints (‘The…

Border economies

One of the things that has always fascinated me about borders is the way they structure the local economies of adjacent regions. People one the one side suddenly start selling ridiculous amounts of all kind of things that are not available – or much more expensive – on the other side. Particularly vivid examples of this phenomenon can be observed on the fringes of France. The area around Calais is full of shops selling booze and cigarettes to busloads of brits & in Portbou just across the bo…

The war is over...

… and everybody is talking about the next war. seems to somehow involve iran, the US, israel, the valet parkers, Syria and Lebanon, but there is neither real agreement about the constellation nor does anyone come up with a credible motivation for someone to attack the others or the other way around (except maybe for the US to attack Iran). Meanwhile last summer war has once again (see here for last years favorite ad) been picked up by the advertising industry, this time in the form of an billboa…