19 December 2010
The Green Line
Last week I finished carving the Islamic pattern for the Palestinian territories and also the "Green Line." The Green Line, so called because green ink was used when it was first marked on a map, refers to the lines of demarcation that were agreed upon in the 1949 Armistice between Israel and its neighbors after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The Green Line is not a definitive and legal international border, but in practice it defines those areas which are administered by the State of Israel and those which are administered by the Israeli military or the Palestinian National Authority.
The area I've focused on in this print is a portion of the West Bank where Israeli settlement incursions have penetrated deeply into lands east of the Green Line. Because these settlements consume land where a Palestinian state could emerge, they have made it extremely difficult for a two-state peace solution between Israel and Palestine to be achieved. The settlements also antagonize Israel's Arab neighbors and erode some of the support Israel receives from United States. But perhaps most importantly, some argue that the settlements are a real threat to Israel's democracy because they set up an untenable situation where Jews who live east of the Green Line in the West Bank are voting citizens of Israel while Palestinians living in the same land are not. Human Rights Watch has just published a report examining these separate and unequal policies in the West Bank.
The photo above shows the print-in-progress as it stands now, with 11 layers of color. There are still about 5 more layers to come. Here's a shot of the Islamic pattern before I printed it: