"'Conflict in Cities and the Contested State' is a five year research project starting in 2007 that focuses on divided cities as key sites in territorial conflicts over state and national identities, cultures and borders. The research objectives are to analyse how divided cities in Europe and the Middle East have been shaped by ethnic, religious and national conflicts, and conversely, how such cities can absorb, resist and potentially play a role in transforming the territorial conflicts which pervade and surround them. The project seeks to understand the cities as arenas of intensified ethno-national conflicts, particularly with respect to the role that architecture and the urban fabric play as a setting and background for everyday activities and events. Phenomena related to creating, maintaining, crossing, transcending or ignoring ethnic and territorial borders, both physical and symbolic, are central to the study.
Conflict in Cities and the Contested State is generously funded by the Economic and Social Research Council of Great Britain. It builds on an earlier project begun in 2003 and supported by the ESRC."
"Israel cannot afford a military defeat for fear of disappearing from the map, yet history has proven that every military victory has always left Israel in a weaker political position than before because of the emergence of radical groups. I do not underestimate the difficulty of the decisions the Israeli government must make every day, nor do I underestimate the importance of Israel's security. Nevertheless, I stand behind my conviction that the only truly viable plan for long-term security in Israel is to gain the acceptance of all of our neighbours."
"The structure in question (misleadingly called a fence or barrier) is in fact an ingeniously designed system of population control that includes 4-metre deep trenches on either side of a concrete wall or coiled wire through which an electric current runs, trace paths to register footprints, a two-lane military patrol road, and watchtowers at regular intervals. In other words, a maximum security prison in which an entire population is trapped.
Israel's stated reason for building the wall is to prevent attacks from suicide bombers. One wonders then why Israel did not build the wall along the Green Line. In fact, Israel's wall is clearly designed to help Israel grab Palestinian land and to make life so intolerable for Palestinians that they will be forced to emigrate.
Future generations will wonder why so many people remained silent for so long while Israel adopted a policy that slowly destroyed a nation. This month marked the 14th anniversary of the fall of the hated Berlin Wall. Why does the world watch in silence as Israel builds a much crueler wall in the West Bank?"
(Ida Audeh, 28 November 2003, RamallahOnline.com)