(Mohammed Asad / APA images)

Photos: Palestinian graffiti artists penetrate heavily fortified heart of West Jerusalem


Palestinian artists penetrated the heavily fortified heart of West Jerusalem overnight and painted graffiti bearing political messages on walls, doors, construction sites and other surfaces.

The artists struck in two areas, the West Jerusalem city center (near Jaffa Road and King George Street) and the German Colony/Talbiyye area.

The city center is today full of bars and restaurants frequented by Israeli Jews and tourists. Talbiyye was a once prosperous Arab neighborhood. These areas and large swathes of West Jerusalem were ethnically cleansed of their Palestinian populations in 1948 and are now almost exclusively Jewish.

As the photos show, the art includes the map of Palestine with the Arabic prounoun أنا (“I” or “me”) and an image of a woman wearing a kaffiyeh with the word “revolt.” This image is a reminder of the central role women have played in Palestinian popular struggle. The artists plan to undertake similar actions in coming days and weeks.








So thanks for perpetuating the belief that Palestinians only want violence. You make the work of peacebuilders much harder.

All of which shows how little understanding you have of political art...
Can't think of anything more peaceful than that!

I am very peaceful, work for peace, etc. The intifada killed many Israelis, to Israelis it means violence. As you know the word means to shake off, get rid of, rebel. the past two intifadas involved violence and killing, of course a call for a new intifada would be understood as violence and killing to Israelis.

There is ZERO promotion of violence in these images. The map with "me" on it is a reimagining of identity before the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948 justified ethnic cleansing of Arab Palestinians. The Arabic word translated as "revolt" was used heavily during the Egyptian demos in Tahrir Square, expressing a spirit for popular change that was admired around the globe. The word "intifada" means "shaking off" — a perfectly reasonable wish for people whose every move is controlled by the Occupation. A huge leap is required to interpret this message ("we refuse to disappear") as a statement of violence, but sadly, its possible due to the effective indoctrination of Israel and its allies, who believe that any Arab who expresses discontent is an Arab preparing to kill.

Brilliant! So true! Unfortunately, words become selective and have double standards for 'us' and 'them', and this conversation reveals (no offense) the way that we are often positioned by unwittingly accepting positions that we may not realize are in fact status quo--and don't realize this because they are not belligerent and we shroud them in terms and a supposed conflict resolution position--but even that conflict resolution position has an implicit power dynamic, i.e., "I have the right to interpret that graffiti this way, though these are cultural symbols that are not part of my culture or they can only be interpreted this way or that." What is most sad is talk of no preconditions as a precondition, (which is in and of itself ironic and hypocritical) but then peace groups (or at least the majority of them and those that receive the most funding, so arguably those with the most ability to affect change) that claim to hold an open ear for the voicing of grievances and resolution of conflict for all parties, can only conceptualize doing so from within a pro American and pro-Israeli paradigm, i.e., "we are for peace, as long as our working definition of peace includes attributing Iran with threats of thermonuclear war that don't actually exist in reality, and the disproportionate legitimacy of the state of Israel over any 'thing' we may label Palestinian... thanks for the article...

posit the notion, that whatever you put in front of certain israely jews, they will perceive it as a death threat. Instead, think of the occupied man, seeing sings of dissent in his streets. This may just give him enough strenght to straighten his back and look injustice in the face. This street art is not a hinderance to peacemakers. Israeli occupation, gentrification and blatant disregard for human rights, are!

Thank you for your comment, I agree. All must try on the outlook of the "enemy." And--the art is beautifully done!

Graffiti or Violence? Art is expressive of a feeling, place and time... you cannot deny the Palestinians that small freedom. Anyone trying to work toward peace wouldn't deny them that - not sure what you are on about!

What kind of peace is this, that is threatened by the Palestinian presence?
What kind of peace is this, that is threatened by the Palestinian presence, even if this presence is simply a graffiti?
What kind of peace is this, that is threatened by the Palestinian presence, even if this presence is simply a graffiti, much more the intepretation of a graffiti?
And what kind of peace and peace-building is this, that is threatened by the Palestinian presence, even if this presence is simply a graffiti, even if it is simply the intepretation of a graffiti, but even then it refuses to point this out and blames ...those who left their ghetto...?
This must be a very specific kind of peace, because, except from here, I have only heard about it only once.
A situation threatened from one's presence, it is not called peace. It is called apparthide. The only similar case that comes to mind is the "peace" imposed by Turkey on the occupied part of Kypros (Chypre).

Continue. We are with you.
Michel, from Comité pour une Paix Juste au Proche-Orient, du Luxembourg

Powerful idea, please continue! *_*

Thank you for these valuable photos. I do not know how long the art will remain in Talbiyye, but these photos make them live on. I look forward to seeing more, though now it may be even more difficult to obtain photos.

hope someday young israelis will fall in love with young palestinians. that would solve this ridicolous problem. people who share the same area should hold together and not fight each other. all the money (affort, strength, time, ...) both parties put in weapons and fight, they should put in schools, farming, cultur, art, fun....they could have a paradise there.
where are those young people who say, stop to that cruel stupidity.

'Hope' doesn't pay the rent. If 63 years of 'piss take peace talks' hasn't "solved this ridiculous problem" (what an insulting remark) your 'should do this and should do that" like "falling in love with a Palestinian / israeli" isn't going to change anything. The Palestinians have every right to fight for their rights,freedom, dignity and homeland. And everything else that was stolen from them. Grow up, get real.

sorry, i didn´t want to hurt anybodys feelings. and from here, austria, it is really difficult to judge the situation there. and in fact i understand the fight of the palestinians and i support it ideologicly.
but here my question: are´nt there groups of people, (young or old), of both culturs, who say : we want not only peace, but we want actively live together, that means: we are all humans, have the same necessities, so lets work together. apart from the official agressive politics of israel, and of course in opposition to it. does it never happen, that palestinians and israelis become friends? share the same interests?
we in austria don´t have a war, but we have racism and xenophobia and there are efforts to bring the different cultures together, and sometimes it happens by falling in love. i have a club in vienna, where people of all nations come together, and sometimes i am the only original austrian in a group of ten or more people, and it feels great.
i wish you the best for your fight and good luck.

"hope someday young israelis will fall in love with young palestinians. that would solve this ridicolous problem."

Yeah, really! It is so ridiculous(even 'ridicolous') it is not even a problem! So they take your home, they shoot your children and they feel victimized by you whom they call a terrorist, so what?
Can't it all be solved by having sex with one another? Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?
You ask "where are those young people who say, stop to that cruel stupidity."
I guess those who could say it and have an effect are in the IDF dropping bombs and feeling nothing more than " a bump."

It reminds me another awesome street art project by french artist JR-ART.NET who pasted portraits of both Palestinians and Israelis in unavoidable places ...

What he said a couple of years ago is (face2faceproject.com) :
We hope that this project will contribute to a better understanding between Israelis and Palestinians.
Today, "Face to face" is necessary.
Within a few years, we will come back for "Hand in hand".

Thank's for sharing this part of the art!
Ps: just to say, I'm a longtime reader of EI, keep up the good workflow.

what if settlers spray paint slogans of Jewish ownership of the West Bank- which they do. What is the difference? From their perspective, it is Jewish land just as from the Palestinian perspective Talbia is Palestinian. Why is one legitimate protest and the other incitement?

Your point is not diametrical to anything stated in the article or the comments. The word incitement is first used by you alone. This kind of protest is illegal on both sides--it is clearly defacing public property; but I doubt anyone cares about that. The point is that it is a form of peaceful protest--then someone commented that such protest suggested violence or that it would be appropriate to infer violence from such protest--which is clearly false and not supported by any part of the art or its message.

One reason is that Palestine was never invaded by Palestinians, although it must have been invaded by someone, for it to have been "wiped off the map", by people who were not Palestinians.

and frankly, you cannot claim to speak for all of any group, so to say "of course a call for a new intifada would be understood as.." anything is a huge leap that I and many others are simply not willing to accept. It precludes other interpretations or perspectives from having the right to be considered equally. and that is exactly what I was talking about above. Your definition of peace is clearly skewed--as is everyone's. But recognizing that is very important for all parties. And I'm sure you don't mean to do this, but to present only the suffering as one side in any context, creates the impression that one perspective has precedence over the other.

Palestine was invaded by many many groups each time changing the character of the indigenous people. This includes the Arab Muslim invasion of 636-637 AD which conquered the land and forced the people to change their culture and religion. At this time the indigenous people were Jews and Christians forcing them to speak Arabic and observe Islam. Making an argument all depends how you define your parameters. My fact is no less true than your fact.

There was indeed an invasion of Islam and Arabs back in the 7th century. But bringing this as relevant or, much more, as counter-weighting the Zionist invasion, is a misleading mistake.

The expansion of Islam happened before about 14 centuries. Since then, wounds have healed, and emotions fall asleep, if not completely removed. Since many centuries now, no one speaks and no one considers the Arabic presence in Palestine as an invasion. What we have here, is the violence against the people of Palestine. And this violence causes pain because it is recent. This violence has to be removed.

It is not correct that: "Making an argument all depends how you define your parameters. My fact is no less true than your fact." For long, long centuries now there are rules about the relations between peoples. One cannot claim that all opinions are equal, and one cannot claim that all is just another opinion. There are rules for telling who is the aggressor and who is the victim of an aggression. The existence of these rules is a fact --but this fact describes correctly the relations between peoples, while what you have presented as a fact is misleading and justifies chauvinism.

(We should probably add that there were Arabs living in Palestine all the way since antiquity, even at the time of Israel and Judaea).

Violent or non-violent, Palestinians have every right to resist this colonial state until Palestine is free.

From a Jewish Palestinian.

painting non-violent Grafitti to West-Jerusalem walls, it is to jewish invadors
to apologyze for having done so much harm to an unprepared, peacefull population, and this since more then 63 years. One can only hope that these apologyzes will be spoken out soon and even more that Palestinians will accept them. There is no much time left, otherwise one day it might be too late , dear jewish sisters and brothers! Hurry up, it's your turn!

Is there a more clearer image of the thowry one? as in straight shot, no angles? if so can i be sent the picture? I want to do a reproduction of it.