Wall provokes discussion and, for some, anger

first_imgMany students walking down Trousdale Parkway on Monday paused to view a large wall set up between the Von KleinSmid Center and Taper Hall that read, “Israel: The Politics of Genocide.”Divided · A student walking down Trousdale Parkway stops to view a separation wall set up by Students for Justice in Palestine on Monday. The wall, which will remain on Trousdale until Tuesday night, was originally built by students from UC Irvine. – Brandon Hui | Daily Trojan The wall, set up by USC’s Students for Justice in Palestine, caught the eyes of a number of passers-by and drew reactions ranging from appreciation to anger.The wall was originally built by students from UC Irvine and has since traveled to other campuses. SJP rented the wall, which will stand on USC’s main thoroughfare until Tuesday night.“It’s a very symbolic gesture to have this wall right in the middle of campus,” said Marwa Katbi, a member of SJP and a junior majoring in creative writing. “It’s very visible.”Members of SJP said they hope the wall will inform students about the conflict taking place between Israel and Palestine.“It’s supposed to be a model for the wall that’s currently in the West Bank,” said Shaimaa Abdelhamid, a member of SJP and a junior majoring in history and political science. “Basically, we hope to raise some awareness to the Palestinian side of the conflict in terms of statistics and stories not in the media.”Several students cast curious glances as they passed the separation wall.“It’s certainly a strong message, and I think to have it be so in your face — if you’re trying to send a message, what better way than to erect a wall such as one that might exist in the region that they are talking about?” said Daniela Montiel, a graduate student studying public diplomacy who stopped to read information posted on the wall.Some students said they feel the media portrays Israel in a favorable light and were happy to see another side of the issue presented.“I’m glad that people are actually presenting the other side of the story,” said Kiah Carr, a freshman majoring in business administration. “People deserve to see [it].”A number of students who stopped to view the wall said they are interested in learning more about the conflict.“The message is to pay closer attention to international affairs,” said Max Skeen, a senior majoring in fine art.Skeen said he wants USC to host lectures on the conflict between Israel and Palestine.“It would be nice to hear more,” he said.Dan Shaer, a graduate student studying public health, agreed.“Everybody should be reminded every once in a while about what’s really going on,” he said. “It’s just sad that this is still going on … All the ways that people are trying to help are not effective.”For Shaer, the situation is one that hits close to home. He moved to the United States from Lebanon five years ago.“We’ve been through this too,” he said. “We had a war with Israel in 2006. Most of our country was bombed.”Though some students thought the wall was a good way to raise awareness, members of ’SC Students for Israel said they were upset that SJP chose to erect the wall the day after Holocaust Remembrance Day.“It’s a very low blow that this wall is coinciding with the end of Holocaust Remembrance Day,” said Shanel Melamed, the president of ’SC Students for Israel. “It was very disrespectful … There are no words to describe the horrific nature of the timing.”Melamed, who said she saw the separation wall from afar, said many Jewish students were adversely affected by its presence at USC.“People were shaking because who they are, their identity, their core was affected,” she said.SJP members said their goal was to illustrate the problem overseas for the USC community.“It’s important for people who are offended by this wall to know that there is really a wall of separation in Israel-Palestine,” Katbi said. “That is what they really should be offended about.”last_img read more