This Way Up

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Links & Books


West Bank Barrier

BBC News: Guide to the West Bank Barrier
This overview of the barrier provides an introduction, a timeline of the installation, a map of the region and a breakdown of the barrier structure.

BBC News: Working the West Bank Checkpoints
Following one truck driver's story of how the barrier has affected his work, this article covers many of the problems caused by the building of the barrier. A map showing the barrier alongside Israeli settlements and Palestinian urban areas is included at the bottom of the article. (June 29, 2009)

The Washington Post: Two Peoples, Divided
This set of articles about the West Bank barrier, which includes multimedia components, shows how the barrier affects daily life for Israelis and Palestinians alike. (Oct. 19, 2007)

The New York Times: How I Learned to Love the Wall
In this editorial, Muslim author Irshad Manji acknowledges the difficulty caused by the security barrier for Palestinians, but argues that the barrier was born out of necessity as a result of the actions of suicide bombers. Manji believes that the barrier saves civilian lives, and that fact justifies its existence. (March 18, 2006)

The New York Times: A Wall as a Weapon
Noam Chomsky's editorial argues against the security barrier by pointing out that it does not fall on the Israel side of the internationally recognized border -- the Green Line. Chomsky says that the construction of the barrier has allowed Israel to claim some of the most fertile lands of the West Bank and extend its control of water resources. (Feb. 23, 2004)

AsiaNews: The Wall and Its Consequences for Ordinary Citizens
Featuring a letter from one of the nuns working at Our Lady of Sorrows, the rest home featured in This Way Up, this article summarizes some of the problems the barrier has caused for Palestinian Christians, workers and families in their everyday lives. (Feb. 9, 2004)

The New York Times: The World: Israel's Wall; Building for Calm by Giving Up on Peace
This article explains some of the events that resulted from the building of the barrier: Israel has noticed a decrease in attacks, and people are much more at ease in their daily lives and are returning to popular day and night spots. Some Palestinians, however, cannot get to what they once considered their farmland. (July 18, 2004)

Palestinian Christians

This organization seeks to spread information about the Catholic populations living in the Middle East. Its website features fact pages, a newsletter, information regarding pilgrimages and other resources for anyone interested in learning more about Catholic communities that are still surviving in the Middle East.

BBC News: Palestinian Christian Couple's Divided Life
He lives near Bethlehem; she lives in the Gaza Strip. But the Israeli military says that she is not allowed through the wall because her criteria for movement do not meet humanitarian standards. This article portrays how the dividing barrier affects families and loved ones -- in this case a couple -- living in the Middle East. (May 13, 2009)

The Jerusalem Post: Some Truths About Palestinian Christians
This comprehensive political history of Palestinian Christians and the Middle East in general also addresses the topic of the Middle Eastern Christian diaspora, which has grown since the 1970s. (May 12, 2009)

Time: Christians in Gaza Make Their Appeal to the Pope
This article notes the anticipation of the pope's arrival among the Christian population of the Gaza Strip in May 2009. The population has greatly dwindled in recent years as the conflict between Israel and Palestine has intensified. (May 11, 2009)

BBC News: Christians in the Middle East: West Bank and Gaza
A fact sheet from the BBC highlights the basic statistics concerning Christian populations living in the West Bank and in Gaza. It notes that the percentage of Christians, as part of the overall population, has been cut in half during recent years. (Dec. 15, 2005)

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A): Christian Presence in Israel and Palestine (PDF)
This fact sheet offers a brief overview, some history and basic information about Christians in Israel and Palestine. (March 2006)

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Council on Foreign Relations: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Timeline
This beautiful timeline traces the history of the conflict from 1914 to January 2009. It includes pictures, videos and links to articles written by the experts at this nonpartisan and independent membership organization. You can also test your knowledge of the conflict in their interactive quiz.

BBC News: A History of Conflict: Israel and the Palestinians
This simple timeline includes audio, video, images and news articles about the conflict from 1250 BC through 2005.

The Alternative Information Center: Palestine/Israel
A progressive, joint Palestinian-Israeli activist group, The Alternative Information Center works to promote freedom and equality in the Middle East while working against the longstanding philosophy of separation. Its website features published articles and news reports about the ongoing conflict, as well as a podcast series.

Churches for Middle East Peace
This advocacy group, founded in 1984, is a coalition of 22 public policy offices of national churches and agencies -- Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant -- working to spread awareness of the Middle East conflict by maintaining dialogue with advocacy groups, diplomatic communities and government agencies. The group's website features an archive of its quarterly newsletters, as well as a resource center concerning the West Bank barrier.

International Crisis Group
The website for the International Crisis Group features a page dedicated to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It also features updated articles and news reports about the ongoing conflict and an advocacy page that reports on the group's current work in conflict resolution and ways to get involved.

Human Rights Watch (HRW): Israel and the Occupied Territories
HRW files reports that put both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at fault for their own actions during periods of fighting. This website also provides updates on the conflict, as well as multiple reports about the violence at different points in the conflict.

This nonprofit organization is devoted to education and resources, and its website features articles and quotes on multiple issues in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Specifically, the website features a page about Palestinian and Israeli Christians, as well as an interesting back and forth on the building of the West Bank barrier.

The Washington Post: Country Guide: Israel
This page provides a brief overview of the country of Israel from its inception up to the present day.

BBC News: Middle East Crisis
This overview of the conflict provides information about the most recent conflict in Gaza, illustrated with a map of the conflict. It also includes a brief Q-and-A section providing some answers to questions about the conflict.


Related Films & Features

What is it really like to live in Jerusalem? Promises offers touching and fresh insight into the Middle East conflict through the eyes of seven Palestinian and Israeli children. (POV 2001)

The Woman Next Door
Personal perspectives on both sides of the camera are revealed when Michal Avaid, directing a three-woman Israeli/Palestinian film crew, travels throughout the West Bank to collect women's stories. (POV 2003)

9 Star Hotel
A group of young Palestinian men work illegally as construction laborers in the Israeli city of Modi'in. Caught between Israeli security laws and a Palestinian Authority they see as having failed them, they work for Israeli contractors by day while hiding from police by night. (POV 2008)

Inheritance is the story of Monika Hertwig, the daughter of mass murderer Amon Goeth, and her efforts to come to terms with her "inheritance." (POV 2008)

The Hyperborder in a Globalized World
What does the word "border" mean in the 21st century? Architect Fernando Romero examines the concept of the border in his book Hyperborder: The Contemporary U.S./Mexico Border and Its Future by looking at a series of borders, including the West Bank.

Hiding and Seeking: Faith and Tolerance After the Holocaust
Is it possible to heal wounds and bitterness passed down through generations? An Orthodox Jewish father tries to alert his adult sons to the dangers of creating impenetrable barriers between themselves and those outside their faith. He takes them on an emotional journey to Poland to track down the family who risked their lives to hide their grandfather for more than two years during World War II. (POV 2005)



Frontline World: Israel: Tracing Borders
Robin Schulman reports on the building of the Seam Line Project, the same wall that separated the Our Lady of Sorrows nursing home from their neighbors in This Way Up. As part of her report, she asked people what it's like to live near "moving walls, new fences and people on the other side." (February 2003)

The Online NewsHour: In-depth Coverage: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
NewsHour's topical page about the conflict features the latest news, resources (including maps), key players and a news archive, an interactive feature of the barrier, lesson plans and more.

NOW: Peace and Prosperity in the West Bank?
Once one of the most dangerous and violent cities in the West Bank, Jenin was the scene of frequent battles between the Israeli military and Palestinian fighters and the hometown of more than two dozen suicide bombers. However, there's been a huge turnaround. Jenin is now the center of an international effort to build a safe and economically prosperous Palestinian state from the ground up. (July 10, 2009)

Wide Angle: The World's Most Complex Borders: Israel/West Bank
The borders between Israel and the West Bank have been disputed continually since Israel's annexation of the West Bank after the war in 1967, and continuous fighting and conflict have afflicted the area. This article highlights the controversy over the building of a barrier between the two lands and the politics surrounding the current dispute. (July 26, 2005)

The Online NewsHour: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Elizabeth Farnsworth visited the Middle East and spoke with Israelis and Palestinians about the controversial security wall going up between Israel and the West Bank. (2004)

NewsHour Extra: U.S. Endorses New Tactic in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
This report covers a 2004 visit by Ariel Sharon, then the prime minister of Israel, to Washington, D.C., where he met with then-president George W. Bush, who endorsed Sharon's controversial plan to pull Israel out of the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank. (April 14, 2004)


Israeli-Palestinian Coverage
This aggregate page collects the latest NPR stories on the conflict.

Israel's Barrier
Split into four parts (Palestinians, Israelis Divided; Inside the Seam Zone; Seeking Protection; and One Man's Hardships), this section of the NPR website discusses the effects of the Israeli barrier on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides. Israel's wall and fence project has dramatically reduced suicide bombings and other attacks inside the country. But the barrier, which will stretch some 450 miles when completed, has also had a severely negative effect on the lives of ordinary Palestinians. The website also features an updated map of the barrier showing both its current route and parts that have been approved and are under construction. (April 9, 2009)

Morning Edition: Signs of Economic Life Return to West Bank City
Since some movement restrictions in Nablus were eased, economic life is starting to grow again in the West Bank city. Signs of new growth, such as a cinema and thriving restaurants, are drawing Palestinians who previously could not travel to the city. However, some Palestinians fear that the easing of restrictions will not last, so they are taking advantage of the opportunity to move freely in and out of the city.
(July 10, 2009)

All Things Considered: Activists Vow to Revive West Bank Settlement
The settlement of Homesh in the West Bank was evacuated recently due to the escalated conflict between the Israeli and occupied Palestinian territories, but now the original Israeli settlers are vowing to revive the town. While they work to ensure that they keep control over the land, which they believe was given to them by God, the Palestinians in a settlement very close to Homesh wonder if they will ever have control over the land again and how the neighboring settlements will interact with each other. (June 29, 2009)