On Thursday, Nov. 17th, 2011, the WMU student group West Michigan Justice in Palestine, along with KNOW, set up a simulation of the separation barrier that Israel is building in the West Bank of Palestine.
In 2002, Israel began building a barrier between the West Bank and Israel, with the declared objective of preventing the uncontrolled entry of Palestinians into Israel. In fact, eighty-five percent of the wall runs through the West Bank, and results in the de facto annexation of Palestinian land. In 2004, the International Court of Justice ruled that Israel must cease construction of the barrier, dismantle the parts of it built in the West Bank, and compensate Palestinians who suffered as a result of the barrier. Israel still refuses to comply with this ruling.
A quick primer from Wikipedia: “The State of Israel‘s treatment of the Palestinians has been compared by United Nations investigators, human rights groups and critics of Israeli policy to South Africa‘s treatment of non-whites during its apartheid era. Israel has also been accused of committing the crime of apartheid. Critics of Israeli policy say that “a system of control” in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, including Jewish-only settlements, separate roads, military checkpoints, discriminatory marriage law, the West Bank barrier, use of Palestinians as cheap labour, Palestinian West Bank enclaves, inequities in infrastructure, legal rights, and access to land and resources between Palestinians and Israeli residents in the Israeli-occupied territories resembles some aspects of the South African apartheid regime, and that elements of Israel’s occupation constitute forms of colonialism and of apartheid, which are contrary to international law.”