Socialist Worker

Banksy sees through Israel’s wall

Issue No. 1964

One of Banksy

One of Banksy's pictures on the Israeli wall

Guerrilla graffiti artist Banksy has recently branched out from his normal east London haunts and taken a trip to Palestine, where he applied his talents to the apartheid wall being built by Israel.

The images he has produced for the wall project are alternately witty and poignant, with more than a nod to the Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte’s visions of confinement and escape.

Banksy recalls an exchange with a group of Israeli soldiers. “What the fuck are you doing?” one asked him. “You’ll have to wait till it’s finished,” the artist replied. The soldier turned to his colleagues and ordered, “Safeties off.”

Another incident involved an elderly Palestinian man telling Banksy he had made the wall look beautiful. The artist thanked him, but the man replied. “We don’t want it to be beautiful. We hate this wall – go home.”

For more on Banksy go to Banksy and guerrilla art

For more of Banksy’s Palestine “holiday snaps” go to and for more information on Israel’s apartheid wall, go to

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Article information

Sat 20 Aug 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1964
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