The West Bank Barrier is expected to be completed in 2010. This network of high concrete walls, trenches, and barbed wire fences could permanently redraw one of the most disputed property lines in the Middle East - the Green Line that separates Israel and the West Bank. To Israel, the 'security fence' is meant to keep Palestinian terrorists from entering its territory. But to Palestinians, the 'apartheid wall' that slices through orchards and houses, and cuts off family members from one ather, is a landgrab. Backmann interviews Israeli policy makers, politicians, and military personnel, as well as Palestinians living throughout the West Bank, and brings to us t only the stories of the barrier's architects, but also of those who must reckon with it on a day to day basis on the ground. A Wall in Palestine is the only book-length examination of the barrier - its purpose, its efficacy, its consequences - and an affecting story about two cultures who have arrived at a devastating endgame, one which may occlude the possibility of peace for generations to come.
Rene Backmann is an international affairs columnist at Le Nouvel Observateur foreign desk. In 1991 he was awarded the Prix Mumm, France's highest honor for journalism.