chapter  3
Popular struggle against the wall
ByMichael J. Carpenter
Pages 28

In 2003, a rural movement in the West Bank challenged Israel’s construction of a massive separation barrier on Palestinian land. Villages formed new popular committees, evoking the First Intifada, and launched disruptive civic protest, often working closely with Israeli and international solidarity activists. Many Palestinian communities were unsuccessful, and many more took little or no action, but some effectively pushed the barrier off their land, most notably the villages of Budrus (2003–2004) and Bil’in (2005–2011). Their achievements inspired many more communities to launch popular resistance, and their activism expanded international support networks. This chapter shows that the key to the success of the popular committees against the separation barrier was its combination of unarmed and participatory forms of struggle. The chapter also lays the groundwork for understanding a new movement that emerged from the anti-wall movement around 2009.