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Stone
2018

The Second World War left a Jewish people wounded by the Holocaust, who returned to their Promised Land and created the State of Israel. However the Palestinians already occupied this territory left by the Jews more than 2000 years ago. The territorial, cultural and religious conflict remains latent for a few years. 1967 was a crucial year in Israel's history: the Six-Day War broke out.

Ad van Denderen observed, before the Six-Day war, two communities coexisting. 67 divided Jews and Palestinians. Twenty years later, the first Intifada, or Stone War, carved a deep split. Stones are thrown at enemy camps. Stones pile up and walls erect. These stones are the same as those of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. They are also the same as the homes of many families. In the hollow of these stones, between their joints, letters and prayers slip from the west side of Jerusalem, that of the Palestinians. The believers place their hopes for peace and appeasement near the wall. The stone is the metaphor of the duality of this conflict. It represents at the same time a weapon, an obstacle and a rampart.
On the other hand, the stones of the Jerusalem wall contain posters praising extreme parties, such as those that followed the Palestinian suicide bombings. They are made heroes.The country, fractured, welcomes colonies, new cities specific to each territory. The Israeli army trains in camps, or rather military towns, like Baladia in the Negev desert. These National Urban Training Centers (NUTCs), funded by the United States, enable the Israeli Defense Forces (Tsahal) to prepare for urban counterinsurgency missions. Baladia covers an area of almost 12km2 with 470 buildings, 1200 doors and 2500 windows. Visitors may not realize it, but under the city, multiple tunnels connect the buildings between them. Besides, everything is in place, Baladia is the simulacrum of any Arab city in the region, it looks like Ramallah. Fake mosques and their minarets, schools, hospitals are installed in the city.
On the other side the Palestinians are building a "Dubai" in Israel, Rawabi. It was financed by a billionaire with dual American and Palestinian nationality. The creation of this dynamic city, the result of a private real estate project, appears as a possible hope for peace for the Palestinians. Rawabi intends to welcome 40,000 Palestinians, with the comfort of big cities, schools, cinemas, sports centres, mosques, hotels... The only problem that really arose was that of water. For a year, the Palestinians applied for access, and the Israeli Prime Minister finally agreed. This new city is the promise for many families, of a new life far from misery, protected by the same stone as that of their attackers.

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