President Carter visits GSU

President Carter gave a talk last night to the GSU community. I was unfortunately too late to get in the main auditorium and watched in the overflow room with about 50 other people (meaning there were about 650 people there).

Carter discussed the situation in the Middle East and his new book Palestine Peace Not Apartheid (which he pointed out is unpunctuated, so that you could read it in many different ways). This may have been an attempt to deflect criticism of the title’s use of the word “apartheid” but if so in his remarks he made it clear that the wall between Israel and the West Bank pretty much is a form of apartheid.

In this light it is interesting to consider the history of separation barriers as in this long article on wikipedia:

Separation barriers (separation walls, security fences) are constructed to limit the movement of people across a certain line or border or to separate two populations. These structures vary in placement with regard to international borders and topography. The most famous example of a separation barrier is probably the Great Wall of China, a series of barriers separating the Empire of China from Mongolia and Manchuria; the most prominent recent example was the Berlin Wall that separated the exclave of West Berlin from the rest of East Germany during most of the Cold War era.

The Berlin Wall (from wikipedia)

Foucault calls these attempts at physical separation of the other “quadrillage” and I am looking forward to reading more about this spatial partitioning in Security, Territory, Population in the next couple of weeks.


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