by David Parker. October 12, 2008. Interview with Jon Elmer.
In the 2007 publication “Hollow Land“, Eyal Weizman, the Israeli-born, London-based architect, reconceptualized geopolitics in the Occupied Territories. The political space created by Israeli apartheid is a web of total domination and control over Palestinians. The architecture and urban planning inside the territories demonstrate a late-modern colonial occupation. Israel owns the subterranean aquifers beneath Gaza and the West Bank, controls the airspace above, and has weaved a web of Israeli only settlements, highways, and security perimeters throughout the West Bank, while turning Gaza into an open-air prison.
According to Weizman, the natural and built features of the landscape function as weapons and ammunition for the conflict. The Occupied Territories have become a series of layers and territories, each manipulated by the Israeli authorities. Borders are porous for Israelis but solid for Palestinians. Checkpoints are a source of humiliation.
The political power of Israel re-inscribes relationships of force in the organization of the built environment. Contemporary urban warfare in the West Bank and Gaza is a constant destruction and construction of space. At the root of the warfare lies Israeli racism and colonialism.