There is no other name for it. It is brutal, ugly, disruptive, disorienting, and irrational. Israel openly admits that at least 20,000 illegal workers find a way around the wall each year into Israel-proper to work at bus stations, construction sites, and the like. If someone wants to blow himself up in Tel Aviv or Haifa, he will find a way.
So what is it good for? For one thing, it adds another layer to the system of surveillance that is already in place. There are watch towers and cameras. There are crossing permits that can be had — for a price, which amounts to willingness to cooperate with the IDF and help them keep an eye on your neighbors.
It rises up not only between Palestinian towns and illegal Israeli settlements. It separates Palestinians from Palestinians. It separates workers from their jobs, children from their schools, farmers from their fields, brothers from their sisters. It creates pockets of isolated homes as it snakes around populated areas, saving the arable land for Israelis and discarding as much of the Palestinian population as possible. The wall loves land, not Palestinians.
It unpredictably redraws borders, leaving ordinary Palestinians wondering, what is next? Will our home be next? Will our field be next? Will my business be stifled because the road to my shop has been closed to make way for more concrete?
The wall allows freedom of movement and stunning views for the Israeli settlers, while it starves the Palestinians in its shadows of air and sunlight and an adequate water supply. It oversees a system of roads and tunnels that prevents even the most ordinary contact between Israelis and Palestinians — they never have to pass each other on the highway, they are not allowed to see how the other side lives. It breeds ignorance and indifference on one side, anger and insularity on the other.
To have built this wall is to deprive two peoples of their humanity. It seems to say, there is no turning back.