Muslala, the Black Panthers, and a missed opportunity

by ray goodlass

 Today I went on a tour of the Muslala community street art area, in a previously a ‘no-mans land’ called murara, just inside the Israeli side of the armistice line of 1948, which gave rise to the Black Panther movement after the wall was removed in 1967. It also included a community garden, though it was pretty derelict today, though that might be due to it being mid-winter.

The whole experience was interesting, but I felt it could made a more of the original Palestinian inhabitants of the area, rather than just pointing out their architecture.

The Black Panther movement was essentially a protest by the poor and disadvantaged marginalised Israelis living in the area, which as characterised by military watchtowers, checkpoints, patrols and so on, and though their cause was certainly worthwhile it would to my mind have been more meaningful if it could have reached across the barriers to have made common cause with the Palestinians. A missed opportunity, then and now.

Though marginalised Israelis were certainly disadvantaged, they were also colonialists, though possibly more as pawns than key players, but colonialists, nonetheless.