Mosaic Messages Make a Border Barrier a Peace Wall

A border wall decorated with mosaics.
A border wall decorated with mosaics.

By Carol Denbo

Published November 19, 2015, issue of November 19, 2015.

Amidst all the recent turmoil in Israel, the resiliency and eternal optimism of its people are a constant source of inspiration. Although surrounded by enemies, I am reminded of how Israelis can take a bleak situation and turn it into a positive.

On our most recent trip to Israel earlier this month, we traveled to Moshav Netiv HaAsara, which sits only meters from the Gaza border. Living so close to the Gaza Strip, its residents live under the daily threat of incoming rockets being fired by Hamas. A large gray concrete wall separates the Gaza Strip from this Moshav and lies adjacent to the Moshav’s homes. Tsameret Zamir, an artist who has lived her whole life on this Moshav, has created an Israeli mosaic mural which she has entitled “Netiv L’Shalom,” which means “path to peace.”

She explained to us that this is a unique project in which thousands of people are able to take an active part. Tsameret handmakes different mosaic tiles in her ceramics studio and invites visitors to decorate them using images, designs and words that promote peace. These colorful mosaic pieces are then glued onto the gray security wall. She sends her tiles all over the world so that school children can participate in this amazing project; the tiles are decorated and then returned to her so that they can be glued on the wall.

The author places a tile on the peace wall.
The author places a tile on the peace wall.

Her goal is to project love and happiness between all people, and she hopes that those living on the other side of the border will also see these messages and take away the possibility of a peaceful future. Tsameret has taken a reminder of constant danger, a large border wall, and turned it into a symbol of hope and optimism.

We left her Moshav more upbeat than when we arrived.

Carol Denbo lives in Swampscott.

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