Walls have played a special role in history – but they seem to be making a comeback.
The Great Wall of China was a mammoth enterprise – but, in the end, it provided no real defence since opposing forces simply went round it. I have visited this wall as I describe here.
Much more recently, we had the Berlin Wall which we were all delighted to see fall at last. On a trip to Berlin, I visited the museum devoted to a history of this wall as I mention here.
Most recently, I’ve just returned from a week’s holiday in Israel where I saw the wall – or “separation fence” – built around the West Bank as I describe here.
Today the “Guardian” has a sobering piece describing just how many walls and barriers have been or are being constructed around the world.
In my view, generally speaking, such walls do not solve the problem they are addressing. Often they simply redefine or relocate the problem. Even when they appear to ‘work’, they are often cost a disproportionate amount to build and maintain and they make it politically harder to resove the problem that gave rise to them. We should be building relationships not walls.