René Backmann is an international affairs columnist at Le Nouvel Observateur foreign desk. In 1991 he was awarded the Prix Mumm, France's highest honor for journalism.
EVEN THE QUALITY OF THE LIGHT
One morning in early August of 2002, the residents of Chiyah, El-Azariyeh, and Ras al-Amud, the Palestinian villages that form the eastern boundary of Jerusalem, discovered that pieces of paper printed with a message in Hebrew had been tacked to the trees during the night. The message, bearing the stamp of the Israeli Defense Forces, was a military order informing residents that some of their land was going to be requisitioned by the army to erect a wall.