Joumana Al Jabri, Ahmad Barclay, Conor McNally, Ramzi Jaber


Visualizing Impact, Lebanon


The mainstream media portrays Israel and Palestine as two distinct entities in conflict, governed by two separate authorities. In reality, the Israeli Ministry of the Interior controls the entire population of Israel, Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip through its determination of ID status. The five different ID statuses enforce a hierarchy of rights within this territory, while excluding refugees entirely. The ID system underpins a number of institutionalised policies and practices of discrimination, including the 2003 Israeli Citizenship and Entry Law, which currently threatens to separate 16,000 Palestinian spouses and families and deprives them of rights such as residency, health care, family unification, education, and freedom of movement. The UN has condemned the law as racially discriminatory. 

Visualizing Palestine developed its ‘Identity Crisis’ visual to raise awareness in the run up to the Knesset’s 2014 vote on the Entry Law. Released in Arabic, English, and Hebrew, the visual particularly targets rights defenders in Israel, Palestine, and internationally. It aims to generate awareness about the deeper inequalities that underscore the Palestinian-Israeli issue. ‘Identity Crisis’ was published on Nakba Day, the 66th anniversary of the displacement of 750,000 Palestinians and the destruction of over 500 Palestinian villages. It was disseminated through social media and traditional, reaching over 60,000 viewers on Facebook alone. Mic republished it in a feature and it has also been used in offline advocacy and educational efforts.

Communication strategy:

Through numerous exploratory conversations, the VP team learned that even highly engaged individuals who are informed on a wide range of facets of the Palestinian experience are unaware of the ID system. They are often shocked to learn that Palestinians must make decisions about who they can date or what bus they can ride based on the ID they carry. The existing media narrative of the Palestinian-Israeli issue does not capture the every day limitations imposed on Palestinians through policies and practices of institutionalized discrimination.

Visualizing Palestine’s mission is to promote a factual, rights based narrative of the Palestinian Israeli issue and to support communities in their educational and mobilizing efforts. The ‘Identity Crisis’ visual belongs to an ongoing VP campaign titled ‘Segregated by Color’.

The campaign’s core communication objective is to shed light on the state of Palestinian civil rights under Israeli control, and particularly the role of the ID system in separating families, fracturing communities, and disenfranchising people. The infographic allowed our target audiences to understand both the complex geography of Palestinian civil rights and the institutional mechanisms that overlay and reinforce this geography.

The process of developing the visual drew together a coalition of human rights professionals and creatives that contributed in campaign research, ideation, and dissemination. The 2003 Citizenship and Entry Law highlighted in the campaign will be up for renewal again in Spring of 2015, and the Segregated By Color campaign will continue to work to highlight the need for equality.