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Why I support the Wall (english)
08 Nov 2003
Modified: 12 Nov 2003
The fence that Israel is building along the length of the West Bank should appall me. Fencing in the Jewish state, after all, mocks Zionism's promise to free the Jews from the ghetto. And fencing out the Arab world violates the hope that Israel will one day find a cultural and spiritual place in the Middle East--a hope that once took me on a yearlong pilgrimage into mosques in Israel and the West Bank, as a way of connecting to my neighbors' prayer lives
The fence that Israel is building along the length of the West Bank should appall me. Fencing in the Jewish state, after all, mocks Zionism's promise to free the Jews from the ghetto. And fencing out the Arab world violates the hope that Israel will one day find a cultural and spiritual place in the Middle East--a hope that once took me on a yearlong pilgrimage into mosques in Israel and the West Bank, as a way of connecting to my neighbors' prayer lives. The fence ends more than three decades of Israeli attempts to reach out to the Middle East, from the "open bridges" policy across the Jordan River in the 1970s to the "good fence" on the northern border in the 1980s, through which Lebanese workers daily crossed into Israel. Finally, as a Jordanian acquaintance sympathetic to Israel recently warned me, the fence actually reduces Israel's deterrence by sending a message of weakness to the Arab world, reinforcing the popular Arab notion that Israel's demise is just a matter of time.

The argument for the fence, of course, is that it will save lives. The fence won't offer the total separation from Palestinians that Israelis crave: About 200,000 Palestinians in Jerusalem and several tens of thousands of West Bank Palestinians could remain on the Israeli side, and at least 20,000 settlers, or 10 percent of the settler population, will find themselves on the wrong side of the fence. Nor will the fence offer absolute security: Breaches will be pried open and tunnels dug underneath the barrier; recently, snipers crawled through a drainage ditch under the fence and killed a child on a road within pre-1967 Israel. Conversely, the more successful the fence becomes against attacks into Israel, the more terrorists will turn against the settlers living on their side of the barrier--and the more pressure will grow within Israel to evacuate those settlements under fire, a move that would further reduce Israeli deterrence by granting victory to terrorism. Still, the security argument is compelling enough: Though more than 120 successful suicide bombers have crossed into Israel from the West Bank, not one has managed to cross from Gaza, which is surrounded by the same kind of formidable fence.

Beyond the security argument, though, what's appealing about the fence is precisely what Israeli officials are trying to deny: its political message. Even more than a separation between Israelis and Palestinians, the fence is a demarcation line between the Oslo era of Israeli delusions and the post-Oslo era of Israeli realism. The fence embodies the lesson of this war: that the violent Palestinian rejection of peace three years ago wasn't merely a setback on the way to a comprehensive settlement but the negation of a comprehensive settlement. September 2000 was an historic turning point as decisive as November 1947, when the Arab world rejected U.N. partition. To insist otherwise is to risk repeating the Oslo syndrome of Palestinian deception and Israeli self-deception. And that's precisely what happened recently with the Geneva Accord, a bit of freelance diplomacy between left-wing Israelis, who obviously don't speak for the Sharon government, and Palestinians linked to Yasir Arafat. Even as Israelis who participated in these negotiations were heralding the Palestinians' renunciation of the right of return, Kadoura Fares, a Palestinian delegate to the talks, was reassuring his people that he had done no such thing. Indeed, to expect Arafat's regime to uphold its commitments is absurd. The fence, then, is Israel's acknowledgment that the Palestinian leadership--in this generation at least--won't honor any commitments to respect Israel's legitimacy.

The main objection to the fence, which is scheduled for completion in 2005, is that it doesn't adhere to the pre-1967 green line but deviates "deep" into the West Bank. In fact, at most points, the fence either winds close to the green line or extends several miles over it without compromising Palestinian territorial contiguity--hardly the massive land grab warned against by opponents. So far, 108 miles of fence have been completed in the northwestern part of the West Bank, and about 1.5 percent of the West Bank has been incorporated into the Israeli side. If the fence is eventually extended to include Ariel--a town of 18,000 residents, which the Camp David negotiations included within the eventual borders of Israel--it will protrude, finger-shaped, about 15 miles into the territories. Yet even then the fence will encompass only a few percentage points of the West Bank. (The highest figure I've encountered is 10 percent.) And, note Israeli officials, the fence can be moved or even dismantled.

Still, that apologetic argument misses the point, which is that the fence must violate the green line. Building the fence on the 1967 border would play into the Palestinian strategy by creating the outlines of a de facto Palestinian state in all of the West Bank, without requiring the Palestinians to cease terrorism or genuinely recognize Israel. Building over the green line, by contrast, reminds Palestinians that every time they've rejected compromise--whether in 1937, 1947, or 2000--the potential map of Palestine shrinks. That message is the exact opposite of the left-wing trajectory of increased concessions under fire--from Camp David to Taba to Geneva. The fence is a warning: If Palestinians don't stop terrorism and forfeit their dream of destroying Israel, Israel may impose its own map on them. Indeed, the fence is a reminder that the 1967 border isn't sacrosanct. Legally, the West Bank is extraterritorial: The international community didn't recognize Jordan's annexation, and, because Palestine isn't being restored but invented, its borders are negotiable.

The only justification for withdrawal to the green line is pragmatism. Most Israelis would accept an approximate withdrawal to the 1967 borders in exchange for genuine Palestinian acceptance of Jewish sovereignty on this land. Reinstating the green line, then, would be a reward for peace, not war. But what we've learned in the decade since Oslo began is that "land for peace" was never an option. At best, Israel was being offered land for a cease-fire. And that is hardly justification for returning to the precarious 1967 lines.

That's especially true for Jerusalem. The Oslo negotiations left the fate of Jerusalem for last, assuming that the joint administering of this fragile city would require a level of trust between Palestinians and Israelis possible only after a prolonged process of reconciliation. Precisely the opposite has happened. Thanks, ironically, to Oslo, which subjected the Palestinians to a decade of Palestinian Authority propaganda glorifying hatred of Israel--in schools, mosques, and the media--Palestinians are far less prepared for peace than they were before Oslo. The result of Palestinian hatred and Israeli mistrust is that sharing the administration of Jerusalem has become untenable. Imagine the effect on the Jewish presence within the Old City today, for example, if Palestinian police were positioned on its walls. "Sharing" Jerusalem means dismembering it. A fence around Jerusalem, then, isn't only a buffer against suicidal terrorists but against suicidal blueprints.

alestinians have begun calling the fence "The Apartheid Wall." In fact, it is neither apartheid nor a wall. The first surprise in encountering the fence is that it really is a fence. Except for about five miles of concrete wall near the West Bank cities of Tulkarem and Qalqilya, which is necessary to prevent sniper attacks on an adjacent Israeli highway, the projected 370-mile barrier is an electrified fence mounted with surveillance cameras and flanked by trenches and barbed-wire pyramids.

The second surprise is the similarity of the landscape on either side of the fence, especially in the area known as the "Triangle," the mostly Arab-populated area of pre-1967 Israel bordering the West Bank and parallel to the coastal plain. On both sides are white stone houses, olive groves, and minarets; the only difference is that the houses and fields in the Arab-Israeli towns and villages are larger and more prosperous. The fence, then, doesn't separate Arabs and Jews but primarily Palestinians and Israelis--Israeli Arabs as well as Jews. One of the most common complaints about the fence that I've heard from Israeli Jews, on the left as well as the right, is that it leaves the Triangle, which is the center of Arab-Israeli Islamic fundamentalism, within Israel's borders.

Separating West Bank Palestinians from Israeli Palestinians is, in fact, a crucial by-product of the fence. Throughout the 1990s, tens of thousands of West Bank Palestinians illegally crossed into Israel and are living in Arab communities in the Triangle and the Galilee. Frustrating that silent "return" is an essential part of Israel's struggle to maintain its Jewish majority. And it's one of the reasons, according to Israeli Defense Ministry Director-General Amos Yaron, that Palestinian leaders are so outraged by the fence.

Certainly, the fence causes serious hardship to many Palestinians. According to B'Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization, the fence will cause economic or social dislocation for some 200,000 Palestinians. The fence will separate farmers from their lands in 36 villages. Israel is trying to minimize the damage. It has built 41 "agricultural gates" along the fence exclusively for the use of farmers. And the army has replanted olive trees uprooted by the fence. But those efforts don't compensate for a brutal reality. Palestinian farmers trying to get to their fields complain of complications at the gates, including an inability to bring in trucks on which to load large quantities of crops.

Still, the fence is hardly a case of the many suffering for the terrorism of the few. The war against Israel was initiated by the official Palestinian leadership with overwhelming popular support. According to one poll, 75 percent of Palestinians backed the recent suicide attack on Haifa's Maxim restaurant, which murdered three generations of two Jewish families and five Israeli Arabs. In its very ugliness--a scar across an often-pastoral landscape--the fence is an apt expression of the Palestinians' grotesque war. Palestinian society has been overtaken by a culture whose deepest longing isn't for the creation of a state of its own but the destruction of the state of its neighbors. Indeed, according to another recent poll, 59 percent of Palestinians want to see terrorism against Israel continue even after the creation of a Palestinian state. The very hardships imposed by the fence are part of its message: When one society declares war against another society, there's a price to pay.

And if a miracle happens and reconciliation becomes possible? Then, indeed, the fence can be moved or uprooted. The Berlin Wall, as Palestinian spokesmen remind us, did eventually fall. And a fence, after all, isn't even a wall.

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Why I DON'T support the Wall. (english)
09 Nov 2003
Face it...The Wall is letting the Jews steal land. And cause instability for years, until the wall comes down.
The Jews are wrong. Whether you, or anyone else disagrees is irrelavent. I say what I see...
YOU should do the same.
Waht I think (english)
09 Nov 2003
I See Suicide Bombers from Palestine blowing up Jews and arabs alike, Any moron would try to stop them. When the Palastinins decide they want to live in peace the wall will come down. EVREY poll conducted in Israel show the majority of Israelis are verry happy to leave the west bank in return for REAL peace. Evrey signal that Israel gets form palastine is that the most they will offer is a cease fire. If anyone actually cared to listen to anything Palastinin leaders say to their own public they would realize that the destruction of Israel is still the goal.

If Arafat and Hamas declared to day the end to the violence and staged civil protests Sharon would be out of office so fast and Beilins and Abu mazens plan would be adopted. The move is really up to do the Palastinins. When we are all convinced that the palastinins will live side by side with us as brothers and are not trying to eliminate us there will be no more walls no more bypass roads . Untill that day I am proud to serve as a reserve soldier in the IDF and will gladly serve along the fence to protect my family form crazed Suicde terorists.
ATT: Editorial Staff (english)
10 Nov 2003
This post directly contravenes the "no racists" section of the editorial policy for Boston Indymedia. Please remove this piece of anti-Arab racism immediately.
The Second comment IS racist... (english)
11 Nov 2003
The second respondent sounds racist. Who cares? You? I don't...Want to know why? FREEDOM OF SPEECH! I don't like his comments either. Why ban opinions? Sounds like Ashcroft and the Patriots Act...Don't it?
Nah...Let em' say his mind. Not going to harm anyone. Right? He doesn't sound like Hitler or Bush!
reaping what they sowed (english)
12 Nov 2003
It isn't a wall that is destroying Palestinian lives and lifes. It is Zionism.

Zionists are not trying to defend themselves with a wall, they are occupying Palestine using many offensive efforts. People (including Zionists) do not really invade thier neighbor's homeland and really expect peace. Zionists do not want peace. ZIonists want Palestine, and murder to steal it.

Arabic Speaking neighbors of the Palestinians have tried and failed to liberate Palestine. And England and France never did liberate Poland, either. Did they? That didn't give nazis any right to occupy Poland, as it seems, in the media, as being the case for Zionists occupying Palestine. But it is real simple.

Palestine + Zionists = Israel + dead Palestinians + Palestinian refugees + occupied Palestine.

Some might think that the Judao-christian dominated UN (40 to 10, most othwer muslim lands were still occupied by the European power brokers who appeased Zionist invasion of Palestine) appeasing the Zionist's crusade in palestine makes the Zionist Crusader State something more than just anouther bloodstained crusade (crusade, Jihad, Birthright, it is all offensive crap).

And Zionists did invade, not emigrate. Zionists invaded Palestine like Hungarians invaded Slovakia. Under the gun of a European power broker. Germans occupied Czechoslovakia, took the industrial areas they wanted, and offered the mountainous forrested rural Slovakian portion to thier Hungarian allies. Hungarians didn't have to invade, just because a European power broker told them they could. But, Slovakia was an easy steal, being under the Nazi guns and all, Hungarians had a history of ruling the land about as long as the Herbrews ruled the land they murdered Canaanites , etc to steal, and they wanted thier neighbors homeland for themselves. So they invaded. Also, after the allies liberated the Netherlands from nazis, the Dutch were in a bad state. they were one of the first countries occupied and last liberated. Retreating German forces ransacked the place of anything they could usein the war: food, medicines, vehicles, what have you. and the US army saw how the Dutch were in such a bad state, and gave them 3 dozen 2 1/2 ton army trucks to deliver food and medicines to the battered people. As it turns out, Zionists stole the trucks and used them to transport thier occupation forces (called "innocent civilians" in the media) to the meditrainian sea, where they got on ready ships to invade Palestine. This shows several things. Zionists didn't emigrate when they had an organized, coreographed effort (collective effort) to transport troops. Zionists stole food and medicines from starving , sick Dutch kids for thier own invasion of Palestine. And, I learned of this on the History channel when it showed the Zionist looters laughing about how clever they were to steal food and medicines from little kids (some of them my kin) so they could be murderous thieves in palestine. Psychopathic refers to people who see thier own gain as all that matters, even if it kills others. Zionists are psychopathic in thier collective effort to murder and steal.

Now Palestine. England occupied Palestine, and offered a portion of the land to Zionists in the Balfour declaration. Kind of like longshanks promised his minions lands in Scottland, without any right to do so. Zionists didn't have to invade palestine, but like the Hungarians and Longshanks minions, it was an easy steal, and they wanted to profit from the destruction of Palestinians. Zionists invaded. And just because the Judao-christian dominated UN appeased the invasion, Zionists think they have a "birthright" to be murderous thieves in palestine. Western nations also saw the allegedly Christian Crusader States as ligitimate countries, too. But, like the western leaders in the present, they had no right to be giving Palestine to Zionists. When a much MUCH more inclusiv 2003 UN chose not to appease Bush's invasion of Iraq, the UN is called inconsiquential, obsoleat, and irrelivant. So what changed. Well, the UN is no longer a mouthpiece for Western dictates to the little people around the world. Democraps and republitrash have to deal with the fact that they have no business who deciding who lives (literaly all too often) in palestine, like longshanks thought he had a right to decide who lives (also literaly) in scottland. But political whores like the Zionist votes and campain contrabutions.

make no mistake. Zionists are murderous thieves with NO "birthright" (as they claim with both words and thier bloodstained actions) to be murderous thieves in Palestine or anywhere else, for that matter. And it is murderous theft. If someone were to come into your home and take your TV set, that person would be a thief. RIGHT? And if you or your neighbors (like Arab states trying to liberate Palestine from the foriegn Zionist invadors) tried to stop the thief's CRIME, only for the thief to pull a gun and blow you or your neighbor's brains all over your family, and still takes your survivor's TV set, then that thief would be a MURDERER as well. Right? That is the law we chose for our own protection against murderous thieves. That is exaclty what Zionists have done and still do in palestine. Every new settlement built by the Zionists collective effort to occupy (destroy) Palestine (offensive, not defensive) is more theft. And every palestinian who resists the Zionists theft of palestinian lands, only for thier brains to get blowen all over thier family, is more MURDER. Under the OSlo agrement's vacant promise of a portion of Palestine being permited to be independant of the Zionist Crusader State, resistance was almost non-existant. At the same time, Zionists were collectivly (colective makes ALL Zionists guilty of the theft of Palestinian lands and the murders that follows any resistance to the Zioists CRIMES). When it was clear that Zionists were not going to stop stealing more and more of palestine, Palestinians resisted with the current uprising. And ZIonists responded by murdering those who resisted, or were just in the line of the ZIonists offensive fire. Over 180 Palestinians were murdered before the first Palestinian suicide bomber struck. Zionists stealing and murdering created the suicide bomber. And only the most pre-judge-mental tool could say otherwise. If Bonnie and Clyde's thefts were never resisted, would they, in thier collective effort to steal other people's property, not have gunned down the victims of thier crimes? Would they then not be murderous thieves, and just thieves? Palestine + ZIonists = Israel + ALL THE SUFFERING AND LOSS FOR BOTH PARTIES + profit (OPP) for the invading Zionists, makes it pretty clear who the bad guys are.

Denying Palestinians with a "right" (as the Judao-christian leaders and media arrogantly says they do not) to defend Palestine doesn't give Zionists any "birthright" to be murder even a single Palestinian, or steal a single square inch of palestine, no matter how much democraps and republitrash like the Zionist special intrest votes and campain contributions. Democrats and republitrash are just going to have to learn that they dont have any more right to say who lives (literaly) in palestine, than Longshanks had to say who gets to live (literaly) in Scottland, or Hitler had to say who gets to live in Slovakia. If these political whores don't like the idea of giving up the power of God ( the power of life and death enforced by America's defense capability. What? Defense capability? Must be a lie, since we are forcing the Zionists bloodstained war of conquest onto Palestine. Hardly deffensive.