2005/03/13

Israel's security fence, an unjustified obstacle to peace

The Israel ‘security wall’ does nothing to achieve peace, indeed it puts peace further and further away with every metre covered. The wall is also going to fail to protect the Israeli settlers for whom it is trying to protect from suicide bombers. The wall will only serve to recreate the dire position of the Palestinians and further the desire of some to strike back at Israel. It is an unjustified pile of concrete with dire consequences for peace in the Middle-East.

The wall apparently aims to protect Israeli citizens from being killed in a suicide attack by a Palestinian. There are many other ways in which Palestinian freedom fighters can strike within Israel. The wall does not prevent lives from being lost. Rather it is a psychological barrier. It aims to separate Palestinians from their land. The wall aims to remove the connection they have to the land, they goal is to make the Palestinians give up their land altogether.

The wall forces Palestinian people further into their dire economic position. The wall goes through olive tree plantations; it separates one of the few economic resources of the Palestinian people from them. Although legally the farmer still owns the land on the other side of the wall there is no way which they can access it (without being shot). The farmer must then decide whether to try to live off the few remaining trees he/she has, or to go to a refugee camp. Not surprisingly many leave in hope of a better life elsewhere.

The wall has another nasty trick for further forcing the Palestinian people into economic oblivion. The wall sneaks in as much of each river as it can. Think of the climate in that region, it is hot, dry and there is little water around. Israel is taking as much water as it can from the Palestinian people, leaving them with no drinking water, no cleaning water, no irrigation water, no water full-stop. Suddenly the people are thirsty, their crops fail, and they smell. All because Israelis want the water for their flash little green gardens.

The wall also separates many Palestinians from their jobs and families. The separation of a person from their job causes financial harm; they have to find a new job, which is not easy in a community with over 60 percent unemployment. And yet again, Palestinian people are rightly pissed off about that. And yet again many people are forced to move from land that has been in their family hands for generations.

But even more aggravating is the separation of families by the barrier. The same thing happened with the Berlin Wall. People loss contact with their family, they live in a sense of unease, not knowing whether they are dead or alive, pregnant or imprisoned, etc etc. The sense of loss of finding out one’s relative is dead is added on to when one does not find out for months or even years. The barrier forces families apart.

The wall further damages any chance for a long lasting peace. Peace will require both sides to understand one another and to have no anger ready to explode. The barrier has caused much anger. It treats the Palestinian people like animals, locked up in a zoo; to be ignored, maltreated and caged in. But the barrier also destroys the chance of that understanding from coming through.

For Israeli and Palestinian peoples to understand each other, they must interact. The best solution to the conflict is one in which the Israeli/Palestinian divide is similar to that of Māori/Pakeha, one of two people under one state working together for progress.

The wall though forces them apart. The separation allows each side to demonise the other. They do not have it in their faces that the other is human, that the other has feelings, that the other seeks justice and peace. Rather than recognising each other, making friendships across the divide, they are separated, told to stay away, and thus can deny the humanity of the other.

The wall will also fail to do what it is apparently designed to do: stop the ‘terrorists’ (or freedom fighters). Consider this: these people want to die fighting the Israelis, they want to become shahids (matyrs). They are willing to die for their cause. Now that is a pretty hardcore thing to do for a cause. If you are that committed, then is a wall going to be enough to stop you? Sure it may mean more planning, but it is not going to impact upon your decision or ultimately the execution of the plan. So the wall fails to even achieve its given aim.

So, the wall fails to actually do what it is meant to, takes more land of the Palestinian people, and forces them further into poverty. The net result: more attacks on Israel, more anger at Israel, more obstacles to peace. The wall achieves the absolute reverse of what is needed within the area. That being an understanding of each other, and recognising that the other has a right to that land. This is the contemporary Berlin Wall; this is another barrier to a joint humanity that must be torn down.

12 Comments:

The wall is certainly not a good, long-term solution to peace in the region, but it actually has reduced free border access to terrorists (or as you say, "freedom fighters") and thus the frequency of homicide bombings.

It amazes me how a dot on the map so small that the name of the country cannot fit within its borders on a map(1/800th of the region) can receive so much hostility.

Gee, the wall might make others in the region REALLY mad now. What will they do...sponsor terrorism and try to push Israel into the sea? Oh yeah, we're already there.

Israel has certainly not behaved nobly at every turn, but it seems that there are some who mind oppression of the down-trodden in the Middle East only when it is perpetrated by Israel (i.e. Jews). Muslim dictators and terrorist networks get a free pass.

The singling out of Israel's transgressions is always very revealing.

The interesting thing is that absent homicide bombers, few Western "critics" of Israel would prefer the way of life anywhere else in the Middle East to that of Israel.



 

Posted by manofages
3/14/2005 12:28:00 am  
I don't know why I was posted as anonymous, above, when I posted from my site.
3/14/2005 12:31:00 am  
"The singling out of Israel's transgressions is always very revealing. "

This singling out as you call it comes not from a support of suicide bombers but the recognition that 'some' of the suicide bombers are products of years and years of Zionist terrorism on the Palestinian people. This cannot be denied reasonably. There are too many links that point to the truth of this. Within Israel itself are groups that fight the hard right knowing their policies are every bit as destructive and inhumane as those of Islamic fundamentalist. Both groups would see the annihilation of the other.
Both Israel and the US are talked about more because they are the strongmen. This does not mean they do not have rights to protect themselves but in doing so must respect the rights of those whose only desire is to live peacefully in this world.
Religious fundamentalism no matter what flavor is a detriment to us all. It always has been and always will be.  

Posted by Dianne
3/14/2005 07:18:00 am  
I have mixed feelings about the wall. My greatest problem with it is the route, which amounted to a land grab to appease the Settlers. I'd have less problems with it if it followed the 1967 'Green Line'. 

Posted by The Fixer
3/14/2005 10:35:00 am  
The wall does not prevent lives from being lost. Rather it is a psychological barrier. It aims to separate Palestinians from their land. The wall aims to remove the connection they have to the land, they goal is to make the Palestinians give up their land altogether. 

It's much like many of the "anti-terror" measures that were implemented in the US after 9/11; measures that did not actually improve security, but made it look as if something was being done.

The illusion of security is often more important than actual security. Besides, if the government makes it appear as if they're doing something when they're really not, the next time there's a 'terrorist attack' they can restrict even more rights and centralize even more power.  

Posted by eponymous
3/14/2005 04:34:00 pm  
"My greatest problem with it is the route, which amounted to a land grab to appease the Settlers. "

I agree as do most that look at the placing of the wall in an unbiased manner. As Greg pointed out the Palestinians are virtually imprisoned behind the Great Wall of Israel. If a future settlement is ever reached it can not be a fair one for the Palestinians.  

Posted by Dianne
3/14/2005 05:54:00 pm  
Diane-

Yes, the singling out of Israel's transgressions is always very revealing. In fact, Jim mentioned no possible justification whatsoever for Israel erecting a wall. And you make good points, probably inadvertently, for the merit of Israel's existence: there is differing thought among Israelis and many (most?) want peace with their neighbors. Point me to the Palestinian left. The Israeli far right is brutal and extreme...a lot like the Palestinian mainstream. Of course you have to concede that Palestinian terrorism exists, but you mention that "some" are merely products of Israeli terrorism.

You can quibble about the placement of the wall and "Zionist terrorism," but the obsession of some of the "left" with a tiny democracy trying to survive against overwhelming odds in the face of a coordinated multi-nation attack IS revealing. I'll be waiting (a long time, I suspect) for your reports of Arab victims of Arab fascism, the plight of Africans being slaughtered by Arab militias and women victims of Sharia law. But first, I'm sure you'll need to argue some more against the existence or correct placement of a wall.

I do agree with you that fundamentalist religion of any flavor is a detriment. I think Israeli fundamentalists would quickly lose influence if peace could be achieved. I am of the belief that for most of the Middle East, Israeli-Palestinian peace is not even remotely a goal.
 

Posted by manofages
3/16/2005 04:26:00 am  
Manofages,

"I am also of the belief that for most of the Middle East, Israeli-Palestinian peace is not even remotely a goal. "

It's near 6am in my part of the world, so I'm like a zombie and certainly not in shape to give your great observations justice right now, but nevertheless wanted to at least acknowlege them.

I'll attend trying to discuss the issue tomorrow :-) 

Posted by WhyNot
3/16/2005 05:57:00 am  
"You can quibble about the placement of the wall and "Zionist terrorism "

Your bias is showing, manofages. 'Quibble' is not a good choice of words when talking about the placement of the wall and Zionist terrorism.

As I think a long time before speaking I rarely say anything inadvertently. Israels right to exist is one argument I have never entered. It's a moot point at this stage. How they choose to exist and the way they affect their neighbors is not.

"tiny democracy trying to survive against overwhelming odds in the face of a coordinated multi-national attack IS revealing"

Tell me more about the 'the coordinated multi-national attack.'

"the plight of Africans being slaughtered by Arab militias "

If you take the time to look you will see my article on this situation posted a couple of days ago. This site is not dedicated to one cause but the cause of many around the world. There are already many sites dedicated strictly to the Israeli/Palestinian issue. They will be around for a long time as there will be no peace between these two until both sides recognize the rights of the other. Do I sense in your words that the rights of Palestinians are not a priority?

My feelings about Hamas vary. I recognize that they fight for the rights of Palestinians. Someone must. If you were Palestinian wouldn't you want someone who could do more than throw rocks at the tanks? But, Hamas does not have my support when they say, "death to Israel" I think the only way to balance the scales of justice is for the US to dole out as much money to the Palestinians as they do the Israelis in order that they can fight for their rights in a 'civilised' manner that will be acceptable to the rest of the planet.

This whole conversation actually makes me sick to the stomach and is why I rarely get involved in the issue. I will never get use to having to point out that all people have the right to basic humanrights.  

Posted by Dianne
3/16/2005 09:35:00 am  
My bias? I'm not Jewish, I'm not a "Zionist" and I'm not even en "expert" on this subject. I would like to see a Palestinian AND Jewish homeland. I readily admit to not seeing Israel as the primary instigator of problems in the Region. I believe Arafat was once offered a peace and land agreement that represented good faith and intentions by Israel. I also think the people of Israel would like nothing more than peace and the Israeli Right Wing is empowered primarily by the continuing reality of terrorism.

Diane- I stand corrected: you did write about Darfur, but unlike your account of "the fence," you could not bring yourself to write who is doing what to whom, so I'll do it for you. From the link you provided:

"The Sudanese Government, using Arab 'Janjaweed' militias, its air force, and organized starvation, is deliberately and systematically killing the black Sudanese of Darfur."

It is amazing that I, a pedestrian blogger, seem to have uncovered information new to a clearly sophisticated commentator on international issues. Yes, Diane, there is a multi-nation terrorist network that supplies money, arms, rewards and moral support for terrorism against Israel. I suppose your objection to this statement will be that I cannot prove it is "state sponsored." Spare me.

I don't think the issue of Israel's existence is as moot as you seem to believe. And you don't support Hamas when they say "Death to Israel?" When, exactly, are they not saying this?

I am not a one-issue person either and I think that my remarks in this particular group blog are probably received with some antagonism and are unlikely to influence your writers or regular readers.

And I must confess that words in this blog are unlikely to convince me to see Israel as the bullies of the Middle East.

For the reasons stated, I do not intend to respond further.

Good luck to all and Peace on Earth.


 

Posted by manofages
3/17/2005 02:03:00 am  
"For the reasons stated, I do not intend to respond further "

Oh well, I had lots to say as I believe you bring up interesting views that could lead to an interesting discussion, but since you clearly state you're not coming back, I won't waste my breath.

Pity. Good luck to you too. 

Posted by WhyNot
3/17/2005 03:59:00 am  
Your bias is clear to me if not to you, manofages. Show me once in any comment you have made on this issue where you point out Sharon's crimes against the Palestinian people. The best you can bring yourself to say is "Israel has certainly not behaved nobly." I think it's also pretty clear from my statements that I at least try to look at both sides of this issue but that is unacceptable. One must not hint that Muslims are human or the majority are just like us wanting peace and stability in their lives. Your reactions to my statements are less virulent than many I have had in the past but no less biased. I have no problems with you bowing out of this conversation. I have no time for those that can only attack me because I don't condemn the Muslim population of the world. 

Posted by Dianne
3/17/2005 08:47:00 am  

'); preview.document.close();} function PostComment(frm){if (frm.Comment.value=="" || (confirmBeforePost && confirm(confirmText)==false))return; if(frm.rememberMe.checked){ setCookie('author',frm.author.value); setCookie('email',frm.email.value); setCookie('url',frm.url.value); setCookie('remember','true');}else{ setCookie('remember','false');} var txt=frm.Comment.value; txt=txt.replace('','&'+'#'+'160;'); txt= txt.replace('','&'+'#'+'160;'); txt=txt.replace('','&'+'#'+'160;'); frm.postBody.value=txt; frm.postBody.value+="&"+"#1"+"60;\n\n"+ getAuthorInfo(frm); frm.submit();} function toggleRemember(frm){if(frm.rememberMe.checked) setCookie('remember','true');else setCookie('remember','false');} function getCookie(name){var rexp = new RegExp(name + "=([^;]+)");var val=rexp.exec(document.cookie); return (val!=null)?unescape(val[1]):"";} function setCookie(name, value){document.cookie=name+ "="+escape(value)+";expires="+expiry.toGMTString();} document.write('
'+ formCaption+'
');if(!document.all) document.write("
");
:
:
:

BloggerHacks

<< Home