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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

says it well « Previous | |Next »
August 3, 2003

Nicholson Cartoon1.jpg

It's a wall not a fence. Of course, the Israel's call it a fence. But some get all tied up trying to make sense of it. It is big symbol to the rest of the world and its difficult to retain the moral clarity of fighting international terrorism.


I'vre been thinking what the wall signifies. It indicates a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a total separation of the two peoples and lost faith in negotiated solutions. What has been rejected by the wall is two peoples living in a binational state.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:45 AM | | Comments (14)


i liked this one better.

Hi Adam,
you are right. It captures the land grab bit.

Big Bully is, or rather imagines he might soon be set upon by Lilliputians and so he constructs a Great Wall in het sky. Little Bully, funded by Big Bully, builds his own wall to keep the heathen out. Really it's funny, but it will be a while before anyone will be able to laugh about it. If ever.

How long before Israel has a missile defence system? Perhaps it already has.

The dominant elements in Israel have sucked from America top of the food chain hubris; the US admin has unfortunately become captive to Likudnik rhetoric and behaviour. They've taken the worst from each other, sheltering from the opprobrium of the civilised world.

That wall... I'm sure it'll be effective in reducing the numbers of murderous Palestinians who can enter Israel. But will it reduce the far greater numbers of murderous Israelis heading the other way?

Glenn, I find your moral equivalence disgusting, not to mention misguided.

Gary, your post seems to suggest that the immorality of the wall is so obvious it does not need explanation. I disagree. Why is the wall immoral?

dude, it's a cartoon. it doesn't make a rational argument, cartoons rarely do. if you're holding out for intelligent political analysis from a drawing, you'll be waiting for a long time.

but, since you asked, some problems with the wall:

  • it's a lang grab, a sneaky way of illegally annexing territory taken by force.

  • in some cases it cuts palestinians off from land they currently use [farmland, etc]

  • it comes betweens friends and family members

  • the section of the wall along the northern west bank not only steals palestinians' land but also their water; in jayyous, for example, all of the irrigation wells bar one are on the israeli side of the wall.

  • the towns of qalqilya and tulkarm will be completely encircled by the wall, cut off from both israel and the west bank.

  • there are plans to extend the wall along the eastern side of the west bank. if this happens the wall will turn the west bank into a giant prison, and building it would go well beyond the stated objective of keeping palestinians out of israel.

  • the completed first section of the wall cost around $400 million and estimates for the second section are about $500 million. ie, cost of probably over a billion dollars if the eastern wall goes ahead, so it's extremely unlikely to be temporary.

  • i've heard estimates from b'tselem that over 100,000 palestinians would end up on the wrong side of the wall. i suspect they would need to be forcibly moved for the wall to meet its stated objective of keeping palestinians out of israel. expulsion on the basis of race sounds a lot like ethnic cleansing to me.
  • and the fact that israel insist, against all logic, on calling this monstrosity a "fence" should tell you something about the morality of this wall.

    also, "your post seems to suggest that the immorality of [this moral equivalence] is so obvious it does not need explanation. I disagree. Why is [this moral equivalence] immoral?"

    I did link to an Israeli---Hillel Halkin---who struggles with the moral implications of the wall. I came across reference to it from an Israeli weblog.

    My suggestion was that it is difficult for Israeli's to hold onto moral clarity about the wall under the label of a war against international terrorism. The ethical implications keep transgressing the boundaries.

    'Glenn, I find your moral equivalence disgusting, not to mention misguided.'

    Gee that must have been difficult, having a pop at someone on the left's 'moral equivalence'. Does the word 'shopworn' mean anything to you?

    It's Orwell's point about the use of stock phrases in lieu of thinking, leading to a decay in political discourse.

    If you disagree with me, how about telling me why?

    Damn! When i looked at this post last night, i was going to just enter "moral equivalence, moral equivalence!" An opportunity missed.

    "If you disagree with me, how about telling me why?"

    I disagree with you because the IDF's campaign against Terrorists is in no way morally equivalent to said terrorists' delberate, routine targetting of Israeli civilians.

    You already knew that though.

    wow, what a thorough explanation of the immorality of moral equivalence.

    if i had my wish, the phrases "moral equivalence", "moral relativism" and "moral clarity" would be expunged from the english language. they never add anything to any argument.

    'I disagree with you because the IDF's campaign against Terrorists is in no way morally equivalent to said terrorists' delberate, routine targetting of Israeli civilians.'

    You've really bought it, haven't you? Hook, line and sinker. Do you contract all your thought out, or only that related to politics?

    You're right though that the IDF campaign isn't morally equivalent to the suicide bombers - it's far worse. One side has no power and has been robbed of their land and many of their people. The other side has all the power (backed blindly by the hyperpower) and refuses to stop the occupation. Most Australians tend to back the underdog - why don't you? Why does the plight of Israelis break your widdle heart while the far greater sufferings of the Palestinians leave you cold?

    Tell me Yob, if the Indonesians arrived tomorrow and decided to occupy your suburb from here on in, would you react violently? I know I would. Does that make me a terrorist?

    Stop reading the fucking papers for God's sake - the internet was invented so people could get to work reducing their stock of ignorance. Time you made a start.

    The fact that people on both sides of the fence (ha ha a pun!) fail to see those they kill as human beings who are not responsible for the injustices they are righting indicates quite a deal of moral equivalence to me. That's if you're into that kind of thing.

    Can we start quoting numbers and get into some good old brutality utilitarianism?

    Glenn: The Indonesians are already here. There's a family of them down the street from me. There are probably some that live near you, too.

    Why don't you go and bomb their house? They are living on AUSTRALIAN LAND.

    If that's the quality of response I can expect we may as well call it quits.

    Nomenclature at least is spot on Yobbo.