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

when a fence is a wall « Previous | |Next »
October 13, 2003

I have been glancing through the online Australian Jewish News to see how they commenting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I came across this. It's a case for the Sharon Wall. It's a fairly simplistic case for a defensive fence:

Itís sad that those who criticise the security fence donít pause to reflect on this simple question: why does Israel need such a buffer? International law recognises that every country has the right to defend itself against those wishing to destroy it. Putting up a fence to keep out murderers falls in every way within that right. The fence is a natural and understandable response to the hundreds of ghastly strikes that have emanated from the West Bank."

Palestinians are murders. Palestinians are not even seen to be fighting a war. They're simply criminals.

This is simplistic because there is no mention of Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, Israeli settlements, the Palestinian nation, Palestinians belonging to the land, or Palestinians trying to build a nation state. Just the one word---murderers. It denies that Palestinians also have legitimate historical grievances, that some settler Israeli's wanted to rule millions of Palestinians on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and does not mention the substantial expropriations of Palestinian land by Israel.

It says that the terrorists--ie., suicide bombers---- are the problem. The implication is that they have to be dug out----with missiles and bulldozers.The words, "murderers, buffer and fence", denies that there is any connection between the proliferation of suicide bombings and the prevailing view in Palestinian society; which is that Israel, as a military and nuclear power, wants to squeeze a surrender out of the Palestinians that will legitimize the Israeli takeover of land in the West Bank and Gaza.

Put that Israeli land grab into the equation and you get this. Israel's "security fence" is a 25-foot concrete wall crowned by watchtowers at regular intervals. It is more than a fence. It is a visible and clear act of territorial annexation under the guise of security:

"Officially, Israel argues that the wall is being constructed for security reasons, but the structure's meandering path betrays underlying territorial ambitions. In places, the barrier dips over three miles into the West Bank, leaving on the "Israeli" side settlements, fertile Palestinian land and valuable water resources. While the form of the wall varies, everywhere its impact is to confiscate more Palestinian land, isolate Palestinian communities from one another and sap their social and economic viability."

That means you cannot just support Israel without apology or equivocation. Supporting Israel without equivocation means a refusal to allow different Israeli voices.

My judgement from reading the Australian Jewish News? That it represents right wing Israeli opinion. So is the Review published by the Australia/Israeli and Jewish Affairs Council. And what is their policy? It is more than supporting American tolerance for Israelís expansionist policies in the Occupied Territories. It is support for the Sharon administration's efforts to prevent negotiations restarting and keep the Road Map in abeyance; its instinctive opposition to an internal Palestinian political bargain because it would strengthen the Palestinians; strategies to ensure the Palestinian Authority remains gridlocked and powerless; and breaking the Palestinians so completely that they can be cowed into accepting any political entity that Israel decrees.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:16 PM | | Comments (0)