Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


David Miller: Israel’s Security Wall?

David Miller Online

What Are The Implications Of Israel’s Security Wall?

Only time will tell whether the decision by the Israeli government to build a security fence along the West Bank will prove the right one. There is a lot of debate within the Middle East and Israel itself over whether the wall will bring peace and security to Israel or whether it is simply a move out of desperation on the part of Ariel Sharon’s government. Is this new policy of physically dividing Jew from Arab simply a statement by the Israeli government that it cannot prevent Palestinian suicide attacks despite its powerful military? In other words, is this wall a symbol of failure?

Israel’s policy of military retaliation against the Palestinian Authority in the wake of the bombings has proved totally ineffective. After each attack, the Israeli military captures a tract of Palestinian territory and holds it for an unspecified amount of time. After each attack, the Sharon government goes on the political offensive claiming that Yasser Arafat and his government are the driving force behind the attacks and has refused to enter in talks with the PA. It is not hard to see the Israeli point of view that the Palestinian leadership has not done enough to prevent the bombers from entering into Israel. However it begs the question as to whether the PA can actually do anything about them and whether it has any real power left at all. Whatever your point of view and no matter which is actually closer to the truth, the bombers are still proving a devastating weapon.

Given this state of affairs, the decision to construct a barrier that can be patrolled and through which traffic can be monitored does not seem a bad idea. At least this way there is an actual physical barrier across what is clearly a porous and ill-defined borderline and it could prove its worth as a psychological barrier for the terrorists as well. Given the size and length of the wall, there may be the thought that it is too difficult to pass through in order to carry out an attack, thus the Israeli policy will have succeeded on two fronts.

The policy of erecting a physical barrier between the two people does just that: it creates a barrier. What Israel has done is start a process that will lend a large helping hand to those who wish to see the creation of two states. By actually defining a boundary line what has happened is that Israel has created a de facto border between themselves and the Palestinians and has sent out a message that there is the state of Israel on one side and the Palestinians on the other. Ariel Sharon may say otherwise and claim that it is merely a security precaution but his hawkish government will not remain in power forever and once those who are willing to allow the creation of a Palestinian state take office then this process towards two states will only intensify. The difference now is that they have a point from which to start.

I question the building of the wall for two reasons. First of all there is the issue of the Jewish settlements that will lie on the Palestinian side of the fence. It is going to prove increasingly difficult for the Israelis to try and exercise sovereignty over areas within the West Bank, especially if a Palestinian state is declared and recognised by the international community. The settlements where always going to prove a major sticking point for any final negotiations and no more so now with a wall that may become a border in place. Either the settlers accept Palestinian rule or they are dismantled and the settlers return to the 1967 borders. Both of which look unlikely to happen and there is going to be a situation where there are isolated enclaves within another country’s borders trying to follow their own laws and self-rule.

The second reason for questioning the wall is that I believe it not only creates a reservation type system for the Palestinians but also for the Israeli people themselves. Over the weekend I saw a CNN report that demonstrated the lengths to which Israel is going to seal its borders and my feeling was that by doing so it is turning itself into a large armed and fortified camp. No doubt there will be those who claim this is what is needed for security but I could not help thinking it was a shame to see it happening and that a nation feels it must live behind barbed wire to feel secure. Perhaps this will be the reason that the Israelis and Palestinians will try and find a future of peace and one where there is no need for walls of any kind. Until then the fence building will continue.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news