The Palestinians are very upset with the Israeli Fence; enough so, as to complain bitterly to President George W Bush and the rest of the “Quartet”.
Why should the Palestinians be upset about a visible boundary that protects them from the big bad Israelis?
Once the Fence has been completed, it will provide a separation that works both ways. It will keep the Israelis out of “Palestine”, just as it will keep Palestinians out of Israel.
There might be some minor boundary deviations because of the Fence, meaning that Israel will encroach upon some Palestinian land, but that can be worked out since no one, including the UN, has finally and formerly recognized fixed and firm borders.
Hence: the meaning of disputed lands.
No nation should be upset with Israel building the Fence, after-all, every country has definable and defendable borders and boundaries. Don’t the Americans have an ultra sophisticated security apparatus that divides themselves from Canada?
Don’t the Americans have armed guards at all of their Northern border points? And don’t we Canadians have to prove our citizenship to American border guards before they allow us to enter THEIR country?
So, what’s the problem with Israel building the Fence?
The only difference that I can see between Israel building a huge physical Fence, compared to the Americans’ huge electronic Fence, is that the Americans don’t have to worry about us Canadians sneaking across their border to kill them.
The reality of the Israeli Fence is multi-fold.
First: The Fence will keep out most TERRORISTS.
Second: The Fence will define once and for all, what is Palestinian, and what is Israeli.
Third: The Fence will allow Israel to control who legitimately gets into THEIR country. And who does not.
Fourth: The Fence will so separate the Palestinians from the Israelis, as to force the Palestinians to deal with their own social, economic and political problems, without blaming Israel and Jews for every one of their own misgivings.
Many journalists and world leaders have compared the Fence to an act of Israeli Apartheid. What a load of unmitigated crap.
Apartheid was the policy of dividing people upon racial lines within a single sovereign country. It was created to use the Black race for menial work at menial wages, and when the work was done, they were sent back to their Black Townships where they lived in squalor.
Apartheid also denied the Black race the right to vote and partake in the equal benefits of the national society.
Based upon these criteria, taking AWAY the fact that Apartheid was practised within the confines of ONE nation, America could also be considered an Apartheid nation if you stretch hard enough.
The USA does not give non Americans living outside of their borders the right to benefit from the American social, legal, economic and political process.
MEXICANS and CANADIANS for example, have no right to simply and arbitrarily enter the USA and pretend they are citizens.
Nor do we Canadians or Mexicans have the right to expect America to take care of us and them. This is the same example one can argue on behalf of Israel.
The Palestinians want to be recognized as a nationality. They want a sovereign country. And as a sovereign people, they have no inherent rights to Israeli largesse enjoyed by Israeli citizens, any more than they should expect us (Canadians) to be responsible for their happiness.
For Americans or Europeans to argue otherwise, would be equal to arguing against their own national rules of sovereignty.
In Israel, a country of some 6 million people, more than one million citizens are Arabs (Palestinians). There is no Apartheid practised by Israel against their Arab co-citizens who enjoy absolutely every same right and privilege which is of benefit to Israeli Jews.
Therefore; to argue on the grounds of Israeli Apartheid because of Israel’s border Fence, is just one more anti-Israel (anti-Semitic) double standard.
Israel, like all other sovereign nations has the RIGHT to protect its borders, and to decide who gets into Israel and who does not. Especially given the murderous circumstances.
Israel has played its cards well. It has for the most part restrained itself from wiping out the Palestinian leadership, while not taking over the entire control of the West Bank and Gaza. And it is well into the process of creating a viable, visible and defendable border. The Fence.
Israel is giving the Palestinians everything they’ve been demanding for half a century. The Palestinians want a sovereign country of their own, and now it looks like they’re going to get what they’ve been wishing for, with all of the accompanying challenges of responsible governance.
If this was a game of chess, the Palestinians would be just one or two moves away from being in checkmate. As well as Israel has moved its pieces on this Middle Eastern chessboard, is as bad as the Palestinians have moved theirs.
And now that this game is just about over, the Palestinians are either going to accept what they’ve “won”, or be prepared to go to real war and get even less.
That’s the consequence of the Fence, Oslo, the Road Map to Peace, and half a century of disastrous choices and missed opportunities.
I can clearly see why the Fence is so much feared and loathed by the Palestinians and their supporters.
And for the same reason: I love the Fence.
Go for it, you are one of the best voices in North America. What you have to say should be heard by all.
Tom R, Grass Valley, CA
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