Alas....Alas Doesn't Have a Clue
Below is a recent post
on "Alas, A Blog"
with my comments beneath....
Israel is building a Separation Wall. They bulldozed Rachel Corrie to build this wall;
---- Um, the Rachel Corrie incident occured in Gaza nowhere near this wall. The house that she was "shielding" was believed to have tunnels in its shrubbery. Israel believed that the tunnels ---were used for smuggling transporting guns and drugs from Egypt. But that's not the point. Wherever one might stand on Rachel Corrie, she had nothing to do with the wall.
they've destroyed countless Palestinian homes to build this wall.
-- Facts, please. How many exactly is "countless?"
That's okay, we're told, because the wall will bring peace and security. The wall will keep Palestinian terrorists out of Israel; don't Israelis have the right to be safe?
--- Yes, as a matter of fact, we do.
As for the farms and homes destroyed (none of which belong to Israelis), ya gotta break some eggs to make an omelet.
-- Again, exactly how many homes have been destroyed? For the record, I think that the damage to Palestinian land and livelihoods caused by the building of the wall is terrible and tragic. I wish it didn't have to be this way. But I wish even less for me and my kids to get blown up. And by the way, it's no picnic for the Israeli border communities to have this huge ugly wall fencing in their community, either.
Well, of course. And that wall sounds like a reasonable proposition. But that wall - the wall for peace, the wall that would be built along the "green line" of 1967 - that ain't the Wall Israel is building. Instead, Israel is building a Wall that nakedly grabs more territory for Israel. Everything bad you've heard about the settlements? The Wall is a hundred times worse.
-- This Wall is the brainchild of the Left, of Ehud Barak and Haim Ramon and Shlomo Ben-Ami. It has nothing to do with settlements, and nothing to do with grabbing territory. It has everything to do with protecting Israeli lives. It has been declared again and again by the Israeli government that this is a SECURITY fence, not a political fence. Frankly, the right in Israel doesn't like the idea of this fence at all. If you believe in a "Greater Land of Israel," you don't want a fence running through it. You call it "Sharon's fence," yet, I Sharon is not crazy about the idea at all -- that's why he's been seriously dragging his feet getting it built, for which he has taken a lot of political heat.
(Alas then publishes a dubiously-sourced illustration of the West Bank presumably after the fence is built. Sorry, my blog doesn't carry images)
Look at the map on the right. If you were Palestinian, is this a deal you could agree to? If you were a Palestinian leader, could you ever face your people after agreeing to this?
--- Nobody is ASKING the Palestinians to agree to this. The fence is going up because the Palestinians have not seemed to be interested in agreeing to anything that involves aggressively stopping terrorists from crossing over into Israel and attacking them. The fence -- or what's known as "unilateral separation" is the boobie prize, the last-ditch alternative, the evidence of a failure to have a real peace agreement with two real states with two real borders living side-by-side happily ever after. And not for lack of trying by Israel.
If you were a Palestinian, wondering if the Israelis are prepared to negotiate in good faith, what would the map on the right tell you about Israel's intentions?
--- It would tell me that Israel is determined to protect its citizens from terrorists, no more, no less. And it should.
If you were an Israeli, would you propose this for a second if you were serious about peace?
-- YES. If you were both serious about peace and serious about staying alive.
But Sharon has done more than proposed it - he's already begun building it.
-- Actually, he's continued building it. Ehud Barak started building it. And yes, Sharon succumbing to right-wing political influences in where he is choosing to place it. And no, I'm not so crazy about his choices. But he's the Prime Minister (why is he Prime Minister? Because the past two years of terrorism have giving the Israeli political map a huge shove to the right. And it's not shifting back leftwards until the violence stops.)
It's an impediment to peace a hundred times worse than the settlements - but no one is objecting.
--- Well, yeah, in fact, Gush Shalom and other far-left Israeli peace groups are objecting to the location of the fence. They have every right to object. It's called democracy.
After all, the Wall is about peace, right?
--- NO, the Wall is about LACK of PEACE. It's about figuring out what the hell to do when your people are getting murdered and slaughtered day after day, and the international community doesn't want you to infiltrate the West Bank cities where the terrorists are preparing their attacks, doesn't want you to assasinate the terrorist leaders in their deck of cards -- in fact, has a whole list of things that you are NOT supposed to do to protect your citizens, but doesn't have a lot of suggestions as to what you can do. It's about figuring out what to do when the other side gets up from the negotiating table, walks away, and starts lobbing human bombs at you on a regular basis.
This wall is neither the first choice of the Israeli left nor the Israeli right. It's an act of desperation. I know it would be much more neat and simple to view it as an extension of some evil grand right-wing land-usurping plan, but that's just not the truth.