[Marxism] What's up with the NY Times?

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at juno.com
Mon Feb 23 04:16:33 MST 2004


February 23, 2004
A Wall as a Weapon
AMBRIDGE, Mass. — It is a virtual reflex for governments to plead 
security concerns when they undertake any controversial action, often 
as a pretext for something else. Careful scrutiny is always in order. 
Israel's so-called security fence, which is the subject of hearings 
starting today at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, is a 
case in point.

Few would question Israel's right to protect its citizens from 
terrorist attacks like the one yesterday, even to build a security wall 
if that were an appropriate means. It is also clear where such a wall 
would be built if security were the guiding concern: inside Israel, 
within the internationally recognized border, the Green Line 
established after the 1948-49 war. The wall could then be as forbidding 
as the authorities chose: patrolled by the army on both sides, heavily 
mined, impenetrable. Such a wall would maximize security, and there 
would be no international protest or violation of international law.

This observation is well understood. While Britain supports America's 
opposition to the Hague hearings, its foreign minister, Jack Straw, has 
written that the wall is "unlawful." Another ministry official, who 
inspected the "security fence," said it should be on the Green Line 
or "indeed on the Israeli side of the line." A British parliamentary 
investigative commission also called for the wall to be built on 
Israeli land, condemning the barrier as part of a "deliberate" 
Israeli "strategy of bringing the population to heel."

What this wall is really doing is taking Palestinian lands. It is also —
 as the Israeli sociologist Baruch Kimmerling has described Israel's 
war of "politicide" against the Palestinians — helping turn Palestinian 
communities into dungeons, next to which the bantustans of South Africa 
look like symbols of freedom, sovereignty and self-determination. 


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