[Marxism] What's up with the NY Times?
farmelantj at juno.com
Mon Feb 23 04:16:33 MST 2004
February 23, 2004
A Wall as a Weapon
By NOAM CHOMSKY
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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