Monday, July 12, 2004

Not your average White Picket Fence

On July 9th, the day which I was born, the International Court of Justice found against Israel's excuse for national security. That's right, the Wall (aka: Security Fence).

It's funny, this whole conundrum started with a Wall. In September of 2000, then chairman of Israel's Likud Party, Ariel Sharon, decided to go for a stroll on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. At that point in the game, the Israelis and Palestinians were quite close to reaching some equivalent to détente wrapped in a tasty appeasement exterior. But Sharon's visit gave the PLO the fodder needed to spark their "I'm not listening to your offers of peace" Intifada. There would be no such thing as detente in this hotbed for a long while.

During February of the following year, the Israeli elections would take place. The residents of The Holy Land were to decide whether or not to keep Ehud Barak around to continue playing the appeasement game with Yasser Arafat, or whether to bring Ariel Sharon, a man who successfully removed Yasser Arafat from Israel, in for a hard-line government. Barak stated during the election that, "a stronger Israeli response to the Palestinian Intifada was no solution." And to an extent, he may have been right. But ultimately, the Israelis elected Sharon to crush this blatent violation of the sanctity of life.

During the Cold War, escalation was a scary reality. If the Russians had a nuke, the Americans had to have two nukes. If the Cubans had a revolution, the Americans had to incite a revolution elsewhere. What no one seems to realize these days, is that escalation is still just as scary a principle as it was during the Cold War.

So where does that take us to now? For one, it takes us to some abysmally high number of dead – both Israeli and Palestinian. Secondly, it gives copious amounts of highly illogical (see: the petition to Caterpillar Inc. to stop selling tractors in Israel because a Lefty tried to pull a Tiananmen Square stunt) protest material for Leftists. Hand in hand with said illogical material is gross condemnation and broad sweeping statements in regards to the state of events in Israel. But more importantly, it takes us to a long stretch of concrete and barbed-wire.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Great Wall of China was annexed to ensure that invaders from the north would be kept out. Now, show me where, if anywhere, in the history books the Mongol Horde complains to the world community that the Great Wall of China is 'unfriendly.' And before making the comparison of the Israel / Palestine wall to the Berlin Wall, take into account that the Berlin Wall was another Cold War sphere of influence event. As the Soviets described the wall, it was an 'antifascist wall of protection.' Accordingly, the Soviets never publicly acknowledged that the wall interfered with daily life. Now then, if no one was allowed to leave, this wall was seemingly more of an impregnable containment device than anything else.

I seem to recall Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Vice Premier, publicly acknowledge that the Security Fence would impede Palestinian daily life. But don't you worry, the UN wants to get the 'martyrs' back on the busses so that those quirky 'martyrs' can swiftly find their 42 virgins up in heaven. Douglas Adams was right; 42 is the answer.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on Friday, July 9th, that the "separation fence contravenes international law, that it must be dismantled, and that compensation must be paid to the Palestinian owners of property confiscated for its construction." In fact, the judges in the ICJ are not convinced that the specific course Israel has chosen for The Wall was necessary to attain its security objectives. 14 of the 15 judges found against the security fence; the only dissenter being the American Judge, Thomas Buerghenthal.

From Ha’Aretz, "Most of the justices believed that in building the fence, Israel violated international humanitarian law, by infringing on Palestinians' freedom of movement, freedom to seek employment, education and health."

First, let us assume that the ICJ's rulings hold some water. And let us postulate for a moment that the UN has the ability to pass a resolution that places sanctions on Israel. Obviously, and it is obvious, the US would then proceed to boycott the UN and we would have us another League of Nations fiasco.

We could still postulate that the ICJ's rulings held some water. But, as the BBC's reporter emoted, this is just a parrot victory for the PLO. Israel is not compelled to abide by any ruling passed. And what can the PLO do about it? "Suicide squad... ATTACK! Oh wait, there seems to be a wall in our way."

Addressing the Justices’ view that Israel infringed on the Palestinians’ freedoms and such, one would have to take the stance that the Palestinians are in fact citizens of Israel. As it stands right now, they have no 'official' state declared. This makes them squatters. If anything, Israel should be approaching the ICJ to have the Palestinians forcibly removed, as they are infringing on Israelis' freedoms in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. If one side can forget the Oslo Accord, surely the other can as well?

The fact of the matter is, and Ehud Olmert stated this best, "Terror built the wall, and lack of terror will unbuild it." The number of suicide bombers has fallen in number from 60-plus in the first half of 2002 to 17 in the first half of 2003, and six so far this year. Six. And the wall isn't even finished yet. I’m not sure how the world community is able to justify condemning this wall, but it would seem that they are opposed to Israeli security.

Terrorism is a long-term problem. I anxiously await the day when the need to have such a wall disappears.


At 12:04 AM, Blogger Jason said...

My cousin writes:

"After many seminars and detailed research, the common misconception about the current intifada is that Sharon's visit to temple mount sparked the violence...that's actually not true. A soldier was in fact killer earlier that day (some even say the day before)."


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