Friday, September 12, 2003

Finkelstein on the Wall and other matters: "The eminent Hebrew University sociologist Baruch Kimmerling has described Gaza as "the largest concentration camp ever to exist." The West Bank ranks only a mite less awful. Once the Israeli wall currently under construction is finished, the West Bank will replace Gaza with top honors. Bordered on both sides by four meter deep trenches, fortified with guard towers at regular intervals, and topped with barbed wire, this massive barricade will stretch across fully 347 kilometers - twice the size of the Berlin Wall. (One-third has already been completed.) Cutting deep into the West Bank and causing massive disruption for the Palestinians wedged between it and the "Green Line" (Israel's pre-June 1967 border), the wall will probably lead to the de facto annexation of 10% of the West Bank and the expulsion of the Palestinians living there, while also isolating as many as 300,000 Palestinians (14% of the West Bank population) living in East Jerusalem. To judge by recent Israeli pronouncements, it could eventually completely enclose Palestinians and herd them into less than half the West Bank, which Prime Minister Sharon (with U.S. blessing) will then christen a Palestinian "state.""

It seems to me the Wall is a mistake by the Israelis. Whereas various other crimes can be denied, forgotten or put in the Memory Hole, the Wall can never be overlooked. In the future when Israel wants to say "we built no wall" the reply will be "yes you did, it is right there", pointing it out with a finger. The only future for such a construction is demolition (except for a short "museum" section, just like in Berlin).

No comments: