A Bit of The Wall is to Fall


By Daniella Peled
July 28, 2008
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A High Court ruling means a 1.5 mile stretch of the security barrier is to be moved, after petitions from Palestinians affected by the route and human rights groups.

The IDF was also peeved after it became apparent that the route of this particular section had been chosen to make room for a new settlement - not out of any security concerns.

That's one of the many problems of the barrier. It's impossible to deny it has had security benefits for Israel. But it's also impossible to deny that large sections of its more than 250 mile route function as a political tool.

 

 

 

 

COMMENTS

Alex Hogg

Tue, 07/29/2008 - 07:57

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As I said in my letter in response to Lior Ben-Dor of the Israeli Embassy, which appeared in the Independent newspaper last week; http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-west-bank-barrier-8... "Lior Ben-Dor (letters, 22 July) tries to rebuff comparisons between his country's policies with apartheid by repeating "security" spin about the West Bank barrier. This illegal structure was rebranded as a security measure only when the Israeli government announced its construction to the world; prior to that it was always referred to in Israeli political circles as the "separation barrier". It was designed by a demographer named Arnon Sofer who persuaded Ariel Sharon et al that the Palestinians posed a "demographic threat" and the Jewish state needed to "disengage" from them in case one day they call for a single democratic state: nothing to do with "security". Shimon Peres then said: "The line is following a certain vision of the future. When that happens, it stops being a security fence and becomes a political fence. Nobody will admit that it is being built for these [political] reasons; nobody will admit that it is a political line." Ben-Dor makes no attempt to explain Israel's ever-expanding, illegal, Jewish-only settlements and roads that have cut the occupied territories into ethno/religious specific enclaves, or why Israel subcontracts sovereignty over land under its control to the key Zionist institutions of the Jewish Agency and Jewish National Fund whose constitutions explicitly discriminate against non-Jewish use of the land. The consequence of this is Israeli Arabs being forced to reside on less than 8 per cent of the country of which they are supposed to be citizens. Until the Israeli government can explain these policies, then comparisons between "the Jewish state" in Palestine and apartheid remain well-founded. But since Israel has refused to join the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid of 1973, I will not hold my breath." Furthermore, Whilst the International Court of Justice ruled the barrier illegal, Israel's High Court of Justice (HCJ) ruling in 2004 allowed the construction (with only minor amendments). Israel's justification for the barrier presented to the HCJ rested solely on the platform of security since the HCJ had stated that Israel; "cannot order the construction of the separation fence if [the] reasons are political...The the purpose of the separation fence cannot be to draw a political border." http://harmonicminor.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/writing_sample.pdf http://www.btselem.org/English/Separation_Barrier/Beit_Surik_Ruling.asp But Shimon Peres has stated; "The line is following a certain vision of the future. When that happens, it stops being a security fence and becomes a political fence. Nobody will admit that it is being built for these [political] reasons; nobody will admit that it is a political line." Also, the barrier's architect, Arnon "the Arab counter" Sofer, when asked by Richard Harris, head of planning department at the US State Department, what percentage of his plan was motivated by security and what percentage by demography, he replied "One hundred percent demography". http://www.bintjbeil.com/articles/en/020628_galili.html http://lists.mcgill.ca/scripts/wa.exe?A2=ind0206e&L=fofognet&P=199 This puts the barrier in a completely different light than was presented to the HCJ and clearly the court did not make its judgement in the proper context of the barrier. Whilst the HCJ has no bearing on its international illegitimacy, it should revisit its ruling that gave this hideous construction at least its domestic legitimacy.

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