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Discourse around the Wall

Aaron David Miller and Jimmy Carter both said on Diane Rehm today two things that made me cringe. You can listen here to the whole hour, they start talking about the Apartheid Wall about half way through.

Both President Carter and Miller refer to the Wall as “impermanent,” and state that if it had been built on the 1967 borders, it would have been acceptable. Miller went so far as to say that “Nobody had any objection to the barrier if it were along the borders…”


This is simply untrue. While it is certainly the case that IF Israel ceased land confiscations in the West Bank and went back to the internationally accepted 1967 border, it would create a much improved situation for peace, it is also the case that the 1967 border separates Palestinian families from one another. The Apartheid Wall is
apartheid because it separates Arab people and families. The 1967 border is a partition border modified by war.

While Jewish Israelis can pass from one side of the wall to the other on special roads, Palestinian families cannot. The wall cuts off Palestinians who reside in the West Bank from their families who live in the Arab Israeli villages on the Israeli side of the Wall. Let’s remember that these are the original inhabitants of the land, and any barrier built on the 1967 border still separates Palestinian town from Palestinian town, and stops family members from seeing one another.

I stood with my friend on the West Bank side of the Wall, while she shouted across tens of meters of electric fence and barbed wire to her cousin, a Palestinian Israeli citizen. They were both crying. It is nearly impossible for them to visit one another.

The second issue is of the relative permanence or impermanence of the Apartheid Wall. It seems that the official discourse surrounding the Wall considers it impermanent. Sure, you can remove concrete slabs. You can remove miles upon miles of electric fence and barbed wire and ditch imposed on defaced hillsides. But you can’t erase the defacement that is blasted into the landscape. You can’t replace the entire neighborhoods of East Jerusalem that have been razed to the ground and buried under concrete and asphalt.

The physical evidence of entire communities has been decimated, as the physical evidence of the destroyed villages inside of Israel have been planted over with trees and built upon. This Wall will fall, but you can’t bring back what was destroyed.

Jimmy Carter spoke some truth when he said “It’s a disaster.”

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No Responses to “Discourse around the Wall”

  1. Emily, take a breath… breathe… breathe… good girl.

    Posted by Anonymous | January 28, 2009, 10:43 pm
  2. The word apartheid can describe the wall not because it separates Palestinian-Israelis from WB Palestinians but because it is a tool of Israel's apartheid state and will be used by Israel to further it's vision of an ethnically 'pure' Jewish-only state. Why all this US-Israel funding (in the high tens of millions) of Mahmoud Abbas' security detail via General Keith Dayton since the moment Hamas was elected? Obviously Abbas, Fayyad, Dahlan & co. are collaborating with US, Israel and Egypt on an upcoming 'disengagement' from the West Bank lands, within the walls borders. The terms will be the same dismal fierce ones as with the Gaza disengagement, international support and credit to Israel for making the concession, for dragging out militant settlers by their ankles, with absolutely no concrete gains for Palestinians. Bush, Obama, Blair, Olmert and Livni have openly expressed support for 2 state solution. Obama's words on the issue have no substantial difference to Bush's. Livni has also recently stated that she plans to transfer 20% of Israel's population, Palestinian-Israelis, to this new farce of a state the moment it is recognized by the international community. Everyone can notice by digging into Haaretz that the US is enacting a slow-motion coup preventing the Palestinian people from electing their own representatives, Hamas or otherwise. Abbas rules illegally by presidential decree and against all rules, appointed a new PM, Salaam Fayyad. Ah, but yes, I forgot, Mitchell is 'listening, not dictating'…..while 7 million a day in aid flow from the US to Israel's military and the US-Israel-Egypt arm Abbas security forces. So, while the snaking path of the wall comes into use in the future, the entire world is watches Obama & co masturbate on the white house lawn and shake hands over a breakthrough for middle east peace, leaving Palestinians an open air prison state in Gaza and WB, half the US Palestinian solidarity movement will be pacified. Then 3.5 years later, when what happened in Gaza happens in West Bank, when the consequence of accepting the WB disengagement without additional terms comes to bear, we'll be back where we are here, again. Can't we just toss out from the opinions and articles pages of magazines those who spoke positively and embraced the Gaza disengagement? If ever there were justifiable grounds for a blacklist…no?

    Posted by Anonymous | January 29, 2009, 12:47 pm
  3. I seem to remember people wondering who watches Fox News anymore… well, Fox ratings are SOARING!

    NIGHT OF 1/28/09… VIEWERS…

    FOXNEWS OREILLY 3,891,000
    FOXNEWS HANNITY 3,034,000
    FOXNEWS BECK 2,306,000
    FOXNEWS SHEP 2,299,000
    FOXNEWS GRETA 2,155,000
    MSNBC OLBERMANN 1,581,000
    CNN COOPER 1,559,000
    CNN KING 1,420,000
    CNN BLITZER 1,490,000
    CNNHN GRACE 1,435,000
    MSNBC MADDOW 1,398,000

    Posted by Anonymous | January 29, 2009, 10:53 pm
  4. What makes you think that there is such a thing as 67 “borders”???? the green line from 67 is a military ceasefire line, it is not a border. If you want to talk about “borders”, there is only one right now, and that is the partition plan. Which is the internationally recognized border of Israel and Palestine. there is no such thing as 67 borders.

    Posted by MENAChicago | January 30, 2009, 7:43 pm
  5. i don’t think anybody can honestly claim that the biggest construction ever built by the state of israel (at least in money terms) is built with the intent of being “impermanent”. ask Livni, she was honest about it.

    Posted by g. | January 31, 2009, 10:09 am
  6. Supposedly there is a blockade of Gaza, starvation in Gaza, complete poverty in Gaza…

    but someone forgot to tell these people

    Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2009, 7:31 am

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