Monday, October 13, 2003

The Berlin Wall, the Israeli Wall 

Who can forget the sight of jubilant east and west Germans climbing atop the graffiti layered brick wall that was the Berlin Wall, as it literally crumbled beneath the blows and hammers of free hands, in late 1989. The Berlin Wall was a daily reminder for Westerners, not only to stay the course as far as combating the Soviet ruled "evil empire", but also to stay on guard aginst the loss of liberty within our own borders, within our own hearts.

I'm well aware of the relativity of problems within the old Soviet system, relative to our own, that is, and also the gradual erosion of voter participation here in the political process, and reasons and causes of said lack of participation.

Yet the destruction of the Berlin Wall was a reminder, and a victory, that reason and will can triumph over oppression. We are never more in need of this reason, and a will, to overcome a new wall going up, a wall that , as the Berlin Wall accomplished, will highlight in dramatic fashion the distinction between a free people, and a people imprisoned within their own fearful beliefs.

With the construction of the Israeli Security Fence, the wall is growing within the hearts of Israelis, and the Americans who continue to support this form of Middle East apartheid. This blatant land grab and isolation, and therefore economic destruction, of the Palestinian people, is being constucted on schedule. Have we forgotten our lessons of liberty, our origins as terrorists to the British rule?

This article from the ST. Petersburg Times:

Israel's goal, Palestinians charge, is to grab the West Bank's richest farmland and water resources, and make it impossible for Palestinians to ever have a viable state of their own.

"If Israel needs to do something for security, why not do it on the '67 border?" asks Fayez Salem, mayor of the village of Jayyous. "It would be no problem because we know this area is for Israel and this area is for us.

"Okay, so why don't they do it? It's because they want to steal our land."

The director of the fence project acknowledges that 85 percent of the land taken so far came from Palestinians and just 15 percent from Jewish communities. The government, though, insists that the Palestinian land is being used only for "military needs" until the end of 2005 and that the owners retain title.

But "over the decades, Palestinian land "temporarily' seized by Israel has been used to build permanent structures, including settlements and roads, and has never been returned to its owners," says the human rights group Amnesty International.