Wednesday, April 30, 2008

One one of my favorite Israeli weblogs I left a comment yesterday. You will have to read Lisa's posting, her readers' responses and my full comment to understand what triggered my comment, but two thirds of it say quite concisely what I have to say about the separation/security-barrier/wall/fence, and give a hint on my thoughts about the occupation: The wall in itself is not so bad, it is a pity that it is a necessity, and when it comes to keeping suicide bombers and their equipment out, it does its job pretty well. The main problems with it are that it is a typical short-term Israeli solution ( improvise is our middle name, after all ), and that it was not built right on the Green Line. I am not one of those who claim that we should do what the world wants us to ( if we did we would not be here, or not be here anymore), but if we had built the wall on our side of the border we could rightfully claim that the only purpose of the wall is to protect ourselves. Now it is almost impossible to convince anyone with half a brain that security is our only concern as far as building the wall is concerned. I have interviewed a number of European decision and opinion makers, most of them understand or at least have sympathy for our security concerns, all of them had to concede that when it comes to security the wall serves its purpose, but none of them can endorse the idea in itself, primarily because it has all the appearances of another Israeli attempt to grab Palestinian lands. My opposition to the wall as ( or rather where ) it is and my support for an end to the occupation are not derived from a more than average sympathy for the Palestinians ( though I have nothing against them and feel sorry for them ) but from my concern for our own interest. Those who believe that the Palestinians will truly love us if we simply behave well are deluding themselves just as much as those who believe that the occupation can last forever, that it serves our security and that being tough is the answer to all our troubles. PS: At least through the comment I renewed contact with Lisa, and we will have breakfast next week, right before I am off to Jerusalem for an exclusive ( for Dutch newspapers, that is ) interview with a major figure in Israeli politics. By the way, those who have followed my articles and postings in the last 5+ years already have a clue what my answer is to the final question that I am asked in the second last comment on Lisa's posting. And no, I am not starting a whole comment-discussion about this or other issues right now, I have many other things to do.

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