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Letter: Why the wall exists

I agree with Robert Azzi when he says that in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there are competing narratives (Sunday Monitor Forum, July 27). I also support the creation of a Palestinian state and am critical of the Israeli government’s actions that impede such a creation. And while I take issue with several of his assertions, I will address just one.

Azzi asks me specifically what I call a land divided by a separation wall. What I call that land is safe. Why did Israel build the wall? In 2000, the second intifada began. Its hallmark was Palestinian suicide bombers who blew themselves up on buses and other places. Or who left bombs in places to explode at later times. The police estimated that 100 bombs per day were detonated or deactivated. After 605 Israelis were killed between 2000 and 2005, Israelis demanded that their government do something. The solution has been devastating to Palestinians. And at the same time, Israelis stopped dying from exploding bombs.

As I stated in my original column (Monitor Forum, July 23), Israel does whatever it can to keep its population safe and alive – building a security wall, developing the Iron Dome and building bomb shelters. Israel will know that it has a true partner for peace when the leaders of the Palestinian people, be it Hamas, Fatah or the Palestinian Authority, make the safety of its own people – rather than the killing of Jews and hiding the atrocities done to its own people in an effort to win the PR battle – its priority as well.

Rabbi ROBIN NAFSHI

Concord

Why a wall? The Khartoum Resolution of September 1, 1967 was issued at the conclusion of 1967 Arab League summit convened in the wake of the Six-Day War, in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. The summit lasted from August 29 to September 1 and was attended by eight Arab heads of state.[1] The resolution called for: a continued state of belligerency with Israel, ending the Arab oil boycott declared during the Six-Day War, an end to the North Yemen Civil War, and economic assistance for Egypt and Jordan. It is famous for containing (in the third paragraph) what became known as the "Three No's": "no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it...is there any wonder that Israel or any state was forced into a defensive policy?

A wall that separates Israel proper (plus or minus minor "adjustments") from the occupied territories, it could be justified under the conditions you describe. That, however is not what the wall is and not what it does. It creates a scar through miles of occupied West Bank land. It separates farms from villages where the farmers live, and it mainly exists to protect [mostly illegal] settlements on seized Arab land from the people whose land was expropriated. And, dear Rabbi, to equate the "security" barriers with Iron Dome and bomb shelters indicates a certain buy in to the Israeli imperialist position.

The wall was not in Israel's best interest either. But any country's first duty is to protect it citizen's (1) from attack and invasion. Israel was constantly under attack from terrorist - that is why the wall was/is necessary. what where they supposed to do - just ignore the terrorist attacks and citizen murders? What would you want your country to do in that situation - allow your family to be killed and chalk it up to "acceptable" loss to placate (the unplacatable) media? After three NOs, would the murders pleased hostiles around them? of course not. (1) message to US - that is what responsible gov'ts do.

You have clearly missed the point. Security for Israel as the world at large recognizes it is completely justified. Security for the settlements on land conquered in 1967 is not. Unfortunately - despite all the bogus claims about anti-Israel bias in the media - the narrative continues with no questioning of the legality / morality of the settler movement.

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