Israel/Palestine: Why the Wall isn't about peace

Israel is building a Separation Wall. They bulldozed Rachel Corrie to build this wall; they’ve destroyed countless Palestinian homes to build this wall.

That’s okay, we’re told, because the wall will bring peace and security. The wall will keep Palestinian terrorists out of Israel; don’t Israelis have the right to be safe? As for the farms and homes destroyed (none of which belong to Israelis), ya gotta break some eggs to make an omelet.

Well, of course. And that wall sounds like a reasonable proposition. But that wall – the wall for peace, the wall that would be built along the “green line” of 1967 – that ain’t the Wall Israel is building. Instead, Israel is building a Wall that nakedly grabs more territory for Israel. Everything bad you’ve heard about the settlements? The Wall is a hundred times worse.

Two maps of Palestine

The blue areas are Palestine.

Look at the map on the right. If you were Palestinian, is this a deal you could agree to? If you were a Palestinian leader, could you ever face your people after agreeing to this?

If you were a Palestinian, wondering if the Israelis are prepared to negotiate in good faith, what would the map on the right tell you about Israel’s intentions?

If you were an Israeli, would you propose this for a second if you were serious about peace?

But Sharon has done more than proposed it – he’s already begun building it. It’s an impediment to peace a hundred times worse than the settlements – but no one is objecting. After all, the Wall is about peace, right?

For details – including some more detailed maps – go read Gush Shalom’s page on the wall. (Link via Aron’s Israel Peace Blog.)

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20 Responses to Israel/Palestine: Why the Wall isn't about peace

  1. 1
    Ben says:

    HAHA normally I dont write hate mail but, this stinks! Rachel died because she was being stupid and the bulldozer guy didnt see her! DONT YOU GUYS THINK ABOUT THAT?? And having a Palestinian state like that would disrupt life in Israel! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? But I think youre right about the peace thing with the wall, I wouldnt do this, its a waste of time, money, and patience theyre just going to fight again anyway.

    THIS REALLY IS PRETTY STUPID YOU GUYS ARE MISINFORMED AND NEED TO RESEARCH MORE!!!

  2. 2
    Ampersand says:

    Ben, are you for real, or are you a pro-Palestinian activist trying to make Zionists look dumb?

    Yeesh.

  3. 3
    Geedah says:

    Ok, does anyone realize that Israel controls most of Palestine’s water and electricity? The Israelis have been pushing for more land, more resources, more money- for years. The Palestinians who have caused harm to the Israelis are not your average Joe- they’re terrorists who stem from al Queda and other groups, not strictly from a country. There are terrorists from other arab countries too, not just palestine.
    People may not realize what Israel is doing to Palestine, but while the whole world is fighting to end terrorism and cut back on middle eastern problems, they forget that not all palestinians are terrorists. In fact, it’s such a minority that it’s pathetic why israel is building a wall. Do they really think the wall will keep all terrorists out? Israel’s western boundary is water- do they think that terrorists can’t drop in from a ship? The wall is only doing one thing: preventing further peace attempts.
    To reply to Ben: when you state that giving Palestine land would disrupt life for Israelis, think of the life disruption the Palestinians got when Britain and other countries drew the Israel boundaries right in Palestine and created a state back in 1948. Do you think that wasn’t a “disruption” for the Palestinians? The Israelis have taken more and more land and will continue to do so until the wall is stopped and the original boundaries of 1948 are returned: we cannot remove all the Israelis from Israel and give Palestine back their full country. Neither can be remove the Palestinians in the same way. It’s up to other countries, like the UK, China, US, Germany, Russia, and even France to ban together, stop the wall, and begin to really forward the peace process.
    Nearly every country agrees that the Israel wall is a problem. Why is no one stopping the building of it? I am not saying that Israel doesn’t want peace. I am not saying that Sharon is wrong and Yasser is right. I am saying that in the interests of the innocent citizens near the west bank, caught up in this turmoi, the world needs to stop the wall, and all that it stands for.

    You can’t hug through walls.

  4. 4
    Daniel says:

    I understand that most of you posting here seem to take the “Palestinian” side of things at they are the “underdog” and we always sentimentally like to pick the underdog. What I don’t get is why you all don’t realize that Israel is America’s only true ally in the mideast – sharing vital intelligence with us, they are the only democracy in the mid-east (where even Israeli Arabs hold seats in Parliment), the total size of Israel compared to the surrounding Arab countries is like a pea in a bucket of water yet still, Israel must “give back” half its land to the “Palestinians”.

    Here are a few things that bother me though:
    1)who decided that the 1967 border is the correct border to revert to, to establish a Palestinian state? Pre 1967 that land was controlled by Egypt, Jordan and Syria not by the Palestinians and no one was clamoring to “give the land back.” Now that Israel controls it, as historically they (and whoever historically ruled the country including the British, Turks, etc) always did (check maps of biblical Palestine) all the land MUST go back?
    2)the Palestinian leaders have openly said that they will not do what is necessary to control the terrorists as they do not want to start a Civil War. What is Israel’s other option, give the Palestinians land while at the same time, just let the terrorists in to blow up Pizza shops and night clubs? Trust me, Israel would much rather spend the 100′s of milions that it will take to build this fence on their economy but they have no choice.
    3)There seems the be an assumption out there that the land really belongs to the Palestinians which I find interesting. The jews have had a continuous presence on the land for 2000 years. The Palestinians have never had their own country or state. If anything, Jordan is mostly Palestinian and should be their “state” yet when Arafat tried his terror shenanigans in that country, we all know what happened to them – it known as Black September and I think 20-30 thousand Palestinians were massacared.

    There is a clear right and wrong in this situation and still Israel does what it can for peace. Building the wall is not popular on either side of the political fence but is seen as a last resort to keep the population safe…

  5. 5
    Ibrahim says:

    Daniel, excuse me for saying so, but your so called historical analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not much but a bunch of crap. First of all the fact that Israel and America share intelligence is not relevant. Second, your claim that Israel is so democractic it even allows Israeli Arabs to sit in the parliment stinks of racism (it’s just like saying America is so democratic it allows African American to sit in congress).
    I agree with you on one thing:
    Who decided that the borders of 67 should be the borders of the Palestinian state? In my opinion Palestine should be built on the ruins of the historical Palestine – the one that existed prior to the establishment of Israel.
    Your denial of Israeli occupation of Palestine is absurd. Everybody knows that Israel is a nation of immigrants (your 2000 year theory is ridiculous – there are Jews living in other countries for centuries, I don’t see them claiming rights over the land). Throughout history occupation was ended in rebellion and deportation of the occupying nation – history will repeat itself in this case as well.

  6. 7
    Figo says:

    Dear Ampersand,
    have you ever ridden a bus in Israel? do you know what it feels to be scared to miss your highway exit for fear of death? did anyone you know die or got maimed from sitting in a cafe?

    I’ll assume your answer to all the above is NO.
    well in that case, you should be more careful with your criticism.

    I’m not one to defend the israeli (my) goverment for its pathetic, impotent policy over the years, starting with allowing any settlement to be built at all in the occupied territories. but like it or not, today’s reality is one of death and bombings, where it’s ridiculously easy for terrorists to get into israel by land (as opposed to by sea. you’d be surprised how difficult it is to drop into israel by sea.) from the territories, and kill citizens. to mitigate the existential risk to any israeli, a wall is being built. its course may not be perfect, it even perpetuates some wrongs done to palestinians, but the palestinian society has proven, along with its “leader” arafat, and on more than one occasion, that it is NOT READY for peace negotiations and relations. as such it is left to israelis to fend for their own security. now if you think we should completely withdraw unilaterally and leave all that nice blue land to palestinians, think again. that’s simply rewarding cruel, inhuman terrorism.

  7. 8
    Ampersand says:

    have you ever ridden a bus in Israel? do you know what it feels to be scared to miss your highway exit for fear of death? did anyone you know die or got maimed from sitting in a cafe?

    So have you ever been beaten up by Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint on occupied land? Has your farm ever been cut off from your house by a wall built by a far more powerful occupying power? Have your children been shot at by Israeli soldiers?

    I’ll assume your answer to all the above is NO.
    Well in that case, you should be more careful with your criticism of Palestinians, right?

    No, of course not. The idea that you have to be an Israeli to criticize Israel is ridiculous. What’s next – you have to be a Palestinian to criticize the PLO? If you’re not American, you have no right to criticize George Bush?

    Your standard – “if you haven’t been on an Israeli bus, then shut the fuck up!” is pretty much what your “logic” here boils down to – is baseless. It sets up a dishonest standard for discussion, and discourages honest criticism.

  8. 9
    Decle says:

    A truly interesting map! Where did you get your information from, I’m curious? http://www.palestinemonitor does show a smaller, but much more realistic route. Even http://www.stopthewall.org, (which is *ahem* a tad zealous) doesn’t make such small approximations. You’ve completely left out Jericho. It’s palestinian populated & controlled areas would become a fourth (including Gaza) enclave in any new palestinian state if the Israelis completely build walls around it (the Biblical story of the walls around Jericho come to mind). That piece missing from your map is especially suspicious. As for the south of the West Bank, a lot of that land is desert, which the Israelis would probably gladly let the Palestinians keep in order to convince the world that they have made fair negotiations. Most of that land isn’t even cut off by the rumored Jordan Valley Barrier. (And as they are rumors, we don’t even know that they will come into play. If Israel chooses to close it’s borders fast, the way to do it is to draw the final lines straight East to the Jordan border). And where is Qalqiliya? Residing next to Israel’s narrowest point, where many suicide bombing attacks have taken place, the wall has been built around seperating Zofin to the north and and Alfe Menashe to the south. Israel is digging a tunnel to connect Qalqiliya and Habla, easing the currenly strict travel burdens, so it’s doubtful they plan to claim that land where 41,000+ Palestinians live. Why must you show neither Qalqiliya or Habla on the Israeli side? The general fear is that the new border is going to be the wall, not somewhere on the other side of it![*]

    What I’ve realised is that Israel is in the process of exporting their poverty, not in the same manner as the United States was accused of doing by Stalin, but physically. First they are selfishly taking some of the more fertile land in the West Bank, and don’t *want* the mountains or desert that doesn’t connect somewhere useful. Those they want the Palestinians to deal with. Second and far more fair, (useless historical postulates of how the state would have developed without Israel’s presense aside) consider how much some Palestinians benefit from Israel’s hospitals and places of employment. The Jews are an organized, future-looking, family and neighbor-assisting people and they have built a remarkable living environment for themselves! If/when Israel finishes seperating itself from Palestine on it’s own as Sharon’s ultamatum has been given, Israel’s high quality services will be exclusively for Israelis and the poor Palestinians will have to find a way to build their own hospitals and economy. I can’t think of any other country in the world which allows foreigners to cross its borders as freely as Israel is expected to. This is especially ridiculous considering the amount of Palestinians who want to see Israel destroyed completely. The Palestinians will also have to arrest their own militants which cause so much damage to themselves by provoking their neighbor. They will have to make their own free press[**] and reinforce the democratic principles which they barely cling to now. In short, they’ll have to find some purpose in life other than hating Israel. When the Segregation Wall lets Israel remove it’s soldiers, it’s possible for this to happen. Who knows? With a lot of good will from the Palestinians (I.E. Arafat out of office) and less militant Israeli leadership (I.E. Sharon out of office) the Israel might lend some of the funds to do this.

    Israel is going to steal some of the Palestinian’s land. There is no question about that. Israel’s official website explains that they consider the West Bank disputed (not occupied) territories that can only have their status determined through negotiation. I personally would like to see rest of the barrier built almost exclusively on the Green Line, but that’s not going to happen. Some existing parts will probably be returned through negotiation (“seam zones” without many settlers, like the one just above and below Tulkarim) if Israel can pull it’s settlers back (without starting a civil war!) and the Palestinians start to arrest their militants. In the meantime, I think we should do our best to be realistic about what Israel is planning. So please, explain how you’ve come to the limited map that you have drawn. If you don’t have the time for that, I think that one provided by Stopthewall would make your points just as clearly, and would add credibility to your message.

    * At the time of this writing, (Dec. 26 2003) the Israeli Barrier is complete in the north and northeast of the West Bank. The IDF claims that this has helped prevent 35 suicide bomb attacks so far in northern Israel.

    ** Unlike Israel, the Palestinians do not allow free speech.

    http://search.csmonitor.com/durable/2000/02/22/p7s2.htm

  9. 10
    Decle says:

    Whoops, *my apologies*. I missed the hyperlinks you posted and Gush Shalom’s page. However, your map still seems oddly whittled down even from the map on Shalom’s main page. This one is still missing Qalqiliya, and Jericho. Hope nobody posts a response to the last one without reading this one first!

  10. 11
    Decle says:

    Furthermore, political decisions like the ones being made described at http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/377624.html , which will have the wall run along more of the green line than previously planned, ensures that an eventual Palestinian state will not be so small. Keep up the pressure, folks – it’s having an impact.

    Quotes from the article:

    “There will be two major changes in plans for the fence. One is in the area of Baka al-Garbiyeh on the Israeli side of the fence, and Baka al-Sharkiya on the West Bank. The original plan to build barriers to the east and west of Baka al-Sharkiya will be scrapped and residents of the village and its outlying area will not find themselves inside Israeli territory. The fence will instead run between the two villages, conforming mostly to the 1967 Green Line.”

    “So far no decision has been reached to take down the fence on the eastern side of the [Qalqiliya], but a large opening will be cut into it.”

  11. 12
    Sara says:

    Do none of you read the Bible, Or the Torah for all Jewish? Do you know how many proofs there are that Israel is the Jewish land? I think Figo is absolutly right. Way to go Figo.
    Ampersand, have the Israelies ever sent a suiside bomber into Palestine? I think not. Anyway the wall prevents bombers from just walking into the city. At least it gives the Israelies some hope that their land is safe.
    (Also Ampersand, do some more research before you make your opinions public.)

  12. 13
    Decle says:

    Israel is the Jewish holy land, and it is also sacred to the Arabs. Land ownership isn’t decided so much by history, as it is by residence, politics and military strength. If it was the United States would be expected to dismantle all of it and return it to the descendants of it’s native people. I don’t think Israel would be too happy about losing it’s primary supporter. Oh and hey Sara, do you think your words are more or *less* likely to be contemplated if you post many, many times and ruin the board for everybody else? You posted the same item 6 times. Save the moderator some work, be considerate and be careful with your “reload” button.

  13. 14
    sims says:

    All of you are a bunch of ignorent apes, palestine and the palestinian people were sold a long time ago,stop crying about it, history moves in circles. Their time will come, maybe in a hundred years maybe more…….i don’t think taking up arms will solve anything the israeli military machine is way ahead. They are building a wall to seperate the two societies inorder to prevent interbreeding and the inevitable natural destruction of the jewish state.

  14. 15
    xxx says:

    The wall is a joke. It will only piss people off. Period.

  15. 16
    Jimmy Ho says:

    This is probably the first time I see a spambot prentend to be on topic. That’s only half-elaborated, though, since it “forgot” to look for a less obvious signature to hide itself.

  16. 17
    Play Bingo says:

    Has anybody heard about the Israeli-Palestinian-International Conference on Water for life on
    October 2004 in Rome, Italy.
    I would like to be there and see what exactly is going on.
    I will drop back later to see what you say
    Take care
    Steve

  17. 18
    Glossary says:

    HAHA normally I dont write hate mail but, this stinks! Rachel died because she was being stupid and the bulldozer guy didnt see her! DONT YOU GUYS THINK ABOUT THAT?? And having a Palestinian state like that would disrupt life in Israel! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? But I think youre right about the peace thing with the wall, I wouldnt do this, its a waste of time, money, and patience theyre just going to fight again anyway.

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