Israel Security Chief: Completion of Wall Unnecessary
by Strummerson, Wed May 20, 2009 at 05:30:59 AM EDT
Progressives have been largely unified in opposition to Israel's construction of a concrete wall, alternatively described as a "security barrier" and euphemistically as a "fence." As one who has seen it up close and personal, I assure you it is nothing less than a large concrete wall with guard towers and barbed wire. It resembles the perimeter of a maximum security prison complex. Israel has argued it is necessary for preventing suicide bombings. But it violates the "green line" that represents the border between Israel proper and the territories it has occupied since June 1967. It thus cuts deep into territory many of us see as necessary for a contiguous and viable Palestinian state. It divides Palestinian communities, impedes the access of Palestinians to employment, and in some cases to their own lands. Personal property has been violated and expropriated. Members of the international community have joined Palestinians and Israelis in non-violent protests against this "necessary" wall. Now, the BBC reports that Israel's chief of security has declared its completion unnecessary.
The head of Israel's security service has said there is no security reason for continuing construction of Israel's barrier through the West Bank.
Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin told a parliamentary committee that Israel had enough capabilities to prevent attacks from the Palestinian territory.
Since building began years ago, Israel has maintained that it is a security measure to keep out attackers.
Palestinians reject this, seeing it as a land grab.
I expect some backtracking and qualification. Nevertheless, this strengthens the argument of the Wall's opponents. Construction must stop immediately. Share Diskin's perspective with all who support its continuation.