Monday, July 9, 2007

Saving Lives: Israel's Anti Terrorist Fence

I am currently in the process of searching for my next apartment. Because rent here is quite expensive, I'm looking for shared apartments where the renters are looking for a flatmate. So right now I'm going off from one place to another, looking at rooms and meeting people. Obviously, you not only have to like the apartment you're going to live in, you also have to get along with the other people! And you don't have a lot of time to meet them, show them the real you, see their real them, and understand whether you'll love or hate each other in the coming months. I like to mention that I am Israeli right from the start. I'd rather know if I'm in front of an Israel-hater before I move in.

So today I visited this nice little place with three other people. I sat down to talk, and while mentioning Israel, one of them said something about the wall there and how it's horrible.

I stayed very polite and all, but still felt I had to say the following "It's not a wall like the Berlin wall or something, it's mostly a fence, and it's an anti-terrorist fence". We changed the subject after that. But I don't think I'll be getting a call from them anytime soon.

The fence is Israel's defense.

I know that in some places it can cause discomfort to Palestinians. But the fence saves lives, since Palestinians refuse to do so. People all around me seem to imply that the comfort of a Palestinian is more important than the life of an Israeli. Oh they'll never say it out loud, but when people complain about the fence, that's what they are really saying, whether they are aware of it or not.

For the people who just aren't aware of the facts, here are some. Then, you'll be able to decide for yourself if the fence is a bad or a good thing.

  • Why did Israel build this anti-terrorist fence?
    About a thousand people were murdered in attacks carried out by Palestinian terrorists, and thousands have been injured, maimed for life.
    In almost all of these cases, the terrorists infiltrated Israel from the Palestinian areas in the West Bank. The Palestinian leadership has done nothing to stop them and has even encouraged them.
    After other options were tried and failed, Israel decided to erect a physical barrier against terrorists.
    Until then, the absence of a physical barrier made infiltration into Israeli communities very easy for terrorists.
  • How could this fence have been avoided?
    The Palestinian Authority did not fulfill the commitments it made to fight terrorism. They have only themselves to blame for the anti-terrorist fence.
    However, the Palestinians seek to blame Israel, the victim of terrorism.
    Had there been no terrorism, Israel would not have been obliged to build a fence to protect its citizens.
  • Is it a "wall" or a "fence"?
    Despite the many (many many) pictures being shown in the Main Stream Media of a tall concrete wall, more than 97% of the fence consists of a chain-link fence system, with technological advances designed to warn against infiltrations.
    The part of the fence, less than 3%, that is made of concrete is there for a reason. They are intended not only to stop terrorists from infiltrating, but also to stop them from shooting at Israeli vehicles from atop hills near the highway.
    Since the chain-link fence is about the same width as a four-lane highway, in some areas with a high housing density, for the comfort of the Palestinians, a concrete wall was built instead of the fence.
  • But, but, putting a fence is like putting a border, no? You're supposed to decide where the final borders are through negotiations. That's, like, cheating, no?
    No. This fence is not a border and is not considered as such by anyone, except protesters who don't listen and like to complain.
    The route of the fence has been determined on the basis of security needs and topographical considerations.
    The anti-terrorist fence does not annex Palestinian lands nor change the legal status of the Palestinians. The fence can be moved or even removed, when that glorious day of everlasting peace finally comes. The fence is a temporary, defensive measure, not a border.
    Israel has had other anti-terrorist fences just like this one, which were moved to comply with new borders.
  • Well then why isn't the fence along the 1967 line? That would show you're not trying to annex Palestinian lands.
    No, that would just be useless.
    The sole purpose for the fence is security and it was built wherever it was needed to prevent terrorists from infiltrating into Israeli population centers.
    If the fence had been built along the 1967 lines then THAT would have been a political statement of fixing a border without negotiations, and it would have nothing to do with the security needs of Israel's citizens.
    The 1967 lines are just the armistice lines between Israel and Jordan during the years 1949-1967. It was not the final border between the countries.
  • The anti-terrorist fence is an obstacle to peace.
    Terrorism is a deadly obstacle to peace.
    The fence is an obstacle to terrorism.

    The fence is a defensive, temporary, passive and effective barrier to terrorism. As such, it is the one thing that has brought us closer to calm in the region, which will increase the chances of achieving peace.
    Once terrorism ends and peace is achieved, the fence can be removed. Lives lost due to terrorist attacks cannot be brought back.
  • Is the fence taking into proper consideration the needs of the Palestinian population?
    In addition to its efforts to ensure the security of its citizens, Israel attaches considerable importance to the interests of the local Palestinian residents. Israel recognizes the necessity of finding an appropriate balance between the imperative need to prevent terrorism and defend its citizens, and the humanitarian needs of local Palestinian residents.
    Even so, it is important to remember this: There would have been no need for an anti-terrorist fence had there not been an orchestrated campaign of terrorism that targets Israeli men, women and children for death. Death is permanent. It is irreversible. The inconvenience caused to Palestinians by the anti-terrorist fence is temporary and reversible, once terrorism stops and peace is achieved. Freedom of movement is important. But it is not more important than the right to live.
    Having said this, Israel will do all it can to reduce hardship and inconvenience for the Palestinians who are affected by the fence, and have often rerouted its path after complaints.
  • Is the anti-terrorist fence not intensifying hostility and hatred towards Israel?
    This I often hear from my friends. "But those poor Palestinians, of course if you put a fence and a checkpoint in their way, then they'll hate you more!"
    Yes, obviously if make it easier for terrorists to come kill my family, they will like me more. But it won't stop them from killing my family, will it? The fence will, it already has.
    What does intensify the hostility towards Israel? Incitement within the Palestinian Authority and the Arab world.
    If the Palestinian Authority isn't capable of stopping terror, they should at least be happy that Israel took care of it, and tell their population that it's a good thing that terror is decreasing. Unless, of course, they don't agree.
  • Does this anti-terrorist fence actually help?
    In fact, yes, thank you for asking.
    People have often told me very silly things like "You don't need that fence anymore, there haven't been terror attacks for like, forever."
    Uh, no. There haven't been terror attacks (or significantly less) thanks to the anti-terrorist fence. Terror still hasn't stopped. Only now it is INTERCEPTED.
  • Isn't the anti-terrorist fence just another "Berlin Wall"?
    Funny, I actually heard this one at work the other day.
    The Berlin Wall was designed by the Communist regime of East Germany to keep the German citizens of "East Berlin" locked in and to prevent them from knowing the world of freedom and democracy on the West side.
    Israel's anti-terrorist fence is not built to keep anyone locked in. On the contrary, it is there for one purpose only - to keep the Palestinian terrorists out.
  • The anti-terrorist fence is apartheid! The anti-terrorist fence is racism!
    Almost every Palestinian claim attaches the term "apartheid" to the fence. But the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is nothing like the situation that existed in South Africa, and the anti-terrorist fence has nothing to with racial separation, but with the need to prevent terrorism.Apartheid: Racial separation used in South Africa against fellow citizens of the same country; black South Africans were denied all rights and mingling between the ethnic groups was forbidden.The conflict between Palestinians and Israelis is not a racial one, nor a domestic one. It is a national-territorial conflict between two distinct people. Palestinians are not citizens of Israel. But Israeli Arabs are citizens, and have equal rights under Israeli law. On the other hand, Jews cannot be citizens of the Palestinian Authority. Who's racist?The attempt to depict the building of an anti-terrorist fence by Israel as somehow related to "apartheid" is ridiculous. What Palestinian propaganda purposefully omits is that the sole reason for the fence's existence is Palestinian terrorism.

And to end this post, a great image from the dissident frogman

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