Israel’s illegal separation barrier.
HERE’S an Israeli explanation of why Israel was forced to build the security walls and fences to protect its citizens, including Arabs, and tourists. The writer is Colonel Dr Dany Irza:
The Palestinian terror onslaught that began in September 2000, and raged on until 2006, has been obliterated from our collective memory all too readily. We have unwittingly adopted its Palestinian name, the Second Intifada, thus actually accepting the view that confirms Palestinian valor in steadfast resistance, and legitimate opposition, to an Israeli occupation.
Palestinian ingenuity in maneuvering public opinion has even succeeded in stirring sympathy for the cause among large parts of the Israeli public. Indeed, the Palestinian public opinion campaign has caused many Israelis to forget that it was the Palestinians who instigated the bloody confrontation when they tried to compensate for political gains denied them at the Camp David Summit in 2000 through terror. It was not Hamas that launched the murderous attacks on Israeli citizens, but rather the Tanzim, the militant wing of the Fatah, which was led by Marwan Barghouti, under the direct command of the “Rais” — President of the Palestinian National Authority, Yasser Arafat.
Former Israeli governments, under the leadership of both Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon, were against the construction of a security fence for internal political considerations. The decision to build the first part of the security fence was made in June 2002, following a horribly bloody March, when 139 Israeli citizens were murdered in terror attacks.
While the Israeli governments saw the security fence as no more than a physical, temporary barrier designed to block Palestinian terror, the Palestinians managed to maneuver the public into believing it was a unilateral Israeli move to delineate permanent borderlines and gain hold of Palestinian lands. The confrontation between the sides evolved into an asymmetric war: Whereas the Palestinians targeted Israeli civilians, every effort was made by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) not to harm innocent Palestinian civilians while carrying on the struggle against Palestinian terror. The security fence, constructed with the sole purpose of defending the citizens of Israel, has since become the focus of anti-Israeli criticism worldwide.
Today, a decade after the construction of the security fence, we can look back and examine the decision in light of the outcome.
The security point of view
The drastic reduction in the number and severity of terror attacks, and the calm, the sense of security restored within Israel, cannot be attributed solely to the fence. It is merely the visible barrier perceived as a means of separation. The security goal, in fact, has been achieved through the combined efforts of all the parties concerned, including the IDF, intensive military activity, quality intelligence-gathering and security coordination with the Palestinian police. Bottom line: Israel has won the war against Palestinian terror, while Palestinians failed to achieve their political objectives through terror.
The political point of view
Israel has, to a large extent, succeeded in establishing the concept of separation. More than just serving as a barrier that blocks passes to Israel, the fence carves out an area, which enables the two sides to lead their lives separately. This concept has paved the way to broad national agreement on the solution of two states for two peoples.
The international point of view
The fence has been a major factor leading to the de-legitimization of Israel in the world. The Palestinians took advantage of its construction to promote their propaganda and present an exaggerated, distorted picture of the injustice supposedly done them.
Israel had no choice
Following the Camp David failure, and given the murderous Palestinian terror that disrupted daily life, Israel had no choice but to build the security fence. The decision on the fence’s construction was made in conjunction with two other measures in 2002. First, the Defensive Shield Operation aimed to damage and destroy terror infrastructures in the West Bank areas under Palestinian control. Second, a proposed Mideast conference was designed to open a political horizon and chart the region’s political direction.
The political horizon initiative was launched in an attempt to show Palestinians that there was another way to settle the conflict. However, the Palestinians managed to avoid a political solution to the conflict again. The security fence was an essential defensive move taken by the Israeli government in order to protect its citizens.
The fence’s route
While there is broad public consensus in Israel about the need to construct a security fence, many dispute the route. The Israeli government did not wish to unilaterally delineate a political border. Negotiations with the Palestinians were always on the horizon; however, the closer you get to the horizon, the further away it moves from you. Since Israel has declared that the fence is only a security line and is not a political borderline, a position with which the Palestinians agree, then clearly, the route of the fence will be changed in the framework of a peace agreement. We’ve seen this in action when lines were redrawn with Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.
The Israeli Supreme Court tried to strike a balance between Israel’s security needs and Palestinians’ rights when it originally formulated the route. The Israeli security establishment has since changed the route to minimize damage to the Palestinians, at the expense of legitimate security considerations. I have no doubt that had these checks and balances been in place in 2002, we would have avoided some of the mistakes made.
Israel’s weak public opinion campaign
On this front, the State of Israel could, and should, have done much more. The Palestinians managed to present the security fence as a wall to the world, although less than 5% percent of the project is a concrete wall. Along the rest of the route, it is a wire fence. What’s more, the Palestinians claim that Israel seeks to annex 40% of the West Bank area through the fence. Obviously, this claim is false. The fence does not change the status of the land nor is it used to annex any territory to Israel. Less than 8% of the West Bank remained on the Israeli side. The Palestinians also claim that 400,000 Palestinians are inevitably going to be left on the Israeli side. Clearly, this claim, too, is a blatant lie. The fact is that less than 1,500 inhabitants carrying Palestinian identity cards are living on the Israeli side of the fence, apart from the East Jerusalem Palestinians, who have the status of permanent residents in Israel.
The Palestinians depict, in vivid colors, the alleged looting of lands by Israel. However, in their international public relation campaigns they have made no mention of Israel’s humanitarian solutions, which included bypass roads and passageways to enable free movement for the Palestinian population or by opening dozens of passageways to allow the local Palestinian peasants to reach their agricultural plots on the Israeli side of the fence. As far as public opinion and awareness are concerned, Israel has failed to get its message across about its security rationale and the numerous attempts to minimize any disruptions to the daily lives of Palestinians.
“Good fences make good neighbors,” the American poet Robert Frost wrote in his poem “Mending Wall.” However, having served as the IDF’s chief architect for the security fence, I must demur. The fence has created a conceptual and physical barrier between two neighboring peoples who have been entangled in conflict for a century but still hope to live in peace. I would have gladly done without the fence. Yet, we had no choice but to build it in order to protect our lives and our children’s lives. And I do hope that the day will come when the threat of terror will no longer cast its dark shadow over our lives and we will be able to live peacefully, safely and securely, with our Palestinian neighbors, the day when there will be no need for any fences or walls.
Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2012/al-monitor/israeli-security-fence-architect.html##ixzz2kLAZfhcX
Col. (Res.) Dr. Dany Tirza was, from 1994 to 2007, in charge of regional strategic planning and the formulation of Israel’s security positions in negotiations with the Palestinians in the IDF Central Command, and served as the IDF’s chief architect for the Security Fence.
An upcoming conference in New York City to challenge Jews in the Diaspora to do more to confront the delegimsation of the “settlements” themselves, writes Ari Soffer.
Entitled “Addressing Core Issues and Improving Your Impact”, event organisers say their aim is to address a number of burning questions, including:
“Why are Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank) Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ [a reference to the Israeli-made Iron Dome missile defence system – ed.]? What is the legal basis for Israeli Jewish sovereignty over this territory? How is Israel’s full control over its entire biblical homeland the cause of stability in the Middle East, rather than ‘instability’? Why can’t Israel allow the international community to push her borders back to the 1967 ceasefire lines?”
Too many Israel advocates are skirting around what they see as “awkward issues”, they say, when they can and should really be tackling the issue head-on – and the conference’s objective is to help them do precisely that.
“It is actually revolutionary because unity is rare, and traditionally mainstream Zionist groups have been afraid of coming out in support of Judea and Samaria because they are concerned that is is not politically correct,” says conference organiser David Ha’ivri.
The line-up of speakers include American pro-Israel advocates alongside a range of Israeli activists from across the country, including community leaders from Judea and Samaria.
Arutz Sheva analyst and Chairman of Americans for a Safe Israel Mark Langfan will also be addressing the conference. Langfan praised the event organisers, including Ha’ivri and Gershon Mesika, who heads the Shomron (Samaria) Regional Council, for facilitating the “warm unity between many groups that has never happened before”.
In his view, far from avoiding the issue, Israel advocates should be placing the defence of Jewish rights to Judea and Samaria at the centre of their efforts to defend the Jewish state.
“Judea and Samaria protect Israel, and Israel protects western civilsation,” as a buffer to Islamic terrorism, he explained.
Langfan cautions supporters of Israel not to leave defending Jewish rights to Judea and Samaria to those who live there, but to learn about and emphasise the historic and strategic importance of the region themselves.
“It’s one thing when a settler defends Judea and Samaria – people will pooh-pooh it because they live there and have a vested interest. But when an American Jew who has no vested interest shows how Katyusha rockets can devastate Tell Aviv from Kalkilyah I think they listen more,” he said.
To help illustrate his point, Langfan will be handing out colourful topographical maps, graphically illustrating how an Israeli retreat from the region would place most of Israel’s population under the threat of rocket fire, to the first 200 conference attendees.
As to why so many pro-Israel organisations avoid doing so, Langfan says a mixture of peer-pressure and ignorance is largely to blame.
“When has defending other Jews from being murdered by modern-day Nazis fun or stylish?” he asked rhetorically, citing widespread incitement and calls to genocide by Palestinian Arab organisations.
“But the real reason is the total ignorance of the existential threat Israel faces today,” he continued. “The Israeli government has put American Jews to sleep with the messianic ‘peace’ process. It’s tough waking up somebody who is under general anaesthesia.”
The three-hour conference will be held on November 17, from 2-5pm at the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue in New York.
Under the headline “If this is peace, what is war?” Dr Haim Shine writes in today’s Israel Hayon newspaper about a Palestinian Arab youth’s act of murder while seeking a job:
The stabbing murder of an Israeli soldier by a Palestinian terrorist on a bus in Afula on Wednesday was not the result of an “atmosphere.” To the best of my knowledge, an atmosphere has never killed anyone. Inhumane, savage murderers kill people. Placing the blame for the attack on an atmosphere shows disrespect for human life and a lack of understanding of the role that murder plays in the Palestinian ethos.
This ethos is based on spilling the blood of innocent people as a means of achieving nationalistic and territorial goals. The Palestinians are no different than their brethren in Syria, Egypt, Yemen and Sudan, countries that massacre their own people without mercy.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry openly said that if Israel does not reach a peace deal with the Palestinians, a third intifada will break out. Kerry did not come up with this threat in the heat of the moment. It was based on long talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his friends, as well as assessments given to Kerry by U.S. intelligence officials who listen to all conversations between top Palestinian officials.
A Palestinian teen who knows what his leaders want does not need an operational order from Abbas. The message is clear and sharp as a knife: The only way to get Israelis to make concessions in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem is by increasing acts of violence. With his criminal act, the murderer in Afula wanted to help his leaders in the peace negotiations. If this is peace, what is war?
I heard Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri say that even if a peace agreement was reached with the Palestinians, individual acts of terrorism would likely continue. If this is the future for us, why should we make an agreement in which we give up national and strategic assets? The Gush Katif example teaches us that there are such things as fatal concessions.
The Israel Defense Forces’ ability to, following a terror attack, enter the village or city from which the terrorist came will not exist if a Palestinian state is established in Judea and Samaria. Israel already has difficulties gathering intelligence in areas that were handed over to the Palestinian Authority. Jews cannot allow themselves to rely on others to do the hard work of protecting their lives and independence.
Throughout history, Jews have not received second chances. The Israeli government must determinedly insist on safeguarding the country’s national security interests and on fighting a bitter war against terrorists
Writing in The Commentator, Christian Middle East Watch director Nick Gray opines that, in general, those churches and Christians that consider themselves “pro-Palestinian” tend to take on the rhetoric and motifs of the secular anti-Israel groups: “apartheid state”, “ethnic cleansing”, and so on.
Those who consider themselves “pro-Israel”, on the other hand, tend to adopt a more even-handed perspective. Bridges for Peace, Christian Friends of Israel, and The International Christian Embassy (not the only ones), have wide-ranging humanitarian programmes that minister to the needs of both Jews and Arabs without political partisanship.
They are also more active in encouraging Messianic (Israeli) and Arab Christians to dialogue together and even put them together on a shared platform.
The “pro-Palestinian” lobby only looks at things from a viewpoint East of the security barrier and restricts its dialogue to the churches in agreement with it – basically the Palestinian traditional denominations. Funny, that.
Additionally, an embarrassing feature of “new” evangelical Christian converts from Islam in the disputed territories is that they tend to a much more positive view of Israel and the Jewish people. Ex-Muslim Walid Shoebat from Bethlehem, for example, pours his energy into speaking widely and loudly in support of Israel – now that’s conversion!
The world is full of injustices. Too much time, energy and resources are being expended on a situation where (relatively speaking) the degree of suffering by ordinary people does not compare with Syria, Northern Nigeria, Pakistan and a number of other current situations around the globe.
Contrary to (some) popular opinion, the Israeli army is not continually looking for new ways to wipe out whole villages, gas innocent Palestinians or hold riots to destroy their mosques. The money being spent on vilifying Israel and examining every aspect of her policies and actions for faults should be going to help Christians rebuild their churches in Egypt or their houses in Syria.
The efforts being made by some Christian groups to boycott insignificant volumes of settlement produce should be spent on gathering aid for Syrian refugees or persecuted Pakistani Christians; or on confronting the Palestinian Authority for its corruption, persecution of its minorities and assorted human rights abuses.
The truth is, in my opinion, in British society, deep down and often well hidden, there is a historical latent anti-Semitism. It goes back centuries; back past the rejection of Jewish refugees in the thirties; back past the massacres of the crusades; right back to Norwich in the 12th Century.
My guess is that more Jews than Christians could tell me why. It’s because that was when the first blood libel was pronounced; the calumny that Jews kill Christian babies at Passover in order to mix their blood into their matzah bread. It was the Christian Church that started it and continued it through the years. Today it is still current and genuinely believed by many in the Muslim world.
Even worse is when modern versions of it are promulgated by the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement as if such an incredible accusation was factual. And worse still, a few Christians are among those who believe it and help to share it around. Is it any wonder that Israel and the worldwide Jewish diaspora are still deeply suspicious of Christians?
It is not heresy to love Palestinians or Israelis or the Jewish people; it’s a good thing. It’s not heresy to have a negative view of the state of Israel. But to vilify one without understanding or seeking to understand their side of the story is distinctly un-Christian. My “neighbour” is not only Ahmed, he’s Yossi as well.
No-one ever changed the mindset of an opponent by shouting at them from a distance. Christians, it is time to sit down with the “other”, be he Palestinian or Israeli or your local synagogue members. It is time to try and understand each other’s stories, see through each other’s eyes, stand in each other’s shoes.
If only we took the time and trouble to do this, we would see how many ordinary people from both sides actually want peace.
This website is always ready to traduce Christians for Zion founder Mike Fryer. With his wife Shirley, Mike was today due to visit Kfar Aza, close to the border with the Gaza Strip, yesterday to hand over nearly £3,000 from his Father’s House congregation in North Wales to benefit children traumatised by rocket fire from Palestinian Arab terrorists.
Mike writes: “Kibbutzim Kfar Aza was founded in 1951 and has a population of 800. There are 81 children living there: 35 aged between 3months-6years, 6-9years, 38 between10-12 years,30 between 13-15years and 30 between 16-18 years. All these children have been traumatised by the thousands of rockets, mortars and infiltrations which have targeted this small community since the intifada in 2000. Being situated so close to Gaza, (less than two miles) everyone living there is extremely aware of the potential for terrorist attack and therefore live in a constant state of alert, waiting for the alarm siren to go off. As a result, most, if not all of these children have been severely affected by relentless, ongoing stress and are receiving medication for severe trauma. The Kibbutzim has suffered fatalities, severe injury and destruction to houses and buildings. The small children’s zoo which housed various birds and small farm animals has long been closed and the animals taken away for safety.
I have been visiting this area since 2005 and have experienced the suffering of the Israeli communities first hand.
In the last three years I have taken teams to the Israeli communities in the locality and Christians for Zion have funded the children’s work in this particular Kibbutz. There is a great need for the children of this Kibbutz and the surrounding communities to receive therapy and counselling. Christians for Zion, partnering with Father’s House, are leading a drive to re-furbish and open the small zoo in Kfar Aza and establish within the grounds of the zoo a “bomb proof” building in which the children can pet the animals and, at the same time, receive therapy through the relationship with the animals and in a place of safety.”
Also in the area today was Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Speaking at an event marking the one-year anniversary of Operation Pillar of Defense on Tuesday, Mr Netanyahu revealed that that there had been a 98% drop in rocket fire from the Gaza Strip since the operation.
“There is no doubt that significant deterrence has been achieved,” Netanyahu told soldiers. He noted that there were only 35 incidents of projectile fire from Gaza into Israel since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense.
“However, we are not deluding ourselves,” Netanyahu said. “We know that Hamas and the other terrorist organizations are continuing to arm themselves in various ways. They are also trying to develop the underground track, i.e. tunnels, and it is incumbent upon us to find a response to all of these threats and, at the same time, continue the strong deterrence that we have achieved and which we are maintaining.
“In the end, this deterrence is achieved by the enemy’s knowing that we will not tolerate attacks on our communities and our soldiers, and that we will respond in great strength. This is the foundation of our deterrence.”
Mr Netanyahu continued: “Hamas is manufacturing and storing missiles and rockets that are concentrated in residential buildings and aimed at Israeli citizens. Israel will continue to strictly uphold international law but will not sit on its hands in the face of terrorists who perpetrate two war crimes at the same time: They are prepared to fire at Israeli cities and are hiding behind civilians in the Gaza Strip. It is our full legal and moral right to direct fire — that is as precise as possible — at those who fire indiscriminately at our people. The responsibility for any collateral damage that is liable to be caused to the residents of Gaza lies squarely on Hamas’ shoulders. I would like to express my appreciation and that of the nation to the IDF and the security forces in the sector.”
Referring to the security situation and barriers on the Jewish state’s other borders, the premier added: “Israel is, in effect, the first country that has succeeded to a large degree, one might say even to an absolute degree, in closing its borders.
“In the past three months there have been no entries into the State of Israel. This is a very major success on the part of the government, the IDF and the other intelligence systems that have been established along this barrier.”
“These two matters — the war against terrorism, including the continuing deterrence and finding answers to new threats, alongside guarding our borders, are among the principal missions that we are committed to carrying out, and not just in this sector.”
None of the two above comments are on topic.
That’s your opinion not mine, Trevor. The topic is security. Remember, ‘Infographic: Where law stands on the wall.’
“The topic is security.”
No, the topic is LEGALITY….It’s right there in headline, shucks, you even say so yourself.
If Israel wants a “security barrier” then Israel should build one LEGALLY within her own DECLARED borders.
I really do wish you would stop lying so i could have a polite and civil conversation with you…But alas you can’t help but lie.
Well, ‘Trevor Barclay’, you are well known for stretching the truth and this is clearly shown here. Look at the sub heading: ‘International law and the ongoing construction of Israel’s security barrier …’
The first duty of any government is to protect its citizens and that’s what the security measures are all about. Before the Second Intifada Palestinian Arabs could simply walk into Israel. The suicide bombings and other terrorism acts have been an own goal. Not only have the security walls/ fences and checkpoints stopped the death toll of innocent Israelis they have cut the number of crimes perpetrated by Palestinian Arabs.
Other countries have done the same thing but not attracted the attention that Israel’s life-saving measures have.
As I believe the San Remo Treaty is still in force I think that Israel is not acting illegally here. It has altered the route of some walls and fences as a result of complaints. Israel has said that if the violence by Palestinian Arabs against its citizens stops then these security measures will be removed. However, the Palestinian Arabs continue their media and text book hate of Israelis and Jews which they promised to stop in the Oslo Peace Accords. Their record proves they are not to be trusted. Even the Koran allows Muslims to lie for strategic advantage.
The poster shows how well organised opponents of Israel are. It is sad that people are so easily deceived by this anti-Israel propaganda.
The International Court of Justice does not live up to its name by shamefully ignoring the San Remo Treaty. It is a scandal of the highest order.
I’m wondering if this court is like the United Nations, a tool of the 56 Muslim nations and their fellow travellers.
ISRAEL’S Economy Minister, Naftali Bennett, pointed out in an interview with Christiane Amanpour on CNN that there is no such thing as “Israeli occupation” in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.
Amanpour had asked him to comment on Housing Minister Uri Ariel’s decision last week to issue tenders for 20,000 new homes in Judea and Samaria.
When she used the term “occupied West Bank” in her question, Bennett held up a coin which, he pointed out, was “used by Jews 2,000 years ago in the state of Israel.”
Amanpour interjected by saying that “occupied West Bank” was “an international term” but Bennett hit back: “I don’t accept it. This coin, which says in Hebrew ‘freedom of Zion’ was used by Jews 2,000 years ago in the state of Israel, in what you call ‘occupied’. One cannot occupy his own home.”
Bennett, who opposes the two-state solution, added: “I think trying to enforce [an] artificial state in the heart of Israel, in Jerusalem, is a grave mistake.
“If the Palestinians want peace they have to do one simple thing: Recognise Israel as the Jewish homeland. That’s all. But if they don’t do that, if they don’t recognise Israel as the Jewish homeland, they can’t expect peace.”
“Well, ‘Trevor Barclay’, you are well known for stretching the truth and this is clearly shown here. Look at the sub heading: ‘International law and the ongoing construction of Israel’s security barrier …’”
That’s not what it says at all.
‘INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE ONGOING CONSTRUCTION OF ISRAEL’S BARRIER IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN WEST BANK’
After that the wall is judged as being illegal and three reasons are given one of which is ‘security’.
Again i’ll repeat. If Israel wants to build a “security” barrier, let Israel build the “security” barrier inside her own declared borders.
Next you post up your usual lies…even though just days ago i showed you from the IHCJ that Israel IS a belligerent occupier.
Also, the PLO have already recognised Israel’s right to exist.
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