Tuesday, September 6

Protesting the Security Fence

The security situation has been very tenuous during the intifada years because of the almost daily occurrence of Palestinian suicide terror directed against innocent Israelis. This had lead to the decision to build a security fence in order to protect Israelis from the suicide terror. Since the building of the security fence, terror had dropped dramatically. The security fence had proved its worth but it had given rise to other problems.

It is unfortunate that the route of the security fence had cut into Palestinian lands and had caused tremendous difficulties for Palestinians. In many cases, Israel had confiscated Palestinian lands unlawfully in order to build the security fence. This had led to abuse of power and the Israel Defense Forces had not acted with restraint towards those innocent Palestinians who were not involved in terror as in the case of Bil'in, a Palestinian Town within the West Bank. This security fence construction was also a precedent for expanding Jewish settlements that encroached on Palestinian lands. Will this also create another Gaza-like situation, which will eventually result in withdrawal?

While the legitimacy for building a security fence is obvious. What is immoral is the building of the fence in Palestinian lands for reasons mentioned earlier in this article. Construction of the security fence should be within the green line to prevent terrorist incursions. It should not encroach on Palestinian lands. Obviously, it would be better had their not been a need for a security fence. However, the situation being what it is and the desire of terrorists to carry on their violence makes the security fence a necessity.

Legitimate protest against the security fence is fine if protest is peaceful. The route of the security fence is unfair to Palestinians because it creates division of their lands and abuse of their human rights. The result is division of Palestinian families! The direction of protest towards injustice against the Palestinians is preferable rather than towards the security fence itself whose purpose should be safeguarding Israelis from terror.

The use of the security fence for creating new facts on the ground such as building and expanding existing Jewish settlements in the occupied areas, under the guise of security, is trickery of the worst kind. It only adds fuel to the fire of Palestinian discontent and animosity, which is understandable.

The best solution would be a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. This is far better than a security fence. After all, true peace is security for both sides.