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(en) US, Media, A Wall as a Weapon* by Noam Chomsky

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 23 Feb 2004 11:11:29 +0100 (CET)

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. It is a virtual reflex for governments
to plead security concerns when they undertake any controversial
action, often as a pretext for something else. Careful scrutiny is
always in order. Israel's so-called security fence, which is the
subject of hearings starting today at the International Court of
Justice in The Hague, is a case in point.

Few would question Israel's right to protect its citizens from
terrorist attacks like the one yesterday, even to build a security
wall if that were an appropriate means. It is also clear where such
a wall would be built if security were the guiding concern: inside
Israel, within the internationally recognized border, the Green
Line established after the 1948-49 war. The wall could then be as
forbidding as the authorities chose: patrolled by the army on both
sides, heavily mined, impenetrable. Such a wall would maximize
security, and there would be no international protest or violation of
international law.

This observation is well understood. While Britain supports
America's opposition to the Hague hearings, its foreign minister,
Jack Straw, has written that the wall is "unlawful." Another
ministry official, who inspected the "security fence," said it should
be on the Green Line or "indeed on the Israeli side of the line." A
British parliamentary investigative commission also called for the
wall to be built on Israeli land, condemning the barrier as part of a
"deliberate" Israeli "strategy of bringing the population to heel."

What this wall is really doing is taking Palestinian lands. It is also
as the Israeli sociologist Baruch Kimmerling has described
Israel's war of "politicide" against the Palestinians helping
turn Palestinian communities into dungeons, next to which the
bantustans of South Africa look like symbols of freedom,
sovereignty and self-determination.

Even before construction of the barrier was under way, the United
Nations estimated that Israeli barriers, infrastructure projects and
settlements had created 50 disconnected Palestinian pockets in
the West Bank. As the design of the wall was coming into view,
the World Bank estimated that it might isolate 250,000 to 300,000
Palestinians, more than 10 percent of the population, and that it
might effectively annex up to 10 percent of West Bank land. And
when the government of Ariel Sharon finally published its
proposed map, it became clear the the wall would cut the West
Bank into 16 isolated enclaves, confined to just 42 percent of the
West Bank land that Mr. Sharon had previously said could be
ceded to a Palestinian state.

The wall has already claimed some of the most fertile lands of the
West Bank. And, crucially, it extends Israel's control of critical
water resources, which Israel and its settlers can appropriate as
they choose, while the indigenous population often lacks water for

Palestinians in the seam between the wall and the Green Line will
be permitted to apply for the right to live in their own homes;
Israelis automatically have the right to use these lands. "Hiding
behind security rationales and the seemingly neutral bureaucratic
language of military orders is the gateway for expulsion," the
Israeli journalist Amira Hass wrote in the daily Haaretz. "Drop by
drop, unseen, not so many that it would be noticed internationally
and shock public opinion." The same is true of the regular
killings, terror and daily brutality and humiliation of the past 35
years of harsh occupation, while land and resources have been
taken for settlers enticed by ample subsidies.

It also seems likely that Israel will transfer to the occupied West
Bank the 7,500 settlers it said this month it would remove from
the Gaza Strip. These Israelis now enjoy ample land and fresh
water, while one million Palestinians barely survive, their meager
water supplies virtually unusable. Gaza is a cage, and as the city of
Rafah in the south is systematically demolished, residents may be
blocked from any contact with Egypt and blockaded from the sea.

It is misleading to call these Israeli policies. They are
American-Israeli policies made possible by unremitting
United States military, economic and diplomatic support of Israel.
This has been true since 1971 when, with American support,
Israel rejected a full peace offer from Egypt, preferring expansion
to security. In 1976, the United States vetoed a Security Council
resolution calling for a two-state settlement in accord with an
overwhelming international consensus. The two-state proposal
has the support of a majority of Americans today, and could be
enacted immediately if Washington wanted to do so.

At most, the Hague hearings will end in an advisory ruling that
the wall is illegal. It will change nothing. Any real chance for a
political settlement and for decent lives for the people of the
region depends on the United States.

Noam Chomsky, professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, is the author of "Hegemony or Survival:
America's Quest for Global Dominance."

New York Times
Published: February 23, 2004
Copied from infoshop.org
* [Ed. Note:
To put the text into context:
The establishment of Israel was a step in a long time colinal
settler project of Europeans in Palestine. The project started
to catch momentum at the last quarter of the 18th century, with
support of the West European empires as intrusion into the Othman

In the years 1947-9 when UK was the main ruller of the region, the
same powers - joined by US too, alotted the the Zionist settler colonialist
project half of the Palestinian part West of the Jordan.
The Zionist settler colonialists took advantage of rivalry among the
sponcers and took three quarters of the area, transfering most of the
Palestinians from that area, and treated the rest who remained within
it as third rate population mostly restricted to resrvations.

Though the author is mainly correct, he missed the fact that most
of the economic ties of Israel are with the European countries.
These countries can - if they really wanted so, to restrain Israel
more than they do, and even force it to retreat to the 1967 borders.

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