Sunday, July 18, 2004

The New York Times > Week in Review > Israel's Wall: Building for Calm by Giving Up on Peace

"QALQILYA, West Bank — Inside the 'War Room,' as it is informally called, Israeli soldiers gaze at banks of computer and television screens...An officer shows off the gadgetry: night-vision cameras trained 24 hours a day on a barrier loaded with electronic gizmos that signal the precise location of anyone who touches it, ensuring that Israeli forces reach the area within two to eight minutes to stop the sort of infiltration of Palestinian suicide bombers that brought nearly 100 Israeli deaths in March 2002 alone...

"If Israelis are going to the beach and to clubs again, and if bombings have become rare, it is thanks in large part, they insist, to these ditches and guard towers and coils of barbed wire and miles of wire fencing that separate two peoples, demarcating the gulf between them...

"What often seems to be missing from these Israeli musings is any grasp of the life of the Palestinians on the other side of the barrier. On those war-room screens the most common sight is a Palestinian in a donkey cart trundling along a dirt track. The contrast between the high-tech Israeli cameras that deliver these images and the abject existence of the Palestinians photographed provides an apt summation of the divergence of the societies: a first-world Israel forging ahead as best it can, a third-world Palestinian society going backward.

"To move through the West Bank today is to witness the growth of parallel networks. Israelis drive on highways to settlements spreading like garrisons on hills. Palestinians are increasingly confined to dirt tracks beside these roads...

"[T]he army is building tunnels under the fence, to be used by Palestinians. Israeli officers say this is a generous gesture. They are proud of helping the tunnel people communicate. They point to flourishing orange trees as proof of how 'we let them into their fields.' At one gate, Mutassem Abu Tayem, a 36-year-old Palestinian farmer, waits on a donkey cart to be let onto his land. His view? 'We are living in a prison and are treated like beasts.'"

Why be surprised? We adopted the same policy decades ago when we decided that the Great Society was a failure, and that the urban underclass could never be integrated into civil society but could only be controlled and contained.

Israelis will never be convinced that, after a near miss at peace 10 years ago, any other solution is possible any more than Americans can be convinced that is would be feasible to wind down the system of get-toughism and have another go at creating a civilized social democracy in which everyone has a part. Our new hero is Joe Sixpack, who believes that the only way with kids is the strap and that it was the wimpery of liberal elitists, soft on crime, supporting bums and welfare queens, that got us into this mess in the first place. The politically correct way of putting it is that we can't have the kind of welfare state that exists in ethnically homogeneous European countries. And now we secretely gloat at the problems European countries face absorbing brown and black immigrants: "See, see if you had our problems you wouldn't be doing any better than we did."

1 comment:

spiritual said...

Happy Money Making Famous Quotes.... Waste your money and your only out your money,but waste your time and your out part of your life... Michael Leoboeuf

Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten dollar hair cut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair... Sam Ewing

If You Find a need to become part of the spiritual so you make a few extra bucks.. go to http://7day2success.com/ ....spiritual...spiritual....

Live a better life today..