TITLE

Fenced In

AUTHOR(S)
Klein Halevi, Yossi
PUB. DATE
November 2003
SOURCE
New Republic;11/10/2003, Vol. 229 Issue 19, p18
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The fence that Israel is building along the length of the West Bank should appall me. Fencing in the Jewish state, after all, mocks Zionism's promise to free the Jews from the ghetto. And fencing out the Arab world violates the hope that Israel will one day find a cultural and spiritual place in the Middle East. The fence ends more than three decades of Israeli attempts to reach out to the Middle East. The fence actually reduces Israel's deterrence by sending a message of weakness to the Arab world, reinforcing the popular Arab notion that Israel's demise is just a matter of time. The argument for the fence, of course, is that it will save lives. Conversely, the more successful the fence becomes against attacks into Israel, the more terrorists will turn against the settlers living on their side of the barrier. Still, the security argument is compelling enough. Beyond the security argument, though, what's appealing about the fence is precisely what Israeli officials are trying to deny: its political message. Even more than a separation between Israelis and Palestinians, the fence is a demarcation line between the Oslo era of Israeli delusions and the post-Oslo era of Israeli realism. The fence, then, is Israel's acknowledgment that the Palestinian leadership--in this generation at least--won't honor any commitments to respect Israel's legitimacy. The fence is a warning: If Palestinians don't stop terrorism and forfeit their dream of destroying Israel, Israel may impose its own map on them.
ACCESSION #
11264252

 

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