Friday, February 25, 2005

 

Israel's New Frontier

A terrific article by Aluf Benn in today's Haaretz about the Wall and it's purpose. I'll quote a few paragraphs, but it is really worth reading the whole thing.
This is Israel's new frontier, the site of the future struggle over a permanent settlement with the Palestinians.

The cabinet meeting that approved the withdrawal from settlements in the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria, as well as the revised route of the separation fence, was one of the most important sessions presided over by Ariel Sharon. "We spent the day, from the morning until the evening, deciding on the border between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, from the north to the south," says a high-ranking government official who took part in the long meeting. The cabinet decision states that the fence is "a temporary means of securing against terror attacks," but despite the cautious wording, those present at the meeting had no doubt that they were drawing the borders of the future.
And later in the article:
"What it was possible to do two years ago cannot be done anymore," said Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz to his colleague Benjamin Netanyahu. "And what it is possible to do now, you won't be able to do in another two years. Which is why we have to finish it now."
Is that what you call a "confidence-building measure"? Oh, and Bush's talk about "a new Palestinian state is truly viable, with contiguous territory on the West Bank" - what of that?
But the problem is not only one of dissection of the West Bank, but of encirclement of East Jerusalem. If the fence is completed, the Palestinian neighborhoods of Jerusalem would be surrounded by a barrier and would be cut off from the West Bank. And if Israel fills the expanse between Mt. Scopus and Ma'aleh Adumim with new construction, as per the "A-1" plan that Sharon is quietly promoting, East Jerusalem would become a disconnected enclave encompassed on all sides by Jewish neighborhoods. Under such conditions, it would have a hard time serving as the capital of the Palestinian state, presenting another obstacle in the way of a permanent settlement.
Any thoughts on that?
As Benn writes: "Sharon assumed, correctly, that the combined decisions would reduce international criticism of the route of the fence." Yep. It was reported in the Washington Post on page A20 in an article titled "Israeli Cabinet Backs Pullout Plan" and in the NYTimes (I'm not sure of the page) in an article titled "Cabinet in Israel Ratifies Pullout from Gaza Strip."

Comments:
¡Hi Alex!

I'm Amaya... Today I've had a dream about your sister and you and I've just sent an e-mail to her and then I've wrote your names, I don't know why, just to see, in Google and then your blog has been the second thing that has appeared o the page... And here I am... I wanted to say "hello". I hope everything is going well with you. I don't know if my english is good enough.

It's been 5 years since I was there, in your house, and I thougt that I would never be able to talk to you again. I had a very good time with all of you. I would like to see you again some day. You've got a house here, because I don't forget you. I leave you here my e-mail just in case, if you want to write: amayaberoiz@hotmail.com

Bye,

Amaya
 
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