Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Wall

The Wall. How ridiculous! We already had the Bar-Lev line which accounted for near-defeat in 1973. Yes, the terrorists don’t infiltrate the walled regions of Israel, but only because non-walled entrances are available. Palestinian terrorists are smart and reasonable, unburdened by the political correctness of Israelis. Palestinians choose simple means to deliver the blows. The Wall offers a temporary peace to Israeli border villages; Palestinians are now refining the technique of over-the-wall missile launching. The Wall is entirely useless against suicide bombers. Palestinians driving from the territories can always hide a few pounds of plastic explosive in their cars, and pass Israeli checkpoints. The only way to stop the bombings is to have Israel without Arabs. That wouldn’t work entirely, but greatly diminish the scope of terrorism. At any rate, passive defense like the wall cannot stop soldiers who pursue classical unorthodox military strategy.
The wall is not an answer to the Palestinians, but to Israelis. They want a solution, they are sick of perpetual vacillation. So the morally and ideologically bankrupt government tells the Jews: here is our last line, this time it’s for sure, the conflict is finished, we’re not going back and we don’t want any more land. That’s exactly the reasoning behind the Bar-Lev line. What the West doesn’t understand is that already for many years Israeli government fights not the Palestinians, but the Jews. Israeli policies attempt to comfort the Jews: by invading Lebanon to stop the shelling, by protracted war to soothe their moral consciousness, by withdrawing to cut the losses. The wall doesn’t serve to keep Palestinian terrorists out of Israel; it serves to blind the Israelis to the outside developments.
The wall, moreover, is unnecessarily provocative. As a saying goes, Don’t steal a little, it will not suffice for a good attorney. If we want the territories, we should transfer the Palestinians to Jordan, let them overthrow local princeling and live there in democratic Palestinian state. If we don’t want the territories, we should withdraw and forget them, boycott the Palestinians and embargo their produce. The opposition is not very different whether Israel takes 10% or 100% of the territories.