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Berlin Wall is gone but Israel’s inhumane barrier still stands http://nigelparry.com/enginefiles/uploads/banksy-israel-wall.jpg David Pratt/ Herald Scotland In writing this, find cheap saw palmetto online I’m bracing myself for being called an anti-Semite, find cheap saw palmetto online an appeaser of terrorists and propagandist for the Palestinian cause. I’m none of those things. I say this simply because these days, find cheap saw palmetto online it seems, find cheap saw palmetto online anyone who dares criticise the policies of the Israeli government leaves themselves open to such accusations. The compulsion to write something that would leave me prone to such an attack was instigated earlier this week by watching Berlin’s champagne and fireworks celebrations commemor ating the fall of the Wall. How strange it must be, find cheap saw palmetto online I thought, find cheap saw palmetto online for any Palestinian in the village of Abu Dis, find cheap saw palmetto online sitting before a TV screen looking on as the world indulges in rapturous back-slapping over the restoration of freedom and human rights that came with the passing of the wall. I mention Abu Dis not because it’s special, find cheap saw palmetto online but simply because I know it well, find cheap saw palmetto online having spent some time there over the years. Find cheap saw palmetto online Indeed, find cheap saw palmetto online I might just as easily have named umpteen other Palestinian communities cut off behind the concrete wall and fence built by Israel that stands twice as high and runs four times as long as its infamous Berlin predecessor. What was amazing about the Berlin jamboree – aside from the toppling dominoes – was that in the days leading up to and during the celebrations, find cheap saw palmetto online scant mention was made of Israel’s illegal “separation wall” which today, find cheap saw palmetto online like its bygone equivalent, find cheap saw palmetto online stands as a global symbol of repression. Why, find cheap saw palmetto online on this grand occasion marking the end of the Berlin Wall, find cheap saw palmetto online was there not more reflection or objection to the injustice caused by its contemporary counterpart? Perhaps, find cheap saw palmetto online it is because the word apartheid is something the world would prefer to forget, find cheap saw palmetto online and to which Israel itself takes grave exception. Find cheap saw palmetto online Apartheid, find cheap saw palmetto online after all, find cheap saw palmetto online is something of a historical embarrassment, find cheap saw palmetto online even if its existence and enforcement – whatever Israel might say – shamefully continues today for millions of Palestinians corralled in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, find cheap saw palmetto online 15 years after its demise in South Africa. But there is another, find cheap saw palmetto online altogether more worrying, find cheap saw palmetto online reason for our collective reticence over Israel’s shameful policy of closure and containment of the Palestinian people. It has to do with the way the world becomes cowed whenever the need arises to confront this “democratic” state over policies that fly in the face of international law and human rights conventions. Frankly, find cheap saw palmetto online I can almost understand this reluctance to criticise Israel, find cheap saw palmetto online given the relentless, find cheap saw palmetto online uncompromising and intimidating response the Jewish state invokes whenever it is challenged or questioned. Look no further, find cheap saw palmetto online for example, find cheap saw palmetto online than Jerusalem’s reaction to last month’s Goldstone Report findings on the recent war in Gaza. Alternatively, find cheap saw palmetto online ask any indivi­dual who has had the audacity to make public their objections to Israel’s wall or human rights violations, find cheap saw palmetto online only to find themselves on the receiving end of an often vitriolic Zionist lobby. One of the favourite responses of these Zionist cadres is to denounce any critic as an anti-Semite, find cheap saw palmetto online or if that doesn’t work, find cheap saw palmetto online an appeaser of terrorists. I remember well the first time I dared use the word apartheid in the context of Israel’s wall. In pointing out in an article that the Hebrew word “hafrada”, find cheap saw palmetto online which means “separation”, find cheap saw palmetto online was often now used as a virtual catch-all term for an apartheid existence between Israelis and Palestinians, find cheap saw palmetto online I was inundated with some very nasty email correspondence. How many of those who sent these emails, find cheap saw palmetto online I wonder, find cheap saw palmetto online would have known that as far back as 1999, find cheap saw palmetto online Ariel Sharon, find cheap saw palmetto online then Israel’s Foreign Minister, find cheap saw palmetto online spoke openly about the proposed wall, find cheap saw palmetto online referring to it as “the Bantustan plan”, find cheap saw palmetto online saying that the South African apartheid model offered the most appropriate solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? How many also would have known that it was one of Israel’s own prominent military historians, find cheap saw palmetto online Professor Martin van Creveld, find cheap saw palmetto online of the Hebrew University, find cheap saw palmetto online who was first to propose a wall round the West Bank, find cheap saw palmetto online and who drew his inspiration for that same proposal from the Berlin Wall, find cheap saw palmetto online after spending a year’s sabbatical in Germany in 1980-81? “If I could, find cheap saw palmetto online I would build a concrete wall so tall that even birds could not fly over it, find cheap saw palmetto online and above all, find cheap saw palmetto online so the people cannot look each other in the face – complete separation, find cheap saw palmetto online” Van Creveld is quoted as saying in an article, find cheap saw palmetto online some years before Mr Sharon, find cheap saw palmetto online when Israeli Prime Minister, find cheap saw palmetto online took his idea to heart and made the wall a bitter reality for those Palestinians who now live in its shadow. Of course, find cheap saw palmetto online whenever questions about the legality of the wall are raised, find cheap saw palmetto online Israel invariably responds with the same answer: “It stops the bombers and that’s all that matters.” But how can Israel insist on calling it a “security wall” when instead of just separating Israel from the West Bank, find cheap saw palmetto online it separates Arab from Arab? Indeed, find cheap saw palmetto online how could a people whose history is full of terrible ghettos now be building one themselves? For Israelis such as these, find cheap saw palmetto online there is simply no debate to be had. As far as they are concerned, find cheap saw palmetto online the crushing effects of the wall on the lives of millions of Palestinians is a small price to pay for the relative – if somewhat imaginary – guarantee of their own personal security. But to call it this way makes for a convenient defence of a policy they also know is little more than a land grab and indefensible in terms of international law. “If you want security for your house, find cheap saw palmetto online you build the wall in your own garden, find cheap saw palmetto online not in your neighbour’s, find cheap saw palmetto online” I remember Hassan Akramawi, find cheap saw palmetto online a Palestinian shopkeeper, find cheap saw palmetto online telling me near Abu Dis, find cheap saw palmetto online where the wall had cut his business off from the village customers who gave him a meagre income. For anyone who has never seen the wall, find cheap saw palmetto online it’s hard to over emphasise the sheer injustice of this concrete scar that gouges its way across olive orchards, find cheap saw palmetto online family homes, find cheap saw palmetto online grazing areas, find cheap saw palmetto online places of work, find cheap saw palmetto online schools and anything else that, find cheap saw palmetto online frankly, find cheap saw palmetto online the state of Israel has decided to confiscate. Its sheer physical size bears down when you are near it. The double standards displayed by many world leaders this week keen to add their ringing endorsement to the inhuman and intolerant rule the Berlin Wall represented, find cheap saw palmetto online while remaining steadfastly mute on Israel’s present-day incarnation, find cheap saw palmetto online is shaming to them all. As one old Palestinian man, find cheap saw palmetto online a resident of Abu Dis, find cheap saw palmetto online once put it to me succinctly: “Where is the world? Where is the world?” David Pratt Originally published on 13 Nov 2009 at http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/spl/dundee-united/berlin-wall-is-gone-but-israel-s-inhumane-barrier-still-stands-1.932008