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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 discount ayurslim I’m bracing myself for being called an anti-Semite, find discount ayurslim an appeaser of terrorists and propagandist for the Palestinian cause. I’m none of those things. I say this simply because these days, find discount ayurslim it seems, find discount ayurslim 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 discount ayurslim I thought, find discount ayurslim for any Palestinian in the village of Abu Dis, find discount ayurslim 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 discount ayurslim but simply because I know it well, find discount ayurslim having spent some time there over the years. Find discount ayurslim Indeed, find discount ayurslim 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 discount ayurslim scant mention was made of Israel’s illegal “separation wall” which today, find discount ayurslim like its bygone equivalent, find discount ayurslim stands as a global symbol of repression. Why, find discount ayurslim on this grand occasion marking the end of the Berlin Wall, find discount ayurslim was there not more reflection or objection to the injustice caused by its contemporary counterpart? Perhaps, find discount ayurslim it is because the word apartheid is something the world would prefer to forget, find discount ayurslim and to which Israel itself takes grave exception. Find discount ayurslim Apartheid, find discount ayurslim after all, find discount ayurslim is something of a historical embarrassment, find discount ayurslim 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 discount ayurslim 15 years after its demise in South Africa. But there is another, find discount ayurslim altogether more worrying, find discount ayurslim 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 discount ayurslim I can almost understand this reluctance to criticise Israel, find discount ayurslim given the relentless, find discount ayurslim uncompromising and intimidating response the Jewish state invokes whenever it is challenged or questioned. Look no further, find discount ayurslim for example, find discount ayurslim than Jerusalem’s reaction to last month’s Goldstone Report findings on the recent war in Gaza. Alternatively, find discount ayurslim ask any indivi­dual who has had the audacity to make public their objections to Israel’s wall or human rights violations, find discount ayurslim 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 discount ayurslim or if that doesn’t work, find discount ayurslim 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 discount ayurslim which means “separation”, find discount ayurslim was often now used as a virtual catch-all term for an apartheid existence between Israelis and Palestinians, find discount ayurslim I was inundated with some very nasty email correspondence. How many of those who sent these emails, find discount ayurslim I wonder, find discount ayurslim would have known that as far back as 1999, find discount ayurslim Ariel Sharon, find discount ayurslim then Israel’s Foreign Minister, find discount ayurslim spoke openly about the proposed wall, find discount ayurslim referring to it as “the Bantustan plan”, find discount ayurslim 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 discount ayurslim Professor Martin van Creveld, find discount ayurslim of the Hebrew University, find discount ayurslim who was first to propose a wall round the West Bank, find discount ayurslim and who drew his inspiration for that same proposal from the Berlin Wall, find discount ayurslim after spending a year’s sabbatical in Germany in 1980-81? “If I could, find discount ayurslim I would build a concrete wall so tall that even birds could not fly over it, find discount ayurslim and above all, find discount ayurslim so the people cannot look each other in the face – complete separation, find discount ayurslim” Van Creveld is quoted as saying in an article, find discount ayurslim some years before Mr Sharon, find discount ayurslim when Israeli Prime Minister, find discount ayurslim took his idea to heart and made the wall a bitter reality for those Palestinians who now live in its shadow. Of course, find discount ayurslim whenever questions about the legality of the wall are raised, find discount ayurslim 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 discount ayurslim it separates Arab from Arab? Indeed, find discount ayurslim how could a people whose history is full of terrible ghettos now be building one themselves? For Israelis such as these, find discount ayurslim there is simply no debate to be had. As far as they are concerned, find discount ayurslim 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 discount ayurslim you build the wall in your own garden, find discount ayurslim not in your neighbour’s, find discount ayurslim” I remember Hassan Akramawi, find discount ayurslim a Palestinian shopkeeper, find discount ayurslim telling me near Abu Dis, find discount ayurslim 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 discount ayurslim it’s hard to over emphasise the sheer injustice of this concrete scar that gouges its way across olive orchards, find discount ayurslim family homes, find discount ayurslim grazing areas, find discount ayurslim places of work, find discount ayurslim schools and anything else that, find discount ayurslim frankly, find discount ayurslim 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 discount ayurslim while remaining steadfastly mute on Israel’s present-day incarnation, find discount ayurslim is shaming to them all. As one old Palestinian man, find discount ayurslim a resident of Abu Dis, find discount ayurslim 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