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