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