Dividing the Conquered

While peace negotiations between Palestinians and the Israeli government teeter on the brink of collapse, construction of Ariel Sharon's 220-mile-long "wall of protection" relentlessly continues. Hundreds of yards of concrete and steel are erected every day, with the purported goal of protecting Israelis from Palestinian terrorists.

In fact, the wall as planned will be entirely inside Palestinian land—dividing Palestine from itself and usurping Palestinian territory in violation of the internationally recognized 1967 borders. In many cases the wall separates villages from their water supplies, children from their schools, workers from their jobs, and farmers from their land. After three generations of occupation, Palestinians will spend even more time at checkpoints and in lengthy detours, all under the scrutiny of Israeli soldiers in elevated watchtowers who will monitor Palestinian land—and apply lethal force if they choose.

Israel's desire for security is understandable, but building a wall to further imprison the Palestinian people is the wrong way to get there. Only a just peace agreement will provide real security—for Israelis and Palestinians alike.

If completed, Israel's wall will be 220 miles long and 25 feet high—three times as long and twice as high as the Berlin Wall—with a 30-to-100-yard-wide militarized "dead zone." Tens of thousands of trees are being removed in the construction process, and the effect on the watershed will be disastrous.

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Sojourners Magazine November-December 2003
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