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Israel Needs a Border, not a Fence By: David Harsanyi
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, June 21, 2002


IN ITS MOST RECENT IMPOTENT attempt to put an end to the suicidal butchery arriving from the Palestinian territories, the Israeli government has proposed a fence that would run from the Salem checkpoint in the north to Kafr Qasem in the south, while another stretch of fence would run through the Jerusalem area. The planned length of the entire fence is around 115 kilometers, and it will cost around $1 million per kilometer. There has already been impassioned disagreement over how advantageous such a fence would be, considering it seemingly abandons Jews on the wrong side of the green line, but psychologically it unmistakably demonstrates what Israelis urgently desire and deserve: absolute separation from Arabs.

The poet Robert Frost once said that good fences make good neighbors. But please forgive Israelis if their attention isn't fixated on neighborly pursuits anymore. Rummaging through debris to recover the limbs and charred bodies of their slaughtered children, the latest victims of two suicide attacks in Jerusalem this past week, Israelis have a feeling of helplessness and anger.

The fence plan already has been denounced as a new "act of racism" by the Palestinian Authority, which makes many suspect it might be a first-rate idea after all. The PA opposes any separation between themselves and the Jews, primarily because it would reduce the opportunities to terrorize Israel's civilian population, and second, because they cling to the idea of "right of return" for all Arabs. Any fence, they say, would create an Arab "ghetto" -- though any quasi-intelligent person can glance at a map of the Middle East and immediately recognize which people are in a ghetto.

The foremost grievance against the new fence is that it would run through multinational neighborhoods and damage Arab businesses that rely on Israel's charitable, capitalistic society -- in much the same way the PA relies on funds from similar economies to keep its terror state up and running. Worldwide, there has been very little compassion about the effects of the Intifada on Israel's economy, which has seen over 2,000 businesses go bankrupt and unemployment rise from 8.8 percent to 10.6 percent. Over 270,000 Israelis are without jobs in a nation of only 6 million. Tourism, a stronghold of Israel's economy, is at its lowest point in a decade.

If Palestinian businesses suffer, they have only their support of depraved terrorists to blame. Last week, a Palestinian poll was published showing that a clear majority of the Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza regard the extermination of Israel as the proper goal of the Intifada. These people are not guiltless spectators but rather active participants. They are the enemy. That doesn't mean civilians should be slaughtered in retribution -- that is an Arab specialty -- there should, however, be a permanent and indissoluble separation between the populations.

Does any sane person still believes in the ludicrous notion that suicidal Arabs fight for a creation of disjointed Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza? They wage war for the eradication of Israel and the removal of the Jewish people from the Middle East. That's the veiled intention of the PA, the unambiguous intention of Hamas -- a group Arafat invited into the Palestine government a few weeks ago -- and the intention of all other terror groups, Arab governments included.

In response to a suicide bombing that killed 19 bus passengers and wounded 55 others in Jerusalem last week, the Israeli government also said it would seize and hold Palestinian lands until terror attacks against its civilians end. If that policy were ever honestly implemented, the IDF would be driving Palestinians over the Jordan River within months, because Arab terror against Jewish civilians will never end. From 1948 onward, it has been systematically employed against Israelis and Jews worldwide. The Associated Press reports that 70 Palestinian suicide-bombing attacks against Israelis have occurred since the current violence erupted in September 2000, killing 243 Jews.

Yet, even as children burn in detonated buses, the uninterrupted rationalization of suicide bombings continues from the likes of Cherie Blair, who said that "as long as young people feel they have got no hope but to blow themselves up, you are never going to make progress."

Not to be outdone, Ted Turner, who continues to demonstrate his rapidly deteriorating capacity for rational thought, says that "the Palestinians are fighting with human suicide bombers, that's all they have. The Israelis ... they've got one of the most powerful military machines in the world. The Palestinians have nothing. So who are the terrorists? I would make a case that both sides are involved in terrorism."

With this type of thinking in the West, and the pitiless extremism of Arabs, any thought of an independent Palestinian state along the pre-1967 borders should be obliterated right now. Permanent occupation of secure borders should begin now and terms of a Palestinian national homeland should be exclusively dictated by Israel, because only through her generosity can it ever come into existence. This may mean the implementation of population movement. If an Arab already in Israeli territory pledges allegiance to Israel and promises to maintain its strength and prosperity, he should be welcomed as a citizen of the free Jewish State. Others would have to pick up and leave. Israel should welcome any Jews from Arab lands in return.

Population exchange is nothing new. One of the most famous exchanges took place between India and Pakistan in the 1950s, when 8,500,000 Sikhs and Hindus from Pakistan fled to India and almost 6,500,000 Muslims moved from India to Pakistan. One need only look toward Kashmir to see what type of violence would consume India had this exchange not happened. In 1945, the Allies gave their consent in the Potsdam Agreement to the "humane and orderly transfer" of almost 3.5 million ethnic Germans from the Sudetenland and of over 9.5 million Germans from the "formerly German territories" of Poland, plus another more than 1.5 million people from other parts of Poland.

Israel has the moral right to remove terrorist sanctuaries and set up secure borders for a lasting pace with its neighbors. Whether they also desire this peace is irrelevant.


David Harsanyi is an NYC-based writer. Visit his website (http://dharsanyi.blogspot.com/) or email him at david_harsanyi@yahoo.com.


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