Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Land grab

Noam Chomsky and Neve Gordon have both written great, illustrative pieces on the case being brought before the International Court of Justice in The Hague over the "separation barrier" Israel has been constructing through the West Bank.

In a rare op-ed for the NY Times, Chomsky asserts that the barrier is not being built for protection, but rather for annexation.

"What this wall is really doing is taking Palestinian lands," he writes. "It is also — as the Israeli sociologist Baruch Kimmerling has described Israel's war of 'politicide' against the Palestinians — helping turn Palestinian communities into dungeons, next to which the bantustans of South Africa look like symbols of freedom, sovereignty and self-determination."

Furthermore, if Israel wants to build a wall to protect its citizens, it has every right to; except, it should be built within its recognized borders, inside the Green Line.

Neve Gordon hits a similar note in his piece for the Counterpunch website. Starting off with a telling analogy, Gordon also rebuffs the claim that the wall is built for security purposes.

"The major reason the Israeli government is failing to protect its citizenry is not because it isn't building the wall fast enough," he declares. "The major reason Israeli citizens are not safe is because the government has decided to continue the 37 year-old occupation and oppression of another people. The only way Israelis and Palestinians will ever be safe is if Israel ends the very occupation that this separation wall intends to perpetuate by confiscating more and more land."