The Fence

 Posted by on 29 July 2003 at 8:50 pm  Uncategorized
Jul 292003

Jay Nordlinger on The Fence:

A word — a too-breezy word — on the Middle East. The president, and a lot of other people, object to the fence that Israel proposes to construct along the West Bank. They don’t care about the fence along Gaza — because that’s already there (and effective). They care only about this new one.

They care because a fence is icky, psychologically. Its symbolism is terrible. “Can’t we all just get along?” (The answer is no.) These critics love to compare this fence to the Berlin Wall. “Tear down this wall!” Ha, ha, ha. Never mind that the Communists threw up their wall to keep their subjects in, and that the Israelis want to construct a fence to keep killers of their citizens out. Elementary logic does not apply when we’re emoting and posing.

President Bush said, “It’s very difficult to develop confidence between the Palestinians and Israel with a wall snaking through the West Bank.” Yeah, well, it’s very difficult to develop confidence when, day after day, terrorists come in to murder you. Look, the aim isn’t to join hands like hippies in a Coke commercial, singing about love. The aim is to achieve a kind of peace, or a lack of war and murder. We must keep things modest here (speaking of realism) — such a peace, cold and hard, not warm and fuzzy, would be achievement enough.

The fence is one of the most innocuous defenses the Israelis could devise. In fact, it’s sort of a test of intolerance of Israel: You don’t like it when the Israelis undertake retaliatory raids; you don’t like it when they carry out “targeted killings”; you don’t like it when they bulldoze the homes of terrorists; you don’t like the myriad other methods the Israelis employ. Well, how about a fence? You object to that, too? Okay: Is there anything the Israelis might do, to protect their citizens, that would be kosher by you? No? I guess the Israelis just have to fold their tents and go home.

But where’s home?

Perhaps in the sea. Or underground. Or in hell. But certainly not anywhere on earth. Oh, those Jews were just so much more noble and good when they were suffering and dying under Hilter. But now, they fight back and (horrors!) kick ass, despite one hand tied behind their back by the U.S. They’re just not altruist chic anymore, you know.


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