Lawrence of Cyberia published a very important post, One Thousand, Two Hundred And Seventy-Six People Per Week, about the complete ineffectuality of Israel’s Separation Wall. You know, that’s the miracle barrier meant to seal off Israel from terror attack. The same one whose purpose was never in a million years to make a land grab for Palestinian territory outside the Green Line. The same one that has cost billions to build. The same one which the World Court called a violation of international law.
Diane Mason’s post shows the utter futility of the Wall as security barrier. And she shows it with statistics furnished by the Israeli police themselves:
Israeli politicians tell us that their only purpose in building the Wall is to secure Israel from suicide bombers, and that its proven track record in that regard justifies its continuing construction on Palestinian land: as if we are too stupid to read for ourselves the Israeli security service’s warning that the respite in suicide bombings is due to the truce that Hamas has maintained, and not the Wall, which the militants have already learned to bypass.
…Although the Wall is capable of inflicting misery on a great many Palestinians, it is difficult to believe that it is capable of keeping suicide bombers out of Israel, seeing as it is already proving incapable of keeping out thousands of Palestinians who circumvent it to avoid being cut off from work or other essential services.
A news item…was broadcast…[recently] on Israel’s Channel Two:
“Last night, Israeli television broadcast a report showing Tel Aviv police hunting Palestinian workers who bypass the Wall to look for work.
A Channel Two camera crew accompanied Israeli police patrols as they raided construction sites and arrested workers who were sleeping outside or in builders’ workshops…
The report revealed that Israeli police said they arrested 17,620 Palestinian workers inside the Green Line during the last two months. It also reported that 2,552 were arrested in the past two weeks…
The report said in conclusion: ‘The wall, siege, security cordon, police patrols and border guards have not prevented tens of thousands of workers from reaching Tel Aviv every month’”.
Two thousand, five hundred and fifty-two arrests in just two weeks adds up to an awful lot of people circumventing Israel’s Wall. And of course those numbers reflect the absolute minimum number of Palestinians who successfully bypass it, as they count only those who are arrested while working inside Israel, not those who remain there undetected.
Israelis can believe if they want to their own propaganda about how the dreadful things they do to the Palestinian people are necessary for “security needs”. If they are more comfortable believing that the Wall in the West Bank is a defensive measure that has stopped the suicide attacks, rather than a land-grabbing measure which – from a security perspective – leaks like a sieve, I guess they have that right. But they don’t have the right to expect the rest of us to be stupid enough to believe it too.
The next time Israeli apologists tell you that the Wall is a security measure that keeps suicide bombers out of Israel, just remember the number 1,276. One thousand, two hundred and seventy six is – at a minimum – the average number of permit-less Palestinians who bypass the Wall on a weekly basis to work in Israel. They are asking you to believe that the destitution Israel’s West Bank land grab inflicts on some of the poorest people on earth is justified because a wall which is breached at least 1,276 times a week by undocumented workers is nevertheless impermeable to suicide bombers. That’s what they’re asking you to believe.
That’s how stupid they think you are.
I did some math and it works out that if you annualized the numbers in the Channel 2 report 67,000 Palestinians would be arrested in a year within Israel. But as Diane says, that’s not how many actually cross over the wall to work illegally in Israel. Even if you presume that some of those 67,000 may be the same individuals arrested more than once, the number of individuals crossing must be at least twice or more higher. So a very conservative estimate would find well over 100,000 Palestinians crossing the Green Line. We can even concede that it’s possible that some of those crossing are not physically crossing the Wall since it is not complete in certain places.
But the truth of Diane’s claim remains solid. The Wall is a sham as a security measure. It is a shibboleth meant to allow Israeli politicians to soothe the Israeli populace that they are doing something to protect them from terror. It may even be possible that it poses some slight obstacle to a would-be terror bomber. But whatever obstacle it poses is minor indeed as you look at these images that Diane features at her blog.