“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
–Ronald Reagan, Berlin 1987
In a move that calls to mind Ronald Reagan’s famous speech that marked the beginning of the end of the Soviet empire, anti-Occupation activists toppled a section of the Separation Wall separating the Palestinian villages of Nilin and Bilin from their farmland to the west. It was a bold and dramatic move that was met by the typical IDF response, hosing a foul spray smelling of feces and corpses upon the demonstrators.
The IDF would do well to remember this passage from Regan’s speech which could just as easily apply to Israel’s Wall:
As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner, ‘This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality.’ Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.”
The U.S. president perhaps did not realize how prescient his words would be and how soon realized. In a similar way, those Palestinians who toppled a section of the Separation Wall were doing so on faith that eventually the entire thing would topple in a frenzy of Palestinian jubilation.
Scores of East Germans gave their lives trying to flee to freedom. For the Palestinians, it is slightly different since the Wall separates them from what is rightly theirs, i.e. their own land. But they are no less willing to die for their own freedom and the IDF thugs have obliged with several cold blooded murders and maimings. Perhaps the IDF should remember what happened to those East German guards who shot their fleeing fellow citizens. They eventually faced justice just as I hope IDF officers will who gave the order to fire on unarmed Palestinian villagers and international peace activists.
Mr. Netanyahu, tear down this wall. Otherwise, just as in East Berlin in 1992, the Palestinians will begin by tearing it down for you.