You know it's a slow news week when SBS and ABC have to dig up some fringe, anecdotal claims of Israeli not-very-nice-ness and run it as though a press-stopping world event has just occurred.
Hamas are in the business of anti-Israel propaganda. Sometimes I wonder whether western news agencies actually give them ideas, instead of the other way around.
I recently watched an SBS "report" from the BBC (surprise) about Palestinian children being detained for throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers. Naturally, no mention was made of a string of injuries to which the IDF were responding. But even after wading through the usual excuses given (by the BBC, not the Palis), about occupation and oppression, I was still left aghast at how, exactly, this is supposed to be news.
I would love to test that theory by telling my son to go and throw bricks at council officers, call it a "legitimate expression of frustration against council rate rises", then see what happens.
Likewise, when it's a slow news week anywhere, attention invariably turns to Israel's security barrier in the West Bank, to placate the media's appetite for all things anti-Israel. The ecumenical social gospel choir of the World Council Of Churches once called it an "obscene concrete barrier" which "surrounds the West Bank".
This is despite the fact that the boundary is 90% wire fence, the concrete section of which barely covers the northern third of Bethlehem. This is the "wall" which activists, from substance-abusing recording artists, to known terrorists, to Bishops and green politicians, to Israel's own left-leaning university academics, refer to as the "apartheid wall". Yessir, you know a country is truly free when career-seeking individuals within it's public system use that very freedom to launch baseless attacks on that country's integrity.
The West Bank security fence facilitates border checkpoints and crossings to screen Palestinians crossing over into Israel for work, shopping, medical attention or other reasons (since they have so much trouble doing those kinds of things in their own territories). It's much the same practice as that in airports, when they assume the worst so they can achieve the best. Ever been through a checkpoint at an aiport? Did you cry "apartheid"? Why not? Those who aren't catching a plane don't have to go through such humiliation!
This crazy, draconian mentality on Israel's part might be something to do with the 1,000 plus Israelis killed since the "peace process" was put forward at Camp David in 2000, where Yasser Arafat bellowed his righteous refusal and stormed out like a petulant child. Yes, the ensuing "intifada" was a masterstatement of the Palestinian preparedness for peace. 1,000 Israelis dead, from violence emanating from the West Bank. Even when the intifada slowed down, sniping of Israeli children and passing motorists from valleys in the West Bank valleys continued.
Although I'm no military expert, I'm going to hypothesise on the possible options Israel had to deal with this:
1- Send in the IDF and shoot the place up until it stops, no doubt causing civilian deaths (despite their world-beating standards on preventing civilian casualties in the face of an enemy who enjoys death)
2- Bomb the armaments and weapons caches (same as above)
3- Carpet bomb the entire place (worse than both of the above)
4- Ask the PA to stop the violence. (Just kidding. I know it's ridiculous too. I just wanted to add an extra number)
5. Build a wall
Can you say "passive defence"? There are, indeed, more pragmatic reasons why the barrier is neccessary and in fact several reasons why the Arab bloc should welcome it if they truly seek stability in the region and a two state solution.
The concrete portion of the fence is, indeed, obscene. It's obscene that it is needed to stop bullets entering Israeli towns. A cursory look at Google Earth will demonstrate how the proximity of the concrete sections achieve this, while the rest of the barrier is wire fence and trenches. It's like an enima. It ain't pretty. But it works.
Airport checkpoints aren't very nice either. Sure, this analogy hardly addresses all the salient issues surrounding the Israeli SECURITY FENCE, but I'm not trying to address those. I'm trying to understand why the World Council of Churches, SBS, ABC, and The Washington Post among so, so many others, make such shrill, focussed efforts to portray Israel's defence of it's people as anything but what it really is. And why, for all the hand wringing, emotional terms and lamentating the inconvenience of Palestinians, the brutality which lead to it's construction is totally omitted.
Oh, and I can't help but wonder why not the same impassioned, heavily spun stories on the following (courtesy of American Thinker):
-A 112-mile-long barrier, with concrete, barbed wire, watchtowers, minefields and ditches -- that has sliced through Cyprus since 1974 to separate Turkish Cypriots from Greek Cypriots.
-A security barrier built by India through disputed Kashmir that runs hundreds of miles to blunt intrusion by Pakistan-based terrorists.
-Saudi Arabia's barrier to prevent infiltration of terrorists from neighboring Yemen, itself built in areas under dispute.
-The barrier that separates Protestants and Catholics in Belfast, which somehow has escaped any pejorative description like "apartheid wall." It's commonly known as the "Peace Line" -- a label that equally fits Israel's security barrier along the West Bank.
-The "Wall of Shame" -- a sand and stone barrier, mined in some places -- that protects Moroccans from Polisario terrorists in the Western Sahara.
- The U.S. barrier along the border with Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants
I guess I'll never know.