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May 24th

Did Pope Francis get Israel’s security fence?

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As Hitler’s propagandists learned, if a Big Lie is repeated often enough, it will be believed. If the lie is repeated over and over that all Jews are no more than vermin and no less than the oppressors of humanity, thus worthy of extermination, it will be believed.

If so, then it behooves us to repeat a certain Big Truth over and over. The truth to which we refer is the impetus for and the nature of the security fence that divides pre-June, 1967 Israel from the West Bank of the Jordan River.

The Big Lie about the fence, which is actually a fence in some places and a tall wall in other places, is that it is intended to be a land grab by Israel of Palestinian territory and a means of restricting Palestinian trade and freedom of movement. The Big Lie, in other words, says that the security fence is meant to oppress Palestinians and suppress their national aspirations.

That is the lie. The truth is this: The security fence was devised by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2002 after repeated, supremely malicious and successful suicide bombings by Palestinians coming from the West Bank. These suicide bombings were meant to, and did, kill innocent men, women and children. These bombings maimed those in the immediate vicinity of the human beings they killed. These bombings were glorified. The perpetrator’s families were paid handsomely — and still are paid handsomely — by the Palestinian Authority. These bombings kept coming and coming during a war termed the “Second Intifada,” 2000-2005. These bombings were unstoppable — until, that is, Sharon said: We shall build a fence.

A physical barrier.

If, by intelligence and police work, we cannot stop these bombings, we shall do it the old fashioned way: with a barrier.

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall . . . ” Robert Frost famously wrote. How right he was. How repulsive it is that Israel must resort to a wall to keep its citizens safe. Put differently, how repulsive it is that Palestinians need a wall to stop their brutal desires. If, however, we have to choose between revulsion over a wall and acceptance of the inevitable murder of innocents, we choose the revulsion.

Pope Francis visited and prayed at Israel’s security fence, near graffiti that compared the fence to the Warsaw Ghetto. He was silent about that. We doubt he would have been silent had the graffiti read, “Kill all Catholics.” We wonder whether he took away the Big Lie or the Big Truth about this security fence. He should not push for the premature dismantling of this life-saving fence, but for eliminating its cause: indiscriminate Palestinian violence against unarmed people.

The Big Truth here is this: Effective, non-violent self-defense against terrorism is legitimate.

Copyright © 2014 by the Intermountain Jewish News

Last Updated ( Thursday, 29 May 2014 12:34 )  

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