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Tuesday, August 12, 2003

More Letters to the Camera - in response to Walker
Joe Madalia:
Dear Editor: In regard to Joan Walker's describing a "Berlin Wall" to keep "Palestinian culture" away from settlers, she is both wrong and right. The Israeli fence/wall has nothing to do with a "Berlin Wall". The "Palestinian culture" is the years of attempted genocide against Jews by Arab terrorists. Would you not want to protect yourself against people whose sole purpose in life is to kill your family? Can you even imagine such a condition? According to the "Road Map", Palestinian Arabs are supposed to disarm terrorist organizations to promote a true chance for peace. No steps have been taken whatsoever in that direction by the Palestinian Authority. So what is the real intention of the Palestinians?

Jon Blum:
Ms. Walker suggests that the security fence being built by Israel doesn't "work towards peace" and is "its own version of the Berlin Wall to keep Palestinian culture away from the settlers." Excuse me?? If your definition of "culture" is waves of suicide bombers intent on blowing up as many shoppers, bus passengers and other civilians as possible, then I sincerely question your command of the English language. It is somehow acceptable that the US has miles of "Berlin Wall" to keep unwanted Mexican immigrants from taking "our" jobs here, but it is not OK for Israel to build a fence to keep out countless numbers of hostile terrorists intent on killing as many men, women and children as possible? I'm sure you are aware that there have been NO successful suicide bombing missions launched from the Gaza Strip because . there already is a fence there! Wouldn't you agree that a fence could save lives on both sides?: 1) Fence keeps out (most) suicide bombers. 2) Israel is not forced to forcibly disarm the terrorists embedded in a civilian population, thus reducing the deaths of civilians on both sides.

Let's focus on the real reason for the Road Map stall: Prime Minister Abbas has publicly declared that he will NOT disarm Hamas and Islamic Jihad (last week's speech in Cairo), as REQUIRED under Phase 1 of the Road Map. Instead, Abbas, Ms. Walker, and much of the media focus on the security fence and insufficient prisoner release (both NOT issues under the Road Map.) Indeed Israel has taken its first steps towards its obligations by dismantling some illegal settlements, relinquishing security control in key West Bank cities, as well as good will gestures (e.g. prisoner release). The time has come for the world to recognize Israel's right to self defense, and the Palestinian's commitments and obligations to actively prevent terror so that this thin thread of hope for peace is not lost.