Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Friday, October 29, 2004

This is coolbert: Much has been made in the media of the wall that the Israeli is building to separate themselves from the Palestinians. And much criticism has been leveled against Israel for creating the wall. Justification for the wall is not warranted, say the critics, and this will create even more animosity and hatred against Israel from the Palestinian side.

As a means of defense against unconventional warfare attack, walls of the type Israel is erecting HAVE proven themselves to be effective.

An effectiveness demonstrated in conflicts all over the world.

Effective in the sense that they act as a barrier to prevent the two warring factions from getting at one another. Relative peace is the result. Hostility is still present, but the factions cannot close and fight it out with one another.

It should be noted that the "wall" the Israeli is erecting, a structure about eighteen feet high, is being erected only in areas where Israeli communities are in direct line of fire from the Palestinian communities opposite them. This WILL prevent sniper fire from being directed at the Israeli inhabitants living in close proximity to the wall. The remainder of the barrier consists of anti-tank ditches, land mines, barbed wire fences, and monitoring devices, and in some instances watch towers.

Barriers of this sort have proven effective in places such as Northern Ireland and Cyprus.

In the early 1970's, the British, after separating the populaces in Northern Ireland, did build a wall similar to the one the Israelis are erecting. This DID separate effectively the living spaces of the Catholics and Protestants and prevented the communities from fighting it out in the streets. DID NOT END the problem, but was a way of controlling the hostility and violence. Incidents between the civilian populaces came down markedly when the wall was put up. A wall that remains up to this day. See a picture of this wall by clicking here.

In Cyprus, not so much a wall, but a fence and a cleared patch of land running the length of the island has been used to separate the Greek and Turkish communities. This barrier, patrolled by Canadian troops, has been in place for over twenty six years and has been effective. Again, the barrier makes for a separation of the warring populaces. Once they cannot get at one another, the level of violence becomes negligible or manageable. Read about the wall in Cyprus by clicking here.

How effective are these walls really? Well, consider this comment by a diplomat concerning the Israeli wall, which is not yet finished:

"EU Diplomat says Israeli Wall a Success

The EU's representative in the Middle East, Marc Otte, has conceded that the controversial wall being built by Israel in the West Bank has stopped Palestinian extremists from carrying out suicide attacks in Israel. His comments, made in an interview with Financial Times Deutschland, make him the first high-level EU diplomat to publicly say that the barrier has fulfilled its aim. "The barrier has drastically sunk the number of attacks," said the Belgian diplomat. However, although he admitted that the number of attacks has fallen, he told FT Deutschland that it does not mean that he finds the wall good. Marc Otte said that the problems with the wall and international law remain. The International Court of Justice has criticised the course of the wall which, in parts, runs over Palestinian territory and not along the Green Line -- the pre-1967 border. ("

Good fences make for good neighbors. Does NOT remove the root cause of the problem, but does allow for a controlling of hostilities and a separation of the warring factions. Not a panacea, but a part of lessening tensions that works.



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