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The Therapy Sessions
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Walled off and seething

Israeli barrier 'saving lives':
'IT'S working and it has proved its purpose every day,' Lieutenant Colonel Shai Brovendeer says, lauding the efficiency of the barrier Israel is building in the West Bank to prevent Palestinian attacks.

During a guided tour of the barrier in the northern West Bank, Brovendeer is striving to present to foreign journalists what Palestinians have dubbed the 'Apartheid wall' in the most favourable light.

Since Israel started erecting its controversial barrier in June 2002, 230km have been completed, essentially in the northern West Bank.

The last suicide attack in Israel took place in March 2004. There have been only four since the end of October last year, despite the killings of Hamas leaders Yassin and Rantisi, each of which brought warnings of devastating future attacks.

Two years ago, there were several a month, every month.

Who could not applaud a nonviolent action that has stopped so much violence?

Oh, why do I even bother to ask? The UN condemned the wall, most of Europe disapproved, and the Arab World seethed (do they ever do otherwise?). They say that it's a territory grab, and they are partially right.

But I couldn't care less. Arafat was offered practically all the land that Israel is now taking, and he turned it down. In rejecting a deal, Arafat single-handedly doomed the most dovish government Israel is likely to have for the next decade.

As a gift, he got Sharon.

Nice work, Yassir.

But Arafat wasn't just being stubborn.

What the Left seems completely unable to understand is that Yassir Arafat can never make peace with Israel. He has painted himself inot a corner, and his only power is derived from his oppostion to Israel.

In order to bolster that power, he has invited some really unsavory people to help him out: Hamas and Hezbollah are always there with suicide bombers to help him make political points. But now that he has these "friends," Arafat couldn't get rid of them if he wanted to. And he is finding that often they are calling the shots.

If Arafat would have made peace with Israel and accepted Barak's terms(against the wishes of Hamas), he would have been dead in a month. Too many of his current "friends" will never live in peace with Israel. They have committed themselves to its destruction.

So Arafat continues his "intifada" and Israel builds its wall. On its own terms.

But Israel holds the cards. When the wall is complete, those same forces that help keep the heat on Israel will be looking for something to do. When they find that there aren't good Jew-killing opportunities available, it is very likely that they will turn on Arafat.

The end result of Israel's wall may be a Palestinian civil war.

It couldn't happen to a nicer people. In a recent opinion poll, 70% of Palestinians said that Israel had no right to exist.

That is, the Palestinians choose war.

How fitting it would be if they only got war with themselves.

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