Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hitchon, leave that wall alone!
Jose Assouline
Guest Opinion*

Walls are necessary and useful.

In fact, we all have walls around our home, our institutions and commercial
entities. They create a form of comfort and keep noxious elements out.

We are all impressed that Patrick Hitchon remembers the litany of numerical
identifiers of the U.N. resolutions pertaining to the wall separating Israel
from its neighbors of the West Bank ("We should enforce U.N. resolutions in
Middle East," Nov. 22). However, he conveniently seems to have difficulty
remembering the simple reasons for which it was built.

Here are some numbers to remember:

. More than 1,000 Israelis, as well as 64 foreign nationals, were
slaughtered by suicide bombers and other assaults.

. Women taking their children to school and others going to the supermarket
with grandma were shredded to pieces---all dead.

. Many innocent died in buses that exploded because suicide terrorists came
from across the border for no other reasons but to kill.

. Beginning in September 2000, 17,405 attacks in Israel and territories were

. Shots were fired at passing vehicles 2,199 times, roadside bombs were
detonated 1,091 times, 64 Israelis were killed, and another 657 bombs were
found and disarmed before they exploded.

Since its completion, Israel's Gaza/West bank security fence has proven to
be extremely effective in preventing aggressive infiltrations. Scientists
like numbers and objective data: Before the wall was erected: hundreds of
casualties; after: none (not for the lack of trying).

How is this for a good outcome?

Walls separate people, this one helps people on both sides survive.

Hitchon frequently projects to our community his revisionist views of
selective memory of historical facts. He ought to keep in mind that we are
at an age of technology that allows for rapid and accurate verification of
facts and events. He is not fooling anyone.

He is correct only in that many U.N. Security Council resolutions on the
subject have not taken hold. But who is to blame? Who did not abide to the
terms of the resolutions and preferred the lobbing of Qassam rockets
directed at school yards?

Who sent suicide bombers into buses? In his article, he asks the U.S. to
pressure Israel to remove the protective wall. Americans still harbor the
poignant memory of thousands of innocent people killed at the hand of
cowardly terrorist acts because of unprotected borders.

So, I say: Mr. Hitchon, leave that wall alone! At least until terrorism is
eradicated in the region and people of all creeds and religions can finally
live in just and equitable peace.