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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

May 31, 2003

Separation Wall goes unreported

How Come?

The building of the wall could be a very explosive issue both in Israel and the territories. The story can't seem to get traction and not for lack of some groups trying.

In Israel, B'Tselem and Gush Shalom keep monitoring progress and reports every deviation of the Wall from the green line. Their reports focus on the effects on the "Palestinians". The Guardian has written extensively as has the Palestine Monitor. All complain about the confiscation of land. Even an international group have issued a report on the impact on the ground. Israel stands widely condemned.

But I bet you are hardly aware of what's going on. It is almost a non story. Many think that the President determines what is news. If he refers to the settlements, everyone reports on it. If he doesn't refer to the separation wall, no one reports on it.

Although the wall was to stay very close to the green line and was to be temporary and was needed for security, something else seems to be happening. It is carving out a path to include as much land and Israelis living in the territories as possible or practicable. The land on the west side of it is being taken over in one way or another by Israel. And the State Department and Bush are silent. At a time when they are demanding that Israel make gestures, dismantle settlements and institute a freeze even on natural growth, they have nothing to say about the wall. I don't know about you, but it strikes me as surprising to say the least.

We also hear that Sharon is thinking about a Palestinian state on only 50% of the territories. This has always astounded me. With all the pressure he is under, how does he think such a state would be acceptable.

Perhaps the wall is the answer. Has the US tacitly approved?