March 26, 2008

Fencing Israel

Posted in conflict at 6:05 pm by greensstoptheboycott

An unpolemical piece by Haim Watzman in Orion Magazine about the impact of the security barrier on desert life. It ends:

“Like Boral (and Bar-Hai and all the other Israelis I quote here), I have fought for this land in wars and conflicts. When a piece of land is part of your history, your religion, your identity, when you’ve defended it and seen people die for it, you want to protect it, preserve it—and possess it. And yet these feelings do not trump the fact that another people live on this land and feel no less powerful an attachment to it. I do not wish to be a part of a society founded on an injustice, so I support the Palestinians’ right to have their own country, even if it means giving up this place to which I am so fiercely attached.

As a former soldier, I know that added security for my country often means misery for the Palestinians. The fence is meant to protect me, but it will scar the land we share. As a lover of and frequent hiker over its mountains and through its canyons, I cannot bear to see the desert also under attack. But I do not want to return to the days of the bus bombings, when I had to fear for the lives of my children when they took public transportation to and from school. There are no ideal solutions here, only risks, and a choice between a set of unattractive options. That is part of our tragedy.”



  1. Jack Hughes said,


    I really feel sorry for you.

    The green movement has been infiltrated by extreme lefties in the same way that the militant tendency infiltrated the labour party in the 80s.

    These people have no interest at all in the environment. Maybe you should challenge them about their own lifestyles. Does “Aled” have a compost heap ? Does “Matt” grow anything in his garden ?

    Do you meet these people on a social level at all ? Why not point at a bird and see if they recognize it. Or a plant. Or even a breed of dog. True environmentalists know about these things. Dig beneath the surface a bit – are they green on the outside and just BS on the inside ? I think they are phoneys.

    I have to declare an interest here. I do have a compost heap – two in fact. I do grow quite a lot of food. OK – I will confess now – I go heli-skiing for about 10 days a year. I would do more but its not cheap. But I cycle to most places in town. I walk my children to school. I recognize birds – ‘er indoors is even better. I recycle loads of stuff – and even repair and re-use.

    Best thing is I do not indulge in this Dave Spart student-union nonsense.

    Good luck – be strong.

  2. Matt Sellwood said,


    I work full time for a small climate change charity.

    But obviously, I don’t care about the environment (!)

    Do you really think it is appropriate to make sweeping statements about people you have never met?


  3. miravogel said,

    Jack, I think there was some encouragement for anti-boycotters somewhere in amongst the piss-taking.

    Matt is right to point out in a comment on a previous thread that we should not demonise or risk stereotyping people on the far left. Let me attempt, although I’m sure somebody better versed in socialist history would do a better job, to dissociate myself from your particular comment about “extreme lefties”. Socialism is currently marginalised to the extent that many socialists feel that expressing their views in revolutionary terms is the best course of action. But in another time and another place the core views of what you call “extreme lefties” were not extreme (I don’t use ‘extreme’ in a pejorative sense, and I’m talking about the 1930s when Communists organised the major opposition to Fascism in Europe and constituted the main force for, say, the emancipation of African Americans in the US, and the alleviation of life-threatening poverty in the industrialised world) and maybe they won’t be extreme in years to come.

    So no red baiting here. Please distinguish between the left in general and the hard-left anti-Zionists who apply double standards to the Israel-Palestine conflict, and who we should consider our big headache.

  4. Jack Hughes said,


    Read what I wrote. I only mentioned you in a question. Maybe answer the question by telling us what you grow in your garden. A bit more detail on how green your own lifestyle is. For example I am 100% hydro-electric (my house – not me).


    Your defence of the “extreme left” puzzles me. Have you ever heard of the Berlin Wall ? Was it built by right-wingers ? Did it just fall down by itself – freeing millions of people trapped in communist oppression ?

    PS: its actually OK to just have no opinion at all on all kind of subjects.

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