Another wall screaming to be torn down

By Hameed Abdul Karim

Recently Europe celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall amidst a lot of pomp and ceremony. As usual the Western electronic media went into hype mode showing pictures of the past, and what not, to add to the fun and frolic.

But while Europe and the rest of the West celebrate their triumphs over tyranny every now and then, they don't seem to have any qualms in supporting and even financing cruelty in other lands. One such example is in Occupied Palestine where Israel has constructed a wall that separates the indigenous Palestinian population and the Jewish Zionist occupiers. This is identical to the pernicious system of apartheid that the South African whites imposed on the natives there.

A demonstrator in a Santa Claus costume wears a mask to protect himself from teargas fired by Israeli soldiers during a protest by Palestinians and foreign peace activists against Israel's controversial separation barrier in the West Bank village of Bilin near Ramallah on December 25, 2009. The top Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land, Fuad Twal, called on the faithful to pray for peace in this troubled region at midnight mass in Bethlehem, Jesus's traditional birthplace. AFP

The Zionist spin doctors are masters at the game of double speak. So Israel's 'separation wall' is called a 'fence' at times and a 'barrier' at others. But former US president Jimmy Carter would have none of it and he unhesitatingly called it the 'apartheid wall' in his book 'Palestine - Peace Not Apartheid' only to be denounced as an anti-Semite in the very same Western media which once sang hosannas for him when he mollycoddled the Zionist state during his presidency. By the way, Jimmy Carter is a Nobel peace laureate.

The Zionist state has built the apartheid wall entirely on land stolen from the Palestinians and in flagrant violation of international law. The wall is projected to be at least three and a half times as long as Israel's UN declared border and cuts through Palestinian villages separating families from their homes and farmlands. The pretext is to protect Israeli 'settlements' in the 'neighbourhood' which are euphemisms or spin words for colonisation. But the actual objective is to prevent a viable Palestinian state from coming up.

In its arrogance the Zionist state has not spared the Palestinian Christians either. Read Jimmy Carter's lament in his book: “The wall ravages many places along its devious route that are important to Palestinian Christians. In addition to enclosing Bethlehem in one of its most notable intrusions, an especially heartbreaking division is on the southern slope of the Mount of Olives, a favorite place for Jesus and his disciples, and very near Bethany, where they often visited Mary, Martha and their brother, Lazarus.
“There is a church named for one of the sisters, Santa Marta Monastery, where Israel's thirty-foot concrete wall cuts through the property. The house of worship is now on the Jerusalem side, and its parishioners are separated from it because they cannot get permits to enter Jerusalem.

It's priest, Father Claudio Ghilardi, says for nine hundred years we have lived here under Turkish and Jordanian governments, and no one has ever stopped people coming to pray. It is scandalous. This is not a barrier. It's a border. Why don't they speak the truth?' Going further Father Gilardi says, ‘The Wall is not separating Palestinians from Jews; rather; Palestinians from Palestinians’. In addition, three convents will also be cut off from the Palestinian Christians. These convents will then come under the 'Israeli' side of the wall. As a consequence, about 2000 Palestinian Christians will lose their place of worship and their spiritual centre.”

But who will hearken to Carter’s plaintive cry in his country which, after all, finances the apartheid wall among other Israeli atrocities against the Palestinian people? Certainly not Barack Obama. He, like Prof. Noam Chomsky had predicted, is a prisoner of big business and the Zionist lobby.

The onus falls now on Europe. It's Europe's turn to pressurize Israel to give peace to the Palestinians. America's mask of an 'honest broker' in the Middle East has been ripped off. The Palestinians have suffered too much and for too long at the hands of the Zionist state of Israel.

Besides, there's another wall screaming to come tumbling down.

(The writer is the Vice President of the Sri-Lanka-Palestine Solidarity Movement)

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