Keep Building the Security Fence

(Jerusalem Post) - Zalman Shoval In two meetings with Prime Minister Sharon, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice expressed the administration's concern that the security fence being constructed by Israel is "creating facts on the ground that would prejudge a final settlement" between Israel and the Palestinians. Rice reportedly indicated that the U.S. would like to see construction stopped as "a confidence-building measure." The need for the security fence had been hotly debated in Israel for a long time, including by security experts, though public opinion has always been strongly in favor. While on the one hand there were those who reminded us that even the Great Wall of China didn't prevent the Mongol invasion, others elevated the fence as a panacea of a magnitude that would solve the terror threat. While the Right sternly opposed it, ironically, it was the Left, including some of Abu Mazen's former Oslo partners, who embraced the idea of the fence as their political platform. Since the wave of suicide bombings, the fence has shed most of its partisan aspects and it is now generally seen as a vital component in Israel's ability to fend off terrorism. One hopes that this artificial political issue will not obfuscate the really important issues of the road map, the most important and urgent of which is putting an absolute end to Palestinian terror and violence. Nor should there be any reason why the fence should create disagreements between Israel and the U.S. - both being committed to President Bush's vision of peace.

2003-07-04 00:00:00

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