While the world was focused on celebrating twenty years without the Berlin wall, perhaps it should have used the occasion to call for the breaching of Israel's wall which is contributing to the misery millions.
Watching the twenty-year old footage of the beginning of the fall of the Berlin Wall it was not hard to feel very emotional about a truly historic moment for freedom, amongst countless other ideals. You would hope that twenty years after walling people in – or out – the so called free world would have learnt the ultimate futility of such reactions to different ideologies. But no, humanity seems to be destined to repeat its mistakes over and over and over again.
As we were all watching those extraordinary pictures, and noticing how the journalists who’d covered it then and went back to cover it now have aged, there was another wall attracting precious little attention from the world’s media – in the West at least. This is a wall that is still being built, and while illegal under international law, perpetuates the oppression of an already desperately struggling people.
It must have been a bitter moment for Palestinians to watch the coverage of the breaching in Berlin when their everyday lives are made more and more difficult due to being encircled by the massive concrete structure which in places is twice as high as that built in 1961 by the Communist regime of East Berlin.
This is a wall constructed by the region's only nuclear power, which justifies it on the grounds that it's necessary to keep Israelis safe. It is being built by a regime that has a stranglehold on the people it killed at a ratio of 100-1 in the brutal, one-sided
Yet no international statesperson are crying “Mr Netanyahu, tear down this wall”. That's despite the disruption to life caused by the ongoing crisis in Palestine/Israel relations, which is both indisputable and arguably worse than that which resulted from a divided
But as with calls for
The victim card is being overtly played in
Goldstone’s brief – which he openly admitted accepting with hesitation because of the deeply politically charged nature of the task – was to investigate alleged violations of the laws of war and international human rights.
How prescient he was to hesitate.
Since his report, Palestinian President Abbas initially wanted to delay an inquiry because he was warned it would damage peace talks – i.e.
Thomas Friedman in this week’s International Herald Tribune has hit the nail on the head. He reckons the whole peace process has left the building – or as he said “left the realm of diplomacy”, and we should leave it at that but keep the phone on so when the two parties decide they are serious and not just wasting the world’s time, they make the call.
Unfortunately for the Palestinians they need the call to be made now as they watch their homes being smashed and land disappearing before their eyes for a wall that deliberately cuts deep into their territory.
That’s why when the world was watching the jubilation or reunification in
Palestinians have long seen the wall as a symbol of their humiliation. Protests against it have endured and now they want the attention the