Saturday, November 14, 2009

Why is this thing unlike the other?

In a piece commemorating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Douglas Hamilton reminisces on his euphoria the night the wall came down.  In the final paragraph of his story, Hamilton writes:
Now I work in Jerusalem, in another place scarred by fences and fortifications, by deep mistrust and by a forbidding wall, which is even taller than Berlin's. No one expects it to come down any time soon. But I hope it does not stand for 28 years.
As an experienced Reuters reporter living and working in Israel, Hamilton undoubtedly knows that 97% of the length of the Israeli security fence to which he refers is chain-link fence, significantly less odious than the Berlin Wall.

And he undoubtedly understands that whereas the Berlin Wall was built to prevent a people from escaping the ravages of a fascist ideological system employing oppression and terror, the Israeli security fence has been built to protect a people from the ravages of another fascist ideological system employing oppression and terror.

We too, hope it does not have to stand for 28 years.

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