Of all the injustices associated with the occupation, the fence is the most blatant and the most costly.
It's planned length is 680 kilometers, and its estimated cost is close to 1.5 billion US Dollars. The International Court of Justice at The Hague has branded it a `war crime'.
More than anything else it embodies Israel's obsession with restricting the Palestinians' freedom of movement, with annexing more and more territory, and above all with ensuring that we `keep the Arabs out of our sight'. For, have we not always been taught that: “Out of sight, out of mind”?
Is there any security justification for the fence? Before its efficacy can be proven, we shall have had to pay its full monetary cost; we shall have uprooted tens of thousands of olive trees; hundreds of acres of cultivated land will have been laid waste; farmland and wells vital to Palestinian farmers will have been seized; more and more people will have been robbed forever of the right to freedom of movement; and we ourselves will become the target of more and more international condemnation.
Ehud Barak (former chief-of-staff and prime minister) once said: “We are here and they are there”. But the facts give the lie to this claim: long sections of the fence do not divide between `here' and `there', but rather between the various members and generations of Palestinian families, between Palestinian farmers and their land, between Palestinian children and their schools, etcetera (q.v. `seam area').
The `separation fence' may, in the short term, lessen the number of terrorist incidents. But has anyone weighed these possible benefits against the certain damage this fence will inflict? Has anyone taken account of the depth of hatred being stirred up by this fence? Can there be any doubt but that it distances us further than ever from any possibility of a lasting peace with the Palestinians? Let's not lose sight of the fact that the fence doesn't just imprison the Palestinians in cramped enclaves, it confines Israel too within a ghetto: in other words, it condemns us to remain nothing but an isolated bubble, it ensures that we will never become integrated into the Middle East.