The security fence will not provide security. It is a way to confiscate farming land and destroy the lives of individuals. It is a way of trying to dictate a border but dictated borders make for bad neighbors whereas agreed borders make for good neighbors.
Saeb Erekat / Diplomatic Club Magazine, May 2003.
[…] The wall is merely an expression, in a concrete form, of what is already there, a high degree of segregation and wish for separation, a mentality, a feeling which is widely present in the public […] so to work against the wall means working against this, changing the mentality […] the question is what it means to work against it, in both publics, both the Palestinian and the Israeli […] it means to know that public, and to know how to bring the issue of non-separation in a way that still moves them…
Artists without Walls, 2004
I was never in favor of the security fence. I always stated that one cannot bypass the need for an agreement. Those who think the fence will bring security are deceiving themselves. It will not provide any help in bringing either security or peace. It is a very expensive project, pointlessly channeling much needed money away from the Israeli public, at a time when it is cruelly needed.
Yossi Beilin / Diplomatic Club Magazine, May 2003
[…] A wall between us and the other side, so tall that even the birds cannot fly over it ... so as to avoid any kind of friction for a long, long time in the future. History proves that walls work. The Roman wall worked for hundreds of years... the Great Chinese Wall worked, not forever, but for hundreds of years... the wall in Korea has been working for fifty years... the wall between Turks and Greeks in Cyprus is working... the Berlin Wall worked beautifully... Unfortunately, the Israeli army insists against all military logic on being present on both sides of the wall. We could formally finish the problem at least in Gaza, in 48 hours, by getting out and building a proper wall. And then of course, if anybody tries to climb over the wall we kill him.
Martin van Creveld / CounterPunch, November 16, 2002
Unilateral Separation as Roadmap Insurance
“This new wall is a monument to the Israeli-Palestinian tragedy… emerging as the longest Wailing Wall in the history of mankind. But unlike the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, this wall will have people wailing on both sides. Jews will be mourning the collapse of their dream of a Jewish democratic state, and Palestinians will be mourning their own lost opportunity to translate all their sacrifices into a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel… It is a monument to destruction, to failure. It will be a place where people will come to mourn the dreams which didn’t come true.”
Yaron Ezrahi / The New York Times, Septemebr 8, 2003
It is hard to find anyone in Israel or the world who questions Israel's right to defend itself by a legitimate means such as a fence, although there are some, Israelis and others, who claim that the fence is not consistent with the kind of relations Israel should try to foster with the Palestinians in the framework of a permanent settlement.
Shlomo Brom / Strategic Assessment, 2004
Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies / TAU
“Separation” has become a catch phrase, though few people know the differences in the nature and underlying conceptions of the various separation plans.
Security separation/security disengagement means the erection of a physical barrier with technical devices, but without any change in the location of Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
[…] Any “security separation” unaccompanied by diplomatic initiatives cannot achieve full security, as it does not take into account the roots of the conflict and the resulting Palestinian motivations
[…] The “security separation” should be regarded as a first stage in disengaging the populations along a political deployment line, based on recognition of the present reality alongside the willingness for a comprehensive solution that will be achieved in the future by negotiations.
Uri Sagie and Gilead Sher: Policy paper - Draft for public debate, 2002
Separation is “a counsel of despair,” [but] “the current situation is awful. We remain in a neocolonial relationship with the Palestinians, which forces us to do things that are incompatible with being a democracy”.
Shlomo Avineri, The American Conservative, 2003
The wall is a mistaken endeavor, but we are not ready for a borderless world. States – especially those that have been involved in bitter conflicts and mutual violence –desire exclusivity. Our notions of borderless worlds and shared spaces are only as good as the mutual desires of the two peoples. It may work in Western Europe today, but Bosnia, Cyprus, and Israel-Palestine (to name but a few) have not quite arrived there yet. Maybe one day we'll be ready for a single state in which neither of the two national groups feel threatened – physically or demographically – by the other. But we are a long way from that scenario.
The process will be slow and must start with a recognition of Palestinian independence and an end to the Occupation, a major decline in violence on both sides, followed by the gradual opening of the walls and the sharing of each others' experiences – past and present. Perhaps then we will be able to share the small piece of real estate, which is Israel-Palestine without continually fearing that the "other" wants it all for himself.
David Newman / Tikkun Magazine, November-December 2003