Defense of separation wall = Prize for service to humanity

on 12 Comments

Wieseltier is in the money:

New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier has been awarded with the $1 million Dan David prize [from a foundation at Tel Aviv University], Israel’s pre-eminent award for individuals who have made “an outstanding contribution to humanity.”

In its announcement, the Dan David Prize Board called Wieseltier ”a foremost writer and thinker who confronts and engages with the central issues of our times, setting the standard for serious cultural discussion in the United States.”

Wieseltier’s latest column denies the validity of Palestinian resistance to occupation in defending Israel’s separation wall– which Palestinians call the apartheid wall, as it seeks to take as much land as it can with as few Palestinians on it, carving out places for Jews on occupied lands.

These comprehensive fortifications. . . make Israel safer. Since the threats encircle Israel, the barriers encircle Israel. Their efficacy from the standpoint of security cannot be denied. . . . It was not until Palestinian “resistance” chose to rely on suicide bombers that the big, cold wall was raised. . . . About the racial character of the wall the Palestinians are wrong. . . .

The spectacle of the Jewish state behind walls is a melancholy sight. . . Of course Tel Aviv and its environs, the metropolitan miracle on the coast, is the antithesis of a confinement–it feels like the future, even if sometimes also like a fool’s paradise.

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12 Responses

  1. Cliff
    February 16, 2013, 11:17 am

    Zionists patting other Zionists on the back for being Zionists.

    What a farce.

  2. pabelmont
    February 16, 2013, 11:44 am

    Lotta ways to earn $1M. This hasbara prize is like a book contract, sorta, and a lot easier (if you already hold a mcrophone). Wonder what Joan Peters made on “From Time Immemorial”.

  3. piotr
    February 16, 2013, 3:55 pm

    Wieselter is not really defending the wall as it exists, after “party line” preamble defending the concept of security through fortifications.

    The argument from security cannot account for the precise contours of the partition. “Before I built a wall I’d ask to know / What I was walling in and walling out,” declares the most celebrated poem about fences, “and to whom I was like to give offense.” The West Bank wall denotes not only protection but also domination. A wall is an instrument of power, a political interpretation of space. It has two sides, and they are experienced differently. The wall has been cunningly drawn to include many Israeli settlements in the West Bank on the Israeli side of the line: it is a blunt premonition of sovereignty. It has also senselessly disrupted the communal and economic life of many Palestinians.
    the dead calm of Israel’s Palestinian policy, the ominous stagnation that is Benjamin Netanyahu’s contribution to the annals of his country’s diplomacy, is insanely shortsighted, a consequence of indifference abetting fanaticism
    Lapid is new to the cause, if indeed he has joined it. He will merely provide more cover for more settlement and more drift.

    The spectacle of the Jewish state behind walls is a melancholy sight. Historically and philosophically, it is a disappointment; and a failure, too

    This is the half-empty glass of Zionist liberalism. The situation is not nice. Wieselter has a very light hand describing the oppression, but he acknowledges that (he reminds me a Polish member of Parliament who visited a farm and partook in some farmwork, and she told the reporter “when you stand knee deep in what you know and I understand…”). But of course, even as a citizen of the last remaining superpower, he cannot imagine doing something about it.

  4. dbroncos
    February 16, 2013, 5:32 pm

    “The spectacle of the Jewish state behind walls is a melancholy sight. . . ”

    Indeed. In designing the wall to keep Palestinians out, among other things, the wall has also had the powerful symbolic effect of walling in the Jewish state. This symbolism isn’t lost an a watching world. Warsaw comes to mind except in this case it’s Israeli Jews who have built their own wall around a ghetto-state where they’re living a life of make believe in places like the “metropolitan miracle on the coast.”

  5. jimmy
    February 16, 2013, 7:44 pm

    sure this has already been seen


    ‘Force to be reckoned with’: Israel’s settlers dig in ahead of Obama visit

    Leaders of the settler movement see clouds gathering as Obama’s visit draws closer. But they remain defiant.
    “We understand that Obama as a second term president is much more dangerous to the settlements than the first term Obama and we need to keep our eyes wide open,’’ Dilmony said.
    “When he comes here he should meet us, the settlers, and see the situation for himself,” Dilmony said.
    On only point is Dilmony likely to be in agreement with the US administration.
    “Peace can only come from the people who live here,’’ he said.

    I have no respect for obama….he is going to a nation that actively tried to defeat him….now he going there to get…the talk

    • MK_Ultra
      February 17, 2013, 1:03 pm

      He will do exactly that, as he has done in the past, see how they live while blatantly and shamelessly ignoring how the other side lives:

      “And then I went down to the border towns of Storok (ph), which had experienced missiles raining dowm from Hamas. And I saw families there who showed me there where missiles had come down near their children’s bedrooms. And I was reminded of what that would mean if those were my kids. Which is why as president, we funded an Iron Dome program to stop those missiles.” – Barack Obama, on his third presidential debate on NBC, Oct. 23, 2012, touting his first apology tour of ISreal as a candidate in 2008.

      I’m with you. The guy is Pepto-Bismol revolting!

  6. palijustice
    February 16, 2013, 8:26 pm

    Not only does Wieseltier fail to mention theat the wall cuts into Palistinian territory, sometimes deeply, but tens of thousands of settlers live on the “Palestinian side” of the wall. The settlers have nice roads to use, roads for Jews only, to go back and forth through the wall to get to Tel Aviv and the sea in a pleasant car ride. The Palestinians are trapped on “their” side, having to travel on roads full of check points, making it arduous, and sometimes impossible, to travel from one village to another. It’s apartheid people, pure and simple.

    • piotr
      February 17, 2013, 2:07 pm

      My block quote was perhaps a bit too long but I made bold what you say that Wieseltier “failed to mention”.

      THIS IS NOT A DEFENSE OF THE WALL. It is a contorted column, hence can be misleading. Wieseltier attempts to eat the cake — criticize the policies of Israel — and eat it, i.e. be in good graces with Israeli and pro-Israeli establishment and maintain his good standing in those circles, and quite serious financial benefits. Thus the pre-amble of wall justification is long, and the criticism is terse and so on.

      He even complains that Obama is not doing anything. The way I see it, liberal Zionists made a foolish mistake and they do not know how to exit a trap. The mistake was that they collaborated with the extremist Zionist (who have the majority within Israel, but not within USA) to be on “the inside of the community”, with psychological and financial comforts that it offers. So they keep their criticism in “constructive bounds”, avoiding taboos like calling for sanctions on Israel (the number of taboos is extensive, one of them being critiques without contexts, hence the long context in the column). But this does not do any good. Their hope was that outside pressure will save them.

      But the problem is that as long as they behave that way, there is no salvation because the “organized Jewish community”, to use the words of Elliot Abrahms (or “the Lobby”) is too good in nixing it. Thus the liberals are useful idiots (or useless from our perspective). Yet, I see that the time of change is coming, and it can take a relatively short time. Thus I would stick to criticizing them mostly on the point — it is nice but useless to be melancholic, an intellectual has to seek a way to change it, and if there is a better way than sanctions, please let us know.

  7. Avi_G.
    February 16, 2013, 9:37 pm

    These comprehensive fortifications. . . make Israel safer.

    Wieseltier got the talking points, but skipped the reality tour.

    1. These so-called “fortifications” came about as a result of the Oslo Accords. Israel built them knowing full well that the so-called “interim” agreement was a permanent one. It built the Separation Wall on Palestinian land. This has little or nothing to do with “security”, nevermind the irony of crying and shooting, militarily occupying, murdering and starving a people and then expecting them to lay down and roll over.

    But, never mind. One need not buy into that idea to see the fallacious claims advanced by the weasel. Consider these other points:

    2. Every day, thousands of Palestinians cross the wall into Israel. This is a documented fact. If Palestinians wanted to carry out attacks in Israel, they wouldn’t be hindered by the wall.

    3. The Separation Walls Israel has built are not exclusive to so-called borders or ceasefire lines. In fact, Israeli authorities have built walls around non-Jewish locales inside Israel itself.

    So this so-called “fortification” theory is a mere cloak for Israel’s racist and bigoted policies. These walls were built between the Jewish and non-Jewish citizens of Israel, due to policies that have nothing to do with Israel’s alleged “security” concerns along the Green Line or otherwise.

    See here for more information on these separation walls:

    Since the threats encircle Israel, the barriers encircle Israel.

    False. The “barriers”, as weasel calls them, are used inside Israel to encircle the non-Jewish citizens of Israel and to GHETTOIZE them, a concept with which I’m certain European Jews are familiar.

    Their efficacy from the standpoint of security cannot be denied. . . . It was not until Palestinian “resistance” chose to rely on suicide bombers that the big, cold wall was raised

    Demonstrably false; see above. Let’s not beat a dead horse, Mr. weasel-prize-winner.

    . . . . About the racial character of the wall the Palestinians are wrong. . . .

    Whenever a hack makes an assertion about Palestinians, one need only invert that claim to arrive at the truth.

    has been awarded with the $1 million Dan David prize [from a foundation at Tel Aviv University],

    Most Zionists do Hasbara for free. It would appear that Israel got robbed in this case.

    Incidentally, this “literary prize” reminds me of Obama’s Nobel Peace prize. It’s satire of Orwellian proportions.

  8. Shmuel
    February 17, 2013, 8:42 am

    I would expect nothing less of a foundation “headquartered” at a university built on ethnically-cleansed land (a fact it won’t even commemorate with a lousy plaque — see the epilogue on Shaykh Muwwanis in Shlomo Sand’s “Invention of the Land of Israel”).

    As for living “behind walls” (Where does Wieseltier think Palestinians live? In front of walls?), yeah, colonialism’s a bitch.

  9. MK_Ultra
    February 17, 2013, 12:08 pm

    ISreal is the personification of Orwell’s 1984‘s theme:

    War is peace
    Freedom is slavery
    Ignorance is strength

    And if you don’t believe that, you’re anti-semitic™, of course.

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