If you want to know how effective walls are, just ask Israel.
And boy, oh boy is he right. Israel survives by walls. One huge wall snaking down through Palestinian West Bank, separating doctors and patients from their hospitals, children and teachers from their schools and farmers from their fields. The problem with walls is always what happens to the people on the other side of the wall, the people we don’t see.
In the West Bank, it means having their water stolen, olive trees up-rooted, their children imprisoned and frequently tortured and because it all takes place behind the wall, who is to object? Certainly not Benjamin Netanyahu or Donald Trump.
Albert Einstein said:
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.[i]
Desmond Tutu once said, “If you are neutral in a situation of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
Why is this so devastating?
Palestinians in the West Bank face – on a regular basis – violence meted out by both soldiers and settlers, long waits at checkpoints, travel restrictions, home demolitions, theft of natural resources, unfair economic practices, arbitrary detention and arrest, long prison sentences, and countless other forms of humiliation.[ii]
Even worse is Gaza, with sewage running through the streets, electricity cut off for twenty hour a day, water too contaminated to drink and the ever-present threat of bombs from fighter jets, tanks and off shore gun boats, anything Israel can do to make life in Gaza more miserable. And of course, it’s all done behind the wall, so who is to know?
I do not hold Trump responsible for creating the misery in Palestine, but I do hold him responsible for not caring and for not doing anything to bring injustice to an end, especially when it is on the other side of the wall and out of sight.
Yet, that is precisely what Trump wants for us, the U.S. Build a wall against Mexico. To hell with the unfortunates on the other side of the wall. Keep ‘em out of sight and who cares?
Well, to Trump’s chagrin, many people feel that we have a responsibility to care and to hold our elected officials accountable. We owe it to one another to not let injustice be swept under the rug.
December 21, 2018
[i] Richard Hardigan, The Other Side of the Wall, Cune Press, Seattle, 2018, p. 12.
[ii] Richard Hardigan, The Other Side of the Wall, Cune Press, Seattle, 2018, p. 10.