In a piece published on Aug. 10th in the culture section of The Observer (sister publication of the Guardian) Anthony Sattin reviews a ‘book’ titled ‘Walls: Travels Along the Barricades‘, by Marcello Di Cintio, which details “eight walls around the word”. Sattin briefly comments on Di Cintio’s ‘insights’ into the factors at play in the erection of walls in the U.S., Cyprus, India, Africa, Ireland, Canada, and Israel.
Regarding the wall in Israel, here are the relevant passages from Sattin’s review:
In eight chapters, eight walls, Marcello Di Cintio visits some of the world’s most contended regions to witness glaring examples of exclusion. Some are well-known because they continue to make headlines – the illegal wall the Israelis have built to keep out Palestinians, for instance.
Some of these stories are more immediate than others, the power of the narrative being in direct relation to the level of injustice meted out on people on the wrong side of the wall. It’s not hard to empathise with Palestinians whose lives have quite literally been cut by the wall – for many of them, their land lies on one side and their village on the other.
Occasionally Di Cintio gets it wrong, as when he describes Palestine as “less a place than it is an idea”. Millions of Palestinians would dispute that comment. More often he gets it right, as when he considers the ways people find to subvert walls, from climbing them to cutting through them, tunnelling under them, walking around them, decorating them – Banksy being the most famous of many artists who have decorated Israel’s West Bank wall…
The Observer culture critic of course completely fails to “empathize” with Israelis, and is unable to acknowledge the most obvious fact about the inspiration for the security fence - the need to prevent the murder of innocent Israelis by Palestinian suicide bombers who had infiltrated Israel from the West Bank en masse during the 2nd Intifada.
(Here are the victims from just one attack, the Sbarro bombing in 2001.)
These attacks at cafes, pizza parlors and other crowded public places popular with families and children (which ultimately resulted in more than 1,000 killed) are obviously what prompted the construction of the security fence – a quite rational (and non-lethal) measure to defend its citizens which governments have the moral obligation to undertake.
Whilst I didn’t read the book Sattin reviewed, this passage written by Di Cintio (in an essay posted on his website) provides a good indication of his politics on the matter:
Those that have been following this blog know that I’ve seen these things first hand. I’ve come to realize that the [Israeli] Wall is not a ‘security’ barrier. The Wall appropriates Palestinian land for settlement expansion in the West Bank. The Wall disrupts the Palestinian economy by dividing farmers from their fields, or by destroying their orchards altogether. The Wall creates de facto and non-negotiated borders. Rather than create security, the Wall creates the anger and frustration that inspires violence.
Yes, Israel’s security wall inspires Palestinian violence!
In Di Cintio’s warped political reality the consequences of homicidal attacks becomes the cause – an Orwellian logical inversion which befits the moral inversion between Jewish victim and Palestinian perpetrator that continues to define the politics of the Guardian Left.
- The Guardian faces stiff competition for most sympathetic depiction of murderers (cifwatch.com)
- BBC’s Kevin Connolly on prisoner release (bbcwatch.org)