UPDATE 9:30 am Israel time Saturday:
At 9:18 am–12 minutes ago–we heard an explosion here in Ashdod to the south of us toward Ashkelon and another one at 9:24. No further info.
A border policeman was injured late yesterday afternoon by “rocks” thrown by international and Israeli “human rights” lawbreakers and Palestinians near Nabi Saleh.
As reported in yesterday’s blog, the U.S. Presbyterian Church General Assembly voted 333-331 to not divest from Caterpillar, Motorola, and Hewlitt-Packard; the BDS proponents had wanted divestment because the products of those companies are used in Judea and Samaria. In that blog, I touted “Presbyterian courage” in standing up to BDS and their cohorts.
However, your humble servant has awakened this morning to find that in subsequent votes on Friday:
1. the Presbyterian General Assembly approved a “relief of conscience” motion which allows individuals to specify that they do not want their individual money to be invested in Caterpillar, Motorola, or Hewlitt-Packard.
2. the Presbyterian General Assembly voted 457-180 to boycott AHAVA Dead Sea beauty products and Hadiklaim Israel Dates (both of which are produced in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria) on “a temporary basis” until “significant progress is made toward Palestinian “rights and independence”.
It appears that Presbyterian courage came and then quickly evaporated.
In 2002, as Israelis were being slaughtered by Palestinian homicide–suicide– bombers, the government began to build a security barrier along the Green line to stop the bombers from reaching Israeli communities and cities.
The security barrier (also known as the separation fence) was immensely successful–ever more so as it lengthened. Between 2000 and July 2003, 73 Palestinian suicide bombings were carried out from Judea and Samaria, murdering 293 Israelis and badly injuring almost 2000 more. However, from August 2003 until April 2008 “only” 15 such attacks took place, killing 68 Israelis and wounding 458.
In fact, the security barrier’s success was even acknowledged in a March 23, 2008 interview that Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shalah gave to the Qatari newspaper Al-Sharq in which he complained that the separation barrier “limits the ability of the resistance to arrive deep within [Israeli territory] to carry out suicide bombing attacks.”
Remarkably, there have been no homicide–suicide–bombings since the April 19, 2008 bombing at the Kerem Shalom border crossing into Gaza (despite the fact that would-be bombers are continually being captured at checkpoints in Judea and Samaria).
But in a curious perversion, as the number of Israelis being murdered has plummeted, the number of international and domestic “leftist human rights” groups condemning the barrier has increased exponentially–“human rights” groups that did not utter a syllable of protest as Israeli citizens were blown to pieces on buses, at weddings, and in pizza parlors. These groups are fond of ludicrously calling the security barrier “an apartheid wall” and love to talk about how it takes Palestinians longer to reach their crops.
However, as it turns out, the barrier remains less than half finished. It was originally planned to extend 760 kilometers (470) miles, but in the last ten years only 200 kilometers have been completed. And less than 10% of the barrier is a “wall” at all; the other 90% of the barrier consists of vehicle barrier trenches surrounded by a 60 meter exclusion area demarcated by barbed wire fences.
Unfortunately, there has been no extension of the security barrier since 2007, first because of Palestinian challenges at the Israel Supreme Court (which eventually ordered the Israeli government to reroute two sections of the barrier) and later because of budgetary constraints brought about by the necessity of building another fence along the border with Egypt and reinforcing the fence on the Lebanese border with a 1 km (a 5-7 meter high) wall between Metulla and Kila to stop Hezbollah sniping attacks on Israeli citizens.
However, due to an uptick in the violence emanating from Palestinian settlements around Jerusalem, the Israeli government went back to the Israel Supreme Court this week and asked for approval to resume building the barrier in the Gush Etzion and Jerusalem areas immediately and in the Ma’aleh Adumim area early next year. On Wednesday, the Court approved the resumption.
Undoubtedly as the news of this resumption gets out, it will be greeted with a chorus of protest by groups that would apparently prefer to see Israelis die than Palestinians be inconvenienced. Your humble servant says “Build the barrier, and build it now.”
P.S. If you have a chance today, go buy some Ahava cosmetic items and some Hadaklaim dates.
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