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Letters to the Editor

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The United Nations has once again been hijacked by the Muslim, Arab states to do their bidding in their quest to exterminate and delegitimize the Jewish state of Israel. This time, they have gotten the U.N. to vote to send the question of building an anti-terror security fence to the International Court of Justice in order to continue psychological attacks on the Jewish state. Of course, the court cannot give a binding decision, but just their consideration of the question places Israel in a position of being considered an immoral country.

More than 40 Western nations oppose the court taking up the case. But Western democracies are now in the minority in the United Nations and therefore can rarely prevail on any question that goes to the General Assembly. It is known that the International court is stacked and it is anticipated that they will find Israel in violation of human rights, for the crime of building this security fence.

A negative ruling on the fence could pave the way for other anti-Israel actions at the U.N., granting legitimacy to a new batch of anti-Israel resolutions.



It is important that the citizens of Vail know the true history of anti-terror security fences and how this question makes the U.N. a puppet of non-democratic, authoritarian dictatorships, who desperately want our Western way of life to cease to exist.

Security fences have been built around the world, often in disputed territories, with the purpose of disrupting the movement of terrorists, smugglers and illegal immigrants. These fences frequently cause difficulties for civilians living along the border zones.



While security fences are common throughout the world, only Israel’s decision in 2003 to build a terrorism prevention security fence in disputed West Bank territory (which was won in a war with Jordan; yet the dispute is not with Jordan, but with a third party) was met with protests by the international community and a hearing at the International Court of Justice ” U.N. court. No other security barrier has ever been met with such resistance.

Here are some examples of anti-terror security fences being constructed in disputed territories right now and none of them are in question:



1. India-Pakistan: India is constructing a fence along the majority of its 1,900-mile border with Pakistan in the disputed territory of Kashmir. The fence is designed to keep terrorists from crossing the border from Pakistan to launch attacks in India. Made up of barbed wire, concertina wire and giant 25-foot tall floodlights. It swallows up acres of fertile farmland in Jammu. It is unclear that the owners were ever compensated for their losses.

2. Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan: A land dispute led to the unilateral construction of a barbed wire fence by Uzbekistan to secure their border with Kyrgyzstan in the fall of 1999. The fence was constructed after Islamic terrorists from Kyrgyzstan were blamed for bomb attacks in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent. The construction of the fence has caused economic hardships in the poor agricultural areas of the Ferghana Valley and has separated many families in the traditionally integrated border area.

3. India-Bangladesh: Indian has been constructing a fence on its border with Bangladesh, complete with flood lights, to keep armed rebels from infiltrating into India and attacking its citizens. Villagers were evicted from what India claims to be a no man’s land.

4.Thailand-Malaysia: In February 2004, Thailand announced plans to build a concrete fence along parts of its border with Malaysia in order to keep terrorists and smugglers from sneaking across Thailand’s southern border. Still in the early planning stages, it is unclear what the final length and makeup of the fence will be.

Here are some other examples of anti-terror security fences. These already exist and none were questioned when built:

1.Northern Ireland: In the 1970s, the British government began to construct a series of fences known as the Peace Line to divide the Catholic and Protestant areas of Belfast. These fences, many of which are 12 meters in height and average 500 meters in length, have multiplied over the years, from 18 in the early 1990s to 40 today. This expansion is due to the success of the fences in disrupting terrorist activities. The gates of the fence remain closed at night, allowing only two policemen to do the security job that used to take dozens.

2. Turkish Cyprus-Greek Cyprus: A 180 kilometer buffer zone known as the Greek Line has been in place since 1974, separating the Turkish part of the Island from the Greek section. The buffer zone cuts the island in half, and until last year was uncrossable.

3. Kuwait-Iraq: In 1991, the U.N. Security Council established a demilitarized zone to separate Iraq and Kuwait. The DMZ extends six miles into Iraq, three miles into Kuwait and across the full length of the 120 mile border from Saudi Arabia to the Persian Gulf. The barrier, made up of electrified fencing and concertina wire, is braced with a 15-foot-wide and 15-foot-deep trench, complete with a 10-foot-high dirt berm, and guarded by hundreds of soldiers, several patrol boats and helicopters. In January 2004, Kuwait decided to install a new 217-kilometer iron separation barrier as well.

4. North Korea-South Korea: The DMZ that has separated North and South Korea since 1953 is the most heavily fortified barrier in the world, consisting of sensors, watchtowers, razor wire, landmines, automatic artillery, tank-traps, and heavy weaponry. The DMZ stretches 250 kilometers in length, averages 4 kilometers wide and is patrolled by 2 million troops.

And now comes the critical question. What if it works? What if the anti-terrorism security fences were actually to succeed in frustrating the West Bank terrorists who for years have routinely murdered Israeli citizens by the score? This possibility is rarely discussed by the United Nations. Instead the debate has been dominated by those who argue that the fence is inconveniencing Palestinian along its route. But the truth is more Palestinians will benefit from the fence, if it works, than the inconvenienced few who live along its route.

It is obvious that under successful conditions, Palestinian communities would be relieved of Israeli military occupation. Tanks and troops could pull back, curfews, could be lifted and checkpoints could be removed. In 1967, Israel took the West Bank from Jordan, in a war started by Jordan.

Ironically, under Israeli rule from 1967 to1993, the West Bank economy was among the fastest growing in the world, thanks to the burgeoning commerce between Israelis and Palestinians. Health care improved and the mortality rate dropped. Where there had not been a single institution of higher learning, under Jordan’s rule, by the early 1990s there were seven universities on the West Bank. For the average Palestinian, Arafat’s reign has been all guns, no butter. He has done nothing to spur development and he has nurtured corruption. Schools have taught not skills and vocations, but hatred of Jews and the glories of dying as a suicide bomber. While billions of dollars in foreign aid has poured into the Palestinian offers, employment and income have fallen. But Arafat, according to Forbes magazine, has become one of the richest men in the world.

I ask this next question in all honesty: What if the fence succeeds in separating two societies now locked in mortal combat, giving both a chance to calm down, cool off and look toward the future? Is there a chance that, at the end of the day, the fence could become a bridge to a new era? Is it not worth a try without U.N. intervention?

Mikki Futernick

Vail


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