Israel’s current borders are long and tortuous. Their length is some 220 kilometers (roughly 140 miles) in our northern theater alone. They are not built to stop a mass wave of Palestinian “martyrs” determined to commit suicide. Fences of the type that was already breached won’t stop the despair of future refugees from Syria, Egypt or Jordan, states that are already facing a shaky situation.
From now on, every mass invasion may result in a massacre, with all this entails, including a deep moral rift here.
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Hence, in the face of the new Arab strategy – thought up by Gaddafi – Israel has no choice but to erect an actual wall. Not transparent fences that can be cut, not a series of new outposts, and not a system of fortifications that can be circumvented. We need a contiguous, high and deterring cement wall like the security fence in Judea and Samaria or the Great Wall of China.
Such proposal is clearly very expensive and requires a long time to implement. It will also draw public criticism, first by our own enlightened, progressive forces. Their arguments will be logical, learned, sensitive and educated, just like the arguments used by objectors to the Judea and Samaria wall. They will even mention Genghis Khan, who breached the Great Wall of China.
However, all these arguments shall melt away in face of the proven success of the maligned Judea and Samaria wall, which has stopped terror from the territories despite being only partly completed.
The hesitation to build a wall is understood. It reconstructs the walls of the Jewish Ghetto and is reminiscent of the much-maligned Berlin Wall. It contradicts the IDF’s basic doctrine, which hinges on shifting the war to enemy territory. It also doesn’t look good in photographs and makes Israel appear to be withdrawing from its neighbors and from the world, seemingly attesting to lack of desire to find a peaceful solution.
The wall will also look like the marking of a forced border line that is no agreed upon, and cost huge amounts of money.
Yet in the face of the above, we must present only two arguments. First, the great success of the existing wall in stopping terror attacks and infiltrations, and the simple fact that building the wall will be the only way to prevent images of massacres that Israel cannot withstand.
Indeed, we shall see much activity on the other side of the wall: Graffiti and protests that will look good on al-Jazeera, as well as riots and attempts to scale the wall. Yet the defenders of the wall will have control over all of the above, as is the case today in Judea and Samaria.
There are many obstacles on the way, yet using monetary aid from Diaspora Jews and taking advantage of the expertise secured through the wall in Judea and Samaria, this project shall prove itself as one of the best, most dramatic decisions in the State of Israel’s history.
Yosef Argaman is a military historian
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