How Big of a Deal is Israel's New Wall Alongside the Lebanese Border?

Aljazeera:

The Israeli army has begun building a wall that will run several kilometres along part of its border with Lebanon [...] the wall would be more than 2km long and 10 metres high

Many people hate walls. They are the opposite of communication and exchange and are associated with separation, oppression and imprisonment. The Berlin wall and the Israeli west bank barrier are notorious examples of how inhumane such walls can be. But is the one planned alongside the Lebanese border that big of a deal?

There has always been a wall. They’re just building a bigger “better” one.

The new wall is not creating new facts on the grounds or artificially dividing otherwise contiguous lands and peoples. People were not freely moving between the two sides and got suddenly shut off by the wall. This is a wall between two enemy states, states that have absolutely no plans of free exchange and movement between them in the foreseeable future.

The Israelis are replacing a wall that looks like this:

..with a wall that looks like this:

It looks ugly and it’s viscerally repulsive, but the only thing that effectively changes is that people from the two sides can no longer see and abuse each other.

And maybe that’s –dare I say it– a good thing: The wall helps avoid confusions like the one that almost led to a war in 2010, and cross border operations like the one that actually started a devastating war in 2006.

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  • http://www.lifewithsubtitles.com Fadi

    aaaand queue the measuring saga. Now let’s just hope the wall doesn’t get built on questionable/disputed territory..

  • http://oussama-hayek.blogspot.com OH

    I like the wall. It does not have to be ugly. I think it would be a good idea to commission artists to make it more interesting.

  • Z. H.

    I think Fadi hit a nail there, Mus.

    My question to you is the following: what if the wall was found to be built on disputed territory (which is the likely scenario)?

    Let’s be honest about something; Both Hezbollah and Israel have a strong reason in maintaining the conflict as it is, because it will allow Israel to keep receive unlimited financing for its military supremacy, which it likes to portray as “survival”. The flip coin of that issue is that Hezbollah also needs a valid excuse to keep their arms flowing, in order to assist in its control of the Lebanese state, under the pretext of its “resistance”

  • EJE

    Wall will not be built on disputed land. UN on the ground and all parties confirmed that wall will be built on current wall location where no land is in dispute (Question as to Shebaa).
    As for the rhetoric, you can all rest assured that our Orator in Chief, SHN, and any future PM in Israel, will not have to dig too deep into their arsenal of propaganda to find the sufficient ammunition to keep their respective (or dare I say mutual) raison d’être!
    On a side note Mo, this bring to mind HA effectiveness against its fellow lebs, in comparison to Israel’s comparison against HA; without building a wall, our HA brethren have managed to cut-off big chunks of the country from the state and from their fellow countrymen. Sad, but true.

  • Shiwa7ad

    No the wall isn’t such a big deal, but it won’t have much added value over the previous wall, it is clearly useless against rockets,
    and not that useful against determined infiltrators (remember how Samir Kuntar had crossed into Israel? and also the “night of the gliders” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_of_the_Gliders). I think the building of the wall is just
    posturing .

  • Michel K

    obviously the wall serves a purpose which is to mitigate danger & not eliminate it.
    have you thought about this as a stimulus plan the Israeli government is initiating to provide job opportunities to people residing in towns neighboring the Lebanese borders? Many of those residents are living off welfare checks…why not create job opportunities for them that serve multiple purposes at the national, economical, & national security levels.

  • Antidisestablishmentarianism

    all they have to do is withdraw from the west bank, east jerusalem, and give some form of repatriation, even if symbolic, to the refugees (With equal repatriation for jews who left the arab countries). that would solve israel’s problems forever, even hamas is willing to accept this. while i am not blaming israel 100% for the lack of peace, but they are clearly the side that can make concessions here, the arabs are all out of concessions.
    but no, somehow, it makes more sense for the state of israel to surround itself with walls, build armed settlements deep inside arab lands, antagonize everyone and live in a permanent state of war and emergency. is this rational? is it even sustainable?