Stop the Wall Immediately

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    The United Nations, the democratic forces and governments, humanitarian organizations and the Jewish communities around the world
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The Israeli government is currently erecting the Wall of Separation euphemistically called the Security Fence which is supposed to block terrorist attacks (but certainly wont prevent missiles and helicopters from hitting their human targets) at an estimated cost of 2 billion dollars in the middle of the Occupied Territories of the West Bank. Plans also exist to complete it along the Jordan River. In any case it is already creating a situation with immeasurably tragic consequences. But at this time, the reactions and objections from international organizations, governments, public opinions outside and inside Israel (with the notable exception of such courageous groups as Gush Shalom, BTselem, Tayush), remain strangely restrained, as if the construction were a fait accompli, as if protest must wait for the work to be completed or tactical precautions must be observed during a period of renewed peace talks under the auspices of the U.S. and other world powers.

Directly or indirectly displacing populations and/or depriving them of their means of subsistence (uprooting trees, denying access to water and to arable land) and opportunities for learning and work, through the dire restriction of movement, the Wall strikes at the capacity of the Palestinian people to persist, comparable to the mass expulsions of 1948 and the occupation of 1967. An estimated 90,000 to 210,000 Palestinians are going to be displaced from their homes. As for all others, it is designed to make their lives so utterly impossible that many will have no choice than leave, either their villages, or their country. The Wall sanctions and renders irreversible the Jewish settlements (all of them illegal by international law) and the incremental seizure of East Jerusalem, both of which transform the future, always promised viable Palestinian State, into a mere patchwork of Bantustans and refugee camps, generalizing and aggravating the model already realized in Gaza. It imprisons the Palestinians (or better said that segment of the Palestinian people who until now has succeeded in remaining and resisting on its own soil) on a restricted part of the West Bank within a murderous triple line of concrete, barbed wire and electronic fortifications, whose precedents in modern history indisputably belong to the totalitarian tradition. It also transforms the Israeli defense forces and the Israeli citizens themselves into a people of camp wardens. In short, this is a new naqba that promises for the present and the future only famine, deportations, terror, war, and abjection whatever transitory arrangements might be reached through local and international agreements.

Are we going to watch this process without raising any protest, just to discover after the event that we were guilty of non-intervention in a crime against humanity committed before our eyes? The signatories here refuse to accept the Wall as inevitable, and decry the cowardice of those who do not raise their voices against this injustice. The signatories launch an urgent appeal to democratic forces and governments, to the United Nations and humanitarian organizations, to the Jewish communities around the World who have kept the memory of their own past sufferings, and to religious, moral, academic and legal authorities. The construction of the Wall must stop immediately. World opinion must force the Israeli government to dismantle the Wall and return and restore the Palestinian land it has already appropriated and destroyed. This is not an object of negotiation. It is a moral and political imperative.