In defense of the fence
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Security fence for Israel
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Public Council for a Security Fence for Israel
“The first Human Right is the Right to Live.”
PCSFI - Security Fence for Israel is an apolitical volunteer group started in order to unite all of the groups struggling for the building a security fence. PCSFI is made up of citizens from different walks of life in Israeli society who believe that a continuous and effective security fence is an essential part of the fight against terror.
PCSFI Chairman – Major General (res.) Uzi Dayan, the former Assistant Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, and the Chairman of the National Security Council.
Spokesperson: Avital Zalmanovitch
PCSFI Member Organizations:
Northern Regional Councils – Chairman Danny Atar
Central Regional Councils – Chairman Moshe Sinai
Southern Regional Councils – Chairman Pini Badash
Bereaved Families and Terror Victims for a Security Fence, Seam-Line Committee of Jerusalem – Chairman Azi Nagar
Public figures from the security, business and academic communities include:
Commander (ret.) Assaf Chefetz – Former Chief of the Israeli Police; Eli Hurvitz – Chairman of “Teva”; Meir Shair – Former CEO, Clal Industries; Roni Dueck – Chairman, Zionist Movement 2000; Dan Proper – CEO Osem; Prof. Shlomo Avineri – Political Science Department at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and past Director of the Israeli Foreign Ministry; Prof. Daniel Tsidon – Economics Department, Tel Aviv University – expert on economic effect of the lack of a security fence on the Israeli economy; Dr. Danny Ben David – Public Policy Department- Tel Aviv University.
The members of the Public Council demand that the government demonstrate its responsibility for the well being of the citizens of Israel and complete the planning of the fence along its entire length from Beit She’an to the Dead Sea. We further demand that the government approve the budget for the entire project, and complete the building of the security fence within one year.
Security Fence For Israel
July 9, 2003
The Hon. George Bush
The President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President,
Since the outbreak of Palestinian violence in the fall of the year 2000, Israel has sustained 6,400 casualties, including over 800 deaths.
This is an inordinately high number of casualties for a country Israel’s size. Nearly every one of Israel’s citizens is related in one way or another to at least one of the victims.
Most of these acts of terror were against civilians within the borders of pre-1967 Israel. The country’s tourism industry – a major source of its total income – has been all but annihilated. Foreign investors dare not tread here, while domestic investors are also wary of making long-term commitments in such an environment. As a result, gross domestic investment (upon which our future economy is based) has fallen by 13% over the past two years. Consumers afraid to venture into stores and restaurants have led per capita private consumption to drop for the first time in two decades. The outcome is much worse than a common recession – and no less important, our steep economic decline is not sustainable, with the potential of becoming a free fall if we do not act immediately to stabilize the situation.
There is no question regarding the effectiveness of a continuous physical barrier in keeping out infiltrators bent on committing terror. Case in point: Gaza. Not a single Palestinian terrorist has successfully entered Israel from the Gaza Strip during the past three years as a result of the fence surrounding the Strip. No such barrier surrounds the West Bank. Hence, all of the terrorists committing these terrible acts of murder came from areas within the West Bank.
Israel has been slowly – too slowly – building a very partial security fence. Recent media reports suggest that the United States government is opposed to the construction of the fence. In light of these reports, I asked to meet with Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer to clarify matters, and to ask him to forward this letter to you.
A continuous security fence is necessary part of Israel’s war against terrorism, and also a necessary condition for the success of any political, security, or economic initiative since it gives us the ability to stabilize and maintain Israel’s society and economy for as long as the conflict continues. It is for this reason that the issue of building such a security fence enjoys broad support across the Israeli political spectrum.
Mr. President, we appreciate your deep commitment and involvement in the peace process. However, any peace process is doomed to failure when a lone Palestinian homicide bomber can walk across an unobstructed field, and a few minutes later blow himself up in a bus in the middle of downtown Jerusalem, killing 17 people, and wounding dozens more.
The security fence that we advocate is in no way a substitute for a negotiated solution. However, erection of the fence will enable Israel to defend itself and to make any process toward a stable solution possible. The placement of the security fence is not irreversible – it can be moved much more easily than any settlement – and it would be unfortunate if disagreement regarding the fence’s route would prohibit or delay its construction and completion.
The United States is our greatest friend and we greatly appreciate its commitment to the security of Israel and it citizens. Therefore, I ask, Mr. President, that the United States not oppose Israel’s intention to build this basic element of defense that will greatly increase the security of its citizens and add to the general security of the entire region.
Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Uzi Dayan
Former National Security Advisor
Chairman of Security Fence for Israel
How can Israel afford to build such a costly fence?
According to economic experts, Israel cannot afford NOT to build the security fence. According to a recent Bank of Israel report, Israel has lost 17 Billion Shekels ($4 Billion) a year in lost GNP due to Palestinian terror. The security fence entails a one-time expenditure of less than 8 Billion Shekels ($1.5 Billion). Finance Minister Benyamin Netanyahu told SFI in a meeting last year that the fence is the only expenditure, which will pay for itself in less than a year.
Due to Palestinian terror Israel has faced:
- enormous security costs for increased security operations within Israel
- tremendous costs of treating and rehabilitating the injured and their families, as well as the families of the deceased
- fatal damage to tourism – a substantial source of income for the state of Israel
- severe damage to the economy as a result of lack of local and foreign investments
Israel will still need to bear the costs of maintaining and guarding the fence, but these costs are minor compared to the cost of terror.Public Council for a Security Fence for Israel, Questions and Answers
Fence closed, door open
What we need is a consistent and encompassing policy. When I was the national security adviser, I proposed that we needed first and foremost a policy composed of a "blue and white" (Israeli-initiated) map for a political initiative as we see it.
And secondly, we needed a security fence together with a war on terrorism while the fence was completed as quickly as possible.
This, I said, should be accompanied by an economic humanitarian policy to support the Palestinian population. I wrote then that if Arafat would not be a partner then we would have to weigh up his status and I said then that if he wouldn't, then he would stop being relevant.
Suppose today we had a security fence and a "blue and white" political initiative, and were without Arafat, our situation, our reality would have been much better. It doesn't mean that the fence or getting rid of Arafat is the solution for everything. But there is a need for a clear and consistent policy.
What I said then is true today, except that since then hundreds have been killed. We could have been in a better situation economically and diplomatically, and the Palestinian Authority could have been more positive than it is today.
The final goal of the policy is for a separation from the Palestinians, either with their agreement according to a "blue and white" map, or if they don't agree then there should be a unilateral separation but with the door left open for negotiation. Our relationship to Arafat is only part of this whole picture.
So, what we have to do now is separate from the Palestinians, quickly finish constructing the fence and carry on our war on terror everywhere. But we also have to come up with a diplomatic Israeli process and go with it even if it is unilateral. At the same time, we have to understand that no one step will solve everything.
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan, former National Security Adviser, head of the Public Council for a Security Fence for Israel.The Jerusalem Post, September 5, 2003.
The almost knee-jerk invocation of security to justify practically everything is not unique to the IDF Spokesperson’s Office. All echelons of the military, the government, and the society justify almost everything in the name of security. The effect is to shut down analysis, discussion, even rational thinking.Jessica Montell, B’Tselem April 2004.
Katsav supports demand for fence between Israel, Palestinians
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The Security Fence: A Defensive Obstacle to Terror
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Gader Lehaim / A Fence for Life
“A fence is not a political solution… Its only purpose is to prevent terrorism. We don't speak about uprooting settlements; it's not a practical issue now. The army will remain on both sides of the fence. Palestinians won't be prevented from entering Israel, only checked, just like in any country.”
“… The separation plan does not include the withdrawal of military or moving population, and it does not mean withdrawal from the territories. There is no fear that such act will be understood as a weakness of Israel. The opposite; from an international perspective Israel will win from implementing the plan… It will neutralize the ability of the Palestinians and the terror organizations to damage freely Israelis… It will shape their [the Palestinian] consciousness that the only way is to sit around the negotiation table.”