Sunday, February 8, 2004

Borders to Keep Things Out

Was it the 1972 ABM Treaty under which the USSR claimed that we had no right to construct any form of defense against ICBMs? Apparently they had a right, under certain conditions, to launch weapons against us, but we had no right to interfere with their flight path. We could only launch our own weapons.

Similarly, Israel is being condemned for constructing a fence. It seems the international community is suggesting that they have no right to stop Palestinians from entering the country in that manner.

If Russia, North Korea, or any other country decides to launch missiles at us under any circumstances, we have the right - at the very least - to interfere with the flight path.

If people desire to enter the sovereign area of another country with the intent to kill people, a country has the right to interfere with their flight path.

The reason so much fuss abounds on the Israeli Security Fence, I suggest, is the aftermath - not a reduction of killings, but a clear line of demarcation between the country that is Israel and the country that will become Palestine. Having your own country means being responsible for the acts of your people. An individual act becomes a policy statement - criminal acts becomes acts of war.

The British and French did not end their colonial eras in the Middle East very well. Culminating in 1948, regardless of the individual steps, intents, and desires, the area was left a tinderbox: a newly reconstituted Israel and a hostile group of Arab countries - most of which were new to self-government. The open invitation to battle the Jewish people was never condemned widely or honestly enough. The Palestinians have never disengaged.

After over fifty years of measured diplomacy, with peaks of self-defense, the Israelis are drawing a geographical line and thereby requiring of the Palestinians that which no one has to date - responsibility. A child matures and is held accountable for his or her actions. Since the UN and Arab countries won't act as a parent, the role has fallen to Israel.

If part of that role is to set up a baby gate to stop the child from hurting himself, so be it.

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