Global, Mishegas

U.S. Senate OKs Apartheid Wall Along Southern Border

Breaking News:

WASHINGTON – The Senate voted to build 370 miles of triple-layered fencing along the Mexican border Wednesday

Full story at MSNBC
As Derrick Jackson wrote in The Boston Globe:

Bush is sending the Iraq-weary Guard to the border to mollify hardline conservatives who are building their careers around – whether they say this explicitly or not — a brown invasion from the south.

This brings up some questions – Why no fence on the Northern border – the one that has so many white people? Couldn’t Al Qaeda just as easily come from Canada if they wanted to? What about the East and Western coasts? Shouldn’t all the beaches have triple-layered fences too?
[Editor’s Note] Ugh. I don’t support the title of this post. John knows it, and I’ve asked him previously to tone it down. I don’t think it’s fair to draw a comparison between Israel’s wall and the US’s proposed wall, and I don’t think it’s fair to call the separation barrier an “apartheid wall.” At least not yet… Let’s see how “convergance” pans out, and whether the Palestinians wind up with a state or a bantustan before we throw terms like that around. In the meantime, he was trying to crack an unfunny joke. He failed. That the same three right-wing commenters found themselves in the same tizzy they always find themselves in with regards to everything we write, is neither surprising nor alarming to me. If you’d prefer to look at half-naked Jewish women and read about why Palestinians are stupid, by all means, go spend your time elsewhere.

18 thoughts on “U.S. Senate OKs Apartheid Wall Along Southern Border

  1. I have more questions for John Brown. Assuming you live in a house or apartment, why do you persist in maintaining apartheid walls and locked doors? Who are you trying to keep out?

  2. This is why nobody is taking your arguments seriously. You are not being intellectually honest. Canadian immigrants are not swamping the united states. Mexicans are.
    Never before in the history of mankind has a country been denounced for creating a border until now. Apartheid wall? Brown invasion?
    Doesn’t the US have this thing called legal immigration? Isn’t it unfair for the millions of people waiting in line for a green card to see all these illegal aliens cutting in line? Are mexicans the only poor people in the world who want to migrate to the US? Do they get preferential treatment just because they happen to share a border?

  3. Break down your apartheid head and let me eat your brain.
    OK. Maybe that wasn’t so apt. But what is a good idea is that you go and look up the word apartheid. Maybe read about the history of Apartheid in South Africa. Your use of the term here, akin to the excessive and inapplicable overuse of the terms “fascist” or “nazi” is, as always, wrong. America is not an Apartheid state. Neither is Israel. They are both imperfect of course, but they do not merit the use of inflammatory terminology that has no basis in reality.
    But really, why am I not surprised?

  4. This is why I think that John Brown doesn’t actually mean anything he says. I am beginning to think that he just pretends to be a charicature of the ultra-left in order to drive people nuts. I don’t think that anyone, including “John Brown” himself, could be so ridiculous as to actually agree with the things that he says.
    Besides, Derrick Z. Jackson is a huge idiot and anyone with half a brain knows not to listen to him. He cries “Racism!” at the drop of a hat. Even my longtime Democrat father thought that his “eulogy” of Ronald Reagan was absurd. (Basically, Jackson looked for “proof” that Reagan was actually a racist. I couldn’t tell if my stomach hurt from laughing so hard or the disgust I felt about such a classless editorial.) I would be really shocked if this John Brown actually took Jackson seriously.

  5. “That the same three right-wing commenters found themselves in the same tizzy they always find themselves in with regards to everything we write, is neither surprising nor alarming to me.”
    Tizzy? A little glass houses, considering some recent tizzies around here, I think.

  6. “At least not yet… Let’s see how “convergance” pans out, and whether the Palestinians wind up with a state or a bantustan before we throw terms like that around.”
    Mobius, do you think hairsplitting over terminology is any comfort to the Palestinians who are victimized by this “pre”-apartheid condition? is there a big difference between de facto and de jure apartheid?
    Jeff Halper thinks it’s already a Bantustan:
    http://www.politicalaffairs.net/article/articleview/3428/1/32/
    PA: What is the status of the Israeli Wall and its role in the continuing conflict?
    JH: The Wall (or the “Separation Barrier” as Israel calls it) will be 95 percent complete by the end of 2007. It is composed of massive concrete slabs eight meters (26 feet) high around Palestinian population centers, an electrified fence fortified with cameras, watchtowers, trenches and electronic gates in the more rural areas. Altogether the Barrier is twice as high as the Berlin Wall and five times longer (more than 500 miles). And it is not linear as the Berlin Wall was. It includes secondary walls, fences, trenches, roadblocks and checkpoints that lock Palestinians into a maze of enclaves. In Jerusalem alone 55,000 Palestinians will be trapped in their neighborhoods, completely surrounded by towering walls. Thousands of Palestinians will be trapped between the border and the Barrier, as well as their richest agricultural land, much of which will be untillable.
    “An entire people is literally being imprisoned in concrete cells – and the Wall, a $2 billion project, will be permanent. Although it is sold as a “security” barrier, in fact it is a border defining the Palestinian Bantustan. Built so that Israelis don’t see it, much of the Barrier divides Palestinian communities rather than separating between Jews and Arabs.

  7. jeff halper, love him as i do as a friend for whom i do often volunteer my technical services, advocates sometimes extreme positions which most level-headed israeli anti-occupation activists i know disagree with. and it was only three weeks ago, as i was standing talkin with jeff, that he conceded that bandying around the term “apartheid” was counterproductive as it sets off an emotional response which makes meaningful dialogue impossible. he wrote an essay only a couple of years ago where he says we should not use the word apartheid, as it’s too conflagratious, and instead use the hebrew word “nishul” which means “displacement.”

  8. Hey wait a minute… there’s a place one can go to look at half-naked Jewish women and read about why Palestinians are stupid? Where o where might this fabled place be? You’re not talking about suicide girls again are you? Too much serious journalism about “Rabbinic” sexual predators with a long and well documented history of such, commiting acts of a sexually predatory nature, again, well that sort of thing can sometimes be overwhelming. Know what I mean? People need a respite, an oasis… but where??

  9. CK is right about the overuse and misappropriation of certain words. The author Chaim Potok makes the point beautifully in one of his books (I think Davita’s Harp, but it’s been a while), when a child is finally told that she cannot refer to everyone with whom she disagrees as a fascist.
    The same goes for apartheid. The word originally had racial connotations, so it seems especially inappropriate in the holy land… let’s face it , we’re all semites.
    In the original post, the point about the beaches and the Canadian border is poorly made but valid. There are two separate issues here: illegal immegration (a social and economic issue) and terrorism. As I’m sure you all know, the 9/11 terrorists entered this country legally.
    Those who would raise support for immigration restriction frequently succumb to the temptation to scream “terrorists!” because it’s fun and effective.

  10. Halper seems to go back and forth on the apartheid label. no one complains about use of the term “gender apartheid.” as for the racial connotations, when the High court of Justice recently ruled that the system of “national priority areas” was discriminatory towards Arabs, they used the word “race:” such a result, wrote Supreme Court chief Aharon Barak, “is contaminated by one of the most suspect distinctions, which is distinction based on race and nationality. This is a result that Israeli democracy cannot tolerate.” Nice words, but this has not stopped the government from announcing its intent to pursue the Negev-Galilee plan, just as the Katzir decision has gone unimplemented since 2000.
    as for our all being Semites, this is a linguistic, not racial distinction. both Jews and Palestinians are of myriad racial origin.
    I feel uncomfortable using the word “apartheid” with the barrier because it is more of a misnomer — the bulk of its negative impact on Palestinians is because it separates them from their farms, schools, hospitals, each other, not from Jews.
    As for the term being “emotive,” I can’t count how often i’ve heard the complaint that “occupation” is an emotive word.

  11. You’re all a bunch of fascist genocidal war criminals who promote the ethnic cleansing of indigenous victims of apartheid mongered by neo-conservative rulers of the world by proxy.
    Did I miss anything, Christ-killers? Justice, diversity, dialogue, and revolution!

  12. “jeff halper… advocates sometimes extreme positions”
    I’ve always thought that halper was an extremist. the moderates are those who tolerate land theft and the shelling of civilian areas.

  13. Another extremist. Kasrils, the South African Minister of Intelligence, was the head of the ANC armed wing’s intelligence service. at least he doesn’t use “apartheid wall.” BTW, Kasrils is Jewish.
    Israel should face sanctions
    By Ronnie Kasrils and Victoria Brittain
    The Guardian
    19.5.06
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/comment/0,,1778714,00.html
    Western leaders are frustrating democratic elections in Palestine by withholding aid, and using collective punishment, an economic siege and starvation as political weapons in their efforts to get the Hamas government to accept their terms of business with Israel.
    Never in the long struggle for freedom in apartheid South Africa was there a situation as dramatic as in Palestine today: even though children were killed for resisting a second-class education; the liberation movement`s leaders were locked up for decades on Robben Island; new leaders were assassinated; church leaders were poisoned; house demolitions and forced removals were frequent; and western governments told South Africans who their leaders should be, and what their policies should be.
    The African National Congress confronted the military, economic and social power of white rule with a small guerrilla army, the mass support of the people and a moral authority that won it a following among millions around the world. Many now forget that the abhorrent apartheid system was treated as normal in the powerhouses of the world: entrenched interests meant the western media produced a sanitised version of its suffering and injustice.
    Today western moral authority in the Middle East is gone, as much because of years of double standards in Palestine as because of the current disastrous war on Iraq. There is no excuse for not knowing the truth about what is now happening to the Palestinians. And the most recent diplomatic moves by the Quartet – the US, the EU, the UN and Russia – to alleviate suffering, while keeping up the ban on dealing with the Palestinians` elected leaders, are totally inadequate.
    Some plain speaking on the current crisis, and on what will happen without serious political intervention, shows why. The root problem is the intensifying Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Despite the international court of justice ruling it illegal, Israel`s 390-mile wall snakes on through the West Bank, taking another 10% of the land and providing for the expansion of illegal Jewish settlements. Nearly 50,000 Palestinians are to be left in limbo on the Israeli side of the wall; 65,000 will face a daily commute through 11 transit points. Towns such as Qalqilya and Jayyous, formerly prosperous, with fertile hinterlands and good water supplies, are virtually encircled, with their farms and greenhouses on the Israeli side.
    Meanwhile, Israel is withholding $50m a month in customs duties and tax owed to the Palestinians, and energy supplies have been cut off. Palestinian civil servants, teachers, doctors and security forces have not been paid for over two months. The potential for civil war between factions of armed, increasingly desperate men is so obvious that Palestinians are not alone in thinking that the US actually wants such self-destruction.
    The Palestinians are having sanctions imposed on them for their political choice. But it is Israel, creating new facts on the ground to prevent the emergence of a viable Palestinian state, that should be facing UN sanctions. The UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, should use his last months in office to call for sanctions to bring about the implementation of the ICJ ruling on the Israeli wall, the closure of West Bank settlements and the release of Palestinian political prisoners. And those who care for freedom, peace and justice must build a global Palestine solidarity movement to match the anti-apartheid movement of the 1980s.
    * Ronnie Kasrils was head of intelligence in the African National Congress`s armed wing and is now South Africa`s intelligence minister; he is writing in a personal capacity.
    * Victoria Brittain is co-author with Moazzam Begg of Enemy Combatant
    [email protected]

  14. When was the last time that a Mexican walked into a restaurant and blew himself up? It has never happened. When has a Mexican denied the right of the US to exist as a nation? It has never happened.
    I personally don’t think that a security barrier is necessary, but it certainly cannot be compared to apartheid or to the security barrier in Israel. As far as I know, there has only been an attempt by terrorists to cross into American from Canada, not Mexico.
    Ronnie Karsils believes that Zionism is racism. He does not believe that a Jewish state should exist.

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