Friday, April 27, 2007

“And the walls came tumbling down”

by Sonja Karkar
Women for Palestine

".....Others are much more sinister: concrete slabs that are used to control populations that we fear or do not like. We use the euphemism “security” to justify their “necessity” without any care for the human suffering going on behind them.

Whether for protection and security or to contain and imprison, walls are a symbol of failure – a failure to revel in freedom and embrace our common humanity: that is reason enough to bring them down. In 1989, the world watched in rapture as the Berlin Wall tumbled. At 4 metres high and 166km long, it had stood for 28 years creating an Iron Curtain between East and Western Europe. However, for all its immensity, the wall – with its watch-towers, border patrols, barbed wire, guard dogs and searchlights – never worked......

Humankind has not learnt its lesson despite the costly failures of containment which dot our history. It seems that once in government, the mindset of politicians becomes focused on dreams of invincibility at all costs, even human ones. This filters down and insidiously contaminates the people they purport to lead creating an “us and them” mentality which erects real and invisible walls. Without knowing it, the concepts of freedom, democracy and peace slip silently away from the lives of those who erect the walls as much as from those the walls contain. We are all to blame. We cannot speak of symbols, or triumphantly clutch our piece of the Berlin Wall, or put our white arm around a black brother, or speak about Christian love, God’s people and Allah the all-Merciful unless we are prepared to raise our voices against the new walls being built before our eyes and bring them tumbling down. "

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