Sunday, September 9, 2007
By Uri Avnery
"WHEN MY friends fall prey to despair, I show them a piece of painted concrete, which I bought in Berlin.
It is one of the remnants of the Berlin wall, which are on sale in the city.
I tell them that I intend, when the time comes, to apply for a franchise to sell pieces of the Separation Wall.*
Sometimes, when I give a lecture before a German audience, I ask: "How many of you believed, a week before the fall of the wall, that this would happen in their lifetime?" No one has ever raised their hand.
But the Berlin wall fell. This week it happened here, too - true, only in one place, to a small section of the fence, when the Supreme Court decided that the government must dismantle the obstacle (which at this place consists of a fence, with ditches, patrol roads and razor wire) and relocate it nearer to the Green Line.
THE BIBLE commands us: "Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth" (Proberbs 24,17). It is a very hard commandment to obey.
The enemy, in this case, is the "Separation Obstacle". It is hard not to rejoice, even when it is a limited joy, a conditional joy, because we have won a battle, not the campaign.......
The man who invented the wall was Haim Ramon, then a leader of the Labor Party. Ramon started out as one of the "doves' of the party (when that was popular). Later he jumped ship to the Kadima Party (when that was profitable).
This week Ramon proposed cutting off the electricity that Israel supplies to the Gaza Strip, as punishment for the Qassam rockets fired at Sderot. It must be remembered that from the beginning of the occupation, Israeli governments have prevented the setting up of independent water and electricity works there, so as to make sure that the Strip would be completely dependent on Israel in matters of life and death.
Now Ramon proposes cutting off this lifeline, to plunge Gaza into darkness, to stop electricity for hospitals and refrigerators, as a collective punishment - which constitutes a war crime. His government has accepted the proposal in principle.
If Bil'in represents the struggle of the Sons of Light, Ramon surely represents - quite literally - the Sons of Darkness."