Roger L. Simon

Wall Talk

You have to get to the last two sentences of the New York Times report that Israel will wall off 55,000 Arabs in building a security fence around Jerusalem to find the crux of the matter:

Israel says the barrier has played a major role in the sharp decline in suicide bombings. Palestinians carried out more than 50 suicide bombings in 2002, when Israel began building the barrier. So far this year, there have been two suicide bombings that killed Israelis.

Well, what would you do if you lived there? Given those statistics, I would build a fence in a New York… or maybe I should say in this case London… minute. The Palestinians have had quite literally decades to stop the violence and negotiate a settlement to the border, which during the recent Camp David/Taba discussions even included some portion of Jerusalem for them. Yet they didn’t. Even so, the Israelis are continuing to depart unilaterally from Gaza. And still the Palestinians complain. I can’t say I am wildly sympathetic.

UPDATE: The UK is evidently on “highest-ever” alert because the Al Qaeda killers are still at large. Is this germane to the situation in Israel? Of course. This murdering ideology is at work everywhere. If it takes a wall to stop them, that’s the least of it.

MORE: The BBC has this moving first hand account from a woman trapped in the underground:

Even more people got on at Kings Cross. It felt like the most crowded train ever. Then, as we left Kings Cross, at about 8.55am, there was an almighty bang.

Everything went totally black and clouds of choking smoke filled the tube carriage and I thought I had been blinded.

It was so dark that nobody could see anything.

I thought I was about to die, or was dead. I was choking from the smoke and felt like I was drowning.

Air started to flood in through the smashed glass and the emergency lighting helped us see a bit. We were OK.

A terrible screaming followed the initial silence.

We tried to stop ourselves from panicking by talking to each other and listening to the driver who started talking to us.

There was screaming and groaning but we calmed each other and tried to listen to the driver.

He told us he was going to take the train forward a little so he could get us out, after he had made sure the track wasn’t live.

We all passed the message into the darkness behind us, down the train. After about 20 to 30 minutes we started to leave the train.