Letter to the Editor
Regarding Mark Peaker’s parallel between the Berlin Wall and Israel’s barrier („Israel’s wall imprisons hope“, November 12)the comparison is inexact, to say the least.
The Berlin Wall was built to keep East Germans prisoner in East Germany, to keep them from gioing to the West.
The barrier in Israel is to keep out the terrorists who would otherwise, as they had previously, blow up schoolchildren in buses, young adults in pizza restaurants, seniors in ceremonies, students in religious schools and families in their homes. The barrier has been a successful defence against terrorists, and murders of Israelis have declined substantially.
The barrier has undercut terrorism against civilians and has given the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) the opportunity to concentrate instead of building their own society which has seen remarkable economic progress and civil peace since the barrier was erected. For all concerned, the barrier has provided greater hope. If, and when, Palestinians are ready to live in peace with Israel, Israelis will be delighted to tear it down.
In the meantime, it serves a constructive purpose.
Philip Carl Salzman
Professor Salzman is a member of the Board of Directors of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East .