Saturday, November 8, 2014

Two Walls

Chris Gueffroy, was a 20 year old barkeep who wanted to avoid his upcoming military service in East Germany. He tried to cross the Berlin wall during the night of February 5-6, 1989.  He was shot and killed by East German border guards. His was to be the last of more than 136 such killings.

On November 9, 1989, 25 years ago, the wall came down.


The state signaled its lack of resolve, and suddenly everything changed.

Yesterday, in Israel/Palestine, young men marked the occasion by forcing an opening in the separation wall near Jerusalem.



This wall too will fall.

For now, the Israeli state remains full of deadly resolve. The footage below is from a security camera, not at the wall, but at Kafr Kanna (in the Galilee, just west of the Golani Junction) during the night of November 7-8, 2014. A Palestinian man is crazily striking a police van with a knife. The door opens, he turns to run and he is killed in cold blood (he died a few hours after this event). It is the worst of what we imagine may have happened in the Johannes Mehserle incident at the Fruitvale BART station in the San Francisco Bay Area. The incident follows two days after Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich seemed to endorse the extra judicial killing after two terrorist incidents in Jerusalem.




The Berlin Wall was raised starting on August 31, 1961; it lasted 28 years. The Israel/Palestine wall was constructed beginning in 2001.

The Berlin wall was built to keep people in East Germany; three and one half million East Germans migrated to the West from the Soviet controlled East before construction of the wall.  The Israeli Separation Wall was built to keep Palestinian terrorists out of Israel. Prior to construction of the wall, 177 Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks during the first Intifada (within the Green Line). During the Second Intifada (in the period 2000-2005) in excess of 500 Israelis were killed within Israel.

The wall has been effective at preventing the killing of Israelis. Not so much Palestinians.

                              #killed        Palestinian          Israeli

                               2006:            665                     23
                               2007:            385                     13
                               2008:            887                     35
                               2009:           1034                    ~0
                               2010:             82                      ~0
                               2011:             118                    ~0
                               2012:             254                    ~0
                               2013:             38                      ~0
                               2014:           2,243                    76
                                                  5,706                    147

The East German government had a police state grip on East Germans; when they let go peace blossomed. The Israeli government has a murderous grip on the Palestinians .... when they let go, the result may be civil war.


       

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