Today I have been studying the controversy surrounding the ‘peace barrier’ in Israel/Palestine. I’m not going to bore you with facts, figures and graphs that are readily available in abundance on the internet, but the subject got me thinking about the woder issues of Peace Barriers and Peace Walls.
Being from Belfast, Northern Ireland (North Belfast no less) I am no stranger to seeing these barriers. I have witnessed the division that they have caused in communities.
‘It seems that conflict resolution has been forgotten, whilst the concrete industry is thriving’ – The Guardian (full citation to follow).
It seems to me, at least in the case of Belfast that these barriers do nothing but deepen and further entrench ethnic cleavages. Perhaps it’s still too early to have any concrete evidence on Israel/Palestine, but I dare say we’ll see the same thing here. I realise this is a very idealistic approach and that the world of International Politics is still very much dominated by a sense of realism – so I certainly don’t propose arbitrarily and hastily tearing these walls down to the detriment of the communities through which they run – but – simply can’t help but wonder would the peace processes be quicker in coming, more stable in the long run and more viable that they have been had the walls never been built. Were the powers that be – those who built the walls – acting simply with short solutions in mind, did they even consider the wider ramifications?
Once again I’m writing from the bus so please excuse any spelling mistakes, and I cannot link anything or provide footnotes because I don’t have all the necessary materials with me. I will try and add these at a later time.