Israel's concern for security is justified

Opinion: Columns

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By Alan Peres

I read with interest the article "Airing the Palestinian side" [News, Nov. 13]. The article quotes a St. Giles participant saying there is "excessive concern for security" within the Israeli government.

Tell that to the average Israeli. My family and I were within a few short blocks of the Mahane Yehuda market on July 30, 1997. An explosion from two suicide bombers ripped through the market, killing 16 people and wounding 178. If it wasn't for the timing, we might have been an additional three. This was one of dozens of terrorist bombings that killed civilians. Mahane Yehuda itself was bombed again in 2002.

We again found ourselves in Jerusalem in November 2012. Shortly after we arrived, a rocket fired from a heavily-populated civilian area of neighboring Gaza landed just outside Jerusalem. We heard the explosion. We could only be thankful that the rocket launcher did not have better aim but could have as easily hit Palestinian areas as Israeli ones.

It is estimated that over 100,000 rockets in Gaza are aimed at Israel. There are those who say the Israelis should not strike back as there have been few deaths or injuries. They would rather see Israelis killed than defend themselves. Israel is not the only nation to erect border separation barriers as a defensive, anti-smuggling or anti-illegal immigration measure although it appears to be the only country widely and repeatedly criticized for having done so. Other borders include Spain and Morocco, China and North Korea, Egypt and Gaza, India and Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, North Korea and South Korea, Kuwait and Iraq, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, Cyprus and Northern Cyprus, United States and Mexico, Morocco and Western Sahara, Botswana and Zimbabwe, Brunei and Malaysia, Thailand and Malaysia. Others are planned.

And separation barriers are not new. The Great Wall of China began as a separation barrier 2,200 years ago. It is only in modern times that it has become a historical artifact. Closer to home, Canada went through a crisis in October 1970. After dozens, if not hundreds of bombings over years by a radical group, the Province of Quebec was plunged into crisis when the British Trade Representative was kidnapped, followed by the kidnapping and murder of a provincial government minister.

Prime Minister Trudeau, a staunch advocate of civil liberties, invoked the War Powers Act, a form of martial law, bringing armed Canadian troops in the streets. It made a great impression on me as a young student in Montreal who remembered the National Guard on the streets of many U.S. cities during the race riots of the 1960s.

It is easy, when you live thousands of miles away, and protected by a vast ocean, to be critical. Any U.S. resident would demand a response to bus bombings, blown-up restaurants and other attacks that feel like a series of 9/11s. The separation barrier is such a response, resulting in a significant drop in terrorist activity.

Alan Peres is an Oak Park resident.

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Hey Brian  

Posted: December 6th, 2013 11:03 AM

So, you think the Israelis should but the Palestinians on reservations and allow them to open casinos?

Rusty from Oak Park   

Posted: December 6th, 2013 10:20 AM

I think the real issue here is that an arbitrary group of people thinks that they need to differentiate themselves from the rest of humanity based on ideas that were last relevant several thousands of years ago. Jews don't exist, they're just normal people who want to feel special. I'm saying this as an offspring of people who designate themselves Jewish.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: November 28th, 2013 9:28 AM

Yes, as a possibility . There aren't to many American or Native Americans firing rockets at each other or building walls, plus the U.S. government made some type of reparation to the Native Americans. Maybe Israel should consider the same. The entire region would love the peace we have here.

Hey Brian  

Posted: November 28th, 2013 8:03 AM

The fact that no Native Americans are currently seeking compensation from you proves that the Americans were successful and the Israeli plan following the American "model" is a wise one? After all, it worked for you. Hypocrite. Enjoy your Thanksgiving. No irony there.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: November 25th, 2013 2:49 PM

Bruce, well said.

Bruce Samuels from Oak Park  

Posted: November 25th, 2013 12:09 PM

I worked on a kibbutz in Israel and walked through the streets of several cities. The majority of people want peace. This fight is like a family quarrel between cousins. Yes, the Palestinians are being exploited by other Arab nations just as they are being abused at home. The billions of dollars that we pour into Israel and Egypt should be used to promote peace. It may mean a two state solution or one united state, but surely this better than constant war and suicide bombings.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: November 21st, 2013 12:18 PM

@hey: Still no illini Indian showing any kind of claim against my house lot.BTW,r/u making paymnets to the Peoria tribe 4use of their land. Alan, thanxs for the f/u. However, I find it hard to believe that no one left Israel prior to the war. The injustice done to 850,000 Jews does give Israel that right to the same course of action to someone else. At least the Hindu and Moslems agreed to the partition and time was given to sell property or stay. Looking for the cause to find peace both sides.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: November 21st, 2013 12:07 PM

Still no illini Indians showing any proof of holding title to my house lot. BTW, do you pay the Illini for your use of their land? Alan, thanks

Hey Brian  

Posted: November 21st, 2013 10:20 AM

Shows you are just another Oak Park hypocrite on this subject (as there are many!). Talk the talk when it comes to Israel, but fail to walk the walk when it comes to your house here in Oak Park. Figures.

Hey Brian  

Posted: November 21st, 2013 10:17 AM

Why don't you contact the Peoria Tribe? They are the remaining descendants of the Illinois Indians. Send your monthly rental payments to them in Miami, OK.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: November 21st, 2013 9:40 AM

Wars have consequences. The Arabs lost so it is time they get over it. This isn't to say Palestinians don't have legitimate grievances, but lobbing rockets and blowing up cafes is no way to garner favor with the civilized world imho. Israel has made all kinds of concessions only to get more rockets. You can't negotiate with religious nut jobs willing to blow themselves up. They have nothing to lose, but everything to gain. The Palestinians need a MLK like figure to be taken seriously.


Posted: November 21st, 2013 9:32 AM

@Brian. You are incorrect. The Palestinians did not leave before the war but during and after. Their leaders and those of the Arab countries that attacked Israel promised them they would get their homes back. It was a promise they could not keep and for which the Palestinians now pay the price. What about the 850,000 Jews forced out of Arab countries after the 1948 war, and the Suez Crisis? The millions of Hindus and Moslems displaced after the 1948 or 1949 partition of India? No compensation.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: November 21st, 2013 8:36 AM

Please show me any Illini Indian that has interest in my house lot.I am trying to ask a question to frame the problem for both sides with hopes of settling the dispute, There is enough blood on everyones hands. Both sides must be heard. Arab Palestinians who would have returned after 1948 would probably had a higher standard of living.

Hey Brian  

Posted: November 20th, 2013 6:06 PM

Maybe when you give your land back to the Illini Indians or pay fair compensation, the Israelis will be interested in your opinion on whether any "proceeds" should have been held in escrow....

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: November 20th, 2013 5:08 PM

@Alan, please comment, and I admit I might be incorrect. The heart of the issue is that prior to the war of 1948, Arabs, left then Palestine w/the hopes of returning when the Israelis lost. Arabs failed to return to their land and the land was sold, given away w/o them being compensated. Proceeds should have been held in escrow.Yes,in hindsight easier said than done, .This might be the cause of all the problems. Please advise on the structure barrier between Spain and Morocco.

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