A traveller wrote a letter to the Globe and Mail newspaper yesterday saying that he had recently returned from Occupied Palestine and unlike a previous letter-writer, who was shocked by the Apartheid reality she encountered there, this individual wrote that in his view, the "inconvenience" to Palestinians was the price to pay for security, and besides ,"...no one was ever killed by The Wall".
I became so incensed with this inaccurate, hurtful, racist dishonesty, that I had to register my huge displeasure immediately; to call the travesty of The Wall an "inconvenience" is profoundly demeaning and a response was essential.
Here is what I wrote:
XY's letter is reflective of the psychological principle that perception is in the eye of the beholder. Mr. Y refers to the Separation Wall in Israel-Palestine as an "inconvenience" for Palestinians and states that the "Security Wall" has never "killed anyone".
Both conclusions are woefully inaccurate as attested to by international human rights groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, B'Tselem, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, and most recently, in the July 2012 publication of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The Wall kills those who have been denied access to life-saving medical treatment available only on the other, privileged side of The Wall. It kills children whose mothers have been forced to give birth at checkpoints. It kills the spirit of those whose olive groves are inaccessible behind The Barrier. It is soul murder of the 7,500 Palestinians who now reside between The Wall and the Green Line and who need military-issued permits to continue living in their own homes. At least they have homes! Many Palestinians are traumatized by having their homes demolished to make way for the ever-expanding Wall.
I believe most observers would agree that these unethical, illegal and lethal consequences of the Separation Wall cannot be dismissed as mere "inconvenience".
And "Yes" - I have been there too.
John G Soos, PhD
Clinical and Peace Psychologist