OPINION

The wall

Many weeks have passed since Israeli troops invaded the West Bank, invoking a war on terror. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon promised he would eliminate terrorist cells and free people from fear. It seemed, though, that Israeli operations aimed at smashing the Palestinian Authority and, above all, weakening the Palestinians themselves, forcing them to abandon their homes. Regardless of underlying motives, two conclusions can be drawn. First, even if this was not the original aim, the Israeli raids degenerated into crimes against civilians. The innocent paid along with the guilty. The Palestinians mourn their dead and missing, their injured and imprisoned, and their destroyed property and ill fate. Second, the most renowned security forces failed dismally to disrupt the groups that send suicide bombers onto Israeli land. Suicide blasts have caused repeated bloodbaths, killing many unsuspecting citizens. Dozens of Israeli civilians have lost their lives, while an even greater number have been heavily wounded. In reality, their daily life has turned into a nightmare. The decision by the Sharon government to build a wall that will separate the West Bank from Israel is an admission of failure so far, but also reflects Israel’s insistence on the same disastrous strategy. The Israeli State has managed – with precious help from the international Jewish community – to keep the international community in check, but has proved unable to protect its own citizens from suicide attacks. Leaving the Palestinians with no option, the Sharon government has fueled their despair and resentment. The Israelis realize, painfully, that they are not invulnerable to this confrontation. It’s time they proved they can break the vicious circle of violence. The solution is plain: Creating a Palestinian state would help control terrorist groups and cut the roots of terrorism.