February 11, 2004


Suddenly, fences are all the rage:

Saudi Arabia, one of the most vocal critics in the Arab world of Israel's "security fence" in the West Bank, is quietly emulating the Israeli example by erecting a barrier along its porous border with Yemen.

The barrier is part of a plan to erect what will be an electronic surveillance system along the length of the kingdom's frontiers - land, air and sea. The project, involving fencing and electronic detection equipment, has been in the planning stages for several years. It may cost up to $8.57bn (4.58bn). Behind the plan is a deep-seated lack of trust in the Yemeni authorities' ability to arrest infiltrators before they make it into Saudi territory.

And in Jerusalem:

Palestinian officials are probing whether there's concrete evidence that some of their own firms are helping to build Israel's controversial "security fence."

One Palestinian lawmaker, speaking on condition of anonymity, said yesterday it appears that even a cement company owned by Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia's family is among the businesses building the fence that their government vehemently opposes.

Israeli TV reported that the Al-Quds Cement Co., owned by Qureia's family, has been providing the materials to help build the barrier.

Posted by Tim Blair at February 11, 2004 11:58 PM

Why do the PLO Arabs need a probe? We have known for a while that the PLO Arabs are themselves helping with the building of the fence. And this anti-Israel person even photographed it.

This is no surprise, considering the PLO Arabs have also built the settlements. I have witnessed it firsthand, and even chatted with them. While they complain that the fence and settlements are barriers to peace, they are benefitting from them economically.

In any event, I do not expect much from any "probe" conducted by the PA, as this illustrates.

Posted by: Dave at February 12, 2004 at 12:46 AM

Good fences make good neighbors, right?

Posted by: Roger Bournival at February 12, 2004 at 12:55 AM

Quick! Where are the lefties protesting the apartheid Saudi fence?

Oh...I forgot.

Posted by: igor at February 12, 2004 at 01:06 AM

If the Saudi fence was actually being built several miles into Yemen's territory, people might be a bit more upset.

Posted by: Robert at February 12, 2004 at 01:55 AM

Somehow I doubt it, Robert. I just can't picture a whole lot of people on the Protest Circuit taking time off from waving their Bush=Sharon=Hitler posters, in order to protect those poor Yemenis.

Posted by: E. Nough at February 12, 2004 at 02:56 AM

robert - there is no such thing as "palestinian" territory,because there is no such thing as a "Palestine" nation - if you have proof of the existance of such a nation with info on her borders, by all means post the link. i wd be very interested in seeing it.


Posted by: hen at February 12, 2004 at 03:27 AM

If only the East Germans had hired West German contractors to build the Berlin Wall, the Wall might still be standing!

Posted by: Anthony at February 12, 2004 at 06:25 AM

Robert, get real. Nothing upsets the lefties that doesn't comport with, support, or forward their batshit world view. Consistency and coherency are anathema on the left, and have been since at least the 1930s and Stalin's weekly political correctness updates.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at February 12, 2004 at 08:46 AM

Robert, I'm in awe of your limitless authority to declare Palestinian sovereignty over certain sections of the disputed territories.

Lets get it straight for all the pundits who think they know this issue back to front.

UN Resolution 242 and all peace accords declare outright that the territories are defined as *DISPUTED* and must be decided upon based on NEGOTIATIONS - not the proclamations of pro-Palestinian commentators.

Whats more, the Israeli government repeatedly made commitments to the US that the fence is not an end solution and has no bearing on final status negotiations.

Posted by: Jono at February 12, 2004 at 08:51 AM

Quite right, Jono.

Also: The Palestinians will never negotiate peace with Israelis, UNLESS THEY HAVE SOMETHING TO LOSE BY NOT DOING SO. This is one of the reasons the fence does not follow the West Bank boundary line; it demonstrates to the Palestinians that, by not accepting what was offered to them in 2000, they have lost ground, figuratively and literally.

No wonder they're upset! Who likes to lose, and get one's nose rubbed in it? Especially if it's a spectacular loss, for which one has only oneself to blame...

Daniel in Medford

Posted by: Daniel in Medford at February 12, 2004 at 01:52 PM

Was that New York Post piece titled "PA Seeks 'Concrete' Evidence"?

You know, because it IS the New York Post and all.

Posted by: Joe Geoghegan at February 12, 2004 at 02:35 PM

Oh crap, you made the same joke in the title of your post, Tim. Good thing this is an old one... maybe nobody will notice I'm a re-joker.

Posted by: Joe Geoghegan at February 12, 2004 at 02:36 PM

What the hell is Israel doing buying anything of this scumbags company anyway?

Posted by: Dead Ed at February 12, 2004 at 04:48 PM

What the hell is Israel doing buying anything of this scumbags company anyway?

The price is right?
The delivery is on time?
The usual commercial considerations?

Posted by: Peggy Sue at February 12, 2004 at 05:34 PM

This must be why lefties hate free trade.

Posted by: Ken Summers at February 13, 2004 at 02:31 AM