April 23, 2002

West Bank Wall: The Cyprus Solution

The Cyprus Solution: The reason Palestinian suicide bombers can blow up Israeli citizens is because Israel lets them walk up and stand next to its citizens. The nearby island of Cyprus had nonstop violence between Greeks and Turks until a wall was built dividing the island into two separate spheres. In the quarter century since, there have been very few killings. To paraphrase Robert Frost, good fences make non-homicidal neighbors.

Sure, Palestinians could blindly lob mortar rounds over a wall, but with the kind of radar tracking artillery suppression technology that Israel has now, that could be stomped out. Plus, the Israelis are working on an exciting missile defense system using armed drones to blast enemy ballistic missiles during their slow and vulnerable boost phase.

A wall would be expensive for the Israeli economy in the short run, since the Israelis rely on the Palestinians to be low wage hewers of wood and drawers of water. But, it would be truer to the original Zionist conception of building a separate economy where Jews performed all the jobs, not just the middle man minority jobs that Jews specialized in elsewhere. Anyway, the Israelis can always bring in less dangerous immigrants from places like Thailand to do the grunt work.

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