Last updated on: 8/14/2015 10:50:53 AM PST

Should the Israeli Fence/Wall/Barrier Exist?


PRO (yes) CON (no)
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the military forces of the state of Israel, in a May 5, 2015 posting on their official blog titled "Setting the Facts Straight on the Security Fence," available from www.idfblog.com, wrote:

"The security fence serves one purpose and one purpose only: to prevent terrorists from carrying out deadly attacks on Israeli civilians. Since the construction of the fence began, there has been a significant decrease in the number of attacks originating in Judea and Samaria… Suicide attacks have decreased by 100%. Shooting attacks have decreased by 93.5%... Overall Israeli casualties from Palestinian terror have significantly declined since the early 2000s:

[Graph] Decrease in Israeli Casualties from Palestinian Terror..."

Israeli Casualty Graph


May 5, 2015 - Israel Defense Forces (IDF) 

The Embassy of Israel in Dublin, in a Jan. 5, 2012 article published on their website, titled "Anti-Terrorism Fence," available from embassies.gov.il, wrote:
"The Government of Israel has an obligation to defend its citizens against terrorism. This right of self-defense is anchored in international law. The anti-terrorist fence is an act of self-defense that saves lives. Until the Palestinians act to stop terrorism, Israel must take the necessary actions to protect itself."

Jan. 5, 2012 - Embassy of Israel in Dublin 

Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, President Emeritus of the Union for Reform Judaism, in a June 10, 2014 opinion piece for Haaretz titled "Why Israel Needs the Wall," wrote:
"What Israel needs is separation. And separation requires a wall - with Israelis on one side and Palestinians on the other… Ze'ev Jabotinsky, in his famous essay 'The Iron Wall,' written in 1923… [concluded] that the Jews must build their own state behind an 'iron wall' that their enemies cannot breach, while assuring democratic rights to non-Jews in their state… At this point in history, the separation barrier is Israel’s 'iron wall'… As such, the wall cannot be dismantled. And no Israeli leader should ever apologize for it. And what the Jewish state should do now is what Jabotinsky advised more than 80 years ago: Pull back behind the wall, use whatever force is necessary to defend the Jewish state against her foes, remain fiercely committed to Israel's democratic character, and recognize that the Palestinian people will want to 'rid itself of the danger of being colonized.'  If these steps can be carried out in stages and by agreement with the Palestinians, fine; but if not, support from the United States for unilateral action by Israel would be sufficient. And in the meantime, a campaign to address Palestinian suffering would surely be welcome."

June 10, 2014 - Eric H. Yoffie 

Richard D. Heideman, JD, Honorary President of B'nai B'rith International, in a Dec. 12, 2013 op-ed for Arutz Sheva titled, "Wrongful Accusations of Apartheid," available from www.israelnationalnews.com, wrote:

"In truth, what Israel built was a security barrier, movable upon the cessation of terrorism, an integral part of achieving an everlasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians... What Israel built was not a border, but a barrier against death and destruction.  What Israel built was protection, not apartheid…

Until the Palestinians choose to live side by side in peace and security with Israel as its neighbor, the fence will continue as an important part of meeting that duty. For not only during the past ten years, but for decades, Israel has weathered the bigoted misrepresentation of her true intentions to attain peace through security and the constant attempt to blame her for acts not done."


Dec. 12, 2013 - Richard D. Heideman, JD 

Tsvi Sadan, PhD, author and freelance journalist, in a Sep. 14, 2014 article for Israel Today, titled "The Myth of Israel's Apartheid Wall," wrote:
"The concrete wall around certain parts of the West Bank was built to prevent terrorists and suicide bombers from entering Israeli cities and villages, but has long been misrepresented to accuse Israel of implementing an apartheid policy… A more sober look at the 'apartheid wall' shows that it has been a means to protect Jewish towns from the waves of Arab violence that have been coming ever since Jews started returning to their land… Far from being part of a nefarious apartheid policy, the fences and walls one sees throughout the Holy Land are an irritation for Israelis who feel they are once again being confined to ghettos. Nevertheless, nearly everyone agrees these are essential measures in Israel's constant struggle for survival."

Sep. 14, 2014 - Tsvi Sadan, PhD 

Danny Tirza, PhD, former Head of the Rainbow Operation Administration of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), who, in this role planned and led the establishment of the fence/wall/barrier, in a July 1, 2012 article for Al-Monitor, titled "Israeli Security Fence Architect: Why the Barrier Had to Be Built," wrote:
"The fence has created a conceptual and physical barrier between two neighboring peoples who have been entangled in conflict for a century but still hope to live in peace. I would have gladly done without the fence. Yet, we had no choice but to build it in order to protect our lives and our children's lives. And I do hope that the day will come when the threat of terror will no longer cast its dark shadow over our lives and we will be able to live peacefully, safely and securely, with our Palestinian neighbors, the day when there will be no need for any fences or walls."

July 1, 2012 - Danny Tirza, PhD 

Robbie Sabel, PhD, Professor of International Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and former Legal Adviser to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a June 2, 2013 article for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs' Jerusalem Issue Briefs titled "Manipulating International Law as Part of Anti-Israeli 'Lawfare'," available from jcpa.org, wrote:
"Any border fence serves to separate areas and one may hope for a world with no borders. However, for so long as Israel has to face terrorist acts, it is legitimate for it, as it is for other states, to erect a barrier to prevent terrorist attacks and illegal crossings. Those calling the fence the 'apartheid wall' make frequent reference to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the issue. They fail to point out that, in this opinion, the International Court of Justice made no reference whatsoever to 'apartheid' or analogy with 'apartheid.' Furthermore, although the court criticized the route of the 'wall' as being beyond the 1949 'Green' Armistice Line, the court was careful not to deny Israel's right in principle to build such a security fence."

June 2, 2013 - Robbie Sabel, PhD 

The Palestine Liberation Organization Negotiation Affairs Department (PLONAD), in a 2014 report titled "Behind the Wall: Focus on International Responsibility on the 10 Year Anniversary of the ICJ Advisory Opinion," available from nad-plo.org, wrote:
"The Annexation Wall is the most visible element of Israel's occupation and control over the land and people of Palestine. Behind it, and indeed all around it, lie a series of equally ugly policies and practices designed to colonize and annex as much land as possible.... Ten years ago, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rendered an Advisory Opinion on the legal consequences of Israel's construction of a wall in the occupied Palestinian territory. The Court ruled that Israel's construction of the Wall and its associated administrative regime violate international humanitarian law and international human rights law. It called on Israel to cease construction of the Wall, dismantle its sections within Palestinian territory, and make reparations for the harm it caused… But ten years later, the Wall still stands. The international community has not acted forcefully to demand that Israel dismantle the Wall and eliminate its associated administrative regime… For the Palestinians, the Wall fragments not only the land but also the very social fabric of the Palestinian people. Ten years after the ICJ condemned it, the Wall is now an integral element of Israel's project of colonization."

2014 - Palestine Liberation Organization Negotiations Affairs Department (PLONAD) 

Naftali Bennett, leader of the Jewish Home, an Israeli political party, in a May 20, 2014 article for the Wall Street Journal titled "A New Plan for Peace in Palestine: Dismantle The Security Barrier in the West Bank. Let Most Palestinians Who Live There Govern Themselves," wrote:
"Israel should dismantle the security barrier erected throughout the last decade to defend against Palestinian terror attacks during the Second Intifada. Many Israelis credit the barrier with the dramatic increase in security over the past decade. Not a single Israeli was killed by terror in the West Bank in 2012, making it the first year without bloodshed since 1973. Yet this was not solely due to the barrier. The remarkable drop in terror happened thanks to high-quality intelligence coupled with Israel's ability to conduct targeted military operations in the West Bank. The number of Israeli operations in the West Bank has dropped significantly because the military now only carries out pinpointed operations based on reliable intelligence. Israel can now stay reasonably secure without the barrier. This will prove especially true if the Israeli government works with the international community to promote Palestinian economic development in Areas A and B."

May 20, 2014 - Naftali Bennet 

Ban Ki-Moon, MPA, Secretary General of the United Nations, in a July 9, 2014 message to the Special Meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to Commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, available from www.un.org, stated:
"The wall severely restricts Palestinian movement and access throughout the West Bank, cuts off land and access to resources needed for Palestinian development, and continues to undermine agricultural and rural livelihoods throughout the West Bank.  Moreover, the wall and increased settlement expansion have worsened the fragmentation of the Palestinian Territory, compounding the increasing isolation of East Jerusalem from the rest of the Territory."

July 4, 2014 - Ban Ki-Moon, MPA 

Pax Christi International, a global Catholic peace movement and network, in a Jan. 26, 2015 post on their Pax Christi Peace Stories blog titled “We Need Bridges, Not Walls! The Cremisan Valley,” wrote:
"Israel's main concern is the security of its people.  In fact, the wall does not ensure the expected absolute security. In November 2014, five worshipers were killed in a Jerusalem synagogue. On 21 January 2015, several Israelis were wounded in a knife attack on a Tel Aviv bus. Pax Christi International condemns any form of violence against innocent citizens. Yet, building a wall does not guarantee safety and security.  In time, people have given different names to this wall, depending on how one looked at the conflict: a fence, a separation barrier, a security wall, an apartheid wall, a wall of shame (as was the Berlin Wall), a discrimination wall, etc.  Right from the beginning, Pax Christi International has protested and has been campaigning against the building of such a wall. This wall does not improve the peace process between Israel and Palestine."

Jan. 26, 2015 - Pax Christi International 

Peter Maurer, PhD, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in a 2012 article for the International Review of the Red Cross titled "Challenges to International Humanitarian Law: Israel's Occupation Policy," available from www.icrc.org, wrote:
"The ICRC certainly recognises the Israeli government's need to ensure the security of its own population and territory. This is an inalienable right of any state, though with the understanding that any measures to ensure national security must remain in accordance with the rules and procedures prescribed by international law... the Barrier cannot be justified as a security measure, consolidating and perpetuating as it does the illegal presence of settlements.  Its cumulative effects have led to consequences of a magnitude and gravity well out of proportion with what may be the legitimate security concerns of Israel. As such, it cannot be reconciled with the duties of an Occupying Power."

2012 - Peter Maurer, PhD 

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the office of the resident Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, in a June 11, 2014 article on its website titled "Pope's Gesture at Separation Wall…the Message?," available from en.lpj.org, wrote:
"Whatever the excuse, a wall of separation remains, a restriction of freedom of movement, a rupture for families who are separated, and an injury for those who lose their land. On one or the other side, it reflects a difficulty to coexist, to live together. Various walls erected throughout the world are all objects of shame and suffering. There was the Berlin Wall, but there remain those of Cyprus, Korea, Ireland and others. They are examples of suffering, as also marks the one between Israel and Palestine."

June 11, 2014 - Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem 

The International Court of Justice, in its July 9, 2004 advisory opinion on the "Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory," available from www.icj-cij.org, wrote:
"The construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated regime, are contrary to international law…   Israel is under an obligation to terminate its breaches of international law; it is under an obligation to cease forthwith the works of construction of the wall being built in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, to dismantle forthwith the structure therein situated, and to repeal or render ineffective forthwith all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto..."

July 9, 2004 - International Court of Justice (ICJ) 

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