Monday, October 03, 2011

3-Oct-11: So do those security checkpoints serve their purpose or not?

Hawara checkpoint, some years ago
There's a report this afternoon (Monday) from the Hawara security checkpoint near Nablus.

IDF forces arrested a Palestinian Arab carrying a 10 centimeter long knife and an improvised gun. He is now being questioned by security officials over the possibility (as Ynet puts it) that he was intending to carry out a terror attack.

Notwithstanding the constant criticism from anti-Israel sources, Israel's part-constructed security barrier and its multiple checkpoints constitute one of this country's most effective counter-terrorism measures.

The numbers put this beyond doubt. That critics can - and obsessively do - call it an "Apartheid Wall" reveals something about the shortage of intellectual honesty in such attacks. The fact that the barrier and the checkpoints have had a clearly positive effect on terror statistics, greatly reducing deaths and injury on both sides, ought to be central to any discussion about them, but is not.

There's useful background on the issues in a monograph written by Prof. Gerald Steinberg called "The UN, the ICJ and the Separation Barrier: War by Other Means" [online here].

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