The Big Ideas of 2008

How I Learned to Love the Wall

The security wall separating Israel and Palestine keeps the "beautiful" from having to look at the "hideous."

They're building a wall in Israel. A new wall: 25 feet high, 300 miles long, electric fencing, trenches, access roads for armored patrol vehicles, electronic fence sensors, electronic ground sensors, thermal imaging equipment, video cameras, unmanned aerial vehicles, sniper towers, barbed wire, razor wire, landmines.

And if you think I'm against it, you're wrong. I think it's a good idea. Contrary to popular belief, the purpose of this new wall is not to prevent Arab terrorists from sneaking into the forbidden Jewish zones. Rather than a security barrier, the wall functions as a curtain, a dividing screen that separates the ugly from the beautiful.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying the Arabs should not enjoy basic human rights. I'm not saying they should be denied access to food, medical care, transportation, education, employment, or water. I'm not saying they're not human beings. All I'm saying is we don't want to be forced to look at them every day. They're not visually pleasing, to use a crass understatement. We came to Israel to build a beautiful country, to inherit our old-new land, the land of milk and honey, lavish landscapes, manly men, and gorgeous girls – not a land populated by unkempt, unclean, unshaven slobs.

Not that they need to be banished. Not that they have to die. We just don't want to see them, that's all. Extreme poverty produces extreme hideousness, and extreme hideousness demands an appropriate concealing device. The wall is not imprisonment. It's not incarceration. It's an aesthetic quarantine.

Israel is a modern miracle. A young, sexy, bubbly nation in the heart of the filth and darkness of the Arab world. It seems only right that half the people who live in this beautiful democracy should be excluded from participating in it: the ugly half. For 50 years they've been cleaning toilets, washing dishes, sweeping streets, scrubbing floors. Which is fine, if that's what you want to do. But at the end of the day, please be kind enough to take a shower. We're talking basic social behavior here, elementary consideration for other human beings. And if you have no money to buy soap, or if you have no running water at home, or if your home has been demolished, we can offer you all the sympathy in the world, but please don't expect us to be eager to look at you. And the wall, in spite of the hypocritical objection of the European community, in spite of the anti-Semitic threats of the International Court, in spite of the ungrateful, backstabbing, double-crossing propaganda of a self-hating minority that condemns it as a crime, does the job. It keeps the Arabs out of sight.

The construction of the wall, therefore, should not only continue according to plan, regardless of the screams and shouts of the pseudo-compassionate world, but also expand. We should put up more walls, walls to hide away the sick, the tired, the obese, the elderly, the gentiles. Our Jewish concrete slabs are perfectly impenetrable, harder than metal, stronger than steel, mightier than any moral value. Just like our 2,000-year-old Wailing Wall, this new one is not temporary. It's not reversible. It's here to stay. The nations of the world can yell and protest all they want, but they would need a lot more than a bunch of trumpets to knock this one down.

84 comments on the article “How I Learned to Love the Wall”

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If he could be at least, less ignorant, he would know that the adjective antisemitic comprehends both arabs and jews...but ohhh, he is, after all, a zionist, so abandon any hope for reasoning.


Buddha to be Israel, and the sick to be Hezbollah, and the old to be Egypt, and the poor to be Palestine; and then account for his transition to an ascetic life. We can assume Israel will leave its palace grown from the farms of purchased land, to beg in the streets which would be representative of the international community. The only difference is there is no community for Israel outside of Israel.

Remind me in fifty years after a persecution complex sets in with Palestinians for being abandoned by Jordan, refused by Syria and Lebanon, and pushed into refugee camps after fleeing Israel by Egypt who refused them any entry and ask why by then they will have taken what they can and given nothing back. Why after centuries of abuse and discrimination the Jewish people did the same? You sit on someone's chest for long enough and they will fight tooth and nail for their own air.

Carson Fire

Shouldn't we be allowed to see the beauty of co-existence? This article goes against the very purpose of this website. We want to crush oppression through protest and love, the author wants to not have to look at some ugly Arabs. This is intolerable.


why can't they build a beautiful wall and turn it into a tourist site? Or even a glass bomb proof section so that they can smile at each other while holding babies and sitting on donkeys?


I realize that this is satire, but people reading this have actually implied that they support this. To those people, I say that when you deny utilities, roads, civil rights, and housing to a people based on race and religion, you have to expect retaliation, even in its most terrible forms. If you want to be safe from the palestinians, maybe you should move back to preArab Isreali war borders, and stop murdering thousands of people every year because the bible promises you the land that they live on.


The problem with satire is that if you do not know the thing from your own experience you will not understand it completely. The problem with people who write satire that is published for people who don't know the subject from their personal experience, is that they make you wonder if this is their aim to begin with: To have other people take the satire as is.
Not that I completely disagree with Gilad but I would wonder about weather he has gotten his aim or has he created more problems and more misunderstanding?

Alex B

Wow. I guess it just all amounts to this:
a wall separating God's chosen children from His disparaged bastards.

There's something darkly poetic in the way humans can feel compelled to pen themselves away from others.

I would have thought that Jews were tired of walls, sniper towers and barbed wire by now. Isn't one holocaust more than sufficient?


this reminds me of the book Ugly's. its about a society that once you're 16, you go under a procedure to become a pretty once you become pretty you go to another part of town where uglies are banned. Is this happening, only in a diffrent state and in real life? This concerns me to a great extent.


The Adbusters magazine issue that ran a list of 50 prominent neocons and proudly exposed its investigation of which of them were Jewish, marking each Jew with a symbol.



People say that no Muslims speak out against terrorism. Well there are a few brave souls who do. One such person is Irshad Manji a progressive and a Muslim reformer. For people who don't understand the situation there she provides some insight - How I Learned to Love the Wall


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