Saturday, March 16, 2013

Israeli General on 'security fencing': "it is indeed a monster"

Israel has recently completed its 'security fence' along its border with Egypt. This line snakes ominously through the Negev Desert.

Q: beside Israel, what other nation is entirely physically fenced in?

True, the US has built a separation wall on its border with Mexico, but it does not yet have a physical wall on its northern border with Canada, although it had been suggested by some. That plan was scrapped; instead, drones, "boots on the ground and greater integration with Canadian law enforcement" will be manning the border (and I think 'manning' is not sexist in this usage as most of those "boots" will be male and the ideology of militarism and security come firmly from militarised masculinity and the power of the male military hierarchy, even though there are women eager to perform hegemonic masculine militarism).  

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said the fence [through the Negev]

"was a sign of improved Israeli security. He has called the fence evidence of his efforts to insulate Israel from the turmoil of the Arab Spring revolutions and the influx of mostly Eritrean and Sudanese migrants, which he has portrayed as a national-security threat. ... Israeli security officials say Sinai has increasingly become a haven for militants from the Gaza Strip, local Bedouin tribes and global jihadist groups. Israel is also building a fence on the border with Syria, the prime minister's office said."

Netanyahu's rationale echoes the security apparatus and Islamophobic discourse common in Western nation states such as Canada and the US, a discourse embedded with racism of which Israel has its own multiple forms.

Ironically, the workers who have been building the barrier along Israel's border with Egypt are the very people that Israel wants to keep out of the country and one of the reasons it is building the 'fence': the Sudanese.

Israel already has a 'fence' along most of its border with Syria, but Israel is adding to it as well as fortifying it (appropriate word, 'fortifying' as it is linked to settler colonials building forts against the so-called natives).

Below is a photo of part of the Israeli security wall along what Israel defines as its border with Syria.
After finishing the 'security fence' along the Egyptian border, Israel will then build a 'security fence' along its border with Jordan.

Also, Israel has been busy fortifying its 'fence' along its border with Lebanon:
I wonder if these are "Arab Isreali" workers building the 'security fence'?

Of the 'security fence' being built along Israel's border with Egypt, deputy director general of the Israeli Defense Ministry, Brig. Gen. (res. ) Bezalel Treiber states:"It is indeed a monster...Seen from the Egyptian side, the fence overall is quite frightening."

Mice may well burrow their way to the other side, but will other desert animals pass in their migratory routes? And what of the Bedouin, whose traditional migratory land this is?

The 'fences' mapping out the borders of Israel are part of its system of segregation, of which the Apartheid Wall is its most heinous human rights abuser. It not only appropriates Palestinian land, but causes untold suffering to Palestinians caught in its oppressive encircling through restricting and preventing access to lands, education, health, recreations, community, religious institutions and is a formidable military tool of death, injury, and humiliation to Palestinians. 
image source: Tear Down the Wall 

This image is very gothic. I'm reminded of Frankenstein. It is dystopian. The wall is, of course, horrifically detrimental to the Palestinians, but what must it be like for the Israeli soldiers who go inside this dungeon? 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

$10 million & 9 million of Canadian taxpayer dollars

The Canadian government wastes exorbitant amounts of taxpayers' money on security and corruption. In an example that has recently come to light, Canadians don't even know exactly how much was spent! Meanwhile, those on social assistance or employment insurance (which used to be called 'unemployment insurance') are accountable for every last red dollar--including getting 'home visits' if the feds think you're lying.

For the dam --or should I say, damn-- project, we only know that about 10 million dollars was paid to a private security firm--and we know that this company is well known for its links to crime and corruption. Interesting, but not surprisingly, one of our own Canadian crime-and-corruption firms, SNC-Lavalin, is again caught up in scandal and, most likely, illegal actions. SNC-Lavalin, a powerful Canadian engineering firm/military contractor, is part of yet another outrageous mis-use of funds, and no doubt corruption and paying off powerful elites plays a role in the Dahla dam case in Afghanistan, as they did in Lavalin's corrupt dealings with repressive power lords in Libya:
Canada spent about $10 million on security in Afghanistan at its $50-million Dahla dam project, where private security contractors were linked to allegations of corruption and involved in an armed standoff with Canadian security officials.
One of Canada’s signature projects in Afghanistan, the Dahla dam was guarded in part by Watan Risk Management, a controversial Afghan security firm with alleged ties to crime and corruption. How much they were paid remains secret.

The Canadian International Development Agency contracted the project to SNC-Lavalin, which was responsible for security.
There's no other word but outrageous for this disgusting abuse of taxpayers' money. Where are the regulations and overseers to prevent this kind of crime? Seems our neoliberal government supports "security" and paying off foreign firms with terrible records of criminality. Maybe $10m is a drop in the bucket, as it seems $9 million was also spent covering up crime: this time on greenwashing environmental destruction:
 The Canadian government's ad campaign hid the gutting of environmental laws.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Life is a struggle

I have been absent from posting, but I hope to be back to a more regular routine soon. There are a few upcoming poetry events in TBay that look interesting. Above is the poster for a book launch this coming weekend. I don't usually go to Chapters (it's part of my BDS commitment as the majority owners of this bookstore founded Heseg the Foundation for Lone Soldiers ), but I will make an exception this once to go hear Al Hunter.