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That Greek word again

Posted by Helen Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The theme of hypocrisy in European thinking was taken up by the Washington Times, with Erick Stakelbeck pointing to an interesting development.

The European Union, which had condemned Israel in no uncertain terms for building a security fence to keep out terrorists and whose members all voted to support yet another UN resolution, which demanded that the fence be dismantled, is … ahem … planning to build a security fence.

This one, presumably, will not be “contrary to international law” as the Israeli one was angrily described by Javier Solana, since it is not intended to keep out terrorists or suicide bombers but “to prevent the free movement of migrants seeking to enter” EU territory. Phew. That’s all right then.

It is perhaps worth pointing out that because of the fence yesterday’s suicide bomb that killed 12 people in a busy shopping area was the first since March and another potential bomber was caught at the fence as many others had been. One hopes that these unfortunate terrified children are treated well and sent back to their mothers.

To be fair Solana condemned the killings. But he has also condemned the attempt to stop them. What exactly does he think is the right thing to do?

A security fence that separates Hungary and Poland from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus is precisely what many critics of EU enlargement predicted. It will once again cut the countries outside off from Europe and separate families that live on either side of the border. The iron curtain will move eastward and stay there. Perhaps, if the EU officials and the Israeli contractors who, adding insult to injury, are being broght over to help build the barrier, look around carefully, they will find remnants of the old barbed wire, minefields and look-out towers. All of these can be put to good use.