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James Carroll Errs on Israel's Security Fence

In his commentary, “A wall across the world” (Feb. 17, 2004), Globe columnist James Carroll erred in characterizing the security fence Israel is constructing to prevent terrorism as “a high cement barrier that will run hundreds of miles along a circuitous route dividing Israeli and Palestinian areas.”

On February 20, the Boston Globe published the following letter by CAMERA senior research analyst Ricki Hollander, headlined “Defensive Wall”:

James Carroll describes the security fence that Israel is building as a high cement barrier that will run hundreds of miles along a circuitous route ("A wall across the world, op-ed, Feb. 17). In fact, concrete sections will constitute only a tiny proportion of the projected 480-mile route. More than 97 percent will consist of a chain-link fence. The walled parts will be confined to areas that present an immediate risk of sniper gunfire.

Ricki Hollander
Boston, MA

In addition, CAMERA urged the Globe to publish its own correction. James Carroll appended the following misleading correction to his March 2, 2003 article.

Correction: In my column on Feb. 17, I referred to the barrier between Israel and the West Bank as a "high cement barrier that will run hundreds of miles..." As readers pointed out to me, the cement portion of the wall/fence will not run the whole distance. Barbed wire will also be used.

Mr. Carroll's incomplete correction does not clarify that short concrete fragments of the fence amount to only about 5 miles in length, intended to prevent shooting at vehicles on roads near the barrier. The vast majority of the barrier will consist of a chain link fence equipped with electronic sensors or watchtowers, flanked by patrol roads and a combination of physical obstacles such as ditches, barbed wire, and fine sand.

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