View Full Version : Help please! Building a ghetto, how long'd it take?

02-11-2015, 11:36 PM
So I've just sat down to start with that flashback about "that night" when people of an Israeli "minority" had their telecommunication devices, weapons, and gas balloons confiscated by the military. This, one step of the riddance of those people, happens somewhere between 2015 and 2019.

Here's what happened: Israel was flooded by a collapsed cesspool of rightwing goo around the 2015 elections. A few months later, Arabs found themselves stripped of their citizenships and ghettos like the Gaza Strip were erected, where nothing gets in and no one gets out. Except while around Gaza it's mostly a fence, the new ghettos, conveniently chosen major Arab towns where all the surrounding Arabs have been driven into, are walled-in like the West Bank.
Now I'm realizing: can you pull that off in 3 and a half years' time? Build all those walls, sift through the population to find and capture all Arabs? How, while the walls are still unfinished, do you keep people from just leaving and hiding?

I should ask a Gestapo, but they're all dead :Shrug:

Or does the reader even care where the walls came from and how they got finished in x time and how the people stayed put to be easily captured? Am I over-thinking? Is this like trying to explain the genetics of that MC's perfect jawline?

02-12-2015, 12:02 AM
The wall is built in an eventual process. A wall erected in a week is not going to be very strong or be apparently effective, but might provide a psychological barrier, especially if it is known that if they are on the outside, they may be killed. The Berlin Wall took years to build. I think it took more than a decade to reach its enormous size and complexity.

As for ghettoes, it is also a slow process. Can usually be hastened by pogroms and the development of honeypot asylums. See Apartheid, North American reservations, Gaza Strip, I guess. If you have the man-power advantage, the time can be cut down.

02-12-2015, 12:13 AM
Only tangentially related, but somehow this reminded me of the building of the Berlin Wall. It was erected over only one weekend - residents of West Berlin who were visiting family in East Berlin got stuck there.

Now, in the beginning, much of the "wall" was only a barbed wire fence, with plenty of guards patrolling. Over the next weeks/months/years, the government went on to replace/supplement the barbed wire with the stone wall.

Don't underestimate the power of psychology. If the government tells the people that "X" people need to be imprisoned, and the people support said imprisonment, then the government won't have a problem getting the vast majority of the people imprisoned. The majority of the unimprisoned "Y" people will report unimprisoned "X" people, either out of a sense of responsibility or a fear of going against the current. You may have a small underground movement to save "X" people, but the majority will be captured.

02-16-2015, 08:34 PM
With enough heavy equipment, such as any construction yard would have ready to hand, prefab concrete slabs can be erected almost as fast as they can be delivered. I've seen a medium-sized two-story office building go up literally overnight. (And some of the slabs fell down in the high wind shortly thereafter, but were soon propped back up.) 'Course you need to have the slabs already poured and set enough to move, but the forms are just plywood, and it's 7 days to rough set and 30 days to completely cured concrete. If you're smart you pour 'em on site. (Not necessarily in place.)

Chainlink fence with razor wire on top would be even faster. I expect a good experienced crew with the right equipment (post pounder, concrete feeder, rig set up to stretch fence) could easily stretch several miles of fence per day, or perhaps a mile if doing it by hand with a posthole digger and stretching it via a piece of pipe chained to a pickup truck, with the concrete crew trailing behind to fill up the postholes. (Or do the posthole fill first, but that's slower.) The razor wire would probably be the most time-consuming part. The fence might lean in all directions (cuz if you don't concrete the posts first and let them set, they'll move under the fence tension) and be gawdawful ugly, but it could be done.

I put up a couple hundred feet of sheep fence in one day, all by myself, without proper tools and stretching it with a stick levered against the next post.

But better than all this, why not ask the people who built Israel's existing West Bank Barrier (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_West_Bank_barrier)?