Walled In

Good fences make good neighbors. Both Republicans and Democrats should heed the lessons learned from Israel's experiences with border walls.

Joseph Frager‏,

Dr. Joseph Frager‏
Dr. Joseph Frager‏
צילום: מירי צחי

Good fences make good neighbors. Israel has proved this over and over again. Both the Democrats and Republicans should take a good look at the Israeli experience to come to an agreement on America's own border wall.

The shock and consternation by the Democrats over President Trump’s insistence on a border wall is mind boggling. He won the 2016 election campaigning for this. Presidents are supposed to use the election as a mandate for their campaign promises. Sure, there have to be checks and balances but one has to respect a president who keeps his campaign promises.

President Trump said he was going to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem during his campaign. Despite enormous criticism from many sectors, President Trump carried out his promise and the world is a lot better off.

Yediot Achronot reported that the cost of erecting fences around Israel’s borders over the past seven years stands at six billion Shekels (approximately 1.7 billion USD) but for a small country like Israel that figure amounts to a significant portion of the GDP. Certainly per capita it is a huge expense for Israel. The six billion Shekel figure does not include 4 billion Shekels just for the separation barrier between Israel’s communities of Judea and Samaria and Arab villages.

This latter wall is sometimes dubbed “Sharon’s Wall” since Ariel Sharon got it passed despite heavy opposition when he was Prime Minister. It has saved countless lives and essentially stopped suicide bus bombings. The six billion Shekel figure also does not include 3.3 billion Shekels thus far to erect the first of its kind high tech fence and innovative underground barrier to prevent Hamas Terror Tunnels along the Gaza border. I certainly hope that President Trump has the first of its kind barrier in mind when he talks about the Mexico-US border.

During his visit to the border, Trump said the wall would have plenty of “depth” which seems to indicate that this is precisely what he has in mind. If not tunnels will be a real problem. Although the types of threats each country faces are different the resistance to President Trump is extraordinary and deleterious to America’s health and well-being. As an aside, Israel has funded its separation barriers using half of its monies from the Department of Defense and the other half from the Treasury.

America would do itself a favor to see how Israel has made its Security walls, fences, and barriers into an art and science. More importantly it works. Good fences do indeed make for better neighbors. Being walled in is beneficial to both sides.