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The Security Fence
Mom with a View

The Security Fence

What a difference it has made.

by

I don't live in Israel. I don't experience the daily challenges of life here. Nor the daily pleasures. What I observe I see in snatches on short trips every year. A quick in and out.

But just as parents may be oblivious to their children's growth as it occurs slowly and incrementally before them while long-lost relatives or friends exclaim about how big they've gotten, so too can I see the dramatic changes.

And one change that is impossible to ignore by those of us who have been coming year after year, intifada or no intifada, is the difference the security fence has made.

While the world screams its moral outrage (clearly without understanding or perspective), the streets of Jerusalem are alive once again. There are people everywhere. Restaurants are packed. Hotels are overbooked. And residents of the same countries whose UN representatives are attacking Israel are visiting en masse.

Israel is thriving, alive, bustling.

We trip over tourist groups everywhere we go, to the point where I (almost) wish there were fewer of them. It's very difficult to get to the Kotel on Friday night. My husband and I couldn't find a hotel room. Without a reservation, dinner was once again falafel.

And it's true all over the country. Even the Israeli Arabs feel safer and were picnicking up and down the Galilee to celebrate the end of Ramadan. A few short years ago the artists' colony in Sefad was empty, our footsteps echoing on the lonely cobblestones. I opened my wallet (and emptied my bank account) trying to support my brothers and sisters. Now the streets of Sefad are also full. It's hard to move through the narrow alleyways. And my husband shoos my hand away from his credit card. It's always good to support the Israeli economy (and I still managed to do my bit!) but the situation is less dire; the artists are no longer literally starving.

And I feel less alone. The country is thriving, alive, bustling. Jewish thought advocates a delicate balance between our efforts and the Almighty's intervention in the world. While we recognize and remember that our successes and failures are in His hands, that our safety depends on His beneficence, we must also take precautions.

The security fence seems, thank God, to be an effective effort; a practical action that has made a real and significant difference. Just ask the throngs in the streets. Don't just ask the Jews. Ask the Israeli Arabs, the nuns, the German tourists, the Coptic priests, the American evangelicals, the Japanese. Just don't ask the UN.

Published: November 10, 2007


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Visitor Comments: 18

(18) Gary Katz, November 27, 2007 8:31 AM

Hashem's involvement only part of the equation

Some writers feel Hashem is Israel's security chief. Maybe so - I personally can't say. But if He is, his first directive probably would be to build the fence. Before the fence, Divine protection from terrorism was sporadic at best. The Passover seder massacre comes to mind.
Regarding all those sanctimonious critics around the world, it's sad that they're more concerned with Palestinian convenience than Israeli lives. They apparently feel that the owner of a house has no right to keep his doors and windows locked. Ironically, many of Israel's fence critics not only screen their own visitors, they won't let their own citizens leave.

(17) Anonymous, November 19, 2007 7:44 AM

Yes, i do agree that the situation re tourism, economy is better. However, not better for the soldiers of Israel who still are catching arab terrorists on a daily basis, whose aim is to cause harm to the soldiers, to our citizens and to destroy our lives.

(16) W. Weintraub, November 18, 2007 12:47 PM

Driving along the security fence

From the highway it does not look so formidable, but it serves its purpose. My wife and I were in Isreal at the heght of the infadadi, NO torists at all!!! Today its different

(15) Anonymous, November 17, 2007 8:56 AM

You said it.

Please ignore the fools in UN.

(14) Diana Clarke, November 16, 2007 7:42 PM

atmosphere

visited primarily the Old City in Oct. the atmosphere was full of life, happiness. exuberance, oh it was so wonderful. and friendliness too.

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