U.S. Support for Israel's Fence Is More Aggressive Than for Our Own

President Bush’s meeting last week with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert may have major implications for the border debate in our own nation.

Olmert is increasingly frustrated with the Hamas-controlled Palestinian authority. Hamas’ general lack of willingness to negotiate has prompted Olmert to propose unilateral action with regard to Israel’s border. Olmert’s plan, which is unpopular with most Israelis, calls for Israeli withdraw of almost all of the disputed land. Phase two of the plan calls for the building of a fence to secure the new national boundaries. Bush pledged his full support for such a plan if Hamas continues to block negotiations.

Not lost on me is the precedent set by Bush’s support of said plan. He has refused to build a fence on our border but he supports the building of a fence in Israel. Israel no doubt wants a fence for the same reason the majority of Americans want one: to prevent uninvited and unaccounted for migrants from penetrating their border. The security threat is more profound in Israel but the United States is facing the same problem of not being able to account for undocumented migrants.

The more profound argument says an Israeli fence built with the support of Bush and Congress is akin to choosing votes over security. Bush and Congress won’t build a fence on our own border for fear of loosing the growing Hispanic vote. They have, however, supported a fence which will further enrage a group of people (Palestinians) who already hate the U.S. What is the current Hispanic to Palestinian terrorist ratio? The Hispanic outrage can be measured in votes while the Palestinian outrage could be measured in loss of lives.

The most unpopular portion of Olmert’s plan, which Bush also supports, is the giving away of established Israeli land and forced relocation of numerous Israeli Jews. The precedent set by any American support for this maneuver is more severe than simple fence-building on current boundaries.

Groups advocating the “retaking” of U.S. land on behalf of Mexico are more plentiful now than ever before. One such group is MEChA. The A stands for “Azlan,” which is the name the group uses for the entire southwestern United States. Much publicized during the California recall election was the mission of such groups. Gubernatorial candidate and former deputy governor Cruz Bustamente was a one-time member of MEChA who refused to renounce the goals and agenda of the group. Remember that one of its central goals is the “reclaiming” of long-held U.S. land. The question now becomes whether or not American politicians are willing to follow Olmerts lead in redefining our national borders. As in Israel, any move to accomplish such action would be against the will of the people.

Many American’s may consider the giving away of American land or the choice of votes over security as an impossibility. Still others will point to the lack of public support for some of the recent actions on immigration as a sign of congressional and executive disconnect. Our elected officials are without a doubt moving in the opposite direction of public opinion on this issue. How far they will move remains to be seen.