Under the title 'Israel overcome by paranoia' the military correspondent of the Israeli newspaper Ynet (Yedioth Ahronot), Alex Fishman, writes about the strange way Israel is fencing itself in:
In the year 2000 we built a smart, electronic fence on our northern border. It made sense; after all, Hezbollah is a dangerous and unpredictable foe.In the past decade we started to erect the West Bank barrier: A cement wall along with an electronic fence equipped with sensors and cameras. We’re still building it today. This made sense; we must curb the suicide bombers and illegal aliens. In 2005 we also built a sophisticated fence around the Gaza Strip. It monitors the area, fires on its own, and can even sing our national anthem if you want. It made sense; Hamas is also a dangerous foe. After that we also had to curb terrorism and infiltrators from the Sinai. There is no argument that we need a fence. We also need one on the Golan Heights, after Palestinian refugees crossed the border and rushed into Majdal Shams. So we came up with a proud Zionist response – a sophisticated 15-kilomter fence. In a few years, once the fence on the Jordanian border is built, we shall complete our disengagement from the Middle East. Who would believe that once upon a time we spoke about integrating into the region? By now we are a tiny state with a large fence. How did it happen to us?
He himself gives some of the answers to his last question:
''Apparently this is deeply entrenched in our DNA: A persecuted people who seeks cover.'' And 'We are again Diaspora Jews in our own country. There is no wonder that the polls show a religious revival; after all, it is God who shall protect us.'
I'don't agree with all that Fishman says. For example: "Such society, which loses its self-confidence, does not convey deterrence. With all the bombs and advanced aircraft, this is not a society that conveys a sense of strength. The Americans and Iranians can sleep well; this is not a society that will decide to strike in Iran and pay the price.'' is not a text I could easily get out of the keyboard of my laptop.
But the rest: yes. Somewhere on my Dutch blog I once wrote that it is a remarkable experience for someone who descended from a family that once -literally - lived in the ghettoes of both Frankfurt and Venice, to see how the whole of Israel is turning itself into a fortress that in a creepy way ressembles a gigantic contemporary ghetto.