Israel Unveils the New Gold Standard of Border Walls

On his first day in office, President Biden halted construction of the border wall claiming that such barriers are not effective and are simply a waste of taxpayers’ money. In reality, the opposite is true. The Biden administration stopped construction of the border wall (even those parts that had already been paid for) precisely because it is effective at preventing people from entering the country illegally.

Nations that actually want to prevent unchecked flows of migrants across their borders recognize the value of border barriers. The European Union is seriously considering a border barrier in response to a growing migration crisis along its eastern frontier, instigated by the government of Belarus and its puppet master in Moscow. But the gold standard of border walls may be one just completed by Israel along its border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

The new border fence spans the 40-mile border between Israel and Gaza. It not only includes a concrete and reinforced steel above-ground component, but also an underground barrier that prevents Hamas from digging tunnels that have been used to infiltrate terrorists and weaponry across the border. As an added layer of precaution, the underground barrier extends out into the Mediterranean to prevent underwater tunneling. (Photos and diagrams of the security barrier can be seen here.)

The physical barrier is augmented by the latest electronic monitoring and defense technology to maximize its effectiveness. According to news reports, the above and below ground wall is enhanced by “a network of radar arrays and other surveillance sensors, and remote-controlled weaponry.” The security barrier didn’t come cheap. It took more than three years to construct and carried a price tag of about $1.1 billion. But as Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz noted at the unveiling of the new wall, the government’s primary concern was protecting the people who live along that border.

“Routine life here is our victory and it is the greatest enemy of terror organizations,” Gantz said. He also acknowledged the steep costs of not securing the border: death, destruction, wars, and disruption to the economy.

Americans who live along the dangerous and chaotic border with Mexico can only wish that their government had the same concerns about their security and their ability to carry out routine life in their communities. While the situations are not exactly analogous, the criminal cartels that control large stretches of the border region with Mexico (including hundreds of tunnels created to facilitate the entry of narcotics and other contraband) pose dangers to Americans who live near the border and in the interior of the country.

The cost of a similar state of the art border barrier covering the length of the U.S.-Mexico border (at a cost of about $1.1 billion for each 40 miles) would run about $50 billion, which is less than half of what is costs American taxpayers to subsidize illegal aliens each year. The less sophisticated border wall that Biden cancelled would cost about half that, according to FAIR estimates. What is needed, of course, is the political will, which unlike money, is in short supply these days in Washington.

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.

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