In response to Shmuel Rosner's article on what America can learn from Israel's West Bank security barrier, fraysters conducted their own seminar on immigration, with the following keynote speakers and topics:
Good Fences/Good Neighbors: revisionist (Re)readings of Robert Frost
"High fences don't always make good neighbors." I suggest you repeat this over and over. The Chinese failed with walls, the Romans failed with a wall, the Soviets failed with a wall, the Israelis are failing with their wall.
Fences and neighbors was from a bloody poem. Not historical wisdom. —janeslogin
The Wall: A Global History
1) Nobody has screwed with the Chinese on the west border for centuries. Yes, I know about Japan during WWII.
2) The Roman empire stood for how many centuries???
And it fell because of a malignant leadership, not because of a wall.
3)The Soviets wall was to keep people IN!!
4)The Isrealis wall in ineffective because they are SURROUNDED by countries that want to destroy the country entirely.
Walls are effective however, only when there are people willing to stand behind them and enforce the boundries that the wall is there for in the first place. As a countrry, we are unwilling to make that commitment! —evensteven
Israel's Fence: Rethinking the Analogy
The biggest problem the Palestinians have with the Israeli wall/fence/barrier is that it is mostly on Palestinian land as opposed to on the actual border between the West Bank and Israel. The wall cuts off farmers from their fields and people from their schools, hospitals, and other needed places. The Palestinians have said they would totally support the wall if it was on the 1967 border line! A wall on the 1967 line would have been just as effective in keeping out terrorists. As it is, a large percentage of the West Bank is on the Israeli side. Its route reveals its true purpose - to illegally grab land.
The correct analogy for a US wall would therefore be a wall that was largely in Mexico, effectively annexing portions of Mexico in the process. It would snake through private Mexican property and even through some Mexican towns. Can anyone see that as justified? —azf
While I don't doubt that the fence helped, it is clear that a number of factors contributed to the drop in terrorist attacks in Israel. Arafat's death. Better security at checkpoints. Better security at Israeli cafés and buses. A feeling among Palestinians that the attacks aren't effective. The loss of payments to bombers' families from Sadam Hussein. The list could go on and on.
Is the fence effective? It's unclear at this point. It isn't even finished yet. —BarkinJ
Immigrant Labor: Policy Solutions
1) Temporary Guest-Worker Program
I have a lot of business dealings in Mexico, both with Mexican business men and with the Mexican government. They seem to have a much better handle on this that we Americans do. Their solution would be to have a guest worker program that pools the labor. American businesses that need Mexican labor could recruit the personnel they need, then draw up a contract with them for a certain job and duration. At the end of the contract period, they could either renew the contract or let it expire, upon which time the Mexicans would go back across the border and await a new contract. The logistics of this are not simple, but it would be workable. —AmericaFirst