Israel Understands Border Security, Population Stabilization; U.S. Doesn’t

Joe's picture

By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

September 16, 2016

The United States government could learn a lot from Israel. Too bad President Barack Obama holds Israeli Prime Minister and valued U.S. ally Benjamin Netanyahu in such low regard.

First, on border security, Israel has, as NBC News described it, become a “fortress nation” with walls, fencing and other closely monitored barriers. As a result, Israel’s so-called “fear index” is at an all-time low according to a Haifa University National Security Center study.

Israeli overpopulation is no day at the beach.

The U.S., however, despite having passed the 2006 Secure Fence Act, has a welcoming policy for not only its immediate neighbors Mexico and Central America, but also OTMs, Other Than Mexicans. Immigration officials have no idea who they are or what their intentions may be, but border patrol agents are ordered to release them into the public if apprehended.

Second, while discussing population growth is taboo in U.S. politics, Israel has no compunction about discussing its consequences. The U.S. presidential campaign started more than a year ago with 17 Republicans and three Democrats – 20 candidates vying for the nomination. If any of them uttered a word about population growth, I didn’t hear it – and I’ve been listening!

But check out this "Jerusalem Post" story, “Will too Many Israeli Children Lead to Demographic Disaster?” that reviewed Professor Alon Tol’s new book, The Land is Full: Addressing Overpopulation in Israel, forward by Anne and Paul Ehrlich. Tol, Israel Union for Environmental Defense and Arava Institute for Environmental Studies founder, argues that Orthodox Jews and Arabs should reduce family size, and those countries must plan for their future by having fewer children.

Israel is one of the most crowded nations in the world with, as Tol estimates, 1,000 percent more congestion than other OECD countries. In and around Tel Aviv, 7,522 people per square kilometer live in the area, and throughout Israel, 73 percent of women between 45 and 50 have two or more children.

Tol points out that without population stabilization, two types of nations will emerge worldwide. The first will be “… lands where timid, myopic, or misguided leaders took a path of least resistance and let demographic inertia continue unrestrained. In those places, people will become poor and food will prove scarce.” In the second, a “cultural evolution will combine to produce the regulation and self-restraint required for stabilizing population.”

Without identifying any country by name, Tol would certainly include the U. S. as one with “timid, myopic or misguided leaders.”

Categories: 

CAPS blog posts may be republished or reposted only in their entirety. Please credit CAPS as www.capsweb.org. CAPS assumes no responsibility for where blog posts might be republished or reposted. Views expressed in CAPS blog posts do not necessarily reflect the official position of CAPS.

Top