A Fence Might Be a Good Thing

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Here's an idea for an Israeli-built barrier that everyone can get behind. From Bloomberg View:

"...(T)he probability of another crisis between Egypt and Israel is high. Each side is suspicious of the other, partly because it is still relatively easy for Gaza-based terrorists to enter Israel from Sinai. Hamas and its Iranian patrons would like nothing more than to precipitate an Israeli-Egyptian confrontation that would embarrass moderates in the region and end any hope of reviving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

The "Quartet" -- the U.S., the European Union, Russia and the United Nations -- has taken the lead on peace-process issues on behalf of the international community. If terrorists' infiltrating Israel from Sinai is the most likely cause of another confrontation, the Quartet should act now to help seal the border. Israel has begun building a security fence along its boundary with Egypt that would make it much more difficult to enter from Sinai, but construction has been slowed by budgetary constraints. The Quartet should help the Israelis finish the fence as quickly as possible.

The Israelis also need to be told that they must do more to accommodate the new reality in Egypt. An immediate and sincere Israeli apology might have nipped this crisis in the bud.


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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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