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The Good Fence

Back in the 1970s, I went to Israel to do radio and television interviews with a cross section of the populace.

I crisscrossed the small country — Tel Aviv, Jerusalam, Beersheba, the Dead Sea — and the Israelis were generous in the freedom they afforded me, allowing me to speak to anyone, anywhere, with no apparent restrictions.

Naturally, when I had a guide, he concentrated on the positive elements of his historic land, as do we, when we’re showing visitors our country. I visited with shopkeepers and professors, soldiers and housewives; it was extraordinary. But one experience was the most unforgettable of all.

It was my visit to “The Good Fence.”

That’s what they called the opening that had been made in the barrier that represented the border between Israel and its neighboring enemy, Lebanon. There were armed soldiers on both sides, but there was also a long line of Lebanese citizens — infants in their mothers arms, the elderly, the disabled — all waiting for medical care, unofficially being provided by an Israeli military mobile hospital unit on the Israeli side of the border.

No politics, no religion — just medicine and compassion.

Imagine a “Good Fence” today between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza.

Hamas would never look the other way?

Lebanon did.

I’m Pat McMahon.