A border in the desert, a sky full of stones, tear gas and helicopters: those were the scenes on the border between Mexico and the US on Sunday. It reminded most of the American liberal media of another promised land, half a globe away: Israel and Palestine. A clash between desperation and mercilessness. The comparison is flawed however.
The Hondurans and Salvadorans standing in front of the San Diego border are not expelled from the US like the Palestinians from Israel. Religion hardly plays a role. Furthermore, there is a buffer, Mexico, which has offered them asylum, an offer they all refused.
And then there are historical differences between Americans and Israelis, as settlers and conquerors of their own country.
But the dynamics seems to be the same. There are people who want to go in and there are people who want to keep them out.
It got out of hand in Tijuana on Sunday when several hundred of the thousands of immigrants were running simultaneously at the San Ysidro border crossing, the busiest in the world, where cars go through the customs gates.
Others climbed over the iron fence marking the Mexican side after which they had to cross a no man's land and a much higher fence. None of them arrived at their dream destination.
The reaction was fierce. Mexican units blocked the border crossings. American border guards shot tear gas over the fence and closed the border post. The few migrants who had passed the first barrier fled back.
The White House Administration in this manner received the threatening images it warned about: people running towards the American border in group. That there are crying children because of tear gas is sad to see indeed, however none of the reporters blaming the US border patrol for this can exclude the fact that they had rocks thrown at them as well.
The storming group proves to President Trump the idea that most migrants are "ice-cold criminals," against which there is only one solution. As President Trump stated: "congress, fund the WALL!"
Until the wall is funded, Mr Trump will do everything he can to deter migrants, with a combination of bureaucratic hardship, physical measures (soldiers to the border) and threatening rhetoric (such as claiming that the border guards will be allowed to use force).
The different caravans that departed from Honduras started hopefully. Only at the border did they notice that they are nowhere just yet.
The fact that many Mexicans in Tijuana prefer to get rid of the migrants rather than welcome them can lead to hopelessly impulsive behavior, such as seen on Sunday.
Mexico said it will deport the 500 who stormed the wall, desperate as they are to keep the border open.
Meanwhile, a new Central American caravan is on its way.
Over in the heartland of the US, when all the dust over the images of children running will have settled, the political affirmation that a border wall is needed grows evermore.
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