We have no idea what it's like to live in a country surrounded by enemies and under the constant cloud of war.

With about 170,000 rockets and missiles now pointed at their tiny nation from enemies on all sides, Israel has been under the threat of attack since becoming a nation in 1948. Thanks to an Iron Dome missile defense system, most of the rockets currently being fired into Israel are being intercepted.

Israeli defense forces are also alert to infiltrators on the ground. Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a small but active terrorist group in the Gaza Strip, has conducted dozens of suicide attacks along with firing thousands of rockets at Israel.

Hezbollah, the Shiite terrorist organization based in Lebanon, maintains an arsenal of more than 100,000 rockets and missiles. It also has a standing force of thousands of trained terrorists which have carried out suicide attacks and abducted civilians and soldiers.

Syria's instability over the last few years has produced a growing presence of armed groups, including Hezbollah. The instability in Egypt and the Sinai peninsula has also produced waves of illegal immigrants trying to cross the border into Israel.

Hamas, the Sunni terrorist group which rules the Gaza Strip, has been a constant threat with its weapons arsenal and complex system of underground terrorist facilities. Small terrorist squads affiliated with Hamas, Al-Tanzim Forces or other terrorist groups, also plan and organize terrorist and suicide attacks against Israelis from Judea and Sumeria. They often build their own explosives.

Last year, U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert of Washington state, a former SWAT Commander in United States, visited Israel and studied the country's tight security system. Being such a tiny the country and surrounded on all sides by enemies, the Israelis must have better homeland security than any nation on earth.

Since Reichert made those observations last year, Israel's enemies have grown even more hostile. Here in the U.S., our own security has been compromised due to a porous southern border which not only allows illegal immigrants to come in but provides a gateway for terrorists. Thus, U.S. security officials would be wise to adopt any defense strategies the Israelis offer.

Following the sale of U.S. F-16s to Egypt 18 months ago, Oliver North wrote an Op Ed for the Washington Times. In it he quoted one of his Israeli friends: "Our enemies are your enemies. The jihadists will come for us first because we're closer. But they will also come for you again. Let us pray they do not come with nuclear weapons. But no matter what, America can count on Israel. I hope we can count on America."

We hope that our leaders believe the same about the only sane ally we have in the most unstable region in the world.

By Jim Zbick

editor@tnonline.com