Brutalist Soviet-era base on Israeli/Syrian border is a reminder of how lucky we are

Abandoned, dilapidated and with the scars of war still showing, Ezra Levant says this abandoned base should serve as a reminder to be thankful for the relative peace in Canada.

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Today, we're reporting from the border between Israel and Syria. Hezbollah, the terrorist group, controls much of the ground here. It wasn't always that way, there used to be a permeable fence where people could cross the border from Syria to Israel for health care or other needs.

The Druze, an ethnoreligious group, live on both sides of the border and would cross back and forth. But that's changed lately.

Before getting to the remarkable building where we filmed our report, we should explain some of the other buildings around us.

There are wind turbines, because the green energy scam even makes its way to this border in a sometimes-hot war zone; there's a white set of buildings in the distance, home to the United Nations observers, the largest UN facility in the Middle East; on a nearby hill is an Israeli listening post.

In the distance is Syria, they can see us just as we can see them.

The remarkable building we're on, however, used to be a Soviet-era base for the Syrians. Then it was taken over by the Israelis. Now, it sits abandoned.

It's an incredible facility, and it brings up memories of Chernobyl, that brutalist Soviet-style architecture. Abandoned and dilapidated, yet reeking of sorrow and failure and mad political schemes.

There's graffiti everywhere; some in Hebrew, some even in Russian or Ukrainian.

It's a reminder that there's so much going on in the world that we in Canada are immune from. We're just simply so far away from any troubles.

At this abandoned facility, there are still scars from the past. Rubble, debris, all of which has not been cleaned up or repurposed. Yet there's still daily life here. There's the wind turbines, agriculture, and people — not just the Druze — living on both sides of the border. 

It brings back memories of the Berlin Wall, in that it's been utterly graffitied. It brings back memories of war, the absolute destruction of some of the building. 

But most importantly, it reminds us of an old saying about Canada: that we're a fireproof house far away from any flammable materials. We're so lucky, we haven't really had the horror of war, and we've had very little terrorism in our country.

Coming to Israel and getting this close to not just a country that's technically still at war with Israel, but to the more prevalent threat of terrorism. There are no flags here at the border, but in other areas you can see the yellow flag of Hezbollah in the distance. It's a reminder of what a country at war looks like.

For all of our reports from here in the Middle East, follow our coverage at

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  • By Ezra Levant

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