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Israel becomes a fortress nation as it walls itself off from the Arab Spring

By Richard Engel, Correspondent, NBC News

TEL AVIV — On a wide beach in Tel Aviv, I recently watched two Israeli men — wearing tight neon bathing suits that would make many Americans blush — play a game of paddle ball. They impressively smashed their serves and volleys with decisive forehands and backhands and dove in the sand to make saves.

A few feet away, a couple of young women in skimpy bikinis with tattoos on their ankles and shoulders stretched into yoga positions in the shade of a wooden gazebo.

You can buy ice cream and cold beer on the beach and nobody seems to litter.

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