Monday, August 09, 2004

Regarding responses to Beware of the smiles" by Yoel Marcus, Ha'Aretz, August 3-8, 2004: The 'human chain' that formed between Gaza and Jerusalem was a powerful show of force by those opposed to any Israeli pull-out from the territories. The organizers deserve our respect for this peaceful and very well-organized demonstration. Still, should we forget that during previous - small-scale - evacuations of illegal settlements opponents to an Israeli pull-out from Gaza and from ( parts of ) the Westbank already have been endangering the drivers and passengers of military vehicles by getting them stuck in ditches and by means of spikes, right in the middle of hostile territory? That some of them showed their love for the Land of Israel by setting fields alight and polluting the air by burning tires? That some senior spokesmen for 'the' settlers have not categorically condemned possible violence during a future evacuation of Gaza settlements, and more than one even encouraged such violence? If the supporters of a continued occuption want us to take their policy of ( peaceful ) civil disobedience seriously, they should make clear that they do not want to have anything to do with any sort of violence aimed at sabotageing an evacuation by Israeli soldiers and policemen of settlements in Gaza and elsewhere. If not, and if people like Yoel Marcus and me are not really convinced that various members of 'the Right' try to achieve the same aim through different means - most of them peaceful, others less so -, peaceful opponents of a pull-out will continue to be identified with those within the margins on their right, just as all leftists are thrown on one heap by men like Moshe Saperstein of Neveh Dekalim ( Ha'Aretz, August 5 ).

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