Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I do not agree with MK Michael Eitan who said that this morning's anti-disengagement actions "bordered on an act of terrorism". Such a border has been crossed more than once already by several of the more extreme elements among the settlers and their little helpers. You do not have to have too much imagination to somehow include endangering people on a major highway and vandalizing private and public property in an all-inclusive definition of terror(ism). Still, as Johan Cruiff says in one of his most famous aforisms, each disadvantage has its advantage: it becomes clear to most sane Israelis who our most dangerous enemy is, and believe me, it is not Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad or even Iran. The Prime Minister's Office came out in an unprecedented way against the Jewish 'militants', and they will be dealt with in unprecedented ways. However, at the same time, for some reason - in ways that remind me of the anti-American backlash that has been sweeping Europe after 9/11, a backlash that has made many Europeans quite willing to accept some of the motives and justifications ( I would prefer the word 'excuses' here ) behind the hideous acts of Bin Laden, Zarqawi etc. - the settlers' cause has received a sympathetic ear among many Israelis. Maybe it is because the settlers are being portrayed as innocent victims of consecutive evil governments, probably the incompetent and inefficient ways in which the government deals with the issue of compensation play a role, and the fact that those who want to leave already have been unable to do so because of bureaucratic hindrances also does not help.

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