Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Regarding "Religious evacuees worried about mixed nature of Nitzan site", Ha'Aretz, August 2, 2005:

At last the disengagement appears to become a reality. More than ever before we can see that the occupation has turned almost all those involved in it into losers. That the Palestinians have suffered as a result of it is obvious, but also many settlers have gained hardly anything but some years, or at the very most a few decades, of living in an unsustainable bubble. Almost all governments in the last 38 years provided us with the illusion that the occupation of Gaza and the Westbank can and will go on forever. In the settlements people were often able to afford a highly subsidized lifestyle that would have been absolutely out of their ( and most other Israelis' ) reach within the Green Line. That all that was at the expense of the Israeli taxpayer, of Israel's poor and disadvantaged and - much more - of the Palestinians did not bother or worry many of those who took the decisions or who enjoyed the settlers' privileges. Neither did many take seriously the non-financial damage that the occupation caused: it corrupted our society, our army and our youth. For more than one generation of soldiers being a member of an army of occupation has been ( and will remain, for the time being ) part and parcel of their military service, with all the consequences which that entails. Now that they are forced to return to Planet Israel the settlers are understandably confused, frustrated and angry. That not all the authorities are completely ready to deal with all the problems related to the evacuation - hey, this is Israel, after all - does not make matters much easier. On the other hand, the last illusion sold to the settlers by their co-called leaders is that the disengagement still is reversible, which is why so many still have not made arrangements to move out. Of course there are people who only gained from the occupation: some contractors, several politicians, some of the most fanatic settlers ( who, if not for the occupation, would have disappeared in historical anonymity ) and of course most Palestinian terrorists, for whom the occupation was an excuse for a productive career. Except for these winners, all Palestinians and Israelis have lost more than they could possibly gain from the injustice, the insolence and the insanity that the occupation is. Maybe the implementation of the disengagement plan will teach all of us how much we can win by finally making the occupation a painful part of our shared history.

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