Sunday, August 21, 2005

Some general remarks regarding the disengagement and its implementation:
  • The implementation appears to go very well. It is not over yet, and we are warned that tomorrow's evacuations of Homesh and Sa-Nur will be particularly difficult. Still, the security forces rightly receive compliments for their behavior and their work. It seems that they prepared very well for this operation. Also, of course, most settlers behave in a responsible way. Few will blame them for emotional outbursts, although I think that too many believe those outbursts are only emotional and not proof of a deep rift between different parts of Israeli society. The events in Kfar Darom last week shocked the settlers as much as it shocked everybody else, which is why the evacuation of Homesh and Sa-Nur might be accompanied by less violence than expected. Let's wait and see.
  • Some supporters of a Greater Israel have strange ways of expressing their unconditional love for the Land. During almost every one of their protests we see black clouds of smoke coming off burning rubber tyres. Don't they understand that without breatheable air the Land is not worth very much, and that those fires poison not only the air but also the Land itself? The same goes for their love for the sanctity of synagogues. When I looked at the synagogue at Kfar Darom after the siege was ended, I wondered what sanctity is served by so much paint, oil, empty bottles and other filth and rubbish ( let alone the violence of many of the young militants ).
  • Palestinians should start working to prove that a Palestinian state can be an asset for Israel, rather than continuing to point their accusing fingers and making demands. If they want a state of their own in the Westbank and Gaza, now is the time to make their dream come true. Like the dream of a Greater Israel, the dream of one undivided Palestine is not viable. Brave and talented leaders are required on both sides to realize that, and to make both peoples realize that. We all have much to lose by waiting any longer. Any political leader in Israel who can prove that getting us out of Gaza served our interests and security will have broad political support to evacuate more settlements in the Westbank, and to seriously negotiate a final peace agreement with the Palestinians.
  • While it is obvious that for a viable final agreement Israel will have to give up more than just Gaza, the West should support Sharon, relieve some of the internal pressure that he faces, rather than press him right away into more concessions.
  • The IDF appears to have been strengthened in the last few weeks.
  • Religious and secular Zionism will have to do a lot of work in the field of soulsearching and self-definition.

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