Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Monday, August 29, 2005
by Christo Komarnitski
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Friday, August 26, 2005
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Monday, August 22, 2005
Sunday, August 21, 2005
- 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.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Friday, August 19, 2005
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Monday, August 15, 2005
- Things won't be easy for anybody directly involved in the evacuation; we saw soldiers wiping their eyes ( and the really hard part has not started yet ), officers embracing settlers, a Golani officer in the reserves ( not a settler himself, but active in the Orange Cell, a group of students opposed to disengagement ) who cried in front of the commander of the Golani Brigade, under whom he used to serve
- The rule of law is a joke in this country, especially when politicians and rabbis are concerned. This is apparently even more true when an MK who happens to be a rabbi is involved: on television I saw and heard MK Benny Elon openly call ( using a megaphone ) for soldiers and policemen to refuse to carry out orders
- Most of the provocations, confrontations and escalations seem to be initiated by the mistanenim ( infiltrators ) and shaba"him ( shohim bilti hukiim, those whose presence in what is now a closed military zone is illegal ), people - often youngsters - who do not live in the Gaza Strip or in the Northern part of Samaria and who are driven by ( religious ) fervor and fanaticism, boredom, a lack of respect for authorities in general and for the IDF and the State in particular, etc. I heard at least one settler ( from Morag ) complain today about outsiders who tried to prevent residents from getting organized towards the evacuation. Also in Morag, a Channel 1 reporter told us that a young mother ( not a resident herself ) had said to one of the soldiers who came to hand out the evacuation orders that when he returns she will use a weapon not against him but against herself.
- Some of the settlers continue to pretend that everything is normal, they claim to believe that the evacuation will not take place; for them, and I suppose especially for their children, the reality that will fall upon them in about 30 hours could be unbearable.
- This is not an exercise, I repeat, this is not an exercise. As cynical as I was until a few months ago, this is the real thing, Israel - with Ariel Sharon as prime minister - is going to evacuate an important part of the occupied territories. As I wrote before, it might be for the wrong reasons and not exactly in the right way, but in the end part of the burden of the occupation will be lifted from our shoulders.
- Nobody has an idea what will happen after the implementation of the pullout plan. Sharon does not tell us anything substantial about his motives and about his plans for the future. This partly explains the anger and frustration of the settlers, and makes the work of our security services unnecessarily more difficult.
- Not for everybody the disengagement is the main item of interest, or There is a life after/besides disengagement: tonight one of the semifinals of the Israeli version of A Star is Born ( or Israeli Idols, or whatever you might call that senseless and shallow talent scouting show ) is being held, and I have a gut feeling that that program's ratings will rival most national news broadcasts today. There is also some soccer game, Israel-Ukraine, on the television.
Sunday, August 14, 2005
- one of the aspects of disengagement that ( and some of its victims whom ) we hardly hear or read about;
- at least one of the reasons why the occupation should end;
- at least one of the reasons why the occupation cannot last forever, unless we want to lose altogether our right to exist as a nation within a state of our own;
- the fact that there is a link between the quality of ( some of ) the settlers' lives and some of the misery of the Palestinians;
- the fact that colonialism "decays both the colonizer and the colonized", with the colonizer and the colonized becoming totally dependent on each other ( see Albert Memmi ).
- the fact that no occupation has ever been just.
I was also reminded of the words of an employee of relatives of mine, who used to say - even though he definitely was not a socialist: "There are bad employers and very bad employers."
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Monday, August 08, 2005
Sunday, August 07, 2005
Saturday, August 06, 2005
Friday, August 05, 2005
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
( Ha'Aretz News flashes ) 14:53 Islamic Jihad denies report it will halt Qassam fire until after pullout (Haaretz) 11:06 Islamic Jihad denies being behind Qassam fire that killed Palestinian boy (AP) 10:43 Islamic Jihad: Qassam attack that killed Gaza boy was `unfortunate incident` (AP) 10:00 Islamic Jihad says will halt firing of Qassams until after pullout (Israel Radio)
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.