Thursday, July 26, 2007

Two years of lies

Expulsion of Gaza Strip settlers premised on false arguments, leftist hostility,7340,L-3430159,00.html
Shlomo Engel
Published: 07.26.07, 14:41 / Israel Opinion

The Ninth of Av has passed and we reached the 10th of Av on Wednesday, the day when two years ago we saw the start of the State of Israel's journey of folly and evil against its most loyal and dedicated citizens in Gush Katif and northern Samaria.

Two days short of two years since the wearers of black vests started marching in the direction of the flourishing Gush Katif communities in the Gaza Strip sands and proceeded to shatter and destroy, expel and disperse peaceful citizens, prosperous communities, thriving businesses, and thousands of men, women, and children.

The 728 days that have passed since then suffice to engage in an incisive self-examination process as to what happened in the golden sands of Gush Katif, and what has transpired since then.

This self-examination has of course not taken place and will not be taking place in the various media outlets, with the exception of several close-ups and propaganda films showing the sorrow of the banished and the difficulties of those who expelled them.

Mere emotionalism that is not focused and incisive constitutes yet another reality TV show before we flip to the next channel. In order to realize this, it would suffice to compare the extent of the media's dealing with the Rabin murder months before his two-year memorial to the troublesome media silence a day before the two-year memorial for the razed Gush Katif.

It is very easy to hide behind the formalities that justified the crime – the government approved it, the Knesset approved it, and the Supreme Court approved it. Yet two years later it is important to stress that these institutions approved the disengagement's implementation with full intention and not by mistake or due to flawed considerations.

Two years later, the declaration that "we have a solution for every settler" has been proven to be a blatant lie in the face of the despair, neglect and failure to find employment and housing solutions for the evacuees. As early as the planning stage, the government and the Supreme Court knew that it was impossible to house thousands of people in new communities and provide them means for livelihood without proper preparation of several years, yet they still approved the move, thus committing a crime.

Leftists always dreamed of evacuation
Two years later, the statements regarding the expected improvement in our security situation have also proven to be a lie in the face of the ceaseless Qassam rocket barrages (which at times target even the southern city of Ashkelon.) We also saw the establishment of Hamastan in the Gaza Strip, massive weapons transfers through the Philadelphi route, etc. All these dangers were known even in the planning stages, but despite this the move was approved, thus making the crime committed by the State and its institutions even graver.

Two years later, the expected improvement in our international status lasted, at best, for two weeks of evacuation photos. After that we went back to the same exact state of isolation and constant and dangerous international pressures. This issue too, regarding the apparent long-term support from nations of the world in wake of the evacuation, was known to any clever observer two years ago, yet the move was approved despite this.

Two years later, declarations regarding our liberation from controlling Gaza Strip Arabs have also turned out to be a lie, although a sophisticated one at that, which was known and clear to those who approved the plan.

Israel has maintained security control only over Gaza Arabs since the signing of the Oslo Agreement. On the civilian level, the Strip was controlled by the Palestinian Authority in terms of voting in elections, civics, education, police, and even some security matters. The disengagement did not change this at all.

Today too, Israel maintains its security control over the Strip in the air, sea, and land (which includes maintaining military forces on the ground, for example, on the ruins of evacuated northern Gaza communities,) while not maintaining any civilian control over Gaza residents.

In the face of the folly and lies, which were known in advance by all those who approved the disengagement, the question mark over its purpose and the sweeping support for it grows larger. This question mark is personally directed in particular at Aharon Barak, the chief justice during the disengagement period, who volunteered to provide Ariel Sharon with all the legal backing for carrying it out, as clearly and blatantly described by Naomi Levitsky in her book.

The High Court of Justice, headed by Aharon Barak, could have saved the State of Israel from the moral injustice and security and diplomatic folly at the base of the disengagement plan. Yet not only did he fail to do so, he did everything possible to back the plan.

Regrettably, the only explanation possible for carrying out the crime is the desire to commit it. The leftist camp has always dreamed of evacuating settlements. At first this was seemingly in the interest of security, later seemingly in the interest of peace, and ultimately as an objective in and of itself.

As the peace, security, and social arguments crashed on the ground of reality, the unrestrained desire to teach the settlers a lesson and disperse them grew stronger. An authentic expression of this is a Yair Lapid article titled "Things we couldn't say during disengagement," whose essence was that the disengagement did not necessitate expelling the settlers, but rather, expelling the settlers made disengagement necessary.

The settlers and settlements are a red flag in the face of the secular leftist camp. The very existence of the settlement enterprise defies and proves that it is possible to live and create in the modern world based on the world of Jewish, Zionist and human values, which the forefathers of secular leftist Zionism believed in.

The Gaza Strip hothouses that marketed their flowers to the entire world were a screaming red flag of going back to the original Zionist values, and therefore it was necessary to quickly destroy them and their owners, the settlers. This is what those who expelled them wanted. They worked to that end, and regrettably, they succeeded.

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