Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Thoughts On The Disengagement

There are two types of Zionists. Those like myself, for whom Zionism means the Jews should have a homeland (not a lot to ask), and those who believe that Israel belongs to the Jews because God gave it to them.

Those who believe that the Jews claim on Israel comes directly from God, often seem willing to go to any length to secure the territory they believe belongs to them. Many are willing to secure land through theft and murder.

I do not support such action.

Here in this post, Melanie Phillips discusses the new political fashion statement (wearing orange) of those who believe they have the right to land by divine decree:

Gershon Baskin says it all:

'Zionism is not about occupying the West Bank and Gaza. The continuation of the settlement enterprise is an act of suicide for the Zionist dream. It is not only about demographics. It is perhaps even more so about values, morality and lessons that we, as Jews, should understand better than anyone else.

'The disengagement from Gaza is a Zionist act. Ending our occupation and domination over Gaza and its people is an action aimed at saving Zionism from those who have tainted the noble aspects of its cause since 1967. The Zionist dream is still in danger and the Zionist enterprise is at risk as long as we continue our occupation and domination over the West Bank and its people. The march out of the occupied territories must continue. We must return to ourselves and build Israel from within.

'The future appears ominous. Over the past months I have watched the streets of Israel and, in particular Jerusalem, turn orange. As the streets, the trees and the fashion has adopted this new symbol I have found myself confronted with the very strong visual image of a people I do not recognize.

'How could these people – with their messianic vision and value system that justifies treating the "other" as less equal than Jews – and I be part of the same nation? We have the same roots, we share a common heritage, we come from the same places, yet there has been a split; for some time they and their kind have been very different from me and my kind.'

The disengagement appears to have brought the moral crisis that has engulfed Israel out into the open. The terrible danger, of course, is that this weakens Israel still further at a time when the Arab enemies who wish to annihilate it are seizing their moment and redoubling their attacks.

The orangistas are thus handing Hamas victory on a plate. This hysteria is suicidal. The country should pull itself together to back the disengagement, and put an end to the disgusting, Holocaust-denying equation being made between the resettlement of Jews from places where settlement was always a moral and strategic error -- a disengagement fraught with extreme danger which is being undertaken in order to safeguard the Jewish state -- and the pogroms and ethnic cleansing of Jews by those who wished them dead.

A country can survive a threat from without -- but not if it is simultaneously tearing itself apart.

Just to clarify: I think it is possible to believe that God gave the land of Israel to the Jews, and still not believe in seizing it by violence. The reality is, I do believe God gave Israel to the Jews. However, I also believe that God can, and will, work out His purposes in due time. I don't think men should take up the sword in God's name.

Violence, such as that we commit in war, is a necessary evil which is byproduct of the fallen state of our world. Violence committed in self-defense is justified. Therefore, if a people are threatened, they should fight back. And that's why I do support Israel in their ongoing battles against terrorism.

All that being said, the problems with the Palestinian terrorists will probably become worse with disengagement. I say this because the charters of the two main terrorist organizations, the PLO and Hamas, both call for the utter destruction of the state of Israel. As Hamas and the PLO are the two elected political parties which rule the Palestinian territories, it is reasonable to assume disengagement will not stop their violence.

The unacknowledged truth about the disengagement plan is that it is a way for Israel to give the Palestinians the state they were supposed to earn through negotiation. Once the Palestinians have a state, then any attack upon Israel is an act of War, in which case Israel will be justified in vanquishing their enemy.

The Palestinians can avoid such destruction by opting for peace, and concentrating instead on building Palestine into a viable and productive state.