Disbelief (Gush Katif)

In high school I learned about “willing suspension of disbelief.” My teacher explained that when you are reading fantasy, you give up some of your logical, judgmental thought and just read and enter into the fantasy. Over the years, there have been films and television programs that have demanded the same. We have seen a flying nun, a witch, angels who interact with people, a man who gets the newspaper a day early, and a girl who talks to God in many different guises. However, I have never seen anything that challenged my logic or judgment as much as what I am watching this morning.

Today I am watching the Army and the police begin the process of removing people from the homes they have built and lived in for the last 30 years. These are homes that the people built with the blessings of the Israel government. They came to sand dunes. They were greeted with bread and salt by their Arab neighbors who looked at them incredulously and asked them how they intended to build a life on the sand. But build they did! They gave birth to their children, raised them there. They planted trees and bushes and gardens and turned the sand dunes into a paradise. They formed communities that worked together like large families, caring for each others’ children, celebrating each others’ milestones, and mourning each others’ losses. They developed farming methods and greenhouses that account for a third of Israel’s agricultural exports not to mention the domestic consumption.

In 1994, I visited Neve Dekalim for a weekend. There was a lovely hotel there and we celebrated together with our new daughter-in-law’s family the recent marriage of our children. The beach was idyllic, the people were friendly and kind, and the Arab neighbors we encountered on our walk were friendly.

In the fall of 2000 the Arabs began a large terror campaign. Innocent Israelis were murdered in their cars and homes, in pizza parlors and buses, in the street and in shopping malls. After all of these tragedies, for some unknown reason, our Prime Minister decided to evacuate and destroy 25 Jewish communities. We have not yet heard any explanation other than they represent a small number among a sea of Arabs. Of course the same could be said for the entire country of Israel. We are a population of 5 million Jews in a sea of over 200 million Arabs. Should we all leave our homes?

Meanwhile, the television stations are showing nonstop coverage of the discussions taking place between the representatives of the communities and the Army commanders sent to deliver eviction notices. Hundreds of photographers and reporters from all over the world are here to record the expulsion of Jews by Jews. Meanwhile, our Arab enemies are preparing large celebrations under the motto, “Today Gaza, tomorrow Jerusalem.” They have announced that after the expulsions thousands of terrorists will come to live in Gaza.

None of the estimates of what will follow this include a lessening of terrorism. So it appears that what is being accomplished is that the terrorists can rejoice in the fact that their terror has caused Israel to flee and they now feel emboldened to continue murdering and to hope for more expulsions of Jews by Jews.

There is a real question as to whether this process is democratic. Sharon, who is carrying it out ran against Mitzna who proposed it and Sharon won a large victory because of his opposition to the process. When he polled his political party, they rejected this action, but after saying he would abide by their decision, he ignored the vote.

Those who see this process as a good one believe that it is better that our soldiers not have to defend these isolated communities. Of course, leaving them allows the terrorists better access to our larger population areas like the cities of Ashqelon and Ashdod and the power station and desalination plant. So I sit and watch and still am not able to believe what I am seeing…. And I wait for a flying nun or a witch or angels who interact with people or a man who gets the newspaper a day early or a girl who talks to God to come and stop this.

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  1. Cookie Man says

    Rewarding Terror will only lead to more terror.

    I feel for these people.

  2. And yet, somehow it happened. and the terrorism has already stepped up a notch again.

    Two brave security guards used up all the magic they had to save other people’s lives. I think that’s the only magic we have – that we still love each other.

    And that’s why the ‘disengagement’ is really wrong – it gave us more reasons to hate our fellow citizens.