Sunday, July 03, 2005

You've Won, Mr. Sharon; I'm Disengaged

by


I'm watching the news on television. The screen is filled with a major Israeli security operation. Seven hundred police are involved, with major military backup. Could it be, perhaps, an attack on Hizbullah, which just sent three terrorists to infiltrate Israel and attacked Har Dov with artillery fire, killing a 20-year-old soldier from Be'er Sheva?

No. They are involved in clearing out a bunch of teenagers from an abandoned hotel in Gush Katif.

There are ten soldiers and policemen for every kid. I see them dragging the children by their legs. I see them putting a young girl in a head-hold. It takes them twenty minutes, tops, to empty the "right-wing extremist stronghold".

And this is how I feel: disengaged, in the real sense of the word, not Mr. Ariel Sharon's spin. I feel detached, withdrawn, my ties and obligations severed.

Who are these people who are running my country? I didn't elect them. I voted for those who promised to support Gush Katif, to fight terrorism. I sent my son to the army to shoulder arms and risk his young life to protect his people, not drag them kicking and screaming out of their homes. Not to mount a little war against a bunch of miserable teenagers.

Of course, you'd never know this listening to the Israeli media, who have joined forces with European and Palestinian spin-doctors to foster anti-Israel propaganda. How many times did I hear the newscaster showing this shameful footage call these kids "men of the Right". Men? I didn't see any men. I saw fifteen-year-olds, confused and unhappy, and hyper.

Now why should that be? I mean, the fact that their government gave out guns to terrorists after signing worthless agreements with them couldn't be a factor, could it? Or the fact that they sat and had bombs thrown at them for four years, while their government was "negotiating"? It couldn't be seeing their friends, neighbors, parents, teachers and rabbis gunned down or blown up in cold blood by their Palestinian neighbors, could it? Or the fact that they are about to lose their homes and have their synagogues, schools and even cemeteries bulldozed? I mean, that's no excuse for sitting on the roads and blocking complacent Tel Aviv home-owners trying to get to their television sets and humus. No, they must be "dangerous criminals who will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law." Bad seeds, "men of the Right", violent fanatics, who deserve, and who will receive, no doubt, long jail terms, if Mr. Sharon and his forces get their hands on them.

I saw one of them throw a rock and injure a Palestinian, which was disgusting. This incident is now being denounced as a "lynch" (Lynch? You mean like the two Israeli reservists who were beaten to death by a Palestinian mob, who dipped their hands in the blood? That kind of lynch?).

Let's kill the kids, why don't we? After all, they are worse than terrorists, aren't they, with their "lynch" and their desperate, annoying attempts to wake up their fellow citizens, keeping them in traffic jams in hot days? Or like the soldier who cried out, "This is wrong!" during an operation to drag the kids bodily into waiting vans. He was given the maximum jail sentence. Not for refusing orders, mind you; for expressing his feelings. Let's string him up, too.

Disengagement: to detach oneself. Free oneself from an obligation or pledge. To withdraw. I guess that's how I feel about my government and the Israeli news media today. I'm disengaged. I think I speak for many.

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