Thursday, July 21, 2005

The World in Shades of Blue and Orange

(Photo's from Mentalblog. Check 'em out.)

Don't know what it is about me and Ariel Sharon. No matter how I feel about him, the same people disagree with me.

Used to be I didn't like the man at all, and there were people aplenty to tell me that Arik was the Answer, and that I was a moron, a self-hating Jew, and an enabler of the enemies of Israel for not seeing that.

Then I got a little more rightish, and General Strangelove started doing some things I thought were unpleasant but smart (around the same time all my leftish friends decided he was actually Satan, but that is another story). I got more Arik-friendly.

At this point, all my rightish connections informed me that Arik was a sellout and a Giver Up Of Land, and a bad person all round, plus had I heard about his awful ethic violations, and the strings he pulled to evade prosecution?

It doesn't matter what I think about Arik. The same people go on disagreeing with me. And now, because my leftish friends still think he eats babies, EVERYONE disagrees with me, and they do it with that kind of horrified breathless stare. Thank goodness I mostly talk politics over e-mail and usually don't have to SEE the breathless stare.

I've been working on this for a couple days, and I still can't get over the feeling that posting anything about The Great Upcoming Unpleasantness of the Gaza disengagement will be a kind of bad idea. The usual disclaimers apply--I'm not Israeli, to paraphrase Ferris Bueller, I don't plan to be Israeli, and (blasphemy, coming from a self-identified Zionist), I've never been to Israel. So what gives me the right to have an opinion at all, here, especially one that might clash with that of a more qualified self-identified Zionist?

But it's not as simple as that, is it? Cause I'm a Jew, and this is Israel. So I go on popping up, yelling out my piece, even if I'm not sure anyone is listening or cares, even if I'm not sure I know what I'm talking about at a times.

The current situation may not have a lot of great answers, at least I have not heard any offered. Israel has a massive security problem, Israel will continue to have a massive security problem. I think that Sharon is hunkering down for a long, tough, haul, (about which he knows something), and that pulling the Gaza settlers inside harder borders is consistent with the things he's been doing to get set for that haul. I also think that a man who's been as consistently supportive of the settlement movement as Sharon has been did not decide to do this for the great PR it's going to bring him. (Slightly bitter grin here.)

So, basically, I think this is something we ought to do, with immense concern and consideration for the people whose lives are getting transplanted, and who in large number don't agree with why.

OTOH, this punches all my buttons about where Jews are allowed to live, and not, and by whose permission. Jon Carroll, a local columnist, wrote a piece that was extremely popular, about 'Unitarian Jihad'. It's funny. It's also kind of simplistic. And this pulled me up short:

Why is the news dominated by nutballs saying that the Ten Commandments have to be tattooed inside the eyelids of every American, or that Allah has told them to kill Americans in order to rid the world of Satan, or that Yahweh has instructed them to go live wherever they feel like, or that Shiva thinks bombing mosques is a great idea? Sister Immaculate Dagger of Peace notes for the record that we mean no disrespect to Jews, Muslims, Christians or Hindus. Referred back to the committee of the whole for further discussion.

Lessee. We have four religions on the spot here in this paragraph. Two are committing acts of religiously motivated violence. One is advocating the imposition of their religion on all other Americans. And one thinks they can live anywhere they want to.

(Singing) "One of these things is not like the others..."

(Not gonna comment on the attempt to identify the Deity--okay, I am. Would it actually KILL all the well-meaning gentile commentators out there to find out how Jews actually refer to God? The persistent belief that we actually call God--you know--freaks me out. And they don't want to be corrected. Even the very PC ones don't want to be corrected. Especially the very PC ones don't want to be corrected. Done now.)

So that's the other part of this--why Israel can't just detach from Gaza and leave the settlers to decide if they want to move inside the hard borders or tough it out in Rocketland. Jews who think they can live anywhere they feel like are always mistaken if they think they can do it safely in an Arab jurisdiction. (Was reading an article yesterday about how Iraqi Christians are running to Syria to escape religiously motivated violence, and actually thought to myself that it was lucky we'd already had our community there thrown out.)

This hurts, on a lot of levels. I really want it to work out. (Work out, by me, means no one gets hurt and there's really some good advantage for Israel in going through this.)

Anyway, I still don't really like Arik, but I think he's almost tough enough for the present situation, and that doesn't describe too many people. Even in Israel.

1 comment:

Eliyahu said...

apt description of the present. what is most worrisome to me is that the little details of how gaza is function afterward have not been worked out. israel now controls the "foreign" commerce of gaza, and how this will work in the future is not clear.