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Friday, January 23, 2009

The apology that will never come

In columns in two of Israel's major newspapers this week, pundits suggested that the time has come to apologize to the Jews who were expelled from Gaza three and a half years ago. This is Nadav Shragai in Haaretz (Hat Tip: Israel at Level Ground)
Now, after the war and just before the election whirlwind sucks in our politicians once again, it would be appropriate for many of them to go out of their way and visit the mobile-home sites where those uprooted from Gush Katif live. This way they can tell them one small thing: I'm sorry.

Tzipi Livni, Ehud Olmert, Shaul Mofaz and Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israel Defense Forces and the police should do this - they, their agents and everyone else who initiated, implemented and aided in using force to uproot 10,000 people from their homes in Gush Katif and Northern Samaria, maliciously and without any real purpose. Everyone who saw some good in the evil of the disengagement and evil in the good of Gush Katif has turned light into darkness and darkness into light. At the very least, they are obligated to make this small apology.

This includes the judges of the High Court of Justice who did not even bother to visit Gush Katif and made due with defense experts acting on behalf of the state "because that is the postion of the court since it was founded." The justices who ruled as they did because they automatically assumed that such a plan "improves the security situation" because "the evacuation reduces the desire of the Palestinians to harm the Israeli population." It would be appropriate for the honorable justices to take a vacation day as an act of forgiveness and go down south for a close-up look at the results of their decisions.

This also includes the media, which provided a challenge for Ariel Sharon and allowed him to turn a prosperous agricultural land, a world full of communities, synagogues, yeshivas and magnificent educational institutions into piles of rubble. Also the heads of the IDF and Shin Bet security service who never spoke in public what they whispered in the backrooms, and the soldiers and policemen who dragged the pioneers of Kfar Darom and Neveh Dekalim from their houses while raining blows on the demonstrators who understood what would come.

The apology must also include everyone who painted those who warned that the rockets from Gaza would reach Sderot, Ashdod and Be'er Sheva as delusional and opponents of peace. Everyone who promised that they would "give it to them" after the first Qassam, but in the end cried about the moral and international constraints that prevented them from doing so, and for years abandoned the south. It must include those who took the name of democracy in vain and aided Sharon in deceiving Likud members and breaking his promises to honor Likud's decisions once it became clear to Sharon that the party's members did not agree with him.
Read the whole thing.

The other apology seeker - okay, he's been on the right side of this issue all along - is Michael Freund at the JPost.
It is time for a Gaza apology and a national admission of guilt. All those who had a hand in the disengagement should apologize to the people of Israel, the residents of Sderot and the rest of the Negev and especially to those who lived in Gush Katif.

Through their folly, the supporters of withdrawal brought disaster upon this country. They destroyed the lives of thousands of Gaza's Jews, and put nearly a million Israelis within the cross-hairs of Hamas.

Unless Israel and its leaders have the courage to come to terms with their error, the danger of making additional such blunders will continue to accompany us well into the future.

Mistakes, wrote the author James Joyce, are portals of discovery. They allow us to gain a better glimpse of reality and to move forward. But that can only happen if in fact one is capable of embracing his own failings.

The disengagement, as its name implied, was supposed to disengage Israel from the Palestinians and their violence. But instead, as we have seen, it did just the opposite. It is about time that its proponents publicly acknowledged as much.
And again, read the whole thing.

The apology is unlikely to come in our lifetimes. As Freund notes,
It was their blunder, their bluster and their blindness, which got us into this mess, and which brought the country an unprecedented wave of airborne Palestinian projectiles and terror. All those who backed the pullout then, and adamantly defended it to the public, clearly now owe the rest of us a whopper of an apology.

Which is exactly why they are so manifestly silent on the subject.
In fact, some of them are even trying to deny that they voted in favor of the disengagement and did nothing to stop it so that we will vote for them on February 10.

You expect an Israeli politician to apologize and admit that they were wrong? Hell will freeze over first.


At 8:01 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Stupidity is the one trait Israeli politicians share in seeming abundance and also humility is not a characteristic they are noted for. So that's why bad policies for Jews in Israel have a life of their own even after its clear to every one they don't work. Don't hold your breath waiting for that apology or for them to abandon the so-called peace process.

As Carl rightly says, "hell will freeze over first."

At 2:23 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Fact is that there is no future for an Israel that continues to ignore Gods commandments. Same applies in other countries too, of course, but no nation has been given as many specific commands as Israel has (including the exact borders) and your politicians seem to go out of their way to try anything but.


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