From Sigmund, Carl and Alfred:
The evacuation of Israelis from Gaza will bring neither peace nor progress for the region. The reasons are many and myriad, but in the end, it is the sharply contrasted collective character of the peoples that tell the truth. Engaged in what is a civil war of sorts, Israeli soldiers, faced with evicting their brethren, are reduced to tears. Rage is expressed in angry exchanges of words, not exchanges of gunfire. Israeli soldiers do not drag other Israelis our into the streets, where they are summarily executed. Palestinians are only too happy to shoot each other in their unannounced civil war, fought to secure control in the Palestinian Authority- and fought to secure the billions in aid that will be stolen by corrupt regimes.
Israelis have built a life and an economy in Gaza. Settler industries were Gaza’s largest employers. Those jobs will now be gone for good. Still, the realities cannot be changed. The Israeli settlements in Gaza are untenable. Nevertheless, it is the timing of the removal of settlements that remains troubling.
Occupations are ended when there is peace. We did not leave Germany or Japan before they had secure and democratic governments and were well on their way to building productive societies. We are staying the course in Iraq until a government can prove it’s inclusiveness and stability, and we will not leave until violence is subdued by Iraq troops, if not entirely ended.
The Israelis are being asked to end their occupation before any promise or guarantee of peace with her neighbors. Indeed, Palestinian factions are promising more violence and the ‘slaughter of Jews’ in the future.
This entire human tragedy is displayed on TV for us. I heard a tearful Israeli woman crying as she was being led from her house, "...isn't there any sympathy in the world for us?"
I am hopeful that the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza will clarify for the whole world the real motives of the Palestinians. I don't believe that their leaders really want their own Palestinian state--they could have had that long ago. What they want, pure and simple is the destruction of Israel, even if it means continued suffering for their own people.
At least the suffering of these settlers in being evicted from homes they have lived in for decades will make it easier to Israel to defend itself without all the irrational screams of "occupiers!" being hurled their way from the rest of the world.
Ok, maybe that's is too much to hope for. Nevertheless, what the Palestinians do with this gift will be revealing. Like SC&A I believe they will squander it in order to continue to express their hatred of the Jews. That hatred has been the dominant focus in their culture for some time, and they are not about to give it up for a Palestinian state-- or for Peace.
Perhaps the rest of the world will begin to notice that.