As an American who fully supports the right of Israeli self-determination, I usually try to leave the detailed debate on Israeli politics to those who
1. Are more well-versed in the day-to-day workings of the Israeli government, and
2. Are directly impacted by the outcome of any decisions made by the Israeli government.
A telling example of this is Sharon’s Disengagement Plan, a decidedly sticky wicket for Israel and the Jews who currently live in areas such as the Gaza Strip.
On the one hand, as Abba Gav points out, the disengagement of Israel from the areas in question should be seen as a restructuring of Israeli resources, both military and civilian, for future struggles that we all know are coming. After all, history tells us that no matter what concessions Israel makes, the “Palestinians” will never be satisfied until they have removed the Jews from the entire area. Abba Gav very succinctly sums up his support for the Israeli government’s decision thusly:
I will trust that in a democracy, all of the risks are identified, and the leadership makes decisions. If our nation of armchair generals can’t trust even this government to run the country — that is, raise its objections without accusations of treason and govenmental anti-semitism — then Israel is essentially ungovernable; there isn’t going to be a “better” government. At that point, the alternative is anarchy, each of us feeling entitled to rule based on the correctness of our opinion, rather than the ability to gather a majority.
On the other hand, I feel an extreme pang of regret for the uprooting of whole towns and villages, not to mention the people in them, something that is an undeniably traumatic proposition for Israelis no matter what one’s take on the settlement issue may be.
My trepidation for commenting on Israeli politics stems not from fear of criticism for my point of view, but rather from a healthy respect for the people of Israel and their ability to survive incredible hardship, including internal strife, for the last 57 years. I strongly feel that Israel’s fate is, and should be, in the hands of those who are faced with the daily threat of terrorism and attack and not those of us safe and secure thousands of miles away. Having survived numerous wars, intifadahs and the afore-mentioned onslaught of suicide bombers and terrorist incursions, I have the utmost confidence in Israel’s ability to survive the mounting internal storm that implementation of the Disengagement Plan will no doubt intensify.
One thing, however, is sure: No matter what the decision of the Israeli government should be on disengagement, Zionist that I am I will stand by Israel and her people in the years ahead – not as a silent witness, but rather as an equal and outspoken member of G-d’s Chosen People.