Well, the IDF could use a new battalion of psychiatrists because they’ve turned the world upside down. It seems that outgoing Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon has decided to offer IDF units participating in the evacuation of Gazan Israelis from Gaza “mental preparation.”
What this means is that the Israeli army, in its wisdom, is going to strengthen the mindset and harden the hearts of those soldiers assigned to what will be the challenging task of removing these Gazan Israelis (and their supporters who will make their way to Gaza in droves).
Shouldn’t they be targeting the Gazan Israelis for “mental preparation” instead? Why isn’t the IDF offering a similar service to the Gazan Israelis and particularly their children. If they start now, the “mental preparation” might work to Israel’s advantage by softening the blow to these poor people who are about to lose their homes and watch their children become traumatized (probably more by their own actions no less than what the army and police will have to do). There is no question that these people are already suffering and will suffer even more when they are evacuated. Some have lived in Gaza for 20 years and have their hearts and faith dedicated to the place from which they will now be torn. Give them “mental preparation” and stop worrying about the soldiers.
And why stop worrying about the soldiers? Well, Ya’alon has also decided that any soldiers who ignore or oppose the evacuation will be tried and punished. Any officers who do so will be removed from the IDF. That will definitely increase the stakes for many who might be considering joining forces with resisting settlers.
Yaalon is really not relevant anymore. The whole point was to get him out of the way ASAP. Though, I can’t wait until he opens his mouth up after taking off the uniform, and then the orgy of political parties trying to get him on board.
But your point about mentally preparing the Gush Katif settlers and their myriads of supporters is perhaps the key behind Sharon’s motives.
Instead of approaching them with empathy, Sharon and the prime minister’s office decided to openly demonize, as well as ‘leak’ other antagonistic ideas. The settlers from the beginning were offered pittance, and the factory owners still not being offered fair market value for the factories in the Gush and the Erez industrial area, and while the idea to bring Yonatan Basi along to organize the ‘relocation’, the real purpose soon came out when Basi joined along with public lying and antagonism towards the people who he was hired to help.
Josh, I disagree about Basi. When he took the job, he was publicly excoriated by the settler public and even his own community. This was done in many ways including the abhorrent use of Holocaust language.