Coming back from work yesterday, it took me almost two hours to get home on a route that usually takes 45 minutes. Lining both sides of the road, (yes, sides, not blocking traffic, just slowing it down) was car after car and family after family, all decked out in requisite orange. As we passed, they smiled, waved hands and flags and held signs protesting disengagement from Gaza. Complex personal feelings on the disengagent aside, I found the moving display of civil disobedience strangely endearing (for those who may need a refresher course on what constitues civil disobedience see Wikipedia or Dictonary.com).

“I look at the maps they use in schools these days, and they are drawn without Gaza or Judea and Samaria,” the woman I was riding with told me, “it looks like someone came and took whole bites out of our country”. Her army service was in the Border Police, where she was a commander and in charge of dismantling a Shomron settlement once, and worries about being called up again for disengagement. While she thinks that ultimately we have to leave Gaza, she doesn’t like the way it’s being done, ie, unilaterally.

While I am of similar opinion that disengagement is a neccessary evil, I nonetheless admire the movement aganst it (in part because I’ve seen those beaches, and secretly wish it was somehow viable to keep). I admire the fact that they’ve successfully mobilized oodles of teenagers to pass out orange flags and orage popsicles on the streets. I even envy those teenagers, for they have a very well defined cause worth fighting for and a very clear sense of purpose to their lives in a way that I certainly never had at that age. The problem of course being that as a teenager, things appear very black and white when they generally aren’t.

Funny thing is, it’s not all teenagers. In fact, a new poll states that fully 1/5 of Jewish Israeli adults would block roads to thwart dangerous policies.

But hey, whatever, the popsicle sure was yummy anyway.

About the author

Laya Millman

13 Comments

  • Yo, sup?

    Just got back from miluim. We got off an unprcedented two days from the usual week of training.

    Anyway,
    got to speak with several enlisted girls and the impression is a sad state of Israeli education. Conclusion: ‘they’ (yup, I’m generalizing) support the disengagement because ‘something’ has to be done, and if the government decided to do it, then they have a good reason. The girl themselves have been given a light brainwashing about refusing orders, (though I remember numerous sessions in my army service about the danger of obeying ‘illegal/immoral’ orders and the obligation for every soldier if a red flag goes up to bring this issue to the attention of his officiers), and they were told that they will not be taking part directly, only doing extra guard duty in various places. Basically, sort of reminded me of the Soviet Army which had Communist Party officers in every unit to make sure that everyone is thinking the right way.

  • Or perhaps it reminded you of a military where if people stop supporting the democratic government’s decisions, then anarchy will prevail and the country will not survive?

    Welcome back, btw, I’m glad you are safe and sound.

  • Thanks and no.

    It reminded me of a certain prime minister who declared publicly that ‘we should break their bones’ and when soldiers were caught breaking ‘their bones’, the soldiers were sent to jail, as well as the Colonel who took that prime ministerial order literally, but not the prime minister.

    We know now that the world does not accept the reason, ‘I was just following orders’ anymore. And now tell me if the situation would be different if the prime minister/democratically-elected government had voted on a new law to relocate Arab villages and the Isaeli supreme court declared this a political decision and not a legal issue?

  • Have you ever heard of IRAC? The Israel Religious Action Center is the public and legal advocacy arm of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism located in Jerusalem, Israel. Your site seems to genuinely promote dialogue about important Jewish issues so I thought you might find IRAC interesting…

    Our mission is to advance religious freedom and pluralism, tolerance, social justice and civil liberties in Israel.

    IRAC is guided by the principles of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism which:

    · Stands for both a Jewish and a democratic society
    · Ensures equality of men and women
    · Is Zionist and
    · Embraces universal, human values

    From successfully receiving recognition for Reform and Conservative conversions abroad for purposes of the Law of Return, to fighting for women’s rights, and facilitating a host of social action projects to help vulnerable populations in Israel, IRAC is on the forefront of fighting for a better Israel. Stay up-to-date on these important issues by Subscribing to IRAC’s daily, weekly, or monthly newsletter, Sign up here.

  • Diane,
    please think twice before wanting to remove the Judaism from Israel. Among other things, it removes our right to claim Israel as ours.

  • Josh, IRAC is not in the pursuit of an un-Jewish Israel but rather the opposite, IRAC is in the business of making change that allows Israel to be more open to all different streams of Judaism. Isn’t it ironic that within the Jewish State itself (as opposed to in North America or other diaspora communities) it is most difficult for different denominations of Judaism to flourish? So in fact IRAC wants a more Jewish Israel in a way that I hope you can agree with and understand but if not then I was just interested in spreading the word about IRAC. Thanks for taking an interest.

  • I am trying to find where I can download the Benny Elbaz song that is one of the anti-disengagement themes. Th etitle is “Ze lo yikre” or something like that…

  • Hello,

    I do not mean to sound like a jerk. And forgive me if i do. But is that you wearing the I LOVE HASHEM
    T-Shirt?

    I must admit you are a gorgeous woman. Again forgive me if i have offended you, that was not my intent.

    Glen

  • I too am trying to find a website where I can download the disengagement song by Benny Elbaz. If anyone has any info, please let me know. I’ve searched everywhere on the internet and can’t find it.
    Thanks!

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