Surf\'s Up Rabbi!

Here’s my plan:

Grow a beard. Put on a knitted kippah. Tear some jeans at the knee while running over them with the car a few times to give them that destroyed look. Fly to Israel and find a way to get to Gush Katif. Once there, tell them I am a profound supporter of their right to remain in Gaza and in fact wish to buy/build a home. Get registered as a local resident, and get a developer to begin digging up the foundation to a house.

Did I mention that I will attend synagogue, help all my new neighbors, listen to them with an attentive mind, and smile a lot?

Did I mention that without telling my new neighbors, I plan to sign up for the new community in Northern Ashkelon, North of Gaza, called the Golf Village? Yes, this little neighborhood is just a half mile from the ocean and has fairly valuable real estate. This valuable real estate will be given to those families who sign up for it. That’s right, simply ask and ye shall receive.

I know, I know, what a cynical thing to do. After all, these settlers who are leaving Gush Katif are being expelled by the very state that put them there. They are suffering and in shock to the point where they complain about the Nazi-like tactics of the Jewish State and its Army. They are receiving compensation, but how can any compensation be enough after months of heart-rending bad-mouthing of the Jewish state, its democracy and its leadership? How can anything make up for the pain of sending your teenage kids to languish in prison for blocking main Israeli roads? Indeed, what can possibly assuage the pain of undermining the IDF’s authority over its observant soldiers, while calling into question the army’s very morals?

But still, a person’s gotta do what a person’s gotta do, and if the state wants to compensate the settlers who do these things with prime ocean-side property, and if the Supreme Court rules that new Gazan tenants are to be compensated as well, who am I to turn up my nose at unsavory tactics.


Yup, wish me luck.

Oh, in other news, a former chief rabbi has instructed as follows with respect to soldiers obeying their commanders during the pullout:

…a “soldier must tell his commander: ‘I am not refusing the order but I cannot carry out the order.'”

The rabbi emphasized that neither soldiers nor evacuees be subject to physical attacks and that neither side must make use of violence.

“We do not want to disassemble the army that defends the lives of the residents and the citizens. We thus cannot declare a refusal to obey orders but must stand and say that we are not able,” Eliyahu also said.

His statements are interpreted to mean that soldiers not carrying out pullout orders would not be refusing such orders but rather would be expressing their inability to do so.

Regarding the police, Rabbi Eliyahu says they must not quit because of the fear of disengagement. “They must inform their commanders that they cannot drive out Jews and ask to be dismissed from training leading up to the expulsion,” he said.

Eliyahu also referred to the civil guard, saying that in their case, “it is decided that they have no permission to take part in this criminal act.” He also said the act was an offense against the Torah.

Eliyahu also referred to the civil guard, saying that in their case, “it is decided that they have no permission to take part in this criminal act.” He also said the act was an offense against the Torah.

‘I am not refusing the order but I cannot carry out the order.’

You’d have to be a talmudic scholar to parse that one. Fortunately, the state of Israel subsidizes tens of thousands of those, so we should have no problem getting to the bottom of this non-refusing refusal.

I should end this post by reminding everyone that an average Israeli, whether s/he lives inside a major urban center, a development town in the Negev or a small town in the Galilee, and even if he served in the IDF and continues to do reserve duty, and even if he votes, pays taxes, and has two or three sons to send to the army, and even if he has had to buy his home unsubsidized while paying Israel’s high tax rate and trying to make a living in a tough economic environment, and even if he is a true Zionist and Israel-loving mensch, he would never be offered a free plot of land near the ocean . Never. Even if he never insulted the government, the state’s democracy, the IDF, or blocked roads, interfered with daily life of other Israelis or undermined the IDF’s authority, he would still not qualify for an ocean-side plot of land. Never. Nope, he’d have to pay the full $130,000 for that lot near the salty ocean air.

I’m moving to Gaza.

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  • You are making light of a very serious matter that breaks my heart. But I guess that’s what you do.

    Having said that, Nitzanim is a great beach. Its is going to be impossible to make it temporary.

  • I’m not making light of anything. I am writing with my tongue firmly in my cheek, but this breaks my heart as well.

    And I take this very seriously.

    I think it is a grave offense to be giving them this prime land near the ocean to replace their homes, and in addition to the compensation they will be receiving already.

    I also object because the Supreme Court has now allowed the settlers to sue after they accept their packages.

    It made sense at some point to attempt to find a fair and just solution, but we have come to this point after an egregious campaign against the state and the IDF.

    What is worse is that any Israeli who has struggled for decades in, say, a development town, would not be eligible for this largess. So, wouldn’t it makes sense to move to a settlement East of the fence in the West Bank at this point? I mean, he knows he’ll get something good out of it.

    And there’s nothing mildly amusing about Rabbi Eliyahu explicitly encouraging dissent among the soldiers.

    PS there is nothing temporary about this because this isn’t the Nitzanim group. This would be a different group and these lots are to be given outright for the settlers to build homes. This will be permanent.

  • Yes, and the average Israeli, living in a major urban area, etc was not moved there by the government specifically as a strategic move, only to then be moved back out 20 years later. I know many of these residents were not, but many of them were (from Sinai).

    I support the withdrawal from Gaza, as I think it makes strategic sense. But I also think that the residents deserve extreme measures of compensation in return. I have no problem with this. The only problem I might have would be if, as you imply, a neophyte settler at this time would also be eligible.

  • I mean seriously! What an outrage! It’s a wonder they’re putting up such a big fuss about this disengagement thing! I mean they are getting primo property only 800 metres away from the beach – and don’t be fooled by that whole tznius thing, those skirt wearing settler women with their elbows and heads covered love sunnin their buns all day long at the beach! So why are they still resisting? I mean hello!??! Surf’s up Rabbi!

    Unless of course they are holding out for surfing lessons and Jet skis as part of their compensation package …. Ooooh! Those crafty, crafty settlers!

  • Gotta agree with T_M here, I really don’t see how it is that much of a hardship to move from on part of the country to another part a short distance away.

    I mean, its not like they are being asked to move to *gasp* Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan.

  • Nobody moved to Gaza because they were “moved there.” People moved there of their own volition and were encouraged by their own faith and desire to live there, first and foremost. If the government did anything pro-active, it was in letting it be known that they were interested in having settlements there and would provide subsidies and assistance, which they did.

    In fact, in previous discussions, we have talked about the fact that these settlers enjoyed housing and plots of land that would have been more challenging and far more expensive to acquire elsewhere.

    Ck, the holding out scenario is apparently working well as we can see with this neighborhood being offered up. Is it crafty? No, it’s a negotiating tactic. That’s fine.

    It’s not fine when the negotiating tactic involves verbal attacks on the state and the IDF (and let’s all hope there will be no physical attacks, other than the few we’ve seen already).

    Steve, precisely.

  • “I really don’t see how it is that much of a hardship to move from on part of the country to another part a short distance away.”

    Moving to a new home is ALWAYS a headache, for anyone, even if they are moving on their own volition.

    Add to that that you are NOT moving on your own volition, that you are temporarily going to be in a caravan rather than a real home, that all the people in your community will be relocated and rearranged- ie that your community will no longer exist, that the grave of your son/brother/nephew/husband is going to be dug up and moved somewhere else, that your synagogue may be torn down as well as your old house, that your children will have to go to a different school, and that if you were a farmer or grocery owner or teacher etc in one of those communities that you’ll have to find a new way to earn a living . . . well, I’d be stressed out and angry and bitter, too.

    I hope I wouldn’t equate Israel with Nazi Germany, but . . . geez, Middle and Steve, I’m upset that my parents are moving out of our old house in Boston to move to Cleveland and have sold it to another (nice) family. I am (thinly) pro-disengagement, but come on, don’t be so glib about what has to be an incredibly traumatic experience. You don’t have to relate to their religious or political beliefs to understand that the dismantling of one’s community has to be very very stressful and sad.

  • Sarah, most Israelis are descended from or are themselves people who were obligated to move from far greater distances, with far less to be able to bring over with them, with no compensation, and arriving in Israel with the state having virtually nothing to offer. It’s the summer, so the uprooted kids will be starting (if their parents would have agreed to an orderly move) a new school year right on time. The state is giving hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation and will be sued by these folks as well. They are being offered residence in numerous communities. Who on earth decided they also need oceanside property that will cost Israel another $50 million. There are kibbutzim, moshavim and town nearby and in the Galilee who would love to have these folks. Oh yeah, that’s another thing in their favor, they are wanted by other communities.

    Is it traumatic? I guess it is. I also guess they are making it far worse than it needed to be.

  • dear themiddle,

    What do you know of the trauma of being thrown out of a community with force? How can you compare the situation that occured to many of Israel who have background of being thrown out by sworn enemies to being thrown out by our own brothers?

  • You mean, other than both sides of my family being kicked out of their homes, losing their homes and property, and in the case of my father having everyone save for 3 members of a large extended family murdered because they are Jewish? I probably know very little about eviction without compensation by repressive armies.

    Nobody is saying, and I have never said, that the settlers here aren’t suffering and that they don’t have my sympathy. What I have said all along is that they need to be compensated within reason, and they need to only be compensated if they behave in a manner that doesn’t cause harm to the state of Israel and the IDF.

  • What fun!!!

    It’s been a while since we discussed this and so much has happenned since then. Your ignorance cries for a major clarification. I hope that I can give you some time later.

    It’s not going to happen though. The plan and practically entire government now reeks of corruption on the worst scale and the Israeli media is purposely ignoring it.

  • Josh,

    I was waiting for you. And the media isn’t ignoring anything, they have reported on the latest book about Sharon and his reasons for the disengagement involving accusations of corruption.

    Corruption or not, you still have to explain how long we’re supposed to maintain a significant military presence so that a slow growing community of 8000 settlers can live among a million Palestinians. What is the point, exactly? And furthermore, if we have to have a presence there, isn’t it better if the military is there without having to be concerned about Israeli civilians?

  • themiddle,

    What makes you think that those civilians establishing Jewish domain in that region isn’t contributing to security in all of Israel?. If Chas Vasholom that the framers of this disengagement were to succeed in this convaluted plan even for the short term, what possible benefit to security would this bring?

    Please forgive me about the question I said of what do you know of being thrown out… That wasn’t so brilliant. I bet a lot of us on both sides of this issue have what to say about that.

  • I’ll define your attitude as simply ‘defeatist’.

    You accept the Palestinian warfare as a given, and ignore the endless reiterations from the Palestinians and Egyptians that the earth will be on fire after the expulsion if no other expulsion from other Judea and Samarian Jewish areas follow. I totally agree with netzachs claim that the Jews in Gaza are protecting all of Israel. Once they are kicked out, we will have no justification to sit on any parcel of land between the river and the sea. (Last week, Hezbollah was reminding the Arabs in the northern galil that they are not forgotten).

    There was no significant military presence before Rosh Hashana 2000 when the Arabs started killing Jews. Jews and Arabs used the same roads and shopped in each others shops. You preach to finalize the current segregation and I think that is foolish and not condusive to any peace.

    The corruption scandals should’ve been front-page news. Rabin the great was abdicated in a previous rotation because of a simple bank account on the side in the US with a few thousand dollars. But Sharon has managed to load his deck with a full house of security officials falling in line, right-wing ministers discarded or falling in line, and the ace up the sleeve – the media who loathe him but are cozing up to him to get this ‘disengagement’ done. The two Israeli reporters, Raviv and Drucker, who’s opinions are clearly not on the right, simply couldn’t let the love affair go on longer and needed to clean their consciences.

  • Here we go TM – again.

    Why is it always those who are so keen on going against the Torah and don’t take it seriously are the ones who ‘happen’ to be OK with giving Israel to others?

    I wonder why…

    -to you everything is negotiable- the Torah, Israel…

  • Joe, as I’ve pointed out to you before, it is primarily those who are not Orthodox who fought to found the state. So cut it out with the “giving Israel to others” line.

    And as you both know, this isn’t defeatist, it is pragmatic.

  • Dear themiddle,

    I fail to see any pragmatic result of this very
    indecent proposal. Many of Israel within the
    IDF are saying the same thing. We don’t know
    what is going to happen. The more I learn of
    this “disengagement” the more it seems like
    one big effort for some very short sighted folks
    to cut off a “leg” and then ask for sympathy.
    The region is so beautifull and extremely
    productive, undoubtedly a major source of
    Israel’s very precious agricultural production
    amongst other things. The very thought to
    simply hack such a living quarter off is an
    unbearable out rage to many in Israel. So
    many experts within the IDF are saying that
    more IDF reaction will be necessary once this
    evilness goes through.

  • Yes but they are hoping that this formula will lead to peace and stability in the area.

    The last time it didn’t work because of Arafat. I believe the Israeli Old Guard wants to try w. someone else one last time.

  • By the way, did I mention I look nothing like that boy in ck’s exceptional surfing photo? Great job, ck, I laughed mightily.

  • Jobber,
    no one is deluding themselves that this will lead to peace. Not even folks on the left who desperately want to destroy anything ‘settler’ think that this will lead to any peace. Their disdain (as continually expressed in virtually anything ‘themiddle’ posts w/r to disengagement) for the settler flourishing and success prevents them from thinking rationally.

    Ashkelon has installed the same radar which detects approaching missiles like in Sderot. All kibbutzim around Gaza are now required to reinforce children’s structures (schools and rec rooms). A few government offices have even sent out new guidelines to regional councils around Gaza in order to prepare for increased ‘hostilities’.

    Superficially, this all seems part of the ‘Road map to peace’, but in reality, this is a retreat under-fire of the Jew from the sword of the Arab.

    you can be pragmatic in the school yard, i.e. run away, come back to fight another day, but we are talking about two things that are suppressed here: the trauma of moving 9000 people including kids and destroying their livelihood, as well as showing the Arab and the rest of the world that Israel can be forced to leave land and has no position to ask for anything in the future for other parts as well.

  • No Josh,

    Let’s stop talking about trauma already. For god’s sake, if there is any trauma, it is being caused by all the bullshit declarations about this “expulsion.” While there is “trauma,” the parents are sending the kids out to block roads, sit in prison, blanket the country with protests (mysteriously missing school days), and become hawkers of orange-colored paraphanelia. Trauma indeed. Did I mention the part where they teach their kids that this is how the Nazis behaved? Now that is traumatic.

    Destroying their livelihood? Bullshit. Over half of the farmers have already signed deals for new plots of land within the Green Line. Together with their compensation, and their newly granted right to sue, they will make out just fine. Others are employed outside Gaza anyway, and their jobs will not be affected. Those farmers who haven’t signed on have only themselves to blame, it’s not as if they haven’t been begged to sign.

    As for leaving land, we’ve done it in Sinai with Egypt and in Southern Lebanon on our own. To remind you, we also backed off in areas we lost in 1948. It happens. Is it desirable? No. But sometimes you have to act pragmatically. Is a cold peace with Egypt better than an enemy on our doorstep with the Sinai in our possession? Yep. Is leaving Gaza pragmatic? Yep. All the resources spent on supporting 8000 people living among 1 million hostile people will be saved. The IDF will still be able to go in, but without having to worry about things like whether civilian Israelis are travelling safely to their small communities. It’s fucking Gaza, for god’s sake. Gaza! You want a perpetual presence there? To what end? What do we get out of it? Security? Nope. The settlements there don’t add security, they add targets for the enemy and force us to spread our forces. Money? Nope. We cleared that one up months ago when I showed you that the revenues generated there are less than the expenses incurred by Israel. Besides, the farmers will farm elsewhere.

    So all you’re left with is the argument that we won’t be able to claim other parts of the area for ourselves in the future. I disagree. They, like us, never expected Gaza to be on the table in any form under 100%. Just look at the Camp David and Taba negotiations for ample evidence of this. It is clear that if 242 is to be implemented with Israel keeping some areas, it will be from the West Bank. Guess what, Josh…you now have more resources to focus on that. Besides, don’t forget we also need to focus on the Galilee and the Negev.

    Oh, and don’t put words in my mouth. If I disdain some settlers, it is because some settlers disdain the state, its institutions and the IDF. Since they feel so strongly, perhaps those settlers who feel this way ought to wait until after the pullout…and then go to live in Gaza.

  • Amazing. The display of insensitivity and doublespeak still shocks me. You’d think I’d be used to it by now.

    From someone whose hard earned tax dollars are actually being used to compensate Gaza settlers, and from someone who stands to actually be affected by their shenanigans on the road ways etc. I say more power to the people. Yay for civil disobedience. Sorry for your loss and enjoy Nitzanim.

  • So you’re joining me in my move to Gaza?

    Here’s civil disobedience: spray painting sidewalks orange? Cool. Jumping in front of a bullet proof car carrying the Prime Minister? Moronic, but only harms the moron. Trying to destroy infrastructure and close down banks? Oops, unacceptable and not really civil disobdience, more like criminal activity. And let’s not forget that rock throwing incident where the IDF soldier lost his eye. That eye is gone, never to return. But that was just civil disobedience…

  • Actually, middle, once you resort to violence, it no longer falls under the category of civil disobedience. It is also by its definition Illegal. Thats the point. But you knew that right?

    Here’s the definition, so we all know what we’re talking about:
    Refusal to obey civil laws in an effort to induce change in governmental policy or legislation, characterized by the use of passive resistance or other nonviolent means.

    Here’s some more info from Wikipedia. Just to be sure we’re clear.

    As one who actually stands to be affected by the ramifications of non-violent, illegal acts of civil disobedience by people who feel their government has betrayed them, I say once again, power to the people.

  • Themiddle wrote: The settlements there don’t add security, they add targets for the enemy


    the revenues generated there are less than the expenses incurred

    Uh… just for the sake of argument, couldn’t the same be said about, like, the entire country of Israel?

  • dear themiddle,

    How do you know what will happen? The
    people that came up this “disengagement”
    are playing with fire. You seem so confident;
    like you just have this assumption that what
    everything that happened before will happen
    again they way it did before. Granted, you
    thought this out and have pegged youre
    souces well. However, you are extrapolating;
    which could work if you are talking about
    scientific theory. Israel doesn’t work in such a
    way. The Middle east is hot shebe hot and
    doesn’t conform to models. Gaza is alot
    bigger and badder then all those other
    situations you list. I don’t see the comparison.

  • I do believe the Old Guard wants to get to a peace treaty. This is the remaining group of politicians and fighers who created the country.

    WHether or not some believe that the area is more defensible w/ out this land is not germane.

  • I am rolling themiddles reports and
    conclusions on this issue around and realizing
    that he has a good recipe for some of what is
    going on. He has got an ingredients list, some
    of the actual ingredients and the recipe itself.
    However, just that all that in itself won’t
    always make a stew right. Often with recipes,
    a skill or a procedure has to be done that just
    can’t be or isn’t in the recipe itself. Sometimes only a specific people make a food a certain way. An example of this: Before I ate kosher, like almost 20 years now, I used to like eating Falafels made at these little local Armenian fast food joints. It wasn’t just one or two but several in town. There are a lot of Armenians here and they obviously like thier falafel. So, the Armenians make a damn good Falafel that in itself isn’t better or worse then many other styles. However, it is undoubtedly unique to Armenians. That uniqueness is not so
    simple to explain. Likewise, what is happening
    in Israel with this “disengagement proposal”
    has its own brew of so many different things
    going on. I don’t accept the reduction of such
    complex events to such extrapolation.

  • Yeah, we each seem to have all the answers…

    The trauma of 9000+ settlers and 40% of the population who currently supports them vs the entire country held captive by these ‘fanatics’?

    Just a reminder that majority of kids blocking the roads, getting arrested, handing out orange ribbons, painting sidewalks are residents within the ‘green-line’, not gush katif kids.

    I’m going to call you on another claim that is pure BS or else you just like playing with our faraway Jewish lives:

    The IDF will still be able to go in…

    It’s only been five years, but you forget the first two and how Israel and it’s army were chastised in the rest of the world for fighting back with kid gloves, and after endless nights of heavy-machine gun fire on many Israeli civilian areas as well as mortars (Gilo is just one example of how we responded with a heavy hand of bullet-proof windows and cement walls along the outer roads), we sat on our butt and took it all in. How many Jews had to die before Homat Magen gave us the ‘green-light’ to retake the Palestinian cities? Do you remember the crisis that ensued when we ‘invaded’ Beit Jala and Beit Lechem?

    Okay, who cares about 6000 mortars on Gush Katif, but what’s happenning in Sderot right now? Over 100 surface to surface missiles fired on to the city, sometimes in frightening volleys, with miraculously few casualties (only little girls and grandparents), and we smile while Condi Rice says that Abu Mazen is fighting terrorism.

    All bets on the table now!
    Israel post-disengagement:
    How many Jews have to die for Israel to justify ‘able to go in’?
    10 direct missile hits on homes but no casualties?
    one Jew a week?
    a couple here and there at random times?
    a direct hit on a school bus with fatalities and amputations?
    or the magical ‘mega’-attack with a few dozen massacred Jews or worse?

    You’ve been living in the galut too long. The Jew is now allowed to stand up and say that he deserves to live free in his land. Just very sad that the one preventing him from this is a fellow Jew who continues to advise him to ‘run away, come and play another day’ – for the elusive ‘peace’. The eternal guilt-trip that we are to blame for all that is wrong on our borders, where will it end?

    Two prophecies in the bible, sorry I don’t remember the specifics:

    Israel does not ‘disengage’ – the world and Arabs are pissed off and attack ‘arei yisrael’.
    Israel does disengage – BUT, is forced to go further and further until the war on Jerusalem itself.

    Do you really think we’ll be able to keep Jerusalem?

  • Oh yes, we’ll keep Jerusalem. And Tel Aviv. And Haifa. And Sderot. I believe we’ll also keep Ma’aleh Edumim and Giv’at Zeev, although I’m not sure about Ariel and doubt it will remain.

    We have internal consensus about those and international consensus about almost all of those, with a strong case to be made about int’l law being on our side.

    Our resources will be more focused than now, as well.

    For some reason you perceive this as weakness, and you blame it on my living abroad. Does Sharon live abroad? Do his supporters? Do the people who support the disengagement?

    If you want to discuss history, allow me to remind you that in 1948, we had to leave certain areas entirely. We did, but kept our eyes on the prize. Then came 1967, and we were very well prepared. We were able to re-take our lost part of Jerusalem, not to mention land that we were able to exchange for peace with Egypt.

    As to your comment about people from within the Green Line doing most of the civil protesting, you may be right. But the kids in jail were from settlements as were the men who tried to sabotage banks and infrastructure yesterday, as were those who attacked soldiers in N. Samaria.

    Laya, I’m glad we agree about when civil disobedience becomes criminal. I’m sure that soldier who lost his eye could tell you about that moment as well and how he wishes he could go back one moment in time.

    Ck, see above about internal and international consensus.

  • No, TM, civil disobedience IS criminal. It IS against the law (please reread the definition if this is not clear)

    Stone throwing is a violent form of protest (and one i don’t agree with) NOT civil disobedience. Civil disobedience involves NON VIOLENCE and the breaking of laws in an effort to induce change in governmental policy.

    Not all protests of are a form of civil disobedience. Clear?

    (But perhaps we should start handing out pamphlets on it to the Palestinians. We would praise their peacefulness if they were the ones blocking roads as a form of “resisting the occupation”, even if the occasional nut bar still threw a stone.)

  • The Supreme Court ruling, ironically brought about by a Gazan settler lawsuit, is that the land is actually not disputed but is under “belligerent occupation.” It was the Israeli government that took this position in defense of the lawsuit. I plan to post about this sometime but haven’t had the time to do it.

  • Lets just go start a Jewsih homeland in antarctica maybe then they will leave us alone and polars bears are really cute

  • Antartica is melting.

    Besides, our historic homeland remains the land of Israel. That is not the issue here. The issues include viability, pragmatism, demographics…

  • themiddle,
    you do know that the soldier(policeman actually) lost his eye during a leftist protest against the ‘security fence’, right? Are you insinuating that settlers threw the stone?

    You’re naive to the dynamics of current geopolitics. Internal consensus? The supreme court last week announced that Israeli law does not apply in the territories (explain to them that ‘east’ Jerusalem, Hebrew U, Latrun and that part of highway 1, and the western wall are not over hte green line). As for international consensus of the green-line? Just wait and see how strong they will back us up on that. After we start buckling with disengagement 2 and 3, Ramle, Acco, and the other villages are close behind. Actually, I pray that it won’t come to that and that we will see the redemption earlier and avoid that mess.

    Thanks for bringing up 67.

    This week’s parsha is about one of the worst events in our history. Am yisrael was about to waltz into the land of Israel and enjoy the milk and honey. But the spies came back with lies about how we can’t possibly ‘conquer’ the giants already living there. We’re told that am yisrael believed the lies, and then were instantly made aware of that mistake, but too late. God sent them to walk the desert for another 38 years. In 1967, Israel, beyond any doubt won a miraculous victory and conquered a large part of the land of Israel. But what happened? The weak spies, (the leaders) immediately demanded to remove the Israeli flag from the temple mount and proclaimed, ‘we cannot keep this land’. We passed the thirty-eighth year on Jerusalem Day two weeks ago.

    But the people these days are not weak. They want to live in the land of Israel that God gave us and the erev rav who don’t want will pay the price like they did back then as well.

  • Josh,

    You do realize when it comes to the issue of
    Yerushalyim, how do we know that themiddle
    would even be amongst those to hesitate to
    give any of city over to whom ever? East
    Yerushalyim or any part of Yerushalyim could
    be put on the same value like themiddle just
    said, “Its just Gaza…..
    “it will just be Just Yerushalyim… ” How many
    times have Olmert, Mofaz, Bush, Rice, Sharon
    himself blurts stuff about more and more
    concessions that could be just anywhere, if
    the courts allow it and the UN…Hahahaha!

    Need I say more?
    Eventually the IDF will not allow it to be Just

    And so how many months does
    Sharon have to stay elected as Prime Minister
    anyway….? The short sightedness of even the
    thought of this “disengagement plan” is an
    empty coffin. True, the IDF Will not let us fall
    into that place, Thank G-d, I do believe that,
    but you bet youre buns that the UN and those
    Courts and even the US will let us fall right

    So much talk about who is compensating for
    what and where. So many plans by so many
    people…. Who knows what events will
    overtake all of this? Who is pushing Sharon
    around to do what? Is Gaza going to be like
    one big Las Vegas to sport Israeli tourists
    etc….? How could we possibley know. People
    plan, they talk….

    Furthermore, who is the IDF anyway and what
    is the IDF saying? Do we even need to point
    out that much of the IDF is part of the
    wrangling in all this? The times are different
    now. Israel isn’t like it was and the enemies
    are not doing the same things. So how can we
    possible assume that what will happen now?
    No matter what Bush only has a few years left
    in his term. Who knows who will be the next

  • I may be naive, Josh, and you may be a deluded extremist who can’t see that it is the occupation, more than any other factor, that has harmed Israel’s “legitimacy” in international discourse. How about we focus on the discussion?

    As you know, I believe we were right to go into the territories, and I believe we are right to remain there. But I want us to leave as soon as possible, because the price we are paying as a society is too great. It is tearing the nation apart and pitting brothers against each other. It also forces our people to take actions that can be immoral, and then to have to justify what is very difficult to justify.

    I’d love to keep Hebron. I just don’t see how you do it without this becoming an interminable situation. So then I say, “It’s not fair, it’s not right, but if I leave here, I will have a better chance of preserving Israel as a Jewish state and its people as a unified nation.”

    The fence is demarcating a viable border that the international community will respect when negotiations show that it is a reasonable border and addresses the goals of 242. You may think the world wants to keep its hand in this mess, but they would rather let the matter drop. By the same token that the Palestinians have been able to secure international consensus that they deserve a state and it should sit on the West Bank and Gaza, the corollary is that Israel can sit within the Green Line and will be able to preserve certain neighborhoods around Jerusalem. If you don’t believe me, just look into the Clinton Plan and the reception it received from the Europeans, especially after Moritanos came to visit and to assess how far the parties had gone in their Taba negotiations.

  • Hey TM my roommate says you have alot of Eirev Rav in you and trust me this guy is connected to the source man

    he knows

  • I don’t look up to the UN and the Court of
    European and World view for Emuna. I don’t
    know much about the general debate of what
    good or not good the UN does in this world. I
    do know I don’t have faith in it when the issue
    of Jewish welfare is concerned. I also don’t
    trust the UN and I have big time doubts about
    how they are deployed in the region and what
    they do.

  • Hey Wine Guy, if he’s so connected, why doesn’t he have his own computer and keyboard? Ask him if he’s familiar with the term “nemushot.” That’s Rabin-speak for wimps. He’s welcome to come here himself and tell me where my analysis is wrong.

  • yeah themiddle,

    Why don’t you go out with blue ribbons and do what ever the pro “disengagement” is doing? Is anybody stopping you? To be honest, I am not sure what the pro engagement is doing. We all know what the Orange fun is all about. As funky as some what I have heard and read about is going on, no doubt as to the intensity of the activity. The other camp seems almost mute.

  • The other camp has won the democratic and judicial battles to make the disengagement happen, and is largely sympathetic to the plight of the settlers who will have to leave their homes. Nobody but those on the far Left is parading or cheering because of this event

  • Basically, those who are against this plan, invoke a mystical religious element to their sentences, that no good will come out of this plan therefore it must be stopped. While those For the plan, do not do this. That is because most of them are sad that this has to be.

    I am personally for preserving the Israeli Democratic system, which is the backbone of the state.

  • It makes sense, since in many respects the settlements and the settler movement have been heavily influenced by Gush Emunim and subsequently by the Rabbi Kook school of thought.

    For these people, and most are true Zionists who devote their lives to Israel with a profound and touching passion, the disengagement is a partial destruction of their faith (and in some circles, of biblical requirements or messianic parameters that must exist to invoke his return) and they have to reconcile it with their faith in the Zionist state.

    Uri Zvi Grinberg is often their poet of choice:

    Your forefathers thought: a land is not to be bought by money
    one is baying the tilled soil and brandish in it a pick-axe.
    And I say: money does not buy a land
    and with the pick-axe one also digs and buries his dead…

    …and one day will come when from Egypt’s river to the Ephratus
    and from the sea till beyond Mohav my Men will climb
    and they will call my enemies to the last battle,
    and blood will be to determine who will be the only one who masters here.

  • And may I point out that it is not your analysis nor your position on Gaza withdrawal that is to upseting it’s mainly youre incredibly negative attitude towards settlers(Really it sounds very hateful)

  • For these people, and most are true Zionists who devote their lives to Israel with a profound and touching passion, the disengagement is a partial destruction of their faith (and in some circles, of biblical requirements or messianic parameters that must exist to invoke his return) and they have to reconcile it with their faith in the Zionist state.

    Does this sound hateful?

  • “a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest…woowoowoo” was that Simon & Garfunkle?

  • Laya, are you talking about those who ignore democratic and judicial decisions?

  • You shouldn’t be too hard on the Israelis who live in Gaza. Besides, J Post is reporting that many are now talking to the PM’s office about leaving in an organized manner. Apparently this is because of the Supreme Court ruling, so your feeling that they ignore the law is unwarranted.

  • netzach,
    I’m still here because I try to give all Jews ‘the benefit of the doubt’. We request from hashem every morning to protect us from evil people, and I don’t think that tm is evil. While many now are ignorant about the danger of giving away land for free, I believe that if it ever gets as far as Jerusalem, then the Jewish soul will kick in and finally say no. The true Erev Rav like Yossi Beillin who admits he has no sentiment for Jerusalem, though understands why it is still important for others are a minority. Others might not be ‘erev rav’, but definitely galut influenced, even in Israel.

    TM, my earlier post refering to galut decisions was directed at Jews overseas who seem to know what’s good for us, and esepcially the current leadership that still hasn’t shed this ‘galut mentality’ diseases of placating the goy at all costs.

    harmed Israel’s “legitimacy” in international discourse\
    Do you read what you write??? Why does Israel have to care about it’s legitimacy? Does Iraq when it gasses Kurds? Does Russian when it destroys Chechnya? Does France when it wipes out the Ivory Coast air force? Does the US when it bombs Afghan weddings? Does Jordan after it massacres 10 000 Palestinians? If that’s your tone, then pointing your finger at Israeli actions is pure galut ‘jews responsible for being punched’ mentality.

    the price we are paying as a society
    The price will be much, much higher if we start chopping up Eretz Yisrael.

    the fence is demarcating a border
    Israel already retreated to the ‘purple line’ up north, but Hezbollah still has managed to kill 28 Israelis. Where is the world and the condemnations of Lebanon for not patrolling it’s border with us? Repeat the famous Tom Friedman claim referring to the peace between Israel and Lebanon, “that’s a peace I can live with.” The whole country is being held hostage by the 10 000 katyusha surface to surface missiles pointed at us and Tom Friedman lives in the US..

    Clinton Plan and Europeans
    how come you never, ever mention what the Palestinians/Arabs want. You consistantly show your faith in the goyim, ignore the Arabs as if they aren’t part of the equation, and think that the Jew should bend over each time.

    you’re ignoring the disdain that many have for the settler/religous movement. Some Jews are even inherently auto-anti-semitic. The people who loathe the settlers don’t have to publicize it, it’s a given. Yediot Ahronot, the largest daily here (tabloid) is overtly anti-settler, but you won’t see them gloat. These are things you here in ‘private’ conversations. The colour of the rabid pro-disengagement movement is green. Today, I saw the first green ribbon on a car antenna, but like I said, most ‘pro’ people are not anti-settler, most are plainly ignorant of the dangers of sacrifing others.

    Did I mention that I’m buying a home in Ariel this month?

  • Mazel Tov, Josh, I hope it will not be offered back. I wanted to buy a home in Elon Moreh, over 10 years ago, but the wife said no. It cost on 4K at that time.

  • Ah, the sheer irrelevence of exile Jewry.


    Oh, you are busy improving your own lot in life and distracting yourself from he fact that there is a Jewish project? I understand.

  • Josh, what kind of bullshit is this “galut mentality” and “eirev rav” commentary? It’s like what Muffti said in the Conservative Judaism discussion regarding the “Fuck you, we do it this way” debating approach.

    For somebody like you to claim that somebody like Ariel Sharon has galut (diaspora, for our non-Hebrew speaking friends) mentality is absolutely hilarious. Are you reading what you’re saying? Mofaz has galut mentality? Have you lost all reason? You wouldn’t be living where you live, or buying a home in Ariel were it not for these guys.

    Wanting the world and having high-falutin’ ideological objectives is very nice when you don’t have to make decisions, and especially if the state has to use its resources and people indefinitely to protect your goals. The biggest dreamer of all has now become prime minister and is faced with reality. Pay close attention to how he has changed now that he has ultimate responsibility.

    As for what the Arabs want, as we did in 1948, 1967 and 1973 and 2000-2005 we will defeat them. But to win, we need consensus, and there isn’t consensus about the territories. On the contrary, they cause more friction and conflict within Israel than almost anything else at this point.

    Finally, as we’ve discussed in the past, Israel is not an island that can survive on its own and needs other countries for friends.

  • I agree E, as I keep pointing out in the education discussions, all those hundreds of millions that come through official organizations, all the other hundreds of millions that come as direct donations, would be far better spent on our own communities so we can actually have some communities down the road. You might ask yourself why you need us to have communities, since we are “irrelevant,” and that is a valid question. Enjoy your relationship with that new ally, China.

  • Josh,

    themiddle appears to have a lot of “anti”
    jewish faith issues and underestimates the
    abilities and potential of those of Israel who
    don’t share his beliefs. While he appears to
    ideologically believe in Israel’s “friends” and
    “world consensus and even the UN…” he can
    only come up with sympathy and saddness for
    whom he sees are the losers in this once and
    final disengagement as if its written in stone….
    Of course, he is ADAMIT about the unfairities
    of overcompensating those losers!!!

    Now he does admire many of those losers, but
    he considers them the bane of Israel and the
    cause of her wretched lot because they are
    “non believers” of democratic compliance and
    the cause so much divergence of resource
    and military priority, oh what a bane they are!!
    themiddle is so tired of the ravings of those
    losers, those BT’s, hard core settlers, Hesder
    yeshiva folk who actually don’t believe like he

    He seems to like to put his faith whom he
    sees will be the “winners.” His pragmatism is
    born of cold analysis because his faith lies in a
    very shaky priority in a very shaky democratic

  • Who says I don’t admire settlers?

    Settlers are a very large group. You have 250,000 “settlers” of all stripes. Some are Orthodox, some aren’t, some are well-to-do, some have very little, some are very smart, some are so stupid they throw themselves in front of motorcades.

    I count settlers among my friends.

    I admire many settlers.

    I like to think that settlers aren’t a herd and that different settlers have different viewpoints.

    I support the right of all settlers to live where they do, although I believe that in order to achieve peace and security for Israel, there should be a final Israeli border that only incorporates a few percent of the West Bank (fortunately that includes 80% of the settlers).

    My guess is that I am far closer to the settlers in terms of how we view Israel, and in our love for Israel, than many Israelis and most Jews outside of Israel.

    All of that, however, has nothing to do with pragmatism, and nothing to do with giving away ocean-side property to quell the “trauma” of moving from Gaza.

  • for what it’s worth TM I don’t think youre eirav rav(that was just a joke) or that you hate settlers, I think youre a good Jew… but next time maybe you could show a little more even handedness, and compasion in you post, instead of in your responses.

  • TM,
    leadership definitely has galut mentality. If three years ago you would have told Sharon and Mofaz about this plan, one would have head butted you, the other would have sat on you. But lo and behold, someone gets caught with their pants down knee deep in controversy and creates a plan that will deflect the spotlight on that, win new friends that will miraculously side with him, and even appoint rapid leftists to important judicial positions to save his hide. This plan is born in sin. If you cared so much about Israeli democracy, you’d fight to put the plan off until this whole corruption mess is cleared up. But I know that retreting from Gaza and kicking out those religious extremists is more important that clean government.

    I wonder how you know that the territories are pulling the country apart? If we have a 50-55% supporting the expulsion, and a pretty good probablilty that most Israeli Arabs polled are for than how much of that 50-55% support is Jewish? Never thought about that, eh? I’m totally sure that most Jews are not supporting this insane plan. The core extreme left and Arabs support it, as well as many Israelis who aren’t informed and state openly that if Sharon is doing it then it must be advantageous.

    The army has been shut up, the shabak has been shut up too. We are plowing along not because of logic, but because ‘we have to do something’.

    Empty words. And no one in the world cares. Your trust in the world to accept a consensus is fascinating. If only you believed in your nation as much.

  • Wine Guy, just for you I have reread my post. Other than admiring my own prose and ck’s image artistry, I stand by what I wrote. I am being even-handed in that post, and perfectly justified in venting about the Israeli government giving too much away in this instance. The part about the former Chief Rabbi essentially advocating order refusal but calling it by another name is also offensive to me.


    The army was not shut up and neither was the shin bet. You and I both know they assessed that times would get harder before they get better without our presence there. The press has also been forthcoming about the problem with Egypt and Philadelphi, and even Ha’aretz had an editorial suggesting that Israel should not reopen the peace agreement. The media is covering the issue of Sharon’s supposed corruption, and let’s not forget that the AG is pushing forward with charges against Omri.

    All of that matters greatly, as does Avi Dichter’s latest assessment that this pullout will ultimately be good for Israel, and the support of Mofaz as well as most of the ex-army officials on the Left who support this plan.

    I agree with you about the declining support rate for the pullout, which stood at 62% of Jewish Israelis a couple of months ago and now stands at the 50% mark. Back then, you didn’t give a hoot about the majority supporting the pullout, but today it serves your argument so it becomes a debating point.

    As I’ve said before, my reasons for wanting to get out of there are that we gain very little but give up a lot by having a civilian presence there.

    But how about this for being open-minded: tell me what is the value of having Israeli civilian settlements in Gaza?

    The only rule is that you may not invoke any religious reasons that cannot be proven (so you can’t say, “because God wants us there” but you can say, “we believe God wants us there”). Also, no negative proofs like “if we don’t have a right to Gaza, we don’t have a right to Tel Aviv.”

    Just inform me, an open-minded listener, how we benefit by having a civilian presence in Gaza such as we do today. Take into account that until the disengagement plan, the Gaza Jewish population has essentially doubled in the past decade, to a whopping 8000.

    If you convince me, you might change my viewpoint on this.

  • Yeah themiddle,

    We all are aware of the diversity of the folk in
    Yesha…. Are we all that “ignorant” and just
    blind faith motivated people who cant think for

    I am honest when I say I don’t know these fine
    folk here blogging now. When I say “we” its
    not like I have this squad of BT yeshiva
    commandos out there to take care of some
    mission. I haven’t gone to some Rabbi or any
    other character to get guidenance on how to
    deal with these issues either.

    I find youre views on this subject as
    informative oppinion but not authoratative.
    I don’t buy youre analysis. I don’t have to.

  • Josh, are you really saying that the entire disengagement plan is nothing more than a distraction from corruption scandals? Muffti doesn’t think that’s impossible but it’s a rather striking claim. As for most jews not accepting the ‘insane’ plan, in a sense it may not matter: Israel is a democracy and as such requires sensitivity to its citizens, arab or otherwise. They are part of ‘our nation’. That well may be, as Joe Schmo likes to put it, a tension point between democracy and religion.

  • Who is posting as Themiddle in the above comment no 66? really, it’s not nice, you should leave people’s monikers to themselves.

    That having been said, Gaza settlers were asked by the government to move to pristine ocean side property, surrounded by extremely hostile neighbors. The were told they were heroes of Zionism. The built industry and infrastructure and learned how to make lettuce grow out of sand. They put up with constant threat of annihilation and the constant possibility that a rocket could crash thru their ceiling and hit or hit their children playing in the street. Driving in or out meant rocks bullets or an all out ambush could hit you. The amount of daily stress they lived with we cannot understand. But they did have the beach.

    Unfortunately, the government has realized the whole affair was a mistake and 30 years of determination and resolve were all in vain. Many, many apologies. Our mistake. Thank you for your efforts.

    So why is it such a problem that they should be moved from one Oceanside property to another? The government made a mistake and I think its only fair that these people be duly compensated for losing 30 years of building something beautiful that will now be handed to their enemy. They should at least not have to lose their view. Why take such offense to that?

  • themiddle is working hard as hell to keep faith out of this issue with those “rules.” listen to him… I will speak for myself, not necessary anybody else, I refuse to seperate the issue of Divine Providense here and Jewish faith. I wouldn’t demand that of anybody else. That is just my view.

    I didn’t get advise on how here to deal with the “engagement issue. I have been wrangling with Rabbis etc…over the Conservative issue though, I have to admit. But no commondos though… They are doing meluim reserve now….

  • The army and shabak were shut up. There is no doubt about this. A new book out now by respected journalists even claims that Sharon/Weisglass kept them out of the loop when drawing up the plan.

    Both the experienced heads of the IDF and Shabak were essentially fired such a short time before the plan is supposed to be implemented is extremely suspicious. Rather than the supposedly rational idea of not wanting to change too much before the expulsion and wait until after the dust settles to change the command echelon of our security services, Sharon/Mofaz made the unprecedented choice to not extend Yaalon’s term especially in light that he didn’t screw up in any way that justified being fired except his strong opposition to the way this was being implemented (Yaalon is a leftist, but at least a smart one, and not so giddy to retreat this way). Yaalon was adamant about not leaving the Philidelphi corridor. Sharon canned him.

    I still don’t mind about the majority especially because Sharon has ‘leaked’ that he doesn’t need a majority to continue implementing the expulsion. (how’s that for democracy?) I am just worried that there is a good 20-30% of Israeli Jews who are ignorant of the dangers and are trusting their chameleon leaders and biased press.

    Hopefully, I’ll take up your challenge tomorrow, but I’ll leave you with one idea: Gush Katif is made up of mostly farming communities relatively far from population/commercial centres, so there was no way or frankly reason for tens of thousands of Jews to move there and destroy precious pristine beachfront to build industrial areas which provide jobs and entice more people to live near their work. Every country has a periphery that is less populated. Doesn’t mean that the decision to pack up and leave should be made at such short notice and without taking the human trauma factor seriously.

    Have you heard of the Eilat fish cages? So much legal and political discussions and proceedings have been going on for years to decide this issue. Recently, the final agreement was closed and the companies now have THREE YEARS to close up shop. The settler farmers, on the other hand, were only offered very few serious land options last month, and that is definitely not enough time to build ‘farms’ and infrastructure seriously. Trees take years to take root and give fruit, greenhouses need to be ordered, etc…

    Why do I bring this up? Well, it’s just one sign that this plan is not sincere.

    More tomorrow.

  • Laya, it’s interesting you say that. Muffti’s impression was that in many cases Settlers petitioned the Israeli government to ask them for the right to build settlements. If that were true (can we get Rami Watid’s opinion for confirmation?) would that change your mind at all about what they ‘deserve’?

  • GM, not only is that true, but as far back as 1967, adherents of Gush Emunim (or at least what was to become the movement we know today) lobbied damn hard to keep the territories and created “facts on the ground” by establishing early settlements or moving to places like Hebron (perfectly justified, by the way, considering that city was made Judenrein in 1929).

    Since then, they have been lobbying mighty hard to grow the settlements, to the point where the recent Israeli government report about settlements indicated that they were getting to do things that at times did not have approval of certain echelons of government, or alternatively would go off and create an illegal “outpost” which would then be grandfathered into the official Israeli grid and system.

    So it’s not as Laya describes where the government asked people to help out and they jumped and said “sure.”

    Laya, they were already subsidized once when they moved there. They are receiving compensation for leaving. They have been undermining the government and the IDF for months. They have been stalling on agreements to move to other areas. For this they are rewarded with oceanside property that will cost the Israelis another $50 million on top of the Nitzanim cost. As I say in my post, the average Israeli who gives up a great deal to live in Israel would never receive such a deal, even if they never attacked the state or the IDF.

  • TM, the question you posed to Josh is not worded correctly. Instead of “why should we stay in Gaza?” it should have read “why should we leave Gaza?” since the default scenario – if Sharon’s expulsion/retreat plan does not pan out – would entail the settlers remaining in Gaza. Surely, you are not suggesting that a citizen of Israel must defend their right to remain in land that is included in British Mandatory Palestine. The only way one can argue for a Judenrein Yesha is if the government chooses to abrogate the Balfour Declaration. Otherwise, it is their prerogative to stay put, until the government asks them to leave. Right?

    I also want to point out that those who oppose hitnatkut do not have a monopoly on pragmatism. Even as a dyed-in-wool Kahanist, I see myself as a pragmatist (as well as a pacifist). Heck, I even support land for peace! Don’t accuse me of cognitive dissonance, since I don’t buy the notion that the two things are mutually exclusive. According to halacha, we are even allowed to (and must!) surrender Biblical Jewish land for the sake of pikuah nefesh. However, the question is whether surrendering Gaza to our enemies will really save Jewish lives in the long run. If so, I too support disengagement. Unfortunately, history has taught us otherwise.

    Just as the 1st Intifadah was starting to die out in 1993, Rabin offers major concessions at Oslo. Shortly thereafter, Israel is introduced to the first suicide bombers. We went from sporadic stone-throwing incidents to ghastly, organized acts of terror in only a few short years (I’m still waiting for an apology by the secular Ashkenazi establishment). In May of 2000, we pull out of Southern Lebanon and the 2nd Initifadah (Oslo War) breaks out on Rosh Hashana of that same year. The lesson learned is that Arabs have consistently demonstrated that they will take advantage of any Israeli concessions, since they see this as an act of weakness on our part. Then again, maybe this is something only a Middle Eastern Jew can understand 🙂

    Outgoing IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya’alon, predicts that “This Gaza plan will blow up in Israel’s face… Immediately after the disengagement we can expect a burst of terrorism.” Furthermore, in the June 3, 2005 issue of the Ha’aretz magazine (sorry, I don’t have the link) Ya’alon forecasts “terrorist attacks of all types: shooting, bombs, suicide bombers, mortars, Qassam rockets.” However, he believes this eruption of violence will occur in Judea and Samaria, and not in Gaza since “the Palestinians have been trying to show us that the territory we leave becomes quiet.” Ya’alon also feels it is likely that Gaza will emerge as a “Hamas state.” This sentiment is shared by Ya’akov Amidror, the former deputy chief of Israeli Military Intelligence: “If Israel withdraws from Gaza, it will become a Hamas terror state.”

    We on the Right do not appreciate being portrayed as callous to Israeli casualties in the liberated territories. In fact, many settlers volunteer for the most formidable combat units and are serving on the front lines of this war (yes, it’s a war). We pray for peace just as much as the gourmet coffee-sippin’ smolanim (though I doubt they pray at all). Yet, we remain skeptical about their quixotic pipe dreams. We are not as eager to let go of our 5,000 year-old birthright in exchange for a plan that can hardly be labeled fail-safe. Also, I question the motives of our leader. If Sharon was really concerned about saving Jewish lives, why would he release 400 terrorists? Why does he want to supply our enemies with arms?

    This has piqued my curiosity.

    btw, isn’t it precious when light-skinned, blue-eyed Eastern European Jews attempt to understand the Middle East? I, for one, think it’s adorable. Step aside you bagel-biting bunglers and let your more experienced Mizrahi brothers handle this!

  • Darn good post, dude. Two things:

    1. Your name scares me a little.

    2. if by the Eastern European comment, you refer to Sharon, I don’t think you have a leg to stand on. If you mean me, my background is irrelevant.

  • Smokin’ comment RSO. I too share TMs uh… concern about your chosen nom de plume, but what the hey.

    Having said that, I support the pullout. To whatever extent I have reservations, your comment crystallized them well. I hope you’re wrong though. I mean I really pray you’re wrong. Will the Gaza pullout lead to a third intifadah? History says yes. Will the Palestinians finally take the cue and change the course of history to their advantage and to the advantage of their children and neighbours? I sure hope so. But I am not holding my breath.


  • Re wine guy / themiddle debate about even handedness and sensitivity:

    Hey Kids! Smokey the Bear says “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire! Only you can stop forest fires.”

  • Aw shucks, ck, if they can use the “Nazi” epithet against people who have spent their lives in their defense and sharing/supporting their cause, what’s with all the sensitivity about pointing out some uncomfortable facts?

    Today in the Cabinet, Pines-Paz commented that not only was the gov’t giving away building lots in Nitzanim, but it was purposely undervaluing them thereby giving the settlers who move in a hefty additional sum in compensation. This is on top of getting their own regional council even though one already exists.

  • When I said I don’t know any of these fine folk
    blogging here. after our encounter with RSO
    there, I could say that may be a good thing.

    RSO did just say impressive things. But even
    though I find myself aggreeing with him, unlike
    themiddle, whom I would very much like to
    meet in person, RSO, I don’t know.

    I did read the article in the Jpost by Caroline
    Glick RSO is refering to. There is what to learn
    about Arab nationhood and how they would

    This clip of that jpost sounds like a wake up

    Jerusalem is the indivisible and eternal capital
    of the Jewish people. But from the passivity of
    the government in the wake of PA
    encroachment on the city, it seems that,
    rhetoric aside, our leaders are abandoning
    their duty to defend it.

    Now listen to Olmert….



    Olmert: ‘Stupid’ settlers should stop
    comparing Gaza to Jerusalem

    That was part of the what Olmert said….
    And you know what I may believe Olmert when he
    says that. He could be right?
    Here is the spin I am talking about…

    You all think that what is happening with Gaza
    dramatic? Orange protesting, more IDF
    involvement to apply the “disengagement….
    Wait till even more concessions flow… Untill
    the big top show starts. The fight for the Holy
    Which part of City? East or West….The real
    enemy doesn’t care. Who has doubts of the
    readiness preparations as we speak?

    Who has faith in the other nations of the world
    to trust agreements reached diplomatically?
    The US won’t let the PA from doing anything
    like that, so some hope? The lines were drawn
    through diplomatic barter, right? You guys get
    Gaza, we will take certain other cities and
    teritories…. Thats the best we can do isn’t it?
    Its hard losing some of Israel, but its
    pragmatic and diplomatically sound, because
    the UN and other powers of the world agree.

    When could that really end?

  • Yeah, we all need more registered sex offenders around, no need to take on a different name.. Just be youreself, isn’t that the ideolgy of these modern times, wouldnt that just solve all youre problems?

    Yeah, and more power to the “black jews.” These whiteys, ashkans, eurospankers, they just dont get that Israel became more then 1/2 sephardic as long ago as the late 70’s… Not only that, Israel’s Jewish population will soon, if not even now according to many stats, will overtake even Americas Jews in numbers. Because youre lo dati Whitey doesn’t like those big families so much.

  • Mufti,
    not my claim, but rather two otherwise left-wing Israeli reporters who have been doing extensive research about the current Oslo War (Read By OFER SHELAH)

    it’s not that simple as moving from one ‘beachfront’ to another (actually most of it is not really beachfront at all) For one, all the entrepreneurs and farmers in Gush Katif will have to rebuild their livelihood from scratch. How do you build a factory in less than 56 days? The government has given out so little money already. The law was only passed last month and the committee has only met a couple of times) So, maybe kicking a family out of their home is nothing compared to taking middle-aged men who built, nay, created businesses over the the last twenty years from barren land and turning them into unemployed beach-bums. How long will the compensation last?

    why do you like comparing apples and oranges? Where do you live? Are you shacked up in a Manhattan paying $1200/month, or somewhere in a Kansas City suburb on four acres of land with a three storey cottage? If the owner of that cottage in ‘teezinabee’ (slang for ‘on the edge of nowhere’ or something like that) has his land appropriated for any legitimate reason, shouldn’t he be given fair market value, or at least be given the option for similar digs? You blame the settlers for moving out to the edge of Israel where land prices were nil and built large homes (not all of them) and justify the childish ‘Israeli’ mentality that it’s not fair for these settlers to be moved to another similarly sized parcel of land??? Hello? What’s with the childish spite?

  • Childish spite? Okay, you can call it childish when settlers know FOR MONTHS that they need to register with the PM’s office of Bassi’s office in order to begin the process of receiving compensation.

    But they don’t.

    We know why they don’t, they had a strategy of either getting the government to back down OR by delaying, getting a better deal. Plan A didn’t work, but plan B is working like a charm. So if there’s any delay, it is primarily the fault of the inhabitants of the area who have held back. According to Bassi it takes 2 to 5 weeks to process the claims.

    In addition, the reason these people received the land they did is that it is in Gaza. Let’s face it, not everybody wants to live in Gaza, but some of these folks who did, ended up with very desirable real estate. REAL ESTATE THEY WOULD NEVER HAVE HAD ACCESS TO OTHERWISE. How much is beach-side property?

    Israel, outside of Gaza, doesn’t have very much of this real estate available and as a result it’s very prized and rare. Why exactly are they owed this type of rare and prized real estate again and how is it childish not to want to provide it? I’ve lived in a beautiful house with a magnificent view once and then had to leave for reasons that had nothing to do with me. I recognized that the time I had spent in the beautiful house was a rare gift that left fond memories and will only be repeated if and when I become very wealthy. C’est la vie.

    In other words, it’s not to punish them, it’s just reality and being fair to everyone.

    Also, the cost is an issue. This is MORE taxpayer money being used to subsidize them while not subsidizing your typical Israeli. What makes this particularly galling is that with their civil disobedience that you strongly support, they are already costing Israel millions of dollars Israel doesn’t have. Or did you think having all those extra policemen patrolling and trying to prevent these innocent road blockages costs zero?

    So you want them to be respected and treated respectfully, and you want this to happen while they disrespect the state and the IDF. Who is being childish?

  • Be’ezrat hashem,
    I’ll get back to you later with more.

    But a small article hiddne away from the public eye in yesterday’s business news has Bibi telling us that the expulsion will cost an extra four billion in next years budget. Baruch hashem, most people don’t realize the cost of this ‘disengagement’ adventure (currently budgeted and not for future generations at ten billion shekels), they might begin to thing that it isn’t worth it from a monetary standpoint.

    just one more thing. As a citzen of a democratic western country, the state’s obligations to the citizen do not end if the citizen makes trouble. If established laws (where justice is blind to the accused) are broken, then there is usually also established punishement, and the citizen retains his rights to fair judgement and continued respect among other things. I don’t understand why you assume that since these people (gush katif residents) are are not cooperating with the government that wants to kick them out of their homes, you think that they are under the ‘law’.

    Where’s the humanity buddy? These are your fellow Jews! I don’t ask you to give them more respect, I ask you to give them equal respect.

  • Straw man. I didn’t say they should receive no compensation. I am saying that it has become absurd that they are getting as much as they are, to the point where expensive ocean-side land is now on the table. I am saying this is not only unfair to the average Israeli, but it repugnant in light of the fact that they aren’t cooperating and costing Israeli taxpayers and companies money with illegal activities. They are also undermining the state and the IDF. If they wish to have sympathy, don’t you think they ought to show some respect?

    Josh, aside from the fact that you’ve been too busy to answer why we should remain in Gaza, can you explain to me when you have a moment what you think will happen in the long-term and why you believe remaining there indefinitely will bring about some sort of solution?

  • First off, you sort of don’t want me to talk about god, and that’s hard for me because I know that he’s a major player in this whole deal.

    here goes.

    Why we should remain in Gaza:
    First off, while I am 100% against expelling Jews from Gaza, I’ll agree with the few real social/humanist-left folks that claim that if there is supposed to be a ‘disengagement’, then it should be prepared properly, with the refugees interests harmed to the very, very minimum. With regard to the Arabs, even Yossi Beillin says that this unilateral retreat is bad since it (supposedly) screws over the Palestinians, and does not help to add trust to the negotiating table in the future. As much as Beillin is deluded, I really think that he truly believes that negotiations can be successful in the end with Israel bending over backwards, but unilaterally, it’s a bad deal. So on this case, this plan is evil. We should definitely not leave Gaza like this.

    We should remain in Gaza because (off the top of my head, give me more time and could right an essay):
    -we don’t trust the Arabs for one second, and do not believe in giving any more chances, or sacrifice one more Jew in the name of hollow ‘peace’,
    -Jews lived there before 1948 and some of the land is even owned privately (as opposed to being leased from the government as most of the country is),
    -Gaza is not conquered, it never belonged to anyone else,
    -Over 8000 Jews have built homes, factories and farms on barren wasteland,
    -expelling Jews is pure racism,
    -retreating under fire shows the ordinary Arab that we are weak. Leaving unilaterally, means that the Jew does not believe in fighting for any centimetre of his land and all they have to do is keep up the pressure and that will lead us to retreat from more, even ‘settlement blocs’, and the rest of the country too,
    -we can not trust any other country for our security, especially the USA,
    -remaining in Gaza protects the southern border and prevents the massive transfer of heavy weaponry to the Palestinian Arabs,
    -remaining in Gaza ensures that the Palestinians do not have unrestricted access to importing weapons via the sea,
    -Gaza is Eretz Yisrael.
    I have much more, but I’m already running late.

    Long term solutions?
    Remaining in Gaza and openly and strongly voicing our commitment to staying there [forever] forces the Arabs to reconsider their current knowledge that the Jew can be forced off land through violence. The solution is getting the Arabs to accept us as neighbours living side by side, not segregated by ‘race’ by borders.

    Remaining their indefinitely? It is as simple as a simple real-estate transaction. Buy land, it’s yours. Arabs can live in Yafo, Herziliah, or Rosh Haayin, like wise Jews are supposed to have the same right to buy land and settle it anywhere they can afford.

    sorry, that’s all I can give you now. I’m off to miluim for a week of fun in the sun and riding humvee’s around the Negev. Going out into the field on the first night means no shower until Wednesday. I have a vacation from work, and you have a vacation from Josh.

    Shabbat shalom