There is no doubt that anger lingers on both sides, and there have been many mistakes made by both sides. Having said that, the Jerusalem Post had an editorial today (read it!) that reflects my thinking that for the most part both sides behaved with respect for each other and for the state of Israel. Obviously this was heartbreaking for many Israelis regardless of political affiliation, but in the end there was relatively little violence and a great deal of understanding. From the J Post editorial:

And at the height of that process, time after time, we witnessed the extraordinary sense of responsibility, to themselves and to the good of Israel, demonstrated by both sides.

There was shouting and wailing from the protesters, but rarely was a hand raised. Rabbis and other mediators kept the resistance within the boundaries of non-violent protests. Soldiers and policemen pulled themselves out of the grasp of some protesters who attempted to prevent them from continuing the one-at-a-time pullout, but they too did not raise their fists.

At one point, people with their tefillin were being extracted from the [synagogue], but even as the soldiers were pulling them out, they were taking a few moments to ensure that those tefillin were not damaged, indeed that they remained centered on the foreheads of the evacuees.

Haaretz reports about Kfar Darom (read it!!), where some of the hardest hit victims of Palestinian terrorism lived (in peace, despite the violence against them). In a heartbreaking story, we read about the anguish to both inhabitants and soldiers as they leave the homes for which they risked and gave up so much.

The bus slows and parks at the roadside. Through one of the windows, a women is visible, beating desperately on the window. The bus door opens, and one of the soldiers accompanying it descends. He bends down, grabs a handful of dirt from this place, gets back on the bus and hands the dirt to the woman. Only then does she sit down in her seat, and the evacuees continue on their way to Kfar Maimon.

At the home of the Biton family, the soldiers met 15-year-old Eliashiv Biton, the son of Gavriel Biton, who was murdered in the roadside bombing of a school bus full of children about five years ago. Eliashiv lay on the floor, banged it with his fist and cried “Daddy, Daddy,” for several long minutes. The soldiers also found it difficult to face Hila Amitai, whose mother, Miri, was also murdered in that bus attack. Hila told friends of her father, Border Policeman Eliezer Amitai, that she had already rent her clothes in mourning over her mother, and never imagined that she would be rending them again, this time for her home, Kfar Darom. Soldiers had to drag 13-year-old Menachem Zvi Schreiber, the son of Kfar Darom’s rabbi, Avraham Schreiber, into his home, away from where he had been standing, outside the home of his friends, the children of the Cohen family, three of whom lost their legs in the bus bombing. The 13 year old had been shouting at the soldiers not to dare touch his friends; that they had suffered enough. The soldiers also listened to the story of Asher Mivtzari, whose father David, a member of the original Kibbutz Ein Tsurim, had fallen prisoner to the Jordanians in 1948, and to the story of Rachel Hadad, now 12, who was also wounded in the bus bombing.

There are also ridiculous stories, like the one about the millions wasted on empty hotel rooms, while another story has a group complaining and the state investigating how half the Gaza families have no place to live (for those seeking a reason: the settlers blame the government for poor planning; the state comptroller is blaming poor communications; and the government is blaming the settlers for not dealing with the Disengagement Authority which was created to alleviate these issues).

I believe the other stories – the “details” – will be forgotten soon and are truly tangenital to the real accomplishment here: a nation came together, not apart, at a critical and decisive moment.

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  • noble? try whimpish. jewish history makes sense when you look at jew expelling jew thereby REWARDING our animal terrorist enemies…. the worst is yet to come… pulling out of lebanon brought about 5 years of an intifada…. what do we expect will happen now that we have pulled out of gaza? and next will be the west bank… i hope jews in tel aviv and jerusalem are packing…or at least arming themselves for the worst yet to come…. i am ashamed of my people… and it was one of the most disgusting things i have ever seen–jews expelling jews…and destroying synogogues…. there is nothing noble about it…it is pure insanity and i hope we are all bracing ourselves for the consequences of it……

  • there’s no sense in staying angry. i’ve already torn my orange string braclet off in a bit of a rage.

    the fiasco created by this disengagement will be used as an excuse not to further withdraw. this also makes us look good on a global scale. we’ve tried peace, we’ve offered them statehood. 17, 37, 47, 93, 95, 2000, 2003. we’ve extended our olive branch, and let our doves fly.

    now we’ve taken proaction to get something done. but, are we really changing anything in West Bank? nope. Gaza’s lost, no question. it’s already fallen to terrorist leaders.

    but the day we surrended Yerushalayim… the day we give up Judea and Samaria… that day will never come.

    u think the White House will hold absolute sway of the Knesset forever? this is a temporary measure… a test from HaShem. we’ll overcome it.

  • truthgone: We understand your frustration, but your rant is irrelevant to this post. Please keep your comments on topic.

  • Thanks for the posting this TM. It’s been said in several of the other enteries comments, but it needed its own space. Unfortunatly, in a few years few will remember the heroism and restraint shown by both sides. The only thing remaining will be enteries like this in the public record. So the more we make the better.

  • Does anyone here read, lulei demistafina, the Wall Street Journal?

    A beautiful editorial yesterday by a reservist chayal on his experience.

    The whole process has been a kiddush Hashem.

  • David Aaliyah,
    You ripped the orange band too soon. You are are unfortunately wrong. More concessions are coming. Each time Jews say what you say- they never learn from history.

    I feel bad for you remaining in denial like that.

    Understand what Kahane said years ago:

    “Its either me or Arafat”

    He was right. There is no in between- the in between is just a mirage.

  • Truthgone I just saw your post. How right you are Jews really are delusional.

    Instead of learning from lebanon they prefer to forget and make as if Gaza is the first time! Blind fools.

    truthgone, we have to bring the truth to those who are willing to listen. There is a reason they banned meir kahane even after he was in the Knesset.

    -Only becasue he spoke the truth and was unwilling to compromise. With the others whether right-wing irreligious or religious the leftists were able to deal with they all made deals and for money or power changed. Not so kahane to whom the truth was most important.

    Be with me thruthgone we will gather to us people who are interested in the truth and we will explain it to others.

    My email is

  • Middle, I agree with you. There’s an odd, at times creepy, quality to so much of the disengagement-related commentary on this site– so much darkness. In fact, Israel comes across as a humane, well-governed, civil place, whose police and army do their jobs in a manner consistent with the highest ethical values.

    As usual, the contrast with Israel’s immediate neighbors is telling, as telling as ever.

  • The article ignores the fact that the religious community now despise the police and their grey-shirt or black-suited YASAM unit which in dozens of documented cases, pummelled and strangled scrawny religious boys and girls as well as middle-aged protesters in orgies of blood. Needless to say, there are hundreds of unreported cases, several of which my wife witnessed herself, of unprovoked brutal police violence.

    The expulsion is over, the disgust of the police will not be forgiven.

    It is so ridiculous that we are fawning over the restraint of the army and police. Many reporters are even calling them the heroes of the disengagement. I heard from a first-hand experience of laughing and derision of the ‘settlers’ of soldiers coming home from the ‘front’.

    Police restraint should be a given, not praised. These are fellow Jews, not criminals. Even the ‘violent’ rooftop youth did not employ weapons to harm that would warrant the treatment they received.

    Soldier restraint? They had a short course on picking up people and taking babies from mothers. They are not trained to punch or maintain the peace. So far, I have not heard one instance of soldier violence. That’s a given. They don’t have to praised for doing their jobs.

    The next test is blowing up synagogues and exhuming 48 bodies next week. May god have mercy on us.

  • I agree that the disengagement pictures were emotional and sadddening. I was moved to tears several times in reading about how it went down. But there’s a lot of BS in the previous comments.

    If you cry for the settlers who got removed from their homes (though they will still have good jobs, nice houses, and plenty of educational opportunities, etc.), you must also cry for the Palestinians who gave up the top floor in their crappy houses and lived confined to their kitchen so IDF snipers could protect the settlements. Or the Arab kids that got shot because they got too close to a fence. You have to be sad for the average Palestinian family who is right to be angry because they’re getting hosed. Sure, it’s probably Yasser’s fault. But still.

    The sad thing about the disengagement is that the Israeli government set the settlers up for failure. The settlements were part of a land grab and ill-fated from the beginning. So in 1975 nobody thought the Palestinians would ever have any power over their own destiny? Did they think they could put them in reservations like Native Americans, to be forgotten about? Did they think that Palestinians would just maintain the same population indefinitely? The state motto of New Hampshire is “live free or die”–did it not occur to anybody that the Palestinians might eventually want some kind of autonomy, let alone fight for it?

    Now I’m as zionist as the next guy, but Israel’s wallowing in the victim motif of the Holocaust narrative does not excuse the de-humanization of the Palestinian people. That’s crap. Israel’s government and, to some extent, the settlers themselves, are to blame for this situation as much as Hamas.

  • “There are also ridiculous stories, like the one about the millions wasted on empty hotel rooms, while another story has a group complaining and the state investigating how half the Gaza families have no place to live”

    Why are these stories ridiculous? FYI, I ask that from the POV of someone who takes the settler complaints with pounds and pounds of salt–if you refuse to accept and plan for reality until the last second, you should not complain when no solution or no complete solution for that reality is immediately at hand.

    Incidentally, I was reading an article today about Sharon and his political future. One interesting point–his future in Likud looks bleak, but his popular support outside of Likud is so high that one of the options his advisors presented him with was forming another political party.

    The settlers are noisy and dramatic, but there is a whole rest of a country to think about. Bear that in mind.