Monday, March 28, 2005

Like I said

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach at WorldNetDaily has the same point of view on leaving Gaza (and the implications it has for the rest of Israel) as I do. Uses the same arguments too:
[Reasoning goes like this:] The military commitment of protecting the settlers is just too expensive and the potential loss of life too costly. It's time to pull out. It's painful, but logical. There are other places in Israel for the settlers to live, and these brave pioneers dare not allow themselves to become obstacles to peace.

There is only one problem with this seemingly unassailable reasoning. Taken to its logical conclusion, it becomes an argument against the very existence of the state of Israel itself.
Exactly. When do we come to the point where we say: This is worth fighting, yes, dying for? And at what point do we say: This is not? This we cede to the Arabs?
What future does a country of 5 million Jews really have in a region of 500 million Arabs? The military cost of settling those Jews in Israel has been astronomical, and the human cost incalculable. And the Jews who have settled Israel indeed have other places to live. Whereas once there may have been a need for a Jewish homeland, today Jews live in peace and prosperity in dozens of countries from America to Australia. Why should Jews aggravate the Arabs and serve as obstacles to peace by insisting on cultivating a land which the Arabs claim has been theirs for generations and which the Jews only conquered through war?
Boteach has a new (to me anyway) insight into Sharon's motives:
It is the misfortune of the Israeli people to have a former general in the twilight of his career who, like so many warriors who preceded him, wishes to end his days as a peacemaker.
The error of all these great men was not to understand that war and weapons are righteous and just when used to protect human liberty and life. Abolishment of war cannot precede the abolishment of evil. Hence, the ancient biblical prophecy of swords being beaten into ploughshares is concurrent with the wolf lying down with the lamb, a metaphor for the menacing claws of tyrants and terrorists being permanently expunged. Yet, Sharon insists on retreating before the enemy before any tangible sign of disarmament.

King David was not allowed to build God's temple because he was a man of war. It was left for his son Solomon, who would enjoy peace. Ariel Sharon's tragic miscalculation is to confuse the two roles. While one's enemies are still armed with evil intent, one must forever remain a David. Of the two men, it is the legacy of the father that is greater than the son.
Indeed. The enemy is still 'armed with evil intent', and lot more besides. Sharon was good at winning wars. I wish he would just resign to winning this one as well. Or maybe he should resign first to the fact that war is still the most accurate description of the situation Israel is currently in.

If he can't resign to any of those facts, it's probably high time he'd just resign.


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