Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.

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Monday, August 15, 2005

Disengagement - If Only...

A final thought as the Disengagement from Gaza gets underway.

I've been struggling with how to sum up my own position, since it isn't quite as straightforward as just plain "pro" or "anti". I guess the simplest description is that I would be pro-disengagement if it were being done differently, but I'm anti-disengagement as it's actually being implemented, as well as emotionally.

I've written before that the major problem with the way Sharon implemented disengagement was a lack of negotiation skills. To be more specific, I think if all of the following had taken place, I would be at least guardedly pro-disengagement:
  • Simultaneously with exiting Gaza, Israel annexed some of the consensus areas like Ariel or Gush Etzion
  • Withdrawal based not on the 1967 lines - which buys into the Arab position on UN Resolution 242 - but on achieving maximal separation from the Arabs with minimal impact to Jewish residents. E.g., there was no reason to leave the far northern Gaza communities, like Elei Sinai, that are contiguous with pre-67 Israel.
  • Israeli approval of disengagement based either on a popular referendum, or relatively soon after a new election in which disengagement was actually the platform of the winning party, instead of being an 180-degree about face
  • Supreme effort taken to explain/sell the disengagement to the nation
  • A preference for compromise over compulsion in every possible aspect of its planning and implementation
I can't resist the following comparison, frivolous as it may seem. But Sharon's current approach reminds me of a scene in the great movie Superman II. General Zod, the Kryptonian fugitive who conquers the earth (while Supes is off cavorting with Lois), breaks into the Oval Office and demands that the President kneel before him. One of a group of men immediately, wordlessly complies, whereupon Zod exclaims: "You are not the President. No one who leads so many, could possibly kneel so quickly!" The real President then emerges from behind his protectors, and states "I am the man they are protecting. I am the President! And I will kneel before you, if it will save lives!"

Why is Sharon kneeling to Zod, with no explanation, and with no conditionals?


At 8/15/05, 4:33 PM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

Love the Superman analogy but haven't any good suggestions as to why Sharon is taking this route.

At 8/16/05, 8:01 AM, Blogger Cosmic X said...

In Israel we are also puzzled about why Sharon took this path. This is s possible explanation.

At 8/16/05, 10:15 AM, Blogger Elie said...

Cosmic X: I am kind of skeptical of this conspiracy theory. To me the simpler explanation for Sharon's turnabout, and the divisive way he is implementing the plan, is a combination of ego, impatience, and caving into US pressure.

At 8/17/05, 1:19 PM, Blogger callieischatty said...

A house divided against itself cannot stand.

That said, here is my own opinion on why Sharon is doing this.

He is of course a military man first and foremost. His support of the settler movement was based on the concept of 'greater Israel', and was designed to give Israel more breathing space in the event of yet another ground assault.

Times, how they have changed. According to a number of reports, Iran has moved a significant number of intelligence cells into Gaza.

Also, in the event of a real war, the settlements are too spread out, it scatters the IDF and makes it impossible to defend the population centers of Israel proper.

I think this is a tactical move, one that however difficult is for the greater good.

While people may not agree with this decision, people should try to stand together.

As I said, a house divided is certainly doomed.

At 8/17/05, 1:30 PM, Blogger Elie said...

I agree that it was intended as a tactical move, but it also caused a lot of disunity in Israel, while strengthening the resolve of their enemies. I think my suggestions would have helped avoid both unintended consequences.

At 8/17/05, 10:03 PM, Blogger benros52589 said...

i don't enjoy the comparison very much to superman i just think had israel given them the land and if they were to make another move israel should blast but i will ask one question why is israel so afraid to attack and willing to give the land in the first place


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