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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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Worst Of Both Worlds

I was thinking today about a very funny quote from one of my favorite TV shows, Cheers. In the show's third season premiere, Diane returns to the bar after a long absence following her breakup with Sam. She is evasive about where she spent the past several months, until, to her dismay, Carla reveals that Diane has been "locked away in a home for the silly". To which Diane's hasty, reflexive reply is:
"I was not locked up, I could come and go as I pleased. And anyway, that's not true! And how did you find out?"
There's a similar type of line from my own childhood family lore. When my sister was about three, she once found a can of beer in the refrigerator and carried it to the table during dinner. My mom, instinctively trying to express two thoughts at once, blurted out: "Don't drink that, that's poison, that's for Daddy!"

Why do I mention these quotes - besides wanting to spread smiles during these so-troubled times? Because they also speak to what I view as one of the key ways in which the recent Gaza Disengagement was flawed. And what is amusing skid-talk in the benign contexts of situation comedies and childhood nostalgia, is anything but amusing when the same type of logic apparently formed the basis for a vital political decision.

Translation; I can see two self-consistent premises on which disengagement from Gaza could have been based:

1) As part of a negotiated agreement with an empowered, pragmatic, civilized Palestinian government. This could have achieved genuine diplomatic and security benefits for Israel, but would have required patience for Israel to maintain the status quo until such an entity actually came into being - if ever.

2) On a unilateral basis, as a strategic move to retrench to a stronger military and economic position. In this case, all pretense of diplomatic agreement/benefits should have been dropped, and the withdrawal from less-defensible areas should have been accompanied by strengthening other areas - see here for a few of my own humble suggestions. Natan Sharansky (my favorite Israeli politician by far), as brought down by Soccer Dad, made a similar point in his usual clear-headed manner.

Unfortunately, the Disengagement as actually implemented combined the worst aspects of these two options. Israel gave unilaterally without taking anything for themselves, they lost real assets to the PA in return for nothing from them but scornful words and vile anti-semitic desecrations.

Will Israel learn from this mistake? A Jew always answers a question with a question, so I'll respond: Did they learn from Oslo? Let's hope that eventually, the lesson does sink in; if not on the older generation of politicians that still cling to power, than on the younger ones who must eventually, inevitably take over.


At 9/13/05, 3:17 PM, Anonymous Tova Menken said...

Don't forget Dad's classic comeback line, "AHA!! The truth comes out!!"

At 9/13/05, 7:50 PM, Blogger benros52589 said...

a good quote and a good show diane was my favorite character i remember a quote u either eat pizza or poison it seems wierd but eating food like pizza taste better when ure not in sadness or morning


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