Monday, August 15, 2005

A Sad Day...

This morning, news channels were showing pictures of Israeli soldiers trying desperately to reason with religious settlers in the Gaza Strip as the Israeli pull out from the area began. For those of you who might not understand what it means for the settlers to leave Gaza, imagine being forced out of home and home state only so members of a people who may or may not include terrorists can move in. It is a very personal and emotional thing. That said - let me state my position. First of all - I do have ties to Israel. Many of my family members live there as well as support the religious settlers. I don't know what exactly Ariel Sharon's objective is in forcing the pull out. It seems uncharacteristically lenient and optimistic of him. On one hand, it seems like a reasonable decision. Officials are stating that in order to create peace, Israel simply has to negotiate and sacrifice - as will the other side. I'm not sure if that will work. Personally I see the pull out as an open door to a breeding ground for terrorism. On the other hand - should that be the case - it is more likely the enemy will be contained in one area. Easier to find. Easier to catch. Easier to eliminate. Meanwhile, soldiers must struggle with issuing eviction notices to other Israelis. Men draped in tallit clinging to them. Hoping to find someone who will tell them they don't have to go. Many soldiers have wrestled with this mission. Some do not agree with Sharon's stand. But Israelis are required to serve in their army and I believe this creates a sense of duty that is solid inside each soldier. Regardless of their personal position - they must execute the task at hand. And they will. It bothered me more than I thought it would - to see those pictures this morning. I imagine many Jews felt as I did - and thought of only one word - exodus. Yet immediately after thinking about our history I many years ago our ancestors were forced to wander the desert for how many years, and yet they did? And when our relatives were being tortured and murdered and driven from their homes yet again, how many survived? Who are we now to question what is to be with us? We can not let ourselves be fooled by the reality of the situation. We must remember that G-d never intended us to fight against each other. We are to be one. And so, while the pull-out may be a painful reality, I hope the settlers will see that this - in some way - is G-d's answer. Rather than look to him for the answer they want to hear. Regardless of what is ultimately right or wrong...I find myself sad today...for a people so torn between themselves. For more information on the disengagement - visit or To read about a 20 yr. old soldier dealing with the pull-out, click here.

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