Monday, July 04, 2005

Gaza First? And Last!

The count-down continues, it seems like we are really going to pull out of Gaza in August. Right wing activists are blocking highways (who in his or her right mind could expect to generate any sympathy for the settlers by keeping thousands of people at each junction away from their families or jobs?). The most idiotic thing I have ever heard in that context was the explanation of one protest organizer to why the road blocks planned for the day after the train accident were cancelled: "We would not have gotten enough media attention in the aftermath of the accident." Nothing about the victims, media attention is what counts. Shmock!

The theme of the setter's campaign against the pull-out is "Jews don't expel Jews from their homes." This works well with the emotional mindset of many people here, and you can see a lot of orange flags and bands -the banner of resistance- on houses and cars.

I am impressed that despite the uncertainty about the benefits of the pull-out and the great effort by right wing activists and many religious groups to stop the count-down, the majority of Israelis is still supporting Sharon's plan. The sad thing is that it won't bring us any closer to peace with the Palestinians and everybody here knows that. During a recent trip to Germany a lot of people expressed new hope, but I could only smile at so much naivete. Nothing of what is going on in the territories suggests that the militants are planning to give up the armed struggle and move towards non-violent resistance. On the contrary, arms smuggling is at a high and preparations to start a new wave of terror attacks are being discovered every day.

Once that new terror wave starts, the Israeli public opinion will move so much to the right, that any negotiated settlement containing more pull-outs will become an illusion for many years to come. I start to develop the feeling that this is Sharon's great plan: Give up lousy Gaza and justify the total freeze on any other moves towards the Palestinians with the terror starting after the pull-out. If so, he is on the right track, as the Palestinians are preparing to fall into this trap as fast as they can.

It seems nothing is ever going to change out here.

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