A year ago, I believed that we would be able to do this unilaterally. However, it should be said that our experience in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip is not encouraging. We pulled out of Lebanon unilaterally, and see what happened. We pulled out of the Gaza Strip completely, to the international border, and every day they are firing Qassam rockets at Israelis.
If only Arik (and his chief backer, Olmert) had listened to the host of army and security officials who warned of the impending dangers of 2005's disengagement. Everyone saw what had happened with the potent guerrilla force on our northern border, why on earth would anyone want to create that on our southern borders? Sadly, it took two kidnappings and a ‘war’ to convince Olmert that unilateral moves are bad.
I sometimes get so frustrated with the stupidity of our elected officials. It was so obvious the disengagement would backfire – and both societies are still feeling the after effects of the catastrophic move. The Palestinian society rewarded us by electing Hamas to run their government, and besides the difficulties that that has provided for their society with the international community, it’s also put them on the verge of a civil war. Our society has suffered too. The faith in the government is at an all time low, and to make matters worse, the number of teens receiving draft deferments on the grounds of being full time yeshiva students has risen steeply.
It’s a very difficult situation religious Zionist youth find themselves in. As Eran Sternberg puts it, "This is a natural response for many young people who, on one hand, were raised to love the army, but on the other, are really horrified by what the IDF has become.” The disengagement has pushed away one of the most important contributors to our army. I am really unsure how to react to the news. On one hand, it is very disappointing and to a degree, infuriating. It is an honor and privilege to defend and serve this country and people shouldn’t find ways out of it. But on the other hand, I understand the move. It was an emotional blow for many people who lived the event, and their only reaction was to turn their back on the medium that caused the pain. Only time will tell how long this phenomenon lasts – but I’m hoping it’s short lived.
* Ehud Barak will be in the running to be the head of Labor again. I’ve long said that I would seriously consider voting for this man if he was one of the candidates for Prime Minister. I sincerely believe he learned his lessons from Camp David (2000) and this country needs a leader with a strong military background to direct the next few years. I highly doubt there's anyone in the political scene with a background that can rival the former Chief of Staff and commander of Sayeret Matkal.
* Nigerian born Mushi Salem Jawher, the Bahraini citizen who won last week’s Tiberias Marathon, has had his Bahraini citizenship revoked. Jawher, the first athlete from an Arab country to compete in an Israeli marathon, was quoted as saying he was "’very proud’ to have run in Israel”. Is it really surprising that Bahrain's Athletic Union "deeply regrets what the athlete has done”? I mean just think of the crime he just committed! He did after all participate in a race in Israel. He got off rather lightly I might add too!
* In Bolton’s 4-0 demolition over Doncaster on Saturday in the FA Cup 3rd round, Iranian Andranik Teymourian and Israeli Idan Tal scored their first goals for the club (Teymourian bagged a brace). I wonder if any punishment awaits Tevmourian for congratulating and hugging Tal, a citizen of the Zionist entity, after his goals?