Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Why do so many people support disengagement?

The polls in Israel still show a majority and I am seeing frum Jews in the blogosphere supporting disengagement, for example see the Godol's post Gaza.

I believe the reason is very simple. The right wing has never proposed a realistic alternative. Basically, they want to keep the status quo. As the old saying goes you can't beat something with nothing. Many people have come to the realization that the status quo cannot continue. It is simply untenable for a whole host of reasons. Therefore, people will grasp at any straw that is offered to them. The latest one is disengagement. The average Israeli wants to live his life in peace and not have to worry about suicide bombers etc. The left at least offers such a possibility, the right does not.

I strongly oppose disengagment both on religious grounds (see R' Shachter's article in the RJJ Journal about land for Peace) and political/security grounds. Appeasement never works and disengagement just projects weakness to the Palestinians which they will be quick to exploit. There is no doubt that the majority of Palestinians believe that Tel Aviv is a settlement and that they want to return to Yaffo. Disengagement will fuel the fire of groups like Hamas.

Given all of that, I have to say that the right has not presented a tenable alternative, as I said status quo is untenable.

I believe that transfer is the only real option, however, it is not a realistic one in 2005.


Even the left wing Haaretz commentator, Danny Rubinstein, echoes the security arguments. He writes Second Thoughts

...The argument for second thoughts stems from the events of recent days, which raise fears that a unilateral withdrawal from Gaza is causing serious security damage to Israel.

The fact that a majority of the Palestinian public sees Israel's decision to withdraw as a sign of the victory of the intifada has long been known. It is hard to argue with this. Years of a peace process and negotiations between the Palestinians and Israeli governments, including Likud governments, have not led to Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. The idea of withdrawal entered the mind of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon only after suicide attacks, Qassam rockets and mortars.

Even if these attacks were not the reason why Sharon came up with the idea of disengagement, the Palestinians are certain that that is the case, and this has reinforced their belief that Israel only understands the language of terror attacks and violence. This belief will now become an absolute certainty - if Israel withdraws unilaterally under fire.


Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Bluke: First of all - I'm the guilty party for sending out an email to high profile Jewish blogs about the issue. Its horrendous that life goes on as usual, while Jews are about to be evitced from their homes. If you check the blogosphere yesterday and today, you'll see a peak of writing about this.

However, the "majority" of the blogsphere that is "pro-disengagement" are Jews from outside Israel. The reason they are "pro" is because till you live here, Settlement in Yesha is very academic. Only once you live here, does the bond really grow between the land and your soul. Granted, this sounds very "Rav Kook"-ish, but I believe it (I used to be left till I moved here, and now I'm very rightwing).

Please see an alternative position, which I disagree with, even though I was involved in writing it. Its in your email.

Regards from Muqata-land.

bluke said...

Actually I live in irael as well (not in Yesha).

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

It was obvious to me that you lived here :-)

Anonymous said...

The problem is that there are two definitions of realistic. One is politically realistic, and the other is practically realistic.

The practically realistic alternative is to do to the arabs the same thing being done to the Jews now: Offer them cash to move.

That is not politically realistic, but the current plan, while politically realistic, is not practically realistic, just like Oslo before it. Israel is creating an open terrorist state on its borders. "Make Afganistan Here" or something like that.

The cost was terrible for Oslo, and is still continuing. There is no reason to believe this will be better.

Anonymous said...


You are a smart guy, what's your suggested alternative (besides for population transfer)

bluke said...

I really don't have one. After almost 40 years of ceaseless Palestinian propaganda, I don't know what can be done.

The only solution that I could possibly imagine is to make some kind of deal with jordan and King Hussein, I believe that Benny Elon was pushing that.

lamedzayin said...

I'll ask the same question here I posed on my blog:

If disengagement (= kicking people out of their houses) is so morally repugnant, how can you support transfer (= kicking people out of their houses)??? Or are you just saying that morality doesn't apply to non Jews...

bluke said...

Transfer has been done in the past (for examplew India, Pakistan). Transfer of the Arabs would solve a problem that has been going on for over 50 years, transfer of Jews does nothing to solve the underlying issue.

Of course in addition, I believe in the first Rashi in Chumash and therefore the land is ours.

Anonymous said...

"If disengagement (= kicking people out of their houses) is so morally repugnant"

Of course, that is a straw man. People are kicked out of their homes for trivial things like highways. That isn't the complaint here. The complaint is that by doing this here, it endangers the lives of every Jew in the country.

If anyone can seriously propose a different outcome from giving Hamas a state, they are in denial.

But, your argument does work in reverse, as this is precisely the argument against paying arabs to leave (repugnant) but it is just fine and dandy when it comes to Jews.