Israel's Confusion In The Wake Of Its Forced Removal Of The Gaza Settlements

July 10, 2006 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Almost since the birth of Israel, Jews have at once both embraced and at the same time been wary of the concept of Zionism.

Essential to the creation of the only democracy in the Middle East, Zionism has been losing adherents ever since and now finds only scanty representation among the organizations who claim to speak for Jewish interests.

In two previous pieces - Jews for Jihad, How The American Jewish Committee Aids And Abets Islamists and No Jews Need Apply - Why The American Jewish Committee Gave It's Moral Courage Award To An Ex Jew-Hating Muslim - we documented how the AJC's obsession with interfaith and diversity initiatives have made it an organization which seems more concerned with finding common cause with Jihadis than with advancing Jewish causes.

In order to slam the door on even perceived links to Zionism, major American Jewish organizations - embracing multiculturalism at all costs - are now championing even virulently anti-Semitic and pro terrorist groups [the AJC's decade long support for the Bosnian Muslims, for example] and individuals, with the hope reconciling themselves with post modernist thought.

So it is with a certain sense of bemusement mixed with horror that we view the current Israeli incursion into Gaza after the capture of IDF member Corporal Gilad Shalit and the kidnap and murder of West Bank settler 18-year-old Eliyahu Asheri.

Less than a year ago in August of 2005 then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon employed the IDF in a very different capacity - using 55,000 soldiers and about 8,000 police to remove approximately 9,000 - mostly orthodox or self-described ?ultra orthodox" - settlers from Gaza and the West Bank.

At the time Sharon stated his version of an intention well known to appeasers throughout time:

"Now the Palestinians bear the burden of proof. They must fight terror organizations, dismantle its infrastructure and show sincere intentions of peace in order to sit with us at the negotiating table. The world awaits the Palestinian response..."

The response of course was for the Palestinians to oust Arafat?s legacy, the terrorist-by-extension Fatah government and place in its stead the even more virulent terrorists from Hamas as their governing authority.

Far from Sharon's stated objective that, "This plan is good for Israel in any future scenario. We are reducing the day-to-day friction and its victims on both sides" the physical retreat from Gaza and the West Bank and the intellectual retreat from Zionism by the Israelis has been disastrous, even from the perspective of the Palestinians.

Since 1948 Israel has drifted towards secularism, to a great degree they have succeeded as - based on a 1993 study commissioned by the Louis Guttman Israel Institute of Applied Social Research - only about a fifth of Israelis now consider themselves religious and 56% never attend synagogue.

This is probably surprising to those outside of Israel who might have the mistaken vision of a society strictly regimented along religious lines.

One of the instigators of secularist social change was the breakdown in the mid 70s of the Likud/nationalist/Religious Party coalition which has since muted the forces of religious orthodoxy.

Another caustic agent of change has been the rise of the Israeli Supreme Court under Aharon Barak. The power and jurisdiction that the Barak court has carved out for itself is breathtaking by modern democratic [Israel has no formal constitution] standards, as Robert Bork asserted in "Coercing Virtue: The Worldwide Rule of Judges."

"The Israeli Supreme Court is making itself the dominant institution in the nation, an authority no other court in the world has achieved," [the court has used the doctrine of natural justice as] "an amorphous concept designed to cut the Court loose from the restraints of positive law?Even an activity of the greatest political character, such as the making of war or peace, is examinable by judicial criteria."

Barak combines the hubris of looking at the court as a representative of what he calls the "enlightened public" with the assertion that "everything can be adjudicated" within the Jewish state.

Barak has used the power of the court to regulate religious and other issues normally thought far outside the purview of Western civil judiciaries - countenancing the government's ban on Jewish worship at the sacred Temple Mount [the site of the first and second Jewish temples in Jerusalem and where according to the Talmud, God created Adam from the soil of the earth] stopping Netayahu's attempts to close the PLO's Jerusalem headquarters in 1999 on the grounds of it possibly being "political."

This has led to a society which breaks down into a cultural divide with the leftist secularists viewing the rightist orthodoxy as anachronistic.

Talking to those who have spent time in the settlements one gains the sense that the secularists are visibly hostile to the settlers, actually ashamed of them in the sense that - in their way of thinking - these people are the embodiment of those upon whom was heaped centuries of anti-Semitic abuse in Europe. The settlers are distinctly "not modern" - throwbacks to a time when orthodoxy prevailed and dictated conservative forms of attire and comportment. As such they are a constant reminder to the majority of their waning Jewishness.

So it was hardly surprising that Ariel Sharon would move against the right, especially the Gush settlements in Gaza under the guise of security, a justification which today seems laughable in the wake of the IDFs need to massively re-deploy back into the troubled area.

As one steps back its obvious that the right in Israel has been correct in its criticism of Israel's catastrophic Palestinian policy from Oslo onward; through the Clinton administration's interference in the Ehud Barak election under the aegis of the crocodilian Mr. Carville, its decided tilt towards the terrorist Arafat at Camp David and now with the visible effects of the failed Gaza "Disengagement Plan" being plastered on the front pages of newspapers worldwide.

Israel has turned inward against itself with America's fundamentalist Christian right now being its biggest moral booster while Jewish organizations go M.I.A., reserving their pique for insignificant anti-Semitic remarks made in venues of no concern while mainstream Jewish organizations break bread with Islamists in interfaith dances of death.

The odd truth at this point is that through its rejection of faith Israel and Europe - despite the remaining political estrangement - have finally found intellectual common ground of a sort.

We join therefore with Rabbi Avi Gisser of Ofra in stating - "We told you so. He who flees Gaza will be overtaken by Gaza; he who converges and disengages will find that terror finds a way to him."

Israel is in need of a thorough rethinking of its strategy in dealing with the Arab world. Perhaps the painful events of this last week will force her to to finally confront reality, fashioning a policy of peace through the exercise of strength with a righteousness borne of a rekindled sense of faith.

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