Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Dangerous and insulting

I have great respect for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and many of his policies. I once met him, about a decade ago, and he seemed to me to be a caring and passionate individual. Generally I believe the Gaza pullout plan will be a positive step in the Middle-East peace process, even though I recognize there are legitimate reservations. It will certainly only go so far as long as this is the Palestinians' thinking (via lgf). It will take a long time and much effort to change that, and I don't see anyone in the Palestinian leadership who has the popularity, courage and desire to see that happen. I guess we have to be happy with small steps.
However it is clear that the situation in the territories is untenable in the long term, both for the integrity of Israel and for the Palestinians. While I feel for the settlers who will have to abandon their homes, this kind of protest is dangerous and insulting. The Holocaust is invoked far to often nowadays, frequently by Anti-Semites. These comparisons are completely out of any proportion and gratuitous and so is the one made by the settlers. It is offensive to the Israelis who want to live in peace alongside the Palestinians, without compromising Israeli security, but even more so to the actual victims of the Nazis. As an observant, Sharon-supporting Jew I am offended.

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