"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Monday, February 14, 2005

Withdrawals From West Bank

The news from Israel, being distributed widely across the wire services, is that terrible death threats by West Bank and Gaza settlers against government ministers have compelled Ariel Sharon to issue a crackdown order. Having resided in Israel myself for a few years (while Sharon was Defense Minister), permit me to decipher this report.

First of all, please note that one government minister received one nasty letter calling him an Arab-lover and one had the tires on his car slashed. How absurd is it to issue a national police order based on one anonymous letter?

The answer is that this is the Israeli equivalent of the Gulf-of-Tonkin method. It has been used frequently in the Israeli government playbook.

This is a simple trick designed to open the door for the government to harass a few settlers so as to soften them up for the eventual evacuation order. Sharon is a general who likes to play offense and do a small preemptive strike to avoid larger confrontations later. Perhaps I'll expand on this in an article later this week.

2 comments:

Hunter Baker said...

Jay, you lived in Israel? Wow, at some point you should blog about why you left.

Jay D. Homnick said...

I not only lived a few years in Israel, I also served as a reservist in the Israeli Army, and had the tragic experience of losing three friends from my unit to a daring midnight terrorist raid. They were killed by pitchforks and machetes in a silent attack. As it happened, I was stationed at a different base that night and was not present during the brutal event.

I had to return stateside in 1994 to care for a relative who was in failing health. He died in 1997 but by then my roots had been sunk too deeply to consider returning.

My married daughter, who will be 23 on Feb. 23, lives there now, along with my eighteen-month-old grandson and my four-month-old granddaughter.