The disengagement has been a horrific experience. It has just been awful and like so many others I have tried to figure out why Sharon has conducted it in this matter. Some more thoughts to share.
It was unilateral. It was done without any concessions from the Palestinians which is part of why it has been so painful.
The Palestinian rhetoric from all corners has been filled with joy and defiance. Not that I am surprised. I didn’t expect them to say anything very different, but I had some small hope that there would be more of a peaceful response. That maybe Abbas would speak in terms that didn’t praise terror and set the table for something more relaxed.
You can say a lot of things about Sharon including that he is a determined and crafty chess player. Here is a thought to share with you. It is not based upon any inside information but my own speculation.
One could argue that there is near universal agreement that the Gazan settlements were similar to waving a red flag in front of a bull. Their existence infuriated many of the Palestinians and made it easier for many to justify terrorist responses. I am not going to get into a question of whether they were justified, that is a different post.
So if accept the premise that their very being incited violence than you have to consider the ROI on leaving them there. What is the return on your investment. Do they serve a real purpose that you can use to justify the trouble that comes with them.
I think that Sharon looked at them and decided that it was not worth the price anymore for such a small minority and that he anticipated that removing them would create a number of things.
About a year into the second intifada I was speaking with a friend who had made aliyah either just before or just after the Yom Kippur war. He told me that one of the problems that many younger Israelis had was that they had not experienced as many terrorist incidents and that they were far more easily rattled than some of the older folks who had lived through so many of the wars. I don’t have a way of measuring the veracity of this, but it sounds plausible to me.
One wonders if Sharon did not look at this and hope that through the pain of the disengagement he would create a situation in which the resolve of Israelis to batten down the hatches and not give in to terror. In theory the pain and discomfort of this action would help to make people tougher and less willing to give in.
Because one can easily argue that the real battle is coming. There are many more people in Judea and Samaria and the commitment to the land is stronger.
I also wonder if he didn’t do this to try and force Abbas and company to toe the line of the roadmap with the thought that they would be incapable of doing so. If would present an opportunity to say to the world that Israel had acted in good faith and that the Palestinians had not and therefore Israel is under no obligation to follow it until such time as the Palestinians met their responsibilities.
Anyway, those are some thoughts on why this might have taken place in the manner that it has. One more to share with you. I have recently read a number of different entries around the net that suggest that it is crazy for Jews to claim to have a religious connection to Israel but there is no mention of this for Muslims as if it is ok for them to say that they have reason to be there but we do not.
I find that troubling.