The Saddest Subject Line

Ever since the start of the disengagement, my computer, and more specifically, the "Subject line" of my inbox, has become my greatest fear.

Angela Bertz

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צילום: ערוץ 7
Ever since the start of the disengagement, my computer, and more specifically, the "Subject line" of my inbox, has become my greatest fear.

"Hope," Alexander Pope said way back in the 17th century, "springs eternal in the human breast." Sadly, in 21st century Israel, the only thing that "springs eternal" is despair in the human heart. There has been no better demonstration of this these last few weeks.

I have had to literally force myself to watch with both trepidation and horror as the day's emails download. Coffee cup clutched in one hand, straws in the other, as I scrutinize the day's "subject lines" flashing across my screen. These tell their own story, rarely requiring any more than a cursory overall observation to belie the often derogatory and painful drivel they will almost certainly contain.

"From midnight Sunday, Gaza will be off-limits to Israelis"

"Some 42,000 police and soldiers stand ready [Disengagement]"

"Pain of Israel's Withdrawal from Gaza Strip Is Felt by American Jews, Too"

"Israel's suicidal withdrawal"

And who wasn't stirred by:

"Rafiah Yam, Tearful Farewells and a Slow Exit Procession"

"Seeing Grown Men and Seasoned Soldiers Cry"

"Amputee children leave Kfar Darom [siblings who lost their legs in terror]"

In 2000, three of the Cohen children were on their way to school when Palestinian terrorists targeted their armoured bus, spraying it with shrapnel and mortar. One of the children lost both legs, another lost one leg and a third lost part of a foot.

After the withdrawal, "subject lines" switched rapidly to the never-ending rhetoric spewed out almost ad infinitum by the Palestinians themselves. Hamas (Have A Mask And Shoot), never known for putting their weapons down quietly, have exploded almost literally and repeatedly across the screens:

"Hamas vows to continue fight after pullout"

"Hamas says Gaza withdrawal won't end fighting"

"Hamas leader: Gaza withdrawal - 'beginning of the end for Israel'"

"Hamas: Haifa, Jaffa are next"

The contents of the emails, for anyone with the patience to double click on them, are as predictable as any daytime American soap opera. Gushing statements continue to depict the streets of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa flowing with the blood of martyrs. Countless angry and nothing-to-do-all-day men pour into the streets of Gaza and Ramallah swearing eternal revenge, often with their poor children in tow. Sadly, we've heard it a hundred times before.

But wait a minute, here's some news - Hamas women:

"Dozens of women in the Gaza strip have joined Hamas."

"Commander of Hamas Military Wing Women's Unit: 'Our Members Yearn for Martyrdom'"

If it wasn't quite so tragic, the contents would almost offer some comic relief. Stripped out in Hamas bands of green and white 'round their foreheads, and sporting smart army coats to their ankles, these fighting ladies are taking time out from producing a dozen shahids from their wombs, once described by Yasser Arafat as his "greatest weapon against Israel," to join their men. These women, say Hamas, will be trained in firing rockets and mortars, planting roadside bombs and the ability to infiltrate Jewish settlements. Doesn't that give a new slant to job retraining? "We simply love jihad and its path..." says the commander of the women's unit, who had the following message for their children: "Our message is to educate them to jihad, which is a sacred duty that cannot be neglected...."

This was followed by "subject lines" with still more emboldened threats:

"Queri: Gaza today, tomorrow Jerusalem",

"PA PM: No solution if Israel continues to hold E. Jerusalem [Old City, Western Wall"

"PA PM: No Solution to Palestinian Issue Until Restoring All Occupied Lands"

"Shaath: We will not Accept State with Temporary Borders"

"PA society: Destruction of Israel is desired and attainable goal"

"PA won't disarm Hamas, Islamic Jihad

And, as usual, the unconditional and suicidal demands continue:

"PA: Bush should press Israel on further pullouts"

"PNA Officially Demands Israel Release Gaza Strip Detainees"

"We should stand up to plans to deprive Palestinians of Right to Return" (King of Jordan)

And how about this little trip into Palestinian fantasy:

"PA wants Arafat tomb on Temple Mount"

Then, it was party time:

"PA and Hamas prepare to celebrate the Israeli withdrawal"

"Palestinians celebrate with poetry"

These little cultural delights have been composed by Palestinians to celebrate their victory: "No stranger has ever lasted on our land. Our history has testified to this. Peace with you [Israel] will remain a lie and your continued existence is impossible. You will vanish and we will continue to exist." The rest follow along the same lines and is one of any number of exhausting examples of how deeply the lies and denial has been inflicted on Palestinian society.

Of course, following the tale through the "subject lines" brings us to the parties. These got a little out of hand, but what can you expect when it seems a few synagogues were an offense to Palestinian sensibilities?

"Gazans loot greenhouses as PA police try to impose order"

"Palestinian Destruction of Gaza Synagogues Only Latest In History of Destroying Jewish Holy Sites"

"Palestinians set fire to synagogues"

"As evacuated synagogues burn in Gaza, Abbas misses opportunity to demonstrate respect and tolerance for another religion"

Then, with momentum flying high in Gaza, it was time for the praise:

"Abbas credits 'martyrs' with Israel's Gaza withdrawal"

"Palestinians: Gaza withdrawal a victory for Islam"

"Hamas and Abbas vying for credit on Israel's withdrawal"

And when no one liked the mess they'd made, it was time to portion the blame to those not even invited to the party:

"Palestinians: Israel poisoned Gaza land"

"PA: Chaos in Gaza is Israel's fault"

But just when things couldn't get any worse in the "subject lines", we find that Palestinian threats, demands and anarchy can and does reap all sorts of rewards and praise from our so called greatest ally. Rumour has it that Condoleezza Rice has been patting Abu Mazen so hard on the back, she's almost worn out his latest suit.

"Rice praises Palestinians on withdrawal"

"Rice: U.S. to press Israel"

"U.S. Presses Israel to Smooth the Path to a Palestinian Gaza"

"Rice Urges Israel+Palestinians to Sustain Momentum"

Of course, you would expect some sort of loyalty from such praise, but then again, apparently not:

"PA officials get 50 Million in US aid; call America 'the enemy'"

"PA gets $50m from US, then calls for terror against US soldiers"

Even at a time of one of our greatest emotional upheavals, Israelis didn't need to write poems to stand with their heads held high.

The saddest "subject line" of all said it all.

"Sharon to troops: World applauds you."

In the end, we proudly showed the world the meaning of the word "dignity".