Sharon vs. Israel

I used to try to understand things, but not anymore, or not much. Instead I shuffle, dazed, from one jolt to the next - maybe reacting, not trying to look into the obscure depths.

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P. David Hornik

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I used to try to understand things, but not anymore, or not much. Instead I shuffle, dazed, from one jolt to the next - maybe reacting, not trying to look into the obscure depths.

One thing I won't try to understand is why Ariel Sharon, once a great fighter for Israel, has turned into a warrior against our security and viability.

Less than two years ago, in March 2003, an optimal Likud-National Union-NRP-Shinui government emerged from the elections. It combined Zionism, nationalism, moderate religion and realism on both security/diplomatic and economic matters. In its short tenure, it finally started to fight terrorism seriously, and its finance minister, Binyamin Netanyahu - backed by Shinui and parts of the other parties - took bold steps to challenge the bureaucracies, banks and unions that hold the Israeli economy in a stranglehold and prevent its true, dazzling potential from emerging.

And now, thanks to Arik Sharon, that government is gone, kaput, finished.

I voted for that government, Arik Sharon, specifically for your Likud party, but I was happy with the coalition that formed and felt represented by it. That 2003 election, Arik Sharon, was most of all a repudiation of the Oslo Accords. The ranks of the two Osloite parties, Labor and Meretz, were slashed and they slunk off into opposition. The results also said, Arik, that we didn't want non-Zionist Haredim "representing" us anymore.

I was glad to see our first government without Haredi parties in a quarter-century, Arik Sharon, and it's not because I'm against Judaism, but for exactly the opposite reason. There is nothing that causes more alienation from Judaism - which eventually becomes alienation from Zionism and from Israel itself - than the sight of "religious" political parties whose main activity is to siphon off taxpayers' funds for institutions in which they train generations that are almost nonfunctional in modern life, people who cannot serve in an army, who don't know science or English, who can do little but live on the dole while studying Torah - and all this in the name of our great Jewish tradition.

That's what we repudiated, Arik Sharon - the peacenik Left and the non-Zionist "religious" - and now, thanks solely to you, it's all coming back. A Likud-Labor-Haredi coalition awaits us. Once again, Shimon Peres, the delusional father of Oslo terror, will be trotting around to capitals making deals in our name, while Haredi MKs will finagle their funds and crush respect for Judaism in Israeli hearts.

Well, it was Golda Meir who once said that if Sharon didn't get his way, he'd surround the Knesset with tanks. Not quite; you didn't surround this Knesset with tanks, Arik, but you managed to bulldoze it by political means, which included ignoring votes you swore to honor and firing ministers for the crime of standing up for the people's will.

And all in the name of what turned out to be your single idee fixe, the sole thing that really interested you - disengagement. The exact platform of the candidate, Amram Mitzna, you ran against and defeated in a landslide in 2003.

Ah yes, disengagement. Just last week we heard the latest installment - that 700 Egyptian border policemen are now going to replace our soldiers along the Philadelphi Route, to protect us from arms smuggling. And you're quoted as saying that if the smuggling stops, Gaza's air and sea ports will open again, too.

Arik, this is disengagement from sanity and responsibility. A decade ago, over your howls of anger and stern warnings, PLO terrorists were imported to Judea and Samaria to guard our security. Now, what you've apparently worked out for us in your experience, sagacity and brilliance is that soldiers of the most virulently anti-Semitic society in the world will be standing there to stop the heavy artillery from pouring into Gaza.

And if they succeed - or say they succeed - who's going to check, Shimon Peres? The portals of Gaza will be open to an influx of jihadi weaponry that will make the Karine A look like a fishing boat.

The disengagement hasn't happened yet, Arik, but already the assurances sound eerily like all those Oslo assurances. Then, we were told that it was just an experiment and that if anything went wrong, a terror attack or two, we'd go right back into those areas and disarm the terrorists.

Now, on disengagement, we've been told that it's just Gaza and a few Samaria settlements, and that the real aim is to save the rest of the territories; or that it's not really disengagement, because the IDF will maintain control of the Philadelphi Route and the air and sea ports. It's deja vu all over again, Arik, and no wonder you're so eager to have Peres by your side.

Why are you doing it all, Arik - tearing apart the government we elected, reviving the forces we wanted to banish, putting our security, economy and morale right back in the jeopardy you were supposed to rescue them from? I don't presume to explain it, but I'm wondering if the conspiracy theorists have a point. I don't know what goes on in the depths, what corrupt or sinister forces might be behind all this, but I can say that the reality that meets my eyes no longer makes any sense.


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