Alice in Texas

Not writing here anymore- see top post for details of my new blogs.

Sunday, August 14, 2005


I was listening to the radio about the disengagement. They interviewed a very ordinary, nice-sounding Arabic gentleman who lived next door to one of the settlements. Then they gave us a bit of a prayer from a rabbi giving a service in a Jewish graveyard. It was impossible not to notice that while the Arabic gentleman had lived next door to Jews for twentysomething years when they were in charge, Jews are not going to be allowed to stay in the area when Arabs are in charge. The Palestinians have demanded their removal. So if they want to visit the graves of their dead relatives ever again, they are going to have to dig them up and rebury them elsewhere in Israel. Which is obscene.

Palestine will be Judenrein. According to Wikipedia, about 20% of the population of Israel is Arab. To me, the issue is not so much who owns the land as whether they use it to run a racist, fascist state. If there is competition there, I can't see where it is.

I have been thinking about the disengagement for months of course, although I choose rarely to write about politics on this blog at the moment. Nobody has to agree with my opinion, in fact I would rather they decided it was rubbish and felt comfortably superior than tried to get me into an argument, because I do not have the energy or the inclination. Whether they realise it or not, many many people are irrational, extremist, ignorant and bigoted on this issue, just as about everything to do with Israel. But for what it is worth, which I cannot put too low a price on frankly, my view is that Israel should be keeping the land rather than handing it over to the kind of people they are handing it over to.

It would be nice if the disengagement led to peace, absolutely lovely, but where is the reason to expect that? The only possible good I can see coming out of it is if Jews get better at talking to each other. I recommend David Bogner's devastating post on this subject.

Hard lessons may be good for us. They may even be the only way we ever learn what we need to learn. But that fact in no way justifies evil actions. As human beings, we have the choice of vowing to extract every drop of new truth and knowledge from every difficult situation that is forced upon us, and to use it to become better people, capable of doing more good, perhaps even doing enough good that such evil things never need happen again. We may even find it in our hearts to forgive those who commit evil against us- if such perpetrators exist, which is not always the case. The people I most admire are the ones who act like that. The people I have to work hardest not to loathe are the ones who just (apparently) blame everyone else instead.

But evil will always be evil, and good will always be good, and no amount of rationalising, justifying, trickery or self-deception will ever alter which is which. I have no idea who to blame about the disengagement, but I will never believe that it was, in itself, a good thing. The most I can do is believe that good can come out of evil. If we work at it.


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