Thursday, August 25, 2005


How Many Times Can Someone Be Surprised?

How many times can a person be surprised? Really. I listened to the Israeli media reporting on the evacuation of the Jewish towns of Gaza and northern Samaria, and I noticed that every time they had finished describing the evacuation of one place, they began talking about the next target in apocalyptic terms. Along the lines of, 'Sure, we were surprised that there was no violence here, but the next place is expected to put up violent resistance. They are the true ideologues in the next place. For sure. The police said so. And here is our left-wing expert to confirm our worst fears...'

And so it went. From the nice, secular people of northern Gaza, whose evacuation was barely reported at all, to the dire warnings of what terrible violence might take place in Shirat Hayam (complete with sightings of a crazed, armed settler in a sniper tower), then on to N'vei Dekalim. And when the reporters and police were, yet again, "surprised" by the lack of violence, the focus turned to the synagogue in N'vei Dekalim. Certainly, there the resisters - all religious youths - would employ violence. No? More passive resistance and then, surprised again, it was on to Netzer Hazani, the "most ideological of the settlements" (how is such a thing measured, I wonder). Um, well. We were surprised, weren't we, that these true ideologues did not shoot at the arriving troops. Or at least throw a firebomb. Nothing? Okay, then on to Kfar Darom, where the infiltrators had barricaded the synagogue.

Then, the media got its wish. Someone spilled half a pail of some itchy, annoying substance on police. Right away, police spokesmen, including the chief of police, called it "acid". The dire warnings were finally vindicated! Well, not quite. A surprise again, one might say. The substance turned out to be a dye diluted in water, according to tests conducted at Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva. Wholly not a danger to anyone.

But wait, the experts and news reporters told us, there is still the fierce, lawless "hilltop youth" of northern Samaria. There are gun caches there, we were told. Wild-eyed settlers were preparing explosives, we were told.

What, no shooting? They acted just like in Gaza? Well, we are surprised. And so were the police. Okay, then definitely in Sa-Nur. Sa-Nur is now where the last, desperate settlers, who feel they are the last defenders of Israel, have barricaded themselves. Police came in with clubs to clear the synagogue. What? The barbed-wire-encircled synagogue emptied also with passive resistance? We are, um, surprised. Again. But surely the old British fortress in Sa-Nur will put up a violent fight to the death.

Let us pray. (Of course, pray that there's no violence! How could you suspect the media of praying to see blood?)

And again, as the last Jewish civilian presence in northern Samaria fell, the media and police were "surprised". All told, the Jews - gun-toting, religious, right-wing fanatics, as TV viewers had been conditioned to believe - mostly used passive resistance and some psychological pressure to convince their brethren to refuse orders to expel them.

Why all the surprise, which they freely admitted? I believe it is because they believed their own propaganda and delegitimization of the settlers, who live beyond the Forbidden Forest of the leftist mind.

However, there was some serious violence in recent protests in Israel. Yes, indeed. But most readers may be unaware of those violent protests. The perpetrators of the violence, you see, were peace-loving leftist Israelis and downtrodden Arabs. And they were secular demonstrators (well, except for the Islamists), not right-wing primitives, like the settlers.

On August 12, merely a few days before the predicted show-down with thousands of Gaza settlers and their supporters, two IDF soldiers sustained injuries during a violent protest against Israel's security fence near Ma'aleh Shomron in Samaria. Some 100 Palestinian Authority residents and left-wing Israelis threw rocks and other objects at soldiers.

The previous month, three people, including a civilian and two members of the security forces, were injured by rocks and other projectiles hurled by anti-fence protesters in various areas along the fence. During one left-wing protest, soldiers were also targeted with firebombs. In June, three soldiers sustained injuries during violent anti-security fence protests. One of the injured soldiers lost vision in one eye.

So now, the paradigm must shift. Those who respect the state, its institutions and its soldiers, even as the state carries out a despicable policy of expulsion, are the most right-wing ideologues among us; whereas, those who can be counted on to disparage the state's laws and attack its soldiers are on the far-left. The former might be called patriots; and the latter... Well, if I wrote it, I might be accused of inciting violence. Just what we'd expect from a fanatical, religious right-winger.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?