Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Protest and the National Religious

Legitimate protest has its limits.
Until the implementation of the disengagement plan, actively protesting it was a requirement of everybody who felt the plan was unconscionable from a moral, diplomatic and/or political standpoint. Calling on soldiers and policemen to disobey orders before the plan is implemented is also valid, though I don't know if it is wise. After the implementation starts and a number of communities have been evacuated already, the odds that the government will change their minds is nearly impossible. This means that any further protest will at best push the withdrawal off a couple more days. After removing a number of communities it would be next to impossible to stop the process, apologize to the evacuees, and continue where they had left off. Standing on the side in solidarity with the evicted settlers is also legitimate.

This begs the question, what are 8000 extra people doing in Gush Katif right now trying to fight off this evacuation? It is going to happen in any case, now is the time to lick your wounds, retreat and begin a strategy of how to win the next fight or how to turn this into a PR victory for your side. Active resistance at this point is futile. It will just hurt you in the future as media pictures will show crazy settlers who are fighting reality and further public opinion that these are not good people who just lost their homes and deserve public smpathy. These are psychopaths you were just there to harass innocent arabs.

The problem that we are facing here is a crisis of the national religious movement. The national religious has built their identity around Zionism and the land of Israel. If the modern State of Israel is indeed the manifestation of the redemption and the government of Israel is the legitimate government of the redemption then there is a major problem when they start behaving in a manner unbehooving of a redeemed Jewish nation. The hesder soldiers joined a Jewish army, not an Israeli army, and therefore they have to refuse to do anything against Jewish law. The Bnai Akiva youth movement has based their entire philosophy that the state, as we see it today, is the legitimate Jewish government of the redemption and therefore it cannot accept anything that stands against it.

There seems to be a crisis of faith amongst the national religious and there is a reckoning amongst many now on their base Jewish philosphy. I have heard from more then one person, that he is now realizing that we are still in galus (exile). I was in a shul where they did not say the prayer for the State of Israel, because of the political situation. The next couple months may be one of reckoning, as the terrorists run wild and free in the Gaza strip. We can only hope that the moshiach is on his way and will arrive soon. Although he may delay, we await his imminent arrival.


DAG said...

Like I said, they should have bugged out o Tisha baav and win some PR points

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Do you think that the disengagement may be in any way good for the Jews? With 9000 Jews out of that region, if Hamas, or any other hate group attacks or acts in a terrorist way towards Israel, they can safely, and effectively defend themselves without killing any more Jews. It will be a region with l.3 million people who will have to bear conseequences of further suicide bombings. (God forbid.)