16 August 2005


I am glad that the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza is finally here. I don't believe, as some of my Palestinian friends do, that this is likely to be followed by withdrawals from the West Bank and Jerusalem, nor do I think that this necessarily will help promote peace, but I do think this is a wise strategic move on Israel's part.

Gaza has never been particularly useful for Israel- in fact, the awful humanitarian and military situation there have always been a blight on Israel. The tremendous financial and military efforts Israel expended to protect the settlements in Gaza and control the area never seemed worth it to me. Even though I don't agree with settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, I understand better their importance.

However, I am amazed that Sharon is the one who started this. I have always considered him to be firmly on the side of settlements. It heartens me to think that he may not be as hardline as I have always thought he was.

I still believe that for Israel to be a democratic, secure, and Jewish state that it has to pull out of Gaza and the West Bank and come to an equitable compromise concerning Jerusalem. Israel cannot be considered democratic when many people living in its borders have few rights. However, if they give the Palestinians citizenship, Israel would cease to be a Jewish state. Israel could be more secure, democratic, and retain its Jewishness by withdrawing from these areas.

Is an ideological view concerning Israel's borders really worth jeopardizing the greater goal of democracy, security, and Jewishness? Obviously some think so. But I hope cooler minds win the day.


  1. I don't understand very much about that part of the world, but I agree with what you said, Amira. I feel for the Palestinians on the issue of Gaza.

  2. I have been meaning to ask you, how you felt about this. I am glad you articulated your thoughts so well.

    I was very surprised that Sharon is the one who started this. It has been very interesting to me to watch unfold.

    I too, hope that "cooler" minds will win the day.

    What do you think of those insisting they will stay?

  3. I completely understand why the settlers don't want to leave Gaza. I'd hate to be forced to leave my home for any reason. But there are times when governments have to take people from their homes- it happens rather often all over the world and Gaza is not the only example of this, even in Israel.

    What bothers me is the people who've sneaked in to protest. They weren't the ones living in the settlements. They're not losing houses. It's simply an idealogical thing, and Gaza has never been historically Jewish the way the the West Bank and Jerusalem were. I don't think it's worth it.

  4. The Israeli settlers never really belonged in Gaza and this withdrawal is definitely a good thing. I just hope that the Palestinians in Gaza can somehow figure out a way to rule themselves justly.

  5. I have a story to tell you, I note that you are Mormon.

    I had never met a person who was Mormon before and I was at a meeting with a number of sales people in Utah, it was a large training session and the people there didn't know each other and we were all eating at a table 'cafeteria style'.

    One woman at the table annouced in a loud voice that she had bought some furniture at a store owned by Jews and they had tried to take advantage of her. ( I am cleaning it up, it got ugly)

    She voiced in no uncertain terms a number of silly and needless bigoted comments about Jews.

    I have blond hair and don't 'look' Jewish.

    I was shocked and had never heard this sort of talk before.

    I spoke up politely that I was Jewish and found these remarks to be offensive.

    She argued back with me very rudely, and said that she was stating the truth and I should shut up.

    I stood up, I was shaking, I tried as hard as possible to maintain my dignity ( I was in the Midwest I won't say where) and just moved to another table.

    One woman got up and walked over and sat with me. She said something to chastise the people at the other table before she came but I didnt hear what it was.

    She told me she was Mormon and that ignorant people had always made prejudiced comments about LDS people and she wouldn't let me face it by myself.

    Well we were at the classe for four days, she and I are still friends and I recently sent her a check for her sons mission in south america.

    She explained to me how much Mormons and Jews have in common.


    I haven't told anyone that story in many years.

  6. oh and one part I left out was the horrible lonesome feeling I had for a second when I realized I was going to have to eat all alone while those people at the other table glared at me!
    That meant so much to me!

  7. Callie, thanks for that story. It's always nice to hear things like that.