The prime minister has not yet bothered to explain which profound insight lies at the basis of the disengagement plan. However, it is reasonable to assume that this profound insight is Jewish-democratic. The State of Israel is about to uproot some 8,000 people from their homes in order to ensure the existence of Jewish-democratic sovereignty in the Land of Israel.
The events that took place this week on the way to and in Kfar Maimon and in Gush Katif are evidence that, even at this early stage, the disengagement process is tearing apart the Jewish-democratic fabric of Israel. The struggle between the blue government and the orange rebels is already undermining both the principle of Israeli sovereignty and Israel's identity as a democratic state.
The initial responsibility is that of the orange camp. It did not succeed in making clear that the objective of its struggle is protest rather than obstruction; it did not succeed in proving that its legitimate campaign would not turn into rebellion. It permitted its young supporters' war cries to be slogans of refusal. It brazenly adopted the ethos of breaking the law. It raised a fist against Israeli sovereignty.
The responsibility on the shoulders of the government, however, is no less heavy. The government proved this week that it has not internalized the rules of the game, that it is tainted with a deep lack of ethics and that it has dealt a mortal blow to Israel's identity as a democratic country.
In a democratic country, the defense minister does not instruct the police to tighten a siege on a civilian settlement, and military forces do not act within the sovereign borders to put down a civilian demonstration. In a democratic country, the police do not take civilians off buses at one end of the country on the basis of a claim that they may commit a (minor) offense in another part of the country.
Moreover, in a democratic country, the government does not treat its political adversaries like foes. In a democratic country, the government shows compassion toward citizens upon whom it is about to bring calamity. In a democratic country, the legal system knows how to protect the rights of a minority to which it feels moral aversion. What transpired this week between Netivot and Kissufim was a depressing paradox: At the moment of truth, Israeli nationalists rebel against the national structure while Israeli democrats desert the basic democratic values. At the moment of truth, the religious right does not hesitate to endanger Israel's sense of nationhood, while the secular center-left does not remain loyal to those very universal and liberal tenets for which it stands.
The week of Kfar Maimon is merely a prologue. But this prologue has already proven that this summer is going to be hard as hell, that Israel is in no way ready for the challenge of disengagement. The terms are not clear, the lines are not clear, the values have not been defined. Therefore, when the blue and orange camps face each other along the lines of confrontation, the only thing dividing them is bravado. While one side feels threatened and the other side feels betrayed, the conflicting ends justify the means.
There are a mere few weeks left. The blue camp must come to its senses. It must grant a humane and moral dimension to the historic move; it must give the disengagement valid significance. It must look in the eye those whose world it is about to destroy and speak to them.
The orange camp too must come to its senses. It must overcome its sense of mourning and realize that the die is cast. There will indeed be disengagement. The orange camp must now curb the rebellion, revolt and refusal spreading among its grieving members. It must ensure that the inevitable division of the Land of Israel will not tear asunder the people of Israel and will not shake the State of Israel. Under no circumstances must the orange camp cross the red line.
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