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One is revolted by all the mourning and moaning, the weeping and howling, which is getting increasingly louder as we approach the disengagement.

No earth-shattering surprise here: The settlers have since time immemorial been expert in bitter crying and wailing whenever they didn't get what they wanted. It isn't hard for victims pretending to be robbers to pretend to be robbers pretending to be victims. Basically, it's the same face. When someone dared not to dance to their lunatic tune, not to unconditionally concede to their aggressive whims, they immediately presented him as an enemy of the people and a traitor to the Jews, as they have again falsely charged. And they imbued their organized battle cries with a loud lament - a voice of trickery, mourning and striking, and not disengaging - poor wretches and lords of the land all at the same time.

Since the disengagement plan was conceived, there has been no end to the fawning and prancing over them, as if they were the Holy Ark. The evacuating forces are told the mission must be carried out with utmost sensitivity - we will evacuate and we will cry. A tear in the eye is a prerequisite for operational fitness. The supreme command, without which there is no speech nowadays worthy of its name, is to embrace, to constantly embrace. As we, the obtuse ones, are relentlessly asked if we don't feel the pain of the "deportees."

Hereinafter the answer: Of course we have pain, just as they have love, and it seems that our pain is less of a sham than their love. Except the pain must be distributed carefully and sparingly, lest it be used up all at once. The reason for this requisite caution is simple: Our pain is reserved first and foremost for the dead and the bereaved families, the hundreds of thousands of unemployed, the poor children, the rate of whom is higher in Israel than in any other developed country, the senior citizens who face a life of destitution, the handicapped trapped in their homes, the teachers disgracefully dismissed, the ill for whom there is no remedy, or medicine - our pain is devoted to all of the wretched people, and what is left of it we will most assuredly devote to the deportees.

It is important to make clear that we have no part, and will have no part with anyone wishing to hold a national eulogy here, as if the disengagement from Gaza is a Jewish tragedy the likes of which hasn't happened since the Holy Temple was destroyed; as if the poor and distressed deportees are being cast into another 2,000-year Exile, and who knows if they will ever return to their land, their native soil, the home of their fathers.

My heart goes out to the deportees, except that out of the corner of my eye I also notice the expansive plots of land in attractive, favored regions of the country that await them, and I do not envy; but why should tears be shed? The politicians and army and police commanders have lured themselves into believing that if they tenderly wipe away the tears of the deportees, they will be content, and will go, walking and crying, to their new homes. And, suddenly - disappointment. They aren't moving, because all of the fawning has only intensified the dimensions of the evacuation in their minds, and now it is compared to the "Spanish expulsion," at least; and now we will have to pay more. I am afraid the whole story is going to end up with crying, not necessarily that of the settlers. They may be "salt of the earth," but the wounds on which the salt will be thrown are our own.

The decision to evacuate the settlements from the land of great drought that is called the Gaza Strip was adopted by the cabinet, approved by a large majority in the Knesset, and last week received the seal of the High Court of Justice. It is customary to warn that if the disengagement is not ultimately carried out, it will bring prove disastrous to the Israeli democracy. "Democracy" is a big word, which through overuse has lost much of its meaning.

So I will tell you in the simplest manner the practical meaning: If the settlers again succeed in forcibly nullifying the majority opinion in favor of their own opinion, and the violent opposition in the field prevents execution of the decision of the cabinet and the Knesset, on that accursed day the Israel Defense Forces will break apart, for who would dare to send soldiers to the evacuated Gaza, which was not ultimately evacuated because the settlers were victorious over the elected institutions. Would the girls and the boys, the members of our youth movements, agree to enlist in an army whose orders are given not by the political echelons or the military echelons, but by the rabbis, authorities and public figures of the Yesha Council? Forget it. They would be willing to enlist only in an army that is subject to the sole authority of the government and the Knesset, which protects our country along its recognized boundaries, be they temporary or permanent. As for the settlers of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, may God protect them.