Floating Voter / What Is There to Investigate?

What is the common denominator among all the surprises that rock the country approximately twice a week? The answer: All of them are completely predictable and not really surprises at all. Should the Hamas victory have surprised anyone? Of course not. It was written on the walls of Gaza and Nablus. Should the violent confrontation at Amona have been a surprise? Of course not. It was expected since the establishment of the first settlement. Sebastia was founded upon a violent clash between soldiers and settlers, Amona fell in an even more violent confrontation and many more settlements are still to fall. So why are we surprised anew each time? Just because - because our head-in-the-sand way of life is so comfortable.

So what is there to investigate here? Everything is predictable and every government had the opportunity to stop holding out false hope to the settlers. The governments prefered to beat their heads against a rock, which hurts; they sowed the wind and are now reaping the whirlwind, and this is only the beginning. The whirlwind of Amona is Point A, or B for those who still remember Gush Katif. Trauma that will last for generations fades so quickly.

It was an illusion to think that the evacuation of settlements would occur without violence, screaming and blood. It was a dream in Sebastia to believe that the settlers would wear blue and white and rush out to meet them, rejoicing, as if they were planting trees for Tu Bishvat, with a song in their heart and a tree in their hand. It was obvious and predictable that the seriousness of the battle would be commensurate with the seriousness of the uprooting, and that it would be bad.

It was bad in Amona, but the worst is still ahead. So what is there to investigate when none of this is amazing? The only thing that is amazing is the injured head of Effi Eitam: Was it hit by a rock thrown by own of his own, or was there truly a horse and rider that cast him into a sea of blood, as it were?

Ehud Olmert is accused of wanting blood because he wanted to demonstrate leadership and he wanted votes - it's true. The right-wing MKs who interfered are accused of looking for blood because they wanted bandages and photographs and votes - it's true. The settlers are accused of wanting to be seen now so that they will be seen in the future - it's true. The police are accused of hitting indiscriminately because they were tired of being hit - it's true.

It's all true, so what the hell is there to investigate?

If we are on the subject of wanting, then the Labor Party's Yuli Tamir also wants something: She wants to investigate.

There has still been no commission of inquiry into the 38 years of occupation and settlements, into the thousands of Israeli and Palestinian victims, into the state's great land grab, into the hundred of billions of shekels that were buried in the pockets of the settlers and stolen from Israel's citizens and their children. There has been no commission of inquiry into the skyjacking of an aircraft with all 120 MK-passengers and also cabinet ministers aboard, by the Yesha settler gangs - which they did not release until the lord and master carried out their wishes.

No investigative committee was established for any of these, but Tamir is demanding a commission of inquiry into the events at Amona. Shelly Yachimovich added a characteristic revolutionary air to the demand, and Avishay Braverman intoned something in the same impassioned vein. The head of their party followed suit, vaguely verbifying. It is therefore no wonder that "figures in the military establishment" have already announced that there will be no more evacuations until after the elections.

If a commission of inquiry is established, what will happen in the end? The Or Commission meditated on its navel for years, investigating and demanding and publishing its conclusions. So what? So nothing.

On second thought, it's not fair to mete out equal punishment: The Or Commission only investigated how 13 Arab civilians were shot and killed by police officers, while the commission-in-the making is slated to investigate how one Jewish MK, a fine fellow, was scratched by a policeman or by a horse's leg.

The new Labor Party - in accordance with its old second nature - is once again letting settlers appear to be victims. They did announce ahead of time that "there will be war at Amona," and a la guerre, comme a la guerre. But still they are the eternal victim. The Labor Party, too, was its own victim last weekend, in following in the furrows of the harvesters in order to glean a few votes among the alien corn stalks.