The Omelettes Have Turned Into Eggs

The state must continue down the same path it charted in Gaza and proceed to the West Bank, the illegal outposts, the tiny settlements, the lawbreakers.

A brigadier general who was stripped of his ranks by Dreyfus' judges adorned with skullcaps; yellow patches with Jewish stars; a child who was almost thrown from the window, and an Israeli flag that was incinerated like a piece of garbage; the smell of the breath of sweaty female settlers who approached so close to the mouths of soldiers - almost to the point of sin; and a battery of curses fired at the soldiers and police, curses that would poison if they could.

This was the daily narrative of the "summary of events of day four," a day to be etched in memory. The day when tens of thousands of male and female soldiers, most of whom had never seen a settlement from the inside and others who had only guarded them during their military service, began to detest the settlement enterprise. Not on a nationalist basis, not for ideological reasons, but because of the intimacy that demanded another soldier's tear.

The swallowing of saliva, the gnashing of teeth and the self-restraint should not mislead anyone. The soldiers carry out directives and implement briefings they have received from advisers only in order to get through the day of hurt in peace. The post-traumatic disability will remain irreversible.

But this is the only irrevocable result this disengagement will produce. Because the uprooting of settlements and the removal of settlers from the occupied territory essentially means the shattering of the theory of irrevocability, the same theory that has accompanied the settlement enterprise from the start.

According to this theory, every antenna, outpost or tent could never be removed. This was the intoxicating drug that gave impetus to the building of more and more settlements. This narrative was the essence of the successful guidebook the settlers composed for themselves. They were not merely building settlements, but settlements that could never be uprooted. Thus, each outpost becomes a sacred place, a security facility, an integral part of the nation's soul. And every uprooting means civil war. Without this fearful threat, it would be difficult to imagine the spread of the settlement enterprise. It was a war about the irreversible.

And this persuasion succeeded beyond expectation. It is impossible to imagine such large financial investments in the settlements - not only by the government but also by businessmen - without a profound perception of their permanence. This is the same perception that finds no distinction between the status of Tel Aviv and Ganei Tal. Removing either of them would mean the end of the State of Israel. Even the cloak of pioneering and "fidelity to the homeland" was stretched, and sometimes stolen, from Israel to the occupied territories. Because the principle of irrevocability cannot exist without legitimization and if there is none to be found at home, then it can be appropriated from the Israeli neighbor.

Everything worked so well. Yesha was here, the State of Israel was there. The intifada served as an excellent guarantee and symbol of steadfastness in the face of terror, because moving any mobile home would be considered an act of surrender to the murderers. And the blood, the casualties and the siege - all ensured a secure future. Anyone who spoke of reversing the situation seemed to be like the fool from Shimon Peres' parable who tries to turn omelettes into eggs. But there seems to be some sort of national instinct that operates when something seems very incorrect and very opposed to the state's capability and logic. Because, suddenly, an earthquake occurs.

The pain is so much greater because it is accompanied by a deep affront. The shattering of the principle of irrevocability comes from none other than a captive and tamed government and a prime minister who signed the policy entitled, "It was and will never be again."

And now everything is suddenly reversible. It was and will be again. The "tragedy" is even greater because it suddenly becomes clear that the logic that dismantled the Gaza settlements also applies to the West Bank settlements. The military capability that operated in the Gaza Strip can immediately be transferred to the West Bank. The fears that drove the state are also reversible: no civil war or military mutiny. Only curses, nails and oil.

This is precisely the time for the state to continue down the same path it charted in Gaza and proceed to the West Bank, the illegal outposts, the tiny settlements, the lawbreakers - even the state's fear of the settlements can be reversed.