Unholy Comparisons

The demolition of a house that popped up overnight is akin to the destruction of the Temple; having to move to a neighboring community on the other side of the line is a death march.

Beware comparisons. The ultimate sin is the Holocaust comparison, which the right gleefully pounces on at every opportunity. It may not rise (or sink ) to the level of denial, but it most certainly cheapens. But the Holocaust is ours, and it's okay for us to abuse its memory.

Gaza pullout
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The demolition of a house that popped up overnight is akin to the destruction of the Temple, no less; having to move to a neighboring community on the other side of the line is a death march; a theatrical entrenchment on a roof is a ghetto uprising; soldiers and police officers doing their duty are abhorrent Nazis. Even elephants could go be driven mad by these comparisons, not to mention human beings who have yet to develop a comparably thick skin. The situation is grotesque enough as it is; there's no need to go so far as to invoke Auschwitz to make it even more so.

The past week was also ripe for a false comparison. Four hundred children of foreign workers who are candidates for expulsion were compared to the children of Gush Katif who were expelled. Why didn't you raise your voice then? Why did you only remember now, you hypocrites? And a presenter on one of the morning radio programs offered this flimsy excuse: You don't atone for one sin with a second sin.

No injustice was caused in the disengagement, whose fifth anniversary was marked this month. On each yahrzeit it attracts more penitents who bemoan our sins; I am not one of them.

I cannot be suspected of having been captivated by Ariel Sharon, of having fallen for his charm. I had no illusions about this man, who sowed damage at every turn. At the time, I proposed to former MK Zvi Hendel and Gush Katif resident that they use as a slogan for their battle: "The depth of the uprooting should match the depth of the [Greek Island] investigation." I also petitioned the High Court of Justice against the attorney general, in an attempt to have the Greek Island case, which was closed, reopened. I didn't coddle Sharon the way others did.

But the disengagement was disconnected from him and connected to reality. If we hadn't left yesterday, we would have had to leave tomorrow or the day after that. There was no justification or future for 7,000 settlers tucked amid a million Palestinian refugees in a narrow strip of land with scarce resources. It's not the disengagement that was an injustice, but the settling there that was. The people who settled there, responsible adults, were warned ahead of time about their actions but didn't want to listen.

The settlers were not expelled from their land and their children were not uprooted from their cultural environment. In their return to Zion, they were influenced by a good majority, and if the state was derelict toward them at first, it subsequently gave more and more, and the compensation threshold has been reached. If only the people uprooted from Sheikh Jarrah who were tossed into the street with their children and their belongings could be so fortunate; but they are Arabs.

The wretchedness of the spoiled evacuees, which they insist on perpetuating, is meant purely for deterrence's sake: It will cost you dearly if you wish to be rid of the punishment of all the settlements.

Beware comparisons, which belong to the parable family, for it is well-known that only in the End of Days will every parable match its moral. And be especially wary of parables involving animals, which say less about sly foxes than about the people who invoke the parables.