Monday, July 18, 2005

Gush Katif and the Rally

(Go to this link to get details of the settlements in Gaza and the Shomron. Click on the cities to get and overview and video of each one.)

Rallies for the support of Gush Katif and other areas included in the disengagement are to be held tomorrow. There has been much criticism of the rally on this site and in the Jewish News and other sources. Much of the criticism has to do with statements made by the organisers and the wording on posters and in articles. This has led to some very emotional outbursts on this site and others.

While it does not excuse the organisers, there is a strong precedent in our community for rash and irrational public statements. Only a couple of years ago the community erupted in debate about the awarding of the Sydney Peace Prize to Palestinian "activist" Hanan Ashwari. Every macher had to have his say which gave the press lots of fodder to show how the Jews are trying to control public opinion. If the "experts" in our community cannot get it right how can we expect a group of politically inexperienced people to present their cause in a rational way.

With regards to the disengagement there are a number of issues at play here but the fact that people are being removed from their homes against their will bothers me the most. We are sitting in our comfortable houses in Melbourne enjoying our middle class lifestyle and are unmoved by the fact that Israeli citizens, who pay taxes and serve in the army etc. etc. are being evicted from theirs.

But saying that I still have negative feelings about publicly marching down Inkerman and Hotham Streets in a demonstration against the democratically elected Israeli government. Even apart from the fact that the Rebbe was against us participating in public political demonstrations this demonstration will serve no practical purpose. From a religious point of view it would make more sense to have an evening of tehillim, divrei Torah and discussion about how we can help Israel.

I am even more disturbed by the rumour that some Zionist youth groups will be holding a pro-disengagement counter demonstration. This is really going to play well in the secular press!!

Rather than dismiss the complete cause let us join in the saying of tehillim wherever we are between 8:30pm - 8:45pm on Tuesday evening.

Here are a number of web sited devoted to the disengagement cause:
Worldwide Solidarity Rally for the Land of Israel
Australian Friends of Gush Katif
Friends of Gush Katif
Save Gush Katif
Even has something to say - here