In the months that preceded the forcible eviction of all Israelis from their homes and communities in Gaza and northern Samaria, and during last month's expulsions themselves, the commanders of the Israel Defense Force and police responsible for the operation defined "preventing" or "not exacerbating" the "schism in the nation" as one of their principal goals.
This was all well and good, but it was beside the point. At the end of the day, the fact of the matter is that there was never any schism between the security forces and the residents of Gaza and northern Samaria. This truth was laid bare by the love that the soldiers and policemen and residents showered on one another throughout most of the operation.
If anything, the confrontation which pitted the army and the police against the residents served to strengthen rather than weaken the bonds between those who settle the land and those that carry arms to defend it. And the long-term impact that this engagement will have on both sides is something that no one today can foresee.
And yet, there is a huge and gaping schism that fragments Israeli society. And those fomenting this schism are responsible for bringing about the ill-advised and immoral decision to expel these patriots from their homes and communities, turning them over to the Palestinian terrorists who Wednesday transformed the destroyed synagogue in Netzarim into a Hamas terror museum.
In the wake of the expulsions, the fomenters of the schism were beside themselves with rage at the fact that their plan to "disengage" the nation of Israel from the settlers by destroying these comunities went up in smoke.
Ruminating on this state of affairs immediately after the completion of the expulsions, Haaretz newspaper columnist Orit Shochat cautioned angrily, "Soldiers who experienced the evacuation won't travel to an ashram in India because they discovered that there is an ashram next door. The same Jewish religion that they hadn't seen up close for a long time embraces them into its fold with song and a tear and a common fate.
"They have now sat arm-in-arm at the synagogues in Gush Katif, they have now felt the holiness mixed with sweat, they have now moved rhythmically and sung songs, they have stood in line to kiss the Torah scrolls, they are now half-inside [Judaism]." She continued, "The army may have planned for months for the evacuation and conducted simulations of every possible scenario, but it didn't think about this scenario."
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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