Thursday, August 18, 2005

Why Resist?

I've been trying to figure out why settlers in Gaza are resisting demands to evacuate the area. They can't win, and I'm sure most know that. I've come up with a few reasons in no particular order. Not all these reasons apply to everyone of course.

1) Making a point. The resisters in Gaza feel that they must show the rest of the Israeli society that they are not going to leave without a fight. Fighting for something shows its importance. And Gaza is important. It's important because it's part of the land of Israel. By resisting they display its importance to the world.

2) Blowing off steam. Lots of people are angry. They are angry at the country for throwing them out of their homes. They are angry that their land will find its way into the hands of some Palestinian terrorist. They are angry that they were given economic incentives to move there and were then turned on. They are angry that someone would dare to give away G-d's land.

3) Religious Fervor. G-d gave us the land of Israel. How can we give it away? They feel that they have a religious imperative to ensure the land is not transferred to the Palestinians. These people probably feel they can stop the Disengagement.

4) Deterrence. Take a look at all the stories about how difficult it has been emotionally for soldiers to remove people from their homes. It will become even more difficult when they have to go into shuls and drag people out with their tefillin on. If it's so hard to evacuate a few thousand people now, imagine how difficult it will be to withdraw from any major population centers in the West Bank. Under Barak's plan at Taba almost 80,000 settlers were to be evacuated. By making it difficult in Gaza, it makes it far more difficult to gain political support for any large scale withdrawals in the future. Personally this seems like the best reason.

I'm sure there are other reasons, but I'm too tired to come up with any of them.

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