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Eric

I am 100% in favor of Jews regaining their rightful land. I consider the expulsion of Gaza and etc to be a serious mistake. However, I am wondering about your statement that "G-d is on our side". While I do believe your cause is just, I question whether G-d is on your side. Consider that the evil Jew (who is your greater enemy) who is causing this catastrophe has just defeated G-d! They have shown that G-d cannot keep His promise of Amos 9:14&15 which states that those Jews G-d brings back to the land (modern-day Israel) will never again be removed. That was a true prophecy until this week. G-d has been defeated by evil men. Or, is it that G-d hasn't been defeated by evil men, but that good men have been defeated by evil men? Would G-d have come to the Gaza Jew's rescue if the Gaza Jews put up more of a fight? We'll never know. The good Jews of Gaza didn't put up any fight at all, so it will appear to the haters-of-HaShem that they have finally achieved their goal of destroying Judaism and its G-d by discrediting His word. Unless Jews fight against the evil Jews in their midst, and do it quickly, Judaism will be shown to be a false religion, as the promises of its G-d will be defeated. Where's a Maccabee when you need one?

Brent Richardson

Sir,

I am a Christian living in Texas. I agree with you. The Jews will return to Gaza. It has been hard watching the Gaza Jews being pulled from Gaza by goverment Jews. There are a lot of Christians morning, weeping and praying with you. For even we christians know that the Gaza belongs to the Jews. We will always support Israel by being tourist . Buying anything that we can from Israel.
We are so amazed at our President Bush's position and the US's State department's Ms Rice and the statements that she has said about Israel here this week. That is ok . We will be Voting here next year and will change some of that and will get a new president in Three years.

Your Brother In the US

Mark Walker

How much of your confidence is based on wishful thinking?

In spite of defiant speeches by settlers, Sharon captured Gush Katif so easily! Rabbis TOLD their charges not to fight. My heart sank. It is obvious to me that the Jews in Gaza did not want it bad enough. If they did, they would have battled. Instead, by their wonderful nonviolent stance, Gaza is now in the hands of the enemy, and soon more Jews will be slaughtered. It is hard to see your optimism, when it seems the Jewish people do not share it.

Gal Peled

The Zionist Dream is Being Rebuilt

The control of the Jewish State by fanatics has begun to end. It is hard to believe how it had got this far. After so many false hopes and dawns, those few settlers who once set the agenda for an entire country are now being humanely but forcefully returned to Israel.

Increased respect for Palestinian human rights, once derided as weakness, has now become government policy, as the Palestinians see the first chance to build a society without suffering daily violence and humiliation by the Israeli army.

Is this the end of fundamentalist expansionism? Could it be that the 30-year old movement of conquering the entire land, without any regard for its inhabitants, has been vanquished?

I, for one, refuse to believe it. Despite the encouraging scenes from Gush Katif over the past few days, and the wisdom of the government's withdrawal, this is no time to feel self-satisfied or rest on our laurels.

This is hardly the first time we thought a step has been taken forwards in our long and sometimes torturous [sic] return to norms of human rights, and it is almost certainly not going to be smooth from here on.

Indeed, every ideological movement inevitably encounters stumbling blocks and internal impediments on the road to reaching its goals, and Zionism in this regard is no exception. The real test of a movement's strength lies not in whether it can avoid such difficulties, but in its ability to deal with these difficulties and continue marching forward.

Take human history, for example, in which extremists and warmongers have repeatedly wreaked havoc with the human rights of individuals in their countries and those outside.

Most times, however, countries eventually get back on their feet, guided by the basic understanding and faith that all human beings are created equal, and no nation or individual has the right to exercise control over another. Blacks were unenslaved, the Soviet Union fell, and I have no doubt that Israel's occupation of millions of Palestinians is ending.

I would argue that human rights and the belief in the dignity of the individual are essentially inelastic, meaning that even in the face of setbacks and defeats, human beings will continue to cling to the justness of this most basic of causes.

People on the Right such as Michael Freund might very well differ, but their perspective is ultimately parochial and deliberately self-serving, and it ignores the broad movement of history by focusing on a narrow interpretation of a few specific events that befell the Jewish nation.

The fact is that the settler movement may be able to withdraw from the world and its norms, but it cannot withdraw from the basic desire of human beings to be free. It can bend and twist and stretch the definitions of freedom and rights, but it cannot break their underlying human forces.

For even in the face of continued denial by some, the dream of a moral and democratic Jewish State that doesn't oppress minorities lives on. It might take years or even decades to achieve, but of one thing we can all be sure: The Jewish state will eventually achieve this end, just as it has achieved everything else it strove for in its short history.

And soon enough, the occupation will end, and Palestinians will be able to control their own destiny, away from Israeli oppression.

y'hoshua halevi

let our prayer be: that H' sustain the precious Jews of gush katif and that one day very soon, the same soldiers who evicted them will be the soldiers who help them move back and rebuild their homes!!! what a great tikkun for the Jewish people. let us keep this positive vision and do all we can to support the precious Jews of gush katif!!!

arielb

" Israel can live without Gush Katif. It can even live without Jerusalem."

ah that's what Barnea feels. OK let's give Tel Aviv to the palestinians! If we can live without Jerusalem then certainly we can live without the discos in Tel Aviv, hmm?

"NO! Wait!...we can't give Tel Aviv...that's where all *our* people live!"

As for Gal Peled, don't worry. The Palestinians will build a society based on Hamas style Islam. Make sure you pray towards mecca 5 times a day, that your wife (better not be just a girlfriend lest she be stoned to death) wears a burqa...and please watch out for those flying Katyushas! Good luck with your new Islamic friends as they control their own destiny! And yours as well.

Barry

Michael;

I wish I could share your optimism, but I can't. There is no one on the Israeli political scene that has the cajones to stand up to the Americans and European Union. Money and Oil are powerful incentives to keep those noses brown. You say Bibi is our forthcoming poltical savior? The one who talks tough but meekly gave back Hevron at the Wye Plantation summit! Bibi? The shtarker who proclaimed he's not leaving Wye unless Clinton pardons Pollard! Bibi? The one who resigned his Finance Portfolio 1 week before the start of the expulsion and then immediately traveled to New York to speak at JNF and Israeli Bond fundraisers? Bibi! The one who now is planning his political comeback against Sharon? Please don't insult our intelligence.

Uzi Landau? Good man, principled, but no broad-based support.

Corruption in the Israeli Knesset is the order of the day, patronage, perk$, and payoff$ are rampant. There is no honor, no principle, no shame. "What have you done for me lately"?! is the political battle-cry and the guiding light of our polticos. The foxes are guarding the henhouse and the hens are being slaughtered. We see the Megillas Eichah redux unfolding before our very eyes.

I fear it will get worse before it gets better. Not until the sword is literally and figuratively on our necks will there step forward a Nachshon by Aminadav who will sound the clarion call and throw off the yoke of Jewish Neuroses and Guilt, our Nation's sickening desire to be accepted by continuing to appease the insatiable demands of the Arabs and Umos Haolom.

Ein Onu L'Hesha'ein Elah Avinu Sh"Ba'shamayim.

Hashem Yiracheim.

Adam Speedy

If I may, I noticed something very encouraging:
By all accounts, the vast majority of those brave believing so-called "infiltrators" were youths, the next generation!
The hope of Israel!
Gen15:18

FactsOfLife

It's amazing how apparently intelligent people like Gad Peled can be so blind and terminally suicidal. If he knew any history he would know that whatever was taken by Israel was done so in a defensive war and belongs to Israel by international law. Additionally, there is no such thing as a Palestinian people. They are the squatters and settlers that came in to leech off of Israeli success in the area.

However, worse than this is the lack of understanding of the Pals and their intent. Doesn't he read about how they teach about murder of Jews from the grave?

Doesn't he see how radical Islam is causing death and destruction to innocents throughout the civilized world?

The answer is that he does but since he doesn't believe in G-d and divine intervention, then he is purposely pursuing a self destructive path.

He reasons that it's just a matter of time till the Arabs get enough military power and weapons of mass destruction to destroy Israel and since Israel is doomed he is just trying to buy a little time in peace before he evacuates the country.

The problem is that the Mizrachi followers are trying to partner with people that think just like Gad, namely Sharon. Therefore, their plans are also doomed.

We will only regain the entirety of Yisroel when we place our bitachon in Hashem Yisborach and not really or partner with violators of the Torah and not follow false ideologies.

FactsOfLife

Reposted to correct some errors.

It's amazing how apparently intelligent people like Gal Peled can be so blind and terminally suicidal. If he knew any history he would know that whatever was taken by Israel was done so in a defensive war and belongs to Israel by international law. Additionally, there is no such thing as a Palestinian people. They are the squatters and settlers that came in to leech off of Israeli success in the area.

However, worse than this is the lack of understanding of the Pals and their intent. Doesn't he read about how they teach about murder of Jews from the cradel to the grave?

Doesn't he see how radical Islam is causing death and destruction to innocents throughout the civilized world?

The answer is that he does but since he doesn't believe in G-d and divine intervention, then he is purposely pursuing a self destructive path.

He reasons that it's just a matter of time till the Arabs get enough military power and weapons of mass destruction to destroy Israel and since Israel is doomed he is just trying to buy a little time in peace before he evacuates the country.

The problem is that the Mizrachi followers are trying to partner with people that think just like Gad, namely Sharon. Therefore, their plans are also doomed.

We will only regain the entirety of Yisroel when we place our bitachon in Hashem Yisborach and not rely on or partner with violators of the Torah and not follow false ideologies.

Yishai Kohen

A wonderful column- especially in light of Shabbat Nachamu, and I agree 100%.

Here is more:

According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, whereas in 1990, 71.1% of Israel's Jewish first-graders were in non-religious schools; and only 28.9% were in religious schools, by 2003-2004, the number in secular schools had dropped to 56.8%, with religious children making up 43.2% of Israel's Jewish first-graders.

What this means is that in just 12 years, when these first-graders are able to vote, the demographic makeup of Israel's voters will already be shifting significantly.

The demographic issue always raised is the Arab one. The one that I raise here should be the issue that we look to. In 12 short years, the left-wing "secular elite" might possibly already have their first religious Prime Minister- because Israel's past and its future are inseparable.

We are returning to our land, and we will be returning to ourselves and our G-d; sooner than you all realize.

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