Saturday, August 20, 2005

Surrealism in Gaza

The gut-wrenching evacuation of the Jewish settlers in the Gaza Strip is nearly completed now. It was heart-breaking to see them forced from their homes and to watch Israeli troops and police sadly performing their assigned task. I am confident that even the most ardent proponent of disengagement from Gaza shared my sorrow.
I have always thought it unwise for a few thousand Jews to settle in Gaza amidst a huge and hostile Arab population in a region whose Biblical historical ties are tenuous. Moreover, I have been offended by the religious fanaticism and intolerance displayed by so many of the Gaza settlers. Their behavior threatens the sanctity of Israeli statehood. But most important, there are so many other places within Israel itself, particularly in the Galilee and the Negev, where new Jewish settlement is needed and would contribute to the nation's security.
The "surrealism" in the title of this posting refers to the successful efforts of a handful of American Jewish zillionnaires, headed by Mort Zuckerman, to raise $14 million to buy the Gaza settlers' lucrative greenhouses and to hand them over to the Palestinians, presumably to provide jobs for the locals. Zuckerman is the publisher of the New York Daily News and U.S. News & World Report, and I have always admired his philanthropic actities and supported his political views.
But why is it necessary for American Jews to engage in such charity that will never be appreciated by a hate-filled Arab populace? This is the sort of philanthropic enterprise that should have been undertaken by the enormously wealthy Saudi royals and the even richer Arab Gulf State rulers. These hypocrites who zealously proclaim the "unity of the Arab nation" always seem to be absent when it comes to productive charity to aid the Palestinians. When they do offer financial assistance for the Palestinian cause, their money is normally earmarked for Arab terrorist organizations, not job-creating projects like greenhouses.
What can one expect, however, when Prince Turki al-Faisal, the new American-educated Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S., formerly ambassador to the U.K., continues to argue that the Mossad, Israel's secret service, was responsible for the 9/11 World Trade Center bombings and for terrorist attacks within his own country?

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