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Gaza cannot be part of a Jewish and democratic state

Reader comment on item: [Israel's Gaza Withdrawal:] A Democracy Killing Itself

Submitted by Ophir (Israel), Aug 16, 2005 at 12:02

Though for once the Sharon government is doing something right, it is determined to do it the wrong way. There is no question, in my mind or that of most of my countrymen, that getting our soldiers out of Gaza and evacuating Gush Katif are significant steps that are to be blessed. So much money and so many lives have been sacrificed for that miserable piece of desert inhabited by over a million Palestinians who in no way can be a part of the Jewish democratic state.

I do however think Sharon should have left the northern three settlements of Dugit, Nisanit and Elei Sinai in place as they were no obstacle to Israel's security (unlike Gush Katif). Not many would weep if they were eventually evecuated as part of a proper peace agreement. Given the unilateral aspect of the current withdrawl however they should have been kept as "cards" in Israel's hand for any future bilateral peace-deal.

As for the forced evacuation of the settlers - that is difficult moral issue. On the one hand I would be prone to saying "If they want to stay, let them stay". On the other, however, there are many children residing in Gush Katif. Every adult has the right to stay in a burning building but I do not think the firefighters should leave children hostages of their own parent's misplaced priorites. With the army out those few who would stay (and they would be very few) would probably not be amongst the living for much longer. It would also cause unneccesary conflict. After all's said and done, though, the Gaza pullout strengthens Israel's identity as both Jewish and democratic, and that's a very good thing indeed.
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