Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Out of Nowhere

So I contacted Mr and Mrs Google and they report that "Avi Bieber" appears an incredible 65 times. Well, well, well - who would have imagined that a few days ago... least of all Avi himself?

Avi Bieber became the first IDF soldier to refuse while actually in the field of Disengagement. Over night, Avi attracted great feedback. Within minutes, he became hero, a villian, a leader, a traitor, a shining light and even a brat - it just depends who you ask!

And here lies the essence of the heartache. Whether one is for or against, this is just a taste of the serious question marks and dilemmas that are going to appear this summer. Just reading the 2nd half of the above Haaretz article does really illustrate the tremendous pain that exists within this nation. As Ami Ayalon explained yesterday, the Palestinians must also begin to understand and recognize the deep rift that exists within Israel.

“The settlers are Zionism’s pioneers, and if we decided their mission has ended we must give them an explanation,” he said. “We have to talk about not only where we’re leaving, but where we’re heading.”

He is correct and (as you can read) he is no Greater Israel supporter. Disengagement, right or wrong, does tear at people's foundations. Avi Bieber symbolizes that internal struggle that we face and which will seriously challenge those who are directly involved in the Disengagement.

I am not for disobeying IDF orders. In our neighborhood of the world, the IDF must remain united and with strong morale. At the same time, I do identify with some of Avi's (and his comrade's) statements. It must indeed be a difficult assignment to 'fight' Jews when they are not at all your enemy. The Chief-of-Staff Halutz has said - "These people are not your enemy".

Now these young men and women are being asked to remove those who love the Land as much as they themselves do. Any fair observer must recognize the pain that comes with this.

It is not KIC policy to tell people what to think. For me however, I do not see Avi as a brat, a traitor or a villian. He might be a hero for some and indeed not for others. Avi does not need a legal KIC up the backside (in the first instance at least). These young men and women (and the residents of Gush Katif too) need counselling, support, understanding and direction. In a perfect world they would receive these endlessly.

We must stay united in disagreement and feel for eachother's pain.

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