Urgently Needed: An Officer With Moral Courage

Ponder the following:

"Evacuating the settlements will give a tail-wind to terrorism.... Everything that the Palestinians see as a crack in our ability to stand strong, distances the end of terrorism." Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, IDF Chief of Staff

"The evacuation is dangerous, and the retreat will give the Palestinians a sense of victory and encouragement for terrorism." Avi Dichter, head of the Shabak (General Security Service)

"The Sharon plan is understood by the Palestinians as a victory for terrorism... It will [prove] the effectiveness of terrorism in the view of Islamist elements." Lt. Gen. Aharon Ze'evi-Farkash, IDF Intelligence Wing Head

In view of the statements of these men, isn't there one IDF general on active duty with courage enough to resign in protest against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's iniquitous as well as dangerous plan to expel Jews from Gaza? Just one high-ranking officer who is not a tin soldier, who will stand up, cite Yaalon and Dichter and Farkash, and say: "Stop!"

Would this endanger Israeli democracy — a shibboleth used to commit crimes against the Jewish people?

Was it democracy that prompted Mr. Sharon to violate the wishes of those who voted Likud precisely because of the pro-disengagement policy of Sharon's Labor Party opponent in the January 2003 election?

Was it democracy that prompted Mr. Sharon to violate his pledge to abide by his party's referendum on "disengagement" — a referendum he himself initiated?

Was it democracy that prompted Mr. Sharon to fire two of his cabinet ministers who opposed "disengagement"?

This arbitrary act of Sharon was a clear violation of Basic Law: The Government, which requires the Prime Minister to submit issues of national significance to the cabinet. Nevertheless, this Basic Law was ignored by Supreme Court President Aharon Barak, who never ceases to burn incense to democracy.

Democracy? Let me remind readers of another crime committed by a democracy.

In 1942, some 114,000 Japanese — many of whom were American citizens — were uprooted from their homes and put in detention camps by the democratically elected government of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Is this the precedent for uprooting 8,000 Jews from Gaza and for constructing detention camps for those who resist Prime Minister Sharon's storm troopers?

Democracy is NOT the standard of right and wrong. Abraham Lincoln said no people have a right to do what is wrong. This is what makes a national referendum on the uprooting of Jews in Gaza wrong — and none should know this better than religious Jews, so many of whom, however, have metamorphosed into doctrinaire democrats, or should I say "Israelis"?

So now we see the conflict between democracy and the Jewish state. Too many Jews ignore this conflict — including Jews threatened by the Sharon disengagement/deportation plan, else they would not call for a national referendum.

And so I ask: Is there just one high-ranking officer with courage enough to resign in protest against the Crime of Ariel Sharon?

[ Prof. Paul Eidelberg | Published: January 4, 2005 ]

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