A few days ago, Natan Sharansky, the conscience of Israel, resigned from Ariel Sharon's cabinet. I haven't been thinking a lot about it until today, partly because I didn't want to consider what it meant. But the truth will not go away.
So long as Sharansky remained in the government, there was hope. You could say that things are not so bad, that Sharon may yet see reason, that Sharansky thought that the situation was worth being involved in. But now that he has quit, there is no other conclusion than that the disengagement is a colossal blunder, and a betrayal of our people, our principles, and not least of the Palestinians who are being condemned to life under terrorists indefinitely.
I hope to God that Sharon is brought to his senses. I don't know what kind of stature Sharansky still has in Israel after over a decade in politics, but for many of us on the outside he represents Israel as it should be, unflinching in its principles and dedicated to serving God by spreading justice on Earth. Now he has finally given up on Ariel Sharon. What are we to think?
Perhaps this move will resonate more strongly in Washington. President Bush famously claimed to base his foreign policy on Sharansky's ideas; now let him show whether his principles will trump momentary convenience. I am sure that the disengagement could serve some short-term interests of America, and perhaps even Israel, but in the long run it is a terrible mistake and a mockery of justice to let Gaza sink deeper into the rule of the gun.
How can it be that we continue to put ourselves in such an absurd position? Yes, ourselves! Arafat is dead, Saddam is imprisoned, Lebanon is shaking free of Syria, Syria itself is desperately trying to avoid being next on the American hit-list… yet we make concession after concession to appease a band of murderers who survive now largely with our own money! What madness is this?
All we can do now is trust in God. We certainly cannot trust the government of Israel.