The New Republic is a good magazine and I am glad to subscribe to it. Articles like Leon Wieseltier’s Dry Your Eyes, Keep Your Heads – The Fall clearly and concisely describes the predicted effects of the Israeli pullout of the Gaza settlements in a way others have failed to even try.
Even faced with the idea of Greater Palestine, it is impossible not to rejoice in the defeat of the idea of Greater Israel. It was always a foul idea, morally and strategically. It promoted the immediate ecstasy of the few above the eventual safety of the many; it introduced the toxins of messianism and mysticism into the politics of a great modern democracy; it preferred chosenness to human rights; it subordinated laws to visions, and the Jewish state to the Jewish millennium; it worshiped soil in a primitive, almost un-Jewish way. The settlers of the West Bank and Gaza are not a Jewish vanguard, they are a Jewish sect; and in their insistence that the destiny of their state and their society should be held hostage to the fulfillment of their metaphysical and historical conceptions, they have always displayed a sectarian self-love.
I too, look to those anguished settlers’ faces as they are ushered from their temporary homes, with little empathy. I understand the selfishness of their actions and how their insistence of righteousness has cost hundreds of lives and thousands more needless misunderstandings. Hopefully this is the first step towards greater understanding and ultimately peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.