Column: Sharansky - Where Are You?
Anyway, I spent the week hoping that there would be some sign of movement from Sharansky towards actively opposing "disengagement." If you missed last week's column, I wrote about how he and he alone can stop the madness. He is seen by President Bush as a hero who believing that history was on his side had the courage to sit out the gulag until Reagan came to the rescue. Now Bush is out to rescue a whole lot of other folks and with Ukraine now free how would it look if Israel tried to silence Sharansky? If Sharansky were to scream about Sharon's tyranny I believe the whole world would hear it. In any case, there has been no sign from Sharansky that this idea of mine is going to get anywhere. However, I have gotten very positive feedback from almost everyone I have spoken with and some are looking for ways to approach him with the idea.
Meanwhile, the far left Haaretz ran a story: "Twelve right-wing legislators have vowed to act as human shields to prevent evacuation of settlers..."
The twelve signed a petition that says: "We, members of the Knesset of Israel, commit ourselves to appear in Gush Katif when called, to block with our bodies the immoral and inhuman expulsion of thousands of heroic and pioneering settlers."
The initiative of National Religious Party leader Effi Eitam, the petition was signed by NRP legislators Yitzhak Levy, Nissan Slomiansky and Gila Finkelstein. Signing from Likud were Yuli Edelstein and Yehiel Hazan. Binyamin Elon, Zvi Hendel, Uri Ariel, Eliezer Cohen, Aryeh Eldad and Yuri Stern signed from National Union.
The petition reads that they will: "stand at the head of the camp, to embrace the settlers with love and to promise a determined struggle in the field in order to safeguard the values of Zionism ... and democracy, forswearing violence, contempt and hatred toward security forces."
This sounds like my idea for Sharansky except without Sharansky and his political capital. All that have signed will be either villified or ignored by a world press that will write them off as religious fanatics or right wing fanatics or both. They would try to do the same to Sharansky but he has an enormous advantage. As I have already explained, Sharansky is a symbol of the advance of democracy -- one of its most visible proponents following the release of his new book and his visit to the White House -- and a favorite of President Bush whose Wilsonian vision of a free world and belief in the inherent desire of all men to be free is made evidence of by the life story of this man.
I hope that Sharansky somehow gets the message and joins this group of brave Knesset members. It could make all the difference.
In the meantime, missiles and mortars continue to fall on the Jews in Gaza and Sharon is calling for the PA to stop it -- as if that could possibly happen. The number of missiles and mortars that have now landed over the last few years has reached 5,000 and with Sharon's current hands off policy the barrages have intensified.
Sharon can get away with all of this because there is no support anywhere in the world for the residents of Gaza.. Do a search on Google news. Type in "disengagement" and see how many articles you can find there opposing it. There is really nothing to be found. Again, Sharansky could make the difference -- American conservatives just might listen to him and start to understand what is really going on.
What else can I tell you? Well, the sky is a brilliant blue and the sun warm and bright -- it will reach about 72 degrees at the beach today -- what is it in Florida? Up here in the mountains of Tzfat it's a little cooler, perfect really. I hope the weather holds out for a few days. I want to get to the beach in Nahariya. Along the way, if it's really clear, the snow covered peak of Mount Hermon will be visible from the winding mountain road -- way off in the distance yet so high that it dominates the landscape completely. It's an amazing sight to see on the way to the beach.