Friday, August 19, 2005

News from Israel

If you haven't heard the news about Israel at the moment, take a look at a few articles. It is really quite amazing and scary at the same time - this feels like one of those "history in the making" moments...

Here's a quote from a CNN news article:
Jewish settlers and the Israeli troops who guard them are being evacuated from Gaza and four small areas of the West Bank in an effort to restart the peace process with the Palestinians. The historic pullout is the largest peacetime operation in Israel's military history.
This is huge news. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had made one of the most dangerous and radical political decisions that I think any political leader has ever had to make. The Israeli Army is re-locating more than 10,000 Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip, an area of Israel that is constantly on the news regarding racial violence.

This is incredibly different and radical because something on this scale of good will has never been done before in my opinion. This sends a clear message from the Israeli government that Peace is what they want and they are willing to re-locate 10,000 of their people just to prove that. I definitely feel for the relocated families and it must be very upsetting to be uprooted from the place where you may have lived for 40 years... but if in the long run this drives the Middle East to Peaceful resolutions to the seemingly unrelenting conflict, then I completely support this. As a young Jew myself, I feel that a bunch of stress and annoyance that 10,000 fellow Jews must go through is a minor price to pay if this could potentially drive Peace into this violent area. Moving your life is upsetting, financially and emotionally costly, I agree fully with that... but if this means that one day Israel may be a peaceful land... oh my, I definitely support this.

I heard originally that the Israeli government was going to help these families financially.
Here's a quote from the CNN article that looks like this is still the situation:
Settlers were offered compensation packages ranging from $250,000 to $500,000 per family, but those who remained beyond a Monday deadline and a 48-hour grace period stand to lose up to a third of their amount.
Whew, well there's some political commentary from me! Not a usual thing for this blog, but I feel like this is a particularly important issue.

Here is some info if you would like to read more about this:

Toronto Star

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