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Farewell to arms

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Drizzt, Aug 4, 2005.

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  1. Drizzt

    Drizzt Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Moscow on the Colorado, TX
    Farewell to arms

    In an atmosphere of conflict and extremism, where one wrong move could ignite a disastrous confrontation, the decision of dozens of settlers to give up their personal and army-issued firearms is a relief.

    Netzer Hazani's residents turning in their weapons is no small feat, either. The decision of the 90-plus families in the Gaza Strip community, reported exclusively in these pages yesterday, cannot have been taken lightly. After all, it is not easy for people with such a strong sense of commitment to the defense of their families and communities to relinquish that duty to others.

    At first glance, the move represents nothing more than a localized gesture, a political protest against those who would brand the settlers as provocateurs rather than pioneers. One could even view it as a capitulation, a surrender to the inevitability of the coming disengagement that so many of the plan's opponents have until now tried to deny. Certainly, these were sentiments expressed by some of the people involved in the decision.

    On further thought, however, it is possible to see Netzer Hazani's farewell to arms as an act with larger historic significance, and a positive one.

    For communities like Netzer Hazani, two goals of the settlement enterprise have always gone hand-in-hand: not only to settle the land and to work it, but to serve as guardians on the frontier as well, defending larger Jewish communities from the hostile Arab areas near which settlements were established. In this, the settlers of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank assumed the role of those Jews who, in the late 1930s, set up "tower and stockade" settlements throughout the Galilee during the British Mandate. It is natural, then, for the settlers to feel as if they are part of Israel's defense system. The weapons that Netzer Hazani residents are now surrendering, as resident Yitzhak Cohen told The Jerusalem Post, "were given to us in trust, because we are the first line of defense here.

    "We were brothers-in-arms" with the army, he said.

    The situation has changed, however. The threats to southern Israel emanating from Gaza from Kassam rockets and suicide bombers are not ones that settlements can confound.

    Over time, the settlers became, from a vulnerability standpoint, increasingly on the frontier. But, through no fault of their own, their ability to contribute to their own defense, let alone others, was limited. When Netzer Hazani security head Yoram Tzror said, "It will now be the army's job to defend us," he was not really speaking of a new situation.

    But that is as it should be, for today's Israel is not the Yishuv of the 1930s. The state has a standing army whose mission it is to defend our borders, and a professional police force tasked with serving and protecting those of us not manning the front lines.

    For citizens like the settlers who are soon to be evacuated, it is a privilege, not a disgrace, to be relieved of such a duty. It is the privilege of "mustering out" after long years of service to the country, a privilege that the people of Netzer Hazani and all those who will follow in their footsteps should embrace rather than regret.

    Further, it is a sign of Israel's continuing maturation as a state that the line between citizens and soldiers is becoming a little less blurry.

    There are, however, other aspects of defense that the soon-to-be-evacuated can still fulfill. The patriotism and spirit of service and sacrifice that are often undervalued, even denigrated, remain critical to this nation.

    Just as many of those "tower and stockade" settlements of long ago contributed to the Yishuv's sustenance and instilled in others a proud, pioneering spirit, so too have the Gaza settlements given rise to agribusinesses important for Israel's economy, and to a generation of young Jews whose love of the land is just as needed in the areas to which they will soon move.

    The disarming of Netzer Hazani, may seem to many the beginning of the end, but it should also be seen as a step toward a new beginning, that need not be less significant and fruitful in the life of the nation.


    Regardless of your views on whether or not the settlers should be moved out of the area, I think it's a bit depressing for the Jerusalem Post to be celebrating the fact that the families have given up their ability to defend themselves. Not exactly something I would want advertised while I was still in the area anyhow...
  2. MudPuppy

    MudPuppy Member

    Jan 11, 2005
    UK and Texas
    You'd have thought the Jews would have learned their lesson about relying on other folks to protect them.

    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
  3. dpesec

    dpesec Member

    Mar 17, 2005

    I would agree, but people forget. Remember it's a Jewish government, that's different.
    The real issue here is everybody should remember we need to protect outselves and the ones we love. Don't depend on others.
    My girlfriend, who lost her older brother to suicide with a pistol, didn't like me carring. I told her, that I do it to protect us. The only way somebody would hurt her was after he or she got past me. I told her that the only way that would happen is after all my ammo is spent and I'm mortaly wounded. That ended the discussion.
  4. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    People who decline to accept responsibility for their own defense really shouldn't be surprised when they find themselves defenseless.
  5. Sindawe

    Sindawe Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Outside The People's Republic of Boulder, CO
    This does not strike me as a particulary wise move, 'specially in light of todays events in Gaza.
  6. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

    Jan 1, 2003
    SouthEast PA
    Holy Newspeak, Batman!

    Being disarmed is a "privilege", not a "disgrace"?

    Armed citizenry = immature country?

    Standing army with disarmed citizenry = mature country?

    Wow, it's pretty clear the writer's main inflluences are Euro and the Blue USA.
  7. CAnnoneer

    CAnnoneer Member

    Jul 17, 2005
    Los Angeles County, CA
    disarmed=sheep for slaughter
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