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Engaged in the Disengagement

The last few days have been a fairly dull mix of work and life-as-normal. The only exception has been the events of the last few days with Israel disengaging from the Gaza Strip.

I'm not going to comment particularly much on it. There are far better informed people than me doing so. There are also many bastions of misinformation and ignorance. Chief among these has been the criticism of Israel demolishing the houses in the settlements. I read one letter to the paper saying they hadn't seen a good reason why they should be demolished.

Try these: The Palestinians don't want them - they are inappropriate for the density of living which is planned for those areas; It is provocative and insensitive to the former residents - it is one thing to be kicked out of your home, it is another to see people you perceive as your enemies living there; It provides a reminder on both sides of what was. Further, as with so many things in the region, a clean slate and culturally appropriate development is the way forward.

I have frequently argued that the criticism of Israel is excessive, given that any other country would do the same things in Israel's position. I must proudly recant. Criticism of Israel is excessive. I doubt any country would unilaterally withdraw from an occupied region without promises of peace, uprooting residents from their homes of 30 years, but most importantly, dealing with such calmness and compassion.

While I am disgusted by the actions of the two Jewish terrorist acts in the last couple of weeks, as I am disgusted by the "protesters" who have attacked the police and IDF, I can view with pride the way Israel, as a state, represented by the soldiers and police, have conducted themselves. I can't imagine soldiers from any other country conducting such a heart-wrenching exercise under such provocation in as professional a manner.

I will dismiss the gloating from Hamas and Fatah as empty electioneering. I hope they don't genuinely believe that Israel is withdrawing under fire, and I hope they don't actually think that further terrorist actions will help their cause. But it has been said before that they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Hopefully they will miss this opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Anyway, back to my life. Wednesday and Thursday were both work-at-uni days, and both were quite long, and generally unproductive, but I suppose every day feels like that. It is only as a collection of days that I ever feel like I am getting anything done.

And I wish people would stop saying, "You must just about be done." It is unhelpful and unwanted and annoying.

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