Sunday, January 02, 2005

Political tsunami / It's not about us!

Is anyone else annoyed by the way some Israeli columnists have politicized the tsunami disaster?

From the left, Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy asks:

"What would have happened, heaven forbid, if the tsunami had struck the coast of the Gaza Strip?...

If it were not for the 10 or so missing Israelis in the tsunami disaster, we would have forgotten about it already. When hundreds are killed in Gaza and tens of thousands of innocent people are left homeless because of what we have done, we turn away. If they had been victims of a natural disaster, we would have already been there to help."
And on the right, Stewart Weiss opines in The Jerusalem Post:

"Now, the so-called disengagement, really a retreat, from Gaza.

The Left is up in arms over the wearing of orange stars by those about to be evicted – some forcibly – from their homes of two or more decades.

While the use of symbols from the Holocaust is shocking, can these politicians not see, not appreciate the trauma, suffering and pain these good people are feeling?

They are experiencing a tsunami of their own – albeit man-made – swept out of their communities by a political tidal wave."
To Mr. Levy: There was no tsunami in the Gaza Strip.

To. Mr. Weiss: Being evacuated from one's home in Gush Katif is not equivalent to being killed by a tsunami.

To both columnists: Are we, as Jewish Israelis, so self-absorbed that we are incapable of accepting that this terrible disaster has nothing whatsoever to do with the Israel-Palestinian conflict?

Must we co-opt the deaths of some 150,000 people in order to advance our respective political agendas?