Friday, August 19, 2005

Tears and Heartbreak

This week is one of the saddest times in Jewish history, with Jews being forced from their homes by their own people. Whether or not one agrees with the planned disengagement is not the issue: no matter one's position, it is heart-wrenching to watch families led or carried out of their homes, never to see those homes again.

As hard as it is on those being forced out, it may - in the long run - be even harder on those whose jobs are to talk, convince, and carry out the families from their homes. Soldiers, in a both heartwarming and heartbreaking show of emotion, have alternatively been praying with settlers, crying with them, holding them, talking to them with tears in their eyes, and doing their best to remove all the settlers with as much dignity as they can. They have even taken breaks when the settlers have carried out the day's prayers. Many have broken down while carrying out their orders, and their commanders have done a very good job of comforting and talking to them.

It is interesting to note that most Israelis, particularly settlers, are somewhat to very upset with the many hundreds of people (particularly youths) that snuck into Gaza and proceeded to react improperly when the soldiers arrived. While almost all of the settlers themselves have left without struggle, some of these youths have made the others look terrible. The settlers themselves left either willingly; only when the last knock came warning them they had to leave; or, for the many who understandably felt they could not just leave their homes, were carried out by soldiers without struggle - only forcing themselves to be carried as a personal statement that they are not leaving willingly. Others have burned their own homes, farms, and greenhouses down, not wishing to leave anything intact for the Palestinians to be rewarded with. The settlers are distraught by those who are causing the problems, as they do not want their last memory of their homes to be chaos.

The true memories to hold onto are the sad, tear-filled faces of the people being forced from their homes, by tear-filled soldiers, onto buses full of a crying horde, all being taken from homes they've known for years - if not their entire life. The majority are doing without weapons, without violence, without hate; but with shouts, with cries, with wails, and with tears.

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