Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Color Orange

The Colour Orange

Tuesday July 19 2005: 16:56

Summer in the Gaza Strip it is this year, the Israeli pullout of the settlements that house around 8,000 Jewish settlers surrounded by 1.2 million Palestinians, is less than a month away. It is almost unfair to say that the settlers are surrounded because it is by their choice that they choose to occupy the area in the Gaza Strip.

It is a miserable 35 C outside and all around is the colour Orange and Day 2 of the mass anti disengagement protests is about to start, for some reason the protestors against Israel’s pullout from the Gaza (and some isolated settlements in the West Bank) decided that since the colour Orange worked so well in the so called Orange Revolution in the Ukraine six months ago that they would adopt the colour here. I do not have the heart to tell them that the Ukraine uprising is showing all signs of total collapse and a return to the corrupt status quo prior to the people power uprising.

So surrounded by the colour orange I sit and wait for the inevitable balagan. (Balagan is a great Hebrew word that sums up everything is in a total mess, it can refer to anything from traffic on the roads to a bbq gone badly) People have Orange ribbons, Orange T Shirts, Babies are dressed in Orange, schoolgirls wear Orange Caps and even Rabbis are sporting Orange in some degree. Has no one told them that as a fashion statement Orange does not convey power or authority, unless you are running for President of the High School Computer Club?

The Police and the Army are intent on not letting the Protestors cross into Gaza and to support the settlers there, and the Protestors naturally are claiming that religion insists that Gaza is an intricate part of the Greater Israel, this is from people who have never had to spend a day in Gaza. After the war in the Sinai Israel in fact tried to give Gaza to Egypt, who said thanks but no thanks we do not need the Palestinian Problem on our hands.

Covering events like today’s (and it is only about to start, so there will be a post script to what transpired during the clashes.) you often have a chance to think whether you are pro one side or the other, and you have a chance to choose whether you are one or the other. Black hat or White Hat, Republican or Democrat, Labor or Liberal / Conservative, I think you get the idea.

However the big question today is in a democratic society do people have a right to demonstrate and if so how much civil disturbance is permissible. Well naturally Israelis being Israelis everyone is correct and the other side must be shouted down for having the audacity to question the other person without shutting up and agreeing with the other side who must be correct.

End result total Balagan. Democracy is the loser and Israelis end up fighting Israelis. For a country that believes it is worthy of first world status it has a lot to learn of tolerance and acceptance of the other peoples views and beliefs and that is within its own people, let alone mention the small problem of Palestine.

As they used to say in medieval times let the battle commence, it could be a long night on the Gaza border.

Postscript: Wednesday – Nothing happened the Army and the Police decided to let them bake in the sun another day, such is life ...

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