This article originally appeared in Yedioth Ahronoth.
Many of you will be disappointed to read this, but the evacuation of Amona accomplished nothing. It was not an accomplishment because it will lead nowhere. And when all we have left after an evacuation are a few broken hearted families and demolished houses, “accomplishment” is the wrong word. It was simply a loss.
Evacuations strike a wound on Israel’s national spirit. The sight of security forces tearing people from their homes continues to haunt us years after it happens. The evacuation of Yamit, the Gaza disengagement, Amona, Migron – all are bleeding wounds on Israel’s history. But at least the evacuation of Yamit held out the promise of a better future. Then, too, soldiers wept as they evacuated the settlement’s residents, but while the bulldozers were smashing that charming community to pieces, busses were making their way in the other direction: to see the wonders of the new land opening up before us – a new political horizon coming into view.
Today, the evacuation of Amona brought only despair. No one has any illusions that it will lead to either peace or a new settlement, coexistence or enhanced security. It will not bring a new political horizon into view. Israel is stuck without a vision and without a plan. Instead, we are busy scuffling over a tiny community on a rocky hill. That is how the grand vision of the State of Israel looks today: a few mobile homes, a few dozen families, zero hope. It was a technical victory, but a loss for both the right and the left, an evacuation for evacuation’s sake, mechanical, without a policy, without hope. Politicians are busy throwing about empty slogans but an entire country will be stuck in the same morass the day after Amona.
This an opportunity for Israeli society to take a good look at its policy. My colleagues and I at Commanders for Israel’s Security have dedicated our lives to this country. We believe that now is the time to decide on separation from the Palestinians by means of a plan that brings security, addressing a partner who understands that this is his only chance to live with us as neighbors. The time has come for Israel to stop acting in the momentary interests of this or that politician, and instead provide security and vision for all of us.