Monday, July 25, 2005

Ariel Sharon: Israel's Tyrant on a Battered Throne

For the first time in Israel's history, Tzahal which was meant to protect the people of Israel has been turned against the people of Israel. Soldiers are faced with the choice of obeying illegal and criminal orders or disobeying them and being sentenced and made an example of. As at Tiennamen Square or in the streets of Moscow at the beginning of the previous decade; the army becomes a tool of tyranny against their brothers and sisters and the individual soldier is faced with the choice of following his honor and morals or following orders.

The transition between a citizen's army to a tyrant's army is that a citizen's army exists for the defense of the nation and is composed of citizens carrying out a public duty while the tyrant's army exists to implement the tyrant's policies regardless of their own will. They are mere instruments of the state with power and authority fully vested in the tyrant. This is the vision that Sharon has of Tzahal's role. An instrument for carrying out his decisions. Those who argue that soldiers are obligated to obey orders above all else are casting their vote for this same role as well.

Some will be outraged by this description. Some will argue that the Knesset has voted. Yet few tyrannies are pure tyrannies. Most are ogliarchies. The Knesset has become a body torn apart by secretarian fighting and conveniently divided by Sharon in a policy of divide and conquer that pits secularists against the religious and the left against the right with the Prime Minister emerging as the winner. Sharon's policies and practices are not democratic. He is seeking to centralize power within his own person with no regard for the law.

'Boomerang's investigate reporting revealed that Sharon began to seek power over the military by spying on IDF generals and then by manipulating military appointments to create a general staff and a military leadership that was compliant and willing to obey Sharon, with possible Knesset seats being held out for them as an option after leaving Tzahal. The removal of General Yaalon was only Sharon's most visible act in centralizing control over the military.

The confrontation with the settlers in which soldiers are forced to do immoral and unlawfull things will allow Sharon the opportunity to purge the lower ranks of the IDF of officers who would not automatically obey illegal orders while at the same time creating 'examples' of those soldiers and officers who do not do as they are told.

The expulsion of the Jews of Gush Katif thus has a greater purpose for Sharon and that is to destroy any opposition from within the military by pitting them against the Religious Zionists who are heavily represented in the military and follow the commands of G-D rather than Ariel Sharon. By staging the confrontation Sharon expects to emerge with control of a compliant military with the unwitting collaboration of the left which hates the settlements more than Sharon and thus refuse to grasp the outcome of Sharon's plans. The Haredim meanwhile who have experienced some of the force of Sharon's determination to destroy religious political power despise religious zionists and have more greed than common sense to realize what is coming.

Some opponents of disengagement, including prominent Rabbis, have argued that encouraging soldiers to disobey subverts democracy. Yet it is obeying the illegal orders of a tyrant determined to use the military to wage war on his political opponents and assault men, women and children that subverts democracy. Obeying orders does not salvage democracy, citizens in the military and outside it, defying illegal acts by their government is the only possible thing that can and does preserve democracy.


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