Demolition Derby: A Plan For Who Goes First
Demolition Derby: A Plan For Who Goes First

by Jack Engelhard

I have a plan. I was about to say I have a dream, but as we all know, this is a nightmare; so, how to get out? Well then, here is my plan.

We will get to that in a few paragraphs - and no fair speeding ahead, as I intend to get paid by the minute. Read slowly.

Let us agree, for argument's sake, that the expulsion of Jews from Gaza and elsewhere is for the greater good (the Sharon Disengagement Plan).

Let us agree that this entire process has set brother against brother. This is no argument; it is fact. In Israel, it is Left against Right, and even Right against Right. It gets worse.

In America, for instance, Jews of the Right are not on speaking terms with Jews of the Left. I know this personally. We ask, what makes Tel Aviv kosher and Gush Katif treyf? Conservative American Jews are split outside as well; "outside" being those of the national camp in Israel who, for whatever reason, have switched and given their nod of approval to Ariel Sharon. We are mad at them, too.

Oh it's a mess!

So, what's my plan? Okay. Resolved, that a leader leads by example; and further resolved, that Sharon is a leader. After all, he is the prime minister of Israel. What's more, he once heroically led men into battle and within the ranks, it is known that a leader of men goes first.

As noted, the expulsion controversy has caused a rift so wide that there is murmuring of ethnic cleansing, and talk of Altalena and civil war.

How can one man put us all together again?

One man can do it, and that man is Ariel Sharon. For the prime minister who speaks of "painful concessions", well, here's one, and it is painful and it is personal.

What Ariel Sharon has to do is uproot himself. Yes, lead by example. I do not mean that he should quit as prime minister. I mean that he should pack his bags and bring the bulldozers into his own home and farm. Let Demolition Derby commence right there, at the doorstep of the prime minister. If he agrees to this and proceeds, who can complain?

Even right-wingers here and there will have to gulp and choose silence. Left-wingers, what's your complaint about this egalitarian proposal? There will be no talk of ethnic cleansing of Jews, for Sharon will have cleansed himself and shown how it's done. He will have demonstrated that if uprooting is necessary, he stands in front of the line, as a leader must, if he is true to his convictions.

No, this is no joke and I am not kidding. I am very serious. So serious that, if it is open to ridicule, I am willing to take full responsibility and call it the Engelhard Plan.

If Sharon takes this bold step of disengaging himself foremost, imagine the headlines - "Sharon Shows The Way.

He will have snatched honor from disgrace and preserved the remains of his legacy, that he is master of all his people, not just dictator of some.

Imagine the pictures. Sharon's home in the process of being demolished, as he and his goods are carted off by U-Haul to some relocation center. To complete the picture, the heavy lifting will be done by Rent-A-Terrorist, as taken from the ranks of those just being released from prison at Sharon's signature. Further proof that this prime minister practices what he preaches about goodwill gestures in addition to painful concessions.

Scenes such as that will render us mute and win us all back.

Who, then, would dare to dissent from Sharon's plan? You won't hear a word of complaint from me, nor from the rest of us, most likely. We will be obliged to concede that, roundabout, Sharon acted upon the words of Hillel: Do not do unto your neighbor what is hateful to you.

People will be awestruck in admiration that Sharon has chosen to be first among equals, first among the outgoing settlers.

Just the other day, Sharon said something like, "I used to be one of them." So, here is his chance to be one of them again, and in a big way, a heroic way, for he also referred to the doomed-to-be-evicted "settlers" as heroic. Well, imagine the heroism credited to him if he became the first to pack his bags, dismantle and go.

But this is not the end of the Engelhard Plan. Actually, it is the beginning, for the rest must follow. These would be the ministers of the Cabinet who voted with Sharon, and these would be the ministers of the Knesset who voted with Sharon, and these would be the judges who endorsed the plan with Sharon, and these would be members of the Israeli media who readily embraced disengagement for others and not for themselves.

All of them must pack up or shut up.

Is there any reason why this should not be so? Do tell.

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This article was first published on Arutz Sheva Israel National News February 20, 2005.

Reprinted by permission.