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Kfar Darom, Gaza Strip, August 2005

Kilkenny, Ireland

I met up with a new aquaintance, a guy from Israel. He said he was just going to watch Sky news at a pub, that there was a confrontation in the evacuation of the Gaza strip.

We watched a bit of the storming of the synagogue at Kfar Darom. It was a strange sort of raid.

As my friend pointed out, it was a curiously non-violent embattlement. Neither the soldier-cops nor the occupiers wanted to hurt each other, and the tactics were proportional to that fact.

Sure, there were projectiles hurled from the rooftop — and water-cannon fired back. But many of the tactics were more benign, almost comical, sad, and touching. Oil dispersed in front of the door, to make the police slip and fall; sand spread atop the oil by the police. Mirrors to shine light in the eyes of the cops. Furniture packed against the front door. A lot of it.

I still don't know how the scene resolved. I had gotten a phone call from a friend, had promised to meet him, and he was getting a little peevish where was I.

The outcome of the Kfar Darom synagogue occupation was, I'm sure, foreseeable when I left the pub and the television set.

— 18 August 2005

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Kfar Darom is the oldest Israeli settlement in the Gaza Strip, founded in 1970.

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"Tearfully but Forcefully, Israel Removes Gaza Settlers" — headline from the New York Times, 19 August 2005