From Fiamma Nirenstein (New York Sun, August 25, 2005)
But here is the consolation that came to me, even in those hours, from the mere nature of the state of Israel, in the shape of its unique and amazing creation, its soul, the Israel Defense Force and the police. The amazingly sweet, understanding, and yet firm, professional, and morally clear attitude of the Israeli soldiers and policemen created a sincere, warm but uncompromising relationship with the very people they were removing. This will be forever an example for all the armies of the world. And a guarantee that, in a democracy, you can continue speaking and protesting and praying (oh, how many words were spent from the two sides, as if a single soldier who refused the orders could stop the disengagement) without shooting and using force, except in very few cases. The disengagement has been the image of a morally motivated democracy in motion.
In Netzer Hazani, where the disengagement was relatively calm, there was a group of citizens who barricaded themselves inside a little house. The young commander, Udi Lav, invited them to discuss outside: "You have to come out now. I have the order to operate the disengagement, and sooner or later, today, I have to fulfill the orders."
Reply: "But this is the home we have built with our own hands, our forefathers were here, what will you tell your sons, will you tell them the story of how you dragged out your Jewish brothers from the land they have given so many lives for?"
Lav, standing in the very hot sun, putting a hand on the shoulder of his interlocutor, answers: "Brother, I understand you, but you have to come out of here. I'm so sorry, I cry with you, but now it's time to go."
Lav looks tired and keeps his hand on the shoulder of the settler.
Reply: "You know I'll not go, because I'm right, and I obey the Law."
Here Lav has a little smile. He puts his hand on the Israeli flag embroidered on his shirt and says in a soft voice: "You know that I'm right. I'm simply right because it's me, actually, obeying the law, I represent law and order, I represent a decision of the parliament of the state of Israel, you cannot mix politics and religion." He says it without any rhetoric, but just as a matter of fact. There is no place for theocracy when you live in a parliamentary system, and this has nothing to do with respecting every citizen's belief.
That young guy in uniform sweating in the sun is a flashing light of democracy, and I feel honored to have witnessed the dialogue. Even his interlocutor now stands in silence, even if he certainly still believes that the Torah is over anything else. But he too is just an Israeli, like Lav. And Lav, with his respectful attitude, shows that he knows that, without the Torah, the Jews and therefore the Jewish state would not exist. They both know they have very good reasons to stand together in front of the past and in front of the future.
...In Kfar Darom, one of the toughest places in Gush Katif, a young girl, after telling a young soldier for the thousandth time that "a Jew doesn't deport a Jew," started shouting at him the second basic slogan, "Look into my eyes." She told him so another thousand times, while the young soldier was simply patiently looking at her. When he could not stand it anymore, he asked her, "Don't you see? I'm just looking into your eyes, blue eyes, you have to look at me, too."
The girl, a religious, modest, pretty girl who probably has never looked much into boys' eyes, suddenly saw the soldier, his 18-year-old face, his different culture, his embarrassed, sad expression, the Israeli flag on his breast: "Wow," she said with simple honesty, "it's true, you are looking into my eyes, we see each other."