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Saturday, July 23, 2005

Orange! Blue! Kaboom!

I had no idea Gator football games had such a political undertone.

"Israel is divided these days by colors. Orange belongs to the right-wing opponents of prime minister Ariel Sharon, protesting his "disengagement" plan to remove the Jewish settlements from the Gaza strip and northern West Bank next month. They appropriated the color from Ukraine's pro-democracy camp, which successfully overturned a sham election. The pro-disengagement crowd took blue, or blue-and-white like the Israeli national flag, as its emblem.

Driving up the hills to Jerusalem, with its heavily religious population, one sees an abundance of cars with orange stripes tied to their radio antennas and external mirrors. Down in secular Tel Aviv, there are more and more blue stripes. The war of colors is the public expression of a deeper debate, centering on Israel's direction and the ability of its democracy to absorb an act as deeply divisive as Sharon's disengagement."


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