COMMENTARY: TIME TO NEGOTIATE?
It was 1991 and I had taken a consulting job in Israel. Myself and
two compatriots from here in Virginia lived and worked together
managing the construction of about 600 American-style houses.
The Israelis were building houses as fast as they could due to
Russia’s Glasnost and the arrival of 12,000 Jews a month into the
country.It was 1991 and I had taken a consulting job in Israel.
Myself and two compatriots from here in Virginia lived and worked
together managing the construction of about 600 American-style
houses. The Israelis were building houses as fast as they could due
to Russia’s Glasnost and the arrival of 12,000 Jews a month into the
country.I worked in the small village of Ofakim, about 20 miles east
of the Gaza strip. Coats in the morning and t-shirts in the afternoon.
Each evening dinner was eaten with the Israelis at Kabbuitz Galon
and the conversation because of the Gulf War raging about 530
miles away. The scuds came and went and were fun to watch from
the hillside outside our guesthouse – I would rather be there than in
a bomb shelter, a lot of space out there to find my head.On my 37th
birthday my new found friends and work mates took me to an
English pub in Tel Aviv. Early in the evening the crowd was hushed
and the bartender announced the coalition forces had taken Kuwait.
We danced on the tables. An awful event and a parent’s worst
nightmare happened some 12-years later. While I was in the
hospital in 2010, chatting with my doctor, Stephen Corrie, and
while watching scenes of the Arab Spring, he told me about his
niece, Rachel Aliene Corrie, who was part of the protest group
International Solidarity Movement.I felt a connection, however
slim, because of knowing her uncle and knowing the place where
she died. She and he friends were protesting the lasted incursion by
the Israelis into the Gaza as retribution for firing a mortar into the
Israeli airspace. They were moving in with armored bulldozers to
take down a village on the border. Rachel and her friends lay in
front of the machines to stop them; when the dozers moved forward
one of them crushed her to death. She was a great activist, and I
don’t want to diminish her name by using her as a metaphor for
being hard headed or not knowing when to begin negotiating for the
best outcome; there was no negotiation for Rachel. Jimmy Carter
did that with much success in the Middle East in 1979.I’m not
saying if I’m for or against the Megasite (I refuse to call it Matoaca),
I’m just worn out I guess. I think it’s time to get into serious
discussion. If you don’t want it, you need to offer a solution. As
some say, “it’s a done deal.” Do we know what that deal is?
Everyone is guessing. I had my opinions but I’ve eased up on my
own conspiracy theories. Solutions?: • Leave it alone? • Park same
as leave it alone • Huge buffers and user restrictions, no smoke
stacks, polluters etc. • Same for road, buffers, and
safety precautions. • Make sure East West Freeway R/W is
delineated and purchased now, no more cloud over
landowner property.Citizens should get what they want; don’t
wait until the ship has sailed. If you remember Branner Station –
the Supervisor, Planning Commissioner and School Board Member
– did most of the negotiating. Mike Sawyer and the Community
Association negotiated a boulevard with a trail instead of a five lane
highway from West Hundred Road to Chester Road.