In the quest for peace with our Arab neighbors, Israel’s 2005 forced evacuation, also called “disengagement,” of the 1,812 families living in Gush Katif in the Gaza strip continues to make news in all major Israeli newspapers. Why? Because most of these families, who were made homeless under the then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, remain without permanent living quarters, are living in temporary pre-fab quarters and are unemployed. In fact, these refugees in their own country, suffer psychological trauma, and are rightfully disappointed with the government’s promises.
In my book, it is indeed counterproductive to carry out a unilateral evacuation of Jewish families without getting anything in return. In fact, these Jewish individuals who had lived for decades in Gaza, had a good life, homes, jobs, factories, farms, greenhouses and businesses which they left behind in hopes that the so-called Palestinian neighbors would build a better life for themselves. Ariel Sharon/Olmert/Livni’s mindset at that time was that ceding land to the Palestinians, would accomplish what the failed Oslo and other previous peace purported to do, i.e., land for peace.
What are the results of this violent and drastic uprooting of Jewish families carried out by Sharon? A total fiasco; where synagogues, houses, cemeteries and schools once proudly stood, it has been replaced by launching pads for terrorists’ missiles leading to the Cast Lead war. Most disturbingly, in June, 2007, two years after every single soldier and Jewish family left Gaza, Hamas took advantage of the situation to launch an armed revolt to oust the Fatah forces and take full control of the strip. Presently, there are two separate Palestinian entities, Hamas and Fatah, clashing with each other, none of which recognize Israel and both of which desire the eradication of the Jewish state.
Prior to the looming disengagement, many prayers took place asking God to stop the disengagement from Gaza, and these pleas were obviously unanswered. Now, after the fact, we can realize how counterproductive it was to cede land to terrorists, meaning the PLO and Hamas. Whenever Israel relinquishes land to terrorists like in Lebanon and Gaza, terrorism, rocket attacks, arm smuggling and kidnappings worsen. God wanted to give us a model of the upheaval that can be created by ceding any part of the Land of Israel. The pattern we see from Gaza where rockets attacks are terrorizing the citizens of the South, would seem like child play if Israel continues to foolishly accedes to surrender Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. In fact, relinquishing more land would leave Israel only nine miles wide at its most populated areas, and Hamas would have the ability to shoot down airplanes taking off and landing at Ben Gurion airport.
To summarize, Israel should not jeopardize its security to please those in the family of nations who purport that land for peace is the ultimate solution in this area. Obviously they are opting to disregard the clear danger facing Israel from all its borders as long as their countries are not involved in this conflict. The Gush Katif, Lebanon and other models in control of terrorists are God’s warnings against committing more blunders, and although the prayers from Gush Katif residents were not answered, it was for a more powerful cause and a precedent against future disengagements that would affect hundreds of thousands of Jews in this land. Obviously, not too many “settlers” would like to experience the disappointing model of life after disengagement of the Gush Katif families.