By Moshe Dann
The disengagement of 2005 was not a localized event only in Gaza and northern Samaria, nor was it limited to 10,000 Jews expelled from their homes. It was a national implosion. It caused enormous physical, psychological, social, cultural, military and strategic damage to the entire nation – and it still does. Like an ecological disaster, its foulness still seeps through our foundations, and continues to poison us.
The political system and judicial institutions were undermined; basic civil and human rights were not protected. Those responsible for welfare and proper compensation misled and lied; the entire government, led by SELA, the Disengagement Authority, was in denial.
We were misled and abandoned by our own political and many spiritual leaders; they failed to organize to prevent this catastrophe. Our Knesset was impotent and negligent; it did not insist on proper procedures, to which all citizens are entitled; and no one was held accountable.
Our IDF, of which we are part and in which we believe, was brainwashed and turned into zombies; those who refused to participate were heavily punished; such misuse of the IDF was illegal and immoral.
The media protected Ariel Sharon and those who planned, organized and carried out their pernicious plans because they agreed with his agenda. Military and strategic advisors who disagreed with Sharon remained silent in order to keep their positions.
We believed that those we elected were fair and honest. We were wrong.
The destruction of 25 Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria is a symbol of national betrayal. The same toxic thinking led to the removal of Jewish communities from Sinai in 1982, the Oslo Accords, which brought PLO terrorists to power and caused the slaughter of thousands of Jews, and wounding of tens of thousands more. The product of corruption, deception, greed and arrogance, disengagement is an example of cruel indifference and the abuse of power. We are still stuck there.
Billions of dollars wasted
The disengagement left a deep wound that will not heal, not only because lives and homes were destroyed, but because it was immoral, unjust and irrational. The knife of perfidy is still in our spiritual guts; it is an ongoing trauma of our soul – not just the people who suffered physically and mentally, but a national deception. The disengagement, Hamas and Hezbollah remind us, symbolizes not pride and victory, but our shame and defeat.
The tragedy of the policy of retreat – unilateral withdrawal — is that it accomplished nothing. Billions of dollars were wasted that could have been spent improving roads, which would have saved hundreds of lives every year, improving our educational and health systems, building a fence along the Egyptian border to prevent smuggling and illegal immigration, providing public housing, and building an efficient rapid transit system.
Distracted and obsessed by the task of destroying Jewish communities and brainwashing the public, PM Sharon’s government neglected Israel’s security:
It failed to respond to Iran’s nuclear threat – which in 2005 consisted of only one facility; failed to prepare the IDF for the threat from Hezbollah – which led to Israel’s failures in 2006; failed to protect Israelis near the Gaza Strip from bombardment, failed to stem the rise of Hamas in Gaza, and failed to stop the proliferation of smuggling tunnels, thereby setting the stage for the 2009 incursion into Gaza.
Those who planned and executed the disengagement and who supported it, and especially those who volunteered to help, and those who remained silent are responsible for this trauma. While talking incessantly about peace with Arabs, they ignore the need to make peace with their fellow Jews.
The disengagement was a denial of Jewish sovereignty in Eretz Yisrael; it was part of an anti-Zionist, anti-Jewish and anti-democratic plan of unilateral withdrawal that began with the Oslo Accords (1993), the retreat from South Lebanon (2000), and continues with the arbitrary and discriminatory destruction of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria.
Had they learned something from these mistakes, it would make the sacrifices bearable. Instead, they pursue the same policies, as if nothing had happened.
We can resist brainwashing and resignation by supporting Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and eastern Jerusalem. Eretz Yisrael (“Palestine” as it was called by the League of Nations and in the British Mandate) is the national homeland of the Jewish people; Jerusalem is our spiritual and national capital. We will not be broken. That is the meaning of Gush Katif today.
The author is a writer and journalist living in Jerusalem.
SENTINEL FOUNDER PAT MURPHY