Gush Katif was a bloc of 17 Israel settlements in the southern Gaza strip. In August 2005, the government forcibly removed the 8,600 residents from their homes and their communities were demolished as part of the Jewish state’s unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip.
In the summer of 2005, Israel gave up on its best citizens without a fight. Let us never forget or forgive.
We will not forget those who ran an entire media and propaganda poison machine, slaughtering the sweetest, moderate and law-abiding citizens.
They presented the salt of the land as fanatics, the farmers as potential terrorists, the families who sacrificed their lives into those who could harm IDF soldiers. They turned these lovely, wonderful people into less than human.
We will neither forget nor forgive those who encouraged, concealed and forgave the corruption of Ariel Sharon, because “he was the only one who could do such a thing, and must be protected not just from political, but also legal repercussions.”
We will not forget Amnon Abramovich, who spearheaded this troubling thinking, and is still considered a top journalist in Israel.
We will not forget those who failed to ask the difficult questions, or any questions at all, those who sold their souls for nothing. Those who somehow forgot to ask what will happen the day after, and why Sharon made a political U-turn and ignored the government functions he initiated, and whether the predictions about the settler “militia” had any truth to them.
We will not forget the mental preparation that our soldiers were put through, how they performed elaborate psychological exercises that turned them into emotionless zombies. How they practiced how to tear a baby away from his mother’s hands and evacuate the elderly.
How brothers became enemies.
And the tears that continue to flow to this day.
We will neither forgive nor forget those who promised that “Ashkelon and other places would not become the front line,” who underestimated the warnings, common sense and logic.
Those who turned flourishing settlements and pioneering Zionist enterprises into training bases for Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists. In the latest operation, missiles were fired into Israel from what used to be two Jewish settlements.
We will not forgive the judges who obeyed the politicians and turned protesters in a democratic country into rebels and criminals. We will not forget those who stopped busses on their way to demonstrations, who used excessive force and arrested over 6,000 law-abiding citizens, including minors, who just wanted to participate in a demonstration.
The pre-disengagement days are among the darkest in the history of the young State of Israel. In those days, democracy froze while watchdogs and gatekeepers stood idly by. They had a method: blackmail, arrest, then expel.
As we continue to weep, let us not forgive nor forget. We have a role, for us and for future generations. To continue to build, to sow and plant, to build life — while standing guard that there will never be another disengagement.
My Israel Chairwoman Sara Haetzni-Cohen was born in Kiryat Arba and now lives with her husband Elkana and their three children in Jerusalem.