US daily major: Withdrawal from Gaza resulted in more terrorism

Israel’s Disengagement from Gaza: “It was a big mistake.”

Pain and agony. Many Jews who were forced out of Jewish properties in Gaza still suffer.
Pain and agony. Many Jews who were forced out of Jewish properties in Gaza still suffer.

This is the conclusion in the US Newspaper Los Angeles Times (LAT). The retrospect view comes five years after Israel forced all Jews to leave their properties in Gaza.

The editorial in LAT Entitled “Lessons and Legacies of Israel’s Gaza Withdrawal”. It was published on August 8th by Edmund Sanders.

The article lists a series of conclusions that can be drawn from the abrupt, unilateral pullout from Gush Katif in Gaza orchestrated by then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the summer of 2005.

An overview of Gush Katif before is was reduced to rubble.

Just five months later, Sharon suffered massive hemorrhaging and entered the comatose state from which he has not awoken.

Among the key lessons and legacies listed by the LA Times are these:

Although disengagement enjoyed broad support at the time, almost no one calls it a success today…  It helped put Hamas in power… Security for Israelis didn’t improve – and even worsened… It contributed to increased isolation for Israel internationally… It raised doubts as to whether the Palestinians are actually ready for statehood… Though the actual expulsion went more easily than expected, it made Israelis more cynical about the chances for future land-for-peace deals.

In this last connection, the Times article does not note the ongoing difficulties in resettling the 9,000 expelled Jewish citizens. It states:

“Gaza was a key test of whether an Israeli government would pay the political price needed to remove 9,000 settlers. Dire predictions that such moves would tear the nation apart turned out to be exaggerated.”

Israeli police removes the Torah scrols from the synagogues in Gush Katif.

This, however, is an under-estimate of the terrific damage domestic damaged that was caused, both in terms of solidarity felt by a significant political sector with the government and the suffering caused to the uprooted settlers themselves.

In addition, Sanders does not note that a government commission assigned to investigate its handling of the expelled citizens found that the government had utterly failed in this regard.

In any event, “only 35 percent [of Israelis] envision evacuations [in some/all Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria],” Sanders concludes, compared with 58 percent in 2005.

Supportive wind for terrorism

Sanders confirms that the anti-Disengagement camp’s warning that the withdrawal would provide a supportive back-wind for terrorism came true.

Some Jewish settlers set their house on fire,robbed for all their belongings.

“Hamas got to crow that its policy of armed resistance and attacks on Israeli civilians had led to the withdrawal,” he writes.

“Immediately after the pullout, 84 percent of Palestinians viewed the disengagement as a ‘victory’ for armed resistance”…

First published: August 13th, 2010.


Written by Ivar

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