Sunday, May 27, 2018

Opening Old Wounds, Disengagement, Part 1

On Friday as part of the program I participated in with the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, we visited Nitzan, where there is a visitor's center which attempts to explain Disengagement. I wasn't the only English language blogger there. Click to read what Ilana wrote.

Notice that I wrote "which attempts to explain Disengagement." That's because that entire chapter of Israeli History is so awful and so inexplicable and can't be logically explained, certainly not in a nice way.

The area marked in Green is Gush Katif

One of the younger participants in the tour, which was for Begin Center employees, volunteers, retirees and their families, asked the perfect question. I can't remember her exact wording, but this is the gist of it:
"What was the reason for Disengagement?"
Our guide couldn't give an answer, so I just had to raise my hand. I prefaced my answer by saying that I'm probably the oldest person present, which wasn't countered by anyone. My husband, who is older than me, had decided to stay in the hotel and not join us.

With few exceptions, the other participants were a generation or two younger than me, so I began with a bit of history. After the 1967 Six Days War, besides Jerusalem, the only parts of the Land liberated which were settled by government decree were the Golan Heights, the Jordan Valley and Northern Sinai, which actually included what was later called Gush Katif. All of those areas/communities were for agriculture, not for Biblical, historic sentiment.

And in those days, when the Labor Party ruled, the business end of agriculture was a monopoly. Exports were only via Agrexco, which was closely entwined with the Labor Party. The big attraction of Northern Sinai and the Jordan Valley was their climates. Summer fruits and vegetables can grow there in the winter, a potentially very big money maker, especially since Israel is much closer to Europe than the competing agricultural countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

After the surprise 1977 change in the party ruling the government, when Menachem Begin's Likud took over, there were many economic changes. One of them the was end of the monopoly. Agrexco had competition, and the Left/Labor Party was not happy about it at all. The agricultural communities in Gush Katif were doing very well. As our guide told us, 10% of Israel's exports were from Gush Katif, and the numbers were growing.

That was the gist of my theory, and the guide listened and said she hadn't thought about it quite like that.

To continue with what happened here in Israel:

Apparently, the Left had something over Prime Minister Arik Sharon, and like the famous line in The Godfather, it was an offer he "couldn't refuse."

Sharon, the Bulldozer, announced that his government would destroy Gush Katif and hand the land over to the Arabs ruling Gaza. The campaign the residents and Moetzet YESHA organized was totally ineffective. 

Anti-Disengagement protests
Sharon even left the Likud with most of his ministers when the Likud's members voted against Disengagement in a referendum, which he had promised to obey.

The scars of the גירוש Girush, Uprooting, banishment, displacement, exile or whatever you want to use as a translation, are still very painful, even though most of the families have done their best to establish new lives and homes.

Most of the families, if I'm not mistaken, are now living in communities  with their former neighbors. I considered this a mistake then and haven't changed my mind.

Disengagement is in the same awful category of Israeli self-made tragedies, when the government pitted Jew against Jew, Israeli against Israeli as the horrendous Altalena Affair.

I have more to write about this, including a new idea that hit me when I was at Nitzan.

In the meantime, I'd like your reactions to this article. Please feel free to tell me in the comments, thanks.


Mr. Cohen said...

There are no limits to the evils of the Leftists.

Even with all their phony virtue-signalling,
they represent greed and selfishness and cruelty.

Reform Jews ally themselves with the anti-Israel
Far-Left and the anti-Israel Intersectionality ]
Movement,so it is correct to publicize these
short blog articles that expose Reform Judaism:

Rambam Refutes Reform Judaism:

Why Barak Hullman left Reform Judaism and became Orthodox:

How a Reform Rabbi Became Orthodox (true story):

Reform Judaism vs. Real Judaism:

Sephardic Jews REJECT Reform Judaism:

How Reform Jews CHEATED on the Pew survey:

Quick quote from Famous Jewish
mega-donor about Jewish Continuity

Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch vs Reform Judaism:

Last but not least, the Reform Jews strongly opposed
efforts to save European Jews from the Holocaust
during World War II. Those rescue efforts were led
by Orthodox Jews, who the Reform Jews considered
to be obsolete and an embarrassment. The Reform Jews
got what they wanted: the rescue efforts failed.

Sara Layah said...

The Gush Katif Heritage Center in Nitzan was set up and financed by the government. Transparency in the government's unilateral decision to forcibly remove 8,600 residents and raze 21 flourishing and vibrant Gush Katif communities has yet to be revealed. What then, do you expect a guide to answer? Meanwhile, the center helps keep the memory of the Zionist enterprise in Gush Katif alive.

Sara Layah said...

Better global standing and acceptance? Hardly! As of two days ago, this from South Africa:

Anonymous said...

Social scientists have studied the human propensity to look back at decisions and say their results were "obvious". Life is complex and while I don't necessarily agree with the decision, I tend to believe it was made with the view that it would lead to peace. Unfortunately it didn't.
Joel Rich

YMedad said...

I always like to start with admissions. Here is Dov Weisglass, Oct 07, 2004:-
"What was your main concern in those months, what was the main factor that pushed you to the disengagement idea?

"The concern was the fact that President Bush's formula was stuck and this would lead to its ruin. That the international community would say: You wanted the president's formula and you got it; you wanted to try Abu Mazen and you tried. It didn't work. And when a formula doesn't work in reality, you don't change reality, you change the formula. Therefore, Arik's realistic viewpoint said that it was possible that the principle that was our historic policy achievement would be annulled - the principle that eradication of terrorism precedes a political process. And with the annulment of that principle, Israel would find itself negotiating with terrorism. And because once such negotiations start it's very difficult to stop them, the result would be a Palestinian state with terrorism. And all this within quite a short time. Not decades or even years, but a few months."

I still don't see how the disengagement plan helps here. What was the major importance of the plan from your point of view?

"The disengagement plan is the preservative of the sequence principle. It is the bottle of formaldehyde within which you place the president's formula so that it will be preserved for a very lengthy period. The disengagement is actually formaldehyde. It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that's necessary so that there will not be a political process with the Palestinians."

Is what you are saying, then, is that you exchanged the strategy of a long-term interim agreement for a strategy of long-term interim situation?

"The American term is to park conveniently. The disengagement plan makes it possible for Israel to park conveniently in an interim situation that distances us as far as possible from political pressure. It legitimizes our contention that there is no negotiating with the Palestinians. There is a decision here to do the minimum possible in order to maintain our political situation. The decision is proving itself. It is making it possible for the Americans to go to the seething and simmering international community and say to them, `What do you want.' It also transfers the initiative to our hands. It compels the world to deal with our idea, with the scenario we wrote. It places the Palestinians under tremendous pressure. It forces them into a corner that they hate to be in. It thrusts them into a situation in which they have to prove their seriousness. There are no more excuses. There are no more Israeli soldiers spoiling their day. And for the first time they have a slice of land with total continuity on which they can race from one end to the other in their Ferrari. And the whole world is watching them - them, not us. The whole world is asking what they intend to do with this slice of land."

YMedad said...


Maneuver of the century

I want to remind you that there will also be a withdrawal in the West Bank.

"The withdrawal in Samaria is a token one. We agreed to only so it wouldn't be said that we concluded our obligation in Gaza."

You gave up the Gaza Strip in order to save the West Bank? Is the Gaza disengagement meant to allow Israel to continue controlling the majority of the West Bank?

"Arik doesn't see Gaza today as an area of national interest. He does see Judea and Samaria as an area of national interest. He thinks rightly that we are still very very far from the time when we will be able to reach final-status settlements in Judea and Samaria."

Does the evacuation of the settlements in Gaza strengthen the settlements in the West Bank or weaken them?

"It doesn't hurt the isolated, remote settlements; it's not relevant for them. Their future will be determined in many years. When we reach a final settlement. It's not certain that each and every one of them will be able to go on existing.

"On the other hand, in regard to the large settlement blocs, thanks to the disengagement plan, we have in our hands a first-ever American statement that they will be part of Israel. In years to come, perhaps decades, when negotiations will be held between Israel and the Palestinians, the master of the world will pound on the table and say: We stated already ten years ago that the large blocs are part of Israel.""

YMedad said...


May 28, 2004 Appendix A - Four-stage disengagement plan - Key principles

I. Background - Diplomatic and security significance

The State of Israel is committed to the peace process and endeavors to reach an agreed arrangement based on the vision presented by U.S. President George W. Bush.

The State of Israel believes it must take action to improve the current situation. The State of Israel has reached the conclusion that there is currently no partner on the Palestinian side with whom progress can be made on a bilateral process. Given this, a four-stage disengagement plan has been drawn up, based on the following considerations:

A. The stalemate embodied in the current situation is damaging; in order to break the stalemate, the State of Israel must initiate a process that is not dependent on cooperation with the Palestinians.

B. The aim of the plan is to bring about a better security, diplomatic economic and demographic reality.

C. In any future permanent arrangement, there will be no Israeli presence in the Gaza Strip. On the other hand, it is clear that some parts of Judea and Samaria (including key concentrations of Jewish settlements, civilian communities, security zones and areas in which Israel has a vested interest) will remain part of the State of Israel.

D. The State of Israel supports the efforts of the United States, which is working along with the international community, to promote the process of reform, the establishment of institutions and improving the economic and welfare conditions of the Palestinian people, so that a new Palestinian leadership can arise, capable of proving it can fulfill its obligations under the road map.

E. The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and from the northern part of Samaria will reduce interaction with the Palestinian population.

F. Completion of the four-stage disengagement plan will negate any claims on Israel regarding its responsibility for the Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip.

G. The process of graduated disengagement does not detract from existing agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. The relevant security arrangements will remain in force.

H. International support for the four-stage disengagement plan is widespread and important. This support is vital in ensuring that the Palestinians fulfill their obligations in terms of fighting terror and implementing reforms, in accordance with the road map. Only then will the sides be able to resume negotiations.

goyisherebbe said...

I have been disgusted with the expulsion plan from the day it was proposed. It was carefully planned, not to improve the security of the state of Israel, but to destroy the national-religious public, politically, economically, and psychologically. There were leftist psychologists and social workers working on youth to undermine their attachment to Torah in every way possible. The destruction of Gush Katif settlement was designed to destroy the economy of the national-religious sector. Dirty work was done in order to compromise leaders and supporters of the community. Arutz-7 was forced off the air a couple of years before the expulsion in order to reconstitute the monopoly that had formerly existed in communications. It would just not do to have taxi and bus drivers playing Arutz-7 on the radio with alternative opinions being spread while the government was doing its dirty work. Sharon was never really right-wing. He came from the Labor movement but formed the opportunistic Shlomzion party in the '77 elections. He had hoped to make a coalition with Labor and get a major post in the government, but when the naive Begin was elected, that was even better. He was a Trojan horse from the beginning. I could say more, but I have run out of energy. Have a good day.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Best comment from goyishrebbe; he said it all. This disgrace of expulsion went against Torah Laws and, of course, the Jewish people and our Land. Anyone who can say a good thing about that catastrophe is either out of touch with reality or agrees with the whole ugly plan that it was. Ultimately, everything does come from H' and guess all these problems needed to be because we, Jews, do not learn no matter how many lessons we are taught and the sufferings, thus, always bringing about punishments. H' y'rachem.

Batya said...

Sezon, Altalena, Disengagement....

Anonymous said...

This disgrace of expulsion went against Torah Laws
Perhaps it would be more accurate to say "my understanding" of Torah laws
Joel Ricj

Batya said...

There were no "good intentions" here. It was dirty from start to finish. Joel, think of the Sezon, Altalena...

Anonymous said...

Joel, just to need add, Torah laws are just that, not your personal view or how you think it should be. Giving away even an inch of the Land is against Torah Law.

Anonymous said...

Giving away even an inch of the Land is against Torah Law.
Rabbi JB Soloveitchik saw it differently (in certain circumstances)
Joel Rich