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Fifteen years ago, ten thousand Jews were forcibly evacuated from their homes in what can objectively be considered a disastrous policy that still puts Israelis in danger.

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A map displaying the Gaza Strip - | Photo: Chuttersnap (Unsplash)

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This week will commemorate the fifteen-year anniversary of the Gaza Disengagement. It occurred at the end of Tisha B’Av (already one of the saddest days on the Jewish calendar), August 14, 2005.

I landed in Israel the night before the Gaza Disengagement, to make a film about the event. In the process, it ended up changing a lot of my political beliefs about Israel.

For three months, my crew in Israel documented the undermining of democracy, and the false narrative provided by Israel’s media. It was all in the name of making sure that the Gaza Disengagement happened at any cost.

Israel’s prime minister at the time, Ariel Sharon, decided that he was going to unilaterally remove all Israeli citizens from settlements in Gaza, and four settlements in the northern part of the Shomron region.

In total, nearly ten thousand Jews were to be removed. Around the time he made that decision, Sharon was being investigated for fraud. The intense scrutiny of the media evaporated, the moment he decided to move forward with the disengagement plan.

Senior Israeli reporters openly suggested on nightly newscasts that Sharon must be protected at all cost. A narrative was being put forth that the disengagement would make Israel safe. In the Knesset, dozens of ministers laughed and shot down the “ridiculous idea” that the disengagement would somehow put Israel in danger because of Palestinian rockets, the disengagement was going to happen, no matter what. Facts and reality on the ground were not going to stop the banishment of Jews from their home.

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It wasn’t only the lies and misinformation that made me realize how undemocratic this whole period was. It was also the stories that were never told, that opened Pandora’s Box on how things unfold in Israel today.

The political left rejoiced at the notion of Jews being kicked out of their homes. They said nothing against the brutality that the police used against protestors, exercising their democratic right to protest.

The media barely acknowledged that 14-year-old girls were put in jail for over a month for protesting. Buses were stopped illegally in Tel Aviv, as they made their way to protests weeks before the disengagement.

The poster for Igal’s 2006 film, Disengaging Democracy, which documented experiences during the 2005 Israeli disengagement from Gaza | Photo: Chutzpah Productions

The poorly constructed shantytowns, that the Sharon government prepared for those who were removed from their homes, weren’t even ready on the night of the disengagement. All of this was ignored by Israel’s media and human rights activists, simply because it was happening to “settlers,” and right wing Jews.

The aftermath of the disengagement has proven how disastrous it was and still is, to the state of Israel.

Hamas took over Gaza six months after the disengagement.

In the film, displaced residents of the Gaza Strip shared how they felt betrayed by the Israeli government | Photo: Chutzpah Productions

Since that time, tens of thousands of rockets have been launched at Israel, terrorizing millions of Israelis. The only reason more haven’t died is because of the Iron Dome defense system.

It certainly wasn’t for lack of trying on the part of radicalized Palestinians. The notion that the settlements cost too much in security has been proven false, on account of the millions of dollars that Israel has had to spend on ways to combat rockets, terror tunnels, and other terror attacks.

Then there’s the human toll. Hundreds of Israeli soldiers have died defending Israel, in constant operations, and wars, in Gaza.

The legacy of the Gaza Disengagement is one of destruction. It serves as a constant reminder that the concept of “land for peace” is not only foolish, unrealistic, and rarely works, but is also a path to placing the lives of Israelis in constant danger.

Play Video

Disengaging Democracy | Igal Hecht | Chutzpah Productions 2006

You can also see Igal’s documentary, Disengaging Democracy by clicking here: https://vimeo.com/108923544

Igal Hecht is a documentary filmmaker and journalist who works all over the world. 


For more info visit www.chutzpaproductions.com

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Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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