Make Gaza Israel again

by Michael Freund, JPOST NOV 3/23

In a moving video clip circulating on social media, two Israeli soldiers standing atop a building hoisted the blue-and-white banner, signifying the Jewish state’s return to the strip of land along the Mediterranean Sea.

To mark the occasion, someone off camera noted that three weeks had passed since the Hamas invasion and massacre of 1,400 Jews and that “soldiers of the 52nd Battalion of the 401st Brigade are raising the flag of Israel in the heart of Gaza on the beach. We will not forget, we will not forgive, and we will not stop until victory.”

It was a powerful scene, one that embodied Israel’s resilient spirit and determination, and its ability to bounce back from even the most painful of disasters.

Indeed, despite the traumatic blow inflicted by Hamas terrorists, the long arm of Jewish justice is now at work, as the IDF ground operation in Gaza has entered its next phase.

Thus far, the government has highlighted two primary objectives in Israel’s war: toppling the Hamas regime; and the return of the 240 hostages held captive.

But in addition to these two sacred goals, I would like to suggest a third aim that we should strive to achieve once the fighting is complete: Let’s rebuild the Jewish communities of Gush Katif that were uprooted 18 years ago and restore a civilian Jewish presence in Gaza.

After all, in August 2005 we were assured by then-prime minister Ariel Sharon, and much of the mainstream media, that Israel’s pullout would strengthen Palestinian moderates, weaken Islamic extremists, and silence the world’s criticism.

As a result, over 9,000 Jews in 25 communities throughout Gaza were summarily torn away from their homes and exiled.

Those who opposed the withdrawal, myself included, were derided as pessimists and naysayers, short-sighted, and worse.

But as the events of October 7 made clear, the lack of an Israeli presence in Gaza undermined our deterrent posture and intelligence-gathering capability and allowed Hamas to plan and train virtually at will.

If nothing else, it is a telling reminder of a basic and fundamental truth of Zionist history and Middle Eastern reality: Jewish settlements are not an obstacle to peace but an impediment to war.

Only by firmly planting the flag deep into every part of the Land of Israel can we ensure our continued existence in the face of ongoing Arab expansionism and Palestinian irredentism.

That is why, once the war is over, Israel should right the moral and historical wrong of Sharon’s disengagement plan and rebuild Gush Katif.

Our enemies’ strategic vision assumes that the Jewish presence in this part of the world is temporary or transitory. Hence, to best combat it, we must do everything in our power to demonstrate that it is wrong; we are here to stay.

SUCH AN approach is not new and has its roots in the classical Zionist response to the Arab unrest of 1936.

After Arab rioters attacked Jaffa and killed 16 Jews on April 19, 1936, the Arab High Command launched a general strike and pressed the British Mandate authorities to take steps to restrict the growth of the Jewish presence in the Land of Israel.

Zionist leaders David Ben-Gurion and Chaim Weizmann wisely rejected any attempt to limit Jewish immigration or land reclamation. They realized that such a stance would amount to appeasement, which would only fuel further Arab aggression against the Yishuv.

In his memoirs, Ben-Gurion wrote that “the Yishuv defended itself with courage, wisdom, and restraint… Not one Jewish settlement was abandoned; instead, new ones were established.”

Rather than yielding to Arab threats and violence, Ben-Gurion and the Zionist leadership pressed forward. In the face of those who sought to reduce the Jewish population, they responded by intensifying efforts to enlarge it as much as possible.

That must be our approach as well.

By reviving Gazan Jewish communities such as Dugit, Netzarim, Kfar Darom, and Neveh Dekalim, Israel can rewrite the reality on the ground and send a message to the Palestinians that they won’t soon forget.

To put it simply: The more you try to kill us, the more we will rebuild.

Sure, such a move will not be popular in the halls of the United Nations nor among the members of the European Parliament, but nothing Israel does ever really is.

Resurrecting Gush Katif is not only a moral imperative but a strategic one as well. It will strengthen our resolve as a nation and send a powerful and lasting message to our foes that the days of Israeli retreat and withdrawal are over.

Gaza is where the Palestinians created a culture of death and darkness. So let us rebuild it with Jewish life and light, and transform ruins to rebirth.

For that, in a nutshell, has been the story of our people down through the ages.

November 5, 2023 | 9 Comments »

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9 Comments / 9 Comments

  1. Including Gaza into IL will significantly reduce the Jews/Muslims ratio and allow the left to collude with the Muslim’s population against the rest of the Jewish population!!!
    One more reason to accuse IL to be occupier (Not really).
    Gaza is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as the place where Samson was imprisoned and met his death1. According to biblical accounts, Gaza fell to Israelite rule, from the reign of King David in the early 11th century BCE1. During biblical times, Gaza was part of the land promised to the Jews by God but never part of the land actually conquered and inhabited by them2. Gaza was a settlement about three miles from the Mediterranean coast, marking the southern border of ancient, Biblical Canaan3.
    Israelis must STOP to use the term West Bank and use ONLY Judea & Samaria.
    No need to explain why!!!
    I am not religious but 10000% pro-IL. I have family in TA, Jerusalem and several other locations.

  2. @ketzel2

    This is also international law, territory won in a defensive war can be annexed.

    An important point to emphasize.

  3. I’ve been watching a lot of big shot Israeli officials talk about the day after, and they say they want to police Gaza in collaboration with the PA, UNRWA, Red Cross, etc., and have a 3 kilometer buffer zone around Gaza.

    Apparently, Israeli soldiers are supposed to sacrifice their lives to give the enemy what they had before. This is a ghetto mentality. My own mentality is that if you have to fight for something, you get to keep it. This is also international law, territory won in a defensive war can be annexed. These Israeli politicians are less than inspiring. If I were a soldier, I wouldn’t fight for what they’re outlining in those interviews.

  4. @Felix
    I agree. There can be no adequate response to the savage, inhumane butchery which took place on October 7. This can not be a point of negotiation or equivocation. THEY. MUST. GO. It is this simple. Where they go, or how they survive is for others to decide. Egypt, England or the Timbuktu, it doesn’t matter. The sponsoring nation will be properly motivated to keep these fellows disarmed, even Egypt would see to this for their own preservation.

  5. I think that the Israeli ruling class is asking young people to fight

    And not spelling out what PRECISELY they are fighting for

    Which is to right all of the wrongs


    This is the only answer to this Jihad

    The STATE must say it

    We will live alone.

    We will have NO Antisemitism in our ancient homeland

    SAY IT

    It is a deep going political issue and it requires new leadership

    I agree with Edgar and the implications of what Bear and the article say are lethal to all Jews

    Let me critique the following by Bear which actually echoes the article

    “Israel should form an NGO with some Arab speakers, get ships and find landing spots or homes for these Gazan’s. This will not be easy.

    Egypt will not take more than very small number I do not think we want these people as close as the Sinai anyway or maybe Sinai turns into Gaza II.”

    Absolutely not. Indeed after October 7 we will not live with you because you can not ever be trusted. You see it was a Pogrom and Jews were decimated by the Ukraine, Byelorussian, Latvian and Lithuanian Pogroms

    We lost 2 million Jews

    This on October 7 was a CONTINUATION of that

  6. BEAR-

    Your post assumes that some Gazans will still be living there along with Jews.


    As soon as Jews settle there, and industries bloom, the standard of living will rise and we’ll have Arabs infiltrating into Gaza to get jobs etc., reminding us of the post WW1 situation when hundreds of thousands illegally sneaked in, along with those legally allowed by the British Colonial Office.

    NO Arabs in Gaza……….. NONE….!!

  7. Israel defintely should settle Gaza. The trick is how to get rid of the maximum number of Gazan’s. Israel should form an NGO with some Arab speakers, get ships and find landing spots or homes for these Gazan’s. This will not be easy.

    Egypt will not take more than very small number I do not think we want these people as close as the Sinai anyway or maybe Sinai turns into Gaza II.