We just returned from viewing the poignant Israeli documentary movie, WITHDRAWAL FROM GAZA (Hayetzia MeAza), by director Joel Blasberg. Screened as part of the Israeli film festival, this remarkable film documents the emotionally charged political event where Jews were pitted against Jews, yet where no one was harmed. In the summer of 2005, approximately 8500 Jews were uprooted from their West Bank and Gaza Strip settlements as part of the “disengagement” process to secure peace with the Palestinians.
Shedding tears throughout the movie, we were drawn into the heart-wrenching stories. Remarkably, no one – the messianic settlers, the secular army officers, the youthful soldiers tasked with listening to the settlers’ painful stories and then compassionately evacuating them – came across as extremist or as meshuganas (crazies).
Truly an important film, capturing a heart-wrenching event in Israeli history.
Of course, in the shadow of this past summer’s kidnapping of the soldier into Gaza, the Qassam rockets lobbed into Israel proper from Gaza and the Lebanon 2 war, it is easy to see the disengagement as a terrible mistake. However, before Israel can truly defend itself, it needs to tend to its soul. And the responsibility for lording over a few million Palestinians in Gaza has wounded this soul. Let the Palestinians try to govern themselves or let the world see that it is not Israel’s actions that brought upon the Palestinians the pain they now endure…