by Yoram Ettinger


1. REDUCING TERRORIST PLATFORM. Israel's re-control of Gaza (given up in 1993) would REDUCE hate education (engine of homicide bombing), recruitment and training of terrorism, terrorist maneuverability, manufacturing and smuggling of terrorist equipment. General Earle G. Wheeler, former Chairman of the Joint C-O-S: "The occupation of Gaza by Israel would reduce the hostile border by a factor of five, and eliminate a source for raids and training of [Palestinian terrorists]...The strip serves as a salient for introduction of subversion and terrorism.  Its retention would be to Israel's military advantage…Gaza provides a salient into Israel…" (Memo to Defense Secretary McNamara, June 29, 1967.  General Wheeler's analysis is doubly relevant in 2004, with a less predictable globe, with a more threatening Mideast, with a more horrific terrorism, with each area ceded by Israel to the PLO/PA – since 1993 - becoming a platform for terrorism, and with the PLO/PA establishing itself as a systematic violent violator of all commitments made since 1993.


2. JEWISH EXPULSION FROM GAZA dates back to the Romans (61 CE), Crusaders, Napoleon (1799), Ottoman Empire, British Mandate (due to the 1917 bombing), Arab anti-Jewish pogroms (1929) and Egypt's occupation of Gaza in 1948 (destroying the Jewish Kfar Darom, the birth place of Rabbi Eliezer Ben Yitzhak, the 2nd century contemporary of the icon, Rabbi Akiva). Each time, Jews returned to reconstruct Jewish presence.


3. JEWISH PRESENCE IN GAZA DATES BACK TO BIBLICAL TIMES: Abraham the Patriarch was punished for giving away Grar to the Philistines (near Dir Al-Balakh in today's Gaza); Joshua 15:47 ("This is the land of the tribe of Judah…Ashdod…Gaza…"); Judges 1:18 ("The tribe of Judah took over Gaza, Ashqelon and Ekron"); Kings A:5:4 ("and King Solomon controlled the area from the River…up to Gaza"); Kings A:18:7 (King Hezekiah re-occupied Gaza); Maccabees A:13:43 (Prof. Abraham Kahana's interpretation states that Gaza was re-taken by the Maccabees in 96 BC); Kadmoniyot 13:13:3 (King Alexander Yanai-Janaeus took over Gaza); Giorgio Gucci the traveler from Florence documented the 1384 Jewish production of wine in Gaza; Jewish presence was also documented by Bertandon de la Brocquiere in 1432, Benjamin of Tudela and Meshullam of Voltera in 1481, Felix Fabri in 1483, and George Sandys in 1611; Gaza was the home town of Rabbi Israel Najara, the author of the 16th century hymn "Yah Ribbon Olam";

"Land of Israel and Southern Syria – Travel Log", 1921 p.104 ("Jewish families lived in Gaza, during the 14th-17th centuries, next to the government office buildings"); p. 99 ('in 1884, Sepharadic Jews re-established Jewish presence in Gaza"); P.49 (In 1921 there were a few Jewish families in Gaza and Beer-Sheba).


4. A nation's fortune depends on the collective memory of its individual components, which is the foundation of national security and national history, without which there is no future.  The geographic cradle of Jewish history/memory centers in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and not in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Netanya.  Disengagement from Gaza and northern Samaria amounts to severing Jewish nationhood from significant components of its memory/history, which could deteriorate into disengagement from the future.




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