The deportation of the Jews from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria over the past week and a half and surrounding events have put paid to two of the foundational myths of the narrative that has been propounded for the past 30 years by the Israeli and international Left. In attempting to analyze these traumatic events in a manner that will – at least to a degree – mitigate the dangers to Israeli security that the expulsions have engendered, it is important to identify these myths and dispel them now. For if we do not do so, we will find ourselves, again, waging an uphill battle to dispel these lies after the next die has been cast in favor of still more Israeli retreats and expulsions – this time from Judea and Samaria.
And so, even as our souls cry out in pain as we stare wild-eyed at the sight of 8,000 Jewish patriots, transformed in a moment into homeless, wandering Jews in the Land of Israel, our duty is to soldier on and work to preempt further destruction.
The foundational myth of the Left is that Jewish extremism, not Palestinian terrorism, is the cause of Israel's present security woes and the source of the constant wars that have plagued us since the dawn of modern Zionism. What we saw this week was that these people – whom one British reporter standing outside the synagogue in the now-ruined city of Neveh Dekalim ever so eloquently referred to last Thursday as "the hardest of the hard-line settlers" – are anything but extreme.
The expelled residents of Gush Katif – from the farmers of Atzmona, Katif, Netzarim, Netzer Hazani and Kfar Darom, the surfers and fishermen of Shirat Hayam, the Torah scholars of Neveh Dekalim and the mothers of Gadid – are not "hard-line" or "extremists." They are the finest sons and daughters of Israel. They are the bravest soldiers in the Israeli military and the most patriotic citizens that Israel has produced.
This truth was exposed to all in their darkest hour. As they were physically ejected from their homes and synagogues, they behaved with the most exquisite patriotism, heroism and humility. In combat, heroism is a matter of common sense – of survival. Patriotism on the battlefield of war is everywhere clear and unimpeded. You stand before an enemy bent on your physical destruction and your job is to kill him first while protecting your comrades.
The heroism the Jews of Gaza and northern Samaria displayed in the face of their own destruction is of another order altogether. Standing before their own army, on the surface, they were faced with a terrible choice. Do they fight their countrymen to maintain their communities, or do they accept their cruel and inexplicable fate?
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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