Do you owe Israelis an apology?
ZOA in the news
January 22, 2009


Do you owe Israelis an apology?

In the wake of the recent Hamas-Israel war, two Israeli columnists and the Zionist Organization of America are calling on supporters of disengagement to apologize for the Gaza pullout in 2005.

Ha’aretz columnist Nadav Shragai :

Now, after the war and just before the election whirlwind sucks in our politicians once again, it would be appropriate for many of them to go out of their way and visit the mobile-home sites where those uprooted from Gush Katif live. This way they can tell them one small thing: I’m sorry. …

The apology must also include everyone who painted those who warned that the rockets from Gaza would reach Sderot, Ashdod and Be’er Sheva as delusional and opponents of peace. Everyone who promised that they would “give it to them” after the first Qassam, but in the end cried about the moral and international constraints that prevented them from doing so, and for years abandoned the south. It must include those who took the name of democracy in vain and aided Sharon in deceiving Likud members and breaking his promises to honor Likud’s decisions once it became clear to Sharon that the party’s members did not agree with him.

And the Jerusalem Post‘s Michael Freund:

It is time for a Gaza apology and a national admission of guilt. All those who had a hand in the disengagement should apologize to the people of Israel, the residents of Sderot and the rest of the Negev and especially to those who lived in Gush Katif.

Through their folly, the supporters of withdrawal brought disaster upon this country. They destroyed the lives of thousands of Gaza‘s Jews, and put nearly a million Israelis within the cross-hairs of Hamas.


Unless Israel and its leaders have the courage to come to terms with their error, the danger of making additional such blunders will continue to accompany us well into the future.

Mistakes, wrote the author James Joyce, are portals of discovery. They allow us to gain a better glimpse of reality and to move forward. But that can only happen if in fact one is capable of embracing his own failings.


The disengagement, as its name implied, was supposed to disengage Israel from the Palestinians and their violence. But instead, as we have seen, it did just the opposite


It is about time that its proponents publicly acknowledged as much.


Meanwhile, the ZOA issued its own statement:

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has called upon Members of the Knesset (MKs) and other Israeli officials, journalists and Jewish leaders who gave their support to the 2005 Gaza/northern Samaria unilateral withdrawal to apologize to the Israeli electorate, which had voted overwhelmingly against that proposal in the January 2003 elections (when then-Labor leader, Amram Mitzna, lost decisively to Likud after campaigning strongly on a platform of unilateral withdrawal), as well as to the Jewish people and the uprooted Jews of Gaza and northern Samaria, whose lives have been turned upside down. Since the unilateral retreat from Gaza, the terror groups have enjoyed a massive boost in morale and Palestinian support, Gaza has been given over to terror groups who have smuggled in huge amounts of offensive weaponry and launched thousands of rockets upon Israel, while Al Qaeda affiliates have established themselves in the territory which Hamas seized by force from Mahmoud Abbas’ Fateh in 2007. Such an apology should include a public recognition that one-sided concessions and withdrawals to an unreconstructed Palestinian Authority (PA) can only lead to more violence, not peace.


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