Israeli leftists admit Gaza pullout was a mistake

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 |  by Staff Writer

Even Israel's far-left daily newspaper Ha'aretz, a bastion of liberal and humanist thought in Israel, is now admitting that the 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip was a mistake that has made life worse for both Gazan Arabs and Israelis living within rocket range of the territory.

Respected Ha'aretz military correspondent wrote this week that "as uncomfortable as it is to admit, the data suggests that the Israeli occupation did well by Gaza."

Oren noted that under Israeli rule, life expectancy in Gaza skyrocketed from 48 years in 1967 to 72 years in 2005. Attempting to maintain that even if the military withdrawal from Gaza has failed, the evacuation of Jewish residents was necessary, Oren avoided mentioning that prior to the disengagement Gaza's local economy was relatively stable thanks in large part to the thousands of jobs created by Israeli farmers.

In the run-up to the 2005 Gaza withdrawal, leftist Israeli media like Ha'aretz was eagerly circulating former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's promises and explanations about how leaving the territory was going to result in a better economic and security situation for Israelis and Palestinians.

Instead, the pullout helped propel Hamas into power, emboldened Palestinian terrorist rocket crews, and opened the gates for far greater Iranian influence and an influx of sophisticated arms.

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