'Israel must never carry out another disengagement'

Monday, July 15, 2013 |  Yossi Aloni

The Katif Center, established to maintain the legacy of the Jewish communities of Gush Katif and northern Samaria, last week marked eight years since the forced displacement of some 10,000 Jews with a documentary project featuring 800 interviews with the former residents.

Speaking at the event, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called on the nation's leadership to realize there "must never be a second disengagement." Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin added that the uprooting of Jews from Gaza is "the Yom Kippur of conservative Israeli politics."

Unveiled at the Begin Center in Jerusalem, the Katif Center's documentary project allows visitors to its website to choose individuals from the former Jewish communities in Gaza and through his or her testimonies experience what it was like to be expelled from the area.

Barkat noted that the Gush Katif settlements, much maligned on the international stage, had "been established by governments from across the political spectrum...[in order to] meet a very real need to settle the land and establish security in the south."

The decision to uproot Gush Katif under American and Western pressure "was a national trauma," Barkat continued. "Anyone who was there was scarred for life."

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