January 11, 2009

Time to Rebuild Gush Katif

By Michael Freund

More than three years after being forcibly expelled from their homes, a group of former Gush Katif residents is demanding that the Israeli government allow them to return.

At a news conference held today in Jerusalem, leaders of Gaza Jewry said they are ready to go back and recreate the communities that were destroyed by the Sharon government during the August 2005 Gaza retreat.

"Let us return home. We are ready at a day's notice to set up tents in the area, until permanent construction," the group said.

I couldn't agree more. It is about time that Israel correct the moral injustice of the expulsion of Gaza's Jews. The August 2005 pullout created the political and security vacuum which Hamas quickly filled, setting the stage for the current confrontation now taking place on our television screens.

Indeed, many of the former Jewish communities of Gaza, such as Dugit, have been used by Hamas as terrorist training camps and rocket-launch pads - all the more reason to now transform them back into thriving and vibrant sites of Jewish settlement.

With Israeli forces now back in Gaza, this is the time to right the wrong of expulsion. and thereby let Hamas and the world know that we will never again abandon any part of our homeland.

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