It has been over ten years since the destruction and erasure of Gush Katif. Many of the families have moved on after years of homelessness. Families have broken apart. Kids have grown up with a distaste for the state. This should not be a surprise, after all their childhood was ruined by the very state sworn to protect them.
Ten years later and the government has finally given the people of Gush Katif something in return for their misery. Today a memorial statue has been placed in the Eastern entrance to the Knesset.
“It is only fitting that the Knesset, which decided [to evacuate the Gush Katif communities], will remember, and remind those who visit it of the communities of Gush Katif and northern Samaria – the [building of settlements], the agriculture and the settlers themselves. I hope this work of art will generate interest among the visitors of the Knesset,” Yuli Edelstein, the Speaker of the Knesset said at an unveiling today for the memorial statue.
Gush Katif is but a memory. The pioneers and young families will be a few sentences in the history books. Kids will be taught that there was a time when the State’s leaders were really the warriors of old. However, as these leaders grew older they turned their backs on the very ideology and land that nurtured their development.
When the slogan Never Again was made about the Holocaust, the point is not about not letting another Holocaust take place. This is obvious. The means to prevent a repeat of history is to say Never Again to being an exile minded Jew. Israel is meant to be more than memorial statues. It is meant to be an engine that builds our redemption.
No one lost their lives or sacrificed to settle barren dunes to be rewarded a memorial statue. That is what a nation who wants to sacrifice its future on the alter of world acceptance does. Israel is not about abandoning the past. It is about tying our covenant and the Land that was given to us by the Almighty together in order to give a full expression to our prophetic charge of being a light unto the nations.
One day the memorial statue will be taken down. Not because we don’t want to remember, but because one day the people of Gush Katif will return and liberate their stolen land. They will no longer be a mere memory for the youth, but once again Gush Katif will exist in the present. The Land of Israel nurtures its children. We in turn must be strong enough in faith to see our part of the covenant through.