Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter and of "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books.. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary.
Gush Katif (the Katif Bloc) was the most heavily protected spot in the Middle East, a kind of Masada. But it was also the most strategic citadel for the entire State of Israel. That is why the Israeli government should now contemplate whether to retake and rebuild it.
The military has failed to find an answer to the rocket and missile fire. What, then, is the alternative to retaking Gush Katif? Flattening Gaza?
Which is the most "realistic" solution?
Renewal of the "settlements" is the only response that may still deter the enemy.
In the first nine months of the Second Intifada, more than 200 mortar shells were fired at Gush Katif. But nobody in Israel paid attention to it.
Gush Katif was considered strategic when terrorists inflicted pain in central Israel and ran back to Gaza. Then the army had to use the Katif Bloc.
How? Through Netzarim, Jews had a balcony over Gaza City.
Only from there can Jews prevent central Israel from turning into Sderot.
When soldier Nahshon Wachsman was kidnapped, Israeli forces, operating from Netzarim, cut off Gaza to prevent the soldier from being smuggled out of the area. It turned out, however, that Wachsman was being held in Samaria where he was killed by the terrorists.
Would the terrorists who killed the three teens have disappeared if Gush Katif was still in place?
Shimon Peres and those of his persuasion convinced Israel and the Jews to ignore Gaza. But Gaza is the center of the flash point that begins every war, since it is filled with Arabs who claim to be from Jaffa and all of southern Israel who want to "return" to Israel.
Two wars – the Sinai Campaign in 1956 and the Six Day War in 1967 – were ignited by a Gaza in Arab hands.
The withdrawal from Gush Katif has already generated three wars - or shall we say "Operations" - it certainly did not prevent them. Now, only by planting the flag with the Star of David, only by retaking that 12% of the Strip’s territory, can Jews hope to ensure a modicum of quiet.
There is no substitute for Jewish presence. It was not soldiers who were “sent to guard the settlers". On the contrary, it was "the settlers" who were sent to guard the entire land of Israel.
Return to Gaza and be proud of the Jews who lived and were buried there.