South Carolina Representative Alan Clemmons visited on Monday the Gush Katif Museum in Jerusalem. The museum undertook the task of memorializing the history of Gush Katif, the area from which Jewish residents were expelled in 2005.
Clemmons, a Christian friend of Israel, is behind the South Carolina stands with Israel resolution, a bill that was passed in June calling on the State of Israel to retain control over Judea and Samaria and highlighting what it terms the “cordial and mutually beneficial relations” enjoyed by Israel and South Carolina since 1948.
He toured the different departments of the Gush Katif Museum and could not hide his excitement, saying that the experience was a most powerful and moving one.
“I’ve seen a lot to reflect on here,” Clemmons later told the cameras. “There’s a strong message in these few rooms dedicated to the memory of Gush Katif.”
“Every Israeli should see what I’m seeing on these walls,” he added. “There are memories of good times. There are memories of a beautiful place that was carved out of nothing. Of a beautiful, green oasis that G-d fertilized and watered through the people of Gush Katif.”
Clemmons, who called the expulsion from Gush Katif “a bargain for peace” said that “we have to look at what we have today to see if that experiment, if that bargain for peace was worth the cost.”
“I believe, from what I’m seeing, it was not worth the cost,” he said. “Israel, the world, did not receive the benefit of the peace that was promised.”
He added, “This should be a warning to us all that we need to be careful that when we bargain for peace there has to be a desire for peace, not just on one side but on both sides. To bargain over the heartland of Israel, the land of Israel’s patriarchs, the land where the Bible was lived – that is land that is too sacred to be bargained over for an uncertain outcome.”
Photos by Gush Katif Museum