'National responsibility to not repeat Gush Katif'

While commemorating 11 years since the expulsion of Gush Katif, Uri Ariel is concerned that history will repeat itself - through Amona.

Hezki Baruch,

Uri Ariel at the conference
Uri Ariel at the conference
Miri Tzahi

"The Katif Conference," marking 11 years since Israel evacuated Gaza, opened Monday morning with the issue of national responsibility.

The conference is the initiative of the Katif Center to Commemorate the Legacy of Gush Katif and Northern Samaria. It was attended by government ministers, MKs and other dignitaries.

The conference began with the blessing of Chairman of the Public Municipaliy of Central Katif, David Hatuel, after whom the head of the Hof Ashkelon Municipal Head, Yair Parjon, took to the podium.

As the conference continued, Agriculture Minister MK Uri Ariel argued that, "I didn't come to congratulate, I came to respect and to join with my brothers and good friends from all over the country. This is the 11th year since the expulsion of the Jews from Gush Katif and northern Samaria. We, and you especially, are proving throughout forty years what is national responsibility."

"National responsibility is to go and live in Kfar Darom...to build Gush Katif and Gaza, and not to be deterred by terrorism, and the rest of the attacks, and to continue onward in creating connections in society, with all of its diversity, which creates the most beautiful rainbow out of all the colors."

"National responsibility is to be in an intifada, and to bite your tongue. To know that the response is in planting, and to know that the Zionist answer lies in building.

"National responsibility is to act as they did in Gush Katif, and not to pick up your hand [to strike], and not hurt anyone in the security forces. That's not national responsibility, to create psychological warfare...as if these people were exploiters. It is not national responsibility to exile 8,000 people from their homes, that is not the answer of national responsibility. It is national responsibility to say that after we evacuate those people, we go and settle the land. That is national responsibility, and that is the continuation of national responsibility.

"It is a national responsibility not to evacuate the people of Amona again. We were in this horror film already the year after the expulsion of Gush Katif. The residents acted with 100 percent responsibility, and didn't strike any soldiers, even though they attempted to fabricate claims. For whom? For those who did not have [a sense of] national responsibility," Ariel dismissed.

"It is our national responsibility to pass through the Knesset a law to legalize Amona and all settlement, and not to search out each time a one-time solution," Ariel emphasized.

Head of the Katif Center to Commemorate the Legacy of Gush Katif and Northern Samaria, Mochi Beter, emphasized that "the difficult emotions left over from the disengagement only strengthen all the more the need to act...especially today, with our differing world views, disputes, and difficult arguments, we choose to move forward with the dialogue, the conversation and the listening born out of mutual respect, in order to continue the idea of establishing the state of Israel as the home of the Jewish people."


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