Standing Strong in Gaza

Michael Freund,

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צילום: ערוץ 7
Michael Freund
Michael Freund served as Deputy Communications Director in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office under Binyamin Netanyahu during his first term of office. He is the Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (, a Jerusalem-based organization that searches for and assists the Lost Tribes of Israel and other "hidden Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. In addition, Freund is a correspondent and syndicated columnist for the Jerusalem Post, and authors a popular blog on Middle East affairs, Fundamentally Freund. A native New Yorker, Freund is a graduate of Princeton University and holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia. He has lived in Israel for the past 19 years and remains a loyal New York Mets fan....

Anyone who doubted the staying power of the Jewish communities in Gaza can rest a little easier after this morning’s press conference by Yonatan Bassi, head of the Israeli Government’s Disengagement Authority (which is responsible for overseeing the removal of Gaza’s Jews).

Despite months of effort, and despite offering cash bonuses and other benefits, Bassi had preciously little to show for himself today. All told, just 25 families (out of some 8,200 people) have agreed to leave – or a mere 1%.

Even with the continuing bombardment of their communities – both by Palestinian Kassam rockets and a largely-hostile Israeli media – a full 99% of the Jews in Gaza are standing strong, refusing to be cowed into leaving their homes.

Some may view them as fanatics, others as an obstacle to making progress with the Palestinians. But as far as I am concerned, these people are true Jewish heroes, demonstrating a level of faith and fidelity to the Land and people of Israel that is both admirable and worthy of emulation.

Rather than trying to uproot them, the government should instead learn a thing or two from them - from their commitment to principle and from their tenacity and love for this blessed Land.