Channel 2's political correspondent Amit Segal has gathered together statements made by many of Israel's leading politicians prior to the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza. Politicians rejected warnings of rocket fire from Gaza as "absurd," and many of those who now blame the retreat from Gaza for attacks on the south, actually voted for the withdrawal.
Can't see video? Click here.
Then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon stated the purpose of the Disengagement from Gaza in his December 2003 speech to the Herzliyah Conference. He said:
“The purpose of the Disengagement Plan is to reduce terror as much as possible, and grant Israeli citizens the maximum level of security…These steps will increase security for the residents of Israel and relieve the pressure on the IDF and security forces in fulfilling the difficult tasks they are faced with. The Disengagement Plan is meant to grant maximum security and minimize friction between Israelis and Palestinians.”
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Herzliya Conference, December 18, 2003
In the above video, the following members of Knesset are shown making statements from the Knesset floor:
MK Meir Sheetrit, Kadima (Formerly Likud): There is an argument according to which there will be a threat… a threat and a fleeing… a threat on the Negev communities… I have never before heard such a ridiculous argument
MK Ran Cohen, Meretz: The disengagement is good for security. The right wing people stood here and talked about Kassams flying from here to there… I'm telling you, whoever wants to spare not only Sderot but also Ashkelon, both of them, must understand: if we don't go out of the Gaza Strip in two or three years, maybe after one year, the range will reach Ashkelon.
MK Orit Noked, Labor: I want to believe that, as a result of the evacuation, and the exiting of Gaza, the moderate Palestinian leaders will become strong, and terror will be reduced.
MK Shaul Mofaz, Kadima (Formerly Likud): I am convinced the act is necessary and right, it can grant greater security for the residents of Israel and can reduce the burden on the security forces, it can break the current stalemate and open a door to a new reality that will enable, when the day comes negotiations for coexistence.
MK Pines-Paz, Labor: Honorable Knesset Chairman, before I arrived in the Knesset today, I brought my son to the Tel Hashomer base, he received his first call-up order to the IDF. I must thank Ariel Sharon for the hope he gives me and my wife that my son, when he is recruited, will not have to serve the nation of Israel in the Gaza Strip.
MK Binyamin Netanyahu, Likud Chairman: Make no mistake, in a referendum I will support the (disengagement) plan
MK Yuval Shteinitz, Likud: I think that this plan, under the conditions, is appropriate for our confidence. It's not a simple plan, but it has a high probability of improving our geo-strategic situation.
Film of Knesset roll call in one of the votes on the Disengagement
MK (Likud) Silvan Shalom – In favor
MK (Likud) Yisrael Katz – In favor
MK (Likud) Limor Livnat – In favor
MK (Likud) Binyamin Netanyahu – In favor