We were told - actually, we were promised - that leaving Gaza and destroying its vibrant Jewish communities will bring a safer zone to Israel proper. There was no longer to be a reason for the constant attacks against the settlements in Gush Katif, because there is no longer a Jewish Gush Katif.

They promised and they swore and they guaranteed a rosy tomorrow, if we only surrender today. They ignored every analysis to the contrary, rejected every warning and ignored the predictions. The plan of surrender was enthusiastically endorsed in spite of all of the dire prophecies to the contrary. Educated and experienced military men were shunted aside, their sage advice relegated to the trash bins. Every caution was thrown to the wind in their rush to implement a destructive expulsion of Israel's real defenders. The gates and borders were torn down and the miles-long separation from Israel's central cities, which those settlements afforded Israel proper, vanished with the last soldier to walk out of the gate.

Peace is that much closer, they said. Peace in our time.

Of course, they knew that it was all a lie. Of course, they knew that their guarantees were no guarantees at all. They knew the true facts, understood the real dangers, realized the stupidity of the act, but went through with it because of who those settlers are. They demonized them, spoke of them in the ugliest anti-Semitic language possible, and dehumanized every man, woman and child.

They were obsessed with the illusion and blinded to their self-destruction. They were tired of fighting for the land G-d gave them and were willing to surrender. They refused to admit that the ones they vilified were unequivocally the bravest of the brave. So they pooh-poohed and dismissed the settlers' personal and physical contribution to the safety of those living in Tel Aviv, Sderot and Ashkelon.

They were warned that the rockets will hit the major cities and will create mayhem and havoc in cities previously immune. And they labeled us inciters, troublemakers and rabble-rousers. They arrested us because we protested. And we protested because of the consequences we knew would come. We became pariahs, because we wished to remain on our land. And by remaining, we would have continued to defend the country with our own bodies.

"If the settlements were gone," the preached over and over again, "then the borders will be better defended." We laughed at that, and shouted and cried. So, we were beaten and jailed and refused medical treatment. And as the first Kassam rocket slammed into Sderot, we knew that war we tried to keep at bay had come much, much closer.

We were parasites; that's what they called us. We were parasites who bled the country dry and stood in the way of peace with the enemy. They stopped our marches, harassed our youths and marched onward with their diabolical plan. The settlements were destroyed, fields and plantations devastated, homes bulldozed, and beautiful synagogues left to be ransacked and burned. And the pace of the rockets increased one-hundred fold; over 1,000 as of today.

Where is the peace we were promised? Where is the quiet and tranquility we were assured of? I still hear the rockets whistle, the frightened children crying. Where are all those who united in the treachery of the expulsion? Where are they today to say that they were mistaken? Are our soldiers less at risk? Are the citizens of Netiv HaAsarah, Sderot and Ashkelon dreaming peacefully in their beds? Are there less traumatized children in Sderot today than there were when we, the pariahs, absorbed the rockets exploding shock? Do the citizens in the Galilee and Negev feel more secure today than they did last August at this time? Is peace that much closer?

But they haven't learned a thing. The first expulsion debacle is just bearing its bitter fruits and they have already promulgated, designed and sketched out the next asinine plan of dislodging Jews from their land and handing it over to the enemy. "Convergence" they call it. In spite of all the terror that is going on, it is alive and well. And it is being universally promoted as the plan to bring both security for Israel, and for the murderers, their own state. Those to be expelled are soon to become the latest pariahs, the inciters and the blood-sucking, anti-social vermin who refuse to heed the shrill call of peace.

Give peace a chance? We did. We lost.