A rally held this week at Jerusalem’s International Convention Center calling for return of Jewish settlement to the Gaza Strip led to widespread opposition voiced by the highest levels within the American, British and French governments, among many others.

According to organizers, who say thousands attended and many more support the ideas proposed at the event, those reactions are largely dismissive of Israel’s legitimate rights to self-determination in how the country fights its wars and provides for its long-term safety and security.

Daniella Weiss,Chairwoman of the Nachala Settlement Movement, who organized the rally in conjunction with the Samaria Regional Council, says the event reflects a sincere vision by many Israelis and supporters around the world.

“We are here to say that we choose a Gaza Strip that will flourish as a proud center of Jewish life. The area can’t fall back into the hands of Hamas, nor will any upgraded PLO or international force like the UN or UNWRA be able to maintain control over this region. It is only the people of Israel who can settle and control this area,” she said.

Organizers further say that the mass popularity of the event, including the attendance of a sizable number of members of Knesset, points to a desire by many for a different vision in terms of how the war is being conducted and what will occur on the "day after."

Minister of Construction and Housing Yitzchak Goldknopf addressed those sentiments at the rally saying, “This was a war forced on us following a horrific massacre so I will support the Israeli government in an effort to correct that terrible injustice by returning to Gush Katif and the Gaza Strip. That return will serve to begin to rectify a historic injustice in a way that will also protect the very future of the people and land of Israel.”

The Minister’s comments, as leader of the haredi United Torah Judaism party, signaled an important vote of confidence in the concept of Jewish settlement of Gaza from the haredi sector.

In addition to Minister Goldknopf, 10 other members of Knesset were in attendance, from the Likud, United Torah Judaism, National Religious and Oztma Yehudit parties, alongside prominent rabbis and other communal leaders united behind a common theme that the only way to ensure true victory and security for Israel will be by settling the Gaza Strip.

Standing in front of a backdrop of a map of the Gaza Strip highlighting proposed new Jewish settlements, Lital Slonim, Director of Foreign Affairs of the Nachala Settlement Movement, invited representatives of the six new settlement groups that had already committed to moving to the area after the war to join her on stage - eliciting massive applause from the audience.

Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi said, "We are here to say: There will never be a Palestinian state between the sea and Jordan! There will be no control by a terrorist authority in Gaza. We do have an obligation to help the so-called 'uninvolved' Gazans, to encourage voluntary emigration. But in order to preserve the security achievements for which so many have sacrificed their lives, we must settle Gaza with security forces and Jewish settlements.”

Despite the expected international backlash, as well as fierce opposition from many within the Israeli left, the concept of settling the Gaza Strip is gaining momentum among the Israeli public with the understanding that this is the way to bring real security.

"Where there are settlements there is security, and where there are no settlements there is terror,” said Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council and one of the organizers of the conference.We call on the Israeli government to speak the language of the Middle East, which is to take back our territory and establish settlements in northern Samaria and the Gaza Strip.”

Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir boldly called out Prime Minister Netanyahu from the podium saying, “It would be a huge shame to have to wait another 19 years to understand that Gush Katif needs to be returned! It's time to return home! It's time to go back to Gush Katif! It's time to win!