February 22, 2007
IFF: Engaging in disengagement—five horrible days in Gaza
(Page 2 - Previous Page)"Two weeks from now, I will either be dead or in jail or in hospital, because I'm not just going to walk out of my house and say goodbye," one American said in "Withdrawal."
In July 2005, nobody knew how violent the evacuation would be. Were the settlers armed? How would the army and police remove them? What would happen if they wouldn't go? Would an evacuation be possible?
But in 2007, knowing the ending -- that the settlements were evacuated without much injury or harm -- there is another more pressing question: What has the withdrawal from Gaza wrought?
That's one question the films cannot answer, given that they were made so close to the actual event. Some films end with epigrams telling where the evacuees live, but none can tell us what the long-term effects will be on them -- or their evacuators.
How will their lives be affected? Although disengagement only lasted five days, one thing that all the films make clear is that the disengagement was indeed a "Storm of Emotions" for settlers, as well as soldiers.
The disengagement ruptured Israeli society, unearthing the long-simmering rift between secular and religious, settler and peacenik, as never before in its history.
Whether Israel -- and Israelis -- will recover from this remains the real question for five -- or 10-year anniversary documentaries. Will the Gaza disengagement be a footnote in Israel's tumultuous history, just one of many battles, or will it be, as one of the settlers cries out to the evacuators: "It's a crime that will haunt you the rest of your lives."
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