I was in Gush Katif in 2005. It was one of the most magnificent agricultural developments and enterprises in all of Israel. Some of the finest organically grown produce in the world, including The New York Times’ number-one-rated tomato, came from Gush Katif. The pioneering Jewish farmers who worked the land truly made a desert bloom. There were 21 beautiful communities strung together like pearls on a necklace. There were wonderful schools and regal synagogues. They were a sight to behold. It was a dream-come-true like the rest of Israel, and the rebirth of a nation after 2,000 years in exile.
Gush Katif was a miracle. The miracle came to an abrupt halt when Ariel Sharon decided to unilaterally disengage from a project that he himself had been involved in and praised to the highest of heavens. Despite millions of dollars being pumped into the PA to help develop their own agricultural and industrial zone, Gush Katif became a desecrated wasteland and terrorist base once Sharon expelled the 10,000 Jews living there. To this very day, it is still not clear what drove Ariel Sharon to make such a tragic mistake. At the time, I believed that it was “payback” to President George W. Bush for his invasion of Iraq.
I did everything I could to try to stop the “expulsion.” It was a great trauma to the Jewish people. The pain and anguish persist even to this day. It is precisely the reason the Jewish people seek the application of sovereignty over Judea and Samaria now. Israel cannot ever again go through the nightmare it endured almost 15 years ago to this very day.
It is up to President Trump to allow sovereignty/annexation of Judea and Samaria to proceed as per his plan. I would sincerely recommend that he do it prior to the election. It will help give him a big boost, just as moving the American embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv did. Although the deal with UAE and Israel is an achievement, application of sovereignty will help the President a lot more in the upcoming election. It will make him the unequivocal champion of the Friends of Israel Society of American Presidents.
This past week, I had the honor of talking to Dr. Jacques Gauthier. He is one of the world’s greatest international lawyers regarding Israel’s indigenous and unequivocal legal rights to Judea and Samaria.
Dr. Gauthier is a righteous gentile who has spent the last 20 years researching Israel’s legal rights to Judea and Samaria. He is the person who discovered the critical San Remo Conference of 1920, which put into effect “the declaration originally made on November 2, 1917, by the government of His Britannic Majesty” (the Balfour Declaration) in favor of “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”
Dr. Gauthier told me that Dr. Chaim Weizmann felt that the San Remo Conference was the single most important event in the establishment of the State of Israel. It also gave Israel the legal basis for its rights to Judea and Samaria adopted by the League of Nations in 1922.
Dr. Gauthier made it clear that Israel should have annexed Judea and Samaria after the Six-Day War of 1967. Waiting 53 years is way too long. That is why it is so important for President Trump to green-light the annexation. This will enable Israel to actually, once and for all, fulfill its legal obligation and rights to the land.
With the Gush Katif debacle still fresh on everyone’s minds, now 15 years later, the prospects of further expulsions is untenable and should never again happen. The only way to ensure that this will be the case is to apply sovereignty now. I beseech President Trump to do so in order to guarantee his re-election on November 3.
Joseph M. Frager is a physician and lifelong activist.