Exactly five years ago I was sitting home watching tv and feeling helpless. My country, the place I chose to call home was going to what I believe has been the most traumatic era since it was established in 1948 and I was sitting home.
The reason I was at home is not because I didn't want to be out , fighting for what I believed (and still do) was right, but because I was paralyzed I actually couldn't believe we were doing that to ourselves. We were actually evacuating Israeli citizens from their houses believing that it will bring peace.
Thirty years before, the Israeli government actually sent those civilians that people like to call settlers or colonialist ( i call them pioneers) to live in the Gaza strip. The Gaza strip was liberated by Israel during a war that Israel didn't open and since the government wanted to secure that beautiful piece of land, they figured the right think to do was to create settlements, towns, farms and living areas.
And so, thousands of families were encouraged to move there. They build houses, neighborhoods. they created probably the most prosperity agricultural area in Israel and they didn't complain, not even once. When Palestinians threw rockets at them on a daily basis, when their kids were murdered, wounded , when going to school or work was like playing a Russian Roulette, they didn't complain. They were there on a mission, they believed in that mission and they knew that sometimes, we pay the price.
What they never expected was to be stabbed in the back by their own Government. They have been taking death, wounds, and fear for years but they never expected it to be from their own brothers.
2005 was the summer of the disengagement, when tens of thousands of Israeli IDF soldiers were sent on a mission to evacuate their own brothers from their houses so we could give the territory to the Palestinians hoping for peace.
2005 was the summer when the Israeli society was about to break into pieces, the year where a civilian war could have started.
2005 was the summer when 19 year old boys and girls were sent on a mission to destroy what other built.
2005 was the summer where a whole generation of kids almost lost their faith in god and in this country we call Home.
It could have been the end of the Israeli brotherhood but it wasn't/ It wasn't because those who lived in the Gaza strip decided that no matter what, we are all brothers, we can fight, we can have arguments and even almost hate each other every once in a while but they decided that the bond between us is stronger than the differences.
So they fought passively. They didn't help the soldiers evacuate them, but they didn't really resist. They cried, they felt betrayed, they yelled, they refused to leave their homes but they didn't hurt anyone.
That summer, the Israeli government took every single civil right they had. It took their homes, their freedom of speech, their economy, their security but they didn't take their faith in god and they didn't take their pride.
Five years later and most of them are still living in trailers as the government didn't find a solution for them. Five years later and kids that grew up barefooted and free are now getting used to live in tinny little rooms in the city. Five years later and the wounds of that terrible summer are stil trying to heal.
But sadly enough, five years later and peace has never seemed as far away as it does today.
In the same place that school and synagogues stood, today Hamas shooting machines stand. In the same place where hothouses used to stand, now rocks and rubbish stand.
I have lived through the 2nd intifada, when getting on a bus in Jerusalem was like gambling with your life. My university suffered from a suicide explosion, 2 buses exploded by my high school when I was in school. I could have been in almost every one of the suicidal attacks in Jerusalem in the early 2000's.. but the only time that i remember as traumatic, the only time that made me consider for once, leaving this land- was summer of 2005