My Nightmare Prophecy for Gaza was Fulfilled

Nov 10, 2023 4:44 pm | Virtual Jerusalem, VJ Views

by Orit Arfa

Over fifteen years ago, I penned a scenario in my novel, The Settler, that depicted Hamas orchestrating a catastrophic rocket attack on Tel Aviv. This fictional narrative, although chilling, did not fully anticipate the scale of the calamity that unfolded in 2023 when a sudden strike by Hamas led to the tragic deaths of over a thousand civilians and the abduction of more than 240 hostages.

On the sandy stretches of Gush Katif, during the unsettling days before the Disengagement of 2005, I engaged with settlers whose foresight into the consequences of abandoning these settlements was as alarming as it was insightful. Their understanding was that these communities served not only as thriving, agricultural and productive Jewish communities but as vital security buffers, essential for the protection of Israel.

The orange ribbons of Gush Katif, once symbols of a struggle to maintain a Jewish presence in Gaza, became reminders of the strategic depth Israel has lost to the withdrawal. The aftermath of the Disengagement, often termed by its victims as the “Expulsion,” underscored the residents’ warnings with devastating clarity. Violence surged into the void left behind, echoing the grim realities that were once confined to the realm of imagination.

Today, in the shadow of tragedy, a new vision for northern Gaza emerges. We call for a bold initiative to reconstitute this area as a hub of coexistence and creativity, akin to a Mideast Singapore, which could not come to fruition with a populace reared on hatred. This renewed Gush Katif must be a beacon for artists, musicians, and all peace-seekers, led by Jewish Israelis but including people of all faiths and beliefs who believe in coexistence, symbolizing the vibrant tapestry of a society built on the foundations of peace and harmony.

It must transform into a place where the shared aspirations of a diverse populace — from Israelis to international supporters of peace — interlace to forge a community devoted to the arts, understanding, and the collective rejection of violence. Here, in this revitalized region, every creative act and every peaceful gathering will contribute to a legacy of hope, showcasing to the world that even in the aftermath of destruction, the human spirit can triumph through unity and the resolute pursuit of peace.

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