Title: Dragged Out of Gush Katif: The Tale of an American Who Flew To Israel
Author: Steven Baum
Dragged Out of Gush Katif by Steven Baum is a tell-it-all book that goes behind the scenes of the tragic and unforgettable 2005 Disengagement from Gaza. Baum gives the reader a first-hand account of the events leading up to and following the pullout from Gaza, and the terrible suffering it has caused so many Jews.
In his controversial and sometimes overly fanatic book – even by Rabbi Meir Kahane’s standards – Baum gives the reader an understanding of why the efforts at stopping the Disengagement failed and how Israelis really did have the possibility to stop the tragic incident. He also draws a vivid picture of Israel’s looming future if the Israeli government is not forcefully stopped from its obsession with giving away land to the Palestinians. Baum claims that Israel is failing the Jewish people in the hope that the Palestinians will embrace them, and in anticipation that the world will lessen its demands of the Jewish state. In his unique and unconventional analysis, Baum emphasizes the faultiness of this Israeli mindset and clearly describes to his readers the underpinnings of modern Israeli political maneuvers.
Surely, many readers will strongly disagree with some of the opinions expressed in the book, including the notion that Chabad shluchim should completely disassociate themselves from members of the IDF who participated in the disengagement. I, among others, believe that every Jew – no matter what he or she has done – should be given a chance and be assisted in reconnecting with his or her Jewish heritage. Chabad emissaries working with the IDF try to give this opportunity to all those they encounter, regardless of their background or history. Stopping this type of outreach would be an injustice to Jews and Judaism, and is completely unrelated to the Disengagement or Israeli politics.
Nevertheless, I still found Baum’s book to be quite an intriguing and enjoyable read. It greatly broadens one’s perspective of the unforgettable events of 2005 and gives one a deeper understanding of what actually happened during the Disengagement. In addition, the writer’s passion for the Jewish homeland is contagious. Reading this book and the opinions expressed therein can be quite captivating even for the ordinary Jew, regardless of his or her perspective of the Israeli political system.
The events that took place in Gaza at this historic time have rarely been recorded in such great detail as they are in Dragged Out of Gush Katif. Despite its somewhat zealous and controversial message, the book is fascinating in its detail and infectious in its passion for the land of Israel, thus making it a great read for anyone who cares about this painful chapter in Israel’s history.
“Dragged Out of Gush Katif” is available for purchase on Amazon.com.