• Live
  • Open to the public
  • Hebrew

The Disengagement from Gaza Revisited

Polonsky Auditorium
Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
43 Jabotinsky Street, Jerusalem

Open to the public with advanced registration.

Although 10 years have passed since the disengagement from Gaza under the leadership of Ariel Sharon, Israel's unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the evacuation of its residents is still an open wound in Israeli society. On Monday July 13, 2015, IDI and the Makor Rishon weekly newspaper hosted a conference on the issues that the disengagement has raised for Israeli democracy.

The conference focused on how government authorities deal with foreign policy decisions and explored the functioning of government institutions, civil society, the religious community, and the media during the disengagement itself, as well as the impact that this experience has had on Israeli society until this very day.

The conference, which took place at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, was open to the public with advance registration and was broadcast live on the IDI website.

09:45–10:30 a.m

Yohanan Plesner, President, The Israel Democracy Institute
Orly Goldklang, Deputy Editor, Makor Rishon

Opening Remarks
MK Naftali Bennett, Minister of Education

Opening Lecture: The Disengagement and the Israeli Blues
Prof. Yedidia Stern, Vice President of Research, The Israel Democracy Institute


10:30 am11:15 am | Session 1
Government and Law:  Decision-Making Processes and Action Taken

Moderator: Shalom Yerushalmi, Makor Rishon Newspaper


  • Haim Oron, Former Member of Knesset
  • Attorney Dov Weisglass
  • Major General Amos Yaron

11:30 am–1:30 pm | Session 2
Civic Resilience through the Prism of the Disengagement

Opening Remarks: MK Isaac Herzog, Chairman of the Opposition

Moderator: Mazal Mualem, Al-Monitor


  • Zvi Hendel, Former Member of Knesset
  • Yaron London, Journalist
  • Pinchas Wallerstein, Former Chairman of the Binyamin Regional Council
  • MK Shelly Yachimovich, The Zionist Union
  • Hagit Yaron, The Gush Katif Committee

1:30–1:45 pm
 "One on One" with Defense Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya'alon


2:00–3:30 pm | Session 3
The Crisis in Religious Zionism

Moderator: Roy Sharon, Channel 10 News


  • Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman
  • Prof. Fania Oz-Salzberger
  • Rabbi Ya’acov Medan
  • Dr. Anat Roth
  • Yair Sheleg, IDI Research Fellow and Journalist 

3:30–5:00 pm | Session 4
"With Sensitivity and Determination": Media Coverage during the Disengagement

Moderator: Nechama Duek, Yedioth Ahronoth


  • Brigadier General (ret.) Avi Benayahu
  • MK Yinon Magal, Jewish Home party
  • Haggai Segal, Editor, Makor Rishon
  • Anat Saragusti, Journalist


In preparation for this conference, Yair Sheleg, Director of IDI's Religion and State program, published a research article entitled "The Loss of Naïveté: The Impact of the Withdrawal from Gaza on Religious Zionism."

Read the abridged English version

Read the full Hebrew version