One of my shul's rabbi's favorite topics to speak about for the last few months each Shabbos morning has been about Sharon's proposed unilateral pull-out from Gaza and Gush Katif. As a firm religious zionist, he is very against the idea and cannot comprehend how anyone could even consider such an ignoble idea. He isn't too fond of liberal Jews either.
My views of the matter are this: I don't see every scrap of land settled by Jews in the area as sacred. Much of the land in the area has strong historical and cultural value as it is the area of ancient independent Jewish rule, but Gaza isn't really part of that. The land of Gaza was always a neighboring land, and sometimes under control of the Israelites, but it's hardly a Jewish land. So any argument of it being part of the traditional Jewish homeland is not convincing.
Another point of view says that any land conquered by Jews (especially in a defensive war) should never be given away. In a perfect world that might be fair but it fails to account for the political and demographic realities of today and things aren't always fair. As I see it, there are 1.3 million Palestinians living in Gaza and less than 8000 Israeli settlers. Those few thousand settlers are under constant attack and the state of Israel has to swallow huge expenses to keep them protected. And for what? Just to say that Jews are living in Gaza?
And Israel can't just let these settlers stay in Gaza but remove the IDF forces. These settlers are Israeli citizens and as such the state must go back and help them if they're ever in trouble. There is no doubt that in Gaza they will be in trouble. The only way for the state of Israel to remove itself from that inevitability is to remove the citizens themselves from the area.
Seeing the situation as a cost/benefit analysis, I think, clearly shows that settlement in Gaza is a huge cost for not much benefit. The ideologues who have settled there enrages the local Palestinians and endangers Israel more than it would otherwise.
Other arguments against the pull-out is that the settlement is for Israel's security. I don't think that's credible. Gush Katif is a security nightmare. A carefully monitored border on Israel proper would be much easier to manage and removing Jews from Gaza is removing juicy targets.
Another argument is that Israel is in a state of war with the Palestinians and if we want peace, it's stupid and wrong to let the Palestinians win by just giving them land. This may have something to it but I feel that although that's a valid concern I don't think peace will be gained or lost by Gaza alone. I think that in the long term, settlement there is too costly to perhaps use the area as a future bargaining tool for peace talks.
So I'm not very happy about the plan, I don't like to see Jews being ripped from their homes or to see Palestinians whooping in victory after Israel will pull out, but from a logical point of view it does seem like a good course of action. Doing so will even make Israel look good on the international media stage as they are giving the Palestinians more autonomy in the process. And maybe, just maybe, it will even lead to a sooner state of peace in the region.