Friday, June 10, 2005

Visiting Gush Katif

This was sent to me by a good friend. It's a report of her Visit to Gush Katif.


Yesterday I visited Gush Katif with 200 other people. There were six busloads of people, all wearing orange, who left Jerusalem at 8 in the morning to spend the day in Katif to show our support for the residents and our opposition to PM Sharon's Plan.

Our guide, Tali, a resident of the area and 3 generation Katifnick, took us to Kfar Darom. There we were taken though a gigantic lettuce packing plant. The vegetables grown in Katif are grown in sand, thereby preventing the possibility of bugs getting into the produce.

Then we visited Netzer Hazani, where Anita Tucker explained how she had come to Katif several decades ago and established a celery crop when she had told it would be impossible to grow anything in the sand.

We then drove the Hof Hadekelem Hotel, also known as the Palm Beach Hotel on the shore of the Mediterranean. The hotel had been a favorite of mine for many years and I've spent many a Shabbat there. Since the Oslo War it has been closed and is now is a terrible state of disrepair. There we met with Nadia who has moved from her home in Efrat, with her children, to Katif and is helping to fix up the hotel so that others may move into the small apts to fight the withdrawal.

The Yeshiva at Neve Dekelim hosted the group for lunch. A young women spoke of her life before she moved to Katif and how the terrorist attack she and her family survived strengthened her determination to live remain there.

After lunch we were taken to the cemetery at Neve Dekelim. As we read the tombstones we realized that many of those buried here had been killed by terrorists. What will become of the dead if withdrawal is realized?

We drove to Kerem Atzmona, a small community of caravans, by way of the sea road. The Mediterranean was calm, yet glistening. There, surrounded by hostile Arab villages, we knelt in the sand to plant trees.

It was an inspiring day. I believe that no one has the right to form any opinion until they have visited Katif and spoken with the residents.



Esther said...

Wow, great post! Please thank Judith for sharing that. It must have been an amazing experience.

Batya said...

I included her address, so people can reply to her directly. She's great!!!