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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Settled?

Musings #155
December 15, 2005
14th of Kislev

Settled?

Yesterday I took a "Ruthie's Tour" to the "unsettled" Gush Katif deportees. I was very ambivalent about going at first. Just the idea of looking at other people as if they were "animals in a zoo" is very embarrassing and demeaning.

Maybe I'm just a bit hypersensitive about these things, since I've been subject to some of the "stares" myself. We spent our first year in Israel living in the Old City of Jerusalem. That was in 1970, and tourists would gawk at the rare Jews to be living among the Arab hovels. Then after ten years of "normalcy" in Bayit V'Gan, Jerusalem, we were once again subjected to lengthy examinations by tourists, reporters and sundry curiosity-seekers after we moved to Shiloh.

Ever since Yitzchak Rabin announced his Oslo Plan, I've been terrorized by visions of soldiers coming to throw me out of my home. I couldn't plan my elder son's Bar Mitzvah until a couple of weeks before the actual day, since according to Yitzchak Rabin's Oslo time-table, we were supposed to be homeless refugees before he even put on T'fillin, which is traditionally done a month before a boy turns thirteen.

Baruch Hashem, bli eyin haraa, he is twenty-four, and we are still living in our Shiloh home, but thousands of good Jews from Gush Katif and Northern Shomron were thrown out of their homes, communities and businesses this past summer. Not only that, but Arik Sharon has announced "more
painful withdrawals," and he's talking about the 90% of YESHA that includes Shiloh, G-d forbid!

One of the things that gives him and the rest of the pro-Disengagement politicians, media and their international cheering squad the confidence and support to go on is how quietly the Disengagement victims are settling in to their new lives. That's one of the main reasons I had to go and see how they are really doing.

There was something I had to keep reminding myself, more and more as I met, observed and listened to the representative deportees who spoke to us from their hotels and temporary homes. In a sense they were possibly, probably, atypical of the majority. It takes a special strength to be able to stand in front of strangers and express oneself. On the whole, the people we met were unbelievably strong and optimistic. Most were already very polished, experienced speakers.

The facts on the ground are a lot more depressing than the people we met. It still turns my stomach to think of the money that is being wasted on all of these temporary solutions like the Nitzan "carravillas", which are designed to last about three years. Does that mean that for three years they will be strong, weather-proof homes and then suddenly collapse? Or does it mean that they will hold up well for a year, less so for the second and deteriorate by the end of the third?

The idle farmer we met in Nitzan after dusk told us of a life the newspapers are ignoring. First of all, he said that burglary is a nightly event. Nothing is safe. He won't allow his youngest child to leave the house unaccompanied, either. Besides unemployment, their lives have changed drastically for the worse. At the age of fifty, he figured that his farming years were over. He and his friends went looking for new work, but they realized that there was no way they could exist as factory workers. They had been successful businessmen, working hard as their own bosses and living in an idyllic community. But the logistics and financial burdens of starting all over again in agriculture seem insurmountable. What could I say? I couldn't tell him that he was wrong.

Our next and final stop was to meet the "unsinkable" Anita Tucker, who told us that at sixty she wants to start again. She's amazing, but what about the ordinary people? Even if the government gives compensation, which they have been worse than stingy about, it won't cover the minimum needed to build new hot houses, buy all the equipment and provide them with money to live on until they see profits. Anita told us that the government is demanding twenty-nine years of phone bills as proof that they lived in Netzer Chazani for twenty-nine years. That's impossible, since they "were pioneers and didn’t have phones for the first seven."

I feel like I just read the first chapter of a book that I can't put down. It's necessary to meet and speak to more Disengagement victims, but next time I want to get to hear the stories of the ones who have been silent.

Batya Medad, Shiloh
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7 comments:

Marcel said...

Israel is in a war for it's survival ,but it's doing everything possible to lose.
The nation has allowed itself to be ensnared by ongoing failed U.S. Middle East policy which rewards terrorism.It has been seduced into not defeating the growing Palestinian threat by a false peace plan. What Israel's enemies could not accomplish in five wars ,the Bush Raod Map succeeds in doing .Israel has been defeated thru the peace and the enemies now circle closer and closer ,going in for their final kill. The appeasment and surrender policies going back to Begin, Rabin Barak ,Netanyahu and Sharon has made it clear to the jihadists that Israel is no longer willing to fight for it's survival. Suicide by Cop is a growing problem here in America.In Israel it is national suicide by capitulation to the Final Solution Road Map. Iran is just impatient and not willing to wait for Israel's slow strangualtion by George ,they want to get it over with now.
Israel's appeasment's have had the opposite of their desired effect.
The best of Israel suffers for the madness of men who assume to make peace with Amalek,soon the worst of Israel will reap their just reward for their evil ways.

kim segar said...

As it is written, nothing will grow on the land in Gaza or elsewhere if the Jews are not on their G-d given land. And when their life gets so unbarable, they will call upon G-d,not out of fear, but because they believe and need Him. He will answer too, and this is the generation that the world will see Messiah come. As war breaks out all over, the antichrist coming like a peace giver, a liar and many will think he is the Messiah, but is not. Once the Jews see he isn't, they will reject him. more hell to come, and then G-d Himself, will say enough..and he promises to bring the world against Israel and will judge and make war. Whatever the people in the world think makes NO Difference, as the end will bring Messiah, who is a JEW and He will sit on the Throne of David, and of HIS Kingdom there will be NO END.I believe all will be fulfilled sooner than we think. Zechariah 12:2 is true, Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, as we know we are praying also for the Messiah to come,,,and He will... and in the meantime, nothing will grow on the land where the Jews are thrown out. And the ones who think in this world that weather is not part of the warning, just needs to go read the scripture..as it is truth...

josh said...

From what understand, the carton-villas (as the ex-settlers call them), are not meant to last for three years, but rather the plan was that during the next three years, the 'new' 'regular' communities will be built.

I hope that I am proved wrong or tempting ayin hara, but we seem to know that at the current pace, in ten years, ex-settlers will still be in carton-villas. I wonder if they are insulated with fiberglass or something because these people are going to have massive heating bills if the winter is cold.

I'm sorry that they haven't all realized that instead of compromising with the government, they should have moved to Yosh and stayed settlers. I admire the people of Netzarim, Morag, Homesh, and Shirat Yam that are insisting on going against the grain.

Batya said...

You've all brought up such wonderful points. I have so much more to write about the visit, but no time tonight.

Esther said...

Great post, Batya! Marcel has voiced a lot of my feelings. What is it about Israel's leaders that make these warriors all turn into freakin' doves once in office? You got royally screwed. If Sharon plans to give up even more, what does he think he's going to have left to rule over? It'll end up being just his farm.

westbankmama said...

Great post. More and more people need to know exactly what is happening to those kicked out of Gush Katif.

Batya said...

Thanks, I really must go over my notes and write more.