Saturday, May 31, 2008

"Gaza Belt?"

When I hear or read the term "Gaza Belt," this is what I think of. Look at these pictures of Arab explosive belts, the types worn on suicide terrorists.



The Arab version of WWII Kamikaze pilots, who would ram their planes into their targets and then die in the crash. They flew solo, unlike the Bin Laden's Arab terrorists of 9-11 infamy.

Now, I've been trying to figure out who and when did Israel's south, the Sderot, Ashkelon area get that new name, "Gaza Belt." The term isn't used in a the media. For instance, when I did search of Ynet, the closest was:
For some reason, Arutz 7 uses it a lot:
The Jerusalem Post, too:
and in other places:
Just like people are influenced by the names they're given, so are places. And since we all know that the vast majority of people have negative associations with the name "Gaza," it's clear that by calling Ashkeolon, Sderot and the smaller communities near them as the "Gaza Belt," people will think of them as dangerous and their residents suicidal or risk-takers.
The term Gaza Belt must not be used. It must be added to the list of forbidden words like "territories," "settlements," "in 1967 Israeli conquered," "Palestinian," etc. Please let me know which I forgot.

6 comments:

Hadassa DeYoung said...

Shalom, Batya!
The area surrounding the Gaza Strip was always known as "otef Azza", but it didn't make the news as much before we were kicked out of Gush Katif and "otef Azza" became the prime target for Kassams and other missiles. The branch of the IDF that was responsible for the security of the Gaza Strip and the surrounding area did not change its name after the expulsion. A reporter asked a head officer what his unit would now be called and the reply was that the name would not change, it would remain something like "Mifkedet Azor Azza". I can't remember the exact name and I don't have time to Google. I can only imagine that keeping the same name made things easier for the soldiers involved. And actually most soldiers who served in the Gaza Strip on a regular basis knew what a catastrophe the expulsion would be and were not in favor of it.
On a related note, several years before the expulsion the Regional Council of Azata had its name changed from Azata to Sadmot Negev. After the expulsion, all road signs leading to Gush Katif were quickly removed, except for the ones attached to other signs. Those were painted over. We know what's under the paint.
The Gaza Strip is actually an artificial term, because the Green Line has no basis in Jewish history. The region should be referred to as the Western Negev.
And if you want to get nit-picky, not all of the Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip (Sorry, for now I have to use terms everyone will recognize.) are in Gush Katif. Only the settlements from Netzer Hazani to Morag are in Gush Katif. All of the settlements are in Hevel Katif, which is synonymous with Hevel Azza, the Gaza Strip. K'far Darom and Netzarim are isolated settlements. Dugit, Alei Sinai and Nisanit are the Northern Settlements, Yishuvei Tzafon HaHevel.
I'm surprised that Kibbutz K'far Azza was never asked to change its name.
It's all in a name...
Hadassa

Batya said...

Thanks for the info, Hadassa. As I recall, some of the destroyed communities were in a "Hevel Shalom" built after Yamit and those Jewish communites were destroyed. That included Atzmona II. Now, why wasn't it strongly publicized? I'm positive that there were "promises" for letting those communities stay, since they were replacements for the ones destroyed.

Hadassa DeYoung said...

Shalom, Batya!
Hevel Shalom - do you mean Kerem Shalom, the area just west of Morag near the area of the Sufa Crossing, where are the growers are protesting now that the Kassams are affecting them and not the illegitimate Gush Katif settlers? I never heard that they absorbed settlements from Yamit. (Yated and Yavul are close to Kerem Shalom. And they thought that they were through with the annoying religious fanatics.) I don't remember any specific promises made to Atzmona (BTW Atzmona was not allowed to be officially named Atzmona or actually Mitzpei Atzmona, as they wanted, because the name implied looking back towards Atzmona, and of course planning to return. Not that anyone ever called it Bnei Atzmon, but that is the official name. It was the Arabs who made a fuss and the Israeli government dutifully complied.) or Alei Sinai, but I wasn't involved with high level talks. I also did not have a high-speed Internet line then and my children were much younger so I couldn't follow publicity or speak as much to guests and groups as much I wanted to.
Atzmona and Alei Sinai did publicize the fact that they were "relocated" after Yamit. I guess they weren't able to get past the leftist filters. Who would have cared anyway? They would have been blamed for choosing to rebuild on more occupied land.
Netiv Ha'Asera, just over the "Green Line" was also "relocated" from Yamit. They suffered two fatalities from a Kassam before the expulsion and they are being hard hit now.
Hadassa

Batya said...

Hadassa, thanks
I have no doubt that the anti-Disengagement protest should have had been totally different and it should have strongly used this history. I was here during Camp David/Yamit, and my feeling was that Begin thought that these communities would be permanent compensation.

We all know that the protest was badly done, totally. Avi Farchan didn't have the budget and manpower to counteract Moetzet YESHA's born to fail campaign.

Hadassa DeYoung said...

Shalom,Batya!
I have friends who were members of Mateh Gush Katif. Giving the Palm Beach Hotel over to the IDF isn't the only gripe they have with the Yesha Council. I could hardly read what Sara Elya'ash wrote in BeSheva last week. We're not angry at the Yesha Council because they lost the fight. We're angry at them because they neither fought nor allowed anyone else to fight.
Hadassa

Batya said...

That's for sure. It should have been an easy battle, but they did everything wrong that was possible to do.