Hamas War

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Musings on my recent OC Register interview

Musings on my recent OC Register interview
by Sara Layah Shomron

It just so happens that the Jewish Federation of Orange County, California has a partnership program with Kiryat Malachi and the Ashkelon coastal region. Nitzan, is on the Ashkelon coast and the site of the Israeli government's largest internal relocation camp for Gush Katifers. It is where my family and I live. It also just so happens that several years ago my parents retired in Orange County. What a coincidence! So I took the initiative and made a connection with the Orange County Jewish Federation Partnership program. I thought I might be able to help increase their awareness of the Gush Katif plight here at Nitzan.

Given my recent blogs on this site about Operation "Cast Lead" and our newly government issued sewer pipe bomb shelters, I was contacted by and then pre-arranged a late Monday night, Jan. 12, 2009 telephone interview with journalist Vik Jolly of the OC Register - billed as "Orange County's news source."

The interview was posted yesterday, Tuesday, January 13, 2009. I think the interview went well. Vik Jolly gives readers of the Orange County Register a well written and good article; he didn't add anything anti-Israel "for balance" as some journalists do. It is also wonderful of Jolly to provide links to my Shiloh Musings blog posts, A7 article, and Shifra's historic novel, Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim (Mazo Publishers). This will help those OC Register readers interested in learning more.

Space limitations didn't allow for inclusion of all that I said. Batya, whose blog site this is, encouraged me to blog what I felt missing. So, here goes.

"Booms." While Vik Jolly and I spoke, I felt and heard strong "booms." I told him as much adding, "if the siren sounds, I'll say bye, and immediately hang the phone." I hastened to say, "I'm not being rude; rather, have 30 seconds to run to the sewer pipe." Were this to happen, I asked that he call back some 10 minutes later.

Mr. Jolly inquired as to who was doing the bombing. I thought Arabs were targeting us as we've felt and heard past booms targeting Ashkelon - booms that we received no siren ushering us into the sewer pipe bomb shelter.

our sewer pipe bomb shelter
The scenic and calm view was beautifully painted by our neighborhood youth.

I asked my husband his take on it. He thought that the booms were part of an IDF operation. It was confusing to know. Yet Mr. Jolly made no mention that the interview was being conducted under a background of booms and concern. Doesn't this make the article more real to the reader? More like the popular "reality shows?"

Arab terror in Gush Katif. Tali HaTuel H"YD and her children H"YD murdered at point zero range as they drove from Moshav Katif to Ashkelon; Arabs targeting our Gush Katif communities with mortars, shootings, road-side bombs... An idyllic life turned into a nightmare.

Caravilla. These are temporary, flimsy government issued structures. The government found a loophole not to build bomb shelters otherwise required by law in permanent housing structures.

Compensation. Grossly inadequate; people using it for daily expenses leaving insufficient funds to build a permanent house; high unemployment among Gush Katifers now because of the disengagement;Gush Katif farmers not being given land, hard for them to start over again - many in their 50's, they lost business contacts, have to learn new soil conditions…

politics. My thoughts regarding a so-called two-state (final) solution (parenthesis mine); polls - easily manipulated; and this Israeli Operation "Cast Lead" and its goals - 8 years too late...

It would have been good if these points had been mentioned- but it is a lot of detail. After all, there is only so much space and so many words per article.

Thank you Vik Jolly and the OC Register!


Anonymous said...

I read with a great level of interest Mr Jolly's interview and Sara Layah's follow up postings.

Sarah and I met in Arizona over 30 years ago while at ASU. Sara and I have kept in contact over the years as she and her family have adoapted Israel as their home. I have heard of her many experiences -- joyous and tragic -- as her family has soldiered through the many triumphs and indignities that they and their fellow Gush Katifers have endured. They love their adoptive homeland and would do anything for the honor of living there. They have a fortitude that many Americans no longer seem to have.

Sara and her family's travails are reminiscent of our own pioneering history. Sometimes the government backed and protected the settlers and sometimes the government abandonded them to fend for themselves. It was all a matter politics and money. On several occasions our own federal government told pioneers to abandon their homes and forcibly evicted them in favor of foreign goverment interests (politics) or money (big business land speculators).

Do you not see these same forces at work in the Israeli government today?

Unfortunately, as long as the former Gush Katifers are minimally employed and have few resources and friends, they are doomed to a cycle of support and abandoment by their own government, just as were the American pioneers.

A Living Nadneyda said...

During the Lebanon war Vic interviewed me for a short time -- my mother is an OC resident who's been in touch with him. He seems, overall, to be a very balanced reporter, and it's interesting that he neglected to describe the conditions under which your interview took place.

Kol ha Kavod... people in the U.S. and abroad need to hear more about experiences like yours.

Anonymous said...

Well done. I thought the OC interview with Mr.Jolly came out really well!

Kol hakavod to you.

You should count yourself lucky that although he did not include every point you would have liked to make (as you point out yourself, journalists are always very limited in word count) he did write a fair and sympathetic piece, which is so rare these days. It is always hard to have spent all that time being interviewed and know that so much more was said of import. These are the pitfalls of reporting.

Again, great job.

Sara Layah said...

To Bonnie:
Though American born and raised, I have always considered the Land of Israel my home and not my "adoptive country." As the "Kumah" saying goes - America, thanks for being a good host. It's time to go home now, your friends, the Jews. ("Kumah," is an organization that helps Jews come home to Israel).

Concerning the relative situations of pioneers in America and Israel: if only the Knesset (Israeli parliament) would say to our youth, families, and moshavim,"Forty acres and a tractor". We don't have a "Homestead Act" of 1862 giving "freehold title to 160 acres." I also never heard of the American government ever taking away a rifle used to protect a pioneering family from the Indians or giving away land to a foreign people and relinquishing jurisdiction over the territory as done here in Israel. My American history may need brushing up, but tt seems to me that if marauding bands had entered America from Mexico, I don't think even one death would be tolerated as Israel tolerates terrorism today.

In general terms, the socialism in Israel stifles businesses in a way unheard of in America. The voting system of the Knesset is for political parties, not individuals. This creates a situation in which no particular politician has a constituency to whom he or she is responsible or has to answer. And as recent high profile politician cases of corruption show, a situation that creates greed for personal gain.

To A Living Nadneyda:
I don't think the word "neglected" is the word I'd use. There was confusion and lack of clarity on my end as to where the "booms" were originating which might have understandably adversely affected its inclusion in Vic Jolly's article.

While I haven't read your Lebanon War interview with Vic , I'm confident that his reporting was well done, informative, interesting – as was my interview. There were points though that weren't included in his interview with me that I thought important to share and am glad Batya's blog was available for me to do so.

To Anonymous:
you're right.

I think Mr. Vic Jolly and the OC Register are doing a very commendable and professional job in helping increase reader awareness to our situation.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is a great article.

Thanks for providing us with the details not covered in the article. The painted scene on the sewer pipe is lovely.