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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
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New Bill Envisions Large Scale Settlement Uprooting, Attempts to Protect Victims


National Union chairman Yaacov Katz (Ketzaleh).

National Union chairman Yaacov Katz (Ketzaleh).
Photo Credit: Flash90

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Pinui Pitzui (compensation for evacuation) was an idea proposed by the far-left party Meretz as incentive to the Jews of Gush Katif: anyone who leaves his home before the deadline date, would be compensated amply. The assumption behind this suggestion was that most settlers chose life in the disputed territories because of cheap housing and government subsidies. In the end very few settlers took the bait.

A bill proposed on Tuesday by National Union chairman Yaacov Katz (Ketzaleh) will require the government to build new homes and infrastructure for residents of outposts and settlements before they are demolished. For a party so strongly identified with the ideals of settling everywhere in Eretz Israel but especially in the “disputed territories,” the bill sounded an awful lot like Pinui Pitzui.

Co-sponsored by five Haredi MKs – and so far not by Katz’s own faction members – the bill, titled “Preservation of the Rights of Evacuees 5772-2012,” is intended to “maintain the basic human rights and the fabric of life of a group of citizens slated to be evacuated.”

The bill states that an evacuation of a large group (20 or more housing units) can only be done after a new location has been determined in which the evacuees can continue their lives in the manner to which they had grown accustomed. This means that the new location must have an infrastructure in place, as well as comparable education and religious service to those they leave behind. The new location must also offer employment for everyone that is comparable in terms of character, pay, and commuting time. Otherwise the evacuees are entitled to unemployment compensation for 24 months.

This is the famous “key for key” exchange which Gush Katif settlers were demanding at the time, meaning – instead of giving us money, give us the key to a new home and a new life that our comparable to what we are asked to give up – and then we’ll give you the key to our home.

In addition, the Finance Ministry must have in place the entire amount slated for reparations to the evacuees, above and beyond the arrangements for resettling.

“If, after we’ve objected and fought and demonstrated, and, God forbid, lost, and the state of Israel has decided to kick Jews out of their home,” Katz’s spokesman Harel Cohen, told the Jewish Press, “and, by the way, not only Jews, anyone, it cannot do it before it built them a home elsewhere, to start their lives anew.”

Cohen said the bill intends to prevent a repeat of the terrible injustice that Sharon has done to the Gush Katif evacuees, about which he says there’s a wall-to-wall consensus – as  seven years after their uprooting, most of the evacuees still do not live in permanent homes.

I told him that to an outside observer the bill looked like the foundation for a wholesale transfer of Jews from Judea and Samaria. Cohen denied this in no uncertain terms, saying the idea is to force the government to build a new Gish Katif before it takes down an old one.

It certainly appears that the right and the settlers are maturing and getting used to being associated with the ruling majority, and learning to play politics. It also explains why five members of Shas and one from United Torah Judaism are co-sponsoring the bill, as they could probably teach their national religious brethren a thing or two about exacting a price for their cooperation with government.

Cohen told me that the dean of Beit El Yeshiva and Katz’s mentor Rabbi Zalman Melamed was pushing this legislation as far back as a year ago, and at the time even Katz had difficulty with the concept – much as his three faction colleagues still do, apparently, today.

“It sounded to him like a conditional agreement” for evacuation, Cohen explained. But a year later, having agonized over the arduous process of losing the Ulpana Hill neighborhood at the High Court without even getting their opportunity to argue back, Ketzalaeh and everyone else in Beit El can certainly envision the worst happening again.

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About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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7 Responses to “New Bill Envisions Large Scale Settlement Uprooting, Attempts to Protect Victims”

  1. It's called Building an Oven and telling me to Go Take a Shower.

  2. The uprooting of the settlements is the Gas Chamber. The "compensation" is The Shower.

  3. Yori Yanover says:

    Normally one would expect Holocaust metaphors closer to the end of the debate, not three right off the top from the same reader…

  4. Alice Derman says:

    Giving ample compensation seems like a good idea. But it is unreasonble to expect that every aspect, or even most aspects, of the life circumstances of the settlers can ber duplicated. I doubt there is enough comparable land available. It seems to me that compromise could be achieved if both sides act in good faith.

  5. Robin Ticker says:

    Today I heard on Radio hidabroot from one of their Rabbanim (perhaps Reb BenZion Platzko but I'm not sure) that the people get the leadership they deserve. Even when a leader wants to lead the proper way, as soon as they are in power they lose their ability to lead in the way they personally prefer when those whom they are leading are not worthy. They therefore will lead according to the way the people deserve. Perhaps this is why Begin and Sharon were unable to lead once they got into power.

    Shas and UTJ do not really appreciate the importance of settling Judea and Samaria. They still are inflicted with the sin of Chait HaMiraglim whereby they don't see why it is necessary to settle and conquer the Land of Israel. They do however, after seeing much suffering, understand the pain of being displaced. Therefore they address only that pain. When will the people really understand that each and every inch of Eretz Yisroel is a vessel in and of itself for a particular actualization of Divine Will? When Am Yisroel gives away even 1 inch of Eretz YIsroe it destroys that actualization and it hurts Am Yisroel and by extension the Nations of the World very deeply. One can not go ahead and destroy a part of Eretz Yisroel and hand it over to a foreign entity even if and when the "owner" is compensated and replace the loss, since you destroyed the fruit of their labor for no purpose. It's like a fruit tree that is cut down and even when you plant another fruit tree it can never replace the fruit of the original site that never actualized.

  6. Rc Fowler says:

    What is wrong with this? There should never be any Jewish settlement "uprootings"–the only uprootings should be those of the Arab murderers settlements!

    Jews who force other Jews to leave their homes and land–to give them to the Arab murderers–are criminals and do not deserve to live in Israel!

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