web analytics
August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘disengagement’

The Disengagement made Gaza More Dangerous

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

I was surprised to read the following incorrect analysis by a commenter on the Muqata Facebook page where yesterday’s blog post was cross-posted.

Yesterday, I put forward the idea that it is time we return to Gush Katif, and either way, the army will need to be there in key position, even after this operation ends.

Reader Yoni Rubin took exception to that idea, claiming that the war of attrition in Gaza would have resulted in far more murdered citizens if we stayed.

Yoni Rubin jameel, those who look at the disengagement that way today don’t realize what we gained from it. had we stayed in gaza, the pattern of dead soldiers and citizens being murdered would have continued (they were being killed at a rate of something one or two per month on the good months). we would have lost far more than we lost in all of the operations combined. the disengagement was executed in conjunction with the building of the separation fence in the west bank and the two have solved the far more deadly problems we had previously, ie suicide bombings. they were firing rockets and building tunnels long before the disengagement and those are the two threats that have cause the least damage thus far.

With all due respect (because he seems to be a good guy), Yoni’s numbers are numerically correct, but his conclusions are invalid as he quotes his numbers in a vacuum and out of context from all the other terror attacks going on at the same time.

Commenter Moishe Pupik (what?!) points out that when you compare Gush Katif terrorism fatalities to the terrorism fatalities the rest of the country was dealing with, you see an entirely different picture.

Pupik’s first point is that in proportion to the number of overall fatalities by terrorism the rest of the country was facing, Gush Katif was in better shape and even trending down in relation to what the rest of the country was suffering.

But more importantly, his second point is that after leaving Gaza, while the overall number of people in Israel being killed by terrorists dropped (for reasons that had nothing to do with the Disengagement), there was a significant proportional increase in deaths caused by Gazan terrorists in relation to the rest of the country, and actually reaching a historical high.

Moishe Pupik The problem with that argument is that you are talking about a period starting around 1991, where 1500 or so Israelis were killed by terrorists, at a rate of 11 a month.

You might as well make the argument that if we weren’t in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem (where far more Israelis have been killed by terrorists) all those people wouldn’t have been killed either.

Let’s compare the numbers of Israelis killed by terrorists (soldiers and civilians):

1993-1999: 37 Israelis were killed in Gaza out of 260 total killed in the country (14%).

2000-2005 120 Israelis were killed in Gaza out of 1356 total in the country (9%).

2006-2014 (Despite no longer being in Gaza) The Gazans have managed to kill around 60 Israelis out of 177 Israelis (34%).

So I’d say the percentages were far better back when we were in Gaza, than after we left.

Talking about 1 murder a month in Gaza sounds horrifying, but when you consider that Israel was averaging 19 murders per month (on average) from terrorism between 2000 to 2005, it puts that number into a different context.

And worse, when you consider that 34% of all fatalities by terrorism since the Disengagement originated from Gaza, compared to the previous high of 14%, it throws that argument out the window.

It’s Time to Go Home

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

As the IDF cleans up Gaza from the terror tunnels, and destroys the rocket launchers, it’s considering the next phase, which is the eradication of Hamas itself.

Meanwhile, the world is eagerly looking forward to the next round of financing of Gaza, with the US and Qatar already promising $47 million dollars in aid. Which is of course a bad investment, because if nothing radically changes on the ground, it’s only a matter of time, before the IDF will need to destroy everything again in the battle against Palestinian terrorism.

So what’s next?

There’s a stupid line that often repeated: Israel can’t get rid of Hamas (or Arafat, or the PA…), because whatever replaces it might be worse.

It’s a stupid line, because we have the option and the ability to decide what will replace Hamas. The question is, do we have the will to make it so.

What’s clear is that the IDF will have to stay in the Philadelphia Corridor that separates Gaza and Egypt.

The Palestinian Authority certainly can’t be trusted to guard the border, just as they can’t be and aren’t trusted in Judea and Samaria (just last week, a weapons shipment was caught as it was being transported across the Dead Sea).

It’s also clear that the IDF will need to stay inside Gaza too (whether we do or don’t is another question).

But as we are almost 9 year to the day that the Jewish residents of Gaza were expelled from their homes in the Disengagement, maybe it’s time to consider something else.

To me it is clear that it’s time to correct the evil done to our fellow citizens and to ourselves, and return to our homes in Gush Katif and Gaza.

To begin with, the US, the EU, Qatar and everyone else should be clearly told, don’t waste your money rebuilding Gaza.

Before the war, 70% of Gazans wanted to leave. I’m sure that percent is even higher now.

Use that international aid to relocate them. They want to leave. Help them in the way they actually want to be helped, not in a way that perpetuates the conflict.

Why throw more money into a bad solution that maintains the problem, when there is a clear solution, that all the parties want, that will end the conflict?

And secondly, once this war is over, the Jews should go down to Gaza and reclaim their homes and businesses they were brutally uprooted from in 2005.

The Gazans want to go, and the Jews want to go home. There is a peaceful solution.

How about trying something different for a change.

JobKatif: Strength for Those in Need

Monday, July 21st, 2014

It has been nine years since Israel’s disengagement from the Jewish settlements of the Gaza Strip. About 500 people still remain without jobs and stability, a dire predicament exacerbated by the current turmoil in Southern Israel, where many of the evacuees went to rebuild their lives. JobKatif continues to bring relief to thousands of these unemployed and underemployed families through vocational training, employment placement, counseling and coaching.

Itzik, a restaurant owner in Southern Israel, finds himself paralyzed this summer. Normally, his café and catering company are bustling with customers. Yet this summer, because of the constant barrage of rockets targeting the region from Gaza, people are barely leaving their homes, let alone going out for a meal.

For Itzik, surprisingly, this is not grossly traumatic. While his business is suffering and he is concerned about sustaining his family and paying the bills, he remembers all the struggles he faced before he could even open his business. Itzik and his family are just one example of the thousands who relocated to Southern Israel following the Disengagement of 2005.

Nine years ago, the Israeli Government decided to withdraw the Jewish settlements of Gush Katif in Gaza. These families lost everything: their homes, communities, businesses, synagogues and more.

A majority of these people relocated to towns and cities in the South of Israel, which for years has been targeted by rocket fire from Gaza. Today, Israel is in a state of emergency; at least 70 percent of Israeli residents are at risk of rocket fire from Gaza and have had to experience the horror of the Code Red Siren, which gives seconds notice before a rocket strikes.

Aside from the obvious distress that this situation brings, income is down by nearly 90% for businesses in the South. Many people are unable to go to work; children are staying home from school and camps. Much is left unknown.

Making ends meet Prior to 2005, Itzik lived with his wife and five children in Moshav Katif. He worked in a marketing department in Beer Sheva and enjoyed the rural community life in Gush Katif. Following the Disengagement, his life began falling apart.

“I was at home for nearly a year,” Itzik recalls, “I wasn’t able to hold down a job for more than 3-4 weeks, tops. Our whole financial situation deteriorated, until there was not enough money for food. You are dying to work, but you simply can’t.” Like many evacuees, there was trauma and gaining stable ground seemed worlds away.

He and his wife dreamed of opening a catering business. Slowly, they saved money and recruited customers. “I remember the first Shabbat meals that we did,” he said. “To save money, I recruited our kids to help us. The business began to turn a profit, but it was slow going,” Itzik says with a smile.

In 2009, Itzik was contacted by the staff of JobKatif, an organization established for the sole purpose of assisting Gush Katif families left bereft of their livelihood to become financially independent. With some funding and advice from professionals, Itzik and his wife purchased a restaurant.

“JobKatif was a true and faithful ‘shaliach,’” he admits. “They helped us and thanks to all their support, we are where we are today. They believed in us.”

Eight-three percent of former Gush Katif residents are now employed.

However, there is still more work to do, especially as the situation in Southern Israel has become more severe.

Some 500 individuals from Gush Katif still remain out of work. Because of the security situation in the South, even JobKatif needed to temporarily shut its training centers and counseling programs because people were just unable to attend. This year, the Israeli government renewed their commitment to these important endeavors and has promised to match up to 75% of the programming costs to help Gush Katif families find meaningful employment. But these funds are returned retroactively and dependent on JobKatif raising money from donors.

Over the past nine years, 2,500 people have found employment because of JobKatif. Among these people, 570 participated in vocational retraining courses. At least 200 small businesses are operating because of JobKatif’s start-up funding and guidance. Another 202 students now are studying in colleges and universities across the country, thanks to scholarships provided by Amutat Yedidut Toronto. To assist those remaining without work, JobKatif developed customized programs tailored for specific populations. These groups include: Bnei Menashe (Jews from India), small business owners on the threshold of success, people over 55 years, individuals with challenges, students and employed individuals who are dissatisfied with their jobs. The organization has over one year left to accomplish its goals.

“We have nearly accomplished our mission of assisting all Gush Katif evacuees to earn a living so that they can support their families with pride and dignity. As they once did in Gush Katif,” says Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon, founder and chairman of JobKatif. “We have made so much progress and with continued support, we can make sure that the burdens are eased and our brothers and sisters can live with peace of mind and stability.”

As it moves towards completing what it set out to do, JobKatif is seeking partners from across Jewish communities worldwide to join in relieving the struggles of unemployment in this difficult time. To contribute to JobKatif’s Shabbat Chazon campaign, tax-deductible donations can be sent to JobKatif 71-47, 171st St. Flushing, New York 11365 or online at www.jobkatif.org. For more information, please contact info@jobkatif.org or +972-2-547-4548. All donations will be matched 3:1 by the Israeli Government.

The Formula for Holding On to the Land

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

We usually worry about the unknown future, since not knowing what to expect can exacerbate a difficult situation. Putting this in terms of the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel,” the darkness of the tunnel represents the doubt of the unknown and the light symbolizes the certainty of knowing.

From time immemorial people have sought relief from worry not by waiting patiently for the passage of time – or the end of the tunnel – but by striving to develop knowledge of what the future may hold. The nations of the ancient world sought advice and instruction from necromancers, the crystal-ball soothsayers and readers of hand lines who probed the unknown.

Jews are forbidden (Devarim18:9-15) forbidden from seeking enlightenment from such sources (even if those sources should at times prove to be accurate) and are bidden to rely in such matters solely on the pronouncements of our prophets, who possess the divine power to accurately predict future events.

In the context of the above-mentioned verses dealing with this issue, the Torah enjoins us to be “tamim,” whole and complete (ibid 18:15), and not to imitate those who seek information from the necromancers. Rashi comments (ibid): “Walk with Him with tmimus, look forward to Him, and don’t delve deeply into the future, but whatever comes upon you accept with tmimus, and then you will be with Him and of His portion.”

The question Rashi seems to be addressing is: Why should there be an emphasis on the extreme other end of the spectrum? Why is it necessary to be tamim, in the full observance of all the mitzvot, in order not to transgress these few prohibitions? This seems to lead Rashi to conclude that tamim here does not mean whole and complete, as it does in many other contexts, but rather “simple,” lacking sophistication and astuteness –as, for example, the tam, the simple son of the Haggadah.

In our context: you must remain unsophisticated and may not delve on getting to know what the future holds, even at the cost of remaining incomplete and lacking that type of knowledge.

The next question Rashi then addresses is: If indeed we are not allowed to probe into the future, is there nonetheless a “kosher” way that may enable us to prepare for possible calamities? After all, a fairly accurate weather prediction enables us to better plan for a possible tornado or tsunami, and thus tone down our worry.

To offset this question, Rashi adds: (a) “Look forward to (the help of) God”; (b) “Don’t delve deeply into what the future holds”; and (c) “But whatever comes upon you accept with tmimus.”

This may be explained as follows: God abhors our being preoccupied with and delving deeply into the predictions of necromancers (even if accurate), but wants us to “look forward to His help” and offset worry about the future by adopting an attitude of full acceptance regarding whatever the future may hold.

Accordingly, worry is mitigated through unconditional acceptance rather than through whatever clarity one can gain about the future. We must still understand why Rashi adds further: “You will be with Him and as His portion.” It is because of the general theme of these verses, which is: “Do not seek predictions of the necromancers for God abhors this and is therefore chasing these evil nations out of the Holy Land.”

By implication, then, if one follows the injunctions of steering clear of the pundits and necromancers and instead puts his full trust in God and accepts what He has in store for him, it will secure his hold on the Holy Land and, in effect, set the stage to truly be “with Him and His Portion.”

Retired Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy Dies at Age 72

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Retired Supreme Court Edmund Levy, who headed a three-man committee that debunked allegations that Israel is an “occupier,” died Tuesday night at the age of 72.

He served on the Supreme Court from 2000 to 2011, capping a legal career that began with studies at Tel Aviv University several years after his family immigrated to Israel from Iraq.

Levy was the only dissenting justice who ruled in favor of petitioners against the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif and four communities in northern Samaria in 2005.

Levy immigrated to Israel from Iraq as a child in the early 1950s. He studied law at Tel Aviv University and served as a military

The “Levy Committee” in 2012 wrote a lengthy document that supported the rights of Jews to live everywhere in Judea and Samaria.

Gush Katif Expellees Looking Forward to Permanent Homes

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

The Gush Katif Committee has worked for several months with Housing minister Uri Ariel, and the Tnufa administration headed by Yisrael Melachi, to develop a working plan for the victims of the mass expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif in 2005.

The committee’s targets are to develop new communities, which besides fulfilling the obligation to help the expulsion victims also will help strengthen Israel’s periphery; dismantle the temporary caravilla sites by the end of 2015 with every resident finally living in a permanent home; completing the rehabilitation process; and helping to restore the unique social framework of the communities.

The Cabinet has signed an agreement to help the new Gush Katif communities and provide guidance for families seeking to move to their permanent homes. The agreement joins the all-too-short list of previous government agreements seeking to help rehabilitate the former residents of Gush Katif.

The $40 million plan includes providing professional guidance, lowering rent on the caravilla and selling the lot in order to purchase a house in another community, it also will help provide funding to complete infrastructure work in the new Gush Katif communities of Shvei Darom and Palmachi, which will enable those families to finally start building their permanent homes.

Former Ambassador for Israel Again Ambassador for a Smaller Israel

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Have you seen the cartoon of a man holding a gun to his own head, with the caption, “Stop or I’ll shoot!”?  If so, you know where this column is going.

Recently retired Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren left his post after what must have seemed to him like four and a half very long years.

Now that Oren is no longer representing what the media he must love incessantly refers to as the hawkish Binyamin Netanyahu, the newly former ambassador is no longer diplomatically bound to have his mouth buttoned shut.

And with the new Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. firmly ensconced and actually comfortable with the positions of Israeli Prime Minister Netanayahu, Oren is once again speaking out of the side of his mouth connected to his inner Disengager.

Oren told an audience at Georgetown University in February of 2009, that he was amongst a minority of Israelis and was an outlier at the foundation where he then hung his hat: “I am one of the last remaining unilateralists.”

It was Oren’s belief in 2009, as it appears to remain so today, that in order for Israel to remain a Jewish state it would have to withdraw from the disputed territories popularly known as the West Bank.

What he said then was that in order for Israel to remain a Jewish State it had to maintain a Jewish majority and that in order for that to happen it would have to “redraw its borders and withdraw from its settlements in the West Bank.” (What Oren actually said was that Israel would have to withdraw its borders and withdraw from its settlements, but that only makes sense if what he meant to say was that the borders would have to be redrawn, not withdrawn.)

This past Saturday, Jan. 11, the day former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died, a eulogy for Sharon penned by Michael Oren appeared on the CNN website.

The eulogy is relatively short, only 802 words, but Oren managed to get in some beautiful oratory. It opens with: “Written on every page of Israel’s history, in ink and in blood, is the name Ariel Sharon.” Oren is a masterful writer, a lovely speaker and appears to be a very decent man.

But.

Oren also managed to weave in to his presentatio of Sharon’s legacy the message that the former ambassador is still clinging to his earlier view that in order to save itself, tiny Israel must constrict still further.

Along the way Oren revealed that where he saw Sharon acting to protect Israel’s security, Oren saw those acts then and described those actions now as ones taken without considerations about peace. But when Sharon pulled out the Israelis he himself had placed in communities in Gaza, Oren described Sharon as “pivoting toward peace.”

Oren is still clinging to the idea that the further concentrated Jews are in a land called Israel, the more secure they will be.

Indeed, Oren concludes his ode to Sharon on CNN by using the public platform to promote his own view of a Smaller Israel.

He uses the opportunity to first compare secretary of state John Kerry to the (good) Sharon, the Sharon “pivoting toward peace.” Oren points to Kerry’s current efforts “to pursue a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians,” and says that Israelis are asking “what happens if the peace process fails?”

It is unclear how many Israelis are actually wandering through the streets asking that question. Most reliable polls show there are very few Israelis (let alone Palestinian or any other kinds of Arabs) who have for a single moment thought that this time the U.S. peace pipe would ignite a change in attitudes by the parties directly involved.  Nonetheless, that is how Oren wrote his opening for sharing his personal view, this one unfettered by diplomatic blinks and nods. Should this current peace process break down Israel should…..make itself smaller!  Why wait for the Palestinian Arabs to have to give up anything like, oh, incitement against Israel or educating their children to believe Jews slaughter Arabs for the fun of it?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/former-ambassador-for-israel-again-ambassador-for-a-smaller-israel/2014/01/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: