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October 10, 2015 / 27 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Expulsion’

Tent City Raised to Protest Beit El Building Demolitions

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Residents of Judea and Samaria have set up a tent city to protest the anticipated building demolitions set to take place in the Jewish community of Beit El, and the de facto building freeze they say is being exerted over the entire area.

The issues could threaten an already fragile government coalition.

Early Tuesday morning, Border Guard Police officers evicted protesters from two half-built apartment buildings that once completed were to have 24 housing units. At least 50 arrests were made in the wee hours before dawn, with some protesters being dragged away.

The Draynoff Buildings, as they are called, had already received the necessary permits from the Civil Administration and the Beit El Council, but were facing demolition orders from Israel’s High Court of Justice because their initial construction began without permits.

“Our stance with regard to the Beit El homes is clear,” said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in a statement during the day. “We oppose their demolition and we are working through legal means to prevent this.”

Nevertheless, as the matter stands now, the area around the buildings has been declared a closed military zone until August 2, and Border Guard Police officers have moved into the buildings in order to prevent Beit El residents from doing so and regaining control.

By nightfall Tuesday, residents of Judea and Samaria had set up a tent city near the community in solidarity with the Beit El residents.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked was expected to eventually visit the site. Her party chairman and Israel’s Education Minister, Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett, who spent time at the site, condemned the court’s decision to demolish the buildings and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s decision to send in the troops.

Minister of Immigrant Absorption and Jerusalem Affairs MK Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) agreed, pointing out that not long ago Netanyahu had vowed to build 300 new homes in Beit El. “This is the time to build, and not destroy,” he said.

MK Oren Hazen and numerous other Knesset members and politicians met for most of the day with community leaders in Beit El.

“This is exactly the reason we did not join the government,” commented Yisrael Beytenu chairman and former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman.

“Already during coalition talks Prime Minister Netanyahu did not agree to our conditions that he commit to building in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. I therefore call upon Minister Bennett and all of Bayit Yehudi to join me and Yisrael Beytenu in the Opposition – so that afterwards we can establish a true nationalist government that engages in building and not in destroying.”

Given the deep and bitter disappointment exhibited Tuesday by Bayit Yehudi party members, colleague MK Moti Yogev warned the prime minister’s slim coalition of 61 could indeed be facing a real crisis over the issue.

Commented party colleague MK Nissan Slomiansky, chairman of the Knesset Constitution and Law committee: “I find the timing of the eviction puzzling, given the fact that the buildings are being authorized.”

And as Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) told reporters with ire: “On the day marking a decade since the Disengagement, the defense minister decides to send security forces, under the cover of darkness, to Beit El.

“All of this, despite what he promised me, and despite what I then passed along to the residents of the place.”

The Soldiers Always Let Us Pass

Monday, July 27th, 2015

I read a story in the paper over the weekend, and it reminded me of a story of my own.

The newspaper told of a family in Gush Katif. When the soldiers came to expel them from their homes, they took the Mezuza off from the doorpost and gave it to the lead soldier. They told him to return it to them in the future.

Recently they inquired about the soldier through a third party, and asked to meet with him and get their Mezuza back.

The family was told that the soldier did not want to meet with them, and he also doesn’t want to return the Mezuza, which he is still holding on to.

Before the Expulsion, when I was trying to sneak people into Gush Katif, I would pick up hitchhikers, and we’d drive down trying to get past the army/police roadblocks and into Gush Katif.

Sometimes we’d find our way blocked, and have to go off-road, driving through the fields, ditches and dirt roads. Quite an experience, especially when your car is not made for off-road driving.

We even drove right through some of the makeshift army bases, which was quite surreal (stopping for ice cream at the Gazlan).

But more often than not, if the person guarding the road was a soldier, and the policemen wasn’t standing nearby watching him, we’d ask the soldier what he thought of the Disengagement.

Most didn’t want to answer, only telling us they weren’t allowed to let us go past, and then quietly mention the policeman is watching what they say and do.

At that point I’d ask them, “What do you plan to tell your children in 10 or 20 years from now, when they ask where you where and what you did during the Disengagement?”

I’d tell them, “You have 2 options, you can tell them you followed your orders and participated in the destruction of the homes of your fellow Jews — OR you can tell them how you actively helped sneak other people past the roadblocks to fight the Disengagement.”

“Which story do you want to be able to tell your children?”

The soldiers always let us pass.

Memories of Sand and Sea: Gush Katif Residents Mark 10 Years to Disengagement

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

For the 9,000 Gush Katif residents uprooted from their homes during Israel’s unilateral 2005 Disengagement from the southwestern edge of Gaza, memories of life in the sandy strip are still painfully strong.

“I miss the sea and I miss my home,” said Hodaya Giat, 28, whose sad eyes echo her spoken sentiment.

“I can still remember who I was there; today I have this strange feeling of detachment,” Giat told Tazpit News Agency in an interview. “I’m still searching for myself, trying to find my place” explained Giat, who studied human resources in college and works as a cashier at a supermarket today.

“All my childhood was erased, my home destroyed,” said Giat, who lived with her family in Kfar Darom. “And no one stopped it from happening. We couldn’t stop it.”

Following the late PM Ariel Sharon’s announcement of the Disengagement Plan in December 2003, residents of Gush Katif led a massive state-wide campaign to stop the expulsion, which was eventually carried out nearly two years later on August 15, 2005.

“Imagine if this happened to you, that your home was destroyed?” asks Giat. “We are simple people, people of faith and Zionistic ideals. Our community saw Ariel Sharon lay a foundation stone and then he and his government destroyed it.”

“It’s so hard to understand even today,” she said. Four communities in northern Samaria were dismantled during the Disengagement while in Gush Katif, the destruction of 1,900 homes, 400 farms, 88 educational facilities including day care centers, kindergartens and high schools and 38 synagogues took place.

The community that Giat grew up in, Kfar Darom, had a long history of Jewish residents living in the area before the State of Israel was established. In the 1930s, the Jewish National Fund purchased land in the area from a citrus grower by the name of Tuvia Ziskind Miller. The area was settled in 1946 and a kibbutz was formed called Kfar Drom after the Jewish village that stood there in the Mishnah period, according to the Gush Katif and Northern Samaria Commemoration Center website. In 1948, the Egyptian army attacked the kibbutz and destroyed it during Israel’s War of Independence. By the end of the war, Egypt captured the Gaza Strip and controlled it for nearly the next 20 years.

Following the Six Day War, Kfar Darom was re-established in 1970 as one of the many Israeli agricultural villages in the strip.

“The security situation wasn’t easy,” recalled Giat. “There were many terror attacks. We could have left during those difficult times but we didn’t.”

In one of the worst attacks, in November 2000, a Palestinian roadside bombing targeted a school bus full of children from Kfar Darom, which killed two adults and crippled three siblings for life, causing them to lose their limbs in the attack. In response, Kfar Darom built a school within the community.

“There was a special spirit in Kfar Darom despite the hardship,” said Hodaya’s mother, Orna. “We were always rebuilding, continuing on with our lives. Our connection to the land was so strong.”

“The state should have been much more sensitive to the situation of Gush Katif residents,” stressed Nachi Eyal, the Director General of the Legal Forum for Israel, which was established to defend and uphold the legal rights of Gush Katif evacuees in the wake of the Disengagement.

“The damages would have been much less, had all the Gush Katif communities been resettled together,” Eyal explains. “These people are community-oriented people; their strength came from their communities. Once the Gush Katif residents were scattered all over Israel and long-standing communities were divided and torn apart, the pain and damages were much greater,” he said.

Returning Home for a Visit

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

On Tuesday, Israelis who used to live in the northern Shomron town of Sa-Nur returned to see what was left of their former home.

The Jewish residents were expelled by the Sharon government in 2005, as part of the Disengagement.

Four towns in the Shomron were destroyed by Ariel Sharon and his forces.

Among those that came to visit were: Science Minister Danny Danon, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara and MK Yinon Magal.

Science Minister Danny Danon, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara and MK Yinon Magal pose for a picture during a visit in what was the Sa-Nur settlement.

Science Minister Danny Danon, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara and MK Yinon Magal pose for a picture during a visit in what was the Sa-Nur settlement.

Policeman Who Brutally Attacked Amona Protester Gets Slap on the Wrist

Monday, July 20th, 2015

A Jerusalem court handed down a sentence of six months of community service, without a jail sentence, to a policeman convicted of a brutal beating of a protester during the expulsion of residents of Amona in 2006.

Even the judge, Moti Polik, criticized the prosecution for not demanding a harsher sentence for the policemen Moti Mahagar.

IT took nine years before Israel’s screwy judicial system finally handed down the sentence, a year after the conviction and nine years after the crime.

Mahagar would not have been indicted if it weren’t for a video that showed him relentlessly using a club to beat victims entrenched in buildings during the expulsion in Samaria.

Oh yes, Mahagar also was scalped with a fine, a grand total of $7819.53 (30,000 shekels), according to today’s official exchange rate.

Arrests of ‘Shalit Deal Terrorists’ May Bury Future Deals

Monday, July 20th, 2015

The era of Israel’s freeing terrorists for the return of Israelis, dead or alive, may be over.

Israeli media, which previously have beaten the drum for deals that reached the point of a “1,000 to 1,” meaning giving up 1,000 terrorists and security prisoners for the return of one person, namely Shalit.

The left-leaning establishment media campaigned day after day and even tried promoted tossing in the deal Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life terms for involvement in the murders and crippling injuries of hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings and other attacks.

Freeing Barghouti, who continuously polls as the most popular leader in the Palestinian Authority, would have paved the way for him to replace PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

The same newspapers that championed the Shalit deal now are headlining that it cost the lives of six Israelis since 2014. The last victim was Malachi Rosenfeld. One of those arrested for his murder is Hamas terrorist Ahmad Najjar, who allegedly funded and organized the killing and who previously was jailed for involvement in the murders of three Israelis.

Ten years after the same media, who now admit that maybe they were wrong to violate every rule of journalism in order to pressure the Knesset to vote to withdraw every last soldier and expel every last Jew from Gaza in the euphemistically-called Disengagement Plan, now have a bit of guilt for the blood spilled by the Shalit deal.

The ghastly aftermath of the expulsions – thousands of missile attacks on Israel, including Tel Aviv and an Iranian-backed Hamas army in Gaza  – may serve as an obstacle to more ideas of mass expulsions.

The bloody results of the Shalit deal may serve to prevent deals that turn human beings into trading cards.

Besides the obvious illusions in the expulsion and prisoner-exchanges, some of which the government made into a farce by making sure terrorists signed on the dotted line that they would be good boys and girls and not return to terror, there is one other factor that may have influenced the leftist media.

The success of the center-right Yisrael HaYom freebie newspaper has knocked the socks off the bleeding-heart media, mainly Yediot Acharonot, which used to be read by an overwhelming majority of Israelis.

If the deaths of Israelis at the hands of freed terrorists, who promised to behave nicely, and from missiles fired from where Jews used to live in Gaza did not teach it a lesson, the loss of readership and advertising money does the trick.

10 Buses for 10 Years: Remembering Gush Katif

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

JERUSALEM July 2, 2015 – The International Young Israel Movement – Israel Branch (IYIM), the Gush Katif Commemoration Center and Friends of Gush Katif are organizing a unique and powerful summer program entitled “10 Buses for 10 Years: Remembering Gush Katif.

This interactive trip, marking the ten year anniversary of the withdrawal from Gush Katif, stands strong with a mission to take ten busloads of visitors, both Israelis and tourists alike, to several of the new Gush Katif communities. The hope is to show solidarity to the former residents and that we are still here with them and for them.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to meet with former Gush Katif residents, hear their stories, and see what has been accomplished in the new communities. Visitors will additionally tour the powerful Gush Katif Commemoration Center – one of three National Heritage Centers recognized by the Israeli Government. The Center introduces the story of settling rural Gush Katif in all aspects: establishment, coping with terror, the struggle, displacement and renewal.

“Ten years is a long time in the collective memory,” commented Daniel Meyer, IYIM’s Executive Director. “These people who we hugged and cried with in the summer of 2005 have largely receded from public eye and public memory. IYIM is proud that we have continued to stand with them and assist them on their journey for the past decade. We are launching this program to expand our support from personal back to national and International. This very special group of people is a living example of King Solomon’s timeless words: ‘A time to destroy, a time to rebuild;’ we have so much to learn from them.”

The former residents are excited about the upcoming program and look forward to welcoming the visitors and speaking about their experiences and new lives.

“We’re delighted by the International Young Israel Movement’s initiative of bringing ten buses of visitors to tour the Katif Heritage Center in Nitzan and visit renewed Gush Katif communities. We’re convinced that this tour will strengthen their feelings of partnership with the people of Gush Katif and make clear that this… must never happen again,” remarked Dror Vanunu, International Coordinator of The Gush Katif Committee.

“It’s wonderful to see so many people coming to learn about Gush Katif,” stated Shifra Shomron, of the Friends of Gush Katif Public Relations Department. “Ten years later, we still have a long path ahead of us, but we’re rebuilding our homes and our lives and thank everyone helping us in keeping the heritage of Gush Katif alive.”

Registration is now open. Please contact 10buses@iyim.org.il or refer to the International Young Israel Movement website at http://www.iyim.org.il/10buses for details and sign-up information.

Bus Dates:

o Thursday, July 16
o Monday, July 20
o Wednesday, July 22
o Friday, July 24
o Monday, July 27
o Wednesday, July 29

o Monday, Aug 3
o Wednesday, Aug 5
o Monday, Aug 10
o Wednesday, Aug 12

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/10-buses-for-10-years-remembering-gush-katif/2015/07/09/

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