Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The hitnatkut, one year later

A year ago, I was in Israel, watching on Israeli English-language television with my parents as thousands of Gush Katif residents were expelled from their homes. At the time, I thought that the hitnatkut, the disengagement from Gaza, was a good idea, but that didn't make it any easier to watch. Thousands of people were losing their homes, their livelihoods, their children's schools overnight. It was heartbreaking.

Well, here we are, a year later, and what did Israel get for all that suffering?

Thousands of people are still living in temporary housing, many are still unemployed, and Israel is, again, at war.

Let us not forget the people of Gush Katif. (Hat-tip to West Bank Mama for the link.)


Blogger westbankmama said...

Thanks for linking to this and for the hat-tip.

Tue Aug 01, 10:59:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From "Rabbi's Husband" (but I'm having blogger login problems...)

The planning of the relocation from Gaza was inexcusably poor, and the implementation of it even worse. (Almost Bushian in its ineptitude...) The mistreatment of Israeli citizens by their government should never be tolerated, and certainly not to the extent that it has been here.

However, I'm bothered by remarks (such as your original post, Shira) that appear to cite the current situation as a prooftext for the theory that it was a mistake to have left Gaza - not only because I disagree with the theory, but moreso because it treats the situation as of July 1, 2005 as the "norm" or the way things "should" be.

Over the previous 35 years, various Israeli governments used the settlers - and in turn were used by the settler movement - with little if any concern for derech eretz. After 1967, the government was quick to use the intense Zionism of this segment of the community to create settlements, and thus provide a type of security that would otherwise have required tens of thousands of additional soldiers on milu'im - at a cost that would have crippled the economy. During the first 10 years post-67, the tide turned, and the settler "movement" began to be a force in Israeli politics - leading to the abuses of the system for which it became notorious in the past 10 years.

I'm not advocating returning to the pre-67 borders, or the pre-48 partition lines, or anything like that. I believe that most of the armed forces of Israel's neighbors really would be willing to kill every Israeli Jew; but I also believe that most of the governments of those nations NEED there to be an Israel in order to draw attention away from their own abuses of their own peoples.

But the wrongs of the Arab governments and forces do not justify wrongs by Israel - that is part of the burden of being "or la'goyim", a light unto the nations. I don't see an alternative to using all military means possible to redeem the 3 soldiers from captivity, and I hope that the outcome of this war is greater safety for the communities of the north -- but it hurts to know that Israel is partially responsible for the deaths of innocents.

But to bring this random rant back to where it began, the Israelis who were forcibly removed from their homes last summer are not totally free of moral blame for their own situation. And we all need to remember that when we feel their pain.

Tue Aug 01, 12:49:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

West Bank Mama, you're welcome.

Rabbi's Husband, all I can say is that political discussions just get me "confused on a higher level," as a former rabbi of mine used to say. That's why I've always avoided discussing politics on my blog as much as possible. But now that I've put my foot in it over the past few weeks, I guess I'll just have to ask for some help in sorting things out. Expect another post tomorrow.

Tue Aug 01, 08:43:00 PM 2006  

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