Tuesday, August 07, 2007


This evening I met with several women for dinner ; over the pasta, sandwiches, salads, etc. we discussed - not the latest styles or home renovation - but politics! The subject ranged from the present government which is so corrupt and ready to give away everything for nothing, possible candidates for the next government - with emphasis on integrity and national concern, and how to direct one's energies toward this end.

Later several of us walked to the German Colony to a small theatre to view a film called "Home Game". It centered on the August, 2005 expulsion of Jews from the Gush Katif community of Netzer Hazani. Even though we were all familiar with the outcome one could not help but wish for that miracle as we saw the residents voluntarily turning in the weapons that they carried for safety - not to be used against their brethren who had been charged by the government with expelling them from their beloved creation - Netzer Hazani.

We heard the pleas of parents and children - crying as they begged the soldiers not to force them out of their homes. Trying to reason where there was no reason. Appealing for justice where there was no court. Asking the soldiers where they were supposed to sleep that night and nights to follow. No answers.

Although the country - and the world - had watched the horror of the expulsion on tv "Home Game" provided a close-up of the anguish of decent families whose lives were ripped apart as they stood by - helpless. Many of them expressed caring for the soldiers who had been assigned the task of removing them from their homes and destroying their beautiful community. The faces of the soldiers - many trying to contain their own emotions - often embracing the inconsolable - often displayed their own reluctance to carry out the orders they had been given. The faces of the narrators - young basketball players whose game interfaced with the details of the expulsion - revealed the deteriorating reality as the day passed.

The last moments were most difficult to watch - as Israeli flags were flown from rooftops, buildings set on fire, and a parade of mourners leaving their community - burning. Going to where? We who had given laws of morality and justice to the world had set them aside when it came to our own! Where was humanity we wanted to scream?!! ................No listeners.

We heard that 'they' were being brought to Jerusalem - to the Kotel.

Hundreds of people from all over Israel made their way to the Kotel that evening - to embrace the Jewish refugees from Netzer Hazani. We brought fruit and other refreshments; some people carried foam rubber mattresses for the newly homeless. News had spread that meals and places to sleep had been undertaken by one of the yeshivot near the Kotel but ordinary citizens wanted desperately to help......these were the good and caring people of Israel .

The plaza in front of the Wall was packed ; someone from a yeshiva had a drum with which he accompanied the singing of songs from our holy books - as the men danced in circles. It seemed strange to see exuberant movement in the face of such solemnity; perhaps it was prayer through dance to get G-d's attention. I stood next to a young girl who had come from one of the northern communities 'just to be there'. She wept uncontrollably, trembling, and clung to me. We all stood there weeping.

Suddenly, there was silence. A path opened in front of me. For a moment I thought of the parting of the Red Sea but, as people began to walk through the aisle and I saw their faces I was reminded more of the two rows formed at a Jewish funeral to permit mourners to walk through. It was a terrible thought. Here were the people of Netzer Hazani who had traveled by bus for hours after they had been expelled from their homes.
Unforgettable were the tear-stained faces of the young and old, parents wheeling strollers or carrying their babies, young confused children clinging to their parents and grandparents as the endless line made its way through the throngs that had gathered to receive them.

I saw Anita Tucker - the upbeat celery lady whom we had visited at Netzer Hazani on several occasions. As she passed through she said something to the effect that she was now a 'spiritual person who had come to the Kotel, the House of G-d", her material belongings having been left behind. Those were not her exact words but the meaning was clear as she made her way to the Kotel with others.

That evening was the continuation of what had happened at Netzer Hazani earlier on that day of infamy. To date, those who were expelled from that once vibrant community -and all of the others - have still not received the accommodations that have been falsely publicized by the government. Their desire to be kept together as a community for mutual cooperation and support has been ignored. They have had to continue paying mortgages on the rubble of their former homes! Many have lost their belongings that were crated ; some were rat infested. Another miscarriage of justice by the government.

Families from Gush Katif have had to face many crises during the last two years. The caravillas (small houses with red rooves) and Ir Emunah tent city have not provided them with their needs. These primitive dwellings are inadequate in quantity and quality. Some families have not been able to weather the personal difficulties; separations, divorces, unemployment, disillusioned and troubled teenagers, sleeplessness, bedwetting, are just some of the problems. The government has been delinquent in providing basic services
and compensation to its loyal citizens - the cream of the crop. Some organizations and private citizens both in Israel and abroad have provided funding and clothing but it has not covered all of the ongoing basic needs of the refugees who are trying to carry on with courage.

In the United States, $14 million dollars had been collected to compensate the expellees for the green-houses which had been left behind 'to provide the Arabs an economic benefit'. The money was never received by them and no one appears to know what has happened to the funds!! The 'civilized' world watched in silence at the looting and burning of many of those properties as well as synagogues - this where there had been beautiful productive communities - until that day.

The expulsion was planned - it was told - as a 'painful concession in the interest of peace'. We all knew beforehand that this was untrue -that this was a diversionary tactic perpetrated by corrupt leadership. We all knew that the enemy would just move closer to Israeli cities and continue their attacks; the terrorists had announced this before the abandonment of the communities yet the leadership disregarded the threats.
The residents of Sderot can attest to this. Such continued irresponsibility on the part of the government!

Tragically, today we are in Act 2 of the same play. The scenery has changed a bit as the playing ground is smaller.The plot is the same although the director has changed; it is now Ehud Olmert who is continuing the production begun by the first director, Ariel Sharon. Olmert, having been part of the Sharon government, is well aware of the catastrophic results to the 10,000 people of Gush Katif and the 4 communities of northern Samaria. Despite this, he is ready and willing to repeat that disaster and create another 100,000 refugees while further abandoning historical legal Jewish territory!!

Ehud Olmert has acquiesced to the demands of outsiders in order to help fulfill the dream of the Palestinian Arabs! Should the Prime Minister of Israel not be concerned with fulfilling the dreams of his own people - the Jewish nation?!!!!! His ineptness and poor judgment as evidenced during the Lebanon 2 War last summer should have been enough to bring about his resignation. His culpability in the results of the war has been presented in the first part of the Winograd report; there is no need to wait for the final version. Despite only 3% support in the nation and a poll that stated that 0% would vote for him today, Olmert has insisted that he is the one to rectify the situation. His arrogance does not permit him to admit that he is the problem!
He clings without dignity to the position of prime minister - still able to weaken and endanger the country.
As we face the threat of more war we have the same failed leaders.

The film, "Home Game", must serve as a reminder and rallying point against the irresponsible actions of a government that must be changed before it can do further harm to the State of Israel. If, indeed, Israel is a democracy, it must behave like one. The country is not the personal property of its elected officials; they may not be permitted to give away that which does not belong to them!

For 2000 years others deprived us of our state; today we have that state and it is being dismantled by our own leaders whose personal desires take precedence over national interests. We must not be silent if we want to survive. NOW is the hour for us to act with responsibility - to uproot the corruption and choose leaders with integrity. NOW is the hour for us to let the government and the media know that we demand change - NOW!!!

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