The Expulsion From Gush Katif

Gush Katif Resource to educate and enlighten

Posts Tagged ‘Gush Katif’

Modern Sad State of Orange

Posted by emmalazarus on August 26, 2008


This cartoon was taken from Israel National News “in 1948, families started with the temporary homes and later upgraded to houses – but the Gush Katif frontier heroes started in houses and were later forced to live in temporary houses (trailers) after being expelled from their communities of decades. And now, three years later – the vast majority of the over 1,500 famlies continue to live in shame and squalor in “caravillas” falling apart. The sad state of Israel”  (



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(Still) Yearning for the Land

Posted by emmalazarus on August 20, 2008

By Judy Lash Balint

August 2008: The passage of three years since she was evicted from her home in Netzer Hazani, Gush Katif, has not dulled the passion of teacher turned farmer, Anita Tucker for the land of Israel.

At a commemoration of the third anniversary of the so-called “disengagement” from Gush Katif and northern Shomron organized by the Council of Young Rabbis in Israel, Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue and the Young Israel movement, Anita Tucker was one of four speakers who slammed Israel’s Gaza pullback as she called for the public to “get out to the streets and shout, ‘Tzedek (justice) Tzedek!’ in the face of all the terrible things happening today.”

Tucker, an American-born teacher who moved to Nezer Hazani with her young family in 1976 and went on to build a thriving agricultural export business that employed local Arabs, is well known amongst Gush Katif supporters in Israel and abroad. As one of the veteran English-speaking Gush Katif residents, Tucker has addressed scores of audiences since the disengagement plan was announced—initially in her Netzer Hazani hothouse or on the lawn in front of the community synagogue. More recently, from her temporary home in Kibbutz Ein Tsurim, where her family has relocated after spending 11 months in youth hostels and guest houses in the Golan.

As she tells it, every time she speaks her longing for a return to her land becomes more intense. “I have a big zchut (privilege) that I was exiled –I can feel the longing of the Jewish people for its’ land,” she explains.

As the third anniversary of the evictions approaches, several commemorative events have been held. Yesterday, thousands gathered at Kissufim, one of the entry points into Gush Katif, to hear right-wing politicians and former Gush Katif residents pledge to hasten a return of Jewish settlement. Tucker relates that earlier in the week she took part in an organizational conference of people who are making practical preparations for an eventual return to the 23 destroyed Jewish communities of the Gaza Strip.

This despite the telephone calls she’s been getting from some of her Arab former employees telling her that all of Netzer Hazani is covered with sand since the Jews left. “It’ll be just like we found it 35 years ago,” Tucker exclaims, relishing the challenge of recreating the close-knit, productive community she was expelled from three years ago.

Aviva Pinchuk is one of those who has spent the last three years dedicated to helping the Gush Katif refugees recover from the trauma of their eviction. She told the Jerusalem audience that for her, “the disengagement is only just beginning.” Known for her activities on behalf of Kever Rachel, Pinchuk has organized bat mitzvah celebrations there for Gush Katif girls; led solidarity tours to the temporary homes of the refugees and organized bridal showers to help young Gush Katif couples establish their households. As a Torah-observant woman, Pinchuk addressed the question that shook the faith of many young Gush Katif expellees. “It does seem that God left us in the dark, He hid his face,” she noted. “But in every period of hester panim –God hiding himself, He opens a crack of light.” For Pinchuk, it was the innumerable acts of tzedaka and chessed—charitable giving and acts of loving kindness done on behalf of the refugees—that let the light in.

On the political front, Rabbi Sholom Gold, one of the founders of the Council of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel, slammed the disengagement as “the most tragic act of treachery Jews have done against fellow Jews.” Rabbi Gold called on Israel’s leaders to institute a period of “regret, repentance, reconstruction and renewal.”

Meanwhile, the hundreds who attended the Jerusalem commemoration will do their small part for the children of Sderot and the former Gush Katif communities—they collected funds for 3000 pencil cases filled with school implements and goodies that the kids will find on their desks on the first day of school.

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IDF General’s invitation leads to protests and cancellation

Posted by emmalazarus on August 20, 2008

An event dedicated to King David, which was set to be held in the Kfar Etzion settlement and was to be attended by public figures, intellectuals and religious officials has been cancelled. The reason for the event being called off is due to one of the public figures invited to take part in the event. This figure is Major-General Gershon Hacohen, known best for his leadership in the evacuation of Gush Katif three years ago.

Once it became known that the Hacohen was to play a part in the event, there was a huge amount of pressure from right-wing elements for the organizers to remove Hacohen from the list of speakers. Emails and calls bombarded the organizers, as well as threats to boycott and/or disturb the event. Hacohen learned of this pressure and the planned protests and decided to withdraw from the event. He said that he “does not desire to sadden people” (Israel National News). The organizers then decided to call off the event entirely. They issued a statement saying that they could not accept the “targeting” and “boycotting” of an IDF officer who had given so much to Israeli security and Jewish life in Judea and Samaria.  “We must do everything we can to avoid polarization of our society and the establishment of two states for one people, as happened 50 years after King David’s regime.” (Israel National News)

For the full story, see

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Does the Israeli Government regret the Disengagement?

Posted by emmalazarus on August 18, 2008

What with the numerous events that have been held to mark the third year since the Disengagement, as well as the opening of the Gush Katif Museum, and the launch of the Knesset inquiry into the Expulsion in 2005; there may be as tendency to believe that the people and government have made a small, yet noticeable about-turn on their views towards the Expulsion.

An Israeli TV station for the Knesset, launched a campaign campaign to find public figures that have done just this. However, as Hillel Fendel cites on Arutz Sheva today, “A search for politicians who regret the 2005 Disengagement from Gush Katif and Northern Samaria has turned up only modest success.”

Hagai Segal, co-host of the TV show, said “I did not find any who were involved in the actual decision-making process who have expressed regret and say openly that they made a mistake…Nor have there been too many who said they wouldn’t do it again.” Segal does cite a few public figures that have indeed changed their stance towards the Disengagement. However, it does not imbue us with confidence and hope for the future. It seems that although there is a perception that the people have begun to come to the realization that the Disengagement was a mistake, what with the rockets, Lebanon war and the knowledge that the promises made to those evicted were on the whole not upheld. This regret and turn of policy has not spread to the leadership.

To see the full story, go to

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Three Years Without a Permenant Home- Anita Tucker’s video presentation

Posted by emmalazarus on August 17, 2008

This broadcast from Israel National TV is the first in a four-part series called “Expelled,” documenting the storied of four families who were evicted from Gush Katif three years ago.

Posted in Disengagement, Expulsion, Gush Katif, israel, Jewish Books, Middle East | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Three years late? Knesset Commissions Inquiry into the Disengagement

Posted by emmalazarus on July 30, 2008

After a special session was held last week to mark the third anniversary of the Expulsion from Gush Katif, the Knesset has now ordered an official enquiry into the treatment of those that were evicted from their homes in August 2005.

According to Ynet News, “the decision to establish the commission was passed by a 9-3 margin. As stated in the article, State Control Committee Chairman Zevulun Orlev (National Union-NRP) backed the move and said that “the government expelled 10,000 people from their homes and abandoned them.”

It seems unclear as to what the commission will achieve, and no doubt many will conclude that it is a move that would have been welcomed over two years ago. Those evicted from their homes have spent three years dealing with the fact that they were thrown out of their homes and essentially left to fend for themselves, living in temporary housing, with little to no compensation. What this commission will do to help the lives of these people is unclear, but even though this move comes long after it should have, it is a positive step that the Government is now taking some action to at least examine the Disengagement, and hopefully repair in some small way the untold damage that has been done.

To see the full article that appeared in Ynet News, click here

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