News reports today indicated that contrary to what was stated in an earlier government policy (designed to make the residents of Gush Katif move out of their homes complacently), those who did not move out of their own volition but were evicted by the IDF will be entitled to full compensation after all (if they weren’t violent). I found no mention of the efforts of the Israel Legal Forum, working on behalf of the evacuees, with regard to this matter — but the fact is that they had stated from the beginning that the government position was illegal and they were fighting it.

Be that as it may… I was particular caught by a statement in The Jerusalem Post attributed to PM Sharon on this matter:

At the same time, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that since the evacuees were getting their hotels paid for by the state, and at the same time receiving rental subsidies, “it needs to be clear to everyone that they must leave the hotels to homes set aside for them in a gradual and orderly fashion.”

This, so typical of the government misrepresentation on the issue, cannot be permitted to pass without comment — which should be shared broadly. To read this is to gain an impression that the evacuees are doing all right for themselves (perhaps even taking advantage of the situation): staying free in hotels while receiving rental subsidies. Not so! An outrage!!

More than half of the evacuees have not received a shekel from the government yet and are hurting badly for money (most likely having lost their farms or their jobs as a result of the evacuation). In some cases, money received is not housing money, but simply a first emergency payment to help tide them over; even if housing compensation has been applied for it takes weeks, at best, to start receiving it. That is, if indeed, it comes. What is more, in the majority of cases where compensation has been arranged, evacuees are then supposed to find their own housing. The “homes waiting for them” to which they are supposed to repair in an orderly fashion, in cases where indeed there are such “homes,” are for the most part unsatisfactory to the former residents of Gush Katif because they do not provide an opportunity for them to sustain their communities — they are scattered apartments or apartments in inaccessible areas. Because the people are determined in the main to keep their communities together many are simply not applying for the compensation now and are seeking their own solutions.

The government has no shame.