Families to “Karavilot” in Yad Binyamin
The first group of families moved into the “kavilot” in Yad Binyamin on September 21. They were from the Torat Haim yeshiva of Rav Tal.
There have been a number of “shloshim” ceremonies that individual communities have held, among them Ganei Tal and Netzarim. Ganei Tal held their ceremony at Kibbutz Hafetz Haim, where they are still staying in the small guest house rooms, waiting for more karavilot to be ready at Yad Binyamin. Netzarim held their ceremony at the closest possible point to Netzarim.
Many of the evacuees from Gush Katif are now unemployed and the Israeli government is not helping them find work. All that the government has done so far is told them to sign up at the regular unemployment office in Ashkelon, a city that already has 16% unemployment. Aside from the scant chance of them finding work through this office (as one former Katif lifeguard said yesterday on a Channel One TV special, “What will I do? Take another lifeguard’s job?”), They are still scattered all over Israel, from Beer Sheva to the Golan.
A group of volunteers have created a site, www.jobkatif.org.il, which features positions from all over Israel in which priority will be given to people who have been expelled from their homes in Gush Katif.
Evacuees to be Evicted by Regency Hotel (formerly the Hyatt) in Jerusalem It was reported today, September 22, that before the holiday season, the evacuees staying at the Regency Hotel in Jerusalem will have to move to either the Gold Hotel or the Ceasar Hotel, also in Jerusalem. This is because the contract between the Regency and the Disengagement Authority will be up and the Regency, it says, has already committed to tour groups. However, Aaron Henya, an evacuee from Gush Katif who is staying at the Regency, said that in the last few weeks he has seen ads in the newspaper in which the Regency has been trying to attract people to the hotel. Henya and others interviewed have stressed over and over again that they do not want to stay in the hotels, but that they want a community solution.
There are 3,100 children who have been expelled from their homes, but associations for the protection of children have been strangely silent.
The evacuees currently in the hotels are especially upset about the fact that their children will have to move, once again, to different pre-schools and schools, and that it is not even the last move. In the best case scenario, these children will have been in at least four different schools in the course of this last year. (Gush Katif at the end of the last school year, their present location, their new location after moving to one of the new hotels, and their final school, from which they will also have to move about two years from now.)
In a report on Channel Two Radio today, Mr. Shuly Levi of the Disengagement Authority stated that there were “many solutions” for the evacuees of Neve Dekalim, in rented apartments in various cities. When asked by the radio reporter if there were also solutions for them as a community as well, he said,”Yes, also as communities.” This is in direct contradiction to what Mr. Haim Altman, official spokesman for the Disengagement Authority, told this reporter two days ago when he admitted that there were not community solutions for the people of Neve Dekalim at this time. To recap: He said that there are 65 small “karavilot” at the Nitzan trailer camp, and the “eventually” there will be 442 homes ready in the Nitzan settlement, still not enough for all the families of Neve Dekalim.
Unprecedented Hostility on Channel One TV
Channel One gave a lot of air time to the promoting of its Wednesday night special, “One Month Later”, regarding the state of the evacuees. What viewers saw, however, when they tuned in, was unprecedented hostility on the part of show moderator Geula Even, whose blatant and undisguised hatred and disdain for the evacuees of Gush Katif and the Shomron surpassed even that of veteran news anchor Haim Yavin, whose series “Land of the Settlers” generated an outcry several months ago (and is now being screened in Arab countries). Ilan Cohen, Director of the Prime Minister’s office, was the guest from “one side”, and Bentzi Lieberman, head of the council of communities of Judea and Samaria, was from the “other side”. Lieberman, however, received almost no air time, and the only “difficult” questions that Even asked of Cohen were along the lines of, Why is the government spending so much money on the evacuees? And, Why doesn’t the government just tell them they have to leave the hotels and move into the apartments?
The only moderating voices were those of the reporters who interviewed people in the field. However, even in one of those cases, a reporter felt it necessary to add, after showing the tent cities, that “the settlers are once again fortifying themselves alone, far away from the national consensus”.
One evacuee from Elei Sinai asked, “Why do they want to break us apart, destroy us? It is better for us to be together in this tent camp than to be broken apart.” One of the hairiest scenes was at a high school at which girls from the hotels are studying. They cried and screamed their anguish at reporters. A number of parents reported that their young children have been saying to them, “Okay, vacation is over, now when do we go home?”
Dr. Smadar Ben-Asher, a psychologist from Ben Gurion University of the Negev, also interviewed, said, “These people are experiencing mourning and loss, and in a situation like that, a person needs an environment that is stable and protected, and that is exactly what they don’t have. The most preferable way for them to live now is as communities, not in hotels or in rented apartments.”
She quoted Dr. Muly Lahad, Israel’s trauma “guru”, who said that 30% of the children who have been evacuated will suffer from emotional problems as a result of the disengagement. “The families in the hotel are not functioning as families,” said Ben-Asher. “Some of the children are losing their sense of parenting.
They are suffering trauma and sadness.”
55% of the evacuees are still living in hotels. As of this week all of them will have 150 shekel a day deducted from their eventual compensation, and as of October 1, it will be 300 shekel a day, even though they have no community option offered to them. Ilan Cohen continued to repeat, like a mantra, that the government is waiting to hear where the people want to go, yet the people themselves say repeatedly that they don’t want to be split up. There were scenes of community life in the two tent cities, Ir Haemuna (of Atzmona people) and Elei Sinai, in Yad Mordecai. In both places communal systems of turn-taking and mutual help have been set up by the evacuees.
Update on Homesh Synagogue
When the IDF was asked to explain the destruction of the synagogue in Homesh, they said, “Ask the Ministry of Defense”. Their reply was that the synagogue was destroyed because it was in a bomb shelter and it was decided to not leave bomb shelters undestroyed for security reasons. They would not elaborate what those security reasons are.
The Hamas in Kfar Darom
The Hamas has taken over Kfar Darom and renamed it “Ir Yassin” (the City of Sheikh Yassin). Israeli television filmed the Hamas last night showing off their weapons, including weapons that they boasted had murdered Israeli soldiers, and a row of rockets lined up that they said “will be shot at Sderot”.
The Channel One news team that screened the segment requested no reaction from Ariel Sharon, Defense Minsiter Shaul Mofaz, or Chief of staff of the IDF, Dan Halutz.
Artistic Creation out of the Ashes
A new melody to “Adon Haslichot” has been composed by the Hazan Elad Tzfira, because of the destruction of Jewish life in Gush Katif. It can be reached through http://www.katif.net/ro_new.php?id=9218.