Rambling ...

I'm an Irish Girl, A Dubliner, with the 'Gift of the Gab' ... I like to talk & to tell you things. In Celtic times news, views and comment were carried from place to place by wandering Seanachaí ~ Storytellers ~ who relied on their host's hospitality and appreciation. I will need that from you too, as I venture to share Politics, Poetry, Laughter, Love, Life & everything in-between ... from Bog to Blog!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Disengagement .... Despair, Division, Disaster!!

The Jewish population in Gaza wasn’t deported there, they were deported from there in 2005. But, before going any further on this subject, a brief history of the Jewish population in Gaza must be told. 

    Jews have lived in  Gaza throughout history.   As Gaza was included in the Palestine Mandate for a Jewish national home,  Jews continued to live there.  In August 1929, however, the Arabs of Palestine,   led by the Supreme Muslim Council,   began a nation wide massacre against their Jewish neighbours.   Instead of punishing the perpetrators,  the British administration of Palestine,  forced the Jews to leave Gaza as well as Hebron ~ see video below!   The Jews weren’t even allowed to go back to their homes in Gaza when the State of Israel  was declared in 1948 due to  Egypt’s illegal occupation of Gaza (1948-1967).   It wasn’t until after the 1967 Six Day War, that Jews were allowed back home.    Since then, the Jews have been accused of occupying ‘Arab land’, when in fact,  the Jews who lawfully lived in Gaza, were forced out by the Arab rioters, and not the other way around.  This fact needs to be remembered.

In August 2005, the deportation of nearly 10,000 Jews, the whole Jewish population of Gaza,  by their own Israeli government occurred

Respectively,  August is a difficult month for the Jewish people.  The First and Second Temples, the holiest places in all of Judaism,  were both destroyed by invaders around the month of August.  The Jews of England were expelled by King Edward 1 in August 1290.  The Jews of Spain were expelled by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in August of 1492.  The Jews were expelled from Frankfurt, Germany in August of 1614 and as mentioned, the Arab massacres of August 1929 in palestine,  caused the Jews to be expelled from Gaza and Hebron.  So,  August is a very difficult month for the Jewish people!

What is even worse,  is that in August 2005,  the Israeli government was added to the list of those who expelled Jews.  The Israeli Jews of Gaza,  who were expelled in 2005,  were pioneers.   Many were given long-term loans from the World Zionist Organization to cultivate the desolate sand dunes after the 1967 Six Day War.  David Ben-Gurion,  the first Prime Minister of Israel,  called Israel’s Jewish pioneers, ‘’our finest youth’’.    Indeed,  Israel’s national treasures, ‘’These pioneers’’,  PM Ben-Gurion declared to U.S. President  Eisenhower  in a letter of March 8th, 1957,  ‘’our finest youth, have … gone to settle in the border areas, risking their lives in order to populate the wilderness.’’   They did.  The Jews of Gaza, through hard work and dedication, were able to turn unfertile swampy land into an oasis of vegetation.  Even through bombings and various terrorist attacks, the Jewish farmers of Gush Katif, Gaza,  exported in percentage terms of all of Israel’s total exports abroad: ~

- 95% of bug-free lettuce and greens

- 70% of organic vegetables

- 60% of geraniums to Europe

- Of Israel’s total agricultural exports, Gush Katif made up 15%

There are lots more statistics on my earlier blog  Remember & Rebuild!!  Not only was Gush Katif vital to Israel’s economy,  but vital to Israel’s security too.    The Jews of Gaza, individually volunteered their lives to protect the lives of the whole state of Israel.  Their presence in Gaza prevented invasions from Egypt.  During the first Intifada (1987-1990),  the Jews of Gaza were at the frontlines of the violence.  Had they not have been there,  the rest of the nation would have been under more terrorist attacks then it was.  In the Second Intifada (Oslo War or Al-Aqsa Intifada),  that began in September 2000,  the residents of Gush Katif, were the targets of more than 6,000 mortar bombs and Qu'assam rockets.  These residents served as a human buffer for their fellow Israelis.   These courageous residents,   Israel’s ‘’finest’’,  defended Eretz Israel from ground infiltrations with their own lives.  In one instance, three Palestinian Arab terrorists,  at the young ages of 14, 12, 8-10, infiltrated a Jewish neighbourhood in Gush Katif and tried to stab unarmed Jewish children.  Despite all these terrorist attacks,  Gush Katif  continued to flourish as a contributing community of Israel’s society.  Being a vital contribution to Israel’s society was the purpose of Gush Katif’s founding and it stayed true to that.  In fact, its principal purpose can be found in its name. The meaning of Gush Katif is ‘’Harvest Bloc’’.  This harvest bloc was made up of 17 Israeli Jewish neighbourhoods of which included: ~

- Bedolah, meaning ‘’Crystal’’

- Gadid, meaning ‘’Picking of Palm tree fruits’’

- Gan Or, meaning ‘’Garden of Light’’

- ‘’Ganei Tal, meaning ‘’Gardens of Dew’’

- Kfar Darom, meaning ‘’Village of the South’’

- ‘’Morag, meaning ‘’Harvest Scythe’’

- Neve Dekalim, meaning ‘’Palm Tree Oasis’’

- Pe’at Sade, meaning ‘’The Edge of the Field’’

- Shirat Hayam, meaning ‘’Song of the Sea’’

- Katif, meaning ‘’Harvest, picking of flowers’

‘’Flowers’’ is really the word to use when describing Gush Katif.  It was situated on the south-west edge of the beautiful Gaza coast line.  It became abundant in Palm trees.  The residents could wake up every morning to a soft sea breeze and watch the warm yellow sun rise to greet them.  It truly was an oasis, sweet to the senses and soothing to the soul!!

In short, it, the Disengagement, started on August 15th and ended on August 22nd,  2005.  It only took 7 days. It was conducted in a dignified and sensitive manner; and that was that.   Well,  this is the Israeli government’s version of Gush Katif’s final days.

The clean,  neutral,  politically correct word that is ‘’Disengage’’ or ‘’Disengagement’’,  is completely void of what it truly represented.  ‘’Disengage’’ sounds more like a technical term that an aircraft pilot would use. Israel Prime Minister Sharon specifically selected this word, ‘’disengagement’’,  because it has no reference to the words ‘’forced homelessness’’ or ‘’expulsion’’.  Sharon planned an expulsion, but didn’t want to use that word because maybe more Israelis would have been more reluctant to agree to it.  Think about it,  does someone ‘’disengage’’ from their home or garden?  It is such an odd term to use,   especially when an innocent homeowner is physically dragged from their home.  It is also not the first time language has been used as a Euphemism for bad treatment against Jews.  It is,  however,  the first time it has been used by Jews to cover the forced expulsion of Jews from their own homeland!!

The Israeli soldiers and Police, also wore patriotic symbols, such as the Israeli flag,  perhaps to remind the residents of Gush Katif  that these were not foreign enemies, but their own people coming to expel them. After all, it is very easy for a Jew to picture Romans, Arabs, Germans, or Spaniards expelling them from their homes, but not their own.  But times have changed,  now a Jew can picture quite well,  from this blog alone even,  fellow Jews forcibly expelling them from their homes.   Now, in the 21st Century,  Israel can join the international phenomenon,  that is the expulsion of Jews from their homes. 

It was a crime to train the Israeli army against its own people.  It was a crime for the government of Israel to destroy the lives of its own people.

‘’If we give up some land, then we will get some peace’’. 

The answer to this thought is a question:  ~ What peace is there since the Disengagement?   Is there peace?  There is no peace.   There is only pain.  Every Israeli should ask themselves these questions with their fellow Israelis in mind who were expelled from Gush Katif: ~

~  Is it ‘’peaceful’’ to be made homeless?

~  Is it ‘’peaceful’’ to watch your home destroyed?

~  Is it ‘’peaceful’’ to have your life’s business taken away from you?

~  Is it ‘’peaceful’’ to have your children’s education destroyed?

~  Is it ‘’peaceful’’ to see your children urinate in their clothes from nightmares of soldiers  snatching them away from their home?

There is no peace,  only pain,   in uprooting a family from their home and it certainly isn’t in the direction of peace.   

The palestinians do not wish to recognize Israel and have not accepted its existence.   They never will.  And, with the election of Hamas,  they again are not missing any opportunity to miss an opportunity.  They have turned the once fertile farmlands of Gush Katif into launch sites for missiles deployed against residents of the Negev and particularly the town of Sderot.  The palestinian streets have become more, not less, radicalized.  Israel's public image as an occupying country has not significantly improved in the world,  in fact it has worsened, as it looks like Israel accepts the charge of an anti-semetic world that it is an occupier!   And further unilateral disengagement in the West Bank as a possible way of solving the Israeli -Palestinian conflict has turned out to be a chimera,  in large measure because of the failure of what was supposed to be its Gazan first stage. 

 We know now that this assumption, that it is enough for us to leave territory in order for the other side to stop its attacks has proven false.  We also know that if Israel were to cede any territory in Judea and Samaria, that the next day Qu'assam rockets would begin to be fired on Kfar Saba, Raanana and Herzliya.   Israel withdrew from every millimetre of Gaza, including evacuating it's cities, orchards & vineyards and has  received nothing except rocket fire in return.

"I still cannot understand how Israel gave up parts of its land willingly and with abandon, and how the residents connected to that land were turned into criminals, instead of raising their dedication as a banner of preserving the Jewish identity of the state of Israel"   ~ Maj.-Gen Yiftah Ron-Tal,   IDF ground forces commander at the time of the Disengagement ~ Kfar Chabad weekly,  October 6, 2006.

Is Gush Katif a lesson well learned??

This rare historical film was made before the 1929 massacre of the destruction of the Jewish Community of Hebron. It is in the original Hebrew with English subtitles added. This is a rare and unusual glimpse of Jewish life in Hebron was before this ancient Jewish community was ruthlessly terminated by Arab fanatics.  Hebron is Jewish, as Gaza is Jewish!

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