Sunday, August 21, 2005


It has taken me a while to bring myself to comment on the events of the past week or so. Mainly because what can you say when the government of your country evicts you from your house? Don’t you have the right to protest and kick and scream, if you have spent your life working for that piece of land? If this is the second time your government is doing this to you?
I know the facts and figures, and the practicality of disengaging from Gaza and in theory I agree that being in Gaza is a waste of energy on behalf of the army but that doesn’t mean that people are not human and this has been a really heart wrenching week for the people of Israel.
In Jerusalem I felt really removed from the whole situation. History is taking place literally 100km down the road, but I might as well be in Sydney because I wasn’t feeling it until last Thursday when the buses started arriving.
Many hotels in Jerusalem are filled with families from Gaza who did not sign up for new housing before the disengagement. These are the families who stood their ground and fought for their homes and did not get a chance to pack up, so they have arrived here with the clothes on their back.
I went with some friends to give the kids at these hotels presents, and I watched a bus load of people arrive, with tears families cling to each other, and I recognised a girl I learned with descend from the bus, I realised that these are not just people on TV, these are people that I know. She had spent the past month helping families pack up and now she had to leave as well.
Then on Saturday night I met with another friend of mine who is visiting from overseas, her and her husband were staying at one of these hotels. They are the only non-gush katif guests. They said it was like walking in on a huge shabbaton except you realise soon something is wrong, women are crying in the corner, and no body goes to sleep, everyone sits around with nowhere to go.
On Monday all these ‘guests’ have to leave the hotels, but they have no destination. The army knew they would be evacuated anyway, but there is no housing for them.

Sharon’s speech was really revealing, when he stated ‘blame me’ this was almost a declaration that the international pressure he was receiving basically left him with no choice, either our soldiers remove our people or someone else will do it for us.
This is all in aid of the creation of an autonomous Palestinian state which will be receiving water and electricity from Israel. We really have to hope that the international aid given to the Palestinians is actually reaching them and that Hamas is not going to wreak havoc like the celebrations they are holding are hinting at. I hope the actions of the past week are not in vain.

There is no longer the concept of YeShA (Yehuda, Shomron and Aza), there is now just YeSh, and we have to ask ‘Ma Yesh?’ ‘What do we have?’ What are we left with? What type of a country are we building here? Are we still building? What are the Gush KAtif guests going to do on Tuesday? What is the cost benefit analysis of this situation? What is the most constructive action now?

I wait, as I try to find my place here, I hope that I will be able to build a house one day without the fear of it one day being uprooted and of course to live in peace.


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