For the Gush Katif Refugees, the Nightmare Doesn’t End …

Disengagement is Not Over: Nitzan is ’Ticking Social Time-Bomb’


Nitzan, just north of Ashkelon, is the largest new temporary community of families that were uprooted from their homes in Gush Katif last summer in the framework of PM Ariel Sharon’s Disengagement Plan. Over 300 families currently reside there.

The session was held today as a result of calls by nationalist-camp MKs, in response to the harsh report issued last week by the State Comptroller regarding the Disengagement. “The State and its institutions failed in their treatment of the expelled citizens of Gush Katif,” the detailed report concluded. State Comptroller and former Judge Micha Lindenstrauss determined that the Sela (Aid for the Expellees) Administration, the Prime Minister’s Office, the State Service Commission and the Finance Ministry were all at fault.

Lindenstrauss said that those who said the report was one-sidedly against the government ignored the “no fewer than 13 times that the report states that the residents did not cooperate with the government before the expulsion date.”

Former Gaza Coast Regional Head Avner Shimoni reacted strongly to this point, saying, “As someone who was accused by the Comptroller of being blameworthy for not having cooperated, I want to say that I have no obligation to cooperate with those who come to throw me out of my home. On the other hand, just like the government knew how to bring in thousands of soldiers and policemen to deport us, it also should have been ready for us on that date – and it was not.”

Chairperson Bloch noted that the residents were not “accused.” She said, “You [the residents] had the full right not to cooperate; there’s nothing wrong with that. But your lack of cooperation must be taken into account when finding fault with the government’s failures.” She noted that the bottom line is that “today, seven months after the Disengagement, there are still many families that are living in hotels and other temporary arrangements.”

The Comptroller’s report described, in sharp language, the culture of decision-making that led to the crisis: “One thing dragged along another, and things got stuck. Everyone worked with the approach of ‘Trust me, it will be OK’ – until it was too late… The Prime Minister [Ariel Sharon] and Finance Minister [Binyamin Netanyahu] did not steer their workers properly. The relevant ministers should have used all their influence to push things forward.


The whole reason for the current state of the refugees, lack of compensation, lack of permanent residence, lack of jobs and thus lack of the opportunity to rebuild their lives is due to the adversarial syndrome. This author is not a psychologist, but this type of syndrome must exist either by the name coined here or by some other name.

Meaning, the obvious victims are entitled to not to cooperate in the destruction of their lives, assets and possessions. They did nothing on earth wrong, were/are not illegal and have inate Jewish rights to stand and defend Torah, Hashem’s Name, the Land of Israel and what is theirs.

But it seems to this author, that as heavy as the adversarial relationship becomes, the responsibility is still incumbent upon the evictors, upon the state; just as they made their military and police preparations, to also properly and conscientiously prepare restitution; a smooth transition to give those evicted the tools to rebuild their lives without the evictees suffering through 8 months of nightmare, court fights, hotel eviction notices and the like.

In short, although the Knesset passed legislation calling for proper and conscientious preparations, the evictors legally robbed the evictees of everything and, it seems, by virtue of the impossible bureaucratic hoops and requirements (i.e. telephone and arnona bills dating back 29 years, DNA tests to prove kinship, etc. – obviously punitory) forced on the victims — the evictees forced upon the victims — the evictees, that the state had no intention of restitution. The state, the evictors caused a previously proud and independent segment of Israel to become dependent and destitute! MB


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