Neglecting the Gaza Evacuees, by Binyamin Netanyahu (Jerusalem Post)
More than a year has passed since the communities in Gush Katif and northern Gaza were uprooted. Over 1,000 families went from being evacuees to refugees in their own country. Very little has changed since then.
Despite the governmentâ€™s assurances and the establishment of a large and well-budgeted agency to handle their re-acculturation, hundreds of families are still facing an unbearable reality. Most live in temporary communities. According to the evacueesâ€™ data, nearly half are unemployed and those who did find work earn no more than half of what they used to earn prior to the pullout.
The evacuees must dig into their savings and the compensation they received from the state, simply because the state is stalling on building their permanent communities. Quality people, who were sent to Gaza after 1967 by Israelâ€™s governments, have become abandoned and deprived people.
Criticizing the government in this case is not a matter of a political affiliation. The former residents of Gaza are among our finest citizens, farmers and people of action, whose children serve in the IDFâ€™s best units.
Nearly 25% of them had independent businesses. More than half of them are unemployed. Only one out of 10 (!) farmers who were engaged in advanced hi-tech agriculture received agricultural plots.
Many are young and only have one provider in their family. More often, however, both providers do not work. As a result, the familiesâ€™ incomes, the quality of their childrenâ€™s education, their sense of dignity and their connection with the state all received quite a blow.
The government of Israel physically disengaged from the Gaza Strip, and disengaged morally from the evacuees. The settlers, once a proud and unified group, are today a shattered and scattered community on whom the state has turned its back.
The situation can change. We in the Likud faction in the Knesset are working in the various parliamentary committees in order to solve the complicated problems of the settlers. We are also working to expedite the establishment of permanent settlements, to help with fair compensation and to assist with employment searches.
When we return to leading the country, we will concern ourselves with solving the evacuees’ problems immediately; but the settlers cannot wait that long.
Not a single one of us would want to live in a temporary structure for even one month – but the evacuees have been living in these temporary mobile homes for over a year. Not a single one of us would want our children to be separated from their homes and their friends without the chance to plant new roots – but that is what is happening to the children of the evacuees.
We cannot allow ourselves to wait until we are in a leadership position; as a nation, as a society and as the Opposition, it is incumbent upon us to continue pressuring the government to create appropriate solutions for these precious families. After all, they are our brothers.
From readers responses, it seems obvious that this author is not alone in seeing through Bibi’s soft-shoe; presenting himself as savior when, in fact, the past 2 1/2 years of history and Bibi’s actions, or lack of the right actions, show that aside from the arrogant, hateful, inciteful, vindictive tones of Sharon, Olmert and their leftist regime coalition members and their collective and disparagement of anything Jewish, there is little difference between himself and the current regime regarding expulsions of Jews.
Here’s a sampling;
— Bibi, you are partially responsible for this mess, because you failed to oppose the “disengagement” by quitting the government until the last minute, when it was too late. Will you allow Israel to violate the rights of any more of its citizens by expelling them from their homes as well?
— Hey Bibi,
Didn’t you put those “settlers” in the place they are now, by voting 3 times for the disengagement?
….The disengagement has only been put on hold. Olmert, under pressure and crisis has opted to leave this subject alone for now. The disengagement plan is most assuredly tied into the RoadMap and will continue again at some future quiet period of time. If your nemesis chooses to awaken tomorrow, he will start anew what he began. So my suggestion is to fix the root problem before you treat the wounds, otherwise you will be nothing more than the Field Medic trying to keep your troops alive. Fix the problem and let them live.
— The whole country should be ashamed of the way those brave Israelis were treated, and for no gain, only losses. It should remind them the way the nazis unrooted Jews from their towns and their homes. I was shocked and ashamed; and Israel lost its security belt with the desastrous consequences we have seen since.
— You ignore God and obey ordinances of other nations and are splayed and unable to move. Instead of delivering the Israel of promise you play the harlot to the world. There should be no Gaza or West Bank, just Israel. You stay on the defensive and are bled to death by your various alliances. You’re still in the wilderness. You rent and don’t own because you’ve lost your legitimacy because you’ve left God. Clean your skirts and take it all. The world is powerless when God lives in His Temple. Do right Israel and prosper or become the same as your “neighbors”. Your leaders might as well be Palestinians for all they’ve done to jeopardize Israel.
How will Bibi react to Olmert’s inevitable future attempts to expell many more 10s of thousands of Jews from Yehuda and the Shomron? MB
Challenging question; Whatever happened to blatantly false Regime assertions that “75% of the former Gush Katif residents are employed” and that “some 80 percent of the evacuees have already received full compensation?” Is this report another Olmert snow-job? MB
Related Story: Olmert Promises Foreign Press Withdrawal is “a Process”
â€œThe Realignment is a process,â€ he said. â€œThe vision is a two-state solution. Now, the most important part, of course, is the substance – or what is the vision. What is the final permanent situation that we envision for the Palestinians and ourselves? I am absolutely loyal to the same position that I expressed before the election, that there should be a two-state solution and that the Palestinians will have a contiguous territory in the West Bank. ”