Eretz Yisrael Time

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005
I will be uploading a series of posts and pictures describing some of the events of the last few days and the lessons we need to learn from them.

Contrary to what one hears on the media and government advertisements, there isn’t a solution for every settler – not even close.

The question is whether that is from negligence or from spite.
I think the events I will soon describe will answer that question without a doubt.

The lies the public are being told are incredible, and the public eats them up.

At least Bassi got his NIS 150,000 bonus yesterday for a job “well done”.

This story began with a family that understandably refused to leave their home of 16 years for some arbitrary political decision.

Like most residents of Neve Dekalim they chose to stay and non-violently protest the decision to violently and brutally rip them from their homes – and as a result the government has decided to punish them.

First Z. and her family were stuck in some hole in Natzrat Elite. They also immediately lost 30% of their sub-minimal “compensation package”.

It Begins
On Tuesday at 4AM, Z. received a phone call from the IDF, one member of her family will be allowed in to pack their belongings.

Upon arrival, Z.’s husband C. was given 30 boxes, and told he has 2 hours to pack up his house.

He has to pay NIS 10,000 (~@2200) to move and an additional NIS 1500 for each additional 10 boxes.

The packing, the moving, the boxes, and even his bus ride from Natzrat Elite will all comes out of his “compensation package”.

He was also told that despite 40 soldiers being available to rip him, his wife, and 6 little children from their home, none will be available to help him pack.

Initial Efforts
We began an emergency campaign to get assistance for C.

We spoke with numerous Knesset members to no avail. One MK said straight out, “This is an attempt to break the spirit of the religious community”.

Finally, we reached a senior member of the Ministry of Defense and C. was allowed to stay on to continue to pack.

Some “Mistaninim” (illegal infiltrators) heard C. needed help and clandestinely arrived later in the evening and helped him pack as much as they could.

After continued phone call, we managed to get special Entry Permits for Z. and a few assistants to enter Thursday morning. I won’t discuss the tone of the conversation or the threats.

We were nearly the only people in Israel given this permission.

The Cavalry Arrives
After more dire warnings and threats, on Thursday morning we set out with valid Entry Permits in an MoD convoy, our cars already having been searched for any political “contraband” (anything in the color orange!).

Arriving at Kissufim junction, a vile policeman, seeing religious Jews, pulled our cars out of the convoy and nearly started to beat one of our team members.

Only the quick attention and appearance of the IDF officer leading the convoy prevented bloodshed. The hatred ingrained in the police towards our yarmulkes was tangible.

We arrived in Neve Dekalim to find the moving company C&Z were forced to hire (the government only authorized 2 companies) had now upped the price to NIS 15,000 (~$3300).

Having no choice C&Z agreed.

The Day
We began to pack, taking apart closets and shelves, doing as much as we could ourselves, as the moving company tacked on fees to everything else beyond shipping.

I can’t even describe how difficult this was emotionally.

During our breaks we visited the local Synagogues and Yeshivas slated for destruction and prayed in some of them.

At one point I entered an interview being given by a general.

When he made the statement that soldiers were helping people pack, I asked him if he’d like to meet a family that has no soldiers helping them.

I was ignored!

Speaking afterwards to his aide, the Colonel told me that it is not their responsibility. Packing was the MoD’s job.

Funny, the MoD said the exact opposite.

Disengagement Under Fire
Somehow the Palestinians forgot to listen to Sharon.

Outside the town we saw Hamas and Palestinian flags waving.

Three Kassam mortars fell into Gush Katif yesterday evening, one not far from us.

So much for no expulsion under fire.

As I looked at the road around C&Z's house. They explained that the holes in the asphalt weren't potholes, that was where Kassam mortars had hit!

Day’s End
Seeing some junior officers and soldiers roaming around, we asked if they could help us pack. They said they weren’t allowed to help while on duty.

But word went out.

Soon off-duty soldiers began to arrive at our house and others, and began to help people pack.

While the IDF forbade them to help us, these soldiers instead took from their personal sleep and relaxation time to help us.

By 8PM we had finished with the stuff going into the moving van.

The mover’s fee had now reached around NIS 19,000 (~$4200).

We spent the evening talking with the soldiers, and that will be the subject of another blog.

At around 10PM, we packed up our cars with items that C&Z would need in the immediate future.

We took the Mezuzot off the doorposts, and ripped Kriah, a Jewish ritual where one rips one shirt - done when a close relative dies or a Jewish community is destroyed.

On our way out we stopped at Shirat HaYam and convinced the soldiers to let us in.

We walked on the beach and picked up Moshe Feiglin’s protest tent that he had left behind.

We drove home hoping for a better future for the Jewish People.


JoeSettler said...

Tents need to be put up on Ben Yehuda, in Tel Aviv, at the Kotel.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

settler - the tent was worth 4000 NIS, and Feiglin was very greatful to get it back.

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