Friday, August 08, 2008

I Challenge Miriam Shaviv

I am acquainted with Miriam Shaviv, a former Jerusalem Post book review editor. She now writes for the Jewish Chronicle.

I spotted this and it bothered me:-

why is no one agitating on their [the Gush Katif expellees] behalf? Certainly inertia, and emergencies such as Iran, have played a role. But it seems to me, more fundamentally, that they are being used as political pawns.

The right, though theoretically sympathetic, has a vested interest in keeping them unsettled. A two-state solution will depend on evacuation of some West Bank settlements. But as long as the Gaza settlers remain neglected, no one can expect settlers from Judea and Samaria to leave their homes for "Israel proper", on the basis of a few government promises.

Miriam, may I challenge you on this? Political pawns? Really, now.

MKs from the right-of-center parties have been desperately attempting to lobby the various government ministries, Knesset committees, the press, etc. to get these people into permanent homes, regular employment, etc. And they have had some minor successes.

A woman from my home of Shiloh went down to the Nitzan Caravilla site to serve as school principal. Other social workers have volunteered beyond the normal services extended to the expellees. The press has been bombarded with stories with the object of getting things aright. Monies have been donated. Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Rimmon of Alon Shvut has set up a Gush Katif employment agency, JobKatif and was recognized by President Shimon Peres.

There is much more I could detail but I really think you erred on this one. We are not like the Arabs who have kept their "refugees" in camps for 60+ years. One success, Maskiyot, for 20 families from Shirat HaYam even made headlines (albeit due to the location of the new community).

You were wrong on this and misleading. Why you penned this viewpoint is beyond me.



Y. Ben-David said...

I just read the article in Makor Rishon reviewing the events that led up to the Kfar Maimon fiasco shortly before the destruction of Gush Katif.
I hate to say actually pains me to say this, but the truth must be told...the people of Gush Katif were the biggest "freyers" in Israeli history, and fools like myself who let Moetzet YESHA, with their inherent conflict of interest, lead us by the nose and hijack the protest campaign against the gerush...we all contributed to the mess the expellees are in. They were victims of excessive "mamlachtiut" (otherwise know by the term "Fascism"). Shortly before Sharon came up with the idea, a group of people from Gush Katif came to my Beit Knesset in Rehovot. I asked them why they don't protest the ongoing rocket attacks and security problems. They replied "we are soft, we are people of the sand dunes...we don't protest". I replied that if you don't protest the abandonment of your security, what do you expect us who don't live there to do? I know see that they brought their disaster on themselves, with our help. Sharon and the gov't, who are totally cynical people knew they could trample on them and on us as they wished, and we all just folded up.
Kfar Maimon was a gigantic fraud. It should never have been done at all. Local protests, scattered all over the country WITH ROAD BLOCKING would have been far more effective. But the people who hijacked the protest movement prohibited ANY meaningful protest, except for grotesque "love-in" demonstrations with Hasidic music and no angry speeches to make sure everyone was in a good mood. Kfar Maimon was no doubt coordinated with Sharon (I am also sure he had the gov't pay for the protest demonstrations, all those "orange" accessories like back packs, pens, and other knick-knacks-all in return for a peaceful, quiet evacuation). It worked like a charm. Not only did the evacuation go like clockwork (the residents were told to do NO barricading or passive resistance, just to go out and hug and kiss the pogromchik soldier-YES, I CALL THEM THAT-THE SOLDIERS WERE ALL PARTICIPATING IN A CRIMINAL ACT), but the political arm of the settlement movement, i.e. MAFDAL/IHUD LEUMI has been rendered totally impotent such that they will be left out of the next gov't, even if the Likud should win the elections.

Reading this article has brought a lot of anger back to me. I feel betrayed by the people who dishonestly took control of the protest movement. It is THEY who destroyed the lives of the Gush Katif people, it is they who destroyed the political arm of the settlement movement. They should have said "we have a conflict of interest, we have to deal with the gov't even after the gerush, we can't participate in it" and they should have left it to others to act. But they behaved dishonestly. However, I am glad to see that they are at least paying the price for what they did...they no longer have any credibility. No one trusts them any more.

We will continue to pay the price for this terrible fiasco long into the future as we see the state of Israel committing suicide right in front of our eyes. Seruv Pekuda (refusal to carry out orders) was NOT a danger to the IDF, it would have saved the IDF. Those who opposed seruv pekuda brought about the collapse of the IDF which we saw in the Lebaon War. We who supported passive resistance and road blocking were trying to save the state..those who opposed it accelerated the state's decline.
Where do we go from here?

Ben-Yehudah said...


There are more than a few in the so called "right wing" camp who believe heavily in PR.

If they are exploiting the expellees for PR's sake, then they're definitely not doing a very good job of it.

Yep. She was definitely wrong on this.