Leaving Gush Katif – The Settlements Part II

And here I am again,

Remember yesterday’s Part I on the settlements? The point about the fear jewish west bank communities are suffering from: For sure one thing that contributes to their fear is the example that was set with the about 8’000 “settlers” living in former Gush Katif, in the Gaza Strip. Besides rumors that hold it that the government wasn’t sorry all the least about destroying some of the very alternative and rather inconvenient communities that developed there, the same institution that made them move there to begin with and thereby holds a certain responsibility towards them, has left them alone completely. People that used to live in houses built and decorated with a lot of love and affection in beautiful, grand communities, people that used to be farmers and make a living with their land, are after nearly 4 years still living in huge settlements made of plate and concrete with one “house” so close to the next that you can hear every of your neighbour’s coughs. Communities where (deliberately?) taken apart and many of them, who were used to hard labour in the agriculture, are now unemployed. I can hardly imagine how they must feel like.

Gush Katif/Gaza Evacuee's houses in Lachish (c) Katiffund

evacuées “temporary” houses (c) Friends of Gush Katif

And for sure seeing in the news to what development their “disengagement” from their beloved houses led to in the Gaza Strip and for the communities of the Western Negev (where at least one of the plate-settlements is situated by the by) doesn’t make it any better at all.

Yet in the media – even the Israeli ones – the only information you see about them is about penguin-clad hardliners and ultra-religious featuring the clichée. That those are from exactly two settlements is another issue. And that settlements, besides, were the only one reported on by the media during the disengagement for the rest of the 8’000 people was showing a behaviour that was just way too boring for the media to report on.

When every means to prevent the disengagement had been tried the people of the Gush Katif communities gathered and discussed what to do. They agreed that the last thing they wanted to do was fighting against their own soldiers who in the end were doing nothing but following orders. They weren’t to blame. So what they in fact did, and you couldn’t see in the media, was as much as waiting in their homes until the soldiers came then they went out and hugged them. Afterwards they would allow them to lead them away from their houses that were to be destroyed. All but two settlements did follow the agreement. Those where the ones shown on TV. I don’t know what the media would have done if even that communities would have done nothing worth broadcasting – from the press’ point of view – for showing them was they were could have seriously hurt the settler’s well-groomed image.

What is gonna happen to them on the long run? Nobody knows. The government, if asked, is still talking nonsense about building them beautiful new settlements on land that, by international law, does belong to Israel. Where exactly that will be is a good question. Sometimes they talk about the Negev taking into account Ben Gurion’s visions of a fertile, blooming desert. But one might get the impression that as long as nobody asks them they are in fact doing nothing at all letting the Gush Katif evacuees rot in their camps where they hardly have land to grow anything but a hand full of plums that will be uprooted early enough. Propably being a synonym for the people that planted them.

It’s not quite socially acceptable to regard Israeli “settlers” as human beings and, actually, victims too but for some reason the suspicion arises that there’s quite a bit of truth in those facts that are not presentable to talk about. Think about it.

Part III – the last for the moment – to follow up tomorrow.

so long


>> The Settlements Part III: What it all coms down to


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