Wednesday, November 30, 2005


A Voice From Prison

Read this disgraceful story about a man in prison for defending himself from Arab attack.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


From Israel: Arlene Kushner, November 29, 2005

From Israel
Arlene Kushner

November 29, 2005

[] Allow me to begin with a very brief clarification of what I wrote yesterday: east Jerusalem and the Old City of Jerusalem are not synonymous. East Jerusaelm contains the Old City, but has neighborhoods outside of the city walls as well.

[] Sharon's new Kadima party has come out for a two-state solution. This is hardly news in terms of where Sharon has been heading, but now it's official. With this, Peace Now officials are crowing that they have been vindicated. Says Peace Now Director-General Yariv Oppenheimer, "...[this] proves that...there is no alternative to setting borders and peace now."

For me there is something extraordinarily perverse and dangerous about imagining that we can create "peace" unilaterally by giving the Palestinians land. They have to be ready for peace, and there is not an iota of evidence to indicate that they are. The incitement in their society continues unabated, and this includes in the textbooks (a new PA produced textbook refers to the old anti-Semitic "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" as factual). Nor has there been any move whatsoever to dismantle terrorist infrastructure -- instead the terrorists are being inducted into the PA security forces. The goal of the PA remains one of destroying us, whatever their nice words in English for western consumption.

[I have a great deal of documentation on all of this, which I will gladly share with any one who may doubt what I am saying and wishes to see the proof. One small bit of information here, by way of example. Faisel Husseini was considered a moderate within the PLO. Before his death in 2001, he gave a speech in Kuwait (in Arabic, not intended for western consumption) in which he referred to the Oslo agreements as a "trojan horse." This was his admission that the PA was not sincere, but -- in line with their policy -- simply hoping to get a foothold to make it easier to attack a weakened Israel. This is still the policy of the PA -- a state they acquired would not be peaceful, but would be used to launch further attacks on Israel.]

Until we know that the PA is genuinely sincere in wanting peace, we would be short-sighted in the extreme to weaken our defenses. Ariel Sharon and his party are, in my considered opinion, an enormous threat to this nation. Already, because of his "disengagement," and the turning over to the PA of Gaza, we now have Al-Qaida in Gaza as well as a great many more sophisticated weapons.

To keep the record absolutely accurate, the Kadima party line is that the Palestinian State would be demilitarized and "clean of terrorism." But, forgive me, there is a certain hypocrisy here: Sharon and company know full well that there's not a snowball's chance in hell of getting the Palestinians to give up their weapons and to rid themselves of all terrorist elements. Sharon is not saying that in 10 or 20 years when the PA does these things there should be a state, he is talking about withdrawing from 90% of Judea and Samaria very very soon. So who's he kidding?

[] According to unofficial reports, Shimon Peres -- who is in Barcelona at the moment -- has decided to leave the Labor party and throw in his lot with Kadima. He, however, will not run for a Knesset seat on the Kadima list. Instead Sharon has offered a ministerial level position on issue of "peace" to Peres. What Peres reportedly has demanded is that his closest political ally, Dalia Itzik, who will make the move to Kadim as well, be given a slot on the list. If these reports are true, this will be a major blow to Peretz, who had publicly appealed to Peres to stay in Labor. It seems that there is considerable ill-will between Peres and Peretz.

[] The National Union Party and the National Religious Party are on the verge of a merger, with talks going on between National Union head MK Rav Benny Elon and NRP head MK Zevulun Orlev. This is very good news, and very necessary as the fight to defeat Sharon gathers strength. Polls indicate that the two parties merging will bring in twice the number of votes that the two parties running separately would garner -- moving from the current 10 seats combined to more than 20 seats, and making this new group a real force. While this will bring all religious Zionists from the center to the right under one umbrella, there is an eagerness, as well, to bring in secular nationalists. Benny Elon, now head of the larger faction, would head the joint list.

[] The Fatah party (the ruling element of the PLO and the PA) held a primary election yesterday prior to the general election to be held in January. But, while the results will be accepted in the West Bank, in Gaza the process was stopped before the election was complete because of rioting and violence, with armed gangs clashing.

I don't have to comment on this, because a PA official has done adquate commenting on his own. Calling the situation a "huge scandal," he asked, "How can we talk about holding free and democratic elections when gunmen are attacking polling stations and threatening to kill candidates?" Fatah is now in crisis and there is talk of postponing the general elections.

[] After drafting a report that called for the division of Jerusalem, the EU has now taken a position on another matter that is more satisfactory. According to the EU Ambassador to Israel, the EU will not take Hamas off their list of terrorist organizations until it recognizes Israel.

[] The International Red Cross may be about to accept Israel's Magen David Adom (Red Jewish Star) into its organization -- this will be determined at a final meeting next week. The terms by which this will take place are still insulting, but it seems a step in the right direction. For decades the excuse was used that Israel couldn't belong to the International Red Cross because it wouldn't use the cross symbol and the Jewish star was not an official symbol within the organization. However...the Red Cross did accept the Red Crescent (the crescent being the symbol of Islam), so that there was a distinct and ugly double-standard at work. According to Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, there are 56 Islamic states that have blocked Israel's participation. Fools all, because the Magen David Adom is a superb organization with considerable competency.

What will allow Israel to be accepted now is not, as might have been expected, that the Jewish star will finally be recognized, but that a new neutral symbol will be put in place that Israel can employ: a "red crystal" (sort of a diamond shape) that Israel will be able to place on its ambulances providing assistance internationally. Understand, the crystal does not replace the cross and the crescent as the universal symbol of the organization. It may now be permitted to be used alongside the cross and the crescent. So, Israel may find a place in the organization, but Jewish stars are still not acceptable.

The American Red Cross, by the way, has been sterling in its support for Israel on this matter and has actually held back payments to the international organization in protest.


Demonstrate for the Disengagement Victims

English Orange November 28, 2005, Cheshvan 26,

Are you capable of sitting silently and patiently another day?


The ''GOLDEN CAGE'' awaits you!

Come join us (Talmon) to protest this unbearable realityOn Wednesday November 30 at 18:00Opposite the Prime Ministers home in JerusalemDetails-call 052-5666266

100 days later: 426 Families still living in hotels and their possessions are held in an army base
Uprooted in one week, abandoned already for 3 months

? approx.1700 families lost their homes this past summer
? about 10,000 people were ripped out of their homes and lives in seven days
? 100 days have elapsed since the forceful relocation
? 2200 people are currently unemployed
? 50% of the 'caravillas' promised by the Sel"a Authority are still not ready
? 65% of the uprooted remain in "immediate solution" quarters intended for the first week only
? 105 families presently live in tents
? dozens of youth have yet to find suitable educational solutions
? approximately 700 families live in various temporary quarters such as caravillas, caravans and other temporary structures
? size of a caravilla is between 60 to 120 square meters. (646 sq. ft. to 130 sq. feet)
? some families with 12 members are housed in a single caravilla
? $500 is the average rental fee for a caravilla
? caravillas can hold, at best, up to 50% of the family's belongings
? 24 containers holding entire family possessions have totally disappeared
? 4 homes were totally destroyed together with the house contents
? the majority of the families are not permitted access to their storage containers and have to buy new basic supplies to the amount of tens of thousands of shekels
? over the summer some expensive furniture was irreparably damaged by the extreme temperatures without proper storage conditions.
? more than 300 agricultural farms were wiped off the face of the earth
? only 20 have been relocated
? 0 residents received the promised severance pay
? merely 13% were deemed eligible to receive a temporary advance of living allowance.
? families that were living in rented homes in Gush Katif/Northern Shomron, according to the expulsion-reparation law are NOT eligible for any monetary assistance
? Singles living in the expelled areas are not eligible for any reparations
? about 600 families are today living in hotel rooms and educational institutions
? the hotel dwellers are not entitled to basic rights like hosting guests in their rooms, internet access, telephone use...
? 3 washing machines are available for the use of the Moshav Katif people and 3 washing machines are allocated for Netzer Chazani people (several hundred people!)
? 2 telephone lines on average available for the use of the refugees in the various hotels. At some hotel no personal calls are allowed at all
? 2 parents + 3 children are housed in a single room in many of the hotels
? 35% of the evacuees are still living in hotels
? hundreds of children above age 7 have started wetting their beds (nearly 45% of all children)
? many heart attacks have occurred as a result of the expulsion crisis
? many suicide attempts as a result of the disengagement
? 4 girls between ages 16-19 are in a locked hospital ward because of their extreme emotional state
? 10 youth are in clinical depression and do not leave their rooms
? thousands of children who returned to the classrooms have dramatically dropped their grades
? many families are still charged to pay back mortgages on their non-existent houses
? Homesh expellees have been billed by the electric company for cutting off the electricity
? Only within the past two weeks has the disengagement authority been willing to give recognition to communities rather than to individuals
? about 400 families have gone off on their own, spread throughout the country, cut off from their communities and their support system
? Neveh Dekalim alone has been forced to split up into 13 different locations around the country against their explicit request to remain together, long before the expulsion.
? Evacuation of the Northern Shomron communities allows for a territorial contiguity of the Arabs from Schem (Nablus) through to Jenin, a distance of tens of kilometers.
? 28% of Israel's land has, in effect, been abandoned by her citizens
? 3000 coats intended for the evacuees were stolen from the warehouses.
? Ministry of Education does not subsidize the temporary schools that have been established around the country
? Students who missed the summer exams are being barred from taking make-up exams.
? 75% of the Expellees are still without jobs
? 0 refugees have been moved of their own free will
? 25 thriving and flourishing communities have been totally wiped out
? 38 bodies were removed from their graves. Their families had to go through the trauma of reburial and sitting Shiva AGAIN
? Synagogues were destroyed
? ten thousand citizens are thrown out of their homes, without their possessions, ignored totally by the government
? There has been NOT one solution for any single citizen!!!

Please enter the following links into your internet address bar to read the articles.
Sit-In Strike Begins in Jerusalem 16:23 Nov 29, '05 / 27 Cheshvan 5766By Hillel Fendel

Finding Jobs for People Without Homes
15:35 Nov 28, '05 / 26 Cheshvan 5766By Hillel Fendel

I Have the Right to Be Unforgiving
by Roberta Feinstein BienenfeldNovember 25, 2005

NEW update -Nov 25, 2005 Kfar Darom will not be moving to Ashkelon to the building you wrote about. After lies, delays, and more lies and delays, the banks have now refused to sign - causing yet a new delay. Kfar Darom voted yesterday to cancel the whole plan. They will have another meeting tomorrow to decide on a positive course of action, after 3 months of being played with by the government and Sela, with empty promises. We pray for them and all the expellees that they find the strength to remain together until a solution is found for them by the bodies which caused them to have a problem in the first place.
Take care, and Besorot Tovot


LeMaan Acheinu - assistance and counseling: 02-5090111,
fax: 025090110 hours-9:00 to 23:00
Legal Aid Chonenu- 1-599-504-020
Justice Forum- (till 5:00 pm) 02 5022202
Legal assistance- 08-971-6676 (till 7:00 pm) Law office experienced in the laws and dealing with the disengagement authority.
Employment- 08-6727703 (job offers and placement)
JobKatif website-
Modiin Bulletin Board- (assistance)
Paamonim-Financial Advice and Assistance-1-800-351-012 or 02-9975577
Lev Achim- 1-800-550-300 (National Education Hotline)
Open Line- Hotline for emotional and faith issues 02-6518388
Aliyat HaNoar- 036898738
Minhelet Selah, Jerusalem- 02-531-1144, 88 Northern area- 04-624 7393 Southern area- 086610050
Shame Page-

Monday, November 28, 2005


Is the whole world nuts?

Sometimes it does seem so. And if you're still not convinced, read the latest Carnival of the Clueless!


From Israel:On Jerusalem, Arlene Kushner, November 28, 2005

From Israel: On Jerusalem

Arlene Kushner

November 28, 2005

I would like to devote this posting to the issue of Jerusalem as an undivided, Israeli city. This is prompted by the reprehensible and one-sided position the EU has just taken -- that the neighborhoods of east Jerusalem are "illegal occupied settlements."

A bit of history/background is necessary here:

It is 3,000 years since David made Jerusalem a Jewish capital, and Jerusalem figures large in Jewish liturgy and tradition: It is central to our sense of who we are. The Temple Mount is not just the site where the two Temples were built -- our tradition tells us it is Mount Moriyah, where Abraham was sent when commanded regarding the sacrifice of Isaac, and a great deal more as well.

In the roughly 2,000 years from the time of the destruction of the Second Jewish Commonwealth until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, no people made Jerusalem its capital. One would think that various peoples who occupied Palestine would have rushed to claim the city in this respect. But it simply is not so. The large number of occupiers who had control of Jerusalem in that 2,000 years (including different Muslim groups -- Arabs, Mamluks, and Ottomans) allowed the city to remain a backwater town and attached little importance to it -- not even making it a regional capital, as they ruled from their respective capitals elsewhere. Yes, approximately 1,400 and 1,300 years ago respectively the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aksa Mosque were constructed on the Temple Mount by Muslims, but Jerusalem remained third in sanctity for them, after Mecca and Medina. In 3,000 years Jerusalem has never been recognized as a capital except by the Jews. Always, there has been some Jewish presence in the city.

In modern times, for more than a hundred years now, the Jews have constituted the majority within the city.

In 1922, the Mandate for Palestine was assigned by the League of Nations to England -- for the establishment a Jewish homeland. All of Palestine (at a minimum from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean) was included in this mandate, which meant Jerusalem was to be part of that Jewish state; the mandate had standing within international law.

In 1947, a partition plan that projected a division of Palestine into an area for the Jews and an area of the Arabs was recommended by the UN General Assembly. (Recommended: General Assembly resolutions have no status in international law and this resolution did not supercede the earlier mandate.) Jerusalem, within this plan, was to be an internationally-controlled city with all groups permitted access to it.

In 1948, in the course of the War of Independence -- fought when the Arab League attacked after Israeli independence was declared -- the status of Jerusalem shifted. What went on at that point and in the years following is critical but is often not understood.

Israel acquired west Jerusalem, which is a modern city. Jordan, along with the acquisition of Judea and Samaria, acquired east Jerusalem. HOWEVER, the very heart of Jewish tradition in the area lies with east Jerusalem, not the modern city built later.

Anyone who has been to the excavations in the Old City and in the City of David --the remains of the original city -- outside the walls can appreciate this. (If you haven't seen it yet, I invite you to come and do so!)

But what Jordan did was to render this area Judenrein. No Jews were permitted in east Jerusalem, in spite of the fact that Judaism's holiest place was there. No Jews had access to the Temple Mount or to the Kotel, the Western Wall (then called the Wailing Wall), which is a supporting wall for the Mount. Jews not only were forbidden to live in these areas, they had no access to the several synagogues that existed in the eastern part of Jerusalem -- most, if not all, of which were destroyed by the Jordanians. They had no access to the Jewish cemeteries where their dead were buried; more than once the Jordanians used tomb stones from Jewish graves for building purposes, including the building of latrines. (I am not making this up.)

In the 19 years that this part of Jerusalem was closed to the Jews, and Jewish sites were desecrated, no voices were raised in the world in protest. No international clamor was heard because Jordan was occupying the area.

Certainly no one claimed that Jordan had to turn it over to the Palestinians. (Who was even talking about "Palestinians" as a distinct Arab group in 1948?) In fact, when the Palestinian Liberation Organization was founded in 1964, it made a specific point of saying that it had no claim on areas controlled by Jordan.

But in the course of those 19 years, Muslim Arabs moved in and took over the area.
Then, when we regained the eastern part of the city in 1967, with the victory of the Six Day War, the claim was made that this part of Jerusalem was "Arab."

No so! An enormous historical injustice.

Yet to this day, a good part of the world functions with the notion that western Jerusalem is Jewish and eastern Jerusalem is Arab. Voices of protest are raised when Jews move into neighborhoods where they "don't belong." This offends the Arabs.

The irony of the entire situation would be fairly amusing if it were not so very deadly serious. We Jews, forbidden by Arabs to access our holy places when they were in control, then turned around and declared that the holy sites now under our control would be open to all religions, including Muslim. And this is how it has been.

In fact, we did even more than give them access. In an act that some might consider magnanimous, and which I consider colossally foolish, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, shortly after the end of the Six Day War, called in the Muslim Waqf (trust) and told them that while we would retain over-all and security control, they would have control of day-to-day happenings on the Temple Mount. We got it, and for all practical purposes we gave it away.

In 1967, Israel offered all of the Arabs living in eastern Jerusalem full Israeli citizenship. It was declined in most instances, it not being politic to become a citizen of the land that just defeated you. Arabs living in Jerusalem are, however, given status as residents of the city, which entitles them to a vast number of services available to Israel's citizens -- health care, social security, etc. What is not permitted in the city since Oslo began in 1993 are political institutions associated with the Palestinian Authority. (Remember the shutting down of Orient House.)

The 19 years from 1948 to 1967 represents the only time in 3,000 years that the city has been divided. Yet the world assumes that those 19 years represents some sort of norm, and that the acquisition of eastern Jerusalem by Israel represents a deprivation of the rights of the Arabs.
An historical distortion.

In 1967, Israel took down all barriers separating the two parts of the city and declared Jerusalem as a united city the capital of Israel. In 1980, the Knesset passed the "Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel", which restates the position that "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel."

And yet in the main the world won't recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. I am not aware of a single other instance in which the world denies a country the right to declare its own capital. But the vast majority of embassies are situated in Tel Aviv. There seems a great reluctance to "offend" the Arabs by recognizing Jerusalem as Israeli.

This applies, by the way, to the U.S., whose embassy is in Tel Aviv, in spite of legislation calling for its move to Jerusalem. (This situation exists because Congress, which passed the law, is far more sympathetic to Israel than U.S. presidents, charged with enacting the law in line with security interests.) What is so strange about this is that the U.S. embassy is slated to be in west Jerusalem, which theoretically should not be under dispute. Babies born in west Jerusalem of American parents, secure U. S. birth certificates that certify the birth was in Jerusalem, but do not say Israel. This is not only deeply offensive, it is an outrage.

All of this dovetails with the mindset of the people over at the European Union. There is no way that any neighborhoods of Jerusalem can be deemed "illegal occupied settlements." But the battle for Jerusalem is quite critical.

For years we've been hearing that the goal of the Palestinians is a state "with its capital in Jerusalem." The Palestinians work diligently to stake their claim to the city, or -- at least for starters -- to part of it. They have no claim, I will insist. Yet the issue of "Jerusalem" keeps showing up on lists of outstanding issues to be negotiated.

Totally aside from all of the reasons of history and moral justice that argue against the Palestinian claim for Jerusalem to be divided, there are purely pragmatic issues: The fact is that the Arab and Jewish neighborhoods are so intertwined that separating them, as belonging to two different states, would be an impossibility. To drive from one Jewish neighborhood to another would require going through Arab neighborhoods that belonged to another state. Issues of security and road maintenance and a host of other factors would be just about impossible to handle.

The Palestinians are working overtime to disabuse the world of the recognition of Jewish roots in Jerusalem. They claim, in their writings and various TV programs, that we never had Temples here. Arafat made such a statement to President Clinton, and PA President Mahmoud Abbas is on record as having said this as well. They distort and attempt to erase our history.

But the fact is that the very heart of our right to be here, and of our devotion to the land of Israel, lies within Jerusalem. Jerusalem United.

Writing in Jerusalem


Thankful for Havel Havelilm

We're all very thankful that Israel Perspectives has done such a great job on this week's Havel Havelim! Take a gander; you'll be thankful, too!


From Israel: Arlene Kushner, November 27, 2005

From Israel

Arlene Kushner

November 27, 2005

[] On Thursday Middle East Newline reported the following:

"Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has drafted a plan for a withdrawal from virtually all of the West Bank by 2008.
"Political sources said Sharon has begun briefing senior U.S. officials of his intention to withdraw unilaterally from more than 95 percent of the West Bank..."
Is there anyone surprised?

[] Speaking of Sharon... Media response to him at this point is mixed. There have been several reports of surveys done, all of which predict a major victory for his new party, Kadima. Yet there are frequent reminders in the press of the fact that there have been many attempts to start centrist parties, all of which have failed in short order.
This past Friday, Jerusalem Post editor, David Horowitz, himself a centrist, wrote: "If we had been hoping for clarity and stark choices, the Ariel Sharon engineered remake of Israeli politics has, so far, produced more obfuscation and confusion."
But with all this said and done, it is the straight-talking Caroline Glick whose comments ring true for me. She wrote:
"...Sharon's belief in his own infallibility has led him to bolt his own party and believe that he will win elections in a new party that lacks party machinery of any kind...
"...Sharon's campaign is based upon his pledge that he will enact no further unilateral withdrawals in Judea and Samaria. And yet his own party members like former Labor MK Haim Ramon openly indicate that Sharon is lying..."
"...The campaign against Sharon must be based on two issues: his personal corruption and his political perfidy...
"In 2003, Sharon, who was then the subject of two criminal probes, was able to neutralize the issue of corruption mainly because the legal elites overplayed their hand, making the public believe Sharon's protestations that he was being victimized. Today such arguments cannot his side stands his son, MK Omri Sharon - a convicted felon..."

[] Meanwhile, on Friday the Rafah crossing was officially opened with a flourish of ceremony to which Israel was not party -- the major participants being Arab officials from various states, members of Hamas and members of the EU.
It appears that Israel won the negotiations battle with the Palestinians with regard to Israel's right to be privvy to real time streaming video of those using the crossing -- moving between Egypt and Gaza. I have taken the time today to confirm this with several people in various gov't offices, including Mark Regev, Foreign Ministry spokesman, who stated unequivocally that we did have access.

[] There are several equivocations here, however. While we can SEE who is crossing, there is nothing we can do about it. The Palestinians, who have full control over the crossing (with the EU members serving only as monitors), have declared that any Palestinian who wants to can cross. Already a major Hamas fugitive, who has been wanted by Israel for over a decade, and has been hiding in Egypt, has crossed into Gaza.
What is more, it is important to remember that the final parameters for other issues outlined in the Rafah agreement (the crossing from Gaza to Judea/Samaria and the convoys of trucks with merchandise to enter Israel) are still being negotiated and will be for some weeks down the road. How bad the news will be for Israel is still not clear.

[] It must be mentioned, as well that the role of the EU is making many uneasy. It was supposed to be that we were on the brink of a whole new relationship with the EU, and that this lead to our granting permission for the EU presence at Rafah. Things have soured, however, with exposure of a draft of a report from the European Union that regards eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods as "illegal settlements." I hope to address this in some more detail soon.

[] While the PA is crowing about the momentous event for the Palestinians represented by the Rafah crossing opening, there is other news regarding Gaza:
Hamas has turned the former community of Neve Dekalim, which had been the largest of the Gush Katif communities, into a training camp for terrorists. They refer to it as a "martyr training camp." (WorldNewsDaily) Imagine, if you can, how this feels for the former residents of Neve Dekalim.

[] It pleases me to end here with a "good news" piece, once again medical in nature:
Here in Israel, the ten year old voluntary organization Save A Child's Heart has performed free surgery and catheritizations on 1,400 children born with life-treatening heart conditions. Children are accepted for care without regard for race, creed, color, religion or gender, and come from all over the world -- China, Romania, Vietnam, etc. etc., and yes, the Palestinian Authority. Donations cover the cost, often considerable, of expenses such as transporting the sick children to Israel. Most of the surgery is performed in the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, where there is a 96% success rate.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


Some Good News, but

It has been reported that one of the violent policemen, who had beaten an anti-Disengagement protester will be charged.

This is only one of the many cases, the vast, vast majority are being ignored by the authorities. Someone I work with told us in the teachers room how he had witnessed police brutally beating a young demonstrator. He reported it to the police. When he later inquired what was happening with the case, he was told that it was closed. Why?

No witnesses, the police

But I'm a witness, he replied.

No, you can't be a witness, since you reported

What about the victim?

No a victim isn't a witness.

That's the law, making it very difficult to prosecute the police on brutality.

Friday, November 25, 2005


The Victims Don't Have to Forgive!

Read this moving article from Arutz 7:

I Have the Right to Be Unforgiving

Nov 25, '05 / 23 Cheshvan 5766
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As a refugee and an exile from N'vei Dekalim, I object very strongly to the article by Barbara A. Olevitch, "No Promises Not to Forgive, Please", which recently appeared on Israel National Ms. Olevitch wrote against the idea of "We Won't Forgive and We Won't Forget".

As a Gaza refugee, I have the right to be as angry and as unforgiving as I please to the Arabs who never wanted to live in peace with the Israelis but just wanted destruction -- of my town. Where grass grew and paths flowed and houses stood are now just ruins and sand. The trees, bushes grass and flowers that we planted and watered for over 25 years with that scarce product of Israel are probably now dead. My windows, my doors, the air conditioner that we couldn't get out of the wall and the attic, my children's crib - all gone. The tree that my husband planted on Moshav Katif to give me something green because I was blue is probably dead, too. No, I will not forget, nor will I forgive.

I will not forget the rightist government of Ariel Sharon, who turned left to save his sons, and the ministers that he bribed and those that he didn't, but who lacked convictions, like Binyamin Netanyahu and Limor Livnat, who are no better and should never be voted for again.

Ms. Olevitch bases her legitimacy on her degree and experience as a clinical psychologist. She feels that she has seen too many lives wrecked by anger. I cannot argue with that, but when someone kicks you out of your home, I feel that it is perfectly legitimate to be a lot more than angry or mad. I have been told by the social workers who are aiding the Gush Katif families that being angry is even healthy. "All reactions are OK," they said. "The only thing you shouldn't be doing is sleeping all day." Ms. Olevitch feels that we have "no obligation to mourn".

While I wouldn't call it an obligation to mourn, the reality is that we are in mourning. We have lost everything -- our homes, our jobs, our schools, our possessions, our lifestyles, our friends, our communities. We even did kriyah the day we became refugees. How can you be expected to carry on when you have lost everything? How can you be expected to just "move on" when you still have no permanent place to live or work? When your whole future is just one hazy "with God's help, it will be all right."

Ms. Olevitch, as many others, objects to the "We Won't Forget; We Won't Forgive" T-shirts. She feels that they lead to (pick one) stagnation and political conflict. She feels that now, since the exile is complete, we should go out and find some other project to keep us busy. Barbara, what is wrong with political conflict? It is what makes democracy grow. Keeps it strong. It is the opposite of stagnation. Stagnation is when you have a dictator.

What we want to do is not just place the blame where it should be, but publicly place the responsibility for the exile on those who were responsible and thereby, maybe, prevent future exiles. We have suffered enough, but we are still suffering. We are living in tiny caravans or tents and have rain coming in. We feel the cold. We do not have our possessions because they were either destroyed or do not fit into our new, tiny abodes. We are suffering and we want the country to know. Why should the rest of the country just sit back and forget what we have gone through? We want the rest of the country and the world to be aware that we are still without homes, without money, without jobs. This is our project for now; we do not need to be the ones to save the rest of the world. I say, let us heal, but in our own time, which I do not think will be very soon.

We do not need any artificial reminders of our pain such as a T-shirt. We live with reminders of what once was every second of our lives. How could we forget? Our present lives are constant reminders of our past lives. It is not the shirts that are divisive. Unfortunately, we live in a country that is divided. Those that wanted us out are glad we have been exiled and are quite happy to keep punishing us, while they go on with their lives as if nothing has happened at all to over 8,000 people, men women and children who once lived in Paradise.

No, Barbara. We are not pitiful, nor are we to be pitied. We want to live our lives, but it is hard to do that without any money, a place to live, clothes, a home. Why do we have to take any loss at all? Who brought this about? We were doing just fine. We survived 5,000 mortar shells. We built beautiful communities. We brought millions to the coffers of the state through our agricultural products. We filled our lives with Torah V'Avodah (study and labor - ed.) and G'millut Chassadim (charitable deeds - ed.).

Then, the army and the police came and marched us or carried us out of our houses. Made us pack or had other people do it. Many soldiers and other "good" Samaritans who came to help stole from us. My whole watering system was stolen, as I discovered when were allowed back in to pack. Other people have even worse stories.

The ability to heal is something that HaShem gives us. But if we are not allowed to get on with our lives, then we cannot heal. As long as we are stuck in temporary quarters, we are stuck in time and cannot get our lives back. The Jews of modern-day Gaza were the most nonpolitical people ever. All we wanted was a good life. We saw neither danger nor desolation, but a beautiful area that could be built up in Eretz Yisrael, a place where we could raise our children and they could run free.

I believe, Barbara, that you don't really know any of the original residents of Gush Katif. For Gaza residents to heal we need the government to at least give us some band-aids and medicine. It is the government who made us refugees and it is their responsibility to help us out of this status. Helping the Gaza refugees to resettle should be an urgent political priority. But what does the government do instead? It tries to separate us and break us, and make it as difficult as possible to get what is coming to us (albeit too little) so that we can move on.

No, Barbara. As long as we live, we won't forgive or forget -- even when we will be finally able to start the next stage of our lives.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


From Israel: Arlene Kushner, November 23, 2005

From Israel

Arlene Kushner

November 23, 2005

To those who are in the States: Happy Thanksgiving. Here life goes on routinely (if there is such a thing as "routine" in this country), and so I will report, understanding that this posting will be seen when it will be seen...

[] A commentary piece in today's Jeruslem Post by Isi Liebler, of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, merits considerable attention here. (The Post has not put it up yet on its website yet, so I am sorry I cannot provide a URL.)

In his piece, entitled 'When Seymour met Condi", Liebler writes about the visit Seymour Reich, president of the left-wing Israel Policy Forum, paid to Sec. of State Rice before she came here last week. Reich had the unmitigated gall to encourage Rice to pressure Israel on the Gaza crossings and other matters. He reportedly told her that if she got tough on Israel "she would gain the support of Jewish Americans on both sides of the aisle." Later he boasted that "I have no doubt that we... strengthened her [Rice's] opinion that aggressive American involvement was needed."


As Liebler points out quite well, diaspora Jews have no business interfering in security matters that may require a sacrifice for Israel. It is not Reich's life that is on the line if, say, trucks -- ostensibly carrying merchandise but with the potential to harbor weapons and terrorists -- are permitted to come into Israel from Gaza in numbers too large to adequately monitor. But it is my life, and my family's, and my friends'. Decisions on what we risk do not belong in his hands. Yet as a result of the Agreement that he encouraged Rice to shove down our throats, scenarios such as this are on the way to becoming reality.

Simply feeling rage with regard to this is not enough, however. What must be done is to appropriately express that rage -- to counter what Reich did, at some level.

Leibler describes how Rice and Wolfensohn "bludgeoned" Dov Weisglass into conceding ground on security issues, despite appeals not to do so by Israel's top security people. This all makes me sick in the pit of my stomach. This entire obscene deal needs to be reversed.

I have written about these matters before. I have requested that letters be sent. If things have moved true to form, there are a good many of you reading this who, in spite of the most sincere intentions, have not yet gotten around to writing those letters. I ask again now, in the light of this very specific information, that, if you are an American citizen, you DO write those letters and ask every American you can think of to do the same.

Very simple. Letters to Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice and to President Bush.

Tell them, using your words, that the Rafah Agreement weakened Israel's security and sovereignty and that it never should have happened Tell them that you consider it an outrage that there was pressure put upon Israel to make concessions to close the deal -- especially as the PA has done nothing to dismantle the terrorist infrastucture. Tell them that this action has caused you to withdraw your support for them (or has weakened your support for them). If you are Jewish, to Rice, say that you understand that Seymour Reich advised her she would gain support from American Jews by doing this, but you are an American Jew and her action has had just the opposite effect on you. Say to Bush that you understand Rice was advised... however....etc. etc. If you are not Jewish, of course it is still important that you write those letters. Tell them that lots of Americans who are not Jewish also care about Israel's wellbeing. In all instances, identify yourself as a voter and provide your US address.

No e-mails. Hard copy letters, mailed snail mail. Trust me. This is what captures attention -- when you show you cared enough to bother. And this must happen in large numbers, because the volume counts.

President Bush
The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20500

Sec. of State Rice

U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20520

Thanks, everyone!
[] A host of leaks over past weeks suggested that Sharon -- in spite of his declaration that he won't -- fully intends to unilaterally give away at least parts of Judea and Samaria. Now we have Haim Ramon, who has just bolted Labor and joined Sharon's new party, making a statement to that effect on Israel's Channel 10. Says he, if the Roadmap doesn't work and the Palestinians don't dismantle terrorism, Sharon will withdraw unilaterally, but he wants to give the Roadmap a chance and doesn't intend to tell the people before the election.

You can see this, cited by Aaron Lerner, at

I see such "leaks" as not accidents but contrived and deliberate. Ramon's game-plan in saying this publicly is not clear -- he is supposed to be part of the Sharon team now. If he said this, in all likelihood Sharon wanted it said. With the "disengagement" Sharon often used Olmert to float ideas and see how they played.

My response here is two-fold: Sharon absolutely absolutely must be defeated in the next election. He will destroy the nation if he is prime minister again. Aside from from the plans he has -- which are the worst -- there is the simple matter of his routine duplicity. How is it that people in this nation still trust him??

[] I would like to devote this section of the posting to the on-going failure of the PA to function, even minimally:

-- This is a cute one: According to Middle East Newsline, the Palestinian Legislative Council has lost track of 25% of the security forces. An investigation was called for to make certain that everyone in the security forces to whom the PA was paying salaries was a genuine security officer. But neither the Interior Ministry nor the Finance Ministry could confirm the identity of a good number of those on the rolls. Some 25% of the officers are either fictitious or no longer working in security. This ladies and gentlemen, gives a bit of insight into how the PA routinely works. The practice of paying everyone by check is new, I must add. In Arafat's time, he carried around cash and paid many people directly from his pocket -- this was his means of maintaining loyalty and control.

-- You've heard about it before here, but the scandal grows. Local families and armed groups have co-opted large parcels of the land of the former Gush Katif, land that the PA was going to develop, presumably for the good of the people (if not, as various rumors would have it, for luxury homes for the higher-ups or for a casino). Some of the land-grabbers are members of PA security forces.

So outrageous has the situation become that Frieh Abu Medin, chairman of the PA Land Authority and a former minister of justice, has admitted that the PA has failed to take control of the area. THIS is what we pulled those beleaguered residents of Gush Katif off their land for???

The PA had hoped to maintain the infrastructure left behind when the Israelis were pulled out -- there were public buildings such as schools, as well as the greenhouses. But almost everything has been destroyed by "hooligans" and the PA security forces did not do their job in stopping them.

What boggles my mind totally is that the western world, and include Rice and Bush here, have the notion that the PA -- which functions thus -- is on the way to developing a democracy and should be made into a state. An incredible example of how people and nations can delude themselves.

-- It has been announced that PA president Mahmoud Abbas is to receive a salary of $10,000 per month, in addition to a one-time payment of $50,000 to "improve living conditions." Understand, Abbas is a wealthy man. I'm sure the average Palestinian living at poverty level is thrilled about this.

Abbas's predecessor, Arafat, received no salary. That's because he was in charge of ALL the money. (This is on the level, not a joke.)

[] A correction: The other day I referred to Ariel Sharon's son as Omni. Of course I know better -- it's Omri. Thanks to Chana Givon for catching it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Intel's Publicity Stunt

I'm sure that I wasn't the only one to be extremely impressed when the premier high tech company, Intel, sent out a news report that they were hiring unemployed Gush Katif and Northern Shomron Disengagement victims. Employment is the key to regaining control over their lives, and I've been lobbying best I could for helping the refugees find work.

I should have guessed. Former Neve Dekalim resident, Yossi Shomron, now of Nitzan (Carravilla town), tried to get a job. Here is his report:

Publicity Stunt

A week ago I read that Intel – Kiryat Gat is recruiting former Gush Katif residents for jobs and job training and even led tours of the Kiryat Gat plant and conducted over 30 interviews. From what I can tell this is all a lie.

From the web site there was an article about the program with Intel. When I called the Meida Katif phone number I was told that someone would contact me from Intel. That was a week ago and no one called.

After calling their number again (1700-707765) I received a recording that the number has been disconnected. I called Intel at Kiryat Gat (08 666 7111) and spoke to human resources and was told that they don't know of such a program, don't know of any tours of the plant, and don't know of the 30 interviews conducted with former residents of Gush Katif.

I was told I could enter my resume onto their general web site and apply for a job like anyone else in Israel. Human Resources also could not give me a name of the Intel person in charge of helping Gush Katif residents find jobs. By the way, I could not find any place on their web site to enter my resume. Sounds like a publicity stunt by Intel.

Yossi Shomron


From Israel: Arlene Kushner, November 22, 2005

From Israel

Arlene Kushner

November 22, 2005

[] The nation is riveted on election issues. The situation is changing so swiftly and the details of some of the issues (e.g. involving election laws) so complex, that it seems best to provide here a summary only:

-- Sharon gave a televised press conference last night in which he spoke about his intent, within his new party, to move forward with the Roadmap, which will ultimately require "further sacrifices" by Israel. He declared himself to be against additional unilateral withdrawals, but I would say that anyone who accepts his word on this -- in the face of his failure to honor commitments to this point -- is innocent and trusting indeed. There are Sharon aides who have already gone on record as saying that if he finds negotiations with the Palestinians not moving well, Sharon would withdraw unilaterally from parts of Judea and Samaria. It is, in fact, his intention to move in this direction that motivated his bolting of the Likud: there are too many Likud so-called "rebels" who would have bucked him.

-- The new party, a "liberal centrist" party, first named "National Responsibility" and then instead (as my best information has it) "Kadimah" (Foward), has drawn 14 members of Likud (see the full list at the end of this posting). This is apparently a large enough percentage of Likud as to constitute a legal "break-away" party that is entitled to certain Likud funds. Others from Labor and elsewhere will undoubtedly join, as has Haim Ramon (L) already. What is notable is that Shimon Peres, who many had predicated would so so, has not rushed to join Sharon.

-- The Knesset has dissolved itself. In a negotiated compromise agreement, it has been decided that elections will be held on March 28, which is much later than Sharon wanted (as he was hoping to profit from a high he is riding at the moment). As the trade-off, there is the possibility for Sharon to appoint members of the cabinet, where seats have been vacated, without Knesset approval, until the election. Cabinet seats (Interior, Housing, Communication and Environment) are being vacated by members of Labor, who have now resigned from the gov't.

-- It appears that the Likud primary that will determine the new leader of the party will be held on Dec. 19, with a run-off, if necessary, on Dec. 22. There are now seven candidates for the position: Binyamin Netanyahu, Uzi Landau, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, party activist Moshe Feiglin, Agriculture Minister Yisrael Katz, and Education Minister Limor Livnat. The decision by Mofaz was of particular interest because he was a "Sharon" minister who might have been expected to follow him to the new party.

The vote for the new list for Likud will take place January 3.

-- The media were quick to report on a poll that gives Sharon the victory in the March election. I find this fairly meaningless as the campaign hasn't even started yet; there are far too many imponderables to predict what the outcome will be. The very fact that Sharon was eager to have the election held earlier than March 28 because he wanted to ride on the crest of his current popularity is evidence of the likelihood that his popularity will wane.

My very strongly held opinion is that what this nation needs most of all is to have someone other than Sharon as prime minister come March. He has already done Israel incalculable damage. G-d forbid that he should have the opportunity to do more.

My own choice for how the election should shape up: Landau -- a man of integrity -- at the head of Likud, winning and forming a coalition with the combined right wing parties.

This nation has lost its way: Decisions have been made that put us at existential risk; the inner conviction that this is our land has evaporated in some quarters; we have lost our ability to defend ourselves properly; we dispense with the values that would keep us strong. An enormous change is called for.

[] Yesterday four members of Hezbolla infiltrated into the north of Israel in a failed attempt to kidnap soldiers; this was part of a multi-pronged attack that included shelling of civilian centers. The infiltrators were killed by the IDF, which also launched a major attack on Hezbollah sites, including a command center, in Lebanon. Residents of northern communities remained in shelters until this afternoon.

[] Return to the Rafah deal: I had written previously that the deal was not yet signed. As I attempted to secure information on when it would be signed, I began to realize that it was likely that it would not be signed at all. Calls today to the press sections of the Prime Minister's Office, the Defense Minister's office and the Office of the Defense Ministry, yielded no information. In two instances my contact information was taken with assurances that someone would get back to me; no one has. No one knew anything about this. Apparently this arrangement simply "is," having been agreed to by Minister Mofaz, on behalf of the gov't, and is scheduled to go into effect this Friday, November 25.

What appears to be the case is that the arrangements agreed to, in many respects, provide no more than a framework, and that it is the fleshing out of that framework that will determine exactly how detrimental the situation is for Israel. (In all instances it will indeed be detrimental.)

The issue of Israeli presence in that liaison office to be headed by the EU, where video footage of crossing at Rafah is to run, serves as a prime example. It seems, as I pointed out yesterday, that on close inspection the written agreement does not specifically mention Israel's right to be present, although it might be interpreted as including Israel because of the term "liaison." After Steve Rodan (Middle East News Line) indicated yesterday that the Palestinians were saying the Israelis would not be present, Aaron Lerner (IMRA) called Minister Mofoz, who said indeed Israel would be present. Is a battle going on? If so, how will it be resolved? How much will Israel concede?

Similarly yesterday Steve Rodan reported that the Palestinians want their security people to accompany the convoy of buses that will provide safe passage to Palestinians going from Gaza to Judea/Samaria and back. Will Israel concede this? Will there be any demand by Israel to know who boards the bus?

(The principle of "safe passage" was actually established back in 1995, with the Oslo Interim Agreement. In this instance, terms were quite specific: Those who did not have a safe passage card, issued by Israel and stamped at point of entry, would be required to travel the route by bus, accompanied by Israeli Police.)

The total lack of attention being paid to this in the media works against the possibililty of the Israeli gov't standing strong on these details. The Israeli gov't must know that many are deeply disturbed by these arrangement; the US gov't must know that many are opposed to pressure being applied to Israel with regard to how details are worked out.

One specific set of circumstances does seem to be spelled out with considerable specificity in the agreement, and what is written there is disturbing: "On an urgent basis, Israel will permit the export of all agricultural products from Gaza during this 2005 harvest season..." This seems to remove from Israeli control the rate at which truck convoys can move into Israel -- even if security might dictate a stoppage or slowdown. Aaron Lerner suggests ( that Israel has committed to truck passages that excede the capacity of the security scanning equipment.
The Likud members who bolted the party to join Sharon: Ministers Ehud Olmert (who has been serving as Sharon's advance man); Tzipi Livni; Meir Sheetrit; Gideon Ezra; and Avraham Hirchson, plus deputy ministers Ruhama Avraham; Majallie Whbee; Eli Aflalo; Marina Solodkin; Ze'ev Boim; and Ya'acov Edri; plus members of Knesset Roni Bar-On and Omni Sharon (Ariel's son). Omni's presence here may be challenged as he has just been convicted on corruption charges.

Monday, November 21, 2005


From Israel: Arlene Kushner, November 21, 2005

From Israel

Arlene Kushner
November 21, 2005

[] Well...he's done it: Sharon is going to bolt the Likud party and start a new presumably centrist party that will, he hopes, give him more latitude to pursue his horrendously destructive agenda. I will not here belabor all of the possible political parameters of what might happen next. It's too soon to know how this will play out. Factors to watch:

-- Who will leave Likud along with him. Some dozen or so of its members will.

-- Who will bolt Labor (from Labor's right, now that Peretz is pulling far to the
left) and join Sharon. Look for Shimon Peres to likely do this.

-- How those remaining in Likud will handle themselves. Remember that in its
origins Likud was a right wing nationalist party. Those remaining hope to return
to the party's original principles. It is Sharon who betrayed those principles.

What is more, there is talk by Uzi Landau of uniting the right-wing
remainer of Likud with the right wing parties such as National Union and NRP to
form one large right wing nationalist party. This would be a positive move.

Then of course there is the issue of who will head the Likud with Sharon gone.
The key contenders are Netanyahu and Landau, of course. But others, who would
not have taken the risk with Sharon still present, are also contemplating the run.

A great deal that is bureaucratic now follows in terms of how the gov't will actually come down -- there are a variety formulas for this to happen. It is likely that the election will be in March.

I will do my best to keep the readers of this list apprised of the process as it unfolds.

[] I return here to the issue of the Rafah deal, because it is still uppermost in my attentions -- the critical nature of what is going on merits that attention! Part of what I will be watching, and judging, is how various candidates in the election now gearing up will respond to this issue. There is an unfortunate tendency to put this aside, and it horrifies me because it is so shortsighted and ultimately irresponsible. (Similarly, I find most Americans oblivious and most American media ignoring this.)

Just today I have learned several new things. The situation:

With this Rafah agreement, which has not yet been signed, Israel is signing away her status as a sovereign nation.

A sovereign nation has two basic rights -- to control its borders and to self defense. Both of this things are about to be surrendered.

Consider the following:

-- There was a terrorist warning at the Erez crossing between Gaza and Israel. Israel, under this agreement, no longer has the right to close it unilaterally. She must ask permission. Israel, per the understanding, asked the US if the crossing could be closed. The US said no, it cannot be completely closed. (This is from Steve Rodan of the Middle East News Line, a superb and reliable source.) Can you imagine this? A situation in which Israel no longer has the right to say who may and may not enter the country, or when?? Unheard of for a sovereign state. Imagine a situation in which Mexicans tell America they have the right to come in whether the American gov't wants them to or not.

-- According to Rodan, the PA is now insisting that Israel has no right to enter the "liaison office" to be headed by the EU that is spelled out in the agreement. This is the office where there will be live video feed and computer feed from the Rafah crossing. That is, not only will Israel not be able to stop anyone from crossing, it turns out that if the PA has its way, Israel won't even know who is crossing. The PA says the agreement doesn't say Israel has a right to be in that liaison office.

I took a close look at the wording of that agreement with Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA this morning. Actually, the wording does not spell out Israel's presence specifically, but Dr. Lerner says in diplomatic parlance the term "liaison" implies the presence of all parties. Certainly this is the way it was understood here -- Sec. of Defense Mofaz made a statement to the effect that we would have the right to view the video to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee last week.

-- Also according to Rodan, the PA is now demanding that its security people accompany the convoy of buses of Palestinians who will make their way per the agreement between Gaza and Judea/Samaria. This is a most serious matter as it would establish a principle of Palestinian sovereignty within Israel.

-- There is nothing new on the matter of checkpoints in Judea/Samaria that Israel has agreed to try to reduce in number, in consultation with the US. But we can extrapolate a bit. If the US refuses to "allow" Israel to completely close Erez while checking for terrorists, because doing so interfers with Palestinian commerce, it is easy to imagine what pressure the US will now bring to bear on Israel to cut those checkpoints to ease Palestinian traffic flow.

The agreement, as it stands, if signed, will have one of two results: It will cause a tremendous weaking of Israel as a sovereign state -- which certainly will lead to instability in the region and the strengthening of terrorist elements. Or it will simply blow up because it is untenable as is, and there will be considable loss of life.

With all of our strength we must attempt everything possible to halt the signing of the agreement.


Let My People Sue...For Their Dignity By:David Bedein

Israel Resource News Agency operates through private contributions offered to IRNA's US tax deductible affiliate, Center for Near East Policy Research, POB 1783, Brookline, Mass 02446-0014

Let My People Sue...For Their Dignity
By:David Bedein,MSW
Bureau Chief
Israel Resource News Agency
Beit Agron International Press Center
Jerusalem, Israel

Three months ago, 10,000 people were forcibly evicted by the Israeli Government from their privately owned homes and farms in 25 Jewish communities in GUSH KATIF, NORTHERN GAZA AND Northern Samaria. A few days later, all of their homes were bulldozed into rubble. An estimated 400 public buildings were not destroyed. Even though clause seven of the Disengagement Law forbid Israel from handing over any assets to anyone "involved in terrorist activity", the government of Israel ignored the law and handed over these buildings to the Palestinian Authority, even after the PA had proclaimed that terrorist organizations would be given many of these buildings.

Unlike the Yamit evacuation of 5,000 people in 1982, where familieswere given three years to resettle, these people were given six months to leave, from the time of the Knesset decision on February 20th until their eviction on August 15th, 2005.

The final decision of the Israel High Court of Justice, on which the Katif and Samaria communities had pinned their legal hopes, was held on June 6th, 2005, when the Israel High Court of Justice upheld the Disengagement Law, despite the opinion of the court that it violated the human rights and civil liberties basic law of the state of Israel.

Despite the publicly accepted notion that the people from Katif and Samaria were not making preparations to leave, the fact is that as early as November 2004, these communities designated the lawyers of the Israel Legal Forum to negotiate for compensation agreements with the Israeli government. However, the government refused to begin negotiating with their duly appointed legal representatives until April, 2005. Meanwhile, Deputy Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres informed the Israeli media on July 7th, 2005 that the US government would provide more than two billion dollars to cover the costs of the disengagement. However, on June 25th, 2005, Israel Resource News Agency had already been informed by top U.S. Congressional Sources that no U.S. money would be forthcoming for the disengagement process, which Israel had declared as a unilateral act. This was two months before Hurricane Katrina hit the lives and pocketbooks of so many Americans Therefore, the government of Israel has been slow to offer compensationto the people who were evicted from their homes.

As of November 15th, 2005, 75% of the people evicted had received no compensation whatsoever, at a time when 85% of these people were still unemployed, after having been expelled from communities of full employment.

As a result, the people who were evicted need help to go to court to sue for the basics of compensation. The pro-bono lawyers who have helped the evictees do not have the ability to sue on the issues that follow, without basic fees and coverage of court costs.

Here are some of the issues which the evacuees must sue for:

1. Mental cruelty, as evidenced by e petty requests for documentationbefore any compensation would be given: 29-year-old phone bills, old report cards,letters addressed to them to prove that they really lived in the homes that they lived in, while the Israeli government disengagement authority, known as The Sela Authority, gave inaccurate information to the media that "almost all of the evacuees had receivedthe compensation that they had coming to them". A couple in their eightees who had gone through concentration camps who left in July had not received one shekel of compensation, as of November 15th, 2005.

2. Loss of livelihood Many of the self-employed people from these communities were denied employment benefits. Many of those who worked for non profit organizations in the area of health, education and welfare were also denied unemployment benefits..

3. Business people whose businesses were worth $150,000-200,000 have been offered less than fifteen percent of the worth of their businesses, and they must spend their own savings to go to court to appeal for increased compensation for their businesses.

4. Three months after their eviction, the majority of farmers still do not have appropriate land or arrangements and they stand to lose their export markets abroad. They have already lost several seasons, and the katif people estimate that only 10% of the farmers will be able to return to agriculture. Meanwhile, some produce exporters where offered menial jobs at minimum wage.

5. "Guilty until proven innocent" was one of the reasons used indelaying the compensation, because "maybe" the evacuee did something violent AND/OR was arrested during the expulsion. If a person got into a scuffle while being evicted from his home, why should he lose the value of his home? If a teenager whose behavior was not appropriate, why should that family lose the value of their home? Meanwhile, the vast majority of families who are being denied any compensation have no police files or charges whatsoever against them.

7. Loss of investment in homes No compensations was offered forporches, storage rooms, or other improvements they added to their homes. "ADVANCE COMPENSATION" for homes was given to people whose original small homes were purchased 20 years ago, and ONLY 75% OF THAT.

8. Damage to students. Students did not have the opportunity to domatriculation exams properly, or start college properly. Younger students were shuffled from school to school. The government refused to recognize the school and kindergarten in the improvised town of Ir Haemuna, while "Special needs children" in Ir Haemuna had to fight to get PARTIAL treatment, two months after school began.

9. A family whose loved one pass away during this period oftemporary housing was forced to pay the government $6,000 for a burial plot, since free burial is only provided to a home town residents of a given municipality. Only after Israel Resource News Agency revealed this, an Israeli Government Minister intervened to return the check to the bereaved family.

10. Families are still forced to pay regular mortgage payments for homes and farms that the government of Israel bulldozed three months ago. Paying out a monthly mortgage for rubble seems highly unusual.

11. Families must invest tens of thousands of shekels for storage in since they will live in mobile homes for two or three years. IN ADDITION, THEY MUST SPEND LARGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY FOR WINTER CLOTHES WHILE THEY CANNOT ACCESS THEIR CONTAINERS.

12. Hundreds of people who were arrested during the expulsion are confined to their homes under house arrest, because of decisions rendered by the Israeli courts that they are "ideological criminals" who are "dangerous to society".

In conclusion, many good hearts have opened up to these people who were living proud and productive lives until their expulsion. However, much of the charitable help that has been rendered to the evacuees has caused further trauma to these people, as they are rendered a new status as "charity cases".

Indeed, immediately following the expulsion, major organizations allocated hundreds of school bags to the estimated 3,800 children who had no schools to go to, little means of support and no access to their own clothes. These gifts were received with mixed feelings.

The highest level of giving to someone in distress is to help that person the chance to stand on their feet once again.

The people who were kicked out of their homes need help to go to court to redress their grievances, to regain their dignity. Our news agency would be pleased to refer people to the proper addresses to help these people to sue...indeed, to regain some of their dignity.

At a time when efforts are under way in Israel to force thousands more people from their homes, the timing of this litigation could not be more appropriate.
*With reporting by Toby Klein Greenwald

Sunday, November 20, 2005


contact people and sample letters-Rafah Passage


Here are the people you are being asked to contact:
President Bush
The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20500
Phone: 202-456-1111
Fax: (202) 456 2461

Fax: (202) 456-2883


Sec. of State Rice

U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20520
(202) 647 5291
Fax: (202) 647-6434
Fax: (202) 647-1533

Shaul MofazMinister of DefenseMinistry of Defense37 Kaplan StreetTel Aviv 61909


fax 03-6976218
MK Yuval Steinitz
Kiryat Ben-Gurion
Jerusalem 91950

02-675-3123 and 02-675-3658

Fax 02-675-3100

And here are suggested letters (which retain the information but be changed somewhat):

The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20520

I was outraged at the way you coerced Israel into relinquishing control over security at the Rafah passage. Without question you knew that the Palestinian Authority does not honor agreements and protects terrorists – and yet you chose to proceed anyway.

Now, already, we have the direct evidence of the bad intentions of the Palestinian Authority. On November 17, an article about the agreement appeared on the website of the Palestinian National Authority’s International Press Center ( In part it read:

“Meanwhile, the director of borders and crossings, Salim Abu Safiyyeh, asserted that there won't be any live video streams to the Israeli side via the surveillance cameras installed in Rafah terminal, pointing out that even the joint control room will not receive these live feeds, and will be only for the presence of the third party that will monitor the borders.”

This is in direct defiance of the agreement, which said that a liaison office, headed by the third party (the EU) would receive real time video and data feed from Rafah that the Israelis would have access to.

I hold you accountable for this deplorable situation, and I intend to publicize as widely as possible the evidence of what is going on. It must be stopped before terrible damage occurs.

The Honorable George Bush
President of the United States
The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Bush,

I was outraged at the way Secretary of State Rice, acting on your behalf, coerced Israel into relinquishing control over security at the Rafah passage. Without question you knew that the Palestinian Authority does not honor agreements and protects terrorists – and yet you chose to proceed anyway.

Now, already, we have the direct evidence of the bad intentions of the Palestinian Authority. On November 17, an article about the agreement appeared on the website of the Palestinian National Authority’s International Press Center ( In part it read:

“Meanwhile, the director of borders and crossings, Salim Abu Safiyyeh, asserted that there won't be any live video streams to the Israeli side via the surveillance cameras installed in Rafah terminal, pointing out that even the joint control room will not receive these live feeds, and will be only for the presence of the third party that will monitor the borders.”

This is in direct defiance of the agreement, which said that a liaison office, headed by the third party (the EU) would receive real time video and data feed from Rafah that the Israelis would have access to.

I hold you and your government accountable for this deplorable situation, and I intend to publicize as widely as possible the evidence of what is going on. It must be stopped before terrible damage occurs.


US papers
To the Editor:

The deal coerced on Israel by Secretary of State Rice regarding arrangements at the Rafah passage between Egypt and Gaza is unacceptable because it deprives Israel of sufficient control regarding who would be allowed to pass. Control was put in the hands of the Palestinian Authority, but it is common knowledge that the PA protects terrorists and breaks agreements.

Already, we have direct evidence of the intentions of the PA. On November 17, an article about the agreement appeared on the website of the Palestinian National Authority’s International Press Center ( In part it read:

“Meanwhile, the director of borders and crossings, Salim Abu Safiyyeh, asserted that there won't be any live video streams to the Israeli side via the surveillance cameras installed in Rafah terminal, pointing out that even the joint control room will not receive these live feeds, and will be only for the presence of the third party that will monitor the borders.”

This is in direct defiance of the agreement, which said that a liaison office, headed by the third party (the EU) would receive real time video and data feed from Rafah that the Israelis would have access to.

This situation cannot be tolerated! Our government is responsible and the deal must be stopped.
Israeli papers
To the Editor:

Defense Minister Mofaz made a serious mistake in bowing to the pressure of Secretary of State Rice and agreeing to unsafe arrangements with the PA at the Rafah crossing. The PA protects terrorists and breaks agreements, and yet control was put in Palestinian hands.

We already have direct evidence of the bad intentions of the PA. On November 17, an article about the agreement appeared on the website of the Palestinian National Authority’s International Press Center ( In part it read:

“Meanwhile, the director of borders and crossings, Salim Abu Safiyyeh, asserted that there won't be any live video streams to the Israeli side via the surveillance cameras installed in Rafah terminal, pointing out that even the joint control room will not receive these live feeds, and will be only for the presence of the third party that will monitor the borders.”

This is in direct defiance of the agreement, which said that a liaison office, headed by the third party (the EU) would receive real time video and data feed from Rafah that the Israelis would have access to.

It is not too late: This deal must be stopped. Every honorable member of the Knesset must stand up in opposition to it.

Shaul Mofaz
Minister of Defense
Ministry of Defense
37 Kaplan StreetTel Aviv 61909

I was extremely upset that you agreed to the arrangements at Rafah that Secretary of State Rice pushed on you. It represents a danger to our country, for as we all know that the PA protects terrorists and breaks agreements.

Already, we have direct evidence of the intentions of the PA. On November 17, an article about the agreement appeared on the website of the Palestinian National Authority’s International Press Center ( In part it read:

“Meanwhile, the director of borders and crossings, Salim Abu Safiyyeh, asserted that there won't be any live video streams to the Israeli side via the surveillance cameras installed in Rafah terminal, pointing out that even the joint control room will not receive these live feeds, and will be only for the presence of the third party that will monitor the borders.”

This is in direct defiance of the agreement, which said that a liaison office, headed by the third party (the EU) would receive real time video and data feed from Rafah that the Israelis would have access to. You even spoke to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee about our right to see the pictures.

This whole agreement must be stopped before it is too late and terrible damage is done.


MK Yuval Steinitz
Chair, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee
The Knesset
Kiryat Ben-Gurion Jerusalem 91950

Dear MK Steinitz,

You knew the dangers of having Egypt at the border between Gaza and the Sinai and spoke out about it. You, surely, were horrified at the deal struck on Rafah pushed on us by Secretary of State Rice and agreed to by Minister of Defense Mofaz. You know that it represents a danger to our country because the PA protects terrorists and breaks agreements.

Already, we have direct evidence of the intentions of the PA. On November 17, an article about the agreement appeared on the website of the Palestinian National Authority’s International Press Center ( In part it read:

“Meanwhile, the director of borders and crossings, Salim Abu Safiyyeh, asserted that there won't be any live video streams to the Israeli side via the surveillance cameras installed in Rafah terminal, pointing out that even the joint control room will not receive these live feeds, and will be only for the presence of the third party that will monitor the borders.”

This is in direct defiance of the agreement, which said that a liaison office, headed by the third party (the EU) would receive real time video and data feed from Rafah that the Israelis would have access to. Minister Mofaz even spoke to your committee about our right to see the pictures.

This whole agreement must be stopped before it is too late and terrible damage is done. I call on you to do what is right for the nation and speak out strongly now.


David and Goliath!

This should give you all the faith and confidence that we can change the world.

David vs Goliath!

How else can you explain the fact that a handful of us, armed with our pc's, or maybe some use laptops, but it didn't seem that way, prevented the Vatican from taking over Mount Zion, David's Tomb?

I guess that David's spirit was with us!

Maybe we should all say some T'hilim in thanks.




Arlene Kushner

Motzei Shabbat (Saturday night) November 19, 2005

As information comes available to me on the issue of the agreement Condoleezza Rice coerced Israel into agreeing to, I will share it and ask that it be share widely by you in turn.

I urge everyone reading this not to simply murmur some words of distress and then turn to other matters. I urge you to make the noise that is neccesary, both here in Israel and in the States.

Getting this information out -- via letters to the editor of various papers and phone calls to the foreign desk editors of those papers -- is critically important. People simply don't know.

At the same time, pressure must be applied to those political figures who are involved. Persist. If a fax doesn't go through, try again or use another number. If an e-mail bounces back, send it again or try another method such as calling instead. And I remind you that hard copy letters, written and mailed, are the single most effective way of getting the message out -- the way that will receive the most attention.

It now appears that before she embarked on this "negotiation," Sec. Rice received encouragement to apply pressure on Israel to make concessions from members of the left wing Israel Policy Forum, the Reform Movement, and Peace Now. It is imperative that Rice and Bush get the clear message now that these people do not represent the only voice within the Jewish community with regard to Israel -- let it be clear that they are no more than a minority!

I remind you again that there is a window of opportunity here with regard to the final signing of this abhorent agreement.

These are new points to use when contacting officials or writing letters:

1) The Rafah agreement does not call for the PA to prevent the movement of terrorists. The text only calls for the PA to prevent the movement of weapons. This is contrast to the Oslo agreements, which did make such a call. Whether the PA honored this is another question. Why are they now being provided with an arrangement that doesn't even require it of them at all? (With thanks to Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA on this one.)

Sec. Rice needs to be asked why she was willing to do this.

2) According to Haaretz, this deal that Israel has agreed to contradicts the Disengagement Law passed by the Knesset, which says that "Israel will oversee and guard the external land envelope."

Israeli decision makers must be challenged on this one.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Saving Mount Zion! Round-up for Now by Ellen Horowitz

by Ellen W. Horowitz


What was originally heralded as a soon-to-be HISTORIC VISIT followed by International and Catholic press reports of an HISTORIC SWAP, ended up being a "friendly" discussion about tax issues??!! (Don¹t believe it.)-----

THE SWAP WE CAN LIVE WITH: A swap of sorts did take place between the pope and President Katsav...A copy of a papal paper declaring that not all Jews are responsible for killing Christianity¹s lord was exchanged for a few books and some photos of an ancient church - located on the grounds of maximum security prison - that sits on the site of biblical Armageddon (talk about high-risk real estate).
I can live with those types of gestures. No disappointment here.But there are those who must be broken-hearted....

THE DISAPPOINTED ONES...THE VATICAN: They anticipated that the draft would be signed by Katsav on this trip.To view a copy of the draft go to
THE PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM, MICHEL SABBAH :( a Palestinian) who can be heard on an October 12th audio clip on Radio Vatican proclaiming that a draft agreement has been drawn up and that the Vatican awaits Israel¹s ³fine gesture².

THE PRESS: Richard Owen, of the London Times, who reported on the swap deal. The London Times, who confirmed that their sources for the story were in the Vatican. Signor Orazio Petrosillo Vatican correspondent of Il Messaggero, who reported the swap as a fait accompli in "The Room of the Last Supper to Return to the Friars"

FRANCISCAN FATHER DAVID M. JAEGER:Who told the National Catholic Reporter that: Restitution of the Cenacle ³would make the climate a lot more favorable for the rest of the negotiations.² and who when asked in a recent interview what he expected from President Katsav¹s visit replied:That the church in Caesarea will be rebuilt. That the Convent of St. Anthony [a part of Hebrew University] will finally be returned fully to the Franciscan Sisters. Most of all, that the present negotiations will be accelerated with a view to an early conclusion, in accordance with the Fundamental Agreement. Then I will know that the great hopes we had in 1993 were truly justified

PAPAL KNIGHT RABBI DAVID ROSEN, interreligious affairs director for the American Jewish Committee (AJC), who endorsed Gary Krupp and Pave the Way Foundation¹s ³efforts to galvanize Israeli compliance with its commitments made in the Fundamental Agreement and to demonstrate gestures of goodwill to the Vatican...² 3.pdf+oded+ben+hur+%2B+gary+krupp&hl=en

DirectorJEWISH PAPAL KNIGHT GARY KRUPP, founder of Pave the Way Foundation who publicly and resonantly announced his intentions ³to urge upon the Israelis... the return of the Shrine of the Cenacle²

THE FRIARS (as in Franciscan) who have a site, which links directly from Pave the Way Foundation homepage picture of the Cenacle (Last Supper room), espousing replacement theology and declaring: ³The jewish temple of Sion had passed away but the new Christian Sion had arisen.²

Sorry Friars, but we Jews are very much alive, well, and living in Israel, AND studying Torah on MT. Zion.------

1993 FUNDAMENTAL AGREEMENT (which Rabbi Rosen of AJC wants Israel to comply with) is as old, obsolete and problematic as the Oslo agreements:

For just a glimpse of some of the problems inherent in that agreement read:The Vatican's Betrayal of Israel By Don Kenner in Front Page Magazine For a look at the full accords see:

Pay attention to article10 US PRESIDENTIAL PRESSURE (what would we do without Uncle Sam?):
Bush appeal to Sharon gives impetus to Israel-Vaticannegotiations (Excerpts from must -read article in Haaretz) The foot-dragging ended only after U.S. PresidentGeorge W. Bush broached the subject with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at their last meeting. Accordingto one source, Bush even raised the issue twice... "Why can't you complete the negotiations?" Bushreportedly asked, after which Sharon ordered that the issue be handled urgently...

Church leader David Yaeger said... that theIsraeli government only wakes up when it comes underpressure from the Americans. ------

CONTINUING EFFORTS:The church will continue their efforts to gain control of Mt. Zion and other areas in Eretz Yisrael, so we must continue our efforts to hold on to and develop the area.

To promote Jewish interest in the area, VOICES Magazine is planning a "King David" tour of Mt. Zion and environs for this Sunday. The tour will include visits to the City of David, Mt. of Olives, the new Maaleh HaZeitim neighborhood, and King David's burial site on Mt. Zion. The cost: 50 shekels. Transportation from Jerusalem at the Haas Promenade at 9 AMTransportation from the Efrat Community Center at 8:30 AM
For more information, send email to -----

After a full month of research and campaigning on this issue, I can only conclude that Israel and its leaders are indeed under immense pressure from all directions. Activism is an essential component in reminding our leaders and all Jews of who they are and where they are standing. What I find profoundly tragic is the role that certain Diaspora Jews and Jewish organizations play in jeopardizing their people, heritage and eternal inheritance.
THANK YOU to all of the many activists who rallied to the cause and protested via articles, radio, cyberspace, email, letter, fax, phone, vigil, and visits to the Diaspora Yeshiva. We¹re far away from victory on this issue but, as MK Rabbi Benny Elon stated, eliciting a denial from President Katzav's office was, "A major achievement, and was the result of public pressure." I feel especially grateful for having the opportunity to work with the following team of outstanding individuals both in Israel and the Diaspora: Shelomo, Yisrael, Batya, Sharon, Barbara,and Michelle.

We will will continue this campaign.For the Sake of Mt. Zion (and all of Eretz Yisrael) We Will Not Be Silent!

Regular email updates of this type will not be sent out over the next 3 weeks. For updated information go to out situation room at:

To join in a discussion on the situation, join our newly formed Save Mt. Zion Yahoo Group:

For other inquiries regarding our activities, contact: Shelomo

Friday, November 18, 2005


A Comment on my "Not Me!" from a friend "disengaged" from Gush Katif

Hey Batya,
The Disengagement Authority always required such proof of residency for each and every year one claims to have resided in GK or N.Shomron. And the residency documents from the GK moetza aren't, on their own, sufficent proof as many thought they would be. Now that more people are applying you're hearing more specifics about what is required from us to prove GK or N. Shomron was center of our life. And report cards for each child is part of that proof but doesn't stand on its own. I recall at one point saying, "obviously if my children attended Naot Katif elementary school I lived in GK. Surely you don't think I bussed them in daily from Be'er Sheva or somewhere?"
And I prayed, and I wrote, and I attended demonstrations as did my family.
And I thought that if the evil decree came to pass that the gov't might start evacuating earlier than expected. As such I tried to think like my great grandparents fleeing Russia- what would be important, essential to have on my person? Heavy Shabbat candle stick holders, some siddurs was what they shlepped. Having made aliya we kept our documents in order and knew they must be with us. And I wanted my many family photographs in albums and on the wall. Everything else was expendable.
Now I understand why some Yamit area residents were in court fighting for their compensation.
Say Batya, when are you coming to our D.P. Camp for a visit?
-Sara Layah

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