Israel Resource Review 2nd October, 2005


Report #7:
State of Gush Katif, Northern Gaza and Northern Shomron Communities
Toby Klein-Greenwald

Commissioned by Israel Resource News Agency and the Center for Near East Policy Research

The families of B'doloch, who are staying at the Shirat Hayam Hostel/Hotel in Ashkelon, were told today, Sunday, that they would have to vacate the hotel by 3 p.m. Knesset Member Uri Ariel tried to intervene to postpone the next expulsion. According to Asher Tabackman, the hostel's director, as of October 1 there is no signed contract with the Ministry of Defense, who are paying the bills. Chaim Altman, spokesperson for the Disengagement Authority, said today that, "The people [from Gush Katif] will be able to stay at the hotel until Thursday, and then they will be moved to other hotels." When asked why, he said, "Because the owners of the hotel are making demands that are unreasonable and that don't withstand public scrutiny."

When Tabackman was asked for a reaction, he said, regarding Altman's comments, "Those are lies. There is no agreement that they can stay till Thursday, and there are no new 'demands' on the part of the hotel's owners. The original contract included a clause that said there was an option to extend their stay according to the same conditions. This 'hotel' had been closed and it was opened especially for them. If they don't use all the rooms, we have no marketing or other system currently set up; it's not as if we would sell 30 rooms elsewhere if they're not being used [by the evacuees]. There are currently about 85-90 families in the hotel; there were originally 120-130." The hostel/hotel's contract is with the Ministry of Defense, not with the Disengagement Authority, but according to a spokeswoman at the Ministry of Defense, "The Ministry has not extended the contract because we are waiting for orders from the Disengagement Authority." Minister Matan Vilnai, who had been asked by PM Sharon to help monitor the situation of the evacuees, was out of the country and could not be reached for comment.

When asked what it is like to run the hostel for the expelled families of Gush Katif, Tabackman said, "It's been different, and difficult, and I've been in the hotel business for a long time. They're here because they're forced to be, not because they want to be. We've made mistakes, and we've learned and tried to correct them, like leaving the dining room open an extra hour in the afternoon, or arranging to let the mothers make sandwiches for their children early in the morning, before they go to school. We set out a table with everything necessary so they can prepare whatever it is the children like. The connection has become more personal than it usually is in a hotel; you sit around and speak with them in the evenings. I come every day from the center of the country, where I live, but it doesn't matter that I was okay with the Disengagement. The State [of Israel] could have dealt with the hotel more fairly, just as it could have dealt with the people of Gush Katif more fairly."

As this report was being completed, we spoke with Aaron Farjun, spokesperson of the B'doloch community in the Shirat Hayam Hostel, who said, "Thanks to the questions of the media, the problem has been temporarily solved. The contract has been extended for another two weeks and hopefully by then the karavilot in Nitzan will be ready. Thank you for your help. Chag sameah and have a good year."

Almost Work - But not Quite [from Hebrew]

On another front, there was an announcement a few days ago in the press that the Ministry of Tourism would be opening a course for tour guides that would accept 50 people from among the expelled of Gush Katif. When people from Gush Katif tried to follow up by calling the Ministry, they were told to call schools for tourism. A number of schools that were called said they had no knowledge of such a course.

In another development, a woman from Gush Katif who had directed a prestigious institution in Gush Katif, asked the government employment office to help her find work. After she filled in the forms and had a personal interview, they offered her the job of folding cartons in a packing house. When she told them that she wasn't interested, they suggested that she learn a new profession - "Literature".

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

From Mortars to Bulldozers - Israel's Dilemma in the New Year
David Bedein

Israel awakens to a difficult new reality which transcends the perennial debate in Israel over the location of security fences.

After all, mortars transcend fences.

Ask people evicted from Katif about the 6,000 mortars which reigned down on their communities in less than five years.

Besides mortars, Israel faces a new year where bulldozers stand ready to go into action to eradicate more Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and to replace them with a lethal PLO state that would be within firing range of every Jewish community in the rest of Israel.

Israel's citizens must cope with the following prognosis in the new year:

  1. The government of Israel has not asked the US or any other nation to recognize its sovereignty in any part of Judea or Samaria. Israel Resource News Agency confirmed this with the leading diplomats and elected officials in the US, Canada and Europe.

  2. The government of Israel has done nothing to annex any area of Judea or Samara.

  3. Israel Resource News Agency covered the speech given President Bush on September 20th to the Republican Jewish coalition in which the US president referred to the "West Bank" only in terms of its "vulnerability". No mention of recognizing the right of Israel's citizens to live there. This is in keeping with understandings that were reached between the US and Israel before the Olso Agreements in September, 1993. Then-Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yossi Beilin confirmed in December 1993 that Israel had relinquished all claims of sovereignty over Judea and Samaria as part of the Oslo process.

  4. The Bush letter of April 14th, 2004 only states that the US understands that there are "population centers" built up since 1967 beyond the green line. No mention of the US accepting these population centers as part of Israel. No mention of the US recognizing "settlement blocs".

  5. Jewish communities of Efrat, Gush Etzion, Kiryat Arba, Hebron,the Hebron Hills, Benyamin and Shomron enjoy precisely the same status as Gush Katif, of blessed memory. In other words, no status.

  6. The "quartet" (The EU,the UN, the US and Russia) and the government of Israel are working at lightning speed to create an instant PL0 state, which would be "Juden Rein" and N O T abandon the PLo's phased plan for destroying Israel.The PLO openly states that all areas that it gains will be used as a launching pad to liberate "all of Palestine".

  7. The government of Israel is embarking on multiple profit-making business ventures with the PLO's administrative arm, the Palestinian Authority. The chart on the front page of Israel's Globes Newspaper from September 16th, 2005 says it all: In 2004, Israel exported more than $2 billion of products to the Palestinian Authority and imported less than $400 million of products from the PA, In other words, thousands of Israelis gain economic benefits from business with the PLO. That more than explains why three advisors to the current Prime Minister of Israel have direct personal interests in Palestinian Authority corporations.

  8. The time has come to learn from the successes and failures of the "orange" campaign from the past two years.The campaign was successful in defeating Sharon in the referendum of May 2nd, 2004, when the opposition to Sharon characterized the Sharon plan as dangerous to the people of Israel, and the campaign failed in August, 2005 when it stressed that it was only a threat to Katif and the Shomron.

  9. If the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria are to be preserved, and a PLO state is to be prevented, the movers and shakers of the state of Israel that Judea and Samaria would have to be convinced that these areas are vital to Israel, and that the PLO is lethal to Israel. In order to do this, a sophisticated campaign would have to educate key players in Israel's business community, in Israel's unions, in Israel's Universities, in Israel's intelligence community and in Israel's development towns that Judea and Samaria are vital to Israel, and that the PLO is lethal to Israel.

    If the US administration were to understand that a groundswell of public opinion opposed a PLO state and favored the retention of Judea and Samaria, and US pressure would lesson.

  10. The time has come to understand that sentiments alone will not "sell" the importance of Judea and Samaria or the dangers of the PLO. A generation of Israeli youth have been weaned on the hopes of the Oslo process and the seeming economic prosperity that has accompanied this process, despite 26,000 terror attacks and more than 1,300 people who have been murdered in cold blood. An educational effort would have to be launched to awaken the people of Israel to the importance of Judea and Samaria or the dangers of the PLO. Otherwise, the PLO plan of gradual "Juden Rein" will be put into operation.

    Printer friendly version of this article

    Return to Contents

    Go to the Israel Resource Review homepage

    The Israel Resource Review is brought to you by the Israel Resource, a media firm based at the Bet Agron Press Center in Jerusalem, and the Gaza Media Center under the juristdiction of the Palestine Authority.
    You can contact us on