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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

'The Evacuees' - future lessons

Imagine that your government takes away your home, your livelihood and your children's school, and forces you to put all of your worldly possessions into 'temporary storage.' Then HaAretz al-Ard comes along and tells you that your present situation is all your fault....

The responsibility for this situation is threefold. It is hidden, first of all, in the employment reality that was created in the territories - and no less, in the settler population itself, particularly its leaders. And it is also a result of the conduct of government ministries, and of the Disengagement Administration (Sela).

We must not forget that the settlers of Gush Katif did everything to disrupt the evacuation procedure. They did not respond to the many requests from Sela, did not say where they wanted to go or what jobs they were interested in having. Their leaders and rabbis clearly planned the present, miserable refugee situation, so as to generate a public upheaval and thereby make the next evacuation as difficult as possible. [It is eight months since the evacuation expulsion of the Jews of Gush Katif. That is more time than the revenants were given to prepare to be expelled. There is no excuse for the government's failure to find them adequate jobs and homes and to adequately compensate them. And yes, it is clear from this experience why trying to expel 80,000 Jews in the same manner that less than 10,000 were expelled last summer is a recipe for disaster. CiJ]

Some two-thirds of the work force in Gush Katif were employed in the civil service, most of them in the regional council, which no longer exists. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, there are more than twice as many people employed in the civil service in communities located over the Green Line than those within it. In the field of education, for instance, more than one-fifth of the work force is employed in the settlements - 20.9 percent - compared to 12.6 percent of all workers in Israel. To this we must add thousands more, including public administration workers, health and welfare workers, community service providers and others. [That is because - especially for the past five years - all services to over-the-green line communities had to be provided locally. Travel was too dangerous because the courts and the government were too busy worrying about placating the 'Palestinians.' CiJ]

If the policy of Kadima and the peace camp parties is implemented, tens of thousands of residents of the territories will be cut off from the sources of their present employment. The problem of these new evacuees does not need to be placed before Sela. It would rather be appropriate to return to the original plan of the Gush Katif evacuation, ensuring full and respectable remuneration for each family, which will do what it wants with the money. [Where is the government going to find 'full and respectable remuneration' for 80,000 people? At what price to our economy? CiJ]

However, even if the funds are transferred quickly and efficiently, it is the settlers who are holding the key to success. It is reasonable to assume that their leaders will once again distract them with bad advice, as part of an additional "orange" struggle. But now, after a national referendum has been decided, the breadwinners living in settlements slated for evacuation must demonstrate responsibility and understand that they cannot thwart the will of the majority. If they are not led astray and do not lead others astray, these opponents of evacuation will succeed in fighting it, within the limits of the law - with one hand. With the other, they will prepare for the possibility that they will lose their fight. [This is pitiful and condescending. CiJ]


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