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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Yesha Council was Complicit in Gush Katif Evacuation

Yesterday morning, I was forwarded an email, which claimed that members of the "Yesha Council" - the Council of Revenants of Judea, Samaria and Gaza - had been complicit in the expulsion of the Jews from Gush Katif. I told the person who sent me the email that I was not surprised to see that there had been people in the Yesha Council who had played along. But I had not seen the report that was broadcast on cable television this week, which is available here which documents their complicity (if my link doesn't work, the video is also available from the article).

Given how willing our 'leaders' are to betray themselves and their country in order to maintain their own images for television, it's not surprising that the country is being given away under our feet. I also asked my friend Harvey whether he was naive enough to think that there were no other Alex Goldfarb's in this country. Until I saw this item, I didn't realize how close I was to reality:
A documentary aired on Cable Channel 10 last week shows members of the Yesha Council orchestrating the eviction of youths from a Gush Katif synagogue in addition to their own choreographed removal.

The film details the final hours in N'vei Dekalim's main synagogue, where thousands of youths gathered last summer for a last stand against security forces sent to forcibly remove them from Gush Katif. The film raises question about the behavior of the Yesha Council and its honesty with the public it is supposed to represent.

"At the Gates of Heaven" is the name of the documentary, which was produced by Yuval Ginzburg. Speaking with Arutz-7 Hebrew Radio, Ginzburg said the film was not made in order to be a direct critique of the Yesha Council, but to accurately portray the final 24 hours in the community's main synagogue. Due to what the footage contains, he said, certain conclusions regarding the behavior of the leadership were naturally exposed.

In one segment, aired by Yinun Magal on Channel 10 TV Monday night, Gush Etzion Mayor Shaul Goldstein is seen directing his own evacuation. He is seen being held by two soldiers, with a pained look on his face as a snapshot is taken with a camera he handed one of the soldiers. "Did it come out?" he asked the photographer. Upon confirmation, he was carried ten feet and put down gingery at the door of the synagogue.


Arutz Sheva Commentator and former Gush Katif spokesman Eran Sternberg responded to Goldstein's remarks. "Beyond the serious questions that the scenes in the documentary raise regarding the nature of the struggle for Gush Katif," he said, "its importance lies in that it teaches us how not to wage future struggles. Goldstein's explanation that he only wanted to be dragged several meters is questionable when taking into account that the Gush Etzion Regional Council which he heads hired Eyal Arad [advisor to PM Ariel Sharon who was the driving force behind the surrender of Gush Katif] for a publicity campaign. Goldstein's actions will bring upon himself and upon us all a repeat of the scenes of Gush Katif."


"The film depicts discussions and meetings that took place amidst the chaos and struggles that took place in Gush Katif," Ginzburg said. "The leadership is seen discussing matters from the point of view of, 'How will this look on TV?'"

In the Channel 10 clip, Hevron Hills Mayor Tzviki Bar-Chai is seen yelling at activists struggling not to be dragged out, saying "This is not the place, not in front of the television!" and repeating the words, "It looks bad!" over and over again. At one point, Bar-Chai lost his temper and began yelling through a megaphone that if the youth struggled "we will stop all this" and he would have them all thrown out of the synagogue in an instant. "This isn't a soccer field!" he boomed.


"The feeling on the street today is, 'We don't care what they say about us in Tel Aviv – they don't count us anyway' and 'we don't care what they say about us in the army,' Magal concluded. "These sentiments will have a great effect on the nature of the struggle, which will be much more determined than anything we have yet seen."
Read the whole thing and watch the video. (The narrative is in Hebrew!)


At 1:26 PM, Blogger westbankmama said...

Don't judge all of Moetzet Yesha by the actions of Shaul Goldstein, number one. And two, what is so terrible about trying to manage the media image of those who were evacuated? There are enough media blood libels (remember the caustic soda that wasn't) as it is, so that a more neutral or even positive media image is something that should be attempted. So many Israelis hate us already - why is it so negative to perhaps give them another view? Along with the "bloodthirsty" settler there is another one, who left peacably without struggling with the soldiers (which most, by far, did).

Too many people are experts after the fact - and complain incessantly about what "should have been done", when they themselves did not take any responssibility whatsoever.

At 6:11 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

I'll bounce you the email I received about this and let you decide for yourself.


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