Monday, January 01, 2007

Cruel and Heartless.

Seething, I believe is the correct word that describes my current state of mind.

I read about this over shabbat, and to tell you the truth, it ruined a lot of my shabbat relaxation (as it should have, I guess).

A year and a half ago, I argued with many of you in the Jblogosphere about the "Disengagement". If anything, I pleaded; "See this as a traumatic event which should bother every Jew, regardless of political leanings. Jewish Families are being uprooted, communities ripped apart..."

The replies at the time ranged from cynical "Prayers for a Good Disengagement" to those who said, "Good riddance; no one forced them to live there", to "What's the big deal, they're just moving from one home to another."

A year and half later, I can safely say, that my worst predictions for the welfare of the Gush Katif people have been far exceeded by the cruelty of the "Disengagement Authority" and the person responsible for it's decisions, Ehud Olmert.

Even those who "played by the rules" of the Disengagement Authority have no permanent housing solutions. More than 50% are unemployed. Many of them have developed serious health problems, in addition to elevated mental health issues.

Yet this past week's story took my breath away. The outright cruelty of this story transcends any simple "bureaucratic" ineffectiveness. There is no way this situation has not been brought to the attention of clerks, their management, and the most senior heads of the "Disengagement Authority" -- when you read it, you'll understand why.

I urge you to please post this story on your blog, raise Jewish consciousness about this issue, and please, please, please write to Ehud Olmert. Since the OU went out of their way to honor Ehud Olmert and they consider him worthy of being a honored guest speaker at the OU convention in Jerusalem, I fully expect them as well to use every single one of their contacts to help find a solution for this crime of cruelty and heartlessness.

Arutz-Sheva has the story, and it's been retold at Shilo Muse and JoeSettler. Please publicize this story as well if you feel any compassion for these people.

Eliezer and Chana Bart lived in the Gush Katif community of Kfar Darom for over 18 years until they and their eight children were "removed" in accordance with Prime Minister Sharon's disengagement plan.

Chana was paralyzed in the lower half of her body in a terrorist shooting attack in 2002, and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since. Two years later - a day after Sharon's bombshell announcement of his Disengagement plan to remove all the Jews of Gaza frp, their homes - Chana and Eliezer celebrated the brit [ritual circumcision] of their week-old son. They named him Amichai [My Nation Lives] Yisrael.

To make the Bart's home wheelchair accessable for Chana, the home was redone with ramps and wider doorways and their house extending past the "official" border of Kfar Darom. The Bart's had talks with their Arab neighbors in order to buy the extra land, purchased the land legally, received title and deed to the land, and received all the necessary permits and authorizations to build there from the IDF Civil Administration.

However...the SELA "Disengagement Agency" which reports directly to Ehud Olmert, has decided that since, in their view, the Bart's home in Kfar Darom was outside the border of the official "SELA" map -- they will receive ZERO compensation for their 18 years of living their, and ZERO compensation for their destroyed home.
Eliezer [Bart] repeated the charge heard by others who were thrown out of Gush Katif: "It's a terrible feeling to see respected and well-educated people sitting on the Disengaement Authority committee, yet they have no heart. They simply treat us coldly and with great hostility... On a personal level, we invested all the money that we had - the money we received for the injuries caused to Chana, and many loans, in order to help our family live."
The Disengagement Authority can be faxed at 02 (or +972 from abroad) 652-9217. For those who cannot fax, email is second-best: ""

If you too are astonished by the cruelty of this story, I urge to PLEASE contact the Disengagement Authority, and publicize this story to embarrass Olmert into responding, since appealing to him as a human being and Prime Minister of Israel just doesn't seem to work. Contact the OU as well, since they seem to think that Olmert's a decent guy, and worth being honored by the Orthodox Union.

Lastly - please post this on your blog, or send it to your local newspaper.


Tizku L'Mitzvot.


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


BoneCrusher said...

I wrote them this nice note:

Expulsion Authority,

Now that the fallacy of the expulsion has been exposed for the entire world to see, with the never ending bombs falling all over southern Israel, the constant terror warnings emanating from northern Shomron, and the massive buildup of Hezbolla/Hamas in Gaza, why continue to use economic terrorism on the Jewish refugees?

You and your storm troopers forcibly evicted Chana, Eliezer, and their eight children from their home in Kfar Darom. All of this has been fully documented and verified and is available online.

Why not just cut them a check and stop persecuting them?

Awaiting your reply,

Bone Crusher

Want to bet they don't write me back?

OU Boycott said...

Or you could let the OU know that in addition to certifying Olmert as kosher and giving him approval to persecute Jews, they also lost your support and that you won’t be buying any more OU certified products or dealing with any of their advertisers.

Boycott the OU!

Cyrano said...

At least Olmert isn't waiting till little children are killed in Sderot by a Kassam before responding. Now that would be really cruel!
It is not easy being PM of a country which does not have a functional police force, just judicial, impartial DA,free press, democratic direct representation or intelligent honest cabinet members. Give the guy a break!

Batya said...

What's happening to the Disengagement victims is even worse than the most pesimistic of us predicted.

Jack's Shack said...

I was so very wrong about all of this. It is terrible.

bec said...

"If you too are astonished by the cruelty of this story...."

astonished? astonished? i keep thinking disgusted, angered, horrified....and yet, i cannot even come up with a word in the english language that adequately describes what i was thinking while reading this.

Anonymous said...

Jameel, you wrote: If anything, I pleaded; "See this as a traumatic event which should bother every Jew, regardless of political leanings. Jewish Families are being uprooted, communities ripped apart..."

There are STILL people who do not see this as a traumatic event. See my post:
National Trauma or Not.

In any case - I'm forwarding the link and writing my own faxes.

kasamba said...

How cruel and heartless!

Anonymous said...

What happened to democracy? Welfare to the unemployed dos not exist in Israel?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for highlighting this terrible story, Jameel. I just sent a "letter" to the O-U telling them why I am so dismayed and horrified, and directed them to your post.

yitz said...

Aleph, I'm not surprised, even tho this is mitachat l'kol bikoret. Bet, what good would writing olmert or sela do??? Atumei lev v'aznaim that they are! Gimmel, boycott the OU? pERHAPS that's an idea! I'm waiting for the Revolution & Moshiach to take care of this...nothing less will do!!!

RR said...

I have read several stories in the newspapers and internet over the past year telling of the shameful treatment the evacuees continue to receive. But when I read your post, I actually gasped in shock.

What a disgrace.

Sultan Knish said...

writing or faxing the disengagement authority is as good as faxing the fox who broke into the henhouse

the ONLY possible way for this to do any good is to get the story into the media as much as possible

Sultan Knish said...

and of course I can't wait to see Dovbear and Orthomom and the other faux orthodox liberal bloggers who supported disengagement repost this...not

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Sultan Knish: I'm sorry, but you really owe Orthomom a serious apology.

First of all, Orthomom was the first to link to this story. (see here)

Secondly, Orthomom wrote this where she decided that her view of the Disengagement was mistaken.

However, more importantly; to call her a "faux orthodox" is just wrong. I don't know her personally, but have no reason to accuse her of being "faux orthodox".

That's wrong.

Yes, she supported the Disengagement -- but that doesn't make someone "faux Orthodox".

(Plus, as I hope you know, its very difficult to see and understand things in chuzt laaretz than the way we see it here...but that's a side point)

Regarding DovBear; why don't we ask him about this issue?

While I have no clue who DovBear is, it's still wrong to say he's faux orthodox (he will, though, be very happy to admit he's a liberal).

Bloggers can be criticized for what they write; but saying they aren't Shomer Torah and mitzvot is just plain motzee shem ra.

Sultan Knish said...

It's nice to that Orthomom took the time out of her busy schedule to repost a one sentence link to your post.

It does not however remotely change the fact that she supported the expulsion of thousands of Jews from their home.

In the other Orthomom post you linked to, she does not say Disengagement was morally wrong, only that it failed as a policy to bring about security and stability. Had it succeeded, would she regret it?

Hindsight wasn't needed to know evicting thousands from their homes was morally and ethically wrong. Her hindsight is that it failed to stop the terrorism.

But you're right calling her Faux Orthodox is wrong. There's no basis for calling someone who makes a habit of bashing Orthodox Jews on any news story they can dig up and supported the forcible expulsion of thousands of Jews from their homes... Orthodox in the first place.

Being Orthodox is more than not turning on the lights on Shabbos. Plenty of Conservative qualify for that as well.

I would see someone who turned on the lights on Shabbos yet understood that forcibly expelling thousands of Jews from their homes as wrong, as being more Shomer Torah than the other way around. And such a position can be easily backed up from the Torah too.

Sometimes a spade has to be called a spade, but if you like you're free to make very 'serious' apologies on my behalf to Orthomom, DovBear, Orthodox Anarchist, Noam Chomsky, HaRav Michael Lerner and anyone else you like.

Or perhaps you could ask Orthomom to apologize for running hateful pieces like this that smear an entire population. Or This one

Or perhaps not.

Anonymous said...

But you're right calling her Faux Orthodox is wrong. There's no basis for calling someone who makes a habit of bashing Orthodox Jews on any news story they can dig up and supported the forcible expulsion of thousands of Jews from their homes... Orthodox in the first place.

And your hatred of your fellow Jews makes you what?

Sultan Knish said...

I don't hate my fellow Jews. I speak out against those who try harm my fellow Jews.

But thank you for playing that worn out hatemonger card, the last trump of liberalism.


this whole event was worse than anything in kinos because the aggressors are our own.i dont only want to cry;i want to vomit.

orthomom said...

Wow. Sultan, you should really consider doing something about your anger management problems. When caught saying something stupid, people generally either backtrack or apologize. Apparently your tactic is to keep digging yourself deeper. Enjoy your hole.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Mr Knish:

I have to admit, I was rather sickened by your latest comment as well.

How exactly do you see your invective changing anyone's mind?

Do you think that spitting in someone's face and comparing them to Noam Chomsky will really get them to seriously reconsider their position?

You know why I started blogging? Because it BOTHERED me to see positions that were pro-Disengagement.

And there are two ways to go about changing them; you can rage and rant, and it will get you nowhere.

Or, you can realize that people have their own viewpoints based on many different parameters, and if you discuss the issues with them, you'll have a chance to influence them.

I can promise you, you will get nowhere by name-calling, insulting people, and challenging their frumkeit.

And your indignation about the Hitnatkut? How noble of you.

Don't mussar me about the hitnatkut.

I was there. Big time.

If I can dialogue with people -- then you have no right to come to my blog and insult these people, especially when they did exactly what you claimed they wouldn't. (And by the way, I checked my site meter; I got over 500 visitors from Orthomom's "one line" link)

If you don't feel like apologizing, then please don't come back here.

You've caused me too much personal agmat nefesh from your comments already.

Sultan Knish said...

Orthomom - I'm not angry. I'm quite calm as a matter of fact. It's the people furiously attacking me who are angry. I've spoken the truth and you have nothing to answer me with. That's fine. I wasn't expecting anything else.

Jameel - I'm glad you got 500 visitors in traffic from Orthomom. Had I known you were getting traffic from her and willing to fly into such a fury over any slight to her, I wouldn't have bothered. And if you're "sickened" and suffering from "too much personal agmat nefesh" over my comments then my eyes can't roll hard and high enough at that.

I will repeat it again though. Someone who supported the expulsion of thousands of Jews from their home is not a Shomer Torah Jew. There's no credible argument for saying they are. Good luck with your path of dialogue and bending over backward to appease the Pro-Disengagement crowd at the expense of everything else.

Don't be too disappointed when Olmert or whoever replaces him announces the next phase of withdrawals, all those same people you dialogued with smile and turn around and support it anyway. But at least you'll have the moral superiority of knowing you weren't one of those ranting and raving extremists who said mean things to people. No, you dialogued your heart out with them.

This was only my second visit to your blog. Now it's my last. L'hit

the s said...

sultan knish,
what about the thousands and thousands and thousands of jews who are sitting in exile now-an exile which leaves our people ill, childless, depressed, dying, homeless, abused and more-as a result of our own carelessness? our own sinat chinam?
how can you speak to ANYONE here?
we are all equally guilty.

tafka PP said...

Oh, this sounds familiar... well, I guess when the Moshiach fails to appear in your respective generations, at least you can comfort yourselves with the convenient scapegoat to blame the continued absence upon Orthomom and all the rest of the "not-Jews" like myself who ruined it for all you alleged righteous people. Enjoy the view from the moral high ground.

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