Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More on Gush Katif

Yesterday, Jameel posted about General Gershon HaCohen making statements of regret in regards to the expulsion from Gush Katif. I added in my bit, doubtful of the efficacy of such a thing when look at it from a Tshuva/Repentance point.
Fern, in the comments asked the following question:
Litvishe--What exactly do you think needs to be done by those that participated in the disengagement to repent and earn the forgiveness of those affected (I'm not being sarcastic, I'm curious)?

I started writing a response in the comments and noticed it was going a bit long, so I decided just to make post out of it. So here is my answer:

To go each and every person uprooted from his house and hand him a check for all that he put into building his life at the very least. Not requiring the people to behave like beggers, supplicating for the money to pay the mortgages of the houses the Government kicked them out of and destroyed. Giving families not only restitution for monetary damage for property lost/destroyed, but enough that they can rebuild their lives with honor. Help them get jobs to replace those that were razed along with the communities they were based in.
Much of the more serious damage that needs to be addressed, and which I think will be harder, if not impossible, to repent for, is that done in the post-expulsion period. Where children saw their parents treated like doormats. Were left to rot in tent cities, hotel rooms where the hotel staff treated them like gargage etc. etc.
That will take years of work and investment to even begin to undo the damage. Before that, there isn't much to talk about.
Additionally, as one reader mentioned to me, it's not enough to make a blanket statement, to get up in public and klap "Al Chet" (beat one's chest and declaim one's guilt), one needs to go to the injured party and personally ask forgiveness. So, when General HaCohen goes door to door, and speaks to every man, woman and child that was brutally thrown from his house and ask for that person's forgiveness, then it is all so much lip service. He's trying to assuage his own guilt without doing anything about it.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


Fern @ Life on the Balcony said...

Is personal monetary restitution even legal under Israeli law? In America that probably wouldn't be an available option. Also, it's unlikely that any of these leaders have enough personal assets to cover the damages the settlers incurred.

What boggles my mind is that the Israeli government didn't have a plan in place to compensate the settlers and move them into at least semi-permenant homes/communities. It's not like the move was a surprise. They had plenty of time to work out how they would compensate the families and to organize trailers or apartment buildings for the people they were moving. I'm sure the government has records about exactly who lived in Gaza and how many people were in each family. They could have set up bank accounts for each family before they even moved the settlers out and funded the accounts according to some sort of formula that took into account lost property, lost wages, cost of moving, etc. Why didn't they do something like that?!

If what happened post-disengagement was an example of what does when the government has time to plan, then I'd hate to see what would happen after a natural disaster.

Anyway, that's just a rant about the process. I think you're right Litvishe, that the attonement process has to include some sort of personal apology and reasonable attempts to make things as right as possible.

Lion of Zion said...

1) If one believes that the expulsion has harmed the security of the entire country, then forgiveness must be asked from every citizen of the state.

2) I'm not a big believer in teshuvah in general, but i like rambam's formulation that one has only done teshuvah if he is in the same situation again and does not transgress. Working with this understanding of teshuvah, the only way they can be forgiven is if they do not proceded with further expulsions.

Litvshe said...


You're slightly mistaken. What the Rambam is referring to there is Complete Tshuvah. There are two levels really. Repentance and all that is involved is the first one, where there is forgivness and such, but one is not yet whole in his tshuvah until he shows that put in the same circumstance he doesn't do it again. That is more between G-d and man then man and his fellow man.

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