Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Disengagement: Worst Human Rights Violation in Israel's History

Israel's government created a blue-ribbon investigatory panel in 2009, headed by retired supreme court justice, Eliahu Mazza, entitled "The State Commission of Inquiry into the Handling by the Authorized Authorities of the Evacuees from Gush Katif and Northern Samaria."

Today, they released their findings in a scathing, nearly 500 page report.
"Five years following the evacuation and a very grim picture emerges on the ground," the report concluded. "Most of the evacuees still reside in temporary trailer parks; the construction of most of the permanent residential buildings has yet to commence; the vast majority of the public buildings have yet to be built; the unemployment rate among the evacuees is double that of the general public; some of the evacuees' financial state is dire and there are those who are in need of welfare support; there are those who still hold legal battles opposite the State regarding the amount of compensation."

The committee has therefore reached the conclusion that "the rehabilitation of the evacuees is far from complete." (ynetnews)

The JPost reports:
The findings showed that the government had expected most evacuees to take compensation and was caught out when 85 percent of the evacuees elected to relocate as a community. However the inquiry found that the government was inadequately prepared to resettle whole communities, resulting in mishandling of the evacuees.

About 1700 families, from 21 different settlements, were evacuated from the Gush Katif settlements as part of Israel's unilateral disengagement from Gaza in 2005.

The report went on to say that the settlers had subsequently "become refugees in their own country" and "faced major bureaucratic hurdles" in rebuilding their lives.

Five years after the evacuation, unemployment levels among the former settlers were found to be twice the national level, and many were still living in temporary accommodation. Public buildings have not been erected for their use, despite the fact that many evacuees have now moved to their final destinations.
The most telling comment of all came from Professor Yedidya Stern, who at a press conference organized by the comittee members themselves, said: "The Disengagement caused the greatest violation of Human Rights in the history of the State of Israel. We are speaking of approximately 9,000 people, and the violation was multi-dimensional, and deep. Those evacuated from their homes, are the "salt of the land" and the committee members are impressed that they are "true pioneers." (ynet, Hebrew)

On the first year anniversary of the Disengagement, publicist Yair Lapid refused to apologize to those evicted from their homes. He even had the gall to state that reason for the Disengagement was the pioneers, themselves. (ynet)
It did not happen despite of the settlers, but because of them.

It had nothing to do with the Palestinians, demography, the desire to make peace, the relative feebleness of the IDF, or any other explanation that was given. There was a totally different motivation behind the disengagement.

The Israelis merely felt that the settlers should be taught a lesson in humility and perhaps in democracy too. The Gaza Strip was not chosen by accident either.

It is a region devoid of any major religious importance, its Jewish inhabitants were more national-religious that ultra-Orthodox fanatics, and Israel can rid itself of it without causing a rift between the state and 250,000 of its residents.

And so, 5 years later, as they live as refugees in caravan shacks, after thousands of Qassam rockets from Gaza's Hamastan have killed and wounded dozens of Israelis, a year and a half after the Cast-Lead operation, 4 years since Gilad Shalit was kidnapped to Gaza, 2 weeks after the Flotilla as the world comes to pay homage to Hamas, and a few hours since the government's report on Israel's greatest Human Right's failure of all time, maybe its time for an arrogant Yair Lapid to apologize?

I'm not holding my breath.

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Anonymous said...

The way that the disengagement was handled, and the way that the refugees continue to be handle was shameful in the extreme, but in no way was it Israel's Greatest Human Rights Violation of all time. Anyone who believes so not only clearly doesn't understand the meaning of the term "Human Rights Violation" but also has a political agenda to pursue. Israel has much more to feel shameful about in terms of Human Rights Violations than this.

- once again, the Muqata slides down in my estimation.

Anonymous said...

Definition: Human Rights Violation: Any action or activity taken by a Jew or Israeli in self-defense.

Muqata - I'm disappointed with your misuse of the term. You've hit rock bottom in my estimation

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

"sliding down" and "Rock Bottom", eh?

Are you even able to read?

I quoted, hyperlinked and attributed the phrase "Human Rights Violation" to Prof. Yedidya Stern, from the ynet article.

If anything you've proven to have hit rock bottom, and your comments are pretty worthless.

Anonymous said...

Rock Bottom? Sound like a nuance for DovBear.

Lurker said...

To "Anonymous":

What an interesting IP address you've got...

jonathan becker said...

this is a very delicate issue and i hesitate to write, but i feel it's very important. i don't know much about lapid, except that he's tommy's son and a media guy and an obvious future politician. after reading the article you linked to i can also say he's not a bad writer and has a pretty good feel for "public mood" (which will serve him well as a politician, but he has some fundamental misunderstandings about the forces that led to the expulsion- just one example, he seems unaware of the numbers and importance of secular and "stam traditional" settlers there.

i agree that it was the greatest human rights violation perpetrated by the state. i too am a proud "settler" (revenant-thanks yisrael), with many close friends among the evacuees. i did what i could at the time to prevent the tragedy/outrage/crime. my heart goes out to these heroic pioneers, who suffered a fate at the hands of their own people usually reserved for our prophets.

but (you knew there was a but) i'm not sure lapid owes anyone an apology, at least not for this article. true, the idea that the gaza settlers were somehow responsible for their fate is fundamentally offensive to us. neither do i believe that they were and are anything other than shamefully treated. but you know what? it's time to grow up and swallow it, sorry. people do make their own beds, their own alliances, and they do share responsibility for their fates.

if the day comes, god forbid, that i am thrown out of my home in the shomron by an israeli government, i will not shirk my own responsibility in the matter, and i will not lay the blame on that government. i throw in my lot with the people of israel, the god of israel, and my fellow settlers specifically. and if i am let down by these allies in the end, as the jews of gaza were, well, i chose my allies and i bear some responsibility for it, even if it was just a matter of being mistaken (god forbid).

as for lapid, based on this article, he sounds like a pretty smart cookie-not necessarily one i would call a friend, or whose politics i agree with, but certainly one to be treated carefully. he sounds bright enough, and speaks with enough of a NATIONAL conciousness, that he could one day concievably become an important ally (as his political views are still forming).

and the gaza victims- may the god of israel heal your wounds, and our shame.

thanks for the post, jameel, it sure got me thinking.

Lurker said...

"Anonymous" [snicker, guffaw]: ...in no way was it Israel's Greatest Human Rights Violation of all time. Anyone who believes so not only clearly doesn't understand the meaning of the term "Human Rights Violation"...

Damn straight! We're talking about Jews here; they don't have any human rights.

Now, if the Israeli government had physically expelled 9000 Arab men, women, and children from their homes, and then bulldozed their villages into smithereens -- well, then, that would be a human rights violation. An atrocity, in fact. It would be full-fledged Crime Against Humanity.

But Jameel, you're not talking about Arabs, just Jews. So please, quit pretending that they have human rights; you're insulting our intelligence.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Jonathan; Do not confuse Lapid's arrogance with "fundamental misunderstandings."

IDF soldier Hananel Dayan sued Lapid for libel (and won) over Lapid's shameful "spoiled settler brats" article in ynet (the same IDF soldier received accolades from Nobel Prize Winner, Prof Yisrael Aumann) and Lapid is far from a potential political ally.

Lapid pretends to have the voice of the people, but do not believe it. Prior to the Disengagement, the Likud party voted overwhelmingly against the Disengagement, and Sharon (arrogantly) ignored the vote of his party's membership. Had there been a vote of the people prior to the Disengagement, it would never have happened. Lapid likes to delude himself and his readers that he is the voice of the people of reason, yet just as the Likud membership overwhelmingly voted against it, so too would the majority of the people of Israel.

The Disengagement was Sharon's get out of jail card, and he was etrogified by the media. There was never a clear reason given, or honest debate about the Disengagement -- and for Lapid to say the reason for it was to "teach the settlers a lesson" shows what a dangerous demagogue he can be.

jonathan becker said...

jameel, thanks for the info. like i said, i don't know much about him and was going by this one article. i guess i'll have to do some homework on the guy now. i still stand by what i said that his political views are still forming and (rubs hands gleefully) he could one day be useful.

etrogification- did you make that up? brilliant!

jonathan becker said...

re: demagoguery- if he spoke up before the "disengagement" and said "the settlers need to be tought a lesson", that would be demagoguery. but writing a year later, saying that that was the mood of the secular left and the power elites- that's analysis. and a correct one imo.

but i don't want to start defending someone i know little about and may, for all i know, be amalek. :)

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Jonathan: Yes, the "secular left and power elites" definitely, gleefully enjoyed every second of the Disengagement, but to say that the majority of the country wanted it so they could "punish" the settlers?

That's not analysis, but wishful thinking. Today, the majority of Israelis think the Disengagement was a mistake. Lapid refuses to admit that, even with the rockets falling (did you know one fell last night?)

See this report about Sr. Labor politician Fuad Ben-Eliezer, who admits it was a "very big" mistake.

Lapid blessed the Disengagement before it happened...I just need to find the links; you can do some research as well :-)

Reuven F. said...

Jameel; Can you tell if that was DovBear himself commenting above about how your blog has sunk to new lows?

It was obvious you simply took that line from Stern's comment and used it as a headline and theres nothing wrong with it.

Why have so many Nazis and antisemites been hanging around your blog lately?

I think you are gaining 10 new readers for every stupid anonymous comment like the one above.

Keep up the good work. I think your blog is balanced, even if you present the right of center side of things.

Reuven F.
Connecticut, USA

jonathan becker said...

jameel, you're forcing me to say things i may regret. yes i have to do some research. but to be clear: he didn't say "the majority", and anyone (including you and me) who uses that term about a hypothetical mandate at the time is engaging in pure speculation. i too would speculate as you do, but we have no way of knowing. and please, no links to "respectable" polls!

what he did was to make a separation between "the israelis" and the settlers- an idea plenty offensive, sure, but it needs to be seen in the historical context of this argument.

jonathan becker said...

and, again: "blessing" the disengagement beforehand, or even spoutiing childish insults in the direction of the settlers is not demagoguery. people do have a right to their own emotions, which in lapids case, like his fathers, seem to cloud his intellect as evidenced by his vicious personal attack on the young soldier that you linked to.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Jonathan: Would you prefer "non-respectable" polls?

Teleseker/NRG or perhaps this thoughtful article by Daniel Pipes?

Lapid clearly this patent lie: the disengagement was endorsed by the Knesset majority and by every public opinion poll conducted.

Every public opinion poll conducted? How about the *actual* Likud vote, which trounced Sharon?

People wanted a referendum.

For Lapid to repeat a lie over and over again does not make it true.

I suggest you critically read some of his op-ed pieces over the years. He clearly believes that he is the people and they are him.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

demagogue: one who manipulates public emotions to gain power or popularity.

Justifying the Disengagement through childish attacks on soldiers, vilifying settlers, even a year afterwards, is blatant attempt to gain popularity. In fact, all his op-eds are designed to manipulate the public's emotions.

He's still trying to defend the Disengagement today.

jonathan becker said...

the reasons he believes it are the same reasons we believe that we are, in fact, "the people and they are us", which taken together constute evidence- but not conclusive evidence. the fact is there is a major culturkampf going on here. it may be that "we got the guns but they got the numbers" or the opposite, but the jury isn't in yet as far as i'm concerned. the fact is that, even considering the shameful political double dealing at the time, "we the people" allowed the disengagement to occur. i can only hope we've learned our lesson. next round, the numbers are going to be very different and it should be quite "interesting" (as per the famous chinese curse, "may you live in interesting times".

anyway, your points about the repeated lies are well taken. i just don't want us to fall into the same trap.

jonathan becker said...

"He's still trying to defend the Disengagement today."

i haven't seen the evidence of this but if it's so, he's backing the wrong horse, imo and i assume yours too. but it's still only an opinion. refer to what i said in my post above about choosing your allies. remember that his statements are are only secondarily designed to win voters. their first job is to win political allies. the voters haven't come into the equation yet so much for him. they will, they will. and if he continues to espouse such idiocy, i hope he is "run out of town on a rail".


Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Jonathan: He defended the Disengagement during Cast Lead, as Israel was getting seriously rocketed on a daily basis.

He cares more about voters than allies.

(Which happens to be good for him, but bad for us).

Anyway - I wouldn't post things here without linkable evidence :-)

jonathan becker said...

you're very good that way- it's one of the reasons i'm here. again, thanks for the post and the (hopefully) interesting conversation.

Kovi said...

I don't think people understand exactly what those settlers removed from Gush Katif endured during the disengagement. People like you Jameel - you were there, you saw what happened. I wasn't there, but I've seen the photos, heard the stories, some even around your table.

I think the average person who just sees the "disengagement" as the government making a bunch of people move as a bid for peace - well, I don't think they can really understand at a glance why you would call that a human-rights disaster.

The fact is that the Disengagement was an action taken by Sharon which side-stepped and did not represent the wishes of the people, which was carried out with force and violence against some of the most fundamental patriots of our country who had given more than anyone else to secure our borders, and which took everything they had and left them with nothing. The legal systems put in place to protect the rights of those settlers were simply used against them as bureaucratic stumbling blocks to prevent them from being reimbursed or helped in their predicament. This country essentially raped them and left them with nothing. That is the worst human rights violation in Israel's history.

ST said...

I don't sympathize with the attitude Lapid describes. Even Lapid does not necessarily identify with it (as he says, "Some of the issues mentioned above may be more myth than fact, but it did not matter because the secular Israelis were angry and losing their patience.").

But like Lapid, I do think it's accurate description of how many secular people saw us, and why they were OK with the disengagement.

Flair Hickory said...

The above post under the name Hickory Flair is not me. It is someone falsely using my name in order to delegitamize me. I would never say "go back to Auschwitz." Someone posted a fake comment in order to make people who stand up for human rights look bad. The fact is that the Holocaust was a terrible tragedy, and although it is exploited by zionism, that doesn't mean that it is not a tragedy.
Regarding Israeli human rights violations, there's so many to choose from that it's hard to decide which is the most horrific. I would say it is the Naqba, but the Naqba didn't end in 1948...it continues to this day and will continue until Palestinians are able to actualize the right of return, a right that is part of international law that Israel continues to scoff at. Israel's disengagement from Gaza was not a human rights violation. In fact it was one of the few things they did right. But they didn't disengage completely. They still have an illegal blockade on Gaza, where over half the population is children who have nothing to do with Hamas. They suffer from malnutrition and can't go to sleepovers. The flotillas must continue until Palestine is free.

Kovi said...

ok seriously. enough with the sleepovers. you have got some seriously f'd up priorities kid.

NormanF said...

Of course not! The settlers needed to be taught a lesson. And it was taught in the worst possible by the state they thought was supposed to protect them. Not even Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union evicted their citizens from their own homes and demolished entire communities. Only Israel perpetrated that evil deed on the most helpless of its citizens. To prove what point?

Kovi said...

btw, i don't think drynites is a very well known commodity anywhere in the free world.

You've seen all the videos of those Hamas-run preschools, right? you know, the ones where they dress them up in camos and makes them crawl around on the floor with toy rifles? so has it occurred to you that perhaps they've just been so busy teaching the kids guerilla warfare and how to hate israel that they forgot about some of the other basics like potty training, and maybe that's the reason for the high bed-wetting rates?

Vox Populi said...

>Not even Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union evicted their citizens from their own homes and demolished entire communities.

Yeah...that's not true.

Anyway, to be sure, the disengagement was definitely handled terribly, but I wouldn't count it as the worst human rights violation in Israeli history. I don't think anyone has seriously argued yet that the current residents of Gaza, for example, have it better than their former neighbors.

Flair Hickory said...

Kovi Muslim societies have always toilet trained their children very very early. When variables such as war are eliminated Palestinian children have very low bedwetting rates. Jewish children, on the other hand wet the bed at an astonishingly high rate whether they are in Sderot or Tel Aviv or Paris or New York. This is scientific proof of zionist cowardice. And toilet training isn't the responsibility of the government, in this case Hamas. It is the parents' responsibility, and they do in fact do this. It is Israel that bears responsiblity for the problem. Payments for extra laundry should be part of the reparations deal if and when Israel admits responsibility for the Middle East conflict.

gneo said...

The disengagement was handled very poorly, but there never should have been a Jewish community established in the midst of over a million Palestinians. Since a community was established then Israel should have made a deal with the PA before uprooting instead of evacuating and hoping the gazans would be peaceful.

Most Israelis support the 2 state solution.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

gneo: Israel was founded as a State amidst millions of Arabs.

Kfar Darom was first founded in 1946.

I don't believe that most Israelis support a 2 state solution.

Vox Populi said...

>I don't believe that most Israelis support a 2 state solution.

What is your plan, by the way? What do you propose to do with the Palestinians?

gneo said...

Israel has to separate from the Palestinians and it cant do that as long as settlers continue to build everywhere in the west bank. All the settlers are doing is making a bi-national state more likely.

polls have consistently shown Israeli's in favor of the 2 state solution.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

gneo: Polls in Israel have consistently shown all sorts of things which are proven wrong on election day.

Lets take the polls for Likud members on the even of the Disengagement. All the pundits and polls said that Sharon's Disengagement plan would win overwhelming support within the party membership.

The results were exactly the opposite, and the plan was defeated by a huge majority of close to 65% against it.

That didn't stop Sharon from pushing the plan through anyway. He was never strong on democracy.

Vox Populi; What should be done with the Palestinians? Let them live here peacefully with and autonomous, municipal self-government.

Yes, its not perfect, but life is complicated. Giving them a State will result is more wars, more bloodshed, and maybe even the destruction of Israel.

tafka pp said...

Lurker- what's your comment supposed to mean, about IP addresses? Do you people even want left-wingers commenting on this blog anymore, or is anyone who chooses to remain anonymous going to be subject to that sort of reaction?!

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