Newsletter : 5fax0810.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
IDF Estimates 2-3 Weeks to Expel Gaza's Jewish Residents
Brig. Gen. Guy Tzur, chief of Gaza's Southern Command, explained the timetable for the
upcoming disengagement. He predicted the actual expulsion of area residents would be
accomplished in two-to-three weeks. Tzur is viewed as the senior disengagement officer,
responsible for orchestrating and overseeing the entire operation in Gaza. According to
Tzur, by the beginning of October 2005, the operation will have ended in its entirety and
IDF forces will be awaiting the government order to leave Gaza. He added that private
homes would be destroyed in the operation as will synagogues and ritual baths, but not
public buildings or the remaining infrastructure, which will be handed over to the PA.
Tzur said that during weeks four and five, the movement of graves would be addressed,
stating soldiers would not be ordered to withdraw from the area until all matters have
been addressed in an appropriate fashion.
Jailed Teenage Protesters Released Due to Public Outcry
After a surge of pressure from citizens and various organizations outraged at their
treatment, three teenage girls, jailed for 40 days for protesting the Disengagement Plan,
have been released. "The only thing that made any difference was the public pressure," the
father of one of the girls, Moshe Belogorodsky, told Arutz-7.
The girls, Belogorodsky's daughter Chaya, 14, Moriah Goldberg, 13, and Peninah
Ashkenazi, 16, were released from prison after agreeing to conditions limiting their
movement. "I was contacted by the Young Israel of America, the Rabbinic Council of
America, people who are friends with President George W. Bush, a group of Israeli
criminologists, who released a statement on the girls' behalf, and several world-renowned
psychologists, who submitted letters about the detrimental effects of jailing minors,"
"And that's not all. Somebody made an inquiry to the Canadian Agency for Children's
Rights, who said that in no democratic country in the world were minors being arrested for
political protest. The good-hearted people who did all these things sent each letter and
document to Israel's president and the Israeli Supreme Court as well. Many people took the
initiative and wrote to the Israeli embassy in America as well." Belogorodsky said that
all the protests forced the courts to reconsider their position. "They decided to try to
make a deal," he said.
The agreement that was reached allowed the girls to go together to one of their
grandparent's homes for one week, after which they are to be placed under house arrest in
their homes for 10 days (the beginning of the implementation of the Disengagement Plan).
After that, they will appear in court, and they are to then be free to go wherever they
President Moshe Katsav joined an initiative put forward by MK (Yahad-Meretz) Ran Cohen,
who heads the Knesset Committee for Children's Rights, calling to protect children's "body
and soul" during the disengagement. The president and Knesset committee are calling on
police, soldiers and all agencies involved in the implementation of the expulsion to act
accordingly towards children - instructing them to treat them as their own children. They
also made an appeal to rabbis and Yesha leaders not to put children in the frontline and
not to place them at risk.
Mass Prayer Against Expulsion at Foot of Holy Temple Mount
Jews across Israel are taking part in a mass prayer at Jerusalem's Western Wall, just
below the Temple Mount, Wednesday to call on God to stop the expulsion of Jews from their
homes in Gush Katif.
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Haredi and National Religious rabbis are calling upon all Jews to
take part in a mass prayer at the Western Wall Wednesday for the "nullification of the
uprooting decree." Former Ashkenazi and Sephardi Chief Rabbis Avraham Shapira and
Mordechai Eliyahu, who have long led protests against the Gaza expulsion plan, will lead
rabbis in a united call directed to the Heavens, rather than toward Israel's Knesset.
Shapira and Eliyahu will be joined by Shas Party Leader and former Sephardi Chief Rabbi
Ovadia Yosef, members of the Haredi-religious Council of Torah Sages, former MK Rabbi
Menachem Porush and other prominent Hassidic rabbis.
The event has special significance in that it marks a rare uniting of leading,
influential Rabbis from the Hareidi, Sephardic, and National Religious sectors together in
one event. At an emergency meeting that took place last week at his home, Rabbi Menachem
Porush, a well-known Hareidi-religious leader and former member of Knesset, burst out in
tears. The rabbi told those present that over the past 80 years of his life, he cannot
remember a time where thousands of Jewish families were being expelled from their homes in
such a manner, when 25 Jewish towns were set to be utterly destroyed, when the destruction
of dozens of synagogues and houses of Torah study was to take place, as well as the
desecration of Jewish graves. "Even in Russia it was not like this," he said.
"Our forefather Abraham asked for mercy on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah, which were
evil - appealing to God that there must be 50...20..even 10 righteous people living
there," said Porush. "How much more so, when we have towns filled with Torah and yeshivas,
with righteous Jews who fear Heaven, are we obligated to pray for them and for the
nullification of the decree."
Palestinian Leader Calls for Peaceful Israeli Pullout from Gaza
By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said Israel should be allowed to leave Gaza in a peaceful
and civilized manner to show the world that the Palestinian people deserve independence
and freedom. In a speech to the Palestinian parliament, Abbas said the Gaza pullout was
the beginning of the fulfillment of a dream that would lead to Israeli withdrawals from
the West Bank and the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its
Abbas spoke hours after Jewish settlers in Gaza received their first evacuation orders.
The army distributed letters warning the settlers that they have a little more than a week
to evacuate their homes. Those residents who have not moved out by Aug. 17 would be
removed by force.
Many settlers reacted with defiance.Na'ama Dorbeev, the secretary of the Gaza
settlement of Katif said "It's a further attempt by the government to humiliate us, scare
us and trample on our rights." She told Israeli television, "We will remain here
But others settlers are not as optimistic. Nearly 60 percent of the more than 9.000
settlers slated for evacuation from Gaza and part of the West Bank have applied for
government compensation. That is a rise from 44 percent two weeks ago. It is a sign that
settler resistance is waning and they are coming to terms with the idea that the pullout
is inevitable. A new poll shows that 55 percent of Israelis support the Gaza withdrawal,
while 39 percent are opposed. That is an indication that Israel is a bitterly divided
After 41 Years, Pullout Reunites Gaza Fisherman and His Mother
Socrates Shushan left his mother 41 years ago. Now he is also leaving Rafah Yam, and
there is a tremendous upheaval in the family. Almost everything has already been pushed
into boxes, the closets have been emptied and the refrigerator is bare. All one sees on
the faces of Socrates and his wife, Brigitte, is the desire to get the whole thing over
with. And in the middle of all this, the telephone rang Monday. "Hello, Socrates, this is
your sister Carole. Do you remember me? Mother is looking for you."
Socrates had no idea that his 79-year-old mother was still alive. In the past 41 years,
there were no ties between them. But in the past few months, as disengagement approached,
Socrates the fisherman gave some interviews to media from his country of birth, France, as
well as to this column. Last week, a family friend was watching France-1 when the
fisherman with the unusual name was interviewed. She remembered the name, contacted the
family - and Socrates reengaged with his mother after 41 years. "I don't believe it. It's
hard to digest. Because of disengagement I have again found contact with my mother. I'm
leaving Gush Katif, my life is changing, and then suddenly I find my mother. It's
unbelievable. I told my children they have a grandmother," he said.
From a small village near Toulouse, his sobbing mother, Giselle, told Ha'aretz: "Can
you imagine what it is at my age to find my son again? I am an old and sick woman, and now
I have this great joy."
Socrates was three when his parents divorced, and his father left with four of the
children, leaving Socrates and a sister with the mother. The father moved to another town,
and Socrates grew up without seeing him and the other siblings for several years.
Meanwhile his mother remarried and had more children (including Carole). Later, when he
was eight years old, Socrates went to live with his father on the border between France
and Switzerland. "It was so hard to leave my mother," he recalls. "I used to cry every
night." Giselle lost all contact with her family 41 years ago. This week she said she
would cry every night thinking about them.
In 1984, when he was 28, Socrates decided to come to Israel. His girlfriend Brigitte,
who had been born to a Jewish family in Tunisia, decided to live in Be'er Sheva and
Socrates followed her, and they married. During the week, he worked as a light technician
at the local theater and on weekends pursued his hobby of fishing on the wild
Mediterranean coast in Gaza. Just when the family was thinking of returning to France
because of economic difficulties, they saw an advertisement seeking families to move to
Gush Katif. They toured the area and in 1989 moved to Rafah Yam, where their twin sons,
now 11, were born, and Socrates pursued his lifelong love of fishing.
"The children often asked me if I had a mother," he says. "I told them I once had, but
I didn't know what had happened to her and whether she was still alive."(His father had
lived in Jerusalem and died last year.)
Socrates says that when Carole telephoned, he thought it was a journalist, but then he
heard her crying. I asked her if she was my sister Carole, and then I immediately asked
for mother's number. Mother and I spoke for four hours. We were both so excited, and my
voice was trembling while she was crying."
Socrates is now planning a family reunion. They will get together in a few months to
celebrate his mother's 80th birthday. "I keep wondering if it is a dream," he says.
"Perhaps I'm imagining things because of the tremendous tension - the moving, the
farewells with our friends, the fear of how we will manage in our caravan in Nitzan."
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)