Six years ago, the government ripped thousands of families from their own homes in order to bring ‘peace’ to Gaza.
They believed, or so they told us, that if we gave the Arabs all of Gaza, including the section that was populated by Jewish families and farmers , the Arabs would love us and would live in peace with us happily ever after.
So thousands of people who had built up home and communities, businesses and farms with their bare hands with the blessing of the government, were torn from their homes and dumped onto buses to be taken ………..somewhere.
And where are they now?
You would be forgiven for assuming that of course they are all happily settled in some new settlement or farm, or living in towns around the country.
Unfortunately this is very far from the truth. Many are still in the same ‘caravans’ or flimsy 'cardboard houses' that they were given six years ago, together with worthless promises of compensation to rebuild wherever they wanted.
Two years ago I wrote this article about Rachel Saperstein, one of the strongest advocates for the group. Early on in the campaign she set up a special fund called Operation Dignity to help ease the financial burden for those left homeless and jobless.
Last week I received the message below from her. She and many others from the former settlement of Neve Dekalim, are now being hit continually by the missiles from Gaza – that very same Gaza they left five years ago in order to achieve peace with the Arabs who are now attacking us all day after day.
by Rachel Saperstein, Nitzan/Neve Dekalim
"Do you know the fellow who works in the pizza shop?" a friend asked.
"Of course" I answered.
"Well" my friend continued, "he's ordering a mobile security room. It's costing them quite a bit of money but they have no choice. It's impossible to run with five small children, especially in the middle of the night, into the sewer pipe shelter. He says his kids are terrified. They're wetting their beds, clinging to him and his wife, and afraid to go to sleep at night. 'What will happen if you can't get all of us into the pipe on time?' his oldest kid asked."
We only have ten seconds from the sound of the siren to get into the concrete sewer pipe in our cul de sac. Hence the mobile shelters. Last week, with the sirens wailing, I watched grandparents running into the sewer pipe clutching their grandchildren wrapped in blankets. An infant was held by her pregnant mom.
"Where are they going to put the security room?" I asked my friend.
"They'll cut out parts of the plasterboard wall in the children's room and attach the shelter to it. If there's a night of heavy bombardment they'll put mattresses on the floor and the kids will go to sleep directly from the bath."
Bath time is always frightening. One always wonders if the siren will wail while one is all soaped up. "At least I'll die clean" my husband says.
Last Sunday morning we had the first real experience of the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system. The sound was horrific. Pieces of shrapnel from the exploded missile fell close to a nearby housing area. Is Iron Dome a blessing or a curse? Over fifty missiles have been fired at our western Negev area. Only two or three were intercepted by Iron Dome.
As you can see, they are very far from resettled.