by David Lev and Yoni Kempinski (April 26, 2011 – Israelnationalnews.com)
If Jews don’t watch out, they are liable to lose the Land of Israel, says Dr. Mordechai Keidar of the Bar Ilan University Begin-Sadat Research Center.
Because of recent High Court decisions, the government is obligated to sell state land to all Israelis, Jews and Arabs, on an equal basis. That, combined with the efforts of Arabs to buy homes and land, especially in “mixed” cities, could lead to an eventual takeover by Arabs of the entire country.
Keidar was speaking on the occasion of the Ramle Conference on Mixed Cities, which was held Tuesday and discussed the implications and tensions of Jews and Arabs living together in places like Ramle, Lod, Haifa, Jerusalem and many other places.
“There has been, over the past few years, a small but constant growth of Arabs in these mixed cities, and a small but constant decline of Jews,” says Keidar. The causes are numerous, he says, and include the phenomenon of Arabs from the countryside migrating to cities in order to live a more prosperous, freer life, to Arabs buying up homes and land for ideological reasons, in an attempt to take over the mixed cities, turning them into Arab towns.
“The Arabs offer three times what the property is worth. The money comes from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. Unfortunately, when Arabs move in, Jews tend to leave, so little by little these towns become more Arab,” Keidar says.
Chief among the problems for Jews who remain, as well as Israeli authorities, is how to deal with the cultural baggage village Arabs bring with them when they migrate to cities. “Over time you can see all kinds of changes and transitions in the cities, especially honor killings, such as we are now seeing in Ramle and Lod. And the friction between Jews and Arabs is high as a result.”
Those pressures, combined with High Court decisions that require the state to sell property to Arabs, as it does to Jews – “even JNF land, which was bought by donations of penny after penny collected by world Jewry for Jews,” says Keidar – could spell the Jewish people’s ruination. “This is how the Jewish people could lose its lands,” says Keidar – and something must be done to prevent this.
by Gil Ronen (April 14, 2011 – Israelnationalnews.com)
Arabs possess most of the private land in Israel, despite their composing only 20% of the population, a researcher revealed Thursday. The researcher referred to Israel including the Golan Heights and eastern Jerusalem, but not including Judea and Samaria, where Israeli sovereignty has not been formally applied yet.
by Yosef Ben Tzion (Joel Busner) – September 2008
The U.S. dollar is taking a beating against world currencies. The Israeli Shekel is one of the best, if not the best performing currency in the world. Airfares to Israel have skyrocketed as a result of the weakening dollar and the huge increase in the price of a barrel of oil.
On the other hand. you must reserve flights to Israel way in advance if you want to be assured a seat. Israeli hotels which are going for 50% to 100% more per room per night in U.S. dollars from only two years ago are so booked up that there are plans to add 10s of thousands of new rooms over the next few years to accommodate the record number of tourists to the Holy Land!
Israel is amongst the world leaders in high tech and bio tech. Yet there is a tremendous brain drain as many techies, researches, and doctors, leave the country for greener pastures. Efforts are being made through financial incentives to attract young and middle aged Western Jewish doctors to make aliya. Yet you can make an appointment with your family doctor the same day you call and you almost never hear of the American horror stories of people losing their homes because of a long stay in the hospital that the insurance only partially covered.
The university students are continuously upset about the lack of government funding and many young people from poor Sephardic homes can’t afford to go to college. Yet every time we go to visit injured people at various hospitals around the country I hear American Jewish medical students talking. Why are the majority of them studying here? Because the quality of learning is good and the price is, you guessed it, far less expensive than their native country!
Israeli fruits and vegetables are amongst the best in the world. Israeli innovations in agriculture and especially in maximizing output of land and water are examples imitated by the rest of the world. Yet due to lack of leadership, overall water preservation is not prioritized and many projects that can ensure Israel’s long term water requirements are constantly procrastinated, resulting in forced cutbacks in water usage by farmers which assures many bankruptcies.
Israel once proudly stated it would build Jewish communities anywhere in the Land of Israel that it pleased. Today formerly Nationalist pro Land of Israel politicians are at the forefront of the policy of retreat which means destroying vibrant Jewish communities without even pretending to have a “peace” agreement.
Israel is the country which beat three (3) Arab armies in six (6) days in 1967 and expanded its area of land several times in the process. The same Israel did the impossible in Entebbe in 1976 by flying half way around the world to free almost all of the hostages before Idi Amin even realized what had happened. It was little Israel that stood up against virulent criticism by the both its “friends” and enemies and blew up Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981 and in the process did the rest of the world a big favor.
Today, not so many years later, Israel is trading the most vicious unrepentant murderers for dead soldiers’ body parts. The government of Israel stands powerless as a group of cowardly thugs whom they originally armed to “police” themselves, sit in Gaza (which is Eretz Yisrael!) and launch home made missiles at the hapless town of Sderot and its environs.
To be a free Nation in our Land? Ask the citizens of Sderot!
Summer 2006 Hizbollah rockets shut down the city of Nahariya
The same Israel only two (2) summers ago was brought to its knees as the genocidal Hizbollah led by the cowardly Nasrallah (may G-d obliterate his name) launched 200 Katyusha missiles a day for over a month and turned the entire Galilee into a giant ghost town.
Summer 2006 Hizbollah rockets shut down the city of Nahariya
Deliveries to bomb shelters
Israel which was built by Jewish labor that had a Histadrut which forbid Arab employment today almost exclusively employs non Jews in construction and agriculture and many other forms of manual labor, resulting in thousands upon thousands of blue collar types of Israeli Jews either collecting welfare or living abroad doing what? Blue collar work for better wages.
Israel is a country that was funded and developed by benevolent organizations such as the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Fund whom today are forced by a self hating media and Supreme court of jesters to go against their very raison d’etre by giving lands and funds to Arabs. The same so called Israel Arabs whose vast majority are against the very essence of a Jewish State of Israel.
Now there is a movement to change the National anthem Hatikva to be more inclusive of Arabs. Demographically, the state’s Jewish majority is shrinking and this includes inside the so-called Green line. On the other hand, every day there are more Jews living in Israel and less Jews living in the Diaspora. This is further proof that our time of redemption is near. As a people our future is Israel.
Dear Friends of a Jewish State of Israel,
There is despair and there is hope. B’Ahavat Yisrael Organization is a modest organization that aims to unite the Jewish People in building a better a better Israel through various activities such as:
Gifts for sick children
Magician in hospital
-When we go to Sderot to sit with traumatized families and hand out food for Shabbat (Sabbath) and holidays we give them hope and the knowledge that they are not alone.
Moshe Rubenstein with Sderot residents
Purim packages for Sderot
Preparing Passover packages in Sderot for Sderot
Sderot resident and volunteer Jacques Cohen
Director Joel Busner taking a break in Sderot, July 2008
Another Sderot food drive July 2008
-When we bring hundreds of Jewish students to the Galilee olive orchards to pick olives during the autumn harvest we give both the farmers and the youth hope we the Jewish People can physically do what we once did to build the country. It is in our hands.
-When we take visiting American Jews to volunteer for various activities including renovating bomb shelters alongside Israeli volunteers we are promoting “Achdut” Jewish Unity.
When I first made aliya I kept getting asked by Israelis why I came to live here when I had been living comfortably in the States? I said “Because I am a Jew”. I’ve been asked that question hundreds of times over the last ten (10) years. My answer hasn’t changed. B’Ahavat Yisrael organization with your help and participation will increase its activities and whenever and wherever our members will go the logo will be displayed on the t-shirts “cause I am a Jew”.
Joel Busner (Yosef Ben Tzion)
Founder and Director, B’Ahavat Yisrae
by Yosef Ben Tzion (Joel Busner) — November 2006
Dear supporters of a Jewish state of Israel,
A moment or two after a katyusha rocket comes close to killing you is a good time to reflect on one’s life. We had been delivering supplies the entire day to the beleaguered residents of the village of Shlomi, on the Israeli side of the Lebanese border. Several times we ran for cover as katyushas kept falling all around the area. I estimate that around 75% of the village’s residents had fled in pursuit of safety. Many who remained did not leave because they did not have where to go. We were departing from our last delivery for the day, which one of our crew had been filming, when, suddenly, a loud blast made everything around us shake. We panicked and ran down to the building’s bomb shelter that we had just ascended from moments earlier (the actual film of this occurrence can be seen on our website). After several minutes had passed, we were relieved to learn that no one around us was injured or, G–d forbid, killed.
After the incident mentioned above, I sat looking at my friend Zev, who was definitely not his usual upbeat self and I began to reflect as to why we do these types of activities. I suppose this is for the same reason that B’Ahavat Yisrael has made so many food deliveries deep into the Shomron without bullet proof vehicles and without armed security (which we would have welcomed were funds available). Perhaps it is for the same reason that B’Ahavat Yisrael still makes deliveries to the expelled residents of Gush Katif when their plight is barely making a mention in any of Israel’s media and the Jewish establishment’s Diaspora newspapers. Maybe it is for the same reason that B’Ahavat Yisrael continues to go to hospitals to sit with injured Jews and their families while bringing them generous gift packages even though we have to struggle with the administrations of most of these hospitals before and during those visits.
True it is scary to dodge katyusha rockets. It is also scary to be a soldier sworn to defend your land and your people when at the same time your army under the direction of your “what will the world say?” government puts more and more shackles on its soldiers, prohibiting you and your comrades from winning.
It must have been very discouraging in the pre–State land of Israel for Irgun and Lehi fighters who were hunted by both the British occupiers and the false leaders of the establishment Left in those years. After all, all they wanted was to secure the Jewish home for the Jewish people in our land.
While the masses of Diaspora Jews concerned themselves with keeping up with the Cohens or Schwartzes, or whatever Jewish equivalent to the Joneses, there were those who spent time in jail for being guilty of fighting to free their brothers and sisters in the former Soviet Union from the late 1960’s until the mid–1980’s. It is not their fault that today the Israeli government and Jewish agency by design have encouraged hundreds of thousands of non–Jewish Russians to make aliyah. The fact that hundreds of thousands of Jews from Russia were freed and have made Israel their home is testimony to the fact that their efforts paid off even if the average Jew has no idea who most of these heroes were.
And … for over 20 years, he sits and waits. Jonathan Pollard, whose biggest crime was caring about Jews and Israel too much. From the establishment types, we cannot expect anything. But … those who claim to believe, where are they? Pollard is the symbol. His endless and cruel incarceration is proof positive that the Jewish people have not done what needs to be done in order to be redeemed. There are the few who demonstrate in Israel and America. There were those who tried to block the roads to his former prison. There are those who travel great distances to visit him and give him hope. It will take a united front, not a majority, but it will take a leap of faith to free Jonathan. Are we ready to break the barricades?
When one goes to Tzfat, there is a very large cemetery. On any given day, you can visit there and see many locals and tourists visiting the graves of some renowned rabbis. If you wander down a little more, there are seven graves. They are not the graves of rabbis. They are not the graves of politicians. They are graves of seven young Jews who voluntarily gave their lives fighting British and Arab Jew–haters and they were hung by the British humanists in Akko. Some of them were given the option of living by the British if only they would plea–bargain. None of them did. It is because of Jews like them, with the help of G–d, that we acquired a Jewish state.
It is up to all of us to have faith and “ahavat Yisrael” (love of one’s fellow Jew) to overcome petty differences and make this country great as was promised by the Creator.
by Yosef Ben Tzion (Joel Busner) — September 2006
I don’t remember who it was, but a very successful businessman once told me that a small positive article, perhaps no more than a single column in the New York Times, is worth far more than three (3) pages of advertisements in the very same newspaper. “People believe the press” he said. His point was that an article is perceived to be more objective than an advertisement. Unfortunately the vast majority of Jews long ago forgot where they came from, and with that how to differentiate between fact and nonsense. They allow themselves to be led astray instead of informing themselves of the pertinent facts and then deciding in an intelligent and objective way.
Avigdor Leiberman is being labeled as a right wing fanatic extremist by the Israeli press as well as by the extreme leftists in the Knesset. One member of Knesset recently claimed that Lieberman is a Kahanist. By labeling Lieberman as a racist they hope to deplete his popularity, and if that fails, as it might, then perhaps figure out a way to ban him or at least censure him. If it weren’t so sad, it would be comical. What is all the fuss about Lieberman?
Lieberman is saying something that threatens the whole concept of universalism as espoused by the extreme left. He says that Jews and Arabs as a whole cannot live together. He claims that Israel must be a Jewish, Zionist state with the majority of its citizens being Jews. We are now living in the days of Kadima, you remember, the party without an ideology. Ehud Olmert the Prime Minister and head of Kadima can sit with Amir Peretz and his Peace Now camp and then he can sit with the so–called monster of the right Lieberman. When Olmert says that we must expel Jews because we can’t live with too many Arabs, there’s barely a peep out of our media. Perhaps they don’t take our Prime Minister too seriously as he also talks about the loyal Arab Israeli citizens (loyal to what?; only he knows). Still, why all the uproar about Lieberman?
Avigdor Lieberman openly shows his desire not to live with Arabs. If you would saunter off to the enlightened liberal neighborhood of Tel Aviv’s Ramat Aviv Gimmel, you will find many an Arab lover but very few Arabs. If you would be honored enough to get a tour of the Knesset you would see many Arab members of Knesset along with many sympathetic Jewish members to their plight. However, in the Knesset dining room, where our beloved Knesset members gorge themselves on our tab, you won’t find Arab workers.
The lie of coexistence has been shoved down the throats of the Israeli population for decades. Through the education system, the courts, and the media, the population has been lied to by the elitists who control this country. Slowly but surely the Arabs have taken more and more control of this country. The cities of Akko, Lod, Ramle, large chunks of Haifa, Upper Nazareth, etc. are being taken over by the burgeoning Arab population. The last large Arab demonstration in Lod had huge Hamas flags displayed in public view. Anyone who lives near an Arab village knows that he / she will hear gun shots from that village several times per week. The stench that emanates from virtually all Arab towns and villages every evening from their burning garbage is nauseating. We watch this as the same Arabs literally steal more and more land and build more and more houses without permits on land that was never purchased — much of it land of the Jewish National Fund. What does the government do? The government along with Israel’s Supreme Court give the Arabs more rights and enforce virtually nothing against these obscene violations! Let a Jew fire his registered gun at a party and see how fast he’s arrested. Let a Jew build a small section to his house without a permit and see how quickly the authorities come down on him. Let a Jew burn garbage in any Jewish dominated town in Israel and every environmentalist group will rightfully be up in arms.
Lieberman has hit a chord. He is another one who has challenged the lie. Only now he is deputy Prime Minister. This worries the elitists. Only I think that they are overly worried. You see, although Lieberman is honest about his feelings towards Arabs, his proposed solutions and ideas concerning the future of Israel are really not that dissimilar to those of his leftist opponents. Lieberman and his Yisrael Beitanu party have made their views crystal clear if only people would take the time to learn them and understand their potential consequences.
1) Lieberman is against transferring hostile Arabs. That’s right. He wants to exchange lands and populations. He is ready to give up parts of Jerusalem, the Galilee, the Triangle, etc., wherever there are large pockets of Arabs, in exchange for areas with large pockets of Jews. He would keep some of Judea and Samaria but give away huge amounts of other sections of Eretz Yisrael. This is a right wing fanatic? Hardly. Fifteen years ago this policy would be considered extreme left! Imagine Joshua entering parts of the land of Israel and telling the Nation that we can’t settle in this place or that as there are too many Canaanites!
2) Lieberman is for civil marriages. As part of his dream of a secular run country, Lieberman is for reducing the powers of the rabbinate in favor of secular laws, especially regarding marriages. By reducing the rabbinate’s powers in marriages, we will be increasing the number of mixed marriages in Israel.
3) Lieberman is for continued non–Jewish immigration to Israel. Every time the issue has come up to curb aliya from the former Soviet Union of non–Jewish olim, Lieberman, like Natan Sharansky, have opposed it. Due to the policy of letting almost anyone into Israel, more than half of the olim from the former Soviet Union are not Jewish and most have no intention of being Jewish. Former Knesset member Michael Kleiner proposed legislation which would have reduced this problem by some 90%. Lieberman was vociferously opposed. Why? Because he didn’t want to lose their votes. What kind of Jewish Zionist state will we have with all these Gentiles being full citizens?
4) Lieberman is not reliable. Lieberman’s positions keep changing. Five years ago he was screaming to bomb Tehran. Now that he’s in power he says that it’s no longer five years ago. Did Iran become less of a threat in the last five years? Lieberman’s land swap policy is a new one. Only a few years ago, he was talking about moving out some Arabs and of Israel keeping most of the territories and whatever Arabs would stay would live in certain cantons. His now much weakened policy shouldn’t be trusted either.
While Mr. Lieberman’s remarks about the Arab population tweak those in the Establishment, don’t be fooled. Many of his positions are against Judaism. We can’t give up parts of the land to sworn enemies, period! The overwhelming majority of Jews in Israel don’t want to live with hostile Arabs. That’s understandable. Giving away land and giving up Jewish values in governing the state won’t make Israel more Jewish and certainly not stronger. Faith in G–d and a return to our roots is the only way to fulfill a real Zionist dream of a Jewish State in our Land. Amen.
by Rabbi Yisrael Kaniel — August 2006
Imagine your home and all of your belongings whisked away in a natural disaster. We shudder at the thought. We hope that it will never happen to us. Unfortunately, though, a similar disaster has befallen our brethren once residing in Gaza / Gush Katif.
The homes of families from Gaza / Gush Katif were destroyed. Almost nothing remains of their belongings. They have to buy new furniture, new housewares and new appliances. The government demands that they pay rent on small, shabby quarters that they have been shuttled away to, while the banks demand that they continue to pay the mortgages for the homes that were destroyed. Most have still to receive their promised compensation. And many have been unable to find employment in their new venues, far away from major cities. In short, a very unenviable situation.
In the course of caring for the needs of our brethren in Israel, B’Ahavat Yisrael has over the past year been assisting the unfortunate expellees from Gaza / Gush Katif. B’Ahavat Yisrael representatives have been distributing food and all sorts of badly needed items to these families, thereby making it easier for them in their struggle to rebuild their homes and their lives.
With the help of generous donations from our more fortunate brothers and sisters, B’Ahavat Yisrael representatives hope to provide our brothers and sisters from Gaza and Gush Katif with a festive beginning to the New Year.
Please donate generously; and spread the word to fellow congregants, family and friends. And may we, in the merit of caring for our fellow Jew, merit much health and happiness in the coming new year.
Nahariya by the Sea: Not a day at the Beach
For the second time in a week, we were back in Nahariya. The beautiful boardwalk was still beautiful, yet it was missing something — life. There wasn’t a single person walking along the beach. Virtually nothing was open. No shops, nor restaurants nor cafes. The same theme as our prior visit prevailed. With few exceptions, the city is closed. Going through the now familiar neighborhoods, I noticed more physical damage from the ongoing katyusha rocket attacks. We entered an apartment building where we could see that some apartments were destroyed from the rockets. One elderly resident who didn’t leave, because he had nowhere to go, told us that this very building is the same building where terrorists entered thirty two (32) years ago and murdered people in their own apartments. The bomb shelter of this building has no running water, nor air conditioning, etc. There are many, many, shelters that are in horrible condition in this city. Distribution in this city is very time consuming as the warning alarms are continually sounding and we have to continually pull over and run for cover. Of course the noises that follow, and sometimes that precede, the alarms are more frightening than the alarms since the rockets make a loud, thudding, noise as they land.
A Rough Day In Shlomi
It was a sunny day with intermittent showers. Not rain showers. It doesn’t rain in the holy land in August. The showers were a combination of mortar fire and katyusha rockets. Shlomi, the small town that lies very close to the Lebanese border was under attack once again. As we approached our first bomb shelter I noticed that people were leaving. Warning alarms were going off; yet these people were leaving the shelter! We asked them why they were leaving. They told us that they were going to their homes since there was a report that terrorists had entered the village and it would be safer to be in houses as opposed to the shelter where more people congregating would mean more targets for the terrorists. Is this what the national anthem Hatikva was written for? “To be a free Nation in our land”. Hardly.
The horrible sounds of mortar fire and katyushas never really abated throughout the day. Apparently the terrorists didn’t show up and the shelters filled up again. We distributed diapers, baby wipes, toilet paper, plastic plates, forks, knives and spoons, spring water, and other necessities. Overall the shelters were in better condition than those in Nahariya.
We went street after street, block after block. It was exhausting as we rushed from shelter to shelter. We wanted to give out the supplies as quickly as possible and that was becoming difficult as we were forced over and over again to take cover from rocket attacks. Finally, as our truck was nearly empty, we approached one more building. We quickly went to the shelter in the basement of the building. We spoke with the residents who were in the shelter and they were very happy to receive the spring water as there wasn’t any running water in the shelter. After I handed out one of the last toys to a child, I told our group that it was time to go. We climbed the stairs and began to exit the building when suddenly, “boom!” A katyusha landed. But where? It sounded as if it landed above us in the building. Everyone ran downstairs to the shelter. After several minutes we realized that all members of our party were un–injured. We waited an additional five minutes. Slowly and with trepidation we went outside where we realized that the rocket hadn’t landed on the building but had landed in the middle of the street about a hundred (100) feet from where we had been exiting the building. Another few seconds of walking towards our vehicles and we could have been finished. I looked at the members of our group and didn’t know what to tell them. Despite the fear of nearly being hit, the majority of our volunteers still want to continue with the deliveries.
What Will Be?
Several people have encouraged us to continue with this badly needed service. Many are critical of us and particularly of me as I am the director of B’Ahavat Yisrael. Recently, when I was trying to raise money for the deliveries, an American Jew said to me, “What, are you crazy?” I pondered his question / statement and then I responded as follows:
I don’t agree with the government’s policy. They knew what was going on with Hezbollah and they did nothing. It was not about two abducted soldiers, as Hezbollah has made several attacks on the north since Israel cowardly ran away from Lebanon in 2000. Many soldiers have been killed in attacks and there was a fatal kidnapping. There were several rocket attacks and I remember going to Shlomi to the shiva of a boy who was killed by a katyusha three summers ago. There have been several infiltrations into Israel by Hezbollah terrorists. All the while, Hezbollah attempted to block water flow into Israel as they built up a massive arsenal of rockets and other war weaponry. The government knew and did not react. That is a shame. Many Israelis are dead and unfortunately many more will die. Now the north of Israel is a mess and hundreds of thousands of people’s lives have been financially destroyed. If unabated, this will ruin Israel’s overall economy. Hezbollah can continue rocket attacks on Israel’s civilian population with relative impunity. Unfortunately the Israeli government still does not get it. They still value world opinion over the physical well being of her loyal citizens. Double Shame. Proof positive of this disastrous policy was the latest horrible attack on Haifa. Where did those rockets come from in Lebanon? They came from Qana. Remember Qana? Twenty eight (28) civilians were accidentally killed by the Israeli air force a couple of weeks ago and the Israeli government deeply regretted it. I also regretted it. I regretted the fact that they didn’t wipe out the entire village. No Qana, no rockets from Qana.
One can visit a cemetery in Tsfat. Besides some great rabbis’ graves, there is a section that is often ignored. This section of seven (7) graves is where members of the Irgun and Stern group are buried who were hung by the British in Acre prison. Their mesirut nefesh (self sacrifice) fueled the revolt that sent the British and many Arab Jew haters running from the Holy Land. They didn’t have to do what they did. They were seen by many establishment types to be crazy. Thanks to “crazy” people like them we have a State of Israel. To all of you crazies who died for the Land of Israel (there are far too many to mention here), thanks for being crazy. And if we are crazy for what we are doing, it’s the least we can do at this point for what they did for all of us.
As Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister of the not–so–democratic State of Israel, addressed the politicians in Washington, B’Ahavat Yisrael representatives were busy unloading supplies for the Shavuot holiday for some of our brothers and sisters who are temporarily residing in a very secluded community called Shekef. These residents of Shekef were living in various communities in Gaza / Gush Katif until the end of August 2005. This particular group is composed of families formerly of Tel Katifa, Neve Dekalim, Atzmona, and Netzer Hazani. I remember stopping along the way at a store and noticing the hullabaloo on the television that the Israeli media was making about the Olmert trip to the United States. Ehud Olmert wowed them by convincing President Bush how the latest expulsion plan now known as ‘convergence’ will be a great boon for the Middle East. Later, as I helped unload the truck, I could not help but stop and feel the incredible irony.
On the same day that the Prime Minister of Israel was begging the United States to endorse his suicidal retreat from huge parts of the Holy Land and with it to expel tens of thousands of Jewish residents, there we were struggling to subsidize some of those from the last group of expellees. Our objectives are completely at odds with our government! Some have been convinced that it’s over and it’s not so bad. After all, the government — it is assumed — has compensated these people. Really? Well, we conducted an interview in Shekef with Ms. Orit Odes, spokeswoman for the group, and we uncovered a number of facts about this particular group and what appears to be the case with the majority of the expellees from Gush Katif.
The majority of the group has been moved three (3) times in nine (9) months. First, they were cramped into over–crowded hotel rooms. Then they were told to go to a small community called Even Shmuel. At Even Shmuel, the local girls school, known as the Ulpana, assisted the families by giving up their caravans in order to give these poor families a modicum of space. The caravans averaged 60 square meters or about 650 square feet. They were in Even Shmuel with no assistance for five (5) months. They were then transferred once again to their current location in Shekef where they have been for the last three (3) months. At Shekef the dwellings — made from very low quality material — range from 60 to 110 square meters. The government representatives have informed them that they should expect to stay in these shabby dwellings for about two years. The expellees believe that this stay will probably be for much longer. How much have they received towards moving expenses? Zero (0) — nothing.
Ms. Odes and her friends explained to me other factors worthy of consideration. Each time they move, they need different types of furnishings or storage for temporary use. The Odes family, for example, purchased a small closet for storage in Even Shmuel. This small closet now had to be replaced by a larger closet–type dresser in Shekef. The larger dresser that they have purchased had to replace the one they had before their expulsion because the government’s movers destroyed it in transport. Moreover, all of these dwellings come with little land and none of the land has been cultivated in any way. There is no grass. There are no patios. If the residents want to hang laundry outside, they have to construct their own patios at their own expense. This is especially absurd in light of the fact that they will be forced to leave the premises in a few years.
Half of the group had houses in Gush Katif with mortgages from Israeli banks. The houses are no more, but the mortgages continue. The banks have not been paid by the government; so they want their money. In the meantime, the former home owners are paying mortgages for houses that do not exist! To add insult to injury, the residents are compelled to pay rent for these temporary dwellings.
Most of the residents in Shekef have found some sort of employment. Some have not. Those who have found employment usually have to travel great distances since Shekef is approximately forty (40) minutes by car from the nearest substantial population centers and many commutes are much further. During the interview we were told that the situation in Nitzan (a large new community that the government has established for many of the expellees) is even worse. Approximately 60% of the expellees there are unemployed.
The so–called Disengagement Authority, purportedly set up by the government to help the expellees, is doing everything possible not to help them. The expellees explained that they were promised compensation in proportion to the amount of time they lived in Gaza / Gush Katif. The only problem is that the government wants ‘proof’. In the case of Ms. Odes, her family lived in Tel Katifa for ten years. The authorities want ten years of past electric bills. The problem is that the electric company only keeps the last two (2) years of charges. This is the same with the history of property tax payments and so forth. Anybody with any common sense knows very well that the government through the tax authority and car registrations etc., knows exactly how long each of the expellees resided in his / her community.
Can a government led by Jews be so insensitive to some of its most loyal citizens? With deep regret, the answer appears to be in the affirmative. The question that begs for an answer is why?
It appears that those in power who orchestrate the expulsion of Jews do not want any opposition to this disastrous plan. By scattering them to out of the way locations, we have a situation of “out of sight, out of mind”. And tiresome bureaucratic contrivances along with their desperate need to rebuild their lives leave these unfortunate expellees too weary to protest and awaken public awareness.
Countless times, ordinary people here in Israel mention about the plight of poor people in their respective cities and towns and they want to know what makes these “settlers” so special? Why do these settlers deserve more than the poor of their own towns? It would not be right to advise someone not to give to the poor of their community. They definitely should give to the poor of their towns. Nevertheless, the majority of Jews do not seem to give the requisite ten percent of their income to tzedaka. If they would, there probably would not be too many of their brothers and sisters in desperate need of assistance in so many places. As Jews, we have a responsibility for all of our brethren. These Jews have suffered greatly from terrorists, and instead of the terrorists being punished and banished from the Land of Israel the government has rewarded the terrorists by expelling Jews. Most of these people were self–sufficient before the expulsion. Only one family from the group in Shekef has received some land to farm some forty five (45) minutes from Shekef. No one else has received anything else.
If one believes in authentic Judaism, one cannot evict a Jew from his / her home and destroy it, especially in the Land of Israel. Even if one feels that some other humanistic or so–called realistic values should take precedence over Jewish law and therefore there is no choice, you can not do so without compassion and you must take care of these people. This situation is a crisis that is essentially being ignored and played down not only by the mainstream media internationally and in Israel as well, but from most Jewish publications. Demand that the Israeli government stop rewarding terror. Feel the pain of your brothers and sisters. Hold off on those State of Israel bonds for a moment and think. Unfortunately much of Jewish donations are going to causes that in effect are hurting Jews instead of helping Jews. Now is not the time for indifference. Now is the time for individuals to stand up and do something. Take a stand and show you care. Why? Because you are Jew!
by Yosef Ben Tzion (Joel Busner) – April 2004
Oslo has failed, as did the original Camp David. Israel has made many concessions and many Jews have died and many, many, more have been injured. The members of Israel’s political establishment have no answers. They caused the mess and they are only making it messier. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, long an advocate of settling the Land of Israel (let us not harp too much on his expelling the Jews from Yamit in the Sinai), has embarked upon a program of separating the Jews of Eretz Yisrael from the hostile ‘Palestinians’. He and his cronies reason that if you can’t negotiate with them, give it away! Of course with this line of reasoning a new precedent is being set, i.e. that all the Arabs of Eretz Yisrael have to do is continue their violence against Jewish targets and, in return, the Israeli government will eventually withdraw and even give the perpetrators vacated houses and roads for free! The Prime Minister has even gone so far as to offer to give up densely Arab populated areas in pre 1967 northern Israel (so much for the tale of the loyal Israeli Arab). Logically, it seems, from Arab babies to bombs to Gentile immigration, slowly but surely we are witnessing a disintegration of the Jewish state.
It is now in vogue in government circles to talk about transferring Jews out of their homes and businesses. A government that can destroy synagogues and imprison a Jewish father of 7 children indefinitely without trial (Noam Federman) has no problem throwing its citizens out of their homes. The barometer has been set. What was once a poorly kept secret is now out in the open. The official security policy of the current Israeli government is, “What will the Gentiles say?”.
Are you one of those who feel differently? Do you believe that Israel’s security and future as a Jewish state must be based in the belief that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish People as is G–d’s will? Do you believe that those who live in the land who detest Jews and any form of a Jewish state must be encouraged and if necessary forced to leave in order to save our country? If you do, you are against the official policy of the current government of Israel!
In Jewish history, there have been many precedents where the good Jews overcame their evil adversaries. They beat the odds. They defied logic. We celebrate many holidays for this very reason. In modern history the very establishment of the State of Israel is such a case. It is now a well–documented fact that the state came into being due to the endless pressure from the Irgun and Lehi fighters against the British occupiers and the Arab murderers of Eretz Yisrael. The United Nations vote for or against a Jewish State in Eretz Yisrael didn’t matter because the pressure exerted by the Jewish freedom fighters was what brought the vote in the U.N. into being. All this was done at a time when the governing Jewish leadership in Eretz Yisrael had abandoned the Jews of Europe to Hitler and were preoccupied with pleasing their British bosses by beating and turning over Irgun freedom fighters. History repeats itself.
Once again there has arisen a group of pioneers who are prepared to live in dire conditions in order to settle the land of Israel for eternity. When Ariel Sharon speaks of retaining settlement blocs, he is omitting dozens of villages all over Yesha. He means clearly that he is ready to destroy 10, 20, and 30 year old communities that were established where Jews lived before we were exiled. Just as the so–called right wing was never ready to destroy any of the Yesha communities until recently, the same can happen again in further stages. There is no red line. Settlement blocs can crumble just as easily once the smaller more isolated communities are destroyed. Each precedent breaks another taboo. There is a clear plan — call it a conspiracy — to disenfranchise the brave settlers.
For years now, the leftist dominated media has portrayed the settlement movement in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza as a bunch of parasites. They have continuously opposed past housing subsidies, reduced income tax rates, etc, for the new communities. Of course figures lie and liars figure. One would have been very hard pressed to find a major newspaper, radio show, or television show depict the kibbutzim that are perpetually bankrupt and constantly receiving bailouts from the government as parasites. Legitimate tax breaks for the Negev and northern communities such as Kiryat Shemona were seldom criticized either.
Then came the first Intifada that put the Yesha communities on the defensive. The success of the Intifada, mainly because the right wing government of then Prime Minister Yitchak Shamir refused to do all that was necessary to stop it, resulted in a Labor party victory at the polls in 1992. Yitchak Rabin and Shimon Peres brought us the infamous Oslo accords in 1993 and with it guns for the terrorists.
Now the big lie is that the settlements are not defendable or not worth the cost. This again is because the army has its hands tied by a timid government. The reward to the murderers is to destroy settlements. It all sounds so simple. Sharon and his cronies will put Israel into more debt to the United States by begging for funds to relocate people. At the same time, they plan to leave all the buildings, houses, and infrastructure as an additional gift to the thugs. But what if the great Jews don’t want to leave? What if they can’t be bought?
Almost 4 years of non–stop terror including infiltrations and non–stop shootings have not deterred the brave pioneers of Yesha. The overall population has been rising. Even rescinding the tax breaks hasn’t stymied the settlement enterprise. So much for the argument that most of them are there because of the preferential finances. Now they are being threatened with forced expulsion. The possibility, G–d forbid, of Jew versus Jew is increasing. Many are talking about massive, passive resistance. The long war of attrition has begun.
The current government of Israel will do all that they feel is necessary to expel Jews from their homes. Beating people and forcing them out is definitely one of the options that they are prepared to do. In the last several months we have seen the tune up preparations. Soldiers and police have dismantled small outposts — many with people living there. They have even destroyed a few synagogues. In many cases, the authorities were met with huge resistance. In some cases, after the authorities were successful in dismantling a location, the residents returned and rebuilt again. The longer the dismantling effort takes the harder it is to implement.
Everyone has a role to play in saving Eretz Yisrael. If you live outside of Israel and don’t agree with the government of Israel’s actions, organize a petition. Tell your local synagogue that you don’t want Israel Bond money to be used to throw Jews out of their homes in the Land of Israel. Ignore the leftist and apathetic voices who say that you shouldn’t meddle if you don’t live here. Peace Now and their ilk have no problem raising millions of dollars to further their cause of self–destruction. In Israel, there are those who can provide spiritual guidance to a Nation badly in need of a truly Jewish perspective. There are others who can provide great efforts in organizing legal demonstrations. The most important components are the actual residents of the embattled communities. Any businessperson knows that the economic climate cannot be good if the very physical survival of a community is in question. The residents of these communities need to have outside assistance for a number of reasons: If they can spend less time trying to sustain themselves financially they will be able to withstand a lot of outside pressure. Morally they will feel stronger knowing that many Jews both in Israel and the Diaspora are with them.
We’re looking for a few good Jews
For several years, we at the B’Ahavat Yisrael organization have made food deliveries to needy families in Yesha one of our main activities. In light of the current situation, we have committed ourselves to doing all we can to supply food, cleaning supplies, and toiletries to sustain the needy in these communities. We are currently providing various options to contribute to these brave pioneers. If you can commit to one of the programs on a monthly basis it will help us to reduce our advertising costs and make our purchasing and distribution more efficient, as the more commitments we have in advance the easier it is for us to plan each week.
by Yosef Ben Tzion (Joel Busner) – November 2003
I don’t care if you’ve never met Noam Federman. I don’t care if you agree with his views or not. I do care that he is a Jew in deep trouble and together we can save his life. Noam Federman is rotting in jail after being sentenced to 6 months of administrative detention. His neighbors in the prison are Arab terrorists who don’t stop taunting and threatening him. He is protesting through the only way he can, a liquid fast. All reports show that his health is deteriorating rapidly.
Administrative detention against Jewish citizens of Israel is a disgrace! There is no justifiable need for it. If the authorities really believe that Mr. Federman is guilty of a crime, let the government of Israel behave like the democracy they claim to be and put him on trial! Anyone who is intelligent and honest knows that it is not Mr. Federman’s guilt that arouses the Israeli authorities. It is the fact that he is a potential threat to the forced expulsion of Jews from the heartland of the Land of Israel. He is a symbol. Why else would they allow him to attend his daughter’s Bat Mitzvah with his hands cuffed as well as his feet? Where do they think he would run to and hide? They wish to break him. By using him as an example they wish to frighten all opposition to the Road Map.
I ask of you all, I beg of you; don’t sit idly by your brother’s blood! Noam Federman is extremely ill. If enough pressure is exerted he will be transferred to a normal facility with Jewish inmates. If tremendous pressure is exerted he will be set free. Mr. Federman’s plight is not just a challenge to the religious community. Nor is it just a challenge to the right wing community. His plight is a challenge to all Jews who believe in fairness and justice.
For all of you who have contacts with Israeli officials, pressure them! Anyone who can demonstrate, do so! Letters, faxes, etc, to Shaul Mofaz who signed the order, and to Ariel Sharon who authorizes it all, must be done without cessation. Mr. Federman’s name must be mentioned everywhere and anywhere until they are sick of it and release him! Mr. Federman’s fate is at stake and G–d forbid, it will be unforgivable for him to perish while all of who could do something didn’t.