In my email inbox yesterday was an appeal for charity for a 12-year-old Jewish girl named Noa, living in Israel, who just recently celebrated her bat-mitzvah. Most people take for granted the milestone she has reached — in being granted a day of life in which to celebrate. Her mother, like most parents, struggles with the bills of raising her family. In this case, she does so as a single parent, with the added burdens of the high costs of the medical bills accrued in treating her daughter’s brain cancer. After multiple brain surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments, Noa is presently on a course of medication, given in phases. A campaign to assist the family is underway to meet the financial costs of care, beyond which the Israeli medical establishment doesn’t cover, and which extends yet further past the already-reduced pharmaceutical costs granted by the drug company. (For further information about this appeal, please see the link below).
The group undertaking this campaign, as well as other projects, was started by Rabbi Binyamin Gottlieb to assist the Jewish people forcibly evicted from their homes, businesses, and land during the August, 2005 Gaza Withdrawal. The Jewish people who were removed from Gaza and northern Samaria make up the communities of Gush Katif. They were left to fend for themselves, without remuneration or compensation from the government, which removed them in an attempt to create peace, based on Arab promises of a land-for-peace solution.
First of all, peace should never be conditional, for any reason. Peace should come as a result of the actions of creating it by want and by not pursuing acts of war. The Arabs have never demonstrated that this is their intent. Instead, peaceful Israeli actions beget further Arab violence. Arab landmass gives them footing from which to launch their continued Jihad against the Jews and Israel. This policy has been a political failure in allowing the Arabs the experiment of self-rule within an Israeli sovereign state. There can only be one master for one land, and that happens to be the sovereign state of Israel. The decision to pursue war over peace is the precedent set by the Arabs. It is now time to reverse these disastrous accords.
Meanwhile, the Jewish people still suffer. Most of those evicted have lived in temporary caravans or from home-to-home amongst friends, still homeless after more than ten years since their own homes were gifted to the Arabs. They have yet to find employment, in many cases. Rabbi Gottlieb, himself, is one of these people who have been made to leave their home. He set up the charitable foundation, Yachdav, to help others like himself.
Jewish people have been made to be refugees for thousands of years. From foreign incursions into our land, to expulsions from the lands into which we were flung, Jews have been met with anti-Semitic fervor in decrees by governments against us, and by action in popular sentiment of the people. In medieval days, it was countries like Spain and England which expelled their Jews and confiscated Jewish property. All of Europe participated in giving up their Jews to the crematoria of the Nazis. The Arabs were no different. They drove out nearly a million Jews and confiscated their properties in the exodus preceding the Proclamation of Israel Independence of 1948.
It is therefore refreshing to find an Arab viewpoint in line with the Jewish one. Sheik Abdul Hadi Palazzi, secretary-general of the Council of Muslim Clerics in Italy, recently requested a visit to the Gush Katif Museum, set up in Jerusalem, to express his affirmation of the Jewish right to presence in the land, versus the movement to remove Jews from it, which he finds inethical, as does he the takeover by Arab terrorist organizations of Jewish sites. I wish that more people would speak out for Jewish rights to the land, such as Sheik Palazzi has done. Oddly, he looks familiar to me, much like the Arab-Jewish Doppelganger “effect” I mentioned in another article.
Prior to the Gaza Withdrawal in August of 2005, rallies were held around the world, hoping to demonstrate the peoples’ commitment opposing the plan. I made some great signs and wore them to the one I attended. The local photojournalist for the Jewish newspaper wanted to take my photo, but I didn’t want to appear in a leftist paper biased against Jewish rights in the land, so I declined.
I motioned the speaker on the podium to acknowledge publicly the rainbow which appeared over him. The rainbow is G-d’s covenant that He will always be with us. We don’t know His thoughts and plans, especially regarding unexpected results, such as those of Gaza. But, despite what might seem dire circumstances, it will undoubtedly be for the best (presently). And yes, the good gentleman stopped what he was doing and made mention of the rainbow.
Watching the IDF actually going in and bodily carrying Jews out of their homes was just too much. I will never forget the commentary from reportage covering the event by CNN (Cable News Network in the United States of America) describing “Jewish extremists”, with the accompanying video footage showing three teen-aged, or younger, girls huddled together, dressed in long skirts, I think, facing inwards and doing nothing. I was so angry, that it unleashed my decades long writer’s block, and I whipped off this poem in about 5 or 10 minutes or so, about my Palestinian ex-husband and the subject of the Gaza Withdrawal. It’s called ” V’Atah/After All”, and I posted it earlier, but I’ll recreate it here, again, for you. I hope you like it.
“V’Atah/After All” (by “Randyjw”)
two souls intertwined
I thought you would leave
your past actions behind
But thousands of years
through grief and through tears
shows that Judaism and love
are most certainly blind
Blind to the cruelty of hatred’s intentions
Blind to the scheming of man’s machinations
Awaiting the day
when the world will say
We acknowledge your people,
your history, your nation
Alone we now stand
Exiled from our land
Our people have borne each concession
Alone we will stand
With our L-rd’s guiding hand
As we wait for the final redemption.
To learn more about the plight of the Jewish refugees from Arab lands, please see the website at Jimena:
To learn more about the Yachdav Foundation and the projects currently supported, please visit:
To see the article on Sheik Palazzi’s visit to the Gush Katif Museum in Jerusalem, please visit:
And here is the shirt I wore to the rally to protest the Gaza Disengagement: