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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Two Sides to Every Story?

Much criticism has fallen on both the settlers and the Israeli government for the housing situation the settlers have found themselves in. The settlers, for not facing the reality of the pullout and negotiating their future housing with the proper agencies until soldiers were literally at their doors, ready to escort them and their belongings out of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli government, for looking into housing possibilities for those displaced by the disengagement way too late, and when they finally did, much of it was woefully inadequate. Miriam and Sarah say it better than I ever could. This attitude of evenhanded criticism leveled at both sides seems to be the party line.
So I was surprised at one of the claims in this article from the NY Jewish Week that seems to refute the settlers' claim that they were not offered the option of keeping their communities together:
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon reportedly told the Disengagement Cabinet Wednesday that despite media reports to the contrary, the government has offered to keep evacuated communities intact.
Another article in the same edition of the Jewish Week, though seems to completely contradict the claim that fair housing options have been provided to the evacuated settlers:
“Families are being divided and many do not have ample food and medical attention,” said Rabbi Pesach Lerner, Young Israel’s executive vice president, who has from the outset opposed the disengagement, wrote this week in a letter to Presidents Conference heads.

...Yesha Council spokeswoman Aliza Herbst insisted that apartments aren’t the answer.

“People want to maintain their communities and the government isn’t allowing it,” Herbst said. “We’ve come to believe that the government is attempting to weaken the communities by dissolving them.”
Sharon makes further claims in defense of the government in quotes from this article in the JPost:
"There are many untrue statements that the government is trying to break up these communities," Sharon told the Disengagement Cabinet referring to residents of evacuated settlements who wanted to be moved together.

"It needs to be unequivocally clear that the government turned to the residents and offered to keep their communities intact. We are very interested in this, and want it to be carried out," he said.
Of course, this is counter to the harshest claim the settlers and their representatives have made - that the government made no acommodations to keep disbanded communities together in their new housing locations.

Who is telling the truth here? Sharon, or the displaced settlers?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that many of the DPs should set up tents on Sharon's ranch.

8:42 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Shades of Cindy Sheehan?

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After the way many of the mitnachalim acted, I wouldn't put them back together. These are the communities where children were raised to believe that non-Jews exist for sport harassment and that the proper response to government appropriation of your home is to commit mass suicide.

7:04 AM  

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