Musings from the ‘Gaza Envelope’
Musings from the ‘Gaza Envelope’
Jul 30th, 2008
“And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as a rose….” (Isaiah 35:1)
Moshav Sde Nitzan is located in what is called ‘The Gaza Envelope’. It is within about 5 miles of the Gaza Strip, and as such is within the range of Kassam rockets fired from the strip. I have begun a ‘blog’ to tell you how things look from here, and to allow me to make other random comments about life in Israel.
We have recently updated our site a bit and I am starting a new blog. The original blog is still available at www.israelrose.com/9km.html . I have not copied all of the history to this page. I hope to update the blog regularly. Please send your comments to: email@example.com. Here are some other links which might interest you.
If you understand Hebrew you can hear live radio and some recorded TV from Israel Broadcasting at: reshet bet
There are links on that site to TV news broadcasts, recorded news broadcasts in English, and lots more stuff.
You can ‘read all about it’ at these sites, and lots more. some in English, some in Hebrew.
Jerusalem Post (English)
Yediot Achronot (Hebrew)
Channel 2 TV News (Hebrew)
A good friend of ours who lives in Kibbutz Ein Harod sends a weekly letter to friends and family. I think he writes very well and, with his permission, I am providing a link to his weekly letter.
You can click here to read Beni’s letter.
Posted Thursday, July 30, 2008
Last night our prime minister, Ehud Olmert announced that he would not be a candidate in the upcoming primaries in the Kadima party. His decision is applauded by many, for different reasons. Some people believe he is guilty as charged, though he has not been charged with anything yet. Some people say that he may be guilty, he may be innocent but the cloud of suspicion surrounding him prevents him from fulfilling his duties effectively.
We are now witness to a ‘battle’ between freedom of the press, and a citizen’s legitimate right to the basic assumption that he is innocent until proven guilty. He has been ‘charged’, mainly in and by the press, and through leaks from the various police investigations being carried on.
What if – just imagine – that he is innocent. He will have been ‘run out of town’ by vigilantes. Of course, he may be guilty and then he has saved us a long and embarrasing period of a crippled government that can not effectively govern.
The pundits in Israel often say that it is hard to make predictions in Israel, especially if you are trying to predict the future.
Even Olmert’s exit from the political stage won’t be immediate. The primaries are scheduled for mid September. After that there is a long period when the winner of the primaries – the new head of the Kadima party – can try to form a new government. Olmert has the choice of resigning the day after the primary election or only when – and if – a new government is formed.
Of one thing we can be certain. The following weeks won’t be boring.
Here is a bit of background posted a few months ago.
We have been inundated lately with questions regarding our geographic position and ‘the situation’ in the “Gaza Envelope” and what we think will happen. So we are replying to you (and everyone else) to try to answer some of the questions. We have attached a map of the general Gaza Strip environs to this mail.
english mapclick to enlarge then double click for sizing icon then enlarge to full size
As you can see, if you zoom in on the map and move around a bit, we are across from the Southern end of the Gaza Strip. We can be found at C-25 on the map. We are a few kilometers nearly due East of the Rafiach Border crossing, and Kibbutz Kerem Shalom. Kerem Shalom was where Gilad Shalit was kidnapped some 18 months ago. We are roughly 25 miles south of Sderot. Sderot is very close to the NE corner of the Gaza strip. It is marked – we hope clearly. Sderot and the settlements across from the Northern end of the strip have borne the brunt of the Kassam Rocket attacks over the past weeks and months – even years. However there are attacks all along the area bordering the Gaza Strip. That area is now called ‘the Gaza Envelope’ and the government has been making some effort to ease some of the pressure on the people and businesses here. I won’t get into a discussion of the government’s actions. All in all, the situation in the area bordering the Gaza strip – from the Northern end to the Southern border with Egypt and Israel – is quite unbearable. No aspect of life is untouched, however all aspects of life continue with some semblance of normalcy. The schools have ‘secure areas’, concrete rooms, or concrete roofing over classrooms etc, some homes do too. In order to carry out our daily rounds, and live our normal lives, we must and do, drive down the roads in the area even though the situation is precarious. Israel’s actions – military and economic – in response to the situation sometimes appears to be erratic. We tend to respond to the number of attacks and the severity of the damage inflicted rather than articulate a clear policy. We long for peace and quiet but can’t seem to achieve it. Many Israelis have been interviewed in the media over the past week or so. There are as many opinions and facets of opinion as there are interviewees. Many Palestinians have also been interviewed on Israel radio lately. We have yet to hear any spectrum of responses. We, Israel, are always at fault. Not one of the Palestinians interviewed has even grudgingly admitted that perhaps firing hundreds of rockets at Israel is a cause of the Israeli response. We haven’t heard a single Palestinian voice calling for an end to the rocket attacks. The culprit is always Israel, the occupation, the roadblocks, the aerial attacks. Not a single voice admits, even grudgingly that after Israel’s complete withdrawal from the Gaza strip the Palestinians perhaps missed a chance to work for their own security and wellbeing and development of housing, schools, and economic development rather than waging a war against Israel. So we are not overly optimistic that a breakthrough is on the horizon. We do not share President Bush’s optimism that a document will be signed while he is in office. However, we do hope that the coming months will bring a significant reduction in the hostilities. This is our ‘take’ on the current situation. As we see it, our Palestinian neighbors have declared war on us and there is no reason for us to fight with one hand tied behind our backs. On that note, we are off to celebrate T”U b’Shvat with a moshav T”U b’Shvat seder, and would like to wish you a happy T”U b’Shvat. We appreciate your support, messages and phone calls. We thank you for your prayers and good wishes. We appreciate your orders of Roses from Israel and hope they bring color and beauty to your homes.
It seems that most of the time I begin by apologizing for not writing for so long. I think that truly dedicated bloggers keep at it a bit more than I do.
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