Photo: AP
Photo: Reuters
Trauma will contiinue: IDF soldiers
Photo: Reuters
Photo: AFP
Childhood memories, all packed up
Photo: AFP

Warning to soldiers: Trauma will remain

Renana Marmelstein calls on soldiers to ‘look her in the eyes’ - if they can

They stood frozen after the briefing at the gate. Some of them were armed with dark sunglasses.



They tried to hide their feelings, their Jewish hearts and souls, screaming out to the heavens. They gathered together, not looking right or left, heads bowed.


Yes, these were the soldiers assigned to distribute the deportation notices to my family and me.


Whose the victim?


For a moment I forgot who exactly was the victim here, and I felt a bit of pity for them. Poor things, it must be terrible for them. This will stay will them, pursue them, for the rest of their lives.


I walked amongst the soldiers, even demanded, to take off the glasses and look me in the eyes.


But they wouldn’t do it.


“You are about to deport me from my home, my childhood and my teenage years,” I said. “If you are whole with this decision, look me in the eyes.”


Sometimes I could see moist eyes behind the glasses; a tear stained the cheek of one officer.


Hired guns


So what’s left for you? What have you become now that you’ve traded in your moral and ethical compass for army fatigues?


Essentially, you have become hired guns. These soldiers are driven by nothing more the chance to move up the IDF ladder, which basically amounts to money.


Is this really the best Israel has to offer? Is this really our army?


And yes, it is also my army. My brother serves in it, as do my father and oldest brother as reserves.


When my grandpa was hurt, they told him he was from Golani – the same brigade now planning to throw us out of our home.


Bad dreams


I can’t believe it. I must be dreaming.


At the end of the day they gave in. They left, went back to their base, probably for officers and psychologists to try and rebuild the mental wall we managed to penetrate, or in some cases, to destroy completely.


All this, in order that they will be able to come back tomorrow for the most cursed operation in Israeli history and to keep Ariel Sharon on his nice, comfy chair at the top.


The same Ariel Sharon who bought his position with foreign currency and made a laughingstock of our democracy.


Ongoing trauma


Tomorrow, you soldiers will be left with the trauma of meeting up with us, a trauma that will pursue you all the days of your lives.


In the future, your feet will not have the audacity to set foot in Yad Vashem, the national Holocaust museum. In the awful photos on the wall there you will see my eyes, and the eyes of other children of Gush Katif.


You will suffer from this forever. It would be better to sit in jail for a month or longer and to come out with a clear conscience than to participate in this disastrous mission.


‘I’ve always feared this day’


This past Shabbat, supposedly our last here, was particularly moving.


When we got to the synagogue for Friday night prayers, we discovered to our surprise that the electricity had cut out and we couldn’t conduct services.


So we went outside and prayed on the grass – prayers that went straight to God’s merciful throne, with no barriers on the way.


Just to think about things – what, we’ll never be here again? We won’t meet up with our friends after services? The synagogue our parents built with their own two hands will be destroyed and handed over to the Arabs?


August 15 is here. I didn’t believe this program would make it this far, would still be hanging over our heads.


I’ve lived in fear of this date, of the knock on the door, of the soldiers, of the eviction notice.


Thank God, the soldiers didn’t come in to Ganei Tal.


'Life as normal'


The rest of the day was pretty normal. At night was the semi-final of the Gush Katif basketball tournament (we came in third), and afterwards we had a community barbeque.


If an outsider were to have watched, he would not have thought we were one day before being forcibly expelled from our homes.I don’t know what will happen when I wake up tomorrow. I can only pray it will be okay.


פרסום ראשון: 08.16.05, 10:26
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