After I left Ganei Tal, I was sure I would never return.
The memory of my first journey along the familiar roads is engraved in my heart. Yet, not even a week had passed before I found myself sitting in my father’s truck, on the way to Gush Katif, on the way home.
But this time it really was final, because I went to see how they would destroy my house, and Ganei Tal, along with my entire past. When I arrived there, my eyes darkened. The entire neighborhood, the homes of my best friends, were destroyed.
Suddenly I could see the sea from my house. My home and the local shop stood there alone, isolated and abandoned. I went around the settlement and saw the D-9 bulldozer wreck everything I knew.
I sent messages to my friends that their homes were destroyed. “They’re wrecking your home right now, a D-9 is driving over it, and 18 years have turned into a pile of rubble.”
Suddenly one of my friends called me distressed: “Renana are they destroying my house? Tell them to stop, all our stuff is still there.”
I looked at the D-9 on the house and didn’t know what to do. The roof was already wrecked and the vehicles were beginning to destroy the rooms, and there I was wondering what to do.
It's dangerous to go into a place that’s being demolished, where electric polls and trees are falling. And my friend is still yelling, begging that I save his family’s furniture.
I entered the yard and started to yell and wave my hands: “Stop everything there are still things in the house.” One of the drivers noticed and stopped, saving my friend’s memories.
Life flows as normal
Now I am doing my national service, and am writing from an apartment in Tel Aviv. I am working at a secular school. It’s simply a different world.
At least I have a place where I can feel at home, because we have no permanent residence. Luckily, two other girls from Gush Katif live with me.
But I found that there were girls who simply didn’t understand what had passed over us.
For them, the year of national service is a fun time. For us, it’s a year for dealing with new things, of getting over the loss of an entire life. For them its just an excuse to have fun, for us it is home.
When we came back to the apartment (provided by the army), everyone spoke of the pleasures of going home, to their room and beds, and I stood on the side with tears in my eyes and thought: I won’t have this.
As much as people try to identify with us, they will never, ever understand. I am in Tel Aviv, and life here is flowing as if nothing happened. An entire public has had its world destroyed, and here life goes on as normal.
I’m now starting to rehabilitate my life, you may not hear from me anymore, but that doesn’t mean that everything is alright with me, because nothing is alright.
This country does not take care of us. We are in a guest home, and my friends are still in hotels. My parents are still unemployed, and the pain is increasing with every passing day.
Depite all this, I know that we’ll manage to get over this. We are a strong group. The only question is what we will need to get through life. Your lives go on as normal, and I only have on request: Don’t forget that there are people who’s lives will never go back to normal.