Almost five years ago, then-18-year-old Renana Kapach (nee Marmelstein) was evacuated from her home in the Gush Katif community of Ganei Tal. In the months before the evacuation and during the disengagement, she wrote a touching blog for Ynet. Today, she is writing to Ynet’s readers again – married, with an academic degree, yet still without a home.
Almost five years have passed. Five years where I performed my national service, complete a BA in communications, and even changed my last name – I got married. I lived in a cara-villa for three years, and another two years in a residential building far away from my parents and from Ganei Tal. Five years is a long time – too long.
On Tuesday, a commission of inquiry submitted its recommendations regarding the handling of the Gush Katif evacuees, or more accurately, the mishandling of the evacuees. Otherwise, how can we explain the fact that only now, five years after the face (at best,) people are starting to move into their permanent homes – at worst, just like the case of the Ganei Tal community, people are still waiting for building permits. That’s what we call mishandling.
What difference will the committee’s conclusions make? They’ll prepare accordingly for the next evacuation?! We don’t want another evacuation. We merely want to live in our own home, and to get what was taken away from us.
Jewish law does not permit us to start mourning for our loved ones before the burial. Hence, as far as my parents and the entire Ganei Tal community is concerned, while they spend their days in a dilapidated caravan in a temporary location (yes, still temporary,) they are akin to people who still see the dead lying before them. Hence, the mourning period had not yet started over everything that was crudely and maliciously taken from us, under a veneer of peace mutterings that for more than a decade have refused to materialize according to the daydreams of peace worshippers
Rubbing salt on our wounds
What my family in particular, and the Gush Katif community general, went through in the past five years was akin to rubbing salt on our wounds. The evacuation left all of us with a very deep mental wound. Everything we believed in was taken away from us, both ideologically and practically – a home and work. Things were taken away, but nothing had been returned so far.
Some people think the evacuation was a good thing, yet I’m certain that none of them think that it’s a good thing to see us still not living in a home, with the State failing to assume responsibility for its acts and failing to help us rebuild our lives.
Instead of healing the wounds, in the past five years the State picked at our wounds further. At times, this hurts more than the original wound. The extent of the bureaucracy we had to contend with, and still do, is simply a form of abuse. I love our State, but I’m also angry. How can you add insult to injury? Why does it take five years to grant building permits?
The daily routine is stronger than everything, and we live our lives in the day-to-day sense, yet when my head meets the pillow in bed and I sink into a dream, I’m still there; all my dreams still take place somewhere in those golden sands.
We don’t want anything that we don’t deserve, merely to build our nest and start rebuilding our lives. We still live in the past. We have not yet closed this chapter. We’re still back in 2005. Some of our crates are still closed, the containers have gathered dust, and others were emptied out by thieves. The furniture is waiting to be used again, and so are the plates and glasses. For us, time has stood still.
We are still there, hoping that in 2011, six years later, we’ll be able to come back to life, here.
Brought for publication: Aviel Magnezi