This morning, still at home due to a lingering virus, I listened to Yaron Dekel on Israel radio’s Reshet Bet 'HaKol Diburim' – (It’s all talk) daily morning program. His first guest was Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin, who initiated Israel’s latest law, passed yesterday, granting blanket pardons to some 400 ‘criminals’ – Israelis indicted due to ‘illegal activities’ during the expulsion of 10,000 people from Gush Katif and the northern Shomron. Dekel’s questions centered around the idea that such clemency will only encourage further ‘ideological crimes’ in the future. Rivlin’s responses focused on the ‘national trauma’ caused by the expulsion and the need for a ‘national healing process,’ of which the pardons would play a major role. the fact that some of the ‘leaders’ who initiated and implemented the expulsion still serve in public positions continues to encourage additional ideological crimes against the state in the future
These pardons are almost five years too late. As a matter of fact, they are totally superfluous. The Knesset should never have had to pass such a law because the charges against these people should never have been issued in the first place. This because the ‘disengagement – expulsion law’ was as illegal as a law can be, as can be witnessed in the Israeli supreme court’s decision which ruled “that the evacuation of settlements do harm human rights, including the right to property, freedom of occupation and proper respect for the evacuees.” The only dissenter among 11 judges, Judge Edmund Levy, lambasted the law and ruled that it should be canceled.[http://goo.gl/TW16]
The fallout from the Gush Katif catastrophe is still raining down on Israel, and will, it seems, continue to emanate deadly emissions for some time to come. Unfortunately, all our doomsday predictions, foreseen and publicized prior to the expulsion, have come true. Rockets fell on Sderot, Ashkelon and Ashdod, a war ensued, the rockets continue to fall, and another war is virtually inevitable. One can only guess what kinds of missiles are presently aimed at Tel Aviv from the very land Israeli supplied to our enemies. (Should Netanyahu and his government decide to finish off the Iranian nuclear threat undoubtedly, one of the responses will include rocket attacks from Gaza.)
The treatment of the expellees has been no less appalling, as most recently expressed by MK Uri Ariel, testifying before the special commission investigating the State’s treatment of these Israeli-Jewish refugees, saying that the “'slap in the face to expellees echoes on to this day!” [http://goo.gl/e35v]. In my opinion, there’s a problem with this description: Israel’s treatment of the Gush Katif refugees is much more than a ‘slap in the face’ – it’s more like an arrow in the heart; in the heart of those people expelled and more significantly, an arrow in the heart of our existence as a state: Gush Katif residents represented the best of the best, combining hard work, ideology, patriotism and authentic mesirut nefesh – dedication and determination, even at the cost of their very lives. Such scandalous treatment of such people is an indelible stain on the entire country.
This being the case, I would like to suggest that the Knesset immediately legislate two additional laws.
One: It is not enough that the indictments against the “Gush Katif criminal” be quashed. All those people expelled from Gush Katif and the northern Shomron, along with all those who labored to prevent the expulsion must be recognized as national heroes. A state ceremony must be held, not in the Knesset, but at Temple Mount, during which they will receive a framed certificate, signed by the President, Prime Minister, Knesset speaker, and all members of Knesset, distinguishing them as national heroes.
In addition, these same ‘leaders’ must swear allegiance to maintaining the totality of Eretz Yisrael, as represented by Israeli’s eternal right to our sacred Jerusalem and Temple Mount. In other words, they must promise: Never Again. Never again will we repeat the Gush Katif disaster, anywhere in Israel: Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem. (Perhaps, in order to avoid any claims of favoritism, Tel Aviv should also be mentioned.)
And finally, this law must guarantee that immediately upon Israel’s return to Gaza and Gush Katif, the destroyed communities will be reestablished, the expellee’s homes will be rebuilt by the State of Israel, and the former residents will be welcomed back in an additional State ceremony.
That’s the first law the Knesset must pass. But there is another one:
Two: Those responsible for the Gush Katif abandonment and expulsion, following their trials and convictions, may never, ever be pardoned. It is only a matter of time until these bogus ‘leaders’ are indicted, tried and convicted of crimes against the State of Israel. Once found guilty and sentenced, these people must serve their full sentences, without any chance of pardon or parole. Nothing, but nothing, can ever reduce the severity of their crimes, and they deserve absolutely no mercy or forgiveness.
Finally, concerning Yaron Dekel’s query concerning encouragement of additional similar ideological ‘crimes’ in the future: the fact that some of the ‘leaders’ who initiated and implemented the expulsion still serve in public positions continues to encourage additional ideological crimes against the state in the future. Recognition of Gush Katif’s residents and those indicted as national heroes will be a beginning ‘slap in the face’ to all those who demonized them, which should lead to a full-fledged spanking, which they should never forget.