A leader of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel charged on Tuesday that only 100 of the 1,700 families evacuated from the West Bank and northern Samaria settlements have found permanent housing solutions so far, and that only 700 families have found temporary solutions to tide them over. The other 1,000 have noStory 2:
solutions at all.
Most of the NIS 70 million to NIS 80m. in public funds spent so far on hotel rooms for evacuees has been wasted, due to a lack of cooperation on the part of the evacuees, Tuesday's special hearing in the Finance Committee revealed. Of the 1000 hotel rooms reserved by the government for the evacuees, roughly 800 are standing empty, as are 600 of the 850 rental apartments, Finance Committee spokesman Zvi Rosen related.What's clear is that both parties are at fault here. By all accounts, some of the hotel rooms were not pleasant -- one of the Post articles mentions mice -- and it's likely that many of the apartments reserved by the government are inappropriate too. The government, inexcusably, also did not properly plan for resettlement until very, probably too, late in the game. On the other side, you have the evacuees who have known the schedule for disengagement for months and could easily have found somewhere appropriate to go to in plenty of time. If G-d forbid I was in the same situation, I don't think I would have left it to the day after disengagement to start scrambling around for alternative accomodation for my family. The sad truth is many were in denial, others ignored what was going on for political reasons and most of them were encouraged by their leadership not to prepare for post-disengagement, again for political reasons -- and now they are paying the price. Even worse, many are continuing to sacrifice themselves and the welfare of their families by refusing compensation, leaving themselves homeless etc. for purely political purposes, despite the fact that it's all over, their point has already been made and the only losers here will be them and their families. As Sarah says, what a mess.
It didn't have to be that way. For an interesting article on how Gaza residents who did plan ahead are being welcomed at one kibbutz and one moshav -- and how their arrival is positively affecting those locations -- see last week's JC. According to the JPost, others decided last minute, some on a split-second whim, to go to some West Bank settlements. While I fully understand their motivations -- the welcome there will probably be more generous than elsewhere, the lifestyle might eventually, if they end up with permanent accomodation, be more similar to the one they're used to -- I wonder whether they wouldn't be better off, for their own mental health, somewhere where the future is somewhat more certain. I have a horrible feeling that somewhere down the line, we're going to be reading about settlers who were evacuated from Gush Katif, and then have to go through the whole thing again in Kedumim and Ofra etc.