Gush Katif: Books, Movies, Events

Posted: 7/28/2006 9:36:00 AM
Author: Hillel Fendel
Source: - 79k - Jul 28, 2006

Note from Librarians for Fairness: Gush Katif was the name given to the Jewish communities of Gaza. They were disbanded in 2005 and Palestinian terrorist groups immediately moved into them, setting up training camps and qassam rocket launchers. This has resulted in more than 1000 rocket attacks against nearby Israeli cities, towns and kibbutzim. On June 18, 2006, a qassam landed just a few feet away from the public library in the Israeli city of Sderot, which has a large population of Jews of North African and Ethiopian descent. Two Israelis were treated for shock as a result of that attack. The hypocritical and biased American Library Association has remained silent.

Gush Katif: Books, Movies, Events
14:03 Jul 28, '06 / 3 Av 5766
by Hillel Fendel

As the first anniversary of the expulsion from Gush Katif rolls around next week, the list of books, movies and events memorializing life in that "settlement jewel" is getting longer.

At least 14 different ceremonies will be held by many of the physically-destroyed communities in the coming two weeks. Most of the ceremonies will be modest affairs, such as that of Gan-Or, whose residents will commemorate their community in Kibbutz Nitzanim with an exhibition of artwork and read-aloud pieces.

Kfar Darom residents will commemorate last year's traumatic events together with the many dozens of people who came to support them in the final weeks and months. The event will take place in the Ashkelon high-rise in which they now live on Sunday, Aug. 6.

This Monday, a BBC documentary will be screened in Binyanei HaUmah in Jerusalem on the struggle to keep the tiny community of Kfar Yam alive.

Many books have been published of late on Gush Katif. The author of one, a work for children entitled On the Shore of the Blue Sea, is only 16 years old. Itamar Lieberman of Beit El explained to hundreds of fellow residents who assembled to remember Gush Katif last night, "I started writing a story for myself, in the shadow of the dramatic events going on around us, and gradually realized that it could actually turn into a full-fledged book." The story revolves around three children of Gush Katif who, coming to understand the danger to their homes, wage their own struggle against the government's plan.

At the same Beit El forum, Dr. Sodi Namir presented a film he edited himself, of the last hours in his home in N'vei Dekalim. Namir, the legendary doctor of Gush Katif who has been credited with saving many lives - endangering himself more than once in the face of terrorist fire to do so - has not yet released the film for public consumption, but is hoping to reach many sectors of the public.

The movie shows him, his wife, their several children, and many other guests in their tearful, defiant and faith-filled confrontation with the soldiers who came to remove them.

Some two months ago, an album entitled Orange Dawn was published, "saluting the Jew upon whom the sword of expulsion was brandished." The book, featuring large photos and selections written by people who took part in the struggle against the expulsion, "tells this Israeli story with an emphasis on the individual and his beliefs, hopes, struggle and pain." A revised version is scheduled to be published in the coming days.

Another book scheduled to be released very soon is another album named Katif. Featuring mostly photos by Makor Rishon photographer Miri Tzachi and short captions, it concentrates on the first nine days of Av 5765, which were essentially the last nine days of normal life in Gush Katif. reports that even Ilan Cohen, the Director of the Prime Minister's Bureau during the months leading up to the Disengagement, has released his own book. Entitled Blue, Orange, White, the book tells the story of the expulsion from the Prime Minister's Bureau's standpoint, including the steps it took during and after the struggle. The book is not being sold in stores.

Several weeks ago, the religious husband-and-wife journalist team of Yedidya (Radio Kol Chai, Haaretz satirical forum editor) and Sivan Rahav (Channel Two) Meir released a book on the expulsion. Entitled Orange Days, it features in-depth interviews with leading Religious Zionist leaders, as well as with Haaretz editor David Landau.

Several youths who were expelled from Gush Katif have also released collections of photos documenting life in their former homes. Many of these and others can be viewed here:

Another short but powerful movie - This Was My Home - can be viewed here:

The Youth Department of Gush Katif's L'maan Acheinu organization is planning to publish a collection of literature written by Katif youth during the struggle and expulsion.

A movie entitled Home Game was screened at a gathering of hundreds of former Gush Katif residents in Nitzan earlier this week. Via the story of the last basketball tournament in Gush Katif, it presents the Gush Katif spirit of togetherness that helped the residents brave the crisis they underwent last year. For more information, click here: It will be presented in various Yesha and Katif communities this coming week. Gush Katif Rabbi Yigal Kaminetzky has permitted its viewing even during the Nine Days of mourning for the Holy Temples, a period that culminates with Tisha B'Av next Thursday.