Five months have now passed since the harrowing and sometimes inspiring scenes during the disengagement from Gush Katif and northern Samaria. All right-minded and decent people for or against the plan must have felt a tug on the heart as they witnessed people leaving (or being symbolically dragged) from their homes. Many of those who were for the disengagement used the fact that they will be well compensated as a reassuring base to believe that things won't be so bad for the evacuees.
It would seem that after the camera crew lost interest in the evacuees, so did the public. The fact is that the compensation has not arrived for most of the former residents. Over 50% have not even received a shekel of compensation and only 3% of businesses have been renumerated in any way for their livelihoods. This is shocking, especially when you couple this with the stories of hotels charging the evacuees for their stay or moving companies stealing or losing the evacuees property.
The beaurocratic red tape that has been placed in front of the evacuees is disturbing. The Disengagement Authority has requested items like phone bills from decades ago. Even if this was unreasonable enough, any documentation that the evacuees have is still in crates in warehouses and the evacuees are told that if they break the seals on them they will lose their insurance.
This catch-22 situation is manifested in many other areas of the evacuees condition. The situation is untenable. The government conducted an excellent organisational plan during the disengagement but that is where it ended.
Those who speak of human rights and common decency must speak up and be heard. Many organisations talked of 'bringing our brothers and sisters home' but this is akin to inviting them to your home and slamming the door in their face and making them sleep in the cold.
The question of whether the disengagement was a success or a failure will be something for future historians to pour over. What is for us to decide is how we treat those who we politically postulated over for years. We talked about them as numbers and discussed their removal as if there were no human faces among them. They all have faces, families, needs and lives just as we do.
Compensation for the evacuees was an intergral part of the disengagement, just as their physical removal was. Their fate has not yet been sealed and we have to stand up and ask why the disengagement plan was not completed. We were constantly told that disengagement had a majority support of the people and the political support of the legislature, yet the people and the politicians have let a plan they supported remain unfinished.