October 27, 2003
On this morning’s news someone, I don’t remember who, one of the left wing politicians, definitively claimed that there are too many soldiers guarding too few people in Netzarim.
Early Friday morning terrorists managed to infiltrate an army base just outside the Netzarim community in Gaza. Three soldiers were killed before one of the two terrorists was eliminated. The other escaped.
In reaction to this attack Israel destroyed three 13-floor buildings which overlooked Netzarim and the army base.
That, of course, was the ‘official’ response. But other retorts were abundant. Probably the most common reaction demanded the eviction of Netzarim’s civilian residents. Some suggested that the community be totally wiped off the map. Others recommended that it be transformed into an IDF military base. But the idea was the same – let’s rid ourselves of Netzarim.
Interestingly enough, Netzarim, located in Northern Gaza, was originated by Israelis from the Shomar HaTzair Movement, one of the most, if not THE most, left-wing Kibbutz movement in Israel. That was in 1972. In 1984 Netzarim became a civilian community, under the auspicies of the religious kibbutz movement. A few years later the Kibbutz movement pulled out and it was transformed into a regular civilian community. Today Netzarim is home to some sixty families – over 400 people.
Life in Netzarim is not easy. The community is a favorite target of many who oppose it’s existence: the Israeli left, Arab terrorists and most of the world. The residents are forced to travel by convoy with an armed escort. Attempted terrorist penetration is frequent, and, as happened last year and again a few days ago, sometimes succeeds. Kasam missiles and mortars have also been known to pay visits. Despite this, the people living in Netzarim are amongst the happiest in Israel. They are fulfilling the true Zionist dream – living genuine ideals, settling the land for the good of the people. Notwithstanding danger and opposition on so many fronts, they stand as pillars of strength and faith, examples of flourishing Jewish values in Eretz Yisrael.