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Thursday, October 12, 2006 

Israeli presidential candidate visits Gush Katif expellees

In a positive example, MK Ruby Rivlin, who's a leading candidate for president of Israel, paid a visit to people expelled from their homes in Gush Katif in Gaza:
Likud MK Ruby Rivlin, considered one of the top candidates to succeed President Moshe Katzav, was a guest in the sukkah of Gush Katif's Rabbi Yigal Kaminetzky on Wednesday.

Rivlin (pictured on left), a former Knesset Speaker and widely respected in political and public circles, was briefed on the plight of the displaced Jewish families, whose permanent homes are still years from being completed. He said that the State's "obligation to rehabilitate and find permanent settlement solutions for the expellees is 100% in consensus."

[...]

Moti Sender of Katif.net reports that Dror Vanunu and Hagit Yaron of the Gush Katif Residents Committee also met with Rivlin in the sukkah in Nitzan. They told him of the social and economic problems facing many of the expelled residents - nearly all of whom, up until the day of the expulsion in August 2005, were productive citizens earning more than the national average and helping the nation's agricultural economy.

Rivlin said that solutions for problems of this nature can be achieved "only by amendments to the relevant legislation."

Quoting the State Comptroller's report on the Disengagement, Rivlin said, "They didn't think before they did it. First they made a decision, then they said, OK, let's see how we solve all these problems... More and more people are now saying they made a mistake, but who knows, the next time they'll do the same thing."

Ruby Rivlin is a descendant of the famous Rivlin family of Jerusalem, whose ties to the Land of Israel date back 200 years when the students of the Vilna Gaon arrived here. Married with four children, and a lawyer by profession, Rivlin has served in the Knesset since 1996, as well as from 1988-1992, and was Minister of Communications under former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
Rivlin makes a good point here about how we need to make sure that the same mistakes won't be repeated. Better still, these mistakes need serious mending.

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