Op-Ed: "How Do I Explain This to My Children?"
Morag KaislerThe writer lives in Kidah, Shomron (Samaria). The home she shared with her husband and family was destroyed by "mistake" by the IDF Civil Administration without prior warning. The Defense Minister claimed he had been misled into signing the warrant.
"Bougie", I want to ask you about the home that you destroyed that housed me and my children, about the great trauma that you left on my soul and my children's souls...about my children who can't stop crying and about the loss of their innocent belief in justice and truth.
The Kaisler family home was destroyed after the Minister of Defense signed a warrant for its destruction. After being approached about this, Defense Minister Yaalon replied that it was a mistake and he thought he was signing a warrant to destroy an empty frame. The mother of the family wrote him: "How do I explain this to my children?"
The letter continued:
You admitted that you signed the warrant "by mistake" – but my life was destroyed.
Exactly a week ago, the Civil Administration officials arrived at my home and destroyed it to its very foundations. The house, located near to the community of Kidah in the Binyamin area, has a similar legal status to hundreds of other houses in the area, so why was my home and the home of my husband and five children singled out for destruction?
MK Orit Struck approached the Minister of Defense, Moshe Yaalon ("Bougie"), a short time after the destruction as he was the one who signed the permit to carry it out. Orit asked him why our home was the one chosen to be destroyed, even though it was in the process of obtaining the necessary planning permits. Yaalon replied that he was told that it was a temporary dwelling and that no one lived there.
In other words, our home was destroyed "by mistake". Who caused the Minister of Defense to make such a crass mistake? The Civil Administration. Why? Because Sagi, my husband, is the CEO of the Samaria Residents Committee, and works legally against the destruction of their homes?
Political elements strengthened these suspicions. It turns out that the Civil Administration destroyed our home as revenge for Sagi's activities for the Judea and Samaria Zionist enterprise. Therefore I am turning to our Minister of Defense as he is the one who owes my children an explanation.
"Bougie", I want to ask you about the home that you destroyed that housed me and my children, about the great trauma that you left on my soul and my children's souls, about the crying and the shouts that still reverberate in my head, about my children who can't stop crying and about the loss of their innocent belief in justice and truth. I want to ask you about my confidence as an Israeli citizen that I can get up in the morning in this country that I love so much and drink a cup of coffee in my beautiful home, dance with my children in the morning and take each of them to their respective educational frameworks.
I wanted to ask you about coming home and seeing strangers taking things, each of which I had placed with loving care in my home, out of the house, waving a signed form saying that this place is a closed military area. I asked, I pleaded, I cried and I shouted to be let into my home. I didn't know that I'd turned into a criminal, I didn't know that because I wanted to go into my home – because the memories of the morning with my cup of coffee were still there – I would get beaten and threatened with arrest.
I saw so much hate in the officials' eyes. They wanted to hurry, to get everything done quickly. I was separated from everyone, I was against them by myself. Against all this evil, dragged away from my home, I couldn't stand it and my soul ceased functioning and I stopped breathing.
Sagi, my beloved husband, who does so much for the State of Israel, so much so that sometimes I feel that the State is his first wife, hugged me hard. We knew that it was a lost cause, that they hadn't given us a chance to fight for our home. They didn't let us part from it, to take out the picture albums of a whole life that we built together.
Two minutes. That's the time it took them to carry out their evil scheme, to destroy the dream and the home we built by ourselves, with our sweat, our tears and hard work. Within two minutes they destroyed our faith and confidence in the country that we have been brought up to love.
I wanted to ask you, Bougie, as I know that you didn't intend this to happen - it happened "by mistake", and everyone says that you were deceived. Iwant to ask you because I am scared of the thought that "they managed to deceive you" and destroyed a family, because you are the Minister of Defense of the Jewish State who is responsible for the security and well-being of the citizens of Israel.
During the destruction – two minutes that seemed like eternity – I didn't know what to tell my children. In their innocence they didn't understand how such destruction of their home was "a mistake". I didn't know how to tell them that because of the urge to get back at their father, who every day of his life works tirelessly for the Land of Israel, their home was destroyed.
I am still trying to thinkk of a way to explain this to them. Maybe you can help me because their soul is crying out to understand why and how! I still don't understand, because I am still hurting and tormented that our home was destroyed "by mistake", and how much this will continue seeping into them and us.
With tears that have not yet dried, with great pain and with deep scars seared into us, I cry out for justice and truth.
I close my eyes and it is hard for me to concentrate. My children came home from school and saw how what had been their home in the morning had turned into a pile of building refuse. Strangled by sobs, they tried to understand what was left of their bedroom, they saw their toys and their school books thrown around, and I had nothing I could say to them. I kept quiet, hugging them and crying together with them for the loss, for the unendurable reality that a child comes home from school and has no home to return to.
I still don't know how to explain to them that all in all it was "a mistake". I close my eyes and see the devastation, the destruction. I hear the sounds of crying and feel the pain and the feeling of helplessness. I know that this could have been prevented if you hadn't signed the warrant "by mistake".
(Click here for efforts to help the Kaisler's)