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6 Years Later: Gush Katif Museum Memorializes the Expulsion

Six years after the expulsion from Gush Katif, Arutz Sheva visited the Gush Katif Museum in Jerusalem.
By Elad Benari & Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 8/13/2011, 8:46 PM

Six years after the expulsion from Gush Katif as part of the disengagement plan, Arutz Sheva visited this week the Gush Katif Museum in Jerusalem, which undertook the task of memorializing the history of Gush Katif – both good and bad.

At the entrance to the museum, one sees a chronology of the Jewish settlement in the region, from the time of the Jewish forefather Isaac until the disengagement in 2005.

Many visitors are surprised to find out that Gush Katif’s history is not just about a number of communities that were established in recent times, but rather a history that is recorded as early as the Bible.

“This is one of the most important walls in the museum, because there are many new things here that people don’t know about,” said Moriah Goldberg of the Gush Katif Museum.

The museum also includes a display of a map interspersed with pictures that are certainly worth more than thousands of words.

“Through the pictures you can learn a bit about life in Gush Katif,” Goldberg said. “For example, there was a couple named Yehuda and Miriam Gross, Holocaust survivors who came to settle in Gush Katif and were expelled a second time, this time by Jews. Another example is Ariel Yered, a boy who came in critical condition to the hospital when he was three months old. Thank g-d, he’s alive today.”

The museum shows a variety of art projects by residents of Gush Katif as well as others who did not live there but saw the pictures of the expulsion. All of them saw art as a way to share and express that which weighs heavily on the heart.

The museum also includes an orange room and a black room. Orange was the color of the struggle against the expulsion and as such is the color that is seen on posters, flyers and photos that are on display in the orange room.

The black room shows the end result - the expulsion. Museum guests who enter this room usually stand or sit in silence, watching and weeping.

“They stay here glued to the screen,” said Goldberg. “That’s why we call this the black room. It’s a room of an expulsion.”

But the black room is not the last room. The last stage speaks about the present in the form of a room that displays the status of the expellees, who are scattered all over the country, today.

“We passed the historical timeline, we passed the greenhouses, the life in Gush Katif, the synagogues, the struggle before, the expulsion room, and now the last room which actually deals with what is happening with the expellees today,” explained Goldberg. “There are many needy families who lost their jobs, their homes, started from the beginning.”