'I'm the first one in line to return to Gush Katif'

14 years after Gush Katif evacuation, Anita Tucker tells Arutz Sheva how she still yearns to return home.

Hezki Baruch,

Adina Tucker
Adina Tucker
Credit: Hezki Baruch

Arutz Sheva spoke with Anita Tucker, former resident of Gush Katif and recipient of the Moskowitz Prize for Zionism, on Sunday. Tucker lived in Netzer Hazani, located just north of the religious community Yesodot, to the east of Ashdod, where she was a celery farmer. Tucker was one of the original founders of the community.

"It's 14 years since we were evicted [from Gush Katif] where we lived for 30 years and our children and grandchildren were born," Tucker said. "We hoped that great-grandchildren would also be born to us there. With the help of G-d, at the right time, it will still happen."

"These days, it's important to me to talk about home because we're all mourning now during the Three Weeks for the Temple and there's no one like the people of Gush Katif who yearn for home. There's no one that knows how to miss home like the people of Gush Katif. It's a privilege. Nobody wants to be evicted from their house. But on the other hand, it's a great privilege to feel the yearning for home. We're able to understand the yearning of G-d for His place in the temple."

"I call my current house 'my house' and not 'my home' because it's my house but it's not my home. We continue to go on - we build, we do many things - but we always yearn for home. The longer we're away from home the more we yearn for it."

"I feel like not only do I want to return home but I need to return to save the Arabs from themselves. All the Arabs that we knew - Hamas took over - and the situation of the Arabs there is terrible. They say that every year 30-40,000 Arabs leave from there through Egypt to different countries in Europe. I think that there are many Arabs who will be very happy if the people of Gush Katif, and anyone else who wants to join, will come back to Gush Katif."

What about the kibbutzim by the Gaza Strip? Do you feel for them, empathize with them?

Of course I empathize with them. I always have empathy for them despite everything. At that time, we would meet people holding signs, protesting that we should be evacuated from Gush Katif. I think that all the people who live there today [in the kibbutzim] would be very happy if the enemy wasn't at their door now."

You think they would be happy if you returned?

Yes. We weren't extremists. We lived together with no problems.

You're ready to return to Gush Katif?

"I'm ready to return. I'm in the first one in line. I already have a lot of experience how to build, how to raise money, how to do it. And G-d willing, it will be more beautiful than it was before."

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