Celebration in Homesh (archive)
Celebration in Homesh (archive)Israel news photo: Flash 90

Shortly after Israel withdrew from Gaza and northern Samaria in 2005, forcibly removing thousands of Israelis from their homes, a group of dedicated activists began a campaign to “fix” the Disengagement withdrawal by returning to the abandoned communities.

Over the past several years the group has succeeded in creating a semi-permanent presence in the community of Homesh, under the slogan “Homesh First.”

This Passover their campaign is taking a step forward with the Homesh Pact, a document that they expect will be signed by thousands of people. The document states that the Disengagement “not only harmed residents, but weakened the nation of Israel” and calls to “right the wrong, the tremendous mistake of Disengagement.”

The pact will be presented for signing on Wednesday, the first of the intermediate days of the Passover holiday, during a large celebration to be held in the ruins of Homesh. Among those who plan to be there are Rabbi Chaim Druckman, Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi), Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir (Likud Beytenu), Deputy Foreign Minister Zev Elkin (Likud Beytenu) and Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (Likud Beytenu).

Samaria Regional Council head Gershon Mesika said Likud ministers’ support for the move reflects their party’s authentic ideology. “We expect the Netanyahu administration to be true to the platform he was elected on, to right the wrongs of past governments, and first and foremost the wrong of the expulsion, to rebuild Homesh,” he said.

Israelis look to the new government to bring Israel in a new direction, he said, “back to Judaism, Zionism and activism, and Homesh is a good place to start that change.”

Organizers have planned family fun alongside the political event. There will be songs, performances for children, and bouncy castles.