An injured Jewish boy is being hauled to the waiting bus by brutal Israeli policemen in the Samaria outpost Amona, Jan. 1, 2006. This deportation took place under the regime of Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who had just replaced the ailing Ariel Sharon, the architect of a much larger deportation of thousands of Jews from Gush Katif. Three days later, Sharon was felled by a massive stroke that left him in a vegetative state. Olmert himself and a very long list of officials involved in those expulsions were hit by tragedies, some minor, some major.
Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90
The phrase Yesh Din v’Yesh Dayan—There is a law and there is a Judge, has been cited by Jews over the generations, pointing to the demise of this or that antisemitic tyrant as Divine punishment. Admittedly, in diaspora, we often didn’t have much more than that post-pogrom vindication to prove to us that a Divine Judge was, indeed, active in our history.
In Israel, those karmic events often appear faster and in more visible fashion, as villains who aren’t punished by a human court are still meted their punishment by, many believe, a Heavenly alternative.
In the case of the 2005 Gush Katif deportations, in which, for the first time in its history, the Jewish State rounded up by force some 8,600 Jews from their homes in the Gaza Strip and removed them, karma has been doing the Rumba. One by one, as if picked by a divine sniper, the architects of that evil campaign and their agents have met their downfall.
Here’s Ariel Zilber singeing “Yesh Din v’Yesh Dayan, listing the men responsible for the Gush Katif and north Samaria atrocities, and their fates that followed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zTGMp_z3cA
Next to be punished was MK Omri Sharon, the former prime minister’s son. He resigned from the Knesset effective January 5, 2006, and in February was sentenced to nine months in prison, a nine-month suspended sentence, and a fine of 300,000 shekel for corruption.
A month and a half before the expulsions, Chief of Staff Dan Halutz replaced Moshe Ya'alon, who could not be trusted to carry out the mission. Halutz was the chief executioner of Gush katif. Halutz resigned from office in disgrace January 17, 2007, when it was discovered that he had sold off his investment portfolio three hours after two Israeli soldiers were captured by Hezbollah, leading to the second Lebanon war.
Moshe Karadi, general commissioner of Israel Police, was the other chief executioner of the Gush Katif deportations. His cops were documented as they beat brutally, often without provocation, unarmed Jews in their homes. He resigned from his position in disgrace February 18, 2007, following the Zeiler Commission’s demand that he be dismissed for his involvement in hiring out police officers to underworld figures, to execute rival underworld figures.
Niso Shacham, aka “the cursing policeman” was caught on video in 2005 when used the most vulgar language giving orders to his underlings to use excessive force on the non-violent, unarmed civilians who had gathered to protest the upcoming Gush Katif expulsions. He became the poster boy for Israel’s uneducated, violent and brutal riot police, a tool of repression if there ever was one. Shacham resigned from his job as commander of the Jerusalem district in October 2013, after being indicted for sexual harassment of his subordinates, indecent assault, fraud and breach of trust.
Next came former President Moshe Katzav, who was active in supporting the expulsion, warning the Jews of Gush Katif that obeying the law is part of our rabbinic tradition of “dina d’malchuta dina,” meaning one must obey the state. With that in mind, in December of 2010, a three-judge panel in the Tel Aviv District Court unanimously found him guilty of “rape, sexual harassment, committing an indecent act while using force, harassing a witness and obstruction of justice.” Katsav was sentenced to seven years in prison and two years, becoming the first President of Israel to be sentenced to prison. He was ordered to pay one of his victims 100,000 shekels and another 25,000 shekel.
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert replaced the ailing Sharon and served from 2006 to 2009. As cabinet minister, Olmert was a senior member of the deportation think tank. As prime minister, Olmert was responsible for the brutal demolition and expulsion of Amona, a Jewish outpost in central Judea and Samaria, where almost 300 civilians, including 3 MKs, were brutally attacked by police dismantling the settlement. In July 2012, Olmert was convicted on one count of breach of trust, but exonerated from charges two other affairs. The corruption trial regarding the Holyand Affair is still pending. Olmert has been effectively out of politics and his career is likely over.
Chaim Ramon is a distant has-been in today’s Israeli politics, but, until his active participation in the Gush Katif plan, Ramon was Israel’s top king maker, feared and admired by this country’s political class. Ramon broke from the Labor party, to become the first Labor politician to join Sharon’s Kadima party, a party Sharon created simply because his own Likud party refused to support his designs on Gush Katif. Ramon was one of the key political brains behind the deportations. On January 31, 2007, Ramon was sentenced to community service, for sexual assault. In 2009, Ramon ended his political career by resigning from the Knesset.
Minister of Tourism and later of Finance Avraham Hirschson was among the senior Likudniks who left their party to join Kadima. In June 2009, Hirschson was convicted of embezzling millions of shekels from the National Workers Labor Federation while he was its chairman. In July, he was sentenced to five years and five months of jail and a fine of 450,000 shekels.
MK Tzachi Hanegbi, son of former MK Geula Cohen, prominent member of the pre-state underground group Lechi (“the Stern gang”), served as Sharon’s Minister of Internal Security, followed by an appointment as head of Israel’s intelligence agencies Mossad and Shin Bet, and Israel’s Atomic Energy Agency. After Sharon created Kadima, in November 2005, Hanegbi joined him and was active in the plot against the Jews of Gush Katif. In July 2010, after a four-year trial for election bribery, fraud and breach of trust, a Jerusalem court cleared Hanegbi of all charges, but convicted him of perjury. He was fined 10,000 shekels and was forced to stay out of politics for 3 years. He got away easy, and now serves once again as a Likud MK. The heavenly court works in mysterious ways…
There are many exceptions to the above karmic events: Tzipi Livni was as active as anyone else in expelling Jews and she is yet to be made to account for it. Shimon Peres is yet to miss a beat, despite his active support. Amir Peretz, who faced some turbulence, escaped largely unscathed. In fact, the case could probably be made that the above list is nothing but cherry picked coincidences.
Far be it from me to suggest that the list represents any divine message. It is, however, noteworthy that Ariel Sharon’s condition is deteriorating 8 years to the day, almost, after his debilitating stroke—and that it’s taking place at the same time current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be mulling the deportation of a much larger group of Jews than were uprooted from Gush Katif.
I wish Prime Minister Netanyahu health and happiness until 120.