Gush Katif Museum

April 7th 2011

An interesting situation:

On the news, back home, all you hear about Israel is the conflict, the politics, the strife.

When you’re here vacationing in Israel with your Israel group tour, all you experience are the amazing people you meet, their rich, deep personalities, the calm, breathtaking scenery, the fantastic cultural events, and the depth of ancient history.

It’s hard to believe that these are the same places.

In order to get in touch with the more complex, political side of the country, there is a fantastic museum to visit, which depicts the lives and history of a recent Israel evacuation event: Gush Katif.

If you were traveling in Israel in 2005, you would have seen the bright orange slogans and ribbons that stood for the fight to keep Gush Katif.  Gush Katif was a large area in the southern part of Gaza that consisted of 17 different settlements.

After a long struggle, the fight was not successful.

All of the homes were dismantled and destroyed. Over 8,800 people were evacuated from their homes, and forced to relocate.

Who are they? Where are they now? What did Gush Katif look like?

Seeing this Legacy Museum will shape your understanding of the conflict and get a visual image of these settlements that are spoken about so often on the news.

See the footage of the thousands of people marching away from their homes, listen to the words of children and their experiences growing up on a settlement, see the beautiful, deluxe lands of Gush Katif.

The same man who worked on the Steven Spielberg Holocaust Films likewise documented the personal stories and lives of all Gush Katif residents.

Some additional information on Gush Katif and its importance to Israel; Gush Katif’s agricultural business, run by 200 different farmers with 4,000 different greenhouses, had developed  an innovative technological approach to growing bug-free  leafy and herbs. Most of these vegetables were exported, bringing in a lot of money for the State of Israel.   The revenues from these products were huge, totaling 200 million dollars a year, making up 15% of the agricultural exports of the State of Israel.

You may not be able to go and travel to Gush Katif on your Israel vacation, but you will be able to experience what life was like in that part of the area, and you can ask your Israeli tour guide what the political climate was like for him as the protests to keep Gush Katif were going on.

It may not be the most uplifting part of your Israel vacation, but it will give you meaningful and valuable insight into the complexities of the Israeli political climate, and connect you with the people in a way that other tours never could.