Award-winning writer and lecturer Barbara Sofer grew up
in a small town in Connecticut, and moved to Israel in 1971. She is a
graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Hebrew University in
Jerusalem. Her articles -taking on a wide range of subjects from ethnic
cooking to terrorism--have appeared in The New
York Times, The Boston Globe, Parents, Readers' Digest, Woman's Day,
Hadassah Magazine and Inside Magazine
among many others. She writes a bi-weekly column for the Friday Jerusalem
Barbara has written five books and contributed to
EXCERPT FROM CURRENT ARTICLE
A thousand brides
By Barbara Sofer
An intriguing e-mail invitation: Looking forward to seeing you at Dames of the Dance – benefit performance for Gush Katif Kallot Project on March 5 in Jerusalem celebrating 1,000 brides.
You might need a glossary to work this out.
Gush Katif: That narrow band of land along the explosive Gaza Strip. In the 1930s, farm land was purchased there by Jews. In the War of Independence, the villagers were evacuated by the British Mandate officials. Jewish presence was returned in the late 1960s at the insistence of general/statesman Yigal Allon.
The first civilian town was inaugurated by prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1977. Seventeen towns were built and the farmers grew bug-free celery and cherry tomatoes on the barren sand dunes. By 2005, 8,600 Jews lived there and 4,000 Palestinians worked there. Financial assets were estimated at $23 billion.
In 2005, our government decided to remove our citizens from Gush Katif as a painful concession in the need to take risks for peace. Palestinians and their supporters claimed that life for the Arabs of Gaza would be good if only the Jews would leave. The homes were bulldozed and but it was decided that the European Cooperation Foundation would contribute $14 million to transfer hi-tech greenhouses to the Palestinians so they could continue to earn a living and produce food.
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