- Simulation Game: Disengagement in Gush Katif
- Summary & Links
- Role Cards [A1, A2, A3, A4, A5]
- Stations Game: Disengagement in Gush Katif
- Summary & Links
- Stations [B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6]
We would wish Hitknatkut its outcomes to be as humane a process as possible, but we are all aware of the deep-rooted emotions it raises and the traumatic outcomes it portends. Below are two experiential options to explore the issues and the politics of Disengagement.
The first is a Simulation Game narrowing the issues and the participation to focus on Gush Katif through 6 roles ( or groups), who need to create coalitions to promote their interests (for and against Disengagement). Sources/references/facts are provided – these appear position sheets and background files.
The second is a Stations Game that allows each group to rotate through a different experience and excludes competitive dynamics, providing a round-up of the major issues, suitable from mid-adolescence.
For this idea, we are grateful to Shoshi Satat, Aliyah Shlicha in Cape Town, S. Africa.
NB: To some extent, it may duplicate questions raised in the Hyde Park activity - proceed instead to the final Wall Newspaper Activity.
2. Simulation Game: Disengagement in Gush Katif
by Gila Ansell Brauner, Schlomo Balsam.
Activity for 20-35 participants.
Time: 1.5-2 hours
Disengagement becomes reality this summer (2005): this simulation activity focuses on a selection of composite profiles from Gush Katif, and offers an opportunity to play out and address a wide range of issues running up to Disengagement.
This simulation game is designed to explore and experience major facets of the Disengagement process in a range of representative roles, and through the prism of those most directly involved.
Participants will play roles and receive scheduled instructions or assignments during the game itself.
2. Summary & Links
Participants are divided into five or six groups and will be assigned roles and information sheets, source materials, etc. (individual copies).
The fifth group represents Yehonatan Basi's Sela-Disengagement Authority.
A sixth group is a media reporting group, which is optional - simply take out the media spots in the programme, which is one way of shortening the activity.
Source materials include:
a. Role Sheet/Card [A1-A5]
b. List of settlements to be evacuated, history facts on the Gaza Strip and N. Samaria, Map. http://www.jafi.org.il/education/actual/conflict/disengagement/2.html
c. Disengagement history, Disengagement, Evacuation-Compensation, summaries of both. http://www.jafi.org.il/education/actual/conflict/disengagement/4.html
d. Standardised information on compensation and options for relocation of communities and families.
e. Political, security and legal opinion for this position.
f. Sample opinions for this position
g. Jewish sources for this position/general sources
h. Personal expressions on Disengagement
The Sela group have all the documents for a-d, g-h, and their own documents for e-f.
The media group receive information #b,c,f and produce their spots as they go along.
NB: It is also possible to provide blue/orange ribbons, stickers, coloured balloons,etc.
Try to emulate the style on http://www.politicsnow.co.il/stickers.html - but the gallery has regrettably not been updated…
- Participants have 15 minutes to read their information and discuss what they wish to achieve/plan.
Each group now makes its own sign and prepares a 2 minute presentation of their position - divide responsibilities, prepare, choose a speaker. 7 minutes.
- Presentation and Media spot:
Signs are placed on tables and each group's speaker presents its position for 2 minutes. No discussion. 10-12 minutes.
- Back in the groups, each group should decide which other groups might be candidates for a coalition with them and appoints a delegate to visit these groups, with some questions or ideas to put to them.
Sela has to prepare to send a delegate to all groups.
- Groups exchange and receive delegates. 5 minutes.
- Delegates return and groups discuss the input they received and the reception of their own input by other groups, determining which are their most likely coalition partners. What would best enhance chances of success? 5 minutes.
- Preparation and TV/media interview
Groups prepare a logo and a slogan, or a jingle - divide responsibilities. 10 minutes.
Film/watch: Groups present their logo, slogan/sing their jingle. 5 minutes.
- Each group now finalises a coalition proposal to one or more of the groups and writes it up. 5 minutes, or earlier, if ready.
- Each group now "posts" its proposal to other groups. Groups open the proposals they receive and discuss them. 5 minutes.
Each group now writes down to whom they sent a proposal and from whom they received a proposal with their preferences: this is submitted to the game organizers.
- Groups plan a demonstration with signs, sandwich boards, jingles. 20 minutes. No violence allowed.
[Run the demonstration with media coverage, take sound byte interviews.] 5 minutes only.
- The facilitators, acting here for the Israeli Government, consult with the Sela group during this time and then notify the participants about all the alignments, giving an assessment of the chances of a peaceful disengagement.
- The facilitators/Israeli Government instructs the groups to modify their preferences within 10 minutes, in order to ensure disengagement to schedule, or lose 30% of compensation assistance under a bill that will be given 3 readings in the Knesset tomorrow.
- Groups decide which coalitions proposals suit them best [5 minutes] and send delegates back to the other group(s) to negotiate [5 minutes]. Each group now submits where it has tried to align and who consents to align with it.
- TV spot or live panel presentation:
Late Night News report on the disengagement process - correspondents' reports and film of the demonstration, or report and live panel with moderator (from the participants) [12 minutes]
- The Sela group and the Israel Government announce Disengagement Day. Groups that will evacuate then "pack up and go"; groups that won't have the right to protest - but must leave within 5 minutes. Media coverage possible.
Focus on the coalition building, the roles, information/learning curve and outcomes.
Ventilate the experience of role playing and the atmosphere.
Evaluate the experience and what worked best.
4. Role Cards
The figures and personalities presented below are not based on any known person or persons in real life, and any resemblance is purely coincidental.
A1. Pnina and Uzi & family
The family owns and operates hothouses in a Gush Katif settlement, Uzi has a degree in Law and an MA in Business Management. Pnina works as a social worker outside the settlement. The children are at high school.
We are a couple from mixed backgrounds and are traditional-religious. We came here 18 years ago, living in caravans like pioneers, and have established ourselves, taking root in Gush Katif - our first and only home as a couple and a family. We are Zionists, we love our home and our life here, it has been difficult, but we persevered and have coped with all of it very well.
We see things a bit differently today, if there is no future for us in the Gaza Strip with the movement towards a Palestinian state, sooner or later we will have to leave. We therefore agree to leave everything we have built here, although it will be difficult, not as simple as moving house and a business - although we need sufficient compensation and assistance to cover moving the hothouses, schools and our home. We have the information, and we are waiting for the government and Sela to offer us more for the business and its relocation - they brought us here, we shouldn't have to be out of pocket if they want us to leave.
It's not a welcome decision by the government, but it's one that was voted by a democratic majority, after a lot of hassle and media hype. The government didn't have much choice, either.
We definitely want to do it in an organized manner and together with as many other families as possible: It's important that our children experience the least possible trauma and are accepted at good schools for next year, and the same goes for other people. We are very concerned about the impact of the media and any violence on our own children and have discussed it with them, they are old enough to understand.
A2. Sarah and Shimon & family
The family has been here 28 years, since the first settlement in Gush Katif, raised a family and have grandchildren here, we have three generations here and Sarah's mother lives with them. The youngest boy is still in the army, in Hesder. Both work in the agricultural business, which produces Gush Katif vegetables.
We are religious Zionists, both of us came here from comfortable life in the city to build Israel and work on the land. We have given the best part of our lives to creating Jewish settlement in Gush Katif and are active socially in all areas of life here. We love our land and our home, this is our life, the community's life, and Israel's. Successive governments have supported and promoted settlement in Gush Katif, there is no reason to change this policy now.
We oppose and will oppose disengagement and giving up any part of Eretz Yisrael. Our children are involved in opposition to Disengagement, two are married and live here, one is in Hesder, and one lives in a settlement in Samaria. They built their lives in Gush Katif, like us: we are not materialistic and it is not a matter of compensation or alternatives, we want to stay here and will oppose Disengagement with any legal means at our disposal.
We are shocked at the way in which the community here is being delegitimised in the media. Ariel Sharon has gone back on his own principles. If you ask the majority of Israelis today, a lot of people feel that the government has not taken this decision in a democratic manner and most wanted a referendum.
Gush Katif is also strategically important to the State of Israel, precisely because it is inside the Gaza Strip and on the coastline. The Palestinians and the PA aren't going to become law-abiding and peaceful overnight with a unilateral Disengagement. If we leave, the Negev and Ashkelon become Israel's frontline border areas; defense experts and most people in the country believe that the security situation will deteriorate.
A3. Judy and Rafi & family
The family came from a religious kibbutz to Gush Katif 12 years ago when they were newly married. Judy was actually born in America, she is a physiotherapist; Rafi is an engineer, he has an air-conditioning and plumbing business. They have 4 children at home between the ages of 3-11.
We came here 12 years ago when kibbutz life was changing, but we wanted to write our own story as religious Zionists. Kibbutz life was not for us, but we questioned many of its compromises. Here, we are party of a society with beliefs and ideals that really sticks by them and sticks together.
We live a Torah life and the Torah and our Rabbis say that it is forbidden to give up any part of Eretz Yisrael. We oppose and will oppose disengagement and giving up any part of Eretz Yisrael, it is not a matter of money, it is simply forbidden. We will defend our homes, lives and beliefs, that is our right, we are not leaving.
Having settlements in Gush Katif is important to Israel's security, too. The IDF's presence here is vital to it in the future: the Palestinians won't control their own terrorists or the violence and the IDF can't stay here if there are no settlements.
Ariel Sharon has reneged on his own principles and turned against those of his party and successive Israeli governments. The government has not passed these laws in a democratic manner, there needs to be a referendum. We have tried to make our point peacefully, but now we and our point of view are being delegitimised, we are being denied the democratic right to free speech and protest. We will do whatever we have to do to stop disengagement, if we manage to bring about elections, we can stop it.
A5. Yehonatan Basi and Sela [The Disengagement Authority]
Disengagement is a government policy that has been legislated democratically in the Knesset, together with the necessary timetable and upcoming compensation laws, which should be implemented on schedule and as humanely as possible. It is a painful process for those involved but it also represents a landmark in Israel's history and that of the Zionist movement, whether traditional or religious
To help the Disengagement Plan's implementation in a positive atmosphere, the Israeli government aims to provide realistic compensation, as well as feasible options for communities or individual families to set down roots in new homes and communities around Israel. This is the human side of the operation, showing our understanding towards those who have to relocate, and we are also providing psycho-social support for them - before and after Disengagement.
We will do everything in our power to assist families to make this decision and offer the support that they need to relocate. We will also coordinate with the Police, so that it can proceed smoothly and peacefully.
3. Stations Game – Disengagement in Gush Katif
Developed from the Simulation Game
by Shoshi Satat, Aliyah Shlicha, Cape Town, SA.
As for the simulation game above.
2. Summary & Links
In this game, the group receives and browses general background material provided as Links*, and then rotates around six stations, and plays/encounters figures in role, with a facilitator acting in role at each station (two facilitators for the IDF station).
At each station, the groups are required to address different questions.
Estimated time: 60-90 minutes.
The Links are the same as brought for above.
B1. Religious IDF soldiers
This group will assume the roles of Religious IDF officers serving in Gush Katif. The officers are from Judea and Samaria - they grew up in different places, but have been serving in Gush Katif where they know a lot of people and have made friends, although relations are tense now with the families that are anti-Disengagement and they are no longer invited into their homes.
In general, they accept Disengagement and will follow orders - the government has a right to pass laws. It's going to be difficult to defend everyone under the dangerous circumstances, but disorder will only make it more perilous.
At one point, they meet a secular right wing officer who tries to convince them to refuse orders. At this stage, a 5 minute discussion will take place, focusing on the following points:
1. Whether Disengagement will bring true peace and the problems of controlling terror after Disengagement.
2. How best to carry out orders for Disengagement.
B2. The Family Dilemma
At this station the participants will engage in an introspective, thought provoking assignment [5 minutes].
Each receives a sheet of A4 paper and will be requested to answer the following questions individually:
1. Where will you be in 5 years time?
2. What is the name of your partner? (Husband/ wife etc)
3. Where will you get married?
4. How many children will you have?
5. What would their names be?
6. What does your family do for recreation/fun?
7. What will you be doing? Career?
8. Who are your neighbours?
9. When you look out your window what do you see?
10. Where will you live? Draw your house/apartment.
11. How will you decorate your house?
12. What car will you drive?
13. Will you have a garden?
Imagine yourself sitting in the garden chatting happily with your neighbours. Close your eyes and take a moment to think about this image. Now imagine that in 2 months time all these things will be taken away from you.
B4. The Community
At this station the participants will meet the "Mazkir" (Secretary) of a community/ settlement in the Gaza Strip.
They will imagine that they are at a General Meeting (Assefah) of the Yishuv. The participants will receive background information http://www.jafi.org.il/education/actual/conflict/disengagement/2.html . The Mazkir will explain to them that the Disengagement plan will be implemented on the 16th of August. Their task will be to address the following agenda (to be handed out to the participants) [5 minutes]:
1. What is our individual response to the Disengagement plan?
2. What is the community's policy and response, as a group (to Disengagement, to the IDF, to action plans)?
3. Are we prepared to negotiate with “Sela” (The governmental organization that serves to assist the settlers)?
4. What is our policy on compensation and what will happen to our property?
5. What is our policy on women and children at the time of evacuation?
6. What is our media policy?
B5. The Left Wing Lobby
At this station the participants meet a left wing lobbyist who opposes Disengagement.
The following points will be the main focus of the discussion [5 minutes]:
1. The unilateral nature of the plan, outside the Peace Process
2. The absence of negotiation with the Palestinians
3. The absence of a long-term plan for peace
4. Where will Israel be in a year's time? In 5 years' time?
The participants come back together and review the following:
1. What have we covered?
2. What thoughts are going through our minds, after being exposed to the different viewpoints, at the various stations? Has this changed our understanding, and how?
3. What was the purpose of this presentation and this method?
4. What is your honest opinion about this issue?
5. What will happen on the "Day After"?
6. What lies ahead for Israel?