They simultaneously struggled to keep their homes, and win their basketball tournament, until the very end!
“Home Game”. But it wasn’t really a game. It was home. It was home to close to 2000 families and nearly 10,000 people including a high percentage of children. It was home to farmers, teachers, business owners, municipal workers, tourist industry workers, accountants, lawers, journalists, artists, fisherman, researchers and students.
Most of the families of Gush Katif (literally the “harvesting bloc”) came to the region in the 1970’s and 80’s. People came and fell in love. The sand dunes, the sea, the incredible success they had growing high quality vegetables and flowers (the vast majority for export) in the sand they lived on created an atmosphere of building together and creating happy and productive communities.
The people of Gush Katif felt that they were an asset to Israeli society. They produced milliions of dollars worth of produce for export, were an agricultureal model for other agricultural communities who came to see and learn their techniques, and, once the first antifada began in the late 80’s, served as a shield against explosives and rockets. Yet the communities of Gush Katif held strong with great faith in continuing to do what they believed in and that God would continue to help and protect them.
The idea to dismantle Gush Katif, to evacuate the nearly 2000 families from their homes was brought up by the then Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon in spring of 2004. The idea contradicted Sharon’s support of settling the Katif Bloc decades earlier. Sharon’s government and the media began to push the idea of the evacuation forward while demonizing and deligitimatizing the inhabitants of Gush Katif. The evacuation whas finally executed in August 2005. The experience was acutely traumatic for the families and proved later to have created lasting trauma for many of the soldiers who had participated in the evacuation.
The movie “Home Game” is just a one story of the many homes which were evacuated and demolished in the summer of 2005.