Nadia Matar, Co-Chair of the Women in Green organization, spoke to the Jewish Press over the phone from the site of the Cave of the Patriarchs Wednesday afternoon, less than an hour after Israeli security forces had evacuated the tenants of the Machpella House in Hebron.
“To our shock and horror, the political echelon has made this despicable decision,” Matar cried over her cellphone while getting out of her car. Then she yelled: “Look at them, the UN and Temporary International Presence employees are taking pictures and gloating, gloating… Those guys are so happy…”
She described “a sea of black-uniformed Police, more than 100,” who have just evacuated the Jews. “We don’t know yet where the Jews have been thrown. I’m so upset…” she told the Jewish Press.
Matar was responding to an emergency SMS alerting Judea and Samaria Jews, most of whom were busy with pre-Passover cleaning, of the unexpected forced evacuation, less than one day after Israel’s government appeared to be deciding to await verification of the sale of the house to its new owners. She said she dropped everything and rushed over, along with Yehudit Katzover, her co-chair at Women in Green.
“We were here yesterday for the Hanukkat HaBait (house warming) of the Machpella house, which has been purchased in good faith and at full price, from an Arab who was eager to sell.” she told us.
In an angry voice, she continued: “We have a situation here now where Jews have been thrown out of a building which they have bought. If this had taken place in any other country, people would say that it’s anti-Semitic. That one is not permitted to purchase a house because one is Jewish. Only in Israel does the government of Bibi Netanyahu and Ehud Barak dare bypass the will of the majority of the people, and even bypass the will of the majority of the government itself.”
“But we’re not giving up,” she added. “We’re going to come back and redeem this house.”
Over the phone we heard a policeman blocking the two women’s path as they attempted to closer to the evacuated house.”
“They’re not letting us go near the house,” she finally said over the phone.
We repeated earlier news stories, according to which the cabinet had decided to wait for the verification of the deal.
“Everything was verified, everything is kosher,” Matar responded. “We were told even by the most leftist members of the Civil Administration, that they cannot find any flaw in the purchase of this house.
“So Ehud Barak has decided to use a different approach, claiming that the Jews residing in their home constituted a threat against public order.”
“In Judea and Samaria,” Matar explained bitterly, “even after you buy your home completely legally, if the Minister of Defense decides that it upsets the public order, he has the right to do what he did today.”
“But, obviously,” she emphasized, “this was not done without Bibi’s consent Let’s not only blame Ehud Barak. As well as Ministers Benny Begin and Boogie Ya’alon – the four of them held a meeting last night and decided it together.”
“I point a finger of ‘J’acuse’ at the four of them,” she continued. “And we call on the ministers from Likud, who were so completely on our side, they came here, they put up a mezuzah here – wake up! It cannot be that you’ll be coming and giving your support to us, and then the Defense Minister and the Prime Minister will end up spitting on you.”
We told her that Ya’alon Wednesday morning had called for removing from Defense Minister Barak the authority over this specific dispute, as well as his mandate over all Jewish communities’ affairs in Judea and Samaria.
“So maybe he was the lone voice last night against the removal of Jews. We do point our accusing finger at Bibi and Barak,” she insisted.
“This is not going to break us,” Matar concluded decisively. “The Jews are going to continue to live in Hebron. We have gone through the Pharaoh, we will go through any other dictator. Except Moses said “Let my people go,” and we are now saying, “Let my people stay.”
To watch a video of the expulsion of the women and children in the house, click here.