On Tisha B’Av evening, the Women in Green led their traditional march with a packed crowd (despite the late hour) around the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem.
On Tisha B’Av evening, the Women in Green led their traditional march with a packed crowd (despite the late hour) around the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem.
As in every year for the past 19 years, the traditional Tisha B’Av Walk, with the participation of public figures, will be held.
However, this year the Walk will depart considerably late, because of instructions issued by the police, who wish to allow the Muslims to complete the Ramadan events on the Temple Mount before the Jewish Walk has even set off.
The organizers of the Walk, ‘Women in Green’ leaders Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, remind us that Tisha B’Av night fell during the month of Ramadan last year as well, and the police had requested to completely change the route of the traditional Walk, under the pretext of a concern for public safety. Katsover and Matar appealed to the Supreme Court and, sure enough, 2 days later the police withdrew its objection, but not before instructing that the event be postponed to 11:00pm.
At the beginning of the restoration of the traditional Tisha B’Av Walk 19 years ago, the initiative had also been met with resistance by the police. In those days the police refused to approve the Walk to be held. “They never imagined that Jews would march there, in what they called “East Jerusalem”, in the place where only Arabs roam”, Katsover and Matar reminisce and add: “We turned to the Supreme Court and said that if this is the sovereign, unified undivided capital of Israel, there is no way we can not march there, and sure enough, we won, and the tradition of the Walk set out, literally and figuratively”.
This year, probably due to past experiences and the fear of yet another legal embarrassment, the police decided not to demand the alteration of the route of the Walk, yet at the same time instructed to postpone it to 11:30 pm, after the Muslims have completed their prayers and have left the Temple Mount area.
Katsover and Matar raise the concern that among the considerations for postponing the departure the Walk, might also nestle the police’s hope that a more limited amount of marchers will show up due to the late hour. “It should be pointed out that during the 18 years that the Walk has been held, there has not been a single case of friction or confrontation between the marchers and the local Muslims, a fact that reinforces the sense of frustration and anger following the decision of the police”, say the two.
“This is a disgrace. In the independent State of Israel, in sovereign Jerusalem, logic is working backwards. The Arabs go up to the Temple Mount, but the Jews can only pray at the Western Wall. In a sovereign state, the Jews’ events will only be held after the Arabs’ events are finished. Why? Ask the police! Someone there still hasn’t internalized that Jewish national events should take precedence. Apparently, we are still in the diaspora, and we still bend over to the demands of the gentiles”, say Katsover and Matar, who are convinced that “the late hour at which the Walk commences will not deter the masses from coming. On the contrary. It will bring more people”, they declare.
The event, which will be held on Tisha B’Av night (the night between Monday and Tuesday, July 15th 2013), is expected to be attended by the Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs, MK Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, Deputy Defence Minister MK Danny Danon, Chairman of Professors for a Strong Israel, Prof. Aryeh Eldad, and Chairman of the Israel Land Fund, Aryeh King.
The Walk will begin with a public reading ceremony of the Book of Lamentations (the Scroll of Eicha) at 10:30pm in Independence Park, located in downtown Jerusalem. At 11:30pm the Walk itself will set off along the following route: Independence Park, The New Gate (Sha’ar HaKha’dash), Damascus Gate (Sha’ar Sh’chem), Herod’s Gate (Sha’ar HaPrakhim), Lions’ Gate (Sha’ar Ha’A’ra’yot), where speeches will be made, and from there to Dung Gate (Sha’ar Ha’Ashpot) near the Western Wall.
Yehudit Katsover: 050-716-1818
Nadia Matar: 050-550-0834
The Movement for Israel’s Tomorrow (Women in Green)
The Jewish Press just received the following email from Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, the two inspired souls behind the Women in Green organization.
“As you know,” goes the email, “one of our projects is safeguarding state lands in the hills of Netzer, by planting trees. Over the past few years, we have planted almost a thousand trees.
“After the planting comes the difficult safeguarding and upkeep which includes having to plow the land, which is crucial for the trees to grow well.”
According to Katsover and Matar, two of the feistiest women this side of East New York, the local Arabs, with millions of dollars in funding from the EU and anti-Israeli NGO’s, do the plowing using fancy, new tractors, others still prefer a good, old plow and horse combo.
“We don’t have the funds for a tractor, nor the upkeep on a tractor, and working with a horse is complicated,” the two women write. We’re looking to purchase a motorized plow that’s easy to manage by one person.”
If you’re interested in helping these spirited women who devote their lives to Jewish settling in Eretz Israel, they say the cost of a plow should run between $1,320 and $2,636.
Contact Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar via www.womeningreen.org.
That’s it, done my mitzvah for the morning, time for lunch.
A surprising 80 percent of Israelis support the idea of Israeli sovereignty over all or part of Judea and Samaria, according to a new poll released by the respected Geocartography research institute.
The survey was commissioned by the University of Ariel, located in central Samaria, in advance of its annual Conference for Law and Mass Media.
The idea of Israeli sovereignty began to win popularity last year when a government-commissioned report by three legal experts, headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy, concluded that Israelis have the right under international law to live anywhere they want in Judea and Samaria.
The “Levy Committee” also debunked the popular concept, adopted by the United States and almost all of the international community, that Israel “occupies” Judea and Samaria.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu quickly shelved the report for “further study,” obviously not wanting to upset the Obama administration’s continuation of the long-buried “peace process” that it still promotes to an audience of none.
The most surprising results in the Geocartography poll related to the views of those who have left-wing views. More than a majority, in fact 60 percent, stated that Israel has to take sovereignty over at least part of Judea and Samaria.
Even among those who consider themselves thoroughly left wing, 42 percent agreed that international law must recognize Israeli sovereignty in part of the areas that the Palestinian Authority demands for itself, if it ever becomes an independent country
Overall, more than one-third of Israelis support Israeli sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria, and 25 percent think that it should apply to part of the area.
Most support for sovereignty undoubtedly is for Maaleh Adumim, a city of more than 40,000 located only 10 minutes away from Jerusalem, and the Gush Etzion communities, the largest of which is Efrat, heavily populated by Americans.
The nationalist Women in Green movement applauded the data that emerged from the poll.
“These figures might be surprising for a part of the Israeli public, but this comes as no surprise to us,” said Women in Green leaders Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar.
“ In recent years we have been traveling throughout Israel and wherever the question of sovereignty is raised, the idea is received favorably, with extensive support,” they added.
Asked by the Jewish Press if proposing sovereignty makes any sense in the wake of the American insistence to continue with its peace process plan, they said, “The Americans know that ‘two states for two peoples’ is, thank God, not a reality.”
Matar and Katsover also argued that with the failure of the peace process, there is no other alternative on the table, making Israeli sovereignty more of a viable option.
They dismissed many problems with sovereignty leaving Israel with a large Arab minority that could wreck the country’s Jewish identity.
The Women in Green leaders explained that there are several solutions to the problem but “first of all, let’s implement sovereignty and then we will deal with the arguments.”
Four different proposals on coping with the demographics have been proposed, they said.
One idea is to offer all Arabs citizenship on the condition that they pledge loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state.
Another idea to the opposite extreme is to pay Palestinian Authority Arabs to leave Israel.
A third proposed solution is to grant them the status of residents without citizenship.
The fourth idea is to recognize that Palestine is Jordan, where the Arabs in Judea and Samaria could move.
European Union and American officials would be aghast at any of the suggestions, but after 22 years of failed diplomatic attempts to build up a Palestinian Authority that can self-govern and guarantee security for Israel as a neighbor, the peace process in retrospect seems even more far-fetched than Israeli sovereignty.
Nadia Matar is co-chairperson of the Women In Green organization, which affirms the “central role of Eretz Israel for the future of the Jewish People.” The group calls for the application of Jewish sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, and often takes direct but non-violent action against Arab encroachment on Jewish land in the territories. Need I add that she is considered by some to be a dangerous extremist?
But there are things that she understands much more clearly than they do. For example, here is a recent news item. Note the part that I emphasized:
Dozens of Efrat residents, along with activists from the Women in Green group, demonstrated Wednesday afternoon at the northern entrance to Efrat in Gush Etzion. The protest, part of the effort by Judea and Samaria residents to “take back the roads” and make them safe from terrorist rock-throwers and gunmen, was attended by dozens of people who have had enough of the ongoing attacks on drivers, a spokesperson for the protesters said. …
Speaking at the event, Women in Green head Nadia Matar said “Arab rock-throwing is not just a physical danger, but also damages the honor of the Jewish and Israeli people.The Arabs’ purpose is not just to kill the driver they are throwing rocks at, but also to sow fear into the hearts of Jews and prevent us from using the roads of the Land of Israel altogether. The IDF must respond in a way that is going to make it clear that Israel will not accept these attacks.”
More generally, the ongoing struggle to keep the Jewish state is not only a physical struggle, but a struggle for the honor of the Jewish people. If you find that way of speaking off-putting, consider Richard Landes’ concept of “cognitive warfare“:
All asymmetrical wars take place primarily in the cognitive arena, with the major theater of war the enemy’s public sphere. The goal is to convince your far more powerful enemy not to fight. In defensive cases, from the Maccabees to the Vietnamese, this has meant getting imperial powers to “go home.” But Islamists who want to spread Dar al Islam [and Palestinian Arabs who want to replace Israel — ed.] conduct an offensive campaign: how to get your targets to surrender on their own home ground? In this seemingly absurd venture, they have had remarkable success.
Honor is a concept that is paramount in non-Western cultures. Sometimes it seems that the West has no clue about that. It applies both to oneself and to one’s enemies: if you lose your honor in your own eyes, you lose your will to fight; and if you lose it in your enemy’s eyes, he is not afraid of you. In the latter sense, honor is closely related to deterrence.
A powerful military capability is not sufficient to deter an enemy if he does not believe that you have the will to use it properly. A nation without honor, no matter how powerful it appears to be, makes itself a target. This is what Nadia Matar understands — and Barack Obama doesn’t.
Visit Fresno Zionism.
On Wednesday evening, residents of Efrat left the safety of their town’s borders to hold a peaceful protest along the main road leading to their northern entrance, which is also near the entrance to a nearby Arab village.
The Efrat residents were protesting the recent wave of Arab stone throwing, fire bombs, and burning tires that have left residents of Efrat injured and their cars damaged. Many of the attacks took place at the protest’s exact location.
The protest was organized by Women in Green leader, Nadia Matar, who demanded that the new Defense Minister take a stronger position against the Arab terrorists, and provide more protection on a daily basis.
Numerous soldiers were on site to protect the protesters, and in the video below, one can see some damage to one of their jeeps from Arab attacks. The protesters thanked the army for the job they are doing, despite being held back by the political echelons.
Numerous police were also at the protest site, but they were more busy photographing and filming the citizens of Efrat who were demanding protection.
As of this week, it’s no longer just another fringe campaign: the drive to apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria – all or parts thereof – is now a bona-fide, full-blown national drive, with the support of government ministers, Knesset Members and candidates, academics, and members of the media. This became abundantly clear on Tuesday night in Jerusalem, when more than 1000 people crowded into a 900-seat Jerusalem hall – after the original location was abruptly changed – for the Third Annual Conference on the Application of Israeli Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria (Yesha).
Organized by Women in Green, and co-sponsored by the Jewish Press (JewishPress.com), the conference dealt with specific and practical methods by which to actually get the sovereignty ball moving and thus prevent the formation of a Palestinian state.
Talk of a two-state solution, while widely prevalent, is largely irrelevant. It was Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech at Bar Ilan University in 2009 that gave the concept new life, and it specifically emphasized that Israel would agree only to a demilitarized Arab state in parts of Judea and Samaria. This being an arrangement that both Fatah and Hamas have categorically turned down, an agreed-upon two-state solution can basically be dismissed.
What will take its place?
What will ensure that active and passive preparations on the ground for such an eventuality do not continue? The answer, according to an increasing portion of the Israeli public, is Israeli sovereignty — at least in part of the areas in question. At the conference, Women in Green co-chair Yehudit Katzover presented the results of a new survey, in which 73.2% of right-wing voters (some 56% of the population)–-not including residents of Yesha or hareidim–support sovereignty. The conference speakers essentially addressed three major issues: 1) How to bring about the desired sovereignty; 2) what will be the status of the Arabs living in Judea and Samaria; and 3) whether to push for full sovereignty over all of Yesha or to work gradually.
The Slow but Sure Approach
Three Likud members – Cabinet Minister Yuli Edelstein, MK Ze’ev Elkin, who is widely expected to be named a Cabinet minister following the upcoming elections, and MK Yariv Levine – supported what Elkin called the “salami approach.” We must learn from the Palestinians, he said, “take what we can now, and discuss the rest later.”
He said that we are “hopefully” now entering a new era in terms of Judea and Samaria: “For the first 25 years after the Six Day War, the ‘status quo approach’ reigned; beautiful Jewish communities were built, but the status of the areas did not change. Since 1993, we began a period of withdrawals – Oslo, then the Disengagement, etc. – and it is now clear to most that this has brought us less security, and increased demands from the PA… We must now begin to take proactive steps to improve our situation, and begin to apply sovereignty, or aspects thereof, on whatever areas we can at any given moment. It will not be easy, but it is necessary.”
The “This Is our Land” Approach
Others demanded full sovereignty now; coincidentally or not, they are not currently in the governing coalition. MK Aryeh Eldad said that Israeli law must be immediately imposed on all of Yesha, and Likud Knesset candidate Moshe Feiglin called upon the Israeli public to internalize the idea that “This Is our Land” – the name of the grass-roots movement he founded 20 years ago – and that sovereignty is the only solution. Popular thinker Caroline Glick echoed her position of the last conference, saying then that sovereignty, whether complete or partial, will cost us the same in terms of international opposition, “so why pay full price for half a job?”
Former MK Elyakim HaEtzni added that Arab autonomy leading to statehood is catastrophic, but that autonomy under the framework of full Israeli sovereignty in Yesha is the desirable way to go.
Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, running for Knesset on the Jewish Home ticket, quoted the Y’hi khvodparagraph in the Morning Prayers, in which the verse citing God’s choice of the Land of Israel precedes His choice of the people of Israel. And regarding the Arab minority living in our midst, he said that Yehoshua Bin Nun dealt with the same issue by simply insisting that they rid themselves of idol-worship and recognize Jewish control over the land. “This must be our clear red line,” Rabbi Ben-Dahan emphasized: “the recognition that there can be no foreign rule in Eretz Yisrael.”
Caroline Glick also cited Yehoshua Bin Nun, and said that his demand to forego all idol-worship has a parallel today: “They must agree to stop all terrorism.”
Citizenship – or Expulsion?
The issue of Yesha Arabs under Israeli sovereignty was thoroughly explored in an hour-long panel discussion concluding the conference. Glick took the most extreme approach: “All of them should be offered the right to apply to the Interior Ministry for citizenship. Based on past experience in Jerusalem and the Golan [which have both been annexed – HF], we know that most of the Arabs will not apply. And even if they would all become citizens, the Jewish population in Israel would still retain a two-third majority, buttressed by growing birth and Aliyah rates. Nothing is simple, but we need not fear taking the bold steps that are necessary; we have come to inherit our land!”
Dr. Martin Sherman, founder of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies, former Tel Aviv University lecturer, and former ministerial adviser to Yitzhak Shamir’s government – said there is no choice but to compensate the Arab residents and have them take up residence elsewhere. “Ultimately, there can be only one sovereignty between the Jordan and the Mediterranean – and we’d better make sure it’s ours, not theirs.” Dr. Sherman elaborated that Arab self-rule won’t work, because they have no loyalty to the Israeli government overseeing the autonomy, and that granting full rights would also fail because “two peoples who do not share basic nationalist cultures can simply not live together over time.” Therefore, he concluded, “the only option that remains is compensation/evacuation,” a solution first proposed by the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, whose name was not mentioned at the conference.
Wanted: Israeli TV
Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar Ilan University, who was asked to speak on the expected Arab reaction to Israeli sovereignty, said, “They haven’t accepted the results of the War of Independence, do we expect them to accept the results of the Six Day War?” Both the Arab world and the international community, Dr. Kedar predicted, can be expected to react moderately to strongly to a declaration of Israeli sovereignty. Part of the solution, he suggested, lies in launching an Israeli satellite TV channel for the general worldwide public. “It would not cost more than $15 million a year,” he assessed.
Co-chairs Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katzover, as well as other speakers, emphasized that the recent report submitted by the Justice Edmond Levy committee, outlining the legal foundation for Jewish settlement in Yesha, must be adopted: “It must take its proper place in open governmental discourse, and action must be taken in accordance with it.” MK Eldad, in a not-subtle dig at the Jewish Home party, demanded that all future coalition partners resign from the next Netanyahu government if the Levi Report is not legislated into law within three months.
The Day Will Come! All the speakers agreed on two things: a Palestinian state would be catastrophic for the State of Israel and must be avoided at all costs, and the very fact of the conference and its success is a great step forward towards applying Jewish sovereignty over all of Israel. In the inspiring words of an unusually uplifting Latma musical skit produced especially for the Conference, “The day will come – it must come – when only truth will be spoken, and all the world will say, without apology: This is Israel’s land – Israel’s!”
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