[June 14, 1997] The following is the translation into English of Sunday's Hebrew program by Nadia Matar, the chairperson of Women for Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green), on Arutz 7.
Shalom to all our listeners! This is Nadia Matar speaking:
Every Tisha be-Av eve during the time of the previous regime, the Rabin-Peres government -we, the Women in Green movement, together with our members and friends, organized a mass reading of Eikhah (the Book of Lamentations) and then a march around the walls of the Old City.
I recall that the first time we organized this event, we were forced to appeal to the High Court of Justice because the police refused to grant us a permit to walk about through what it defined as the "non-Jewish" parts of the city. We argued in the High Court of Justice that Jerusalem is a unified city and that the position of the police is ridiculous and surprising. We won in the High Court of Justice, and since then the event has been held each year. About 25,000 marchers participated in the last march.
We have decided that this year it is essential to once again conduct this event. Details will, of course, be provided in the coming weeks. There is no doubt that not only Judea, Samaria, and Gaza and their settlements are in danger, but also Jerusalem. We are not speaking only of the fact that Har Homah is not being built, but also of the fact that the Arabs are slowly turning Jerusalem into the capital city of Palestine, and the government turns a blind eye. You will hear about this only on the news on Arutz 7, and only in the Hatzofeh and Mekor Rishon newspapers will you read about this. For example, this Shabbat there was a bloodcurdling report in Mekor Rishon about what is actually happening in Jerusalem. Amnon Shomron writes, and I quote: "Hundreds of dunams of areas that are already in Jewish ownership are waiting for building permits and are held in abeyance by Binyamin Netanyahu. Although he accused Peres of dividing the city, in practice Netanyahu turns a blind eye to the Palestinian activity in the city, halts Jewish construction, and divides Jerusalem." End of quote.
And so, in practice, we have a situation in which Netanyahu both divides Jerusalem and, with his own hands, establishes the Palestinian state. For this is the meaning of the next withdrawal: the creation of territorial continuity between the isolated islands by the PLO, which will make possible, Heaven forbid, the establishment of the state of Palestine.
The problem, my listeners, is that many people within our public still have not awakened, and find themselves trapped in the psychological state of" wishful thinking" - the hope that all these facts are only a bad dream, and that it is not possible that a Prime Minister who is "one of ours," "one of our camp," will implement such a terrible thing.
We generally hear the following responses in our camp: Some say that Netanyahu TALKS about a withdrawal, but does not intend to actually implement it, and we have nothing to worry about.... I turn to these people and remind them of the precedent of Yamit with Menachem Begin or the precedent of Hebron of Netanyahu himself. Stop living in illusions!!
Others, including to my surprise Emunah Elon, adopt the following line of thought: I quote from an interview with Emunah Elon on Arutz 7 a week ago: "We regard every withdrawal from Eretz Israel as an act that is forbidden from every aspect and that is very dangerous. Nonetheless, if that is what the public at large thinks should be done now, all that can be done is to stand on the side... because what I fear will happen," Elon says, "is that if and when the armed struggle with the Palestinians will begin, the people are liable to be unready for war, the people might be so divided, so certain that this is a war of choice that could have been prevented, that, Heaven forbid, our strength to withstand the enemy is liable to be harmed." The end of the quote by Emunah Elon.
In other words: we all know that there will be a war, but if PM Netanyahu will not carry out the additional withdrawal, then he, his government, and the entire national camp will be held responsible for this war. And so, those people say, it is better for him to implement the withdrawal, and our task will be to at least "minimize the damage."
Still others have raised another proposal, namely, the conducting of a national referendum. My listeners, all these ideas are unrealistic and even dangerous. To say that we must withdraw lest we be charged with responsibility for the war is simply absurd. We know that even if the government will implement a withdrawal of 20 percent, the Arabs then plan to start an armed struggle over Jerusalem, the right of return, and so on.... And then Netanyahu and the national camp will NOT be accused? Will we give in then, too, for fear of what will be said on the Mabat newscast? Since when does a government betray its constituency, for fear of what will be said by those who did not vote for this government?
The idea of a referendum also is erroneous, because (1) most of the people did not receive the correct explanation of the significance of the withdrawal and thus do not understand its meaning, and (2) the question will undoubtedly be presented in a distorted manner. It will be presented as if this is a choice between peace and war; they will attempt to persuade us that if there will be a withdrawal then presumably there will be no bloodshed, which is a complete falsehood.
But, in my opinion, the most dangerous, and even most wicked idea of all is what we even hear from NRP leaders who have undergone a "Third Way" metamorphosis and say that we must remain in the government, and at least minimize the damage. I ask: "What is this, to "minimize the damage?" To hand over to the enemy 15 settlements, and not 20? This is a victory? This is moral? I learned that Jewish law says that if the enemy comes to a city and demands that the Jewish community surrender to it ONE Jew who will then be hanged, otherwise the entire community will be murdered, the law expressly states that this individual Jew may not be handed over, regardless of the consequences. Who are these Jews who think that they are permitted to choose between blood and blood, between the settlements that will be surrendered and those that will not??? This is simply unbelievable!!
The only response, my listeners, is LEADERSHIP and HASBARA (information campaign). Netanyahu must not cave in to the dictates of the United States or the left, he rather must look the people in the eyes and state the simple truth: the Oslo accords never constituted an option for peace, but rather the contrary, they only whet the appetite of the Arabs. We are on the way to an armed conflict with them, because they have not changed, and they will not cease to fight us until they receive Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
A withdrawal of even one percent is national, Zionist, historical, and defense suicide, and therefore our representatives in the Knesset must not remain in a government that will decide upon a withdrawal.
Have a good week, and let us not forget to continue our struggle for the release of Jonathan Pollard and for the return of our MIA's: Ron Arad, Zechariah Baumel, Yehudah Katz, and Tzvi Feldman.