Published by The Freeman Center

The Maccabean Online

Political Analysis and Commentary
on Israeli and Jewish Affairs

"For Zion's sake I shall not hold my peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I shall not rest."



The Disease of Blind State Worship
Nadia Matar


Those people who oppose boycotting General Gershon Hacohen and think that he should have spoken in the Kfar Etzion debate titled "King David and I" point out that Gershon Hacohen has a lot of worthy deeds under his belt, a grand past in the army; One rabbi even says that Hacohen "prevented blood from being spilled at the time of the Gush Katif expulsion" and that after the deed was done, Hacohen admitted (not in public, but personally to one of the bereaved families) that he participated in a crime. Others say that Hacohen represents a different point of view, and, after all, what is the problem with hearing a different opinion?

If so, I would like to propose that the serial rapist Beni Sela should be invited to be a head speaker in the "Binyan Shalem" convention titled "Family Relationships". Why not? I\'m sure Beni Sela has performed some good deeds. I\'m sure he loves his parents, and fulfills the commandment of respecting parents. He probably once helped a blind man to cross the street. He may have done his reserve duty in the army and has helped the country in this way.

While raping his victims, he shed tears of identification with them and most important, he prevented bloodshed. He just raped. He did not murder. And when he did rape, he did it gently. So he promises. Until the next rape. but mainly, he represents a different opinion.so why not hear him out?

Sounds like a crazy idea? Excessive? Radical? Too cynical? Why?

They\'ll say "Don\'t exaggerate. Beni Sela is a real criminal, how can you even compare the two?" And this is where the problem is: The organizers of this debate really do not understand the problem inherent in inviting Hacohen. It is because they do not think of the events of 2005 in Gush Katif as a crime. And the moment the expulsion is not a crime, what\'s the problem with inviting Hacohen?

The whole problem with the "Hacohen and the debate" is the very fact that he was invited ­ an invitation that shows us a clinically twisted and sick outlook, in part of the people of our camp. We must try and understand how it is that a large part of our community does not look upon the expulsion of 2005 as a crime? There is no doubt that if the same thing would have happened in France, and the government there would have expelled in force 10,000 Jews from the capital Paris and would give the synagogues there to Muslims in order to turn them to mosques, that all the organizers of this debate, together with the people of Israel would be united in the opinion that this is an anti-Semitic crime, and that we need to boycott and fight against those Europeans.

Why is it that when this is done in Israel, there is no shock? Obviously not in the left; but even close to home the director of the Kfar Etzion Field School Yaron Rozenthal and the head of the Gush Etzion Community Center Eliaz Cohen, do not remember or interpret the expulsion as a crime?

Is the answer to this question the fact that it was done by Jews? Meaning the same act, done by non-Jews is a crime, but done by Jews, inside the "family", is ok?

There are those who explain this as the abused wife syndrome, where a beaten woman tries to appease her husband by hugging him more. The fear of the strong, controlling left, leads to appeasement even if the price is treading on one\'s own brothers. Others explain it as the "Stockholm Syndrome". The Stockholm syndrome is a phenomenon where a captive who is held by force by strangers, starts agreeing and empathizing with the ideology and actions of the people holding him. This syndrome comes from the need identify one\'s self with the strong and controlling element. We can also say that inviting Yossi Sarid and Gershon Hacohen reminds us of the Christian way of offering the other cheek to whoever spits on you or tries to tread on you. All these descriptions are correct, but they do not adequately address our question. Why? How did this happen?

The problem is not only inviting Hacohen to the biblical debate. The problem is the conduct of part of our camp before, during and after the expulsion; dancing with the soldiers. The cooperation and groveling of certain rabbis and public figures with the perpetrators of the expulsion. Physical and verbal violence of the appeasers against right-wing activists. The pathetic need to be liked by the left. No other sector would behave like this when a threat of expulsion and the destruction of their life\'s work were hanging over their head. Not the Charedim, not the secular camp. And certainly not the Druze. So why, why has our camp behaved in such an abnormal way? In this question lies the root of the problem and the root of the answer.

I believe that the state-religious education system has spoiled many in our camp, rabbis and public figures included. This education believes in the ideology that the "State is above all". Many have stretched this ideology to such extremes that in their opinion the government, as the representative of the state, can do whatever it pleases, even crimes against the Jewish people in its land. This radical state-worshipping has ultimately led to bizarre scenes of dancing with the expulsion forces. This extreme ideology prevented the Yesha Council from struggling to save Gush Katif, and instead to mourn and protest pitifully, because the holy State cannot be beaten. This abnormal ideology does not see the expulsion as a crime, which is why there is no problem with inviting the commander of the expulsion Hacohen to speak his piece. This perverted idea spoiled a lot of us and caused a lot of religious people to participate in the expulsion and thus desecrated G-d\'s name by giving
 a hand to the abandonment of parts of our holy Land to the enemy, and by expelling Jews from their land.

Luckily, not all have fallen victim to this radical and dangerous indoctrination that causes its victims to turn to mindless robots who obey every order, without questioning the ethics of the order. More and more people in our camp understand the danger of blind obedience to the government. These are the people who, please G-d, will make sure that another expulsion will not take place.

These are people that understand that the State is not a goal in itself, but a tool to be used for another purpose: returning the Jewish people to its G-d given Land, application of Jewish sovereignty on all of Israel when the day comes and we can restore the Jewish kingdom of old. The same idea is correct when talking about the army. The IDF was created to safeguard the people of Israel in the Land of Israel, and to fight the enemies of Israel. If there are people who take over this country and its army and completely change their purpose, there is no better way to sanctify the name of G-D than to oppose them.

What the radical state-worshippers do not understand is that opposing the expulsion command, would have sanctified, rather than harmed the IDF. Massive civilian disobedience to prevent the expulsion crime would have only preserved the State of Israel in the Land of Israel.

We failed in Gush Katif and the Northern Samaria in the summer of 2005. Since then, we are trying to remedy the problem, in time for the future struggles over Judea and Samaria. The flood of protests to the invitation of Gershon Hacohen to the "King David and I" convention shows that thank G-D, there is a large group of people that understood the lesson taught to us in the 2005 expulsion and will struggle, this time seriously, to save Israel. I am sure that King David, who fought his whole life to conquer and build the Land of Israel, thanks all those activists who prevented a great desecration of G-D\'s name in Kfar Etzion.