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."



 

Israel's Centennial--2048
 
By Nadia Matar
 
 
 
 
The following is a translation of an article by Nadia Matar that appeared in the Yom Ha'atzmaut edition of the Mekor Rishon newspaper, May 4, 1998. Nadia, among many others, was asked to write an article on Israel in another fifty years.
 
2048 - Az ke-HolmimWe Are as Dreamers
From Rebirth to Revival
 
Nadia Matar: born in 1966 in Belgium. Immigrated to Israel in 1987 from Belgium. Born into a secular, traditional, and Zionist family, and was active in a Zionist youth movement in Belgium. In Jerusalem she met her husband David, a pediatrician from the US. They have lived in Efrat from '89, have four children, and the fifth is on the way. On Jerusalem Day of 1993, together with her mother-in-law Ruth Matar, they founded Women in Green, a popular women's movement for Israel. She has a program on Arutz 7 [on which this was also broadcast], and on the Jewish radio in London, "Jewish Spectrum."
 
The next fifty years will be defined as the transition from rebirth to revival, to a return to Judaism and Zionism. It all began at the end of the twentieth century, exactly 50 years ago. Events in the wake of which Shimon Peres was sent to prison, Arafat was executed, and a civil war erupted among the Arabs
 
In a few minutes the centenary celebrations will begin with the central performance on a huge three-dimensional screen which was erected on the Abu Sneina hills in Hebron. Tens of thousands of Hebron Jews receive the hundreds of thousands of Jews who are coming to participate in the centenary celebrations with them. This wonderful sight fills me with emotion. A while ago I turned 82, and it is a great honor to be present at the centenary celebrations of the State of Israel - and even more so in Hebron, the city of the Patriarchs, the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. I look around me and am amazed, as always, by the beauty of the place. Wherever you look, you see the houses of Jews who have come here to live over the course of years. I look around me and I remember.... I remember the events that occurred in the past fifty years - events that led to such a drastic change in our lives here in the State of Israel. If the first 50 years of the State were defined as the transition from Holocaust to rebirth [tekumah], then the current fifty years will be defined as the transition from rebirth to revival, to a return to Judaism and Zionism.
 
It all began at the end of the twentieth century, exactly 50 years ago. The deliberations about the second withdrawal were at an advanced stage, and for a moment it seemed that the Prime Minister would cave in to international pressures, but then there was another murder of a Jew by Arab rioters, who, as usual, fled to the autonomous areas. The public in Israel could no longer restrain themselves in the face of this bloodshed. Tens of thousands of Jews from throughout the country took part in spontaneous demonstrations, with the demand to stop Oslo - now! The public pressure was tremendous, and it helped.
 
On Yom Ha'atzmaut 1998 Binyamin Netanyahu delivered his historic speech, in which he proclaimed that the Oslo accords had failed, and that we could not continue to implement them. Not only did these
accords not bring peace, to the contrary - they created an Arab monster that slowly took control of all our land, with the clear intent of destroying us. "After 2,000 years of Exile and a terrible Holocaust, the Jewish people returned to its land and its freedom," Netanyahu declared, "this land belongs to the Jewish people for all eternity, and we shall no longer abandon even a single additional centimeter of our homeland to strangers."
 
This proclamation surprised and confused the PLO Authority, which was in the preparatory stages for a war with Israel, but planned to attack only after receiving a large contiguous territory, and then it would declare its independence in May 1999.
 
Arafat did not know how to respond.
A large delegation of leaders from the left headed by Shimon Peres came to his assistance, and advised him to formally unify with the Israeli Arabs, and to respond forcefully and violently. "Only terror can save the peace!" Peres and the people from Peace Now cried out. The Arabs listened to their advisors in the Israeli left, and acted accordingly: a car bomb exploded in the center of Israel and miraculously harmed "only" a few Israelis.
 
The Israeli government declared that it would not tolerate any terror against its citizens.
Yasser Arafat was arrested, convicted of crimes against the Jewish people, and executed.
Shimon Peres was convicted of collaboration with the enemy and was sentenced to life imprisonment.
 
The leftist camp shrank over time, until it was decided to establish a museum to memorialize the teachings of the post-Zionist left, in order to educate the young generation not to repeat the bitter mistakes of this messianic sect.
 
Within the Arab public, a civil war broke out in the struggle for leadership. Thousands of Arabs were murdered by their brethren. The situation deteriorated so greatly that the majority of Israeli Arabs and the Arabs of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza left, migrating to other Arab countries.
 
A dramatic development occurred concurrently in the United States. A wave of pogroms against Jewish communities swept the country after the assassination of the black leader Louis Farrakhan by misfits.
 
Most of the Jews of the United States fled to Australia, but several hundred thousand Jews, most of them religious, came to Israel and aided in the development of the land.
 
Dozens of new settlements sprang up throughout Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, Galilee, the Golan, and the Negev.
 
The quiet demographic revolution, which had already begun in the late '90s, accelerated, and the leadership of the State quickly passed into the hands of the religious-traditional-national public. This happened in the army, the media, culture, the courts, etc....The Jewish people chose believing leaders to be President and Prime Minister of the State of Israel.
 
The Women in Green movement initiated a tremendous campaign with the slogan" "Women and Mothers for Jewish Labor." The sticker they distributed read: "I am proud of my son the builder."
 
Thanks to the campaign, Jewish mothers finally agreed to send their children to types of work which until then had been considered "dirty": construction, street cleaning, agriculture, etc. The economy blossomed and unemployment vanished. The State of Israel flourished.
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The ringing of the telephone awakened me from my dream.
The time is 17:00, today, Sunday, 30 Nissan 5758, April 26, 1998. "Wake up, Nadia," my friend says, "we have to get ready for the demonstration tonight across from the Prime Minister's Office - a demonstration against the continuation of the withdrawals."

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Nadia Matar with her mother Ruth are the founders and co-presidents of Women For Israel’s Tomorrow (Women In Green).