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."



Psychiatrist Needed Urgently!
By Nadia Matar

May 25, 2006

If we want to save the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria, and thereby the very existence of the State of Israel, we apparently will have to begin with a considerable portion of our national-religious public receiving psychiatric care so that he can cure us of a mental disease that is deeply entrenched within us. As long as we suffer from this malady, we will not be able to act properly. I am referring to the fact that most of our public apparently does not regard the plans for the deportation of Jews, the destruction of settlements, and the handing over of parts of the homeland to the Arab enemy as a CRIME . And once this is not seen as a CRIME, then the public does not go out of its way to stop it. I received proof of this, once again, when I read through the responses to a report on Arutz7 Internet about Rabbi Lior\'s statement that "a community must vomit out a Kadima Member of Knesset."

On his weekly show on Arutz 7, Rabbi Lior from Kiryat Arba had been asked by a resident, who is a neighbor of a Member of Knesset who went over to the Kadima party, what should be the attitude to this MK.

"I want to ask about the attitude we should have to a religious MK, who acts for the destruction of settlements in our land. This MK has spoken for some time about the need, so he says, to destroy a large number of settlements in the Land of Israel. Since his election to the Knesset, his talk has not been just the _expression of an opinion. He takes concrete actions in his position as a legislator, apparently at the behest of the Prime Minister, for the actual preparation for the deportation of Jews, the destruction of their property, and their exile from their place of residence. How are we to relate to him? I have known him for many years, and at times I meet him. His behavior is quite cordial, but I find it very difficult to respond to him in a friendly manner, as I did in the past."

In his response, Rabbi Lior said:

"A healthy body that eats something spoiled immediately vomits it. If you are a healthy public, you will naturally vomit him out in order to stay healthy. If he had any intelligence, he would leave the settlement on his own, and would not live in a place that he is taking steps to destroy."

Dozens of people responded to the article, many of them attacking Rabbi Lior\'s answer. The following two responses show the severity of our mental illness: one comment is by a woman who defines herself as a "proud settler"(!), who says: "We must not forget that we are all brothers, and before all, even when there are differences of opinion, we must respect one another." And an even more pathological comment, from a resident who calls himself: "Boaz - a resident who does not want to vomit": "Yes, I, we, the residents of the settlements in Judea and Samaria, totally oppose the withdrawals, and loathe the insane ideology behind them, but to vomit out neighbors? With all due respect to his eminence (i.e. Rabbi Lior), the Rabbi does not understand the meaning of life in a communal settlement. If and when we succeed in building healthy community life, this is mainly because we had among us quarrels, intrigues, nonsense, and the like, over the course of years.... If we extricated ourselves from all this, it was because we undertook, as a group and as individuals, to forgive, to ask pardon, to understand weaknesses, and not to vomit. If we vomit what is not suitable - we will fall apart."

I felt compelled to answer those attacking Rabbi Lior. This is my response to Boaz and to that "proud" settler:

I have a question for you. What if someone in your community was known to go around among the people in the settlement, especially among the children and youth, and forcibly inject them with dangerous drugs, and for whatever reason the authorities did not arrest him, and despite all the times people spoke with him, he did not desist? To the contrary, he was proud of his criminal acts, and publicly announced that he intends to continue with his terrible deeds, and perhaps even to begin to rape little girls. If, in consequence, a group of parents arose and demanded that this person be vomited from the settlement - what would you say? "That we must not forget that we are all brothers, and we must respect one another? That in our communal life, we must forgive and understand weakness? That all in all, we are talking about someone with different opinions, who we should respect?"

Or, perhaps, you would join those who want to vomit him from the community, and in order to protect the community and your family, you would not have anything to do with him? I am certain that you would join those who want to remove him from the area. You would understand that there is a difference between a person who takes drugs, and thereby harms only himself. This is sad, but that is his own personal concern. With such a person, it is possible to sit and talk, and even to persuade him to stop. Someone, however, who goes about in the community and actively takes measures that endanger the lives of those living in that area, must be sent away. And if there are people in the settlement who do not want him far away - then they suffer from a mental illness.

Now I have an additional question for Boaz, and the "proud" settler, and our entire camp: Why do you think that someone who actively takes steps for the destruction of the entire settlement undertaking in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza - activity that endangers the entire national homeland, and not just your private house - should be treated differently than a criminal? Why don\'t you relate to such a person in the same way that you relate to the one in the settlement giving drugs or to a rapist?

Master of the Universe! How can we relate to people from Kadima, including people who call themselves "religious" such as Otniel Schneller, Yonatan Bassi, and others, as people with "just another opinion"? As regards the acceptance of people with "different opinions," no public is more tolerant than the national-religious public, for which we can be proud. But deportation-plan criminals no longer represent "a different opinion"! They are acting with force, against our will, to impose their opinion on an entire public; now, they are planning to destroy, raze, and demolish the entire life\'s work of that public! There is a difference between a person who eats non-kosher food, that is his private concern, and a person who comes to your home, and, threatening you with a gun, forces you and the members of your household to eat non-kosher food! We continue to respect and love the first person, but we cast out from our midst and vomit the second. If there are people who are willing to embrace the second person, the one who comes to you and threatens you with a weapon, then these people are suffering from a mental illness.

This might be the profound, underlying real reason for our failure last summer. We might have found here the true problem with our public: perhaps the problem is that our public felt, and still feels, the pain of the destruction of Gush Katif and Northern Samaria and the handing over of the territory to the Arab enemy, but it did not really regard this as a CRIME. When a CRIME is planned and implemented, then regular life stops, as long as the criminal is active. If we are not successful the first time, then we mobilize even more seriously, so that the second time we will triumph and prevent the criminals from carrying out their malicious plans. But if something like deportation is perceived as "not good," but still within the category of "it\'s not so terrible, either," then we merely protest in a moderate manner! We will then be written in the history books as having protested, but nothing much more than that.

The fact that a majority of our public did not relate to the destruction of Gush Katif and Northern Samaria as a CRIME, and did not view the implementers of the deportation as criminals, with all that this implies, is the greatest failure of the national-religious education. This is the reason why these places were destroyed so easily. This is also the reason why so many rabbis defied former Chief Rabbi Shapira\'s clear ruling and did not call upon their yeshiva soldiers to disobey the order of the uprooting. For if something is not considered a CRIME, why should a soldier refuse orders?

The solution for a successful struggle against Olmert\'s plan to destroy the settlements in Judea and Samaria apparently is to be found here. We must give our public a quick psychiatric session, to heal the public of its mental illness. I describe this illness as: "If someone comes to eliminate you, get up early to embrace him". We must explain to everyone that the Olmert plan constitutes an existential threat for us and for the entire State of Israel. It should, therefore, be regarded as a CRIME. As soon as we understand this, we will also know how to act decisively, without "sensitivity", so that the government will understand that it will not be worthwhile for it to take us on! Where is that psychiatrist who can treat our public and urgently?


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