From: Women in Green <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, May 28, 2010 at 5:49 AM
Subject: The Cat's Out of the Bag by Nadia Matar
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The Cat's out of the Bag
by Nadia Matar
I was happy to read the reports in the media on Wednesday, May 26,
2010, that dozens of lecturers from the Hebrew University set out with
hundreds of their students on a march to the "Sheikh Jarah" (Shimon
Hatzaddik) neighborhood in Jerusalem "to demonstrate against the entry
of Jewish settlers to the neighborhood and the removal of Arab
families from their homes."
The photographs accompanying the reports show the demonstrators with
signs such as: "Students and Lecturers against Settlements," "Thou
Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's House," and the like.
According to the report on Ynet, during the course of the procession
the students and the lecturers voiced calls such as "We will not sit
in classrooms when, outside, rights are being trampled" and "Civil
rights will not be taught with racism in Sheikh Jarah." They also bore
banners stating, among others (in a slogan that rhymes in Hebrew),
"There Is No Sanctity in an Occupied City."
The report quotes various lecturers who explain why they came to demonstrate:
Dr. David Tsafti, a lecturer in genetics: "I don't agree to the
expulsion of families from their homes. They say that the houses
belong to Jews, and maybe that is correct, but it certainly isn't
right [...] people have lost the ability to see Arabs as human
[Interestingly, five years ago Dr David Tsafti was not seen
demonstarting against the expulsion of our brothers from Gush
Katif...but let's go on to the next lecturer]
Ruti Bettler, a professor of education, said that she has been active
in this struggle [against Jews settling in Jerusalem's neighborhood of
Sheikh Jarrah] for a long time. "The attempt to expel these families
from their homes is an injustice in the human and moral plane." [She
too somehow, who is active on behalf of Arab squatters in homes they
grabbed and stole from the original Jewish owners, did not decry the
expulsion of Jews from their real homes.]
Let's go on to the next leftist professor quoted in the article:
Professor Tamar Rappaport said that no less than 10 lecturers in
education came to the demonstration. "Word of the demonstration went
though the social networks and [e-]mails, and reached people. In the
final analysis, lecturers, too, are people, and in this land it's
impossible not to be political." She made clear that the lecturers did
not come to the demonstration in the name of the university, and
rather were speaking for themselves, but she emphasized: "I think that
the struggle of Sheikh Jarah is closely connected with academy."
The professor of anthropology Yoram Bilu told that during all his
years in academe, he did not encounter such a broad and diverse
response by lecturers and students for such cooperation."
You'll be surprised to hear this, but I am very glad that such a
demonstration was held by the left. For years we have been trying to
persuade teachers, educators, and rabbis in our national camp that it
is inconceivable that they and their students would not be involved,
even during study hours, in the struggle for Eretz Israel.
During the Oslo period I attempted to persuade teachers to join the
demonstrations against the Oslo accords, together with their students,
during study times, as well. How is it possible to continue to study
when the house is on fire, we told them? And likewise during the
period of the expulsion from Gush Katif and northern Samaria, and
likewise right now: when the Arabs, who are financed by international
bodies, are stealing and grabbing thousands of dunams of state lands,
tens of thousands of yeshivah students in the state-religious or
hardal (semi-ultra-Orthodox) religious educational institutions
continue with routine life as usual, continue to study in
air-conditioned study halls - as if there were no physical war, on the
ground, for the land. Don't misunderstand me. I am not calling to stop
Torah study, or any other study, but I am calling to combine study
with the actual struggle on the ground, as I will explain in detail
below with practical examples.
Once I also tried to persuade Bnei Akiva counselors to organize
setting up new me'ahazim (outpost settlements), or to distribute
informational material against the Oslo accords and for Eretz Israel
as a whole. In all these instances described above we were confronted
by the same puzzling response: "It is forbidden for us and our members
to participate in "political" activity."
Now,after dozens of Hebrew University lecturers, who publicly
proclaimed their views, unabashedly participated in a demonstration by
the left, I want to hope that in our camp, as well, educators, rabbis,
teachers, lecturers, and their students will begin to arise and go out
to defend Eretz Israel, on the ground.
Ideas for action:
1) Each yeshivah, each school, each ulpanah (girls' seminary) will
adopt hilltops in Judea and Samaria, where they will organize rosters
of a permanent Jewish presence to defend the lands that will remain in
Jewish hands. They will plant trees, and also erect buildings, even if
only simple ones, where they will engage in their studies.
2) Each yeshivah, each school, each ulpanah, from the Gush Dan area,
too, will adopt a me'ahaz (outpost) in Judea and Samaria. The students
and teachers will aid that me'ahaz, by a duty roster, several times a
week, aiding in agriculture, construction, and maintaining a Jewish
presence. On Shabbatot, as well, come to the place and make a
3) In the event, Heaven forbid, of the destruction of structures,
studies will not be held on that day, and all the teachers and
students from the schools, the yeshivot, and the ulpanot, and the
youth movement members from the area, will come to aid in restoring
the ruins and rebuilding everything anew.
These, of course, are just examples of the activity that, in my humble
opinion, should be adopted by all the teachers and students in the
national educational institutions. The message is clear. As was said
in the demonstration by the leftists: "We will not sit in classrooms
when, outside, rights are being trampled." We are waiting for our
educators to tell their students: "We will not sit in classrooms and
study halls when, outside, the rights of Eretz Israel and the rights
of the Jews are being trampled. We will continue our studies - but
they will be combined with action on behalf of Eretz Israel."
Women For Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green)
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This email is L'Ilui Nishmat Yisrael ben David Aryeh ob"m (Izzy - Kaplan) a great activist and lover of Eretz Yisroel, Am Yisroel and the Torah. Yehi Zichrono Baruch.