And What Are You Doing This Summer?

It cannot be that a Jew who is loyal to his land and his heritage will stay home with arms folded and watch the horrendous events on television. Some will come months before the uprooting date. Some will come for two weeks, some for one. But no one will stay at home.

Nadia Matar,

OpEds Nadia Matar
Nadia Matar
Arutz 7
These are difficult times. Our country is being kidnapped, before our very eyes, by a band of politicians, thugs and frauds led by Ariel Sharon, who, like a real dictator in Bolshevik style, wants to force his disastrous plan upon us. The Sharon Plan not only endangers the entire settlement enterprise in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, it threatens all our lives and delegitimizes the continued existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish state.

A witch-hunt is currently underway against anyone who dares to oppose the Sharon Plan. Lies are spread by public officials who presumably are attacked by opponents of "disengagement". It is clear to all that these episodes never happened. There is the use of horrifying force by the police against nonviolent demonstrators, and the list of such incidents grows each day.

The aim of all this is obvious. First, to divert the attention of the public from the true crime of the Israeli government, a crime that includes: the release of terrorists; the handing over of parts of the homeland to the enemy; the transformation of that land into a Judenrein Fatahland, from which missiles will be launched at all of Israel's major cities; the training and rearming of the PLO army; the entry of Jordanian and Egyptian soldiers close to our homes; and who knows what else. So that the public will not devote too much thought to the immorality of this course of events, and to all the dangers and the murder of Jews that will result from the criminal Sharon Plan - which is a sort of "mega-Oslo" - the decision was made to assault those who cry out.

The second goal, obviously, is to intimidate all those who intend to demonstrate and protest. The documents circulating on the Internet concerning all the plans of the police (which include: the use of overwhelming force against demonstrators; the promise not to indict violent policemen who attack and brutalize demonstrators; the plan to separate parents from children; the building of camps for prolonged detention of thousands of demonstrators; and even the government's willingness to shoot Jewish demonstrators) are truly intimidating and shocking. The government wants to lead us to despair, to implant in us the feeling that everything is lost, that there is no point in even opening our mouths and crying out.

We must not fall into this trap! Not only are we capable of stopping the Sharon Plan, but the more that the Sharon regime's persecution campaign intensifies, the more strength and encouragement we should draw from this. We should realize that they are in a state of total panic, rightly fearing that they will not be able to realize their malicious schemes.

This is best illustrated by a short story that should light the way for us, which was mentioned by Rabbi Binyamin Lau in the Kislev 5765 (November 2004) issue of Nekudah. In the year 40 CE, the Roman emperor Gaius Caligula proclaimed his intent to erect a idol in the Temple in Jerusalem. The edict was to be implemented by the Syrian procurator Petronius with two legions. In practice, this was a declaration of war against the Jews and Judaism. Both Philo and Josephus describe the profound shock of the Jews when they heard of this horrendous decree.

Philo describes what happened when Petronius arrived in Tiberias with his forces, on his way to Jerusalem: Some of Petronius' men saw a multitude approaching. The multitude of Jews came as swiftly as a cloud and covered the face of the land of Phoenicia. Then the sound of shouting, wailing and the clapping of hands was heard, so awesomely that the ears of the listeners could not bear it. This sound did not cease even when the people stopped screaming, rather its echoes reverberated even after they had already fallen silent. The Jews were divided into six divisions: the older men, youth, and boys on one side, and the older women, maidens, and girls on the other.

When Petronius appeared, the Jews told him: We have not come to fight, for who can strive with the Emperor? But there are only two possibilities - either not to erect the idol, or to destroy all the people of Judea entirely. Accordingly, if you have resolved to erect an idol in the Temple, then kill us all first, and then do what your heart desires. For as long as we are capable of taking even a single breath, we may not permit anything against our Torah to be done. We are not so witless as to raise a hand against the mighty Emperor. Behold, our necks are extended for slaughter, and our lives to be taken. When not a single one of us is left, then carry out the order of Gaius.

In other words, tens of thousands of Jews - men, women and children - left their homes, left the fields at the height of the harvest, and came in the height of the summer heat, to stand without arms and without violence against the Roman army. They came to state simply: We cannot remain in our homes and allow this decree to be implemented. We will stand here in masses, and you will be forced to kill us all if you desire to carry out this crime.

The Jews remained there for weeks. Petronius realized that he could not fight against this popular uprising. Caligula was furious, and even threatened to sentence the procurator to death if he did not obey the order. And then a miracle occurred. Caligula was killed in Rome during some political strife that was totally unrelated to the events in Eretz Israel, the decree was abrogated, and calm returned to Judea.

The Sharon decree is like a declaration of war against the Jews, against Zionism and against the State of Israel. As our forefathers acted during the time of Caligula in order to prevent the execution of the decree, with nonviolent civil disobedience, it is incumbent upon each and every one of us to go this summer to Gush Katif, or to the closest place to Katif if the area will be sealed off, and to prevent, with our bodies, the execution of the decree. Again, without violence and without the use of force. The masses will prove decisive and, with God's help, will defeat all of Sharon's plans for the security forces.

Before thinking about the logistics of the operation (how to come, what to do with the children, what about work, how will we have food, what will we do if arrested, and many more important questions), we must first psychologically prepare ourselves and our families. This summer, all of us will be in Gush Katif. We will not go on vacation to the Golan or to Eilat or abroad. We will not plan trips, picnics or even a kumsitz. This summer there are no plans, except one: masses of people going to Gush Katif.

It cannot be that a Jew who is loyal to his land and his heritage will stay home with arms folded and watch the horrendous events on television. Some will come months before the uprooting date. Some will come for two weeks, some for one. But no one will stay at home. This message has to be delivered, already now, to all the members of our families, and to our friends and acquaintances.

There is no doubt that the arrival of tens of thousands of Jews to the area marked for uprooting, together with the tens of thousands of soldiers and policemen who will refuse to implement the crime of deportation, and the tens of thousands of others who will disrupt the entire country with demonstrations and the blocking of roads from the north to the south, will, with G-d's help, succeed in preventing the execution of the decree. All the intimidation, the threats, the arrests and the silencing of protests will be of no avail. Our strength lies in our numbers. Our strength lies in our determination. Our strength lies in our faith in HaShem and in the justice of our cause.

"They call on chariots, they call on horses, but we call on the name of the L-rd our G-d. They collapse and lie fallen, but we rally and gather strength. O L-rd, grant victory. May the King answer us when we call." (Psalms 20:8-10)