Psychiatrist Needed Urgently

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 treatment for a mental disease that is deeply entrenched within us.

Nadia Matar

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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 treatment for 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 a report on Arutz Sheva's Hebrew-language internet site about Rabbi Dov Lior's statement that "a community must vomit out a Kadima member of Knesset."

On his weekly radio program on Arutz Sheva, Rabbi Lior of Kiryat Arba was asked by a resident what is the proper attitude towards a neighbor who is a member of Knesset from the Kadima party.

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. 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.
I felt compelled to answer those attacking Rabbi Lior:

What if someone was known to go around among the people in the settlement, especially among the children, 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? On the contrary, he was proud of his criminal acts and publicly announced that he intends to continue them. If a group of parents arose and demanded that this person be vomited from the settlement, then 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?

Or perhaps, you would join those who want to vomit him from the community, in order to protect the community and your family. You would understand that this is not a person who takes drugs and thereby harms only himself. With such a person, it is possible to sit and talk, and even to persuade him to stop. However, someone who actively takes measures that endanger the lives of those living there 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.

I have an additional question for 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?

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 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 the second. If there are people who are willing to embrace a person who comes and threatens them with a weapon, then these people are suffering from a mental illness.

This might be the profound, underlying reason for our failure last summer. Perhaps 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 to prevent the criminals from carrying out their plans. But if something like deportation is perceived only as "not good", then we merely protest in a moderate manner. We will then be written in the history books as having protested, but nothing 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, 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 Avraham Shapira's clear ruling and did not call upon their yeshiva soldiers to disobey the uprooting orders. For if something is not considered a crime, then why should a soldier refuse orders?

Apparently, the key to a successful struggle against Ehud Olmert's plan to destroy the settlements in Judea and Samaria is to heal the public of its mental illness. We must explain to everyone that the Olmert plan constitutes an existential threat 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 to take us on. Where is that psychiatrist who can treat our public - and urgently?

The foregoing is an abbreviated and edited version of Nadia Matar's original article of the same name.