We Could Have Saved Gush Katif and Northern Samaria

I follow the developments surrounding the holding or cancellation of the parade, and I am very sad about what this means: now it has been proven, once and for all, that we could have saved Gush Katif and northern Samaria.

Nadia Matar,

OpEds Nadia Matar
Nadia Matar
Arutz 7
As I write this, it is still unclear whether or not the Abomination (Gay) Parade will be held in Jerusalem. One thing, however, is certain: the police and the other security forces entrusted with the holding of the event are broadcasting the explicit message that they do not want the parade to be held.

The strong responses from the ultra-Orthodox public, which promises to mobilize thousands of Jews who will physically prevent the implementation of the abomination, has had an impact; and now, a way is being sought to cancel the parade outright, or to move it to somewhere else that will not result in disturbances. This can already be considered a success.

I follow the developments surrounding the holding or cancellation of the parade, and I am very sad about what this means: now it has been proven, once and for all, that we could have saved Gush Katif and northern Samaria. If we, the national camp, had acted as the ultra-Orthodox are acting now, then Gush Katif and northern Samaria would undoubtedly still stand.

First, the unity in the ultra-Orthodox camp is praiseworthy. All the communities, all the factions, all the rabbis sent out a single, clear message: "All of us, as a single person, are mobilized to prevent the 'Abomination Parade', at any cost." No action headquarters distributed stickers: 'With Love We Will Be Victorious Over the Gay Parade.' No Face-to-Face (Panim-El-Panim) headquarters was founded to persuade the public. To the contrary - tens of thousands of fliers were distributed to the ultra-Orthodox community to instruct them what to do if and when they were to be arrested and sent to jail as a result of their protest. The message broadcast by the leaders of the struggle is clear: this parade is to be stopped, with determination and without sensitivity, even at the cost of sitting in prison.

No ultra-Orthodox rabbi rose up to denounce the violence by ultra-Orthodox demonstrators. No rabbi took a stand against ultra-Orthodox demonstrators, to push them away and prevent them from blocking roads. No ultra-Orthodox rabbi or leader went against the leading rabbis by saying: "The High Court of Justice decisions must be heeded, even if they oppose the laws of the Torah." No ultra-Orthodox public leader tried to curry favor with the leftist media. None of them hugged or danced with the police forces.

Second, the ultra-Orthodox do not wait for the day of the parade. To the contrary. In order to show that their threats are not empty, they initiates disturbances already a week and a half before "P" Day (Parade Day). Not the ridiculous "social gatherings/demonstrations" - with a police permit! - of the Council of Jewish Settlements in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, and no mass prayers at the Western Wall; rather, when the authorities plan to commit an abomination and a crime, the ultra-Orthodox understand that there is only a single way: disturbances, road blocking, stopping routine life in the country until the decree has been revoked.

And if this is how the ultra-Orthodox public acts to try and stop a parade of just a few hours duration, we can only imagine how much more intense their protest would be if the government were to attempt to implement a plan against them that entailed the destruction of ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, yeshivas and synagogues.

I belonged to a minority within the national camp that believed in our ability to cancel the deportation and destruction decree. I believed that we should take the path of mass civil disobedience and mass refusal against the immoral and un-Jewish government order for the deportation of Jews and the handing over of portions of the homeland to the enemy. I am most distressed that we were not successful in convincing our public of the justness of our struggle. I hope that in preparation for the coming struggles, whether in the outpost settlements or against any other evil decree of the government, we will have learned our lesson. I hope that we have gained valuable insights from the struggle to cancel the Gay Parade, and that from now on, our public will understand that mass civil disobedience can prove very successful.

Addendum:

When Attorney General Menachem Mazuz came out in support of holding the Gay Parade, saying that one "should not be intimidated by threats and violence," Women in Green sent out a short press release to the Hebrew press saying:
In reaction to Attorney General Mazuz's decision tonight, Women in Green has decided that this year we will apply for a permit to hold our annual Tisha B'Av March around the Old City Walls, to include the Temple Mount (on such places where Jews are allowed to walk according to Jewish Law). We are convinced that the police will obey Mazuz's instructions of not caving in to "threats of violence" by the Arabs. Thus, we can be sure such a march on the Temple Mount will finally be allowed.




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