Reply From a Frustrated Activist

Why aren't we organizing the masses?

Nadia Matar,

OpEds Nadia Matar
Nadia Matar
Arutz 7
Dear Reader,

As the wholesale nature of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's impending capitulation to the Arab enemy becomes more evident, my mailbox has filled with worried letters from American Jews asking the same questions:

"Where are the people of Israel?"

"Why isn't the Orange Camp organizing a mass protest campaign?"
Supporters of Oslo and Annapolis have immense and seemingly unlimited funds.

"Why don't you order buses for 400,000 people to have a sit-in in front of the Knesset?"

I understand where those questions are coming from. The polls show that a large majority of the Jewish people opposes the creation of a PLO state. They understand that such a state will turn the whole country into Sderot and lead directly to the destruction of the State of Israel, God forbid. So why aren't we organizing those masses who oppose Olmert's policies?

My answer is simple. We have no money.

All the major grassroots Land of Israel organizations are in contact and working together. We have experience, we have inside knowledge of Israeli society and politics, and we have ranks of talented activists. We even have an amazing generation of young people undeterred by police violence, long jail terms without trial and public revilement by a media who serve the anti-Zionist agenda. We are working day and night, and despite the near total lack of media coverage, we are keeping the fires of dissent on a low burn.

Homesh has had a continual Jewish presence for months running. The government hasn't attempted another Amona yet. And we continue to create new settlement points in Judea and Samaria - to the dismay of the authorities.

Whereas the supporters of Oslo and Annapolis have immense and seemingly unlimited funds, our organizations run on shoestring budgets and volunteer help. The Left has little public support, but, to give just one example, a vicious, deceitful group like Peace Now has the budget for a large professional staff, constant aerial and land surveillance of every inch of Judea and Samaria, and frequent publications of their glossy and spurious reports.

And what do we have the budget for? Here's an example of one protest we're currently organizing: Itzik and Danny Halamish from Maaleh Rehavam in Gush Etzion were defending their community in their official capacity as security officers against violent Arab trespassers. They were sentenced to prison terms of eight months for shooting a bullet in the air to disperse the threatening mob. The message is that Jews have no right to defend themselves against Arab attack.

Fifteen activist groups agreed to work together to prevent this injustice. Originally, we thought we needed $5,000 to launch a large protest on the day of their incarceration. Costs ended up totaling almost $13,000. That amount includes ads in newspapers for a total of $8,000. (Ads in major newspapers like The Jerusalem Post, B'sheva and Makor Rishon cost tens of thousand of dollars.) Thirteen thousand posters in Jerusalem and Gush Etzion cost $1,000. (The cost of posters throughout the country is prohibitive.) Pasting posters in Jerusalem and distributing fliers in Gush Etzion mailboxes costs $1,000, and printing stickers, banners and other props for the demo cost another $2,000.

None of the 15 groups could come up with such a sum. So I sent emergency e-mails to dozens of Jewish activists within and outside of Israel. After a full day making phone calls and pleading with neighbors in Gush Etzion, we raised only $3,000.

What to do? Should we cancel the protest and let this evil pass quietly, or take a chance and hope that somehow the money will come in? Women in Green decided to take a chance and pay all the expenses. I can't sleep at night while worrying about where the rest of the money will come from.

Comic relief comes from reading those e-mails from the US telling us to "organize
How on Earth are we supposed to organize mass campaigns costing hundreds of thousand of dollars if we cannot even raise a mere $13,000?
buses," "organize a campaign," and "publicize it far and wide in all the major newspapers." I ask the following: How on Earth are we supposed to organize mass campaigns costing hundreds of thousand of dollars if we cannot even raise a mere $13,000?

We have so many projects that need to be carried out, but are waiting until the money can be found. We need millions of dollars to change the reality, but find ourselves spending our precious days trying to raise $1,000 here and another $1,000 there.

There are so many wealthy Jews in the world. But instead of giving money to change our reality, they give their money to cope with it. They donate to "victims" - victims of terror, victims of the Kassams, ambulances and hospitals. Others like to build synagogues and write Sefer Torahs. All those things are very nice, but we are in the middle of a struggle for our survival - a struggle we are losing.

Why won't anyone, with very few exceptions, give to those who are fighting against our victimization? Why won't they donate to a fund to save the Jewish state from self-destruction?

This is my answer to all your passionate e-mails. There's no point telling us "what we should do" unless you're willing to help us get the money to do it.