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Daily Israel Report

Grassroots Mattot Arim: Block Terror Highway

Mattot Arim grassroots group fights on two fronts: Reports on nationalist MKs’ performance, and calls for a return of the anti-terror checkpoints.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 8/16/2009, 2:28 PM / Last Update: 8/16/2009, 3:08 PM

The Mattot Arim grassroots organization is fighting on two fronts: it has issued a report on nationalist MKs’ performance, and is also calling for the return of the anti-terror checkpoints.

In the wake of the recent Palestinian Authority terror attacks – a shooting last week near Shilo, an attack in Hevron, and more – Mattot Arim (Cities of Israel) says the “highway of terrorism must be blocked up by restoring the checkpoints.”

“It must be made perfectly clear,” Mattot Arim said in a statement released Sunday. “Fatah (which controls the PA in Judea and Samaria -ed.) is not at all committed to peace with Israel, as we saw at their recent convention.  They are faking us out. Terrorism is sprouting up again, and we must change the dynamics before it once again reaches us in the greater Tel Aviv and Jerusalem areas.”

Mattot Arim is based in Rehovot, and boasts thousands of supporters from within pre-1967 Israel.

“We must provide ‘an appropriate Zionist response, as we once knew how to do,” Mattot Arim demands, “namely, the legalization of all the Israeli outposts and a large swell of construction throughout Judea and Samaria. This will be a painful blow to Palestinian nationalism, which seeks to settle in the Land of Israel in place of us, and will quickly cool off their ardor.”

“At the same time, we have to block up the terrorism highway that has been created over the past few months from the terrorism headquarters in Shechem (Nablus) to the hotels in Netanya – a highway that has no way-stations except for a few random checks that can stop only some of the terror attacks.”

“From a political standpoint,” adds spokesperson Susie Dym, “the right-wing nationalist ministers must wake up and realize that with the Knesset in recess, the fate of the State of Israel is in their hands. They must demand Cabinet votes for the various decisions of [Defense Minister] Ehud Barak, and he will thus be thwarted and will, hopefully, leave the government.”

Last week, Mattot Arim published the results of an internal poll, in which it graded the “performance” of the nationalist camp Cabinet ministers and MKs. Among Likud MKs, Danny Danon, Yariv Levine and Tzipi Hotobeli led with 36, 33, and 24 anti-Palestinian state quotes, respectively. Among the Likud Cabinet ministers, Gilad Erdan led with a bare 13.  Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz has only one anti-Palestinian state mention.  In the National Union, MK Michael Ben-Ari has 35, while Aryeh Eldad has 30 and Uri Ariel has 26.  In the Jewish Home party, Uri Orbach has 23 mentions, Zevulun Orlev – 15, and Science Minister Rabbi Prof. Daniel Herskovitz – only 5.