Yes, the Doctor is to Blame

If we wish to be victorious in the next battle for the Land of Israel, we must ensure that the official leadership of the National Camp, whose struggle failed, will not continue to lead us.

Nadia Matar

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Last week, Moshe Ben-Zimrah and Yaakov Sternberg wrote an article entitled "The Doctor is Not to Blame", in which they strongly oppose the sharp criticism within the National Camp against the functioning of the Council of Jewish Settlements in Judea, Samaria and Gaza in the struggle to rescue Gush Katif and northern Samaria. The authors of the article attempt to convince us that, despite the failure, the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council acted superbly and did all that was in its power to try and prevent the evil decree.

"Mistakes were made, but these were tactical errors and not a fundamentally flawed strategy," they tell us. They call anyone who dares to oppose the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council incorrect, and liken the situation to a pair of parents who unjustly charge the surgeon with the death of the child on whom he operated.

But what can we do - sometimes the doctor is to blame. When the doctor is aware of the existence of various medicines that could save the patient, but for all manner of strange reasons, he does not give these medicines to the patient, who then dies, the doctor is, in fact, to blame. The situation is even worse when the patient's relatives stubbornly try to obtain those medicines, and the physician not only publicly denounces them, but makes every effort to keep the relatives from giving the medicines to the patient. In such circumstances, the relatives are obligated to tell everyone about the physician's misdeeds, to ensure that he is fired, that he will not continue in his position, and even to consider a malpractice lawsuit.

All this is not out of vengefulness, and not as a personal vendetta. In his private life, the physician could undoubtedly be an extremely nice person, originate from an outstanding family, and who contributes greatly to his community and synagogue, but in order to save other patients who are on the operating table, we must ensure that the physician will never practice medicine again.

The settlements of Beit El, Tekoa and - if we are to believe Condoleezza Rice - the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem, as well as many other locations, are currently on the government's operating table, to be destroyed and given away to the Arab enemy. If we wish to be victorious in the next battle for the Land of Israel, we must ensure that the official leadership of the National Camp, whose struggle failed, will not continue to lead us. And anyone who tells us, as do the authors of the article, that the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council did everything possible, and that no one proposed an alternative way, is not only wrong, but deceptive.

We all are conscious of the wonderful things that the Yesha Council has done over the years with regard to construction, building and the development of settlements. But in the ideological struggle, in the battle against the government's plan of destruction and ruin - they failed. And because ever since the destruction of Gush Katif and northern Samaria, the Council has published many expensive advertisements in order to convince all of us that there was nothing wrong with the way they waged the struggle and the path they chose, we find it necessary to publicly express our criticism.

Firstly, the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council should not have called for a referendum. If the deportation of Jews from their homes and the handing over of parts of the Promised Land to the murderous Arab enemy is a crime, then no referendum could give a seal of approval to such a crime. A crime is a crime is a crime. The Council's demand for a referendum weakened the struggle, and legitimized the idea of the deportation of Jews, the uprooting of settlements and the handing over of our homeland to the enemy. Now, we need selfless leaders who will declare, fearlessly, without stuttering: All the Land of Israel was given to us by G-d and no one is entitled to hand it over. Even a majority of the government, the Knesset or a referendum cannot make the handing over of portions of the Land of Israel legal and moral; therefore, such decisions must be vigorously opposed.

As regards the strategy of the struggle, after the parliamentary fight failed, there still remained three elements that could have canceled the deportation decree: refusal to obey orders, nonviolent civil disobedience, and the bringing of tens of thousands of Jews to Gush Katif on the eve of the deportation. A united call by the "official" leadership of the National Camp for these three elements, which constitute the basis for any popular struggle against a corrupt and dictatorial government, would unquestionably have been capable of saving Gush Katif and northern Samaria. Not only did the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council not act in this direction, it (together with certain rabbis and members of Knesset) condemned those who acted in accordance with these principles. They condemned those who blocked roads, they met with the top echelon of the IDF, announcing to them that they opposed refusal to obey orders, and they actively worked against the bringing of tens of thousands to Gush Katif.

All their energy and funds were channeled in a single direction: the Face-to-Face campaign, the distribution of orange ribbons and social happenings in the guise of demonstrations. As much as these actions made us feel better, they patently lacked any meaning in a dictatorial country such as Sharonland.

More and more material has accumulated in the past weeks demonstrating that the "official" leadership of the National Camp was interested solely in the grandiose orchestrating of symbolic protest, but not in actions following the three principles that would have led to victory. Such material raises the question whether, to our shame, this was not only incompetence, weakness, despair and extreme cooperation with the State authority, but even full collaboration by the "official" leadership of the National Camp with the expulsion forces. There are too many examples to mention them all, but there are those who will testify that at Kfar Maimon and at S'derot, from the outset, there was no intention of reaching Gush Katif. That is, they consciously deceived and misled the public.

There are testimonies that the leaders of the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council coordinated with the deportation forces the breakthrough into N'vei Dekalim, the concentration of the activists inside the synagogue and the breaking into the synagogue itself. There are testimonies that the heads of the Council had permanent permission to enter Gush Katif, because they promised "to restrain and moderate" the activists. If this is not collaboration, then what is?

As is written in Yoav Yitzchak's article in NFC of August 20, 2005: "[Attorney General Menachem] Mazuz met with the heads of the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council several times, and reached understandings with them, according to which they would act to restrain the demonstrators and prevent violence. In return, he (Mazuz) would act to approve the demonstrations organized by the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council. The permission was granted with the knowledge of the heads of the IDF, the police, and also the State Attorney's Office, viewed the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council as a restraining element."

And we haven't even begun to talk about the activists who were expelled from Gush Katif and/or handed over to the police after certain rabbis and "official" public figures informed on them, and accused them of "excessive extremism." Nor have we spoken about certain rabbis who preach day and night for "love and cooperation," and obsequiously danced with policemen and soldiers, but then shamelessly beat up youth who - horror of horrors - tried to give flat tires to the deportation forces. There is in existence a long list of accusations against the "official leadership" of the National Camp.

The conclusion is simple. The heads of the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council, whose budgets and salaries are paid by and are dependent upon the government, are attentive to what they were elected for, administering the affairs of the settlements (education, culture, construction, gardening, communal life), but are not suitable for ideological struggles against the government. The heads of the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council must draw conclusions, return to their original role, and stop thinking that someone installed them to be leaders of the National Camp.

We have a wonderful public, including amazing and heroic youth, that proved its willingness for self-sacrifice on behalf of the Land of Israel. Our public deserves a strong, uncompromising, independent leadership that is not subject to threats and extortion, that will be capable of defending the People of Israel, the Land of Israel and the Torah of Israel. The time has come to establish a body made up of rabbis, professors and public figures that will return the people to the right direction, conduct the ideological-political struggle, and become the official leadership of the National Camp until it takes power here in Israel. In short, there is an urgent need for a professional, devoted and loyal doctor capable of dealing with all the physical and mental problems of the Jewish People.