Activist Nadia Matar, who heads Women in Green, was arrested along with another protester Wednesday evening following a peaceful protest opposite the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem.
About 100 protesters gathered at Jerusalem’s Paris Square on short notice as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert dined with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at his residence.
Matar delivered a stormy speech, pointing out that the public has lost faith in the effectiveness of demonstrations. She said the Land of Israel public will not allow any further withdrawals to be carried out.
“The Prime Minister and Condoleezza Rice are planning, in a secret manner, to give away Judea, Samaria and the Temple Mount and the establishment a Palestinian Nazi state there,” Matar told Israel National TV. “The public has learned that we were much too delicate last time. We will not allow it this time. We will not obey and we will not stand down in the face of this treachery.”
Matar added: “He who plans to give away parts of the homeland violates the Israeli law against treason, which carried a death penalty – this according to Israeli law.”
Protesters also held signs protesting the ongoing damage of Jewish artifacts on the Temple Mount. “Israel is a Jewish State – not real estate,” one sign read. Another, held by a woman in a full-body Muslim burka, read: “Great idea – Another Fanatical Muslim State in the Middle East!”
Former MK Atty. Elyakim HaEtzni and Shifra Hoffman, who heads Victims of Arab Terror, also addressed the protesters.
(Photo: Gemma Blech)
Across the street a counter-demonstration by Peace Now took place. “We came here to wish the Prime Minister a gmar chatima tova with Abu Mazen - of a peace agreement [a play on words of the traditional pre-Yom Kippur blessing meaning “a good signing” in the Book of Life –ed.],” one protester told Arutz-7. “Jerusalem is already divided so why not make it part of an agreement. It is a shame to wait.”
Matar Arrested, Police Violence Reported
As the protest drew to an end with the recitation of a Psalm and the national anthem, Matar started walking toward her car. A large group of police started advancing toward her. When they informed her that she was being detained, she sat on the ground and called the legal aid organization Honenu.
Other activists demanded to know for what Matar was being arrested, but police grabbed her and dragged her toward a waiting paddy-wagon. Anita Finkelstein, who attended the protest, said police used unprovoked brutal violence against women. “One woman was pushed to the ground and almost fainted,” Finkelstein said.
Another protester, Michal Shofet was also arrested in the ensuing scuffle.
Matar spent the night in the Talpiot police station and is due to appear before a judge at Jerusalem’s Russian Compound Thursday afternoon, where police will seek to lengthen the mother-of-six’s detention.
Land of Israel activists and members of Women in Green say that they believe Matar is being targeted ahead of the planned establishment of five new Jewish outposts on September 30th, during the Sukkot Festival. Matar is one of the lead activists in the attempt to settle Givat HaEitam, a hilltop that is part of the Gush Etzion town of Efrat, but which is slated to be left outside the Partition Wall being constructed there.