In Defense of Nadia

[Prof. Paul Eidelberg]

Summary ... Disengagement is part of a power struggle for Israel's future. The struggle is between authentic Jews like Nadia Matar and Jews who lack her intellectual integrity, her moral courage, and her sense of Jewish national pride. Nadia was not engaging in some academic exercise when likening Bassi to the Judenrat. She is concerned about Israel's survival

In "Scorched-earth Kulturampf" (Jerusalem Post, July 12, 2005) Caroline B. Glick contends that it was "both wrong and nasty" of Nadia Matar to refer to Yonatan Bassi as "a modern version of the Judenrat." The unflattering comparison appears in a fax Ms. Matar sent Bassi on the occasion of his having accepted the position to head the government's withdrawal authority, that is, to be Prime Minister's Sharon's chief liquidator of Jewish homes and communities in Israel.

Ms. Matar's fax has resulted in her being indicted for "insulting a public official"a remarkable commentary on Israeli democracy!

Was Nadia "both wrong and nasty" for drawing an analogy between Bassi and the Judenrat? I don't think so — and I say this with great admiration of Ms. Glick, who recently referred to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as a coward.

Needless to say, Matar knows as well as Glick that the 10,000 Jews scheduled to be expelled from Gaza and northern Samaria are not going to be sent to any death camps. But many will be forcibly evicted, incarcerated, and even held in detention camps, and this recalls the initial stage of the Nazi treatment of Jews. Hence, to liken Bassi to the Judenrat is, in my opinion, a politically justifiable analogy.

Indeed, unlike the Judenrat, Mr. Bassi was free to decline the position to supervise the expulsion of Jews. In this respect the analogy between Bassi and the Judenrat is not quite fairto the Judenrat!

But even if that analogy is somewhat hyperbolic, I would like to remind Ms. Glick of Ortega y Gasset, who acutely remarked that nothing significant is said without exaggeration.

Besides, Ms. Matar was not engaging in some academic exercise when likening Bassi to the Judenrat. She is concerned about Israel's survival, and she fears, as does Ms. Glick and Israel's highest military and intelligence officials, that surrendering the land in question to Arab terrorists will endanger Israel's existence. This makes Bassi complicit in what some legal experts deem treason!

Ms. Matar is also concerned about the ideological motive of the withdrawal plan, the same that underlies Oslo or the Left's policy of "territory for peace." The real motive of that policy was not the desire for peace. Had that been the motive, why would the Left persist in this policy after twelve years of terrorism and 10,000 Jewish casualties? Some leftists may live in denial, but this is not true of Israel's political and judicial elites. Let's go to the heart of the matter.

As the present writer said many years ago, given the high birth rate of the religious community, the Left knows it is doomed to political oblivion. This is why it has eased the entry of gentiles, relaxed the conversion and citizenship laws, emasculated the rabbinate, legitimized pornography and homosexuality, and, more generally, advocates Israel's transformation into "a state of its citizens." By now it should be obvious that the Left wants to destroy Judaism in this country, which is why it has pursued the policy of "territory for peace."

This is what lurks in the Sharon withdrawal plan. Ms. Glick confirms this in her "Kulturampf" article. She asks, what are the state prosecutors trying to accomplish by criminalizing Nadia Matar? She sees the explanation in the July 12 issues of Ha'aretz and Ma'ariv.

As Ms. Glick puts it, "the rationale for the Left's support of Sharon's plan was laid bare" in Ha'aretz's editorial:

The disengagement of Israeli policy from its religious fuel is the real disengagement currently on the agenda. On the day after the disengagement, religious Zionism's status will be different The real question is not how many mortar shells will fall, or who will guard the Philadelphi route, or whether the Palestinians will dance on the roofs of Ganei Tal. The real question is who sets the national agenda.

Ma'ariv's senior commentator Dan Margolit would place quotas on the number of religious Jews allowed to serve as officers in the IDF. (This would inevitably diminish the influence of religious Jews on the course and character of the state, especially in view of the projected abandonment of Judea and Samaria to achieve the Peres-Sharon goal of a Palestinian state.)

Nadia Matar is well aware of the Left's ideological agenda. She knows how the Left deJudaized the curriculum of Israel's public schools. She knows that the expulsion of Jews from Gaza will lead to the expulsion of the 250,000 Jews living in Judea and Samaria. She knows that Judea and Samaria are linked to the teachings of Israel's prophets and sages and are thus engraved in the Jewish people's collective memory. She knows that the Disengagement Plan will shrink and emasculate the Jewish soul. But this is precisely the motive underlying the Left's policy of "territory for peace," now spearheaded by Ariel Sharon.

Disengagement is part of a power struggle for Israel's future. The struggle is between authentic Jews like Nadia Matar and Jews who lack her intellectual integrity, her moral courage, and her sense of Jewish national pride.

[ Published: July 12, 2005 ]



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