Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hanukkah, The Nation's National War

Hanukkah, The Nation's National War
by Nadia Matar

Dear Friends,

Yair Stern, the leader of Lehi (Lohamei Herut Yisrael), wrote an article on the holiday of Hanukkah entitled "The Miracle of Hanukkah."

It was written on the eve of Hanukkah 1942, and was published in the Kislev 5702 issue of the organization's internal newspaper Bamahteret:

"The miracle of Hanukkah [...] What is a miracle? A cruse of oil that seemed as if it would burn for only a single day, burned for eight days. The miracle of Hanukkah - like every miracle - was not what was visible, what could be measured, what could be calculated. A miracle is something that cannot be calculated by arithmetic, nor can it be perceived by the intellect, since it is elevated above the intellect and exalted above any comprehension. The miracle is [...] something that forcefully and daringly breaches the boundary of the reality. The miracle is the grandeur of majesty and the sublimity of holiness.

There is nothing more sublime and holier than a national war. The nation's war for its honor, its freedom, and its life. The life of a nation without honor and without freedom is no life. Consequently, any nation worthy of respect, small or large, takes its life in its hands and goes forth to national war. The course of the war is determined by the degree of the nation's willingness and its steadfast resolve to fight to the end, whatever may be, to be killed rather than to surrender. Although these "immeasurable" values do not always determined the outcome of the war, it is these that determine its historical fate, that is: its value for the future of the nation.

Whatever the war's outcome will be, defeat or victory, conquest or enslavement, these do not determine the future of the nation for all time, but rather [this is determined by] the war itself, its nature, and the people's stance in the face of danger, facing the enemy.


The war of the Hasmoneans - a war that began with a daring outburst and ended with freedom and rule, this war was and always will be a sign and portent for Israel and for the non-Jews. Israel! This name is a symbol of the constantly fighting nation: "for you have striven with God and men, and have prevailed" [Gen. 32:29] was said to Jacob. From then on we have always striven. And this was always the war of the few against the many, the war of who seemed "weak" against who seemed "strong." During the time of Joshua we invaded this land, and we were as "grasshoppers" in the eyes of the mighty peoples who dwelled in it, but the "grasshoppers" prevailed over the children of the Anakim. Gideon and his three hundred men crushed in battle the camp of Midian, who were "as thick as locusts." David the youth went forth to confront Goliath the giant Philistine, and cut off his head. Deborah went forth to the battle. Jael and Judith avenged their people. The sons of Mattityahu raised the banner of revolt and the few defeated the myriads of the uncircumcised [...] The wars of the Hebrews, their tradition of heroism, call for the war of the few against the many in all generations, to NILI and our war, against foreign rule."

This is what Yair said about Hanukkah.

Dear friends, the freeze decrees not allowing any Jewish building in Israel's Biblical Heartland are a declaration of war against the Jews of Judea and Samaria. Let it be clear to all: the freeze decrees are the first step on the way to the elimination of all the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and the expulsion of 350,000 Jews from their homeland, for the purpose of establishing in their stead a Palestinian state, that, as is well-known, will constitute a threat to the little pre-67'State of Israel.

Our opposition to the freeze decrees is therefore a struggle for the survival of the entire state.

We must set forth on a resolute and uncompromising struggle against these decrees. Protests are important, but not enough. There was a large demonstration on Wednesday. It is important to raise our voices against the decrees, but we should not invest all our energy in this. The lesson of Gush Katif is that quiet, organized, and orderly demonstrations will not decide the outcome and will not change decrees because Israel is no longer a democratic country. In a country in which the electorate votes right and nevertheless receives policies of the left, politicians are not influenced by old-fashioned demonstrations; at least not here in Israel.

(In contrast, demonstrations in front of the Israeli consulates abroad are important, because they put pressure on Israel; see below, for details on the demonstration by Americans For a Safe Israel.)

Here in Israel, the government must receive a stiff message from the field, that we simply will not let this happen.

The blocking of the communities by tens of residents to the inspectors from the Civil Administration was a good start.

Now the struggle must intensify.

So that this time there will really be a struggle, and not a fake struggle as there was five years ago in Gush Katif, Moetzet Yesha (the Council of Jewish Settlements in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza) cannot be allowed to head the camp.

Moetzet Yesha is limited. It is dependent on government budgets, and therefore it is capable of engaging only in protests, large but quiet demonstrations (like Wednesday's), and political pressure. All these tactics were used in Gush Katif but did not prevent the expulsion.

The true struggle must be waged by extraparliamentary bodies.

What is struggle?

Struggle today is to rebel against the immoral and anti-Jewish decrees, to proudly violate them, and to send a clear message to all: Never again! They will never again succeed in carrying out a destruction program. Jews will never again be expelled from their homeland.

In our humble opinion, the main struggle now must be conducted in two arenas:

1) Construction, construction, and more construction throughout Judea and Samaria. A few days ago our movement, Women in Green, issued a call to establish a fund for light construction for couples and families on the hilltops. In the coming days we will, with God's help, distribute a short video that will exemplify and explain this step. God willing, the lovers of Eretz Israel will mobilize for this project, and we will succeed in erecting houses throughout Judea and Samaria,especially outside the boundaries of the existing communities. We must pass on a clear message: we will not agree to be ghettoized or limited. The Land of Israel belongs to the People of Israel and we will continue to settle, build and expand in it.

2) Expanding the phenomenon of soldiers who already today declare that they will not participate in the expulsion of Jews from their land and the handing over to the enemy of our land, our homeland. Women in Green gives its support to Rabbi Eliezer Melamed from har Bracha, who stated outright that if an order in the army conflicts with our loyalty to Eretz Israel - the order must be refused. We cannot leave the rabbis in the front lines. We, too, parents to soldiers, must send a clear message that we send our sons to the army to fight the Arab enemy, to defend the homeland and the people, and not, Heaven forbid, to expel Jews from their land. The greater the phenomenon of soldiers loyal to their people and their homeland who declare, already now, that they will not give a hand to the implementation of the policies of the extreme left, the faster the authorities will understand that they do not have the ability to realize their plan.

The more successful we will be in the two areas described above, the more it will put real pressure on the politicians and make it clear that unlike five years ago, when our camp was so well-behaved and docile during the expulsion of our brothers from Gush Katif and Northern Shomron, this time, we are determined to fight for the right of the Jewish People to their G-d given Biblical Homeland.

As Yair Stern wrote: we, the people, are in a "national war. The nation's war for its honor, its freedom, and its life." May it be His will that we receive inspiration from the heroic Maccabees, who did not fear and proved that the little Jewish people is capable of fighting and besting great empires. Like then, today as well, the struggle, unfortunately, is not only against the Greeks, but also against the Jewish Hellenizers who collaborated with the Greeks.

If we succeed in awakening and in understanding that the responsibility and obligation to join the struggle is incumbent on each and every one of us - then we will do and, with God's help, we will prevail.

A happy Hanukkah holiday and Shavua Tov,

Nadia Matar

Below please find the details about AFSI's important demonstration:

AMERICANS FOR A SAFE ISRAEL/AFSI will lead a demonstration on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009, from 11AM-12 noon, in front of the Israeli Consulate, 42nd Street and Second Avenue, NYC.

People of conscience will gather to protest against the immoral, illegal, discriminatory construction freeze in Judea and Samaria, ordered by PM Bibi Netanyahu.

Participants will carry menorahs to signify that on this second day of Chanukah, the warmth and courage of the Chanukah lights will melt the freeze.

Signs will read, "Let My People Grow", "End the Freeze of Appeasement", "Likud - Honor Your Mandate to Preserve the Land of Israel", "Bibi - You were elected to save Israel, not sell it out," "Obama -Stop Iranian Nukes - Not Jewish Homes."

Speakers will be grass roots activists following the cry of Judah Maccabee - "All who are faithful follow me!"

Contact the AFSI office, 212-828-2424; 1-800-235-3658; for additional information.

Women For Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green)
POB 7352, Jerusalem 91072, Israel
Tel: 972-2-624-9887 Fax: 972-2-624-5380

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