- Original Title: Palestinian rage over Women in Green activities
The tree planting carried out by the Women in Green movement has caused the Palestinian Arabs much concern. The governor of Bethlehem launched a harsh attack against the organization in general, and Nadia Matar specifically, as he calls to his people to mimic the movement's operations.
Abdul Fatah Amayel, governor of Bethlehem, launched an extremely harsh verbal attack against the activities of the Women in Green movement, while focusing personally on Nadia Matar. Amayel defines the movement's tree-planting operations as aggressive and racist, that dictate policy and facts on the ground. The Palestinian governor views the activities of the movement in general, and Nadia Matar specifically, as a model for Palestinian society and he calls to his people to mimic their moves.
In an interview from February 4th, 2013, given on "Good Morning Palestine", a Palestinian radio show, Amayel said: "That one settler called Nadia Matar accomplished that which, unfortunately, groups and countries failed to. With plans of theft and robbery, she steals more and more land, day by day, and cultivates it. I briefly say that this woman, despite her unmatched aggressive and racist spirit, serves as an example to us, the owners of the land. I ask, why does this settler woman do all that while we, individuals, groups, villages, political and communal organizations, an authority, have reached a point where she is able to impose a de-facto policy and we stand by and watch?".
Amayel added further and said: "I believe this is part of a great tragedy. That is why we say today - No! We can do everything Nadia Matar does and more, with the only difference being the fact that we are the true owners of the land. I believe that this idea and this event are the tidings of the beginning of a series of events, during which we will reclaim all of the land that you see here, to be green and return it once again to its Palestinian owner, the Palestinian farmer".
The Palestinian governor's remarks refer to the Arab Palestinian planting operation that was carried out in Gush Etzion following the planting operation that was held by Women in Green this past Tu B'Shvat, on the lands of Netzer. During this event the Women in Green activists met Amayel himself when he arrived with a Beit Sahour municipal vehicle, accompanied by several of his men, and together they attempted to prevent the Jewish plantings. The operation held in response to the Jewish plantings was named "Tree Day" by the local Arabs, during which they arrived at the location with the assistance of international parties and planted hundreds of trees on the lands between the Alon Shvut and Elazar communities.
Women in Green point out that they alerted the authorities regarding the massive Arab plantings, but they were told that the Civil Administration had approved the Arabs' move. It should be noted that there is no proof of Arab ownership over these lands, yet the local Arabs claim such ownership, a claim they try to reinforce with planting operations such as this one. Women in Green have been demanding for some time now that the Arab plantings be stopped and that a thorough investigation be conducted in order to determine the true ownership of these lands.
In response to the remarks of the Palestinian governor against the Jewish plantings in the area, Nadia Matar, one of the heads of Women in Green, says that "first of all, we must correct the man's statements and clarify that I do not work alone, but rather I have the privilege of working with Yehudit Katsover. Together we have the privilege of working with many lovers of the Land of Israel who join forces for the successful redemption of the land and the protection of state lands from Arab takovers".
Katsover and Matar add and say: "The fact that the governor spoke of us on the radio, and the fact that the Palestinian Authority chooses to plant specifically in Netzer, show how much the consistent Jewish activities in the area have bothered them, proving how important our activities are. The Arabs thought they would be able to take over the entire area uninterrupted, as they do on other hills throughout Judea and Samaria, in order to suffocate the Jewish communities, as part of their plan to take control of area C; yet along come Jews who interrupt their conquest attempts".
Katsover and Matar point out further: "Unfortunately the power balance is surreal: The PA is funded with millions of dollars by the European Union and other anti-Semitic organizations, and this is evident on the ground; they take over area 'C' Territories with illegal Arab construction and an illegal agricultural Jihad; they come equipped with modern tractors, thousands of trees and infinite manpower. We, on the other hand, have no government support, only the personal donations given by lovers of the Land, donations that as important as they are, are still very small compared to the Arabs'". The two remind that "as if it wasn't bad enough that our actions are not being sanctioned by the authorities, we've received uprooting orders against our plantings".
These comments made by Katsover and Matar, refer to the upcoming hearing regarding the appeal they filed in court against the uprooting orders that were attached to the movement's plantings on the lands of Netzer by Civil Administration inspectors. This hearing is expected to be held on March 17th.
Nonetheless, Katsover and Matar finish by stating that "the attention we've been given by the Arabs serves as further incentive for us to carry on our activities in full force, but we must remember that ultimately the power balance teaches us that plantings aren't enough. We must act on a national level to completely stop the Arab takeover of our lands and our country. Such a move will only be possible if we apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. That is why we at Women in Green continue with ground operations, parallel to the public activities calling for the application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria".
|Activists Want 'Jewish' trees removed in Netzer. Jews plant more. Ruthie Wallfish Photo|
See: Photo of the Day Jun 3, 2012
Article courtesy of Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar
Women For Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green)
POB 7352, Jerusalem 91072, Israel
List of Most Recent Published Articles