Hungarian Conservative

’From the river to the sea, Arab leaders do not want to see any Jew,’ Co-chair of the Israeli Sovereignty Movement States

Demonstrators demand the immediate release of Israeli hostages taken by Hamas at the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv on 6 April 2024.
Abir Sultan/EPA/MTI
In the latest episodes of the Danube Institute’s podcast co-chair of the Israeli Sovereignty Movement Nadia Matar spoke about the nature of radical Islamist terrorism. To demonstrate her point, she showed a flag from the city of Bethlehem with the Arabic phrase ‘We will murder Jews on Saturdays and we will murder Christians on Sundays’ written on it.

In 2021 the Danube Institute launched a podcast series titled Reflections from Budapest, in which we have had several thought-provoking discussions about religious conflict, religious violence, and reconciliation. In the last two episodes of the podcast, in a two-part conversation, co-chair of the Israeli Sovereignty Movement Nadia Matar gave an overview of the settlements’ situation in the Judea and Samaria region (West Bank) as well as the effects of the current situation on the security and future of the territory.

Nadia Matar was born in Belgium in a nonreligious but very proud Jewish family, and has become one of the most prominent figures in the Israeli settlement movement. Although she had lived a prosperous and average life in Belgium with less daily danger than she does now, she had felt that her place is in the hilly Judea and Samaria region of Israel, and at the age of eighteen, she made Aliyah to Israel.

As a proud settler, Ms Matar clarified during our conversation that the word ‘settler’ has a different meaning from the Hebrew term ‘mintachalim’, which is the word they use for themselves and is derived from the root meaning ‘heritage’. Instead of using the negative English term ‘settler’ that gives the impression that they have taken someone else’s land, they refer to themselves in this way, since

they believe they are the inheritors of this territory.

Matar and other members of Women in Green, the former name of the Sovereignty Movement, strongly opposed the Oslo Accords. The peace agreement, according to Nadia Matar, was the result of the 1967 war because Israel did not gain sovereignty over the land of Judea and Samaria. Mrs Matar mentioned during our conversation that the loss of sovereignty allowed for the emergence of ’all kinds of crazy plans’. Even if the Arab and Jewish populations of the region differed somewhat before the Oslo Agreements, this decision paved the path for terrorist organizations. She remembered that the relationship between the Arab and Jewish populations in the area was drastically altered when the territory was divided into area A, B, and C.

She has brought up a personal memory from that time in which an Arab voiced his wish to see their demonstration succeed in stopping the Oslo Agreement Process. Many Arabs, according to Mrs Matar, were worried that their towns would fall under the control of a new government led by a leader from abroad, Yasser Arafat, rather than the Israel Defence Forces. It was stressed by Mrs Matar that many Arabs were forced to accept the Agreements. She concluded that ’as long as the Palestinian Authority is still in Judea and Samaria, there is not going to be any possibility of any good relationship with the Arabs. There is no difference between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority; the Palestinian Authority succeeded in indoctrinating their people. 87 per cent of the Palestinian Authority today is in favour of what happened on 7 October.’

‘The fact that there are areas in Israel with a lot of Arabs does not mean that we have to give them away,’

Mrs Matar responded to the argument that Israel should give up these territories. ’We need to come up with a strategy for handling it. People are unable to give up their land, and today the majority of the population is Jewish’. She likened this idea to 9/11 and a similarly unthinkable demand to hand over New York to Al-Qaeda.

During our discussion, Mrs Matar also told the story of how the Women in Green organization—originally known as Women for Israel’s Future—was founded. According to Nadia Matar, before the elections Yitzhak Rabin made promises not to negotiate with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), not to support the establishment of a Palestinian state, not to accept the division of Jerusalem, and not to withdraw from the Golan Heights. Following Rabin’s victory and his remarks regarding giving up the Golan Heights, Ruth Matar, Matar’s mother-in-law, alerted her to the media’s tendency to demonize the men in the settlement movement who opposed Rabin’s actions. At this point, they made the decision to form a women’s organization, and they went so far as to wear green hats to protest this decision on the green line, therefore the name Women in Green.

Regarding the horrible crimes committed by Hamas on 7 October, Mrs Matar said that the primary motivation for these acts by radical Islamic organizations is the view held by Jews that they have the right to live in their own state. She stated that the main issue is that the West believes Israel and the Palestinians should talk about their problems and the Palestinians should receive parts of the land. She has emphasized that those who have Palestinian flags with the Arabic words: ‘On Saturdays we will murder Jews, and on Sundays we will murder Christians’ written on them are not worth having a discussion with.

The public’s opinion of the two-state solution in Israel was altered on 7 October. Approximately 60 per cent of Israelis were against the proposal prior to the Hamas murder; following the horrifying acts, that number rose to 80 per cent. Re-establishing Israeli settlements or villages in Gaza as a means of resolving the conflict would be feasible, according to Mrs Matar, stating:

’All terrorists and others who encourage terrorism must be driven from the territory and relocated to nations that are holding protests in solidarity of the oppressed Gazan people. Returning Jewish sovereignty, control, and communities is essential. Not only must we reconstruct Gush Katif, which was devastated in 2005, but also larger cities, and Gaza will be the Israeli Riviera.

As for the future of the territory and the Arab population, Mrs Matar said: ’when Israel will be able to clear the area of all horrible terrorist leaders, then, and only then, will we be able to find local Arabs who are willing to live under Israeli sovereignty.’

You can listen to the Reflections from Budapest podcast series’ first episode with Nadia Matar here.

Read more summaries of the podcast’s episodes:

‘We can’t live with a barbaric country and culture on our borders’ — A Discussion with Amiad Cohen
‘The bigger the win, the greater the golden age of Israel will be the day after’ — A Discussion with Brigadier General (res.) Amir Avivi
In the latest episodes of the Danube Institute’s podcast co-chair of the Israeli Sovereignty Movement Nadia Matar spoke about the nature of radical Islamist terrorism. To demonstrate her point, she showed a flag from the city of Bethlehem with the Arabic phrase ‘We will murder Jews on Saturdays and we will murder Christians on Sundays’ written on it.