Nadia Matar

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Nadia Matar
Born (1966-02-16)February 16, 1966
Antwerp, Belgium
Occupation Political activist

Nadia Matar (Pikovitch) was born on February 16, 1966 in Antwerp, Belgium) into a non-religious Jewish family[1] and is a Zionist activist in Israel. A Yavneh Olami youth leader, she performed aliyah (immigrated) alone at the age of 18 in 1984,[1] while still in her teens, and married an American doctor, David, a pediatrician at Hadassah Hospital, with whom she has had six children,[2] and settled in Efrat,[3] though she moved her family to Shirat HaYam in Gush Katif in 2004 when Ariel Sharon decided to dismantle Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip.[1] She has been called by some admirers 'the settlers' Joan of Arc'.[3] She is, together with Yehudit Katsover, the co-chairman of the Nationalist organization[4] Women in Green.[2] She hosts a settler radio show.[3]


Matar regards the Oslo Peace Accords as a "criminal betrayal of the Jewish people."[2] She lobbied against the Israeli withdrawal from its Gaza Strip settlements and compared Yonathan Bassi, the official Ariel Sharon appointed to oversee the withdrawal, to the kind of person in a Judenrat under Nazi control who wrote letters telling his community to prepare for deportation (to a concentration camp). The analogy was rebuffed by Avner Shalev, chairman of Yad Vashem, as 'irresponsible, disrespectful and distorting history'.[4] Unification of the land for her means, ultimately, all the land from 'the Nile to the Euphrates'.[5] In her view, Israel's Peace Treaty with Egypt, and the restitution of the Sinai was a "tragic mistake".[2]

She took Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to task for backing a UN resolution against Jewish settlement in the West Bank. She warned him that God was on her side and advised him against forcing settlers to "do something. ... Just for your own sake, because you might be next."[2]

She has set up roadblocks to stop Palestinians travelling in certain areas of the West Bank.[6] Recently, she called Palestinian building on and use of the land in the West Bank "agricultural jihad", while arguing for an annexation of the same area, with an extension of equal rights to Palestinians on condition that they sign a loyalty oath to Israel and serve in the IDF.[7]

She is a leading figure in an apparent attempt to create a settlement, called Shdema, at Ush al-Ghrab ("Crow's Nest") in Beit Sahour, on a local Palestinian park that was, until 2006, an Israeli military base, and where her activism has managed to get the IDF to restore a presence there in the form of a watchtower and prevent 'illegal Arab building'.[8] [1][9]

She regards Tel Aviv as a 'baby' (tinoket) compared to Judea and Samaria[7] and has stated that renouncing Hebron is tantamount to losing one's moral right to Tel Aviv.[3] Palestinians are the real squatters in the 'land of Israel', she argues,[10] and has gone on record as supporting the idea of expelling Israeli Arabs. In an interview with Michael Petrou, she stated:

I'm in favour of having a system in which any major decision for this country is taken by a Jewish majority. If that means giving less rights to the Israel Arabs, then yes. Everyone knows that there is another war coming, and in the war we'll have to do what we have to do to make it clear to them that this is a Jewish state, whether that means expelling them or buying their land or telling them to go to Canada.'[11]

She imagines that the whole land of Israel, in which she includes the West Bank, lies under an imperative struggle on the ground, throughout every inch of territory, where '(e)nemies from within and without want to take it from us and we must not continue with our life's routine. The words routine (shigra) and expulsion (geirush) have the same root.'[12] When anchorman Liam Bartlett noted that settlement building is illegal, she replied, 'where should we go? Where should we go? Back to Auschwitz?'[13][14] In the wake both of the murder of 3 Israeli teenagers and on the discovery that the revenge murder of a Palestinian boy was perpetrated by Israeli youths, she said the response to the former was to build new outposts and settlements in revenge, one of which is named after them, Givat Oz Ve’Gaon.[1]

When somebody hurts you, you want revenge, you want to hurt him. How do you hurt him? When you show them that - with a smile, that you are not going to take us away from our homelands and we are going to - forever every Jew you attack, we're going to build another community.[15]

Asked what she would do were she, a mother of three, in the shoes of a Palestinian mother, she answered that she could not imagine that, since a Palestinian mother is her enemy, adding: 'In the law of the jungle, only the strong survive. And we will survive.'[3]

English journalist, writer and satirist Mark Thomas, having interviewed Matar, concluded that she is 'a taker of land and liberty but not responsibility'.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Judy Lash Balint, 'How two women work to shift public opinion on Israeli sovereignty,' 6 July 6, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e Jason Koutsoukis ,'Israeli anger that burns brightly,' Sydney Morning Herald 14 November 2008
  3. ^ a b c d e Deborah Campbell,This Heated Place: Encounters in the Promised Land , D & M Publishers, 2009 pp.95-96.
  4. ^ a b Eric Langenbacher, 'Collective Memory as a Factor in Political Culture and International Relations,' in Eric Langenbacher, Yossi Shain (eds.) [Power and the Past: Collective Memory and International Relations,] Georgetown University Press, 2010 pp.11-49 p.40.
  5. ^ Seth Freedman, Can I Bring My Own Gun?, Five Leaves 2009 p.269.
  6. ^ Peter Boukaert,Center of the Storm: A Case Study of Human Rights Abuses in Hebron District, Human Rights Watch 2001 pp.100-101.
  7. ^ a b Zahava Englard, 'Nationalist activists send shockwaves throughout Judea and Samaria' The Times of Israel 1 June 2012.
  8. ^ Apo Sahagian, 'The Ruin of Israel,' Middle East Publications 20 October 2012
  9. ^ Ben White 'Beit Sahour: a new struggle,' New Statesman 21 February 2010
  10. ^ a b Mark Thomas Extreme Rambling: Walking Israel's Separation Barrier. For Fun, Random House, 2011 pp.2i9ff.
  11. ^ Michael Petrou, This Your First War?: Travels Through the Post-9/11 Islamic World, Dundurn, 2012 p.170.
  12. ^ Lihi Ben Shitrit, Righteous Transgressions: Women's Activism on the Israeli and Palestinian Religious Right, Princeton University Press, 2015 p.145.
  13. ^ Liam Bartlett, 'Hate Thy Neighbour', 60 Minutes Nine Network 20 September 2009
  14. ^ Liam Bartlett, Hate Thy Neighbour,' Transcript.
  15. ^ Hayden Cooper & Sarah Ferguson, 'Arrest of murder suspects has Israel fearing return to violence,' Australian Broadcasting Corporation 07 July 2014.

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