Tag Archives: Samaria

Judea and Samaria Are Israel

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PikiWiki_Israel_22218_Geography_of_IsraelJudea and Samaria (the West Bank) belong to Israel.  These areas are Jewish areas of the State of Israel. Period. While John Kerry and others pressure Israel to return these so-called disputed territories, the reality is that the conflict in the Middle East is about the fact that the Arabs cannot accept a Jewish state.  (And even if Israel did return these territories, there wouldn’t be peace – for the Arabs want to use peace to destroy Israel piece by piece.) 

The world must understand that our people are called Jews because we come from Judea. The fact remains that these territories are an integral part of the State of Israel, and have always been connected to the Jewish people.

Ten great quotes affirming that this region belongs to Israel:

• Yoram Ettinger, a consultant at the Ariel Center for Policy Research: “Many world-renowned travelers, historians and archeologists of earlier centuries refer to ‘Judea and Samaria,’ while the term ‘West Bank’ was coined only 60 years ago. Jordan gave the region this name when it occupied it after Israel’s War of Independence. No nation on earth other than Britain and Pakistan recognized Jordan’s claim to Judea and Samaria. … Even the Encyclopedia Britannica, as well as official British and Ottoman records until 1950, used the term Judea and Samaria, and not the West Bank.” 

• The San Remo Resolution of 1920 “recognized the exclusive national Jewish rights to the Land of Israel under international law, on the strength of the historical connection of the Jewish people to the territory previously known as Palestine. The outcome of this declaration gave birth to the ‘Mandate for Palestine,’ an historical League of Nations document that laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.” (This document clearly establishes that Israeli settlements are completely legal.)

• Books and history which detailed Judea and Samaria include “H. B. Tristram (The Land of Israel, 1865); Mark Twain (Innocents Abroad, 1867); R.A. MacAlister and Masterman (“Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly”); A.P. Stanley (Sinai and Palestine, 1887); E. Robinson and E. Smith (Biblical Researches in Palestine, 1841); C.W. Van de Velde (Peise durch Syrien und Paletsinea, 1861); and Felix Bovet (Voyage en Taire Sainte, 1864).”

• “Israel’s days without Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria are gone and will not return.” Yitzchak Shamir, former Prime Minister of the State of Israel

• “Israel won the war – after they were attacked by Arab nations. In the real world, winners win – and even when the Jews win, they keep the land.” Ronn Torossian

• “[S]ince the territories of Judea and Samaria were never a legitimate part of any Arab state, including the Kingdom of Jordan, it is impossible to determine that Israel is an occupier in Judea and Samaria in the accepted legal definition. What’s more is that the Jewish people have a historic, legal, and physical link to Judea and Samaria.”  – Col. (res.) Daniel Reisner, former head of the international law department in the Military Advocate General’s Corps

• “Israel’s presence in the West Bank is not occupation, the Israeli settlements are legal under international law[.]” – The 2012 Edmund Levy Report

• “[We must] operate out of a sense of advancing our rights, the rights of the Jewish people as an indigenous nation in its land. The Jews are the oldest nation here, but the State of Israel rarely mentioned this. It has rarely mentioned the fact that these are territories where we have had rights from time immemorial. It has rarely mentioned international documents like the Balfour Declaration, the San Remo Declaration, the U.N. Charter, and the British Mandate as approved by the League of Nations, all of which are very relevant as they relate to our rights here. … [T]hat what we are dealing with is not occupation … It is inconceivable that the entire world will repeat the mantra about Judea and Samaria being occupied territory when from a factual standpoint there is no legal basis for this. … When Kerry claims, even before the negotiations ended, that we have no rights in territories over which negotiations are being held and where settlements are illegitimate, he is in essence adopting the Palestinian position and harming the negotiations. If the negotiations are intended to determine the fate of the settlements, then by all means. Even if you are the secretary of state, don’t prejudice the negotiations by stating beforehand that they are illegitimate.” – Alan Baker, an attorney & former Israel Ambassador to Canada

• “If Judea and Samaria should ever be given up to the Arabs by any imposed Mideast peace settlement, Jerusalem the capital, Tel Aviv and the Coastal Plain would be in jeopardy.” – Dani Dayan, Council of Jewish Settlers

• “The connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel has lasted for more than 3,500 years. Judea and Samaria, the places where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, David and Solomon, and Isaiah and Jeremiah lived are not alien to us. This is the land of our forefathers.” – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Indeed, what Israel should remember always is that the Jewish right to Israel is eternal.  Politics – and politicians – too shall come and go. 

As the Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky said many years ago: “Do not say, so what if we concede Hebron, Nablus and beyond the Jordan — this concession is not comprised of words devoid of meaning, and everyone will understand this to be the case. Do not underestimate the power of a concession! … Do not underestimate the power of a right, and don’t exaggerate the value of a building that is being built. I, too, respect the construction of a building, but woe upon us if we extract the basis of our right to exist from it.”

Zionism and Israel is moral and just and the Jewish right to the entire Land of Israel is eternal.

Language and Lenses: “West Bank” versus “Judaea and Samaria”

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The language that we use to discuss a conflict in some measure predetermines how we will view that conflict because it represents the lens.  This is obvious.  Thus it is equally obvious that when discussing the Arab-Israel conflict whether one uses the term “West Bank” or the terms “Judaea” and “Samaria” to refer to that region makes all the difference.

In a scathing review of Danny Danon’s polemic, Israel: The Will to PrevailPublishers Weekly claims that “Danon refuses to use the terms ‘West Bank’ or ‘settlement,’ preferring instead the ideologically loaded ‘Judaea and Samaria’…”

One must wonder how it is that the ancient and common terms for that part of the world are somehow “ideologically loaded” while the formulation “West Bank,” which was only invented within living memory by the Jordanians for the strict political purpose of erasing Jewish history on Jewish land, is not?   Judaea has been Judaea for at least 3,500 years.  Samaria has been Samaria for at least 3,500 years.  The “West Bank” came into usage about a quarter past last Tuesday and did so for the sole purpose of wiping out Jewish claims to the historical homeland of the Jewish people.

It is, of course, not the least bit surprising that the Arab world would adopt usage that serves their political purposes viz-a-viz the Arab-Israel conflict.  Nor is it surprising that their western allies, such as those on the progressive-left throughout Europe, the United States, and Australia, would adopt usage that is detrimental to the well-being of the Jewish state and, thus, the Jewish people.

What is surprising, however, is the swiftness within which the Jewish Left also adopted that language.

Virtually no one on the western Jewish Left refers to Judea and Samaria as Judea and Samaria.  The term “West Bank” has become almost universal and, from what I can tell, it is almost only the Jewish Right that uses the proper and long-standing names of those regions.  Even the non-Jewish Right tends to use “West Bank” because that terminology has taken hold of the discourse throughout the world, more generally.

Nonetheless, I find it puzzling that pro-Israel / pro-Jewish left-wing Zionists would use terminology specifically designed to erase thousands of years of Jewish history from the region that Jews originally came from.  What accounts for this weak-kneed compliance to a Judaeophobic discursive political imperative among so many Jews?  Why are we so quick, so eager, to adopt the politicized language of our enemies?

For 3,500 years our ancestors referred to Judaea and Samaria as Judaea and Samaria, with variants depending upon regional linguistic preferences.  If Jewish people care about the well-being and dignity of the Jews, more generally, and therefore of the Jewish state, would it not behoove them to use terminology that is at once more historically accurate and more in keeping with that well-being and dignity?

Even UN General Assembly Resolution 181, which acknowledged the Jewish state, uses the terms Judaea and Samaria, not the “West Bank,” in reference to those regions.

I understand, of course, that the ideological teams have long-since lined up and that the Jewish Left considers the “wrong” linguistic usage to indicate the kind of right-wing Zionism that they abhor and oppose even more than they abhor and oppose Hamas or Hezbollah.  What they need to understand, however, is that pissing away Jewish history in the international public arena is neither in the interest of the Jewish people, nor a necessary precondition for the possible creation of a Palestinian-Arab state on Jewish land.

And that really gets to the crux of the matter.  Judaea and Samaria have been Jewish land for about as long as China has been Chinese land and far, far longer than France has been the land of the French.  Jewish people, therefore, should absolutely not be in the business of erasing Jewish history in order to give a discursive and propagandistic advantage to the enemies of the Jewish people and, yet, this is precisely what the Jewish Left does when it robs the Jewish people of the Jewish names for Jewish land.

This does not mean that the Palestinian-Arabs may not have a country on some portion of that land, however.

If the Palestinian-Arabs are interested in a state for themselves in peace next to Israel, then I have no problem whatsoever with a second Muslim state on the historical homeland of the Jewish people.  The only condition, of course, should be that the Palestinian-Arabs cease inciting generation upon generation of genocidal hatred toward Jews and stop carrying out that genocidal intention via violence toward their Jewish neighbors.

Until the Arab-Muslim world gives up its Koranically-based hatred and disdain for the Jewish people, it will be impossible to have any faith that a “Palestinian” state on historically Jewish land will be anything other than a terrorist state devoted to the annihilation of the Jewish state, if not the Jewish people.

Whatever the eventual outcome of this long-standing Arab-Muslim war against the Jews of the Middle East, it should be obvious to Jewish people that denying our own history in that region cannot be a benefit to our people.

It is one thing to give away Jewish land, but it is another thing entirely to give away Jewish history.  The former, in my view, might be acceptable if the recipients were kindly disposed toward their Jewish neighbors in acceptance.

The latter is an abomination.

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