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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#Israel: The legal case for Judea and Samaria

For years, the world has regarded Judea and Samaria as Palestinian territory illegally occupied by Israel • But now a group of hundreds of jurists from Israel and abroad is fighting back in the battle for the historical and legal truth.

An Israeli community in Judea and Samaria

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Photo credit: Lior Mizrahi

If international legitimacy for the settlement enterprise were a horse, one could say that it’s been long out of the barn. Those roaming the halls of power worldwide — from the White House in the era of Barack Obama and John Kerry to the United Nations — have for years regarded the territories of Judea and Samaria as Palestinian territory that is currently under occupation.

The hostile attitude toward the settlement enterprise is a natural, direct derivative of this premise. If we were to make a gross generalization, the world has adopted the Palestinian narrative as it relates to the legal status of the territories. Even those who negotiate on behalf of the State of Israel, men and women who officially adhere to the party line that Judea and Samaria, the cradle of Jewish civilization and peoplehood, is not occupied territory, have long ceased to make this statement publicly, just as they haven’t even bothered to make use of a long list of legal and historical arguments that support this position.

While it may seem that this train has long left the station, we were surprised to suddenly learn that for months now a counterattack has been waged over “the historical, legal truth.” This is a campaign that is being waged by hundreds of jurists from Israel and abroad who aren’t making do with the usual “rights of our forefathers” or “Zionism” rejoinders which are now devoid of currency in the international arena and the High Court of Justice.

Last summer, right-wing organizations and settlers managed to bring together a number of highly regarded legal minds — including those who are not traditionally aligned with right-wing politics. These individuals set out on a mission to change the terminology and the legal discourse that the left, including groups like Peace Now, has assumed control of for quite some time.

The battle over the narrative

The so-called “new” jurists are really just dusting off old arguments that were first made and eventually accepted in the initial years following the Six-Day War. This new line of discourse categorically rejects the premise of “occupied territories.” The State of Israel did indeed conquer Judea and Samaria in 1967 as the result of a war of self-defense, but from a legal standpoint these territories are not occupied since the foreign power that held these territories between 1948 and 1967 — Jordan — did so illegally.

These jurists note that with the exception of Britain and Pakistan, the international community refused to recognize the Jordanian annexation of the West Bank. Therefore, the legal status of these territories is in dispute. From the standpoint of international law, there is an enormous difference between occupied territories and disputed territories.

Those who bolster this argument — and some jurists do indeed do this — with what is referred to as “the historic right of the Jewish people to sovereignty over the Land of Israel” add another legal statement in support of their case: “Demanding the right to this sovereignty, which supersedes any counter-demand by the Palestinians.”

Jurists like Professor Talia Einhorn or Professor Eliav Shochetman, who are two of the more active legal experts in the group, note that this right was recognized by the international community from the time of the British Mandate for Palestine. This legal document granted national rights solely to the Jewish people, which were in turn reaffirmed in Article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

“As such, when the U.N. secretary-general states that ‘the settlements are illegal and are an obstacle to peace,’ or when [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas demands that Israel ‘dismantle the settlements built on Palestinian land since 1967, since their very establishment is illegal,’ and when even the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, refers to the settlements as ‘illegitimate’ — all of them are basing their statements on errant legal assumptions from a factual standpoint,” said Dr. Hagai Winitzki of Sha’arei Mishpat College.

A legal case

The renaissance that the “new jurists” are trying to infuse into the discourse to make an Israeli case for Judea and Samaria has for years been proudly trumpeted by the Foreign Ministry on its web site. It has even been articulated into a codified doctrine by the former president of the Supreme Court, Meir Shamgar. This case rested on a number of international resolutions and historical facts that were almost wiped clean from the public record but in recent years have been resurrected by a number of organizations.

Two of these groups, which began work just recently, are drawing the most attention. First, there’s the Regavim Institute’s Center for Zionism, Justice, and Society. For years, Regavim has provided assistance in court cases which hear petitions brought on by left-wing groups against settlements in Judea and Samaria. It even shocked the judicial system when it brought its own petition against “Palestinian outposts” in an attempt to defend Jewish settlement in these areas.

The other organization is the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, which was originally founded as a group dedicated to pursuing legal means to defeat the disengagement plan.

The inaugural convention held by the Center for Zionism took place a few weeks ago at the Mishkenot Sha’ananim event hall in Jerusalem. The occasion also featured the unveiling of an impressive new book that delves into property laws and international law in Judea and Samaria. The book is 560 pages long, and it includes a number of articles by renowned legal scholars like Prof. Haim Sandberg and Prof. Einhorn.

One of the most noteworthy articles that appeared in the book was written by Col. (res.) Daniel Reisner, an expert in international law and the former head of the international law department in the Military Advocate General’s Corps. Today, Reisner is a partner in the Herzog Fox Neeman law firm.

Reisner’s position is interesting not just because of his professional background, but also because he is a jurist who is not aligned with the political right and who recognizes that the Palestinians also have claims to Judea and Samaria.

In his article, Reisner expresses understanding for Israel’s formal position “because since 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.”

Reisner is a senior jurist who took part in all of the major diplomatic negotiations since the Oslo Accords. Today he serves as an advisor to Israel’s peace negotiators. He believes that the position taken by most experts who are well-versed in international law against Israel’s claims does not stem from the weakness of Israel’s legal arguments, but rather is the result of the fact that most of the countries of the world have adopted the Palestinian narrative which holds that the territories of Judea and Samaria belong to the Palestinian people.

“Even if it seems that the battle is lost, that doesn’t mean it’s a reason to give up on a real, genuine legal argument,” he said. “Israel didn’t conquer these territories from any state because Jordanian control of the West Bank was illegal. If Israeli control over Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem in 1967 was illegal because of the illegality of taking over a territory by force, then the Jordanian occupation of that same complex in 1948 suffers from exactly the same problem.”

“Conversely, if one claims that the Jordanian occupation of 1948 was legitimate because before that the territory wasn’t under the sovereignty of another state, then that just strengthens a similar Israeli argument,” he said.

From Jerusalem to Al-Khader

Reisner recommends that we do not take the simplistic approach of treating Judea and Samaria as a single, solitary entity.

“There is no uniform law that applies equally to Ramallah — where there was never a Jewish presence — and Hebron — where a constant Jewish presence spanning hundreds of years was cut short by a horrific massacre,” he said. “There is no uniform law that applies equally to Al-Khader, which was and remains an exclusively Arab village, and the settlements of nearby Gush Etzion, which like Rachel’s Tomb was in sole Jewish control before the War of Independence. And of course there is no uniform law that applies equally to the Old City of Jerusalem, the historic site of two Jewish temples, and the neighborhood of Abu Dis nearby.”

In addition, Reisner finds legal backing for distinguishing between territories and specific sites in Judea and Samaria. Such language can be found in U.N. Security Council Resolution 242. The wording of the resolution calls for “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories conquered” in the Six-Day War. It doesn’t call for withdrawal from “the” territories.

“This shows that there really isn’t an insistence on all of the territories that were captured during the war,” Reisner said. “In any event, despite what the world thinks about us, it is impossible to peg us as foreign occupiers that are without any rights to these regions, and whoever ignores this part of the story is simply deviating from the truth.”

Is this argument, as factually correct as it may be, even relevant now, with the world and even the State of Israel talking in a different language? Isn’t it too late?

Reisner: “The conflict has a political dimension and a legal one. Nonetheless, the solution to the conflict won’t necessarily be found in either of these two dimensions, but in my opinion it will rather be based on something totally different — a fair compromise that will create a stable reality over time. The odds of one party to the conflict managing to convince the other to accept competing legal and political positions are nil.”

Still, Reisner is convinced that “Israel needs to make its case cogently from a legal, political, and historic standpoint simply because it has its own truth that is backed up by facts.”

“Will the solution be based on this truth? Is this truth relevant to the results of the negotiations? I’m not entirely certain.”

If there is a legal case to be made, why don’t the state’s negotiators use it in the talks?

“Because inside the negotiating room it’s almost irrelevant. International law has a relatively marginal role to play in Israeli-Palestinian agreements. The bottom line is the one that both sides need to live with. Legal arguments help you. They give you an internal anchor, but in negotiations it is almost never a winning argument. In any event, a legal claim is never weakened or nullified because it is up to people to either make the claim or not make the claim. If you have a truth and you believe in it, speak up!”

Do the political opinions of jurists who are participating in the negotiations or the opinions of prosecutors have an effect on their legal positions?

Reisner: “I don’t know.”

Stop apologizing

Alan Baker, an attorney and a member of the Levy Committee which was formed in 2012 to investigate the legal status of the outposts and the settlements and which came to the conclusion that Judea and Samaria are not occupied territories, echoes much of what Reisner has to say.

Baker, a former legal advisor in the Foreign Ministry who also served as ambassador to Canada, heads a newly formed group of experts in international law which has already written to Kerry and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in protest of their “mistaken and misleading” positions.

Two weeks ago, Baker was in Paris, where he met with dozens of other senior jurists from across Europe who share similar views. The group includes Yaakov Neeman, the former Israeli justice minister; Baroness Ruth Deech, a member of the British House of Lords and a professor of law at Oxford; and Meir Rosenne, the former Israeli ambassador to France and the U.S.

“The Israeli government for years has refrained from waging a hasbara campaign based on advancing our rights,” Baker said. “Instead, it has waged a hasbara campaign based on apologies. The right thing to do was to 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.”

“Most importantly, it has refrained from emphasizing that what we are dealing with is not occupation,” he said.

You’re “talking history.” Who even takes that into account these days?

Baker: “If we refer to it, others will refer to it. It’s a process that takes time.”

Even the State Attorney’s Office is completely disconnected from this approach whenever it argues the state’s position to the High Court of Justice.

Baker: “There’s a problem with the State Attorney’s Office. There is a group of people there that have a very one-dimensional approach when it comes to the status of the territories and settlers.”

But they are supposed to be the mouthpiece of the state.

Baker: “Not exactly. The mouthpiece of the state is the Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office. Those people implement the law. That’s their job. They’re not charged with waging hasbara campaigns or making policy. We agreed with the Palestinians that the fate of the territories will be determined in negotiations between us, so in the context of a permanent status deal with the Palestinians, we will have to compromise. But on the way to the compromise, for it to be better for us and for us to know that we did all we could, there is something called ‘rights,’ and we need to speak up about it.”

“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,” he said. “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.”

Bezalel Smotritz, a senior figure at Regavim, said that while his organization adopted the “offense-is-the-best-defense” approach in its arguments before the High Court of Justice, he and his friends realized that they were busy “putting out fires.”

“The settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria exists today within the bounds of an untenable legal situation which is the byproduct of the judicial delegitimization that has been waged for years by the left against Judea and Samaria and the settlements there,” he said. “These bounds toe the line between ‘illegitimate’ and ‘war crime.’ One should add that the law that is applied today to the settlement enterprise is outdated and unsuitable for normalized living in Judea and Samaria. We are talking about the remnants of Ottoman law, British Mandatory law, Jordanian law, and Israeli defense edicts. All of this requires that we change the ongoing dialogue.”

“If we seriously want to deal with the justice system as it relates to the settlements, there is no alternative but to equip ourselves with a legal bulldozer and break through,” he said. “We need to establish an entirely different legal foundation which will enable the settlement enterprise to breathe and combat the legal delegitimization, and to convince the public that settlements are legitimate.”

“The new book that our center published, which is already making waves throughout the halls of power, is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “There will be more books, conferences, academic courses, scholarships, and more. One can say, ‘It’s too late,’ and throw up his hands in despair and go home, like [what we’ve done] in the Negev. I’m not ready to give up, not on the Negev and not on Judea and Samaria. For years, a certain legal school has been in charge, and many academics and jurists were afraid to speak up. Now they are not alone.”

Obama’s four-state solution

 

Israel has no reason to withdraw from Judea and Samaria. Absorbing the areas into sovereign Israel will not endanger the country demographically.

Palestinian rally in Gaza, December 2013.

Palestinian rally in Gaza, December 2013. Photo: REUTERS

Inadvertently, President Barack Obama just made an important contribution to our understanding of the Palestinian conflict with Israel.

Since Hamas ousted all PLO forces from the Gaza Strip in 2007, Gaza has operated as a separate political entity from Judea and Samaria. Indeed, it has been a de facto independent Palestinian state, controlled by Hamas.

Gaza’s only connection to Judea and Samaria has been financial. Every month, the PLO-controlled Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria transfers tens of millions of dollars in US and other international donor funds to Gaza to finance the terror state.

Despite the clear distinction between the two areas, the US and the rest of the world have continued to insist that an Israeli-PLO peace deal will cover Gaza as well as Judea and Samaria. Obama always insists that a future Palestinian state must be “territorially contiguous,” meaning in a final deal Israel will be required to cut itself in half in order to give the Palestinians a land corridor connecting Gaza with Judea and Samaria.

But during his remarks at the Saban Forum on Saturday, Obama let the cat out of the bag. Gaza, he admitted, is a separate entity. A peace deal, he explained, “is going to have to happen in stages.”

As he sees it, a peace deal will involve an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria. A post-Israel Judea and Samaria will be so wonderful that the Gazans will decide to join it.

Obama explained, “If there is a model where young Palestinians in Gaza are looking and seeing that in the West Bank Palestinians are able to live in dignity, with self-determination, and suddenly their economy is booming and trade is taking place because they have created an environment in which Israel is confident about its security and a lot of the old barriers to commerce and educational exchange and all that has begun to break down, that’s something that the young people of Gaza are going to want. And the pressure that will be placed for the residents of Gaza to experience that same future is something that is going to be I think overwhelmingly appealing.”

Before considering whether Gazans will likely behave as Obama expects them to, we need to consider the implications of his assertion that Gaza will not be automatically included in a peace deal.

Israelis and Palestinians engage one another for different reasons. Israelis are told we need to engage the Palestinians because they pose a demographic threat to our continued viability as a Jewish state.

In his remarks at the Saban Forum, Secretary of State John Kerry claimed that the Palestinian “demographic time bomb” is an existential threat on the level of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. If we don’t vacate Judea and Samaria as we vacated Gaza, he warned, we will be doomed as a Jewish nation state.

For the Palestinians, the peace process is supposed to lead to a satisfaction of their assumed yearning for self-determination as a nation.

Israeli demographics and Palestinian nationalism have been the basic assumptions upon which the peace process has been based. But the Obama-recognized fact that Gaza is a separate political entity demonstrates the emptiness of both.

The truth is that the “demographic time bomb” is a PLO-concocted lie. In its 1997 census, the PLO falsified its data and inflated the number of Palestinians by 50 percent.

They then projected natural growth and immigration rates that bore no relation whatsoever to reality.

In truth, demography is one of Israel’s strongest advantages, not an existential threat. Were Israel to absorb the Palestinian populations of Gaza and Judea and Samaria tomorrow, Israel’s Jewish majority would be reduced from 78% to well over 50%. While Israel’s Jewish identity would not be in doubt, it would be weakened.

On the other hand, without Gaza, there is no demographic threat to Israel’s Jewish majority. If Israel applies its sovereignty over Judea and Samaria and offers a path to citizenship to its Palestinian residents, Israel would still retain a two-thirds Jewish majority. And if current fertility and immigration rates hold, within 15 to 20 years, Jews could well restore their 80 percent majority overall.

Then there is the Palestinian nationalism issue.

Obama’s acknowledgement that Gazans will have to be convinced to join a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria exposes the lie at the heart of it. Since the League of Nations assigned both sides of the Jordan River to the Jewish people in 1922, the international community has insisted that the path to peace will be forged by taking land from the Jews and giving it to the Arabs.

First we had a two-state solution when Jordan, with its overwhelming Palestinian majority, was carved out of the Jewish territory.

For the past 20 years, we have been told that we need a three-state solution with another Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Since the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, we have had two Palestinian states – in Gaza and Jordan. And yet, the Gazans who we are told are motivated by nationalist aspirations have refused to declare an independent Palestinian state in Gaza. And now Obama is talking about a four-state solution – three Palestines and one rump Israel.

The Palestinians’ refusal to ever view the areas under their control as the focus of their nationalist aspirations indicates that there is something awry in the international community’s assumption that the Palestinians are motivated by nationalist aspirations.

And that brings us to Obama’s projection that once the Gazans see how great things are in post-Israel Judea and Samaria, they will join the peace train. We’ve been told things like this before.

In 1993 we were told that the Palestinians as a whole would embrace peace once Israel recognized the PLO and allowed it to set up an autonomous government in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. In the event, the Palestinians became more violent and radicalized and anti-Jewish under PLO rule, until in 2006 they elected Hamas to lead them.

In 2005 we were told that once Israel vacated Gaza, the Gazans would abandon their war against Israel and use their energies to transform Gaza into a Middle Eastern Singapore. Instead they transformed it into a Middle Eastern Afghanistan.

In 2007, after Hamas ousted the PLO from Gaza, we were told that the international community would pour so much money into the PLO-run PA in Judea and Samaria that the Gazans would decide that they want the PLO back. Instead, Hamas has grown more popular in Judea and Samaria.

In other words, there is no reason to think Obama’s sunny projection is correct.

Clearly without meaning to, Obama told us the truth.

There is no demographic time bomb. Israel has no reason to withdraw from Judea and Samaria. Absorbing the areas into sovereign Israel will not endanger the country demographically.

And the fact that the Gazans do not see themselves as part of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, (or in Jordan), shows that the Palestinian national movement is not what it has been billed as. Obama’s four-state solution is not about demography or Palestinian nationalism.

It is about making up reasons to force Israel to surrender its strategic and historic heartland.

caroline@carolineglick.com

To the attention of US SecState John Kerry

Israel’s former UN Ambassador Yehuda Blum on Jewish rights in Judea and Samaria.

 

Abbas is a War Criminal: The Evidence

Giulio Meotti

Not only no word of condemnation has come from any Palestinian Arab  leader for the lynching and killing of two Israeli soldiers two days apart by Palestinian Arabs. But Mahmoud Abbas and his group of terrorists are responsible for the latest round of Jew murdering.

These days Palestinian Arab groups are meeting in Ramallah to campaign for an intifada against Israel. Terrorists, Mahmoud Abbas loyalists from Fatah, are marching in the PA capital calling for new violence against the Jews. Fatah’s armed wing, Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, are claiming responsibility for the slaughtering of the two IDF soldiers in Kalkilya and Hevron. After the killing of the soldier in the City of the Patriarchs, Abbas’ group claimed that “when Fatah says, it does. When Fatah promises, it fulfills”.

As far back as the 1970s, international law expert Yoram Dinstein argued that according to UN definitions, terrorism and incitement against Israelis constitute genocide. That is why the Palestinian Authority’s Chairman Abbas should be tried for crimes against humanity.

When the “moderate” Prime Minister Salam Fayyad took part to demonstrations in which products made in “Jewish settlements” were burned, he was guilty of incitement and should be tried for it.

The Palestinian Authority defined a terrorist as anyone “who occupies the lands of another people and displaces them by force and settles in their place”. According to Abbas, then, the 600.000 Jews of Judea and Samaria, and the soldiers who protect them, are legitimate targets for shootings, stabbings, bombings and lynchings.

Abbas is palpably guilty of inciting against the Jews and of supporting terrorism. While the two Jewish soldiers were ambushed and killed, Abbas’ television was broadcasting hate speeches against Israelis, in which Islamic speakers said that “the enemy is the Jews” and called Israel “Satan with a tail”.

Under Abbas, the PA has been waging a war of words against the Jewish state, engaging in anti-Semitic incitement of the vilest kind and using Holocaust denial, racial slurs, and Judeophobic epithets. It is a stream of hostility cultivated and implemented over the past decade under the Abbas leadership. A stream which is competing with “Der Ewige Jude”, the Eternal Jew, favored by Joseph Goebbels, in which Jews are compared to rats.

Abbas openly rewards terrorists. One of them, Mahmoud Awad Damra, who was sentenced in 2006 to 15 years in prison for his role in terror attacks against Israel, was promoted by Abbas to the rank of major-general. Abbas then bestowed the Star of Honour to Nayef Hawatmeh, the leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and convicted terrorist whose group took the lives of 22 Jewish children in Maalot.

Need more examples of Abbas’ death cult and anti-Semitic terrorism?

December 2012: Abbas honors 6 terrorists responsible for killing hundreds of Israelis and two American diplomats.

January 2013: Abbas pledges to “follow the path” of 15 terrorists responsible for killing hundreds of Jews.

March 2013: Abbas honors the murderer of 2 students.

April 2013: Abbas honors the planner of attacks that killed dozens.

May 2013: Abbas refuses to condemn his advisor who glorified a murderer, as requested by members of US Congress.

Last April, “President” Abbas receives the coffins of 91 terrorists who murdered more than 200 Jews and salutes them with wreaths and the firing of volleys of shots.

Mahmoud Abbas, who in his doctoral dissertation at Moscow Oriental College denied that gas chambers were used to murder Jews, who aims to expel and/or kill 600,000 Jews from Judea and Samaria, is like the piper in the famous Hamelin fairy tale. The real rats are the subhuman Muslim terrorists who have put his hatred into practice.

But the bigger question now faces the Israeli leadership: Is this the same “leader” you are granting sovereignity over the Samarian Jewish town of Homesh?