1. Judea and Samaria (Jewish roots) or West Bank (Arab roots)?
“Judea” (יהודה) is the origin of the term “Jew” (יהודי). Its Hebrew spelling combines one of God’s names: Jehova (יהוה) and one of God’s acronyms: ד’. Judea and Samaria are the cradle of Jewish history, religion, culture, holidays, ethos, language and yearnings. The official name of the area was “Judea and Samaria” from Biblical times until April 1950, when Jordan occupied/annexed the area, renaming it “West Bank,” as distinguished from the east bank of the Jordan River. Judea and Samaria was the official name used by the 1922-1948 British Mandate of Palestine, as well as by the U.N.
2. Are Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria an obstacle to peace?
Jewish settlements were established in Judea and Samaria after the 1967 War. However, it was pre-1967 Arab terrorism which annihilated the Jewish communities of Hebron, Gush Etzion and Gaza and raged in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the Galilee during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s — Arab terrorism aimed at preventing the establishment of an “infidel” Jewish state in the “abode of Islam.” Several Arab armies, and Palestinian terrorists, raided Israel in 1948 and persisted in anti-Jewish terrorism before the 1967 establishment of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.
3. Is the strategic goal of Mahmoud Abbas to uproot the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria?
Mahmoud Abbas is the chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which supersedes and oversees the Palestinian Authority. The PLO was established in 1964, three years before the establishment of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. The 1964 Covenant of the PLO referred only to the pre-1967 area of Israel. The current PLO Covenant targets Judea, Samaria and the pre-1967 area of Israel for “liberation.”
Abbas is, also, the leader of Fatah, which was established in 1959, eight years before the establishment of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. The August 2009 Sixth Convention of Fatah called for the continued struggle “to eradicate the Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.” The strategic goal of Abbas is to uproot the Jewish state and not, merely, the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.
4. Would the uprooting of Jewish settlements advance peaceful coexistence?
Peaceful coexistence on the one hand, and the uprooting of Jewish or Arab communities on the other, constitute an oxymoron. The 1.6 million Arabs, among 6 million Jews, within pre-1967 Israel do not constitute an obstacle to peace; nor do the 350,000 Jews, among 1.7 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria. The uprooting of Arab communities in pre-1967 Israel would be as immoral as would be the uprooting of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. “Judenrhein areas” contradict peaceful coexistence. In fact, the litmus test of Palestinian/Arab intent is the acceptance or rejection of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.
5. Does Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria prejudge the outcome of negotiation?
Palestinian construction in Judea and Samaria — which is dramatically larger than Jewish construction there — presents facts on the ground, just as Jewish construction does. Western tendency to single out Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria, while ignoring Palestinian construction, prejudges the outcome of negotiations! Opposition to Arab presence in pre-1967 Israel should not be tolerated; so, too, should the opposition to a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria. Israel’s government razes illegal Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria. Israel should, also, raze the 1,100 illegal Arab homes built annually in Jerusalem and the thousands of illegal Arab homes in Judea and Samaria.
6. Are Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria legal?
Judge Stephen Schwebel, former president of the International Court of Justice, determined that Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria was rooted in self-defense and therefore did not constitute “occupation.” Eugene Rostow, former dean of Yale Law School, former undersecretary of state and co-author of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, which sets out the criteria for Israel-Arab peacemaking said U.N. Resolution 242 does not call for withdrawal to the pre-1967 boundaries; Israel’s withdrawal from Sinai amounts to a 90 percent withdrawal from post-1967 areas; the legality of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria “cannot be terminated except by a recognized peace between Israel and its neighbors, and perhaps not even then, in view of Article 80 of the U.N. Charter, ‘the Palestine article,’” which upholds the 1922 British Mandate for Palestine. This 1922 international legal instrument considered Judea and Samaria part of the Jewish national homeland: “Jews have the same right to settle [in Judea and Samaria] as they have to settle in Haifa.” The 1993 Oslo Accord does not prohibit the construction of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.
The campaign against Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria is based on gross misrepresentations. It is not a peace-enhancer; it is an appeasement-enhancer, fueling terrorism and undermining the pursuit of peace.
This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.
It is amazing how many massive revelations pass people by completely. Consider this new gleaning from the British Archives from early 1948, which sheds much light on current events. British officials in the Palestine Mandate were reporting as follows:
Some things have changed since then; many have not. Today, as in 1948, the Zionist side is more eager for the existences of an independent Palestinian state living in peace inside permanent borders than is the Palestinian Arab leadership.
Over the past generation, we have been inundated by disinformation from an unlimited number of seemingly credible organizations whose aim is to discredit any development related to Israel that does not advance the positions of the Left. And due to the ubiquity of this disinformation, among wider and wider circles today the belief has taken hold that there is something fundamentally illegitimate about non-leftist Israelis and non-leftist supporters of Israel.
Since most Israelis are not leftist, and since the most outspoken supporters of Israel are not leftists, there is a widening belief – particularly among liberals – that Israelis, Israeli institutions and Israel’s supporters are illegitimate.
This brings us to the second reason that it has become so difficult for Americans – and particularly liberal American Jews – who viscerally support Israel, to defend or even understand the Jewish state today.
There is a Western tendency, most pronounced on the anti-colonialist Left, to ignore the nature of the Islamic world generally and the Palestinians in particular, and concentrate their attention on Israel alone.
Case in point is Harvard Law Prof. Alan Dershowitz.
Dershowitz is rightly considered one of Israel’s most outspoken defenders in the US. But like his fellow leftist ideologues, Dershowitz apparently does not think that it is important to focus on the nature of things in the Islamic world. Rather than notice current realities, he places his faith in his power to shape the future through his intellect and his willingness to compromise.
Interesting article carried by Arab media highlights Bedouin Arab army trackers as ‘gatekeepers’ of the Jewish state, shows that Arabs have high standard of living in Israel
Continuing with the theme of debunking accusations that Israel imposes institutional racism and apartheid on the Arabs of the region is a story by the AFP on a senior Bedouin tracker in the Israeli army.
Lt.-Col. Magdi Mazarib, the highest ranking Israeli Bedouin army tracker, is featured in the story. He tells the news agency that compared with neighboring countries, the status and position of Arabs in Israel “is better…It’s a different league.”
When asked if, as a Muslim, he is bothered serving an overtly Jewish state, Mazarib responds, “The flag of England also has a cross on it, and the Jews there are fine with it.”
The article highlights the fact that, despite their Arab Muslim background, Mazarib and other Bedouin trackers are the “gatekeepers” of the Jewish state. It is they who guard against infiltration and who guide every Jewish-dominated military patrol defending the borders.
There are currently thousands of Israeli Bedouin serving in the IDF, and like Mazarib, they proudly lend their expertise and risk their lives to protect the Jewish state.
Interestingly, the AFP article was carried by the typically anti-Israel Saudi-owned news agency Al Arabiya, demonstrating that many Arabs around the region are fully aware that the claims of apartheid are nothing but a propaganda ploy.
Iceland made history of sorts last week by becoming the first European country to sign a free trade agreement with China. The island nation of 320,000 people can expect a boost in seafood and other exports to the world’s most populous country. In turn, China will benefit from having a new friend…
JTA — While a great deal of international and media focus has been placed on Israel’s military conflicts, the country quietly has become an energetic, ambitious incubator of entrepreneurialism and invention. What follows is a timeline chronicling some of the most important and interesting innovations produced by Israelis during their country’s 65-year existence.
RUMMIKUB (1940s): Ephraim Hertzano invents the smash hit board game Rummikub, which goes on to become the best-selling game in the United States in 1977.
UZI MACHINE GUN (1948): Major Uzi Gaf develops the Uzi submachine gun. Gaf builds in numerous mechanical innovations resulting in a shorter, more wieldy automatic. It is estimated that more than 10 million have been built; the Uzi has seen action in numerous wars and in countries throughout the world.
SUPER CUKE (1950s): Esra Galun’s research into hybrid seeds leads to his creation of the world’s first commercial hybrid cucumber. Their descendants and the techniques Galun pioneered account for the majority of cucumbers cultivated today. Galun went on to develop early-blooming melons and disease-resistant potatoes. His work continues to inform and influence crop genetics.
But wait! There’s more …
The willful failure of progressive Christians to see the Muslim world and the Palestinian leadership as motivated by a triumphalist Islamic ethos, which is intolerant towards the religious and political rights of Christians and Jews (dhimmis, or subjected people as seen by conquering Islam), and parenthetically ignores Palestinian terrorism and unwillingness to recognize or make peace with the Jewish State, reveals their deep seated prejudice, if not their latent anti-Semitism.
The Christians for Israel message of love and their biblical quest for peace in Jerusalem are uplifting. It constitutes an antithesis to the hostility displayed by the so-called progressive Christians and authors of the Kairos USA towards the Jewish State. This enmity is not accidental. Rather, it is borne out of the progressive Christians’ contempt for Jewish particularism, which is manifested in the State of Israel.
“I believe the window for a two-state solution is shutting. I think we have some period of time, a year, a year-and-a-half, or two years or it’s over.” US Secretary of State John Kerry to the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee 17 April 2013
Hope he is right that the window for a two-state solution is shutting. And the sooner the better.
Because having a sovereign Palestinian State in our living room is anything but the best option of a collection of bad options.
A truly sovereign Palestinian State is a terrible option.
It would be incredibly dangerous for Israel and a source of tremendous instability for the entire neighborhood.
And when one considers just how challenging and unstable the region is these days, the very last thing we can afford is to do is implement a program based on declarations rather than solid arguments.
Mr. Kerry and his fellow travelers can proclaim a million times that the creation of a sovereign Palestinian State would best serve Israel’s security. But a silly remark made once or a billion times remains just that. A silly remark.
We can most certainly speculate about worse case outcomes if there isn’t a sovereign Palestinian State.
Life is full of risks.
But when one compares an option with close to 100% of having disastrous results for the Jewish State to an array of possibilities — which include bad outcomes having relatively low probabilities of ever taking place — the choice is clear.
Mr. Kerry no doubt thought his remark would spur efforts to create a sovereign Palestinian State.
Instead there is great relief in the idea that Secretary of State Kerry suggests that if we can make it half way through President Obama’s second term that this two state solution nonsense will finally be behind us.
I share the outrage of every American citizen with regard to the terrorism in Boston. We don’t know who did it…what group or lunatic or sleeper cell….let the FBI and CIA do the work and investigation.
I think of Israel whose towns and citizens have been subject to this type of carnage every single year of its 65 year history. Rockets from Gaza, bombs in buses, cafeterias, markets, hotels, celebrations…..endless terrorism.
Now, when the murderers who are responsible for the deadly explosions in Boston are apprehended, will anyone dare suggest that they get an independent state in the heartland of Massachusetts?
The travesty that is the anti-Israel ‘Human Rights Industry’ encompasses varied entities, ranging from full-fledged terror-apologist (or terror-supporting?) organisations like the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and the Free Gaza Movement to individual career-propagandists in the guise of “Peace-Activists.”
There is now a complete overlap in the motives and the means of this industry which is a sister-concern of the well-oiled Pallywood propaganda machine. Rightfully so, I refer to anyone subscribing to extremist anti-Israel propaganda as a “Pallywooder.”
These Pallywooders are dedicated to anti-normalization with Israel; support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement; and claim to be dedicated to the cause of ‘seeking justice’ for Arabs living under Israeli rule. They say that International Law is on their side.
They are bold, audacious, energetic (often thuggish) and not time-constrained, however, decibel levels and a perennial Facebook/Twitter presence shouldn’t be misinterpreted for achievement or potential by Israel’s defenders.
Devoid of logic, their selectivite renderings of legalities and purposeful obfuscation of facts are packed to the brim with the silliest of contradictions. Their purposeful misrepresentations are brutally self-defeating and can be easily dismissed. This leaves a lot for us, in the pro-Israel community, to be ecstatic about.
On here, I intend to demystify precisely the ludicrous contradictions and logical fallacies employed by Pallywooders, and create a ready-reckoner for their cleverly encrypted propaganda.
A month later, there is good news. The UC Senators, realizing that they had been made to hastily adopt a divisive and misleading resolution, decided to reconvene in order to hear, for the first time, presentations by opponents of divestment. Having heard these students, the senate voted overwhelmingly to rescind the SJP standard-form-like divestment resolution that it had adopted. The senators committed instead to working on Riverside-specific resolutions that foster dialogue rather than division.
Let me be clear: the student senators did not take sides - save that of the student body. Indeed, by reversing themselves in light of pertinent facts, the senators did not let their school be turned into a tool of global propaganda. And, no less important, they stayed faithful to the ASUCR constitution’s calls for fairness.
But sadly, fairness was still lacking in the SJP’s words.
SJP speakers invariably portrayed the Palestinians as one undifferentiated mass of perfect victims. It seemed unfathomable to those who spoke in favor of divestment (as well as the Palestinian activists who had come to support the SJP and whom I spoke to) that Arab leaders may have made mistakes, at times. The Israelis, meanwhile, were presented as or assumed to be absolute monsters.
The SJP’s victim-vs.-evil narrative robbed the audience of vital context, deliberately confused cause and effect and, more importantly, promotes an understanding of the conflict that does nothing to further justice or peace. On the contrary, it inflames old hatreds and puts Israelis understandably on the defensive.