Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Reality About West Bank Towns

Nadene Goldfoot

First of all, "settlements" is such an antiquated term. A few Jews are living in Judea and Samaria, their ancient homeland. To be exact, 393,900 Jews are living in 122 towns or villages. This is only 12% of Judea and Samaria's total population and much less than the over a million Arab population in Israel., for Arabs make up about 20% of Israel. Settlement is such a political word used to make one think that the area is only temporary, used by squatters and is illegal. I won't use it. People should be reminded that this was land talked about in the bible that belonged to the Jews and was only called "West Bank" under Jordan's control.

60% of the Jews live in four towns; Ma'ale Adumin, Betar Illit, Modi'in Illit and Gush Etzion. These are all near the Green Line and the plan is to include them inside the Israel line in any agreement that will create a Palestine. Logistics deem this a sensible thing to do.

The other 40% are scattered in small communities that might have to be evacuated in exchange for peace since "Palestine" is to be Juden free. This would be at the Arab's demands, not Israel's.

Itamar is a village near Shechem, the 4,000 year old Jewish city in the mountains of Shomron " Samaria." This is where the remains of Joseph are entombed. It is also called Nablus by the Arabs. Itamar was created in 1984, so it's now 27 years old. It was named for Aaron's son's. Aaron was Moses's brother who was designated as high priest. Since Itamar is so close to Arabs, they find driving on the road dangerous. Right now they are trying to renovate their library, and need more books. A settlement's last thoughts would be on libaries, and here they are needing to renovate theirs. They have about 120 families. In June of 2002, a mother and her three children were shot and killed by Arab intruders who broke into their home. I, for one, would be most sad to see this community having to disband after all the living and love that this Yishuv have given this place.

Other villages equally important are Bracha, Yitzhar and Elon Moreh which also are nearby Itamar in the Samarian hills.

Israel also had to endure this exchange in 1982 when thousands of Israelis were moved from the Sinai in the Egyptian Peace Treaty. Also, Israel had to move 8,000+ Jews from the Gaza Strip in 2005 hoping that this would affect the Palestinians to negotiate an end to the war. In this case, it only increased attacks on Israel, so it had the opposite affect.
Any construction now going on in Judea-Samaria is inside the borders of established towns. People are only building on a lot next to a home that is empty, which is a normal development.
There have been no new towns built since 1999. The last place that went up was Negahot in the Hebron hills.

Israel has had Judea-Samaria under their control for about 42 years now, ever since 1969's war when Israel was attacked and won. Towns built since then make up less than 1.7% of the territory's area.
Palestinian Arabs had been talking to Israel and the peacemakers for 17 years without thinking of expecting a precondition of a "settlement freeze." Why all of a sudden? When this condition was thrown out on the table, Netanyahu went along with it and froze building for 10 months, the condition he put on the table. Did the Arabs come to terms or talk about peace during that time? No. They wasted it, so in September 2010 construction requests were acted upon. Palestinians had sat on their duff for 9 months, just remembering what was to be in the 10th month. Then, finally, they agreed to have one round of talks but saying they would go home if the freeze was not continued. Prime Minister Netanyahu was ready to freeze construction for another painful 3 months but after talking to the USA, America dropped the idea, which I think was the smart thing to do. That would just give them more ideas of stalllng and gaining time to keep from signing any peace agreement. After All, Netanyahu was chomping at the bit, ready for bear. He had all his points to cover in a row. He's an excellent debator.
I'm really disgusted with newspaper reporters who make out like Israel is screwing up the works by having millions of Jews building "settlements" in the "West Bank." and this is keeping these Palestinians from having a homeland. Not so. I think this is the only issue that they are aware of in the relationship of Israel and "Palestine." Their facts of history and current events are lame.
I would call the Muslims "land hungry". After all, they only have 23 states of their own. Actually, there are 47 states or countries that have 50% and more Muslim population in the world. These so called "Palestinians" are not true Palestinians at all. The "Palestinians" are the people who lived in what was called Palestine before 1948. That included a lot of Jews. My neighbors, the Padrows, had been born in Palestine and came to Portland, Oregon from there. Mimi's parents had an orange grove. Her relatives had a hotel in Tel Aviv. I believe that the riots of 1929 caused them to move to the states. That's when Arabs were slaughtering Jews. Mathew was a dentist and a pharmecist, so he found that he could quickly make a living here. His son, Ben, went on to become at professor at Portland State U. Joan was my best friend and playmate. The Arabs calling themselves Palestinians include Arabs living there also, but most of them came just a little earlier from nearby Arab states looking for work with the new Zionists who were building and creating something out of swamps and deserts. As it turns out, there were very few Arab families living in what became Israel. Their need to be there was to look for work. Jewish people were there to escape from Pogroms and anti-semitism and for religious beliefs.

Judea and Samaria were in the plans to be a part of Israel in the beginning of British thinking after 1917 when it fell to them to administer. After getting the Jewish leaders all stirred up and thinking that they would be given a goodly piece of land for their new country, the British backed off from their promise and whittled down the land to almost nothing. Our Jewish leaders took what they were finally given anyway, needing it as soon as possible. At the same time, the Arabs refused their half, for that was what the whittling was for, and they showed no desire at that time to have a country. So it has been since then.

After many failed attempts to eradicate Israel in the many wars, these "Palestinians" are choosing to fight a different kind of fight along with the regular rockets and missles they bombard Israel with. Wanting a state is now the cry from them.

It would be nice if reporters actually studied the dynamics of the Middle East before they were sent out to write about Israel and Palestine. There's a big picture that they're missing, and so their readers comprehend a very mishapen picture of reality.
Reference: Dr. Mitchell Bard #376 Is Settlement Construction Preventing the Creation of a Palestinian State?

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