Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria: Why They Are Important and Why They Mustn't Go Back to 67 Lines

After the Six Day War of 1967, farming settlements were established along places of defense from more attacks by the Jordan River, near the "Green Line," in the the Golan Heights and near Gaza.  They were manned by the IDF and were crucial for defense.  This is because Egypt, Syria and Jordan were still at war with Israel for decades after 1967.  Jordan was in this state of war until 1994.   Also, the PLO were actively trying to create bases for terrorism in the territories that had previously been taken by Jordan.  It was planned and developed by General Yigal Alon and called the Alon plan.  In Hebrew these are called "nahal". 

Jews had been living in Judea and Samaria long ago in biblical days.  Hebron had been populated by Jews almost continuously since the days of Joshua, 3,100 years ago.  In 1929 there were horrible pogroms against the Jews when hundreds were attacked and slaughtered.  Jerusalem was always populated by Jews as well.  In 1948 the war was centered there and about half of the population of the Jewish Quarter were massacred.  After the 1967 war, a small brave group of Orthodox Jews set up a few homes in the former Jewish section of Hebron.  Then a larger re-settlement of Jews returned to the reconstructed Jewish Quarter of East Jerusalem.  After that Jews resettled the villages of the Kfar Etzion area "Gush Etzion" SW of Bethlehem.  This had been extensively settled in the early part of the 20th century by Zionist pioneers.  Mobs of Arab irregulars had massacred most of the Jews of these villages during the 1948 war. 

Places around Jerusalem and east of Kfar Saba and Natania which is near Tel Aviv and the NE area of Petah Tiqvah were unoccupied.  They were used as sites for building projects for low cost housing as the populations of Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv were expanding.  In most cases this land was Jordanian "Crown Land', meaning no person could claim private ownership.  Jordan wouldn't have any peace negotiations after the war, so Israel's use of these unoccupied areas was legal because of Israel's sovereignty.  This was because it was created through defensive actions against the aggressor nation, Jordan.  There were a few cases where Arabs living in Judea/Samaria legally owned land and Israel wanted the land for projects, so Israel bought the land at fair market prices.  (The same thing happened in South Portland, Oregon in the city's renewal project.  They took over land of the Jews living there and paid them for it, but the price wasn't really fair at all.  They demolished synagogues, stores and  residences where people had lived for many years.) Arabs were profiting and continued to sell land to Israel until 1994 when Arafat 's Palestinian Authority was established and he said that selling land to Israel would be a capital offense.  This was so severe that some families felt they had to leave the area quickly or they might be killed by him.  Jerusalem grew so much that they had to accomodate areas of defense and surround Jerusalem. Before the war Jerusalem was surrounded on 3 1/2 sides by hostile Arab towns and villages with only one narrow road out.  Now French HIll, Ammunition Hill, Gilo, Ma'aleh Adumim and Har Homah became hi-rise suburbs that widened the city's perimeter .  Gilo had been built on privately owned land.  A Christian family in Beit Jalla sold the hilltop site to the city of Jerusalem in 1974. 

Under Prime Ministers Begin and Rabin, other communities were developed.  Most of the time they were near ancient Jewish holy sites like Joseph's Tomb near Nablus, which was Shechem in biblical days.  The land they sit on was unoccupied or un-owned, and qualified as "Crown Land" which Israel had full legal rights to build and develop.  Any land owned by Arabs was purchased.  The knesset spent much time trying to decide of this was hurting the cause of peace that they wanted to achieve with the Arabs.  They decided it was fair and could be used in future negotiations if necessary.  Peace negotiations have not yet happened and it's been 44 years in waiting. 

Sometimes a few villages were built and considered illegal or rogue because they were contrary to IDF or government instuctions.  When Arabs found someone had built on their land they were able to take the matter to court and were ruled in favor of the Arabs.  Some of these villages have been forcibly dismantled.  This is an internal problem for Israel as the Orthodox feel that all Jews should be allowed to settle anywhere in the Promised Land, especially where Abraham had lived.  This means Judea and Samaria from Shechem/Nablus to Hebron.  Prime Minister Sharon had considered dismantling any still standing, but became ill and it was not done. 

International Law shows that all these communities, which some call settlements, are legal.  This is law from   the 4th Geneva Convention, which covers land conquered in an offensive war.  This was written to keep actions like those of the Nazis in Eastern Europe during WWII deterred.  Israel became sovereign over territories in a defensive war.  The fact that Jordan remained at war until 1994 means that the conquered population was hostile.  Israel never exiled any Arabs from anywhere except in 1992 when it deported about 400 terrorists to South Lebanon in trying to stop terror activities.  Israel had a policy of "open bridges" across the Jordan even though Jordan was still in a state of war with Israel.  Arabs came into Israel and that's how the Arab population in Judea and Samaria tripled from about 650,000 in 1967 to more than 2,000,000 in 1994.  Of course they were allowed to develop towns as well.  There were as many as 260 new Arab villages or expansions of existing sites.   Israel's presence did nothing to harm the Arabs' well being,  They created beneficial economic aids.  The League of Nations said that the disposition of such territory would be a part of the peace treaty between the warring parties.  Since there was no peace treaty, the territories remained in dispute.  They are to be called "disputed territories", not occupied territories.   Their occupation by the defensive party is legal.  The Charter of the UN accepts it. 

Arabs have not been hurt by Jews returning to their land.  They have been hurt by their own people since 1994 when 96% of Palestinians living in Israel were then under the control of the Palestinian National Authority.  That's when the economy of Judea and Samaria and Gaza had been crippled.  They were then ruled by terrorists and it was not a democracy but had despotic rule.  Their GDP in 2003 was 1/10th of what it had been in 1992.  Because of Arafat and his terror, Israel had to stop attacks and protect its citizens.   and put in roads that had been there before to be used by Israelis only.  This was not the case before 94.  Arafat put an end to any possible co-existence between Jews and Arabs in Judea and Samaria and instead instigated them into hatred and murder.

For anyone to suggest that Israel must go back to the 67 lines and then dicker for land is way out of line.  Israel has a legal right to live in all of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.  Anyone who decides to attack another nation such as the Arabs did to Israel in 1967 is also out of line and will  pay the price for doing so. 
Judea and Samaria were originally part of Israel in biblical days.  It was going to be the Jewish land from the end of WWI when it was Palestine and under English control.  It was part of their package, but the Hashemite kingdom somehow cried loud enough to change the British minds, and Israel was given a crumb of the original loaf, and they accepted it.  By the greed and hatred of the Arabs, it has come into Israel's hands once again. 

Resource: Big Lies: by David Meir-Levi, a publication of the David Horowitz Freedom Center

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