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Stop BDS and Stop Destruction of Israel [audio]

Last week I had the privilege of hosting a Shomron Day Experience. We visited Mount Kabir towering over Elon Moreh and the Bibical city of Shechem and the Tirzah Valley through which the children of Israel entered the land 3500 years ago under the leadership of Joshua Bin Nun. Later we met with Avraham the Jewish Shepherd in the fields near Kfar Tapuach. I’ll be speaking about this and more on the show.

What can be done to stop the BDS and their effort to destroy Israel? On today’s show hear how Gedaliah Blum is helping thousands of small businesses in Judea and Samaria to be more effective and reach more markets in Israel and around the world.

Twitter: @No2BDS
Web: www.no2bds.org
Campaign: www.indiegogo.com/projects/no2bds-…ael/x/11467761#/

Last week we spoke with Eli Greenberg who’s home town Amona was demolished. He told how his family and all of his neighbors and now living in a school as the government is not keeping its part of the agreement the they had reached. Today we will be speaking with Aaron Lipkin about 9 more homes in the town of Ofra that have been targeted and destroyed in an ongoing effort to uproot the Jewish people from our Heartland.
Check out more information about Aaron at his site www.lipkintours.com/index.php?dir=s…03&langpage=eng

As always your comments and feedback are welcome

A Hebrew in the Heartland 01March2017 – PODCAST

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The Mountains of Israel – a Taste of Heaven

Authors: Britt Lode and Rabbi Yitschak Naki

The Mountains of Israel – a Taste of Heaven

Price: $ 34.95 + shipping
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN 10: 8299898129
ISBN 13: 9788299898126
Number of Pages: 160
Year Published: 2015

 

Description:
The Mountains of Israel – a Taste of Heaven takes you on a unique and exciting journey through the mountains of Israel. Today these mountains are perhaps better known as the West Bank, and most people would associate them with decades-old conflict – but these mountains also have another story to tell. About 85 percent of the Bible refers to these mountains, or was written from them. In other words, this area is the Bible’s heartland! Complete with stunning photographs, scriptural quotations and short stories containing nuggets of Jewish wisdom, The Mountains of Israel will leave you with a “taste of heaven”!

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HOME IS WHERE THE HEARTLAND IS By Jonina Pritzker

There is a famous story in Jewish tradition about two women who are fighting over a baby, each claiming that the baby belongs to her. They appear before King Solomon, whose wisdom was legendary, to have the king decide between them as to which woman was the real mother. King Solomon’s solution was to cut the baby in half, awarding half the child to each woman. At that point, the true mother stepped forward, heartbroken at the thought of taking a knife to the child, and begged the king not to harm her son. By this act, King Solomon recognized that this was the real mother, and he entrusted the infant back to his mother’s loving care.

This story comes to mind as I watch with outrage the current deliberations over the Land of Israel, as strong voices urge Israel to relinquish land that has borne the name and history of the Jewish people for four millennia

Perennial adversaries of the Jewish people, and even traditional allies, have all aligned themselves with the chopping block, ready to slice up the Jewish homeland. Every excuse is given; every threat of dire circumstances, that will be the result if Israel does not agree to cut out its own heart, is articulated.

All the while, self-professed “friends” of the Jewish people have the indecency to say that this is “for Israel’s own good.”

Hearing besieged Israelis and beleaguered Jews around the world being forced under this attack to defend the importance and centrality of different pieces of the Land of Israel is much like watching a person trying to explain why both his legs and his heart are indispensible.

Pieces of the Jewish homeland have become the fodder for international debate, the heart and limbs callously severed and bandied about by those who clearly do not understand the significance that Yehuda V’Shomron, Judea and Samaria, have for the Jewish people, the significance that the Jewish soul – which we call Jerusalem – has for the Jewish people. The deepest roots a Jew can have are found in these places.

There has been a continuous Jewish presence in the Land of Israel from ancient times until today, and this Jewish presence began in Judea and Samaria; this is the birthplace of the Jewish nation.

In the days of the Patriarchs, we read of our Biblical families in Shechem which is in Samaria. “Abram passed into the land as far as the site of Shechem, until the Plain of Moreh…G-d appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.’ ”(Genesis 12:6-7).

In the third generation, the Patriarch Jacob purchases land in Shechem, at the site where his son Joseph would ultimately be buried. “Jacob arrived…at the city of Shechem…He bought the parcel of land…for one hundred kesitahs.” (Genesis 33:18-19).

During the time of Joshua, the nation of Israel gathered at Shechem to renew their covenant with G-d. “Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem…Joshua made a covenant with the people that day…in Shechem.” (Joshua 24:1-25).

Shechem was the place where King Solomon’s son Rechoboam chose to be enthroned. ”Rechoboam went to Shechem, for all of Israel had come to Shechem to make him king (I Kings 12:1). With the subsequent division of the kingdom, Jeroboam established Shechem as his capital in the northern kingdom. “Jeroboam built (up) Shechem in the Mountain of Ephraim and dwelled in it…” (I Kings 12:25).

The roots of the Jewish people are found throughout Judea and Samaria, each city and holy site reflecting the history of the people of Israel in the land of Israel.

The Matriarch Rachel was buried in Bethlehem, a city in Judea. “Thus Rachel died and was buried on the road to Ephrat, which is Bethlehem. Jacob set up a monument over her grave; it is the monument of Rachel’s grave until this day.” (Genesis 35:19-20).

Centuries later, Boaz would meet Ruth in Bethlehem; she would later give birth to the line of the Davidic monarchy. King David was their great grandson. G-d instructed the prophet Samuel, “Fill your horn with oil and go forth – I shall send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have seen a king for Myself among his sons.”(I Samuel 16:1).

Jews have prayed in Bethlehem at the holy site of Kever Rachel, Rachel’s Tomb, through the centuries. Rachel is seen as a source of comfort and solace; shedding tears on behalf of her children: ”Rachel weeps for her children; she refuses to be consoled…”(Jeremiah 31:14).

In 1830 the Turks issued a royal decree recognizing Jewish rights at this Jewish holy site. The governor of Damascus instructed the Mufti of Jerusalem that “the tomb of esteemed Rachel…they (the Jews) are accustomed to visit it from ancient days; and no one is permitted to prevent them or oppose them (from doing) this.”

This decree was a necessary response to the harassment that Jews had endured in trying to visit Rachel’s Tomb. At times, they were physically attacked; they often had to pay extortion money to the local Arabs to ensure free passage and to protect the holy site from vandalism.

In 1841, Sir Moses Montefiore was granted permission to build a room onto Rachel’s Tomb; this was to protect both the grave and those visiting it.

Bethel, another city within these regions of Judea and Samaria, was called by the Patriarch Jacob “the gate of heaven.” It was here that Jacob dreamt of a ladder reaching to heaven. It was in Bethel that G-d gave Jacob a second name and made to Jacob the covenantal promise of the land of Israel and the people of Israel. “Then G-d said to him, ‘Your name shall not always be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name…a nation…shall descend from you, and kings shall issue from your lions. The land that I gave to Abraham and to Isaac, I will give to you; and to your offspring after you, I will give the land.’” (Genesis 35:10-12).

During the time of the Judges, Deborah would sit pronouncing judgments near Bethel on Mount Ephraim.

After the Israelites re-entered the Land of Israel under the leadership of Joshua, they lived according to tribe. If anyone has ever ridden on a bus in Tel Aviv, the Dan bus line is a reminder that the tribe of Dan was situated in the area of modern-day Tel Aviv, along the coast of the Mediterranean.

The tribes of Israel lived throughout the land of Israel, and they lived on both sides of the Jordan River. On the eastern bank of the Jordan River lived the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half of Manasheh.

All of the tribes of Israel would gather in Shiloh located in Samaria. Shiloh was the city of Priests where the Mishkan (Tabernacle) was kept before it was brought to Jerusalem. Shiloh was the spiritual center of Israel for centuries. “The entire assembly of the Children of Israel gathered at Shiloh and erected the Tent of Meeting there…”(Joshua 18:1).

It was in Shiloh that Hannah prayed for a son and was answered, later giving birth to the prophet Samuel.

 

And then there is Hebron in Judea. It would be difficult to find another place with more Jewish history than that which we find in the city of Hebron. Hebron was the very first place acquired by the first Jew, the Patriarch Abraham. He purchased Ma’arat HaMachpela, the cave of Machpela, in order to bury his wife Sarah. “And Abraham weighed out to Ephron…400 silver shekels…And afterwards Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah facing Mamre, which is in Hebron…” (Genesis 23:16-19).

The Cave of Machpelah in Hebron is the burial place for all of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs except for Rachel.

Hebron was the first capital of the kingdom of David, where David ruled for seven and a half years before then establishing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Hebron was an important city for King Hezekiah, when the Assyrians were the world’s aggressors. Hebron was also a critical military area, both at the time of the Maccabees, and during the time of Bar Kochba.

 

David Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister of the modern State of Israel said, “Three cities hold a great and unique place in the ancient history of our people: Shechem, Hebron, and Jerusalem…Hebron is worthy to be Jerusalem’s sister.”

In a complete affront to its millennia-long roots in Hebron, the Jewish community of Hebron was forcibly removed from there, after the massacre of 1929 and the subsequent Arab riots. In August of 1929, the Jews of Hebron, men, women, and children, were brutally massacred. The slaughter was bloody and frenzied; parents were murdered in front of their children; neither the old nor the young were spared. The Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini had been inciting the Arabs, using the pretext that Muslim holy places were under attack. Then, employing another tactic that was used then as it is today, he challenged the Jewish connection to the Kotel, the Western Wall that sits adjacent to the holy Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism.

Despite the fact that The Supreme Muslim Council itself issued a guide to the Temple Mount in 1925 which clearly states, “Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute,” there has been an ongoing attempt to obscure and deny the Jewish connection to Jerusalem. We are still seeing this ploy today, as those who want to destroy all evidence of Israel’s connection to the land bulldoze the archaeological remains of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, this most sacred Jewish site.  These uprooted and destroyed pieces of history are regularly discarded into the valley next to the sacred Temple Mount, from which dedicated groups and individuals work to salvage these desecrated remains.

What was the British response to the horrific massacre of 1929, as well as, to the subsequent Arab riots of 1936-39, the British, who, at the unanimous direction of the League of Nations, were tasked at that time with reconstituting the Jewish people in their historic homeland? The British reaction was not to defend the remaining Jews. Their reaction was not to affirm the ancient, historical connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, the connection which was recognized and ratified by all the nations of the world only a few years earlier in the Mandate that the League of Nations had entrusted to Great Britain to facilitate. On the contrary, the British response was to evacuate this ancient Jewish community and tear the Jews from their roots because England refused to stand up for the truth and confront the Arab aggression.

We see this same rejection and subversion of Jewish rights in Judea and Samaria today. In fact, despite the Jewish roots that go back to the very beginning of Jewish history, these are the regions that are consistently put on the chopping block in any current discussion about Israel.

Furthermore, those Jews who live in Judea and Samaria, who simply refuse to abandon the Jewish home, history, and heritage, are regularly vilified and are the victims of verbal, economic, and even mortal assaults.

Talia and Yitzchak Ames, Avishai Schindler, and Kochava Even-Haim were massacred by Arab terrorists near Hebron in 2010. Talia and Yitchak’s six children were left as orphans, as their pregnant mother and their father were murdered for the “crime” of being Jews. These Jews were vilified for refusing to leave their home and for wanting to live near the ancient Jewish city of Hebron where a Jew purchased property nearly 4000 years ago. Avishai Schindler was a yeshiva student who had just been married. Kochava Even-Haim was a teacher who left behind an eight-year-old daughter.

We see violence perpetrated against the Jews of Samaria, as well. When Jews want to visit Joseph’s Tomb in the city of Shechem, they go under the cover of night and watchful eyes of the Israel Defense Forces, since attacks on Jews visiting the site are common.

Joseph’s bones, which the Children of Israel had brought up from Egypt, they buried in Shechem, in the portion of the field that Jacob acquired…for a hundred kesitahs; and it became a heritage for the children of Joseph.”(Joshua 24:32).

After all of the assurances that the Arab authorities supervising the area would respect this holy site, in October of 2000, the tomb of Joseph was, nonetheless, desecrated, along with the Yeshiva Od Yosef Chai, the Jewish house of study, which stood next to the tomb. The holy site was ransacked and burned. Rabbi Hillel Lieberman, one of the founders of the Yeshiva, was slain as he attempted to save the sacred site and its holy items from destruction.

In 2011, 24-year-old father of four Ben Yoseph Livnat was shot and killed as he and other Breslav Hasidim attempted to visit the tomb.

Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem has been subjected to unceasing acts of vandalism, desecration, and arson. Jews trying to visit and pray at this sacred place are repeatedly met with violence.

In Samaria, near the city of Shechem, the towns of Elon Moreh, Har Bracha, Yitzhar, and Itamar were founded. These modern communities are nestled in the hill country, with Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal towering above, “And all Israel and its elders and officers and its judges stood on this side and that of the Ark opposite the Kohanim, the Levites, bearers of the Ark of the Covenant…half of them on the slope of Mount Gerizim and half of them on the slope of Mount Ebal.”(Joshua 8:33).

The town of Itamar was named for Itamar HaKohen (Priest), son of Aaron the Priest. “The labor of the Levites was under the authority of Itamar, son of Aaron the Kohen.” (Exodus 38:21).

In March of 2011, on a Sabbath evening, Udi Fogel, 36, his wife Ruth, 35, and three of their children, Yoav, 11, Eldad, 4, and Hadas, 3 months, were brutally murdered in their home in Itamar by Arab terrorists from a neighboring town.

They were killed for the “crime” of being Jews who would not leave their home, Jews who wanted to live in the birthplace of the Jewish people.

The rejection and subversion of Jewish rights in Judea and Samaria, and the violence perpetrated against the Jews in these regions, are unrelenting.

The ongoing attempt to obscure the Jewish Biblical, spiritual, historical, and legal rights to Judea and Samaria is extended further by the deceitful claim that Jews are “occupiers” in this land. Given the fact that the Land of Israel was never the sovereign country of any nation but the Jewish one, Jews cannot be deemed “occupiers” in their own land, a fact affirmed by international law.

 

The historical and religious rights of the Jewish people to the land of Israel were affirmed and codified in international law at the San Remo Conference of 1920, a meeting of the Principal Allied Powers of WWI to determine the future of the former territories of the Ottoman Empire. At this conference, where international agreement was also reached regarding the establishment of other countries in the region, such as Syria, and Iraq, a binding agreement was reached between these world powers “to reconstitute the ancient Jewish State within its historic borders.”

Recognizing the ancient and continuous, historical and spiritual connection between the nation of Israel and the land of Israel, the San Remo Resolution specifically included this spiritual heartland of Samaria and Judea as part of the area designated for reestablishing the Jewish National Homeland, along with all the land that is between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, all the land that currently comprises the country of Jordan, as well as, the Golan Heights and Gaza.

 

This mandate, which was then ratified by a unanimous vote of The League of Nations, affirmed the Jewish right to settle anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, which is where these regions of Samaria and Judea are found. This right is enshrined to this day in international law.

The San Remo Conference, along with various treaties following World War I, succeeded in establishing independent countries sought by the Arab nationalists; Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan were all established out of what had been provinces of the Ottoman Empire.

Yet, when it came to similarly recognizing the rights of the Jewish nation to the Jewish homeland, there were those who consistently sought to prevent Jewish self-determination and sovereignty in the Jewish homeland of Israel. This was despite the fact that the world clearly recognized, by international law and treaty, the right of the Jewish nation to reestablish the Jewish National Homeland.

We continue to see this same rejection of Jewish rights to the land of Israel today. We continue to hear the persistent demand that Jews give up their homeland. And we hear the unremitting vilification of those Jews who are unwilling to do so.

Names: The Fight for History by Yonina Pritzker

My Russian History professor in college shared the following joke:
A survey was being conducted, and a man was asked the following questions:
First question: Where were you born?
Answer: St. Petersburg.
Second Question: Where did you go to school?
Answer: Petrograd.
Third Question: Where do you live now?
Answer: Leningrad.
Final Question: Where would you like to live?
Answer: St. Petersburg.
The joke, of course, is that these are all names of the same city at different points in time. Each name reflected the new sensibility, the new reality that was being imposed on the city at various junctures. While physically in the same location, nonetheless, the man does not want to live in Petrograd or Leningrad; he wants to live in the city as it was characterized by the name St. Petersburg.
In 1991(well after my professor told us this joke), the name of the city did, in fact, become St. Petersburg once again. This decision was predicated on lengthy, emotional discussions among the city’s residents who were cognizant of the fact that the name chosen would both highlight certain aspects of the city’s history, and would shape the feeling, focus, and identity of the city going forward.
Language shapes reality. Names and labels have a tremendous influence on outcome.
In school – teachers are instructed to “describe the behavior, not the child.” We learn to separate the student from the unwanted behavior, and take great pains not to negatively label a student, since psychology teaches us that students often live up to -or down to, in this case- the labels we give them.
In linguistics we learn that the existence of open-ended language allowed for human progress because people were able to say things that had never been said before, and in doing so, were then able to move forward toward and create that new reality, solve that new problem, discover a new cure, invent that new technology.
We see the same careful attention to language in the law. When a legal document is drafted, the language is chosen with great specificity, as all the parties know that these words will determine the terms and obligations by which all will need to abide.
In a business setting, companies will offer sensitivity training, teaching workers to give great consideration to what they say and how they say it so as not offend anyone, and so as to ensure that nothing will be misconstrued.
In our social, community interactions, there is a demand for certain terminology that promotes specific values, such as the push to adopt gender-neutral language, for one example.
There has been a recent, national controversy over the name of the football team from Washington D.C., the “Redskins.” People have argued that this name, which has been in use since 1933, should now be changed. Proponents of the change say that this name is offensive and derogatory.
And many a celebrity on their Twitter accounts have had to issue apologies for remarks or labels they used that were in any way construed as being racist.
This joke, then, that my professor shared years ago, is essentially intuitive to us today, given our heightened sensitivity to language. We well recognize that labels and words are essential in shaping our environment. Words matter; they are critical in both dismantling old attitudes and bringing forth new realities.
So why is it that the same people who would demand an accurate legal contract, a gender-neutral news article, a validating, tolerant social vocabulary, and egalitarian workplace terminology, why is it that when it comes to the Land of Israel, there is a complete dismissal, and even suppression, of the accurate language and historical record?
There are terms that are misused on a daily basis regarding the State of Israel, and yet, anyone who tries to raise the issue and restore the accurate history and terminology is immediately painted as extreme, as too sensitive, as a fanatic.
Among the most egregious misuses of language regarding Israel is seen in the attempted renaming of many places in Israel, cities and regions, including the Jewish spiritual heartland of Samaria and Judea.
In the Land of Israel, the regions of Samaria and Judea represent the spiritual center of Jewish history.
This is the area where the Jewish people always lived, where the history of the Jewish nation took place, and where the prophets of Israel delivered their message.

In these regions, we find Hebron which was the first capital of Israel, burial place of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of Israel. Here we also find Bethlehem, the city where the Matriarch Rachel is buried, where Ruth gave birth to the line of the Davidic monarchy. Shechem was the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. It is the city where Joseph is buried. Shiloh, the city of Priests, housed the holy Tabernacle before it was brought to Jerusalem. We read of Joshua in Jericho, Amos in Tekoa, Jeremiah in Anatot, and Jacob in Beit El. These regions of Shomron (Samaria) and Yehuda (Judea) constitute the Jewish spiritual heartland which is steeped in Jewish history dating back to Biblical times.

In a complete affront to Jewish rights and Jewish history, the Arab armies of Egypt, Lebanon, Transjordan (as Jordan was initially called), Syria, and Iraq attacked Israel after Israel declared her independence in 1948. Jordan then occupied Judea and Samaria, expelled all of the Jewish communities of these regions, barred any further Jewish access to these areas and holy sites, and attempted at that time to rename the region the “West Bank.”
This generic, geographic label conveniently obscures all of the Jewish history that took place there: It is much more difficult to try to claim that Judea does not belong to the Jews, than it is to claim that a parcel of land with a vapid, geographic name does not.
The duplicity in this attempt to erase the history of, and Jewish connection to, Judea and Samaria was then extended further by the deceitful claim that Jews are “occupiers” in this land.
“Occupation” refers to the holding and control of an area by a foreign force. Given the fact that the Land of Israel was never the sovereign country of any nation but the Jewish one, Jews cannot be deemed “occupiers” in their own land, a fact affirmed by international law.
The historical and religious rights of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel were affirmed and codified in international law at the San Remo Conference of 1920, a meeting of the Allied Powers of WWI, to decide the future of the former territories of the Ottoman Empire. At this conference, where international agreement was also reached regarding the establishment of other countries in the region, such as Syria, and Iraq, a binding agreement was enacted between these world powers “to reconstitute the ancient Jewish State within its historic borders.”
Recognizing the ancient and continuous historical and spiritual connection between the nation of Israel and the Land of Israel, the San Remo Resolution included the regions of Samaria and Judea as part of the area designated for reestablishing the Jewish National Homeland, along with all the land that is between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, all the land that currently comprises the country of Jordan, as well as, the Golan Heights and Gaza.
This mandate, which was then ratified by a unanimous vote of The League of Nations, affirmed the Jewish right to settle anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, which is where these regions of Samaria and Judea are found. This right is enshrined to this day in international law.

Arab national entities were designated for other areas of the former Ottoman Empire. The San Remo Conference, along with various treaties following World War I, succeeded in establishing independent countries sought by the Arab nationalists; Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan were all established out of what had been provinces of the Ottoman Empire.
Yet, when it came to similarly recognizing the rights of the Jewish nation to the Jewish homeland, there were those who consistently sought to prevent Jewish self-determination and sovereignty in the Jewish ancestral homeland of Israel. This was despite the fact that the world clearly recognized, by international law and treaty, the right of the Jewish nation to reestablish the Jewish National Homeland.
This is the same rejection and subversion of Jewish rights to the Land of Israel that we are seeing today.
The attempts to rewrite – and rename – history and, thereby, deny the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel, are reflected, as well, in the fraudulent language regarding the holy city of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem, the city which holds the very soul of the Jewish people, has always been central in Jewish life.
On Passover Jews say L’shana ha’bah b’Yerushalayim, “Next year in Jerusalem.”  On Tisha B’Av each year, Jews sit in mourning and weep lamentations over the destruction of the holy city and Temple.  When building a home, Jews leave an unfinished corner to remember the destruction of Jerusalem, and at every Jewish wedding, the groom breaks the glass, showing that he places Jerusalem above his highest joy.  The ancient sages taught that ten measures of beauty were given to the world; of these, Jerusalem was given nine.
Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for over three thousand years, and
The Temple Mount, the site of Solomon’s Temple remains Judaism’s most sacred site. Unto this day, every Jew turns towards the Temple Mount to pray.
During the nineteen years of Jordan’s illegal occupation of Judea and Samaria, beginning with the 1948 War of Independence, the city of Jerusalem was divided in two for the first time in history. The Jews who had been living as a majority in Jerusalem since the middle of the previous century were expelled by the Jordanians and barred from those areas that were within the walls of the Old City, where the holiest Jewish sites are found.
In 1967, besieged by hostile Arab armies, Israel liberated and recovered the regions of Samaria and Judea and reunited the city of Jerusalem.
Today, however, references are often made to an “East” Jerusalem in an attempt to perpetuate the myth that there are two distinct parts to the city. And the duplicitous corollary, once again, is that Jews are “occupiers” in “East” Jerusalem; this, despite the fact that Judaism’s holiest sites are found in precisely that area.
In the United Kingdom, an agency that monitors the accuracy of advertisements upheld a complaint about an ad for trips to Israel.  The ad displayed the various places that could be seen on a brief visit to Israel. This agency rejected the ad for use within the United Kingdom, saying that it was misleading because it showed a picture of the Western Wall, the Jewish holy site that sits adjacent to the Temple Mount.  According to this agency, it is debatable as to whether the Western Wall, (the Kotel), is in Israel, debatable as to whether the holiest place in the world to Jews, belongs to Israel, as this is part of the area that many regularly try to label as “occupied;” this is the precise area from which many are again trying to ban Jews.
Changing the name of Jerusalem to “East Jerusalem” is a ploy often used by those who want to erase history and wrest the Jewish homeland away from the Jewish people.
It is outrageous to rename the Jewish homeland, obscure its history, and then accuse Jews of being occupiers there. But that is precisely what is happening today. And the international community, whether through lack of information or lack of good will, is allowing, and at times aiding with, this ongoing injustice.
If something so clear, so straightforward, so indisputable as the Jewish connection to Samaria and Judea, if something as unmistakable and irrefutable as the Jewish connection to Jerusalem can be so rewritten, so misrepresented, and Biblical, spiritual, historical, and legal rights so resoundingly dismissed, if those around the world can literally invert history and accuse Jews of being occupiers in the very cradle of Jewish history and civilization, then the level of deceit knows no bounds, and the absolute necessity to stand up and fight against this attempt to subvert the truth and rob Jews of their history, heritage, and homeland has never been more clear.
The ancient Sages who devised the Passover Seder were wise. Citing the Torah, they emphasized “v’higadita l’vincha bayom hahu leimor” “And you shall tell it to your children on that day, saying…” (Exodus 13:8)  The message is clear: we must keep telling and retelling our history, so that the truth is honored and not obliterated.
The fight for language is the fight for history. It is one in the same.

What is Aliya?

The Hebrew term “Aliya” literally means “elevation.” The term is widely used in the Jewish culture to describe being called up to recite the blessings on the Torah reading in the synagogue, as well as to describe immigration of Jewish people to the land of Israel. Each of these Aliya opportunities is considered to be a great honor. In Jewish thought, the land of Israel is considered to be higher than the lands of the other nations. The diaspora is considered a punishment – banishment from our homeland, the special land singled out from among all others in the Bible and allocated by God himself for a nation which was also singled out for a special mission: to be a light unto the nations. Some ponder the reason God Almighty would give this land, of all others, to the people that he loves so much. Could he not have picked one with at least some natural resources? The Arabs got the oil, the Africans precious stones and metals. What does the land of Israel have to offer? With that in mind, the special connection of the people of Israel with their homeland is a phenomenon which is hard to explain in rational or pragmatic terms. But the fact remains that for 2000 years, the Jewish people retained their devotion to their land in a manner unique throughout all humanity. There is no other people in history that survived an exile for so long, while retaining their national identity and yearning to return to their homeland. The Jewish people spread our in a diaspora which reached every location in the world. Three times every day, all through that time, we would turn towards the holy capital city, Jerusalem, and pray that God would have mercy on us and allow us to return to our land and rebuild our country and again live as a sovereign nation. This new blog is about Aliya and living in the land. I will use this platform to share my own experiences and enthusiasm about this wonderful historic opportunity, as well as to discuss the unique challenges in making Aliyah and some practical aspects, in hopes of encouraging other Jews to make the move and return home to Israel.

Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/living-in-the-land/aliya-whats-it-all-about/2013/03/17/

Are Christian Zionists a Threat to Israel?

Doesn’t it sound a little silly, not to mention paranoid, when we kvetch all day about the world being against us, and then when we discover people who actually like us, we work overtime to convince ourselves that they must really be out to get us and are covering it up with a smile?

I am very clear on my stand: I do not, have not and will not work with any group that has a missionary agenda targeting Jews. I will be happy to cooperate with friends of Israel, regardless of their theology, be they Muslim, Christian, Druze, Buddhist or whatever. The fact that there are some Christians who would like to convert Jews does not at all prove that all Christians embrace that agenda. There are about 5000 different schools of thought that all come under the “Christian” banner, and some of those totally appreciate the Jewish people’s unchanged “chosen” status and our Torah mission. There are probably others who believe that Jews must fulfill the rebuilding of the State and Temple to promote their own Messianic visions. That doesn’t worry or even interest me.

Some who claim the position of “anti-missionary activists” are not objective and manipulate information in an attempt to prove that any Christian who smiles at a Jew is doing so in order to convert them. I do not appreciate the harassment and bullying tactics they frequently resort to, but I am not afraid of them, either. I read and consider articles attacking Glenn Beck as a missionary. I’m sorry to say that they commonly show a very shallow understanding of the topic they are writing about. Beck, Waller, Gohmert and even Hagee are not missionaries. If they were, they would be really lousy ones, considering the fact that with all of the effort they have put into helping Israel, they have failed to make any Jewish converts at all.

If you believe sitting at home and reading Tehillim is all a Jew needs to do to deal with international pressures on Israel, then I wish you luck. But, if you think that we should actually try to build alliances with others outside the Jewish people, then I have news for you: people who are not Jewish have their own theological beliefs (that should be obvious – if they are not Jewish, then they are something else). If they appreciate the Jewish people and understand that helping Israel is beneficial to both sides, then there is nothing wrong with interacting with them. Of course, the Halacha and common sense guide us on ways to do so without compromising our Jewish identity and national respect.

With all of that said, and with no intention to insult our friends, we really should not have such an inferiority complex. If our own religion is the real thing, and so naturally superior to theirs, do you really think that some guy is going to say “the J word” and Jews are going to be so impressed by that as to question our own faith? Nu, b’emet. [Common, really.]

On one hand, if you come by a group that is offering a service – like a club with attractive facilities – but they are also offering classes in Christian faith for Jews, it is obviously a front, and they are probably taking advantage of you and trying to attract other Jews to their classes. But on the other hand, if a Christian offers you money to buy needed equipment and help produce books and discs, or for Jewish development of the land of Israel and asks for no involvement in your content whatsoever, only asking that you bless them by continuing your work, then they are helping you spread your message. In the second case, I would not even sweat worrying that they might come back some day and ask for something else – because even if they do, you can say “no” (and there is a good chance that they will not, because they are genuine lovers of Israel with no other agenda). Yes, we should always be careful with whom we do business, but I don’t have to tell you that there are other Jews who can lead you astray into dangerous avenues, as well.

No, not all gestures of friendship by Christians hide an intention to missionize us. I do not accept that as a given. I am not talking about a relationship in which one side is manipulating the other. Neither am I saying that I think I can trick them into helping us without allowing them the prize of converting us. I would not cooperate with Christians who wish to convert us any more than I would cooperate with Muslims who wish to slaughter us. I will gladly work with goyim who appreciate the Jewish people for who we are and wish only for us to become the best Jews we can be.

Believe it or not, there are goyim who believe in the words of the Bible – and they trust that G-d did choose the Jewish people for a special mission – to be a light unto the nations. They actually look to us for direction. But living in fear and exile for hundreds of years has corrupted us. Now that we have returned to our land and the nations are witnessing the fulfillment of prophecies and look to us as teachers, we go running for cover, fearing they mean us harm. We must seize our opportunities as they arise, stand proudly and teach the nations the truth of the Torah. We possess G-d-given greatness and blessing; we need not fear; G-d is on our side.

GREAT LIST OF QUOTES ON ZIONISM PART V COLLECTED BY CHICO NOOJI

 

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“Israel continues to resemble quick-silver, that strange, liquid metal,
whose restless globules run in all directions without mingling with
anything they touch, but reunite in large masses as soon as they
meet again.”

– Pierre Paul Leroy-Beaulieu, French economist. 1843 – 1916 AD

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“The resourcefulness of the modern Jews, both in mind and soul, is extraordinary.
(…) The Jews, however, are beyond all doubt the strongest, toughest, and purest
race at present living in Europe; they know how to succeed even under the
worst conditions (in fact better than under favorable ones) by means of virtues
of some sort – which one would like nowadays to label as vices – owing above all to
a resolute faith which does not need to be ashamed before modern idea. (…) It is
certain that the Jew, if he desired – or if they were driven to it, as the antisemites
seem to wish – could now have the ascendancy, nay, literally the supremacy, over
Europe; that they are not working or planning for that end is equally sure.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher. 1844 – 1900 AD

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“Zionism has succeeded in bringing back into the fold many men and women,
both here and in Europe, who otherwise would have been lost to Judaism. It
has given them a new interest in the synagogue and everything Jewish, and
put before them an ideal worthy of their love and sacrifice (…) Zionism is the
declaration of Jewish independence from all kinds of slavery, whether material
or spiritual.”

– Solomon Schechter, Moldavian-Jewish rabbi. 1847 – 1915 AD

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“Here we start with a pure race of unusual intellectual vigor and power, the Jews,
long thrown by circumstances into an environment which has brought out many of
their faculties in a very high degree. They are the oldest civilized race now remaining
on earth; they are artistic, musical, literary, exceptionally philosophic, and hereditarily
cultivated.”

– Grant Allen, Canadian author and novelist. 1848 – 1899 AD

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“If Zionism can be developed into a working scheme, the benefit it would
bring to the Jewish people – especially perhaps to that section of it which
most deserves our pity – would be great and lasting. It is not merely that
large numbers of them would thus find a refuge from religious and social
persecution; but that they would bear corporate responsibilities, and enjoy
corporate opportunities of a kind which, from the nature of the case, they
can never possess as citizens of any non-Jewish state.”

– Arthur James Balfour, 49th British Prime Minister. 1848 – 1930 AD

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“Zionism is a new word for a very old thing, so far as it merely expresses the
longing of the Jewish people for Zion. Since the destruction of the Second
Temple by Titus, since the dispersion of the Jews throughout the world, this
ancient people has not ceased to long fervently for a return to the lost land
of their fathers nor to entertain for it a determined hope.”

– Max Nordau, Austrian-Jewish physician, author and Zionist. 1849 – 1923 AD

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“As the Ghetto melts away under the disintegrating forces of modernity, a new
cement must be created to hold together whatever is individual in the Jew.
Nationality is the rationale and Zionism the saving policy of modern Judaism.”
Max Heller, rabbi of New Orleans. 1850 – 1929 AD

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“You are a people without a land; there is a land without a people. Be united.
Fulfill the dreams of your old poets and patriarchs. Go back, go back to the
land of Abraham.”

– John Lawson Stoddard, American writer, hymn writer and lecturer. 1850 – 1931 AD

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“The Hebrew language is the only glue which holds together our scattered bones.
It also holds together the rings in the chain of time. It binds us to those who built
pyramids, to those who shed their blood on the ramparts of Jerusalem, and to those
who, at the burning stakes, cried Shema Yisrael!”

– Yitskhok Leybush Peretz, Polish-Jewish author.  1852 – 1915 AD

GREAT LIST OF QUOTES ON ZIONISM PART IV COLLECTED BY CHICO NOOJI

 


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“If other national movements which have risen before our eyes were their own
justification, can it still be questioned whether the Jews have a similar right? They play
a larger part in the life of the civilized nations, and they have rendered greater service
to humanity; they have a greater past and history, a common, unmixed descent, an
indestructible vigor, an unshakable faith, and an unexampled martyrology; the peoples
have sinned against them more grievously than against any other nation. Is not that
enough to make them capable and worthy of possessing a fatherland? The struggle of
the Jews for national unity and independence as an established nation not only
possesses the inherent justification that belongs to the struggle of every oppressed
people, but it is also calculated to win the support of the people by whom we are
now unwanted. This struggle must become an irresistible factor of contemporary
international politics and destined for future greatness.”
– Leon Pinsker, Russian-Jewish physician and Zionist. 1821 – 1891 AD

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“As long as the world lasts, all who want to make progress in
righteousness will come to Israel for inspiration as to the people
who had the sense for righteousness most glowing and strongest.”

– Matthew Arnold, English poet and cultural critic. 1822 – 1888 AD

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“The idea itself is natural, fine and just. Who can challenge the rights of the
Jews in Palestine? Good Lord, historically it is really your country. What a
wonderful spectacle that will be when a people as resourceful as the Jews
will once again be an independent nation, honored and complacent, able to
make its contribution to needy humanity in the field of morals, as in the past.”
– Yousef al-Khalidi, Palestinian Arab mayor of Jerusalem. 1829 – 1907 AD

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“The Jew is that sacred being who has brought down from heaven the everlasting fire, and has
illumined with it the entire world. He is the religious source, spring, and fountain out of which all
the rest of the peoples have drawn their beliefs and their religions. The Jew is the pioneer of liberty.
Even in those olden days, when the people were divided into but two distinct classes, slaves and
masters – even so long ago had the law of Moses prohibited the practice of keeping a person in bondage for more than six years. The Jew is the pioneer of civilization. Ignorance was condemned in olden Palestine more even than it is today in civilized Europe. Moreover, in those wild and barbarous days, when neither life nor the death of anyone counted for anything at all, Rabbi Akiba did not refrain from expressing himself openly against capital punishment, a practice which is recognized today as a highly civilized way of punishment. The Jew is the emblem of civil and religious toleration. ‘Love the stranger and the sojourner’, Moses commands, ‘because you have been strangers in the land of Egypt.'”

– Leo Tolstoy, Russian novelist, moral thinker and social reformer. 1831 – 1902 AD

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“What invested the Jew of all times with an economic, and in part also spiritual,
superiority over other people has been, first, his thrift and temperance, cultivated
by his religious law and moral code; second, his actually boundless attachment to
and care of his wife and children; and third, his capacity and desire for learning,
which stands out even more significantly and irresistibly among the poor than
among the rich.”

– Dr. Isaac Rülf, rabbi of Memel in East Prussia. 1831 – 1902 AD

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“If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one per cent of the human
race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star-dust lost in the blaze of the Milky
Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always
been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his
commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his
bulk. His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art,
music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to
the weakness of his numbers.”

Mark Twain, American author. 1835 – 1910 AD

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“We Gentiles owe our life to Israel. It is Israel who has brought us the message
that God is one, and that God is a just and righteous God, and demands
righteousness of his children. It is Israel that has brought us the message that
God is our Father. It is Israel who, in bringing us the divine law, has laid the
foundation of liberty. It is Israel who had the first free institutions the world
ever saw. When our own unchristian prejudices flame out against the Jewish
people, let us remember that all that we have and all that we are we owe,
under God, to what Judaism has given us.”

– Lyman Abbott, American theologian, editor and author. 1835 – 1922 AD

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“Why shall not the powers which under the treaty of Berlin, in 1878, gave Bulgaria to the Bulgarians and Serbia
to the Serbians now give Palestine back to the Jews?…These provinces, as well as Romania, Montenegro, and
Greece, were wrested from the Turks and given to their natural owners. Does not Palestine as rightfully belong
to the Jews? (…) The general law of dereliction does not apply to the Jews in regard to Palestine, for they never
abandoned the land. They made no treaty; they did not even surrender. They simply succumbed, after the most
desperate conflict, to the overwhelming power of the Romans. (…)
According to God’s distribution of nations,
Palestine is their home – an inalienable possession from which they were expelled by force… Let us now restore
them to the land of which they were so cruelly despoiled by our Roman ancestors.”

– William Eugene Blackstone, American evangelist and Christian Zionist. 1841 – 1935 AD

GREAT LIST OF QUOTES ON ZIONISM PART III COLLECTED BY CHICO NOOJI

 


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“One of the most important points in the faith of the Church is
the gathering of Israel, that happy time when God will turn to
them a pure language, and the earth will be filled with sacred
knowledge as the waters cover the great deep.”

– Joseph Smith, American Mormon prophet. 1805 – 1844 AD

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“Judaism is not a mere adjunct to life: it comprises all of life. To be a Jew is not a mere
part, it is the sum total of our task in life. To be a Jew in the synagogue and the kitchen,
in the field and the warehouse, in the office and the pulpit… with the needle and the
graving-tool, with the pen and the chisel – that is what it means to be a Jew. (…) Judaism
is an untouchable sanctuary which must not be subjected to human judgment nor
subordinated to human considerations.”
– Samson Raphael Hirsch, German-Jewish chief rabbi of Moravia. 1808 – 1888 AD

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“Restoring persecuted Jews to their national home in Palestine is a noble
dream and one shared by many Americans. My chiropodist is a Jew who
has so many times put me upon my feet, that I would have no objection
to giving his countrymen a leg up.”

– Abraham Lincoln, 16th American President. 1809 – 1865 AD

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“Judaism (…) is not a temporary passing, it is a human ancient good,
which reached its full value within a particularly qualified tribe, carries
continuous force within itself and must strive for its extension over the
whole of humanity. (…) We shall not abandon the name of ‘Jews’, which,
though much reviled, has been linked with the purest knowledge of God,
the noblest freedom of the spirit and refinement of morals.”

– Abraham Geiger, German-Jewish Reform rabbi. 1810 – 1874 AD

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“Judaism is not a passive religion, but an active life factor which has coalesced
with the national consciousness into one organic whole. It is primarily the
expression of a nationality whose history for thousands of years coincides with
the history of the development of a humanity and the Jews are a nation which,
having once acted as the leaven of the social world, is destined to be resurrected
with the rest of civilized nations.”

– Moses Hess, German-Jewish philosopher and socialist. 1812 – 1875 AD

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In an unexpected and deeply shameful manner, the racial hatred and
fanaticism of the Middle Ages is being rekindled in various places and
directed against our fellow Jewish citizens. What is being forgotten
here is that many of them have bestowed benefit and honor upon the
fatherland through their industry and talent in commerce and trade, in
the arts and sciences.”

– Theodor Mommsen, German historian and author. 1817 – 1903 AD

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“Why not give Palestine back to [the Jews] again? According to God’s
distribution of nations it is their home, an inalienable possession from which
they were expelled by force. Under their cultivation it was a remarkably fruitful
land, sustaining millions of Israelites, who industriously tilled its hillsides and valleys.
They were agriculturalists and producers as well as a nation of great commercial
importance – the centre of civilization and religion.”

– George Eliot, English writer, novelist and journalist. 1819 – 1880 AD

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“So many Jews on such a day! And how cheerfully and colorfully
they are clothed! Now I still see that with so much pleasure. The
Jewish finery on the shabbat has always attracted me more than
the cold, barren reformedness.”

– Eduard Douwes Dekker (Multatuli), Dutch writer and anti-colonialist. 1820 – 1887 AD

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“No nation has been able to establish itself, as a nation in Palestine up to this
day, no national union and no national spirit have prevailed there. The motley,
impoverished tribes which have occupied it have held it as mere tenants at will,
temporary landowners, evidently waiting for those entitled to the permanent
possession of the soil.”

– John William Dawson, Canadian geologist and anthropologist. 1820 – 1899 AD

GREAT LIST OF QUOTES ON ZIONISM PART II COLLECTED BY CHICO NOOJI

 

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I insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize men that any other nation (…) They are the most glorious
nation that ever inhabited this Earth. The Romans and their empire were but a bubble in comparison to the Jews.
They have given religion to three-quarters of the globe and have influenced the affairs of mankind more and more
happily than any other nation, ancient or modern. (…) Farther I could find it in my heart to wish that you [Mordecai Manuel Noah] had been at the head of a hundred thousand Israelites… and marching with them into Judea and
making a conquest of that country and restoring your nation to the dominion of it. For I really wish the Jews again
in Judea an independent nation.”

– John Adams, 2nd American President. 1735 – 1826 AD 


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“What it did 5000 years ago, the Jewish people is still doing. Up to 17 times it has
witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem but nothing can keep it from facing toward
Zion. (…) These legitimate masters of Judea are being seen as slaves and strangers
in their own country. (…) The Persians, Greeks and Romans disappeared off the
surface of the earth and a tiny people that preceded these great civilizations still
exists, without mixture, in the ruins of its fatherland.”

– François-René de Chateaubriand, French writer, politician and historian. 1768 – 1848 AD

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“Arise then, with gladness, ye exiled! A war unexampled in the annals of history, waged
in self-defense by a nation whose hereditary lands were regarded by its enemies as
plunder to be divided, arbitrarily and at their convenience, by a stroke of the pen of
Cabinets, avenges its own shame and the shame of the remotest nations, long forgotten
under the yoke of slavery, and also, the almost two-thousand-year-old ignominy put upon
you; and, while time and circumstances would seem to be least favourable to a restatement
of your claims or even to their expression, and indeed to be compelling their complete
abandonment, it offers to you at this very time, and contrary to all expectations, Israel’s
patrimony! The young army with which Providence has sent me hither, led by justice and
accompanied by victory, has made Jerusalem my head-quarters and will, within a few days,
transfer them to Damascus, a proximity which is no longer terrifying to David’s city. Rightful
heirs of Palestine!”

– Napoleon Bonaparte, 1st French Emperor. 1769 – 1821 AD

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“I should be truly rejoiced to see in Palestine a strong guard of Jews established in flourishing
agricultural settlements and ready to hold their own upon the mountains of Israel against all
aggressors. I can wish for nothing more glorious in this life than to have my share in helping
them do so.”

– George Gawler, English Lieutenant-Colonel and 2nd governor of South Australia. 1795 – 1869 AD

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“I see now that the Greeks were merely handsome striplings. The Jews,
however, have always been men, strenuous and full of power, not only
at that time, but even at the present day, in spite of eighteen hundred
years of persecution and misery. (…) If every kind of pride of birth were
not a foolish contradiction in a champion of revolution and its democratic
principles, the writer of these pages might be proud that his ancestors
belonged to the noble House of Israel, that he is a descendant of those
martyrs who have given to the world one God and a moral law, and have
fought and suffered in all the battle-fields of thought.”

– Heinrich Heine, German-Jewish philosopher. 1797 – 1856 AD

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“In the infancy of civilization, when our island was as savage as New Guinea, when
letters and arts were still unknown to Athens, when scarcely a thatched roofed
hut stood on what was afterwards the site of Rome, this contemned people had
their fenced cities and cedar palaces, their splendid Temple, their fleets of
merchant ships, their schools of sacred learning, their great statesmen and
soldiers, their natural philosophers, their historians and their poets.”

– Thomas B. Macaulay, English historian and politician. 1800 – 1859 AD

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“Greater Syria is a country without a nation in need of a nation without a country… is there such a thing?
To be sure there is: the ancient and rightful lords of the soil, the Jews! These vast and fertile regions will
soon be without a ruler, without a known and acknowledged power to claim dominion. The territory must
be assigned to some one or other… There is a country without a nation; and God now in his wisdom and
mercy, directs us to a nation without a country.”

– Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, English politician and philanthropist. 1801 – 1885 AD

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“Yes, I am a Jew, and when the ancestors of the Right Honourable
gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were
priests in the temple of Solomon.”

– Benjamin Disraeli, 40th British Prime Minister. 1804 – 1881 AD

GREAT LIST OF QUOTES ON ZIONISM PART I COLLECTED BY CHICO NOOJI

 

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“We have neither taken foreign land nor seized foreigners’ property,
we only took the inheritance of our fathers, which had been unjustly
taken by our enemies. Now that we have the opportunity, we are
firmly holding onto the inheritance of our fathers.”

– Shimon Hatarsi, Judean King and High Priest. ca. 100 BC

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“The Jewish nation has none to take its part, as it lives under
exceptional laws which are necessarily grave and severe,
because they inculcate the highest standard of virtue.”

– Philo of Alexandria, Hellenistic Jewish philosopher. 20 BC – 50 AD

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“As for us Jews, we ascribe no honor or power to asses, as do the
Egyptians to crocodiles and asps, when they esteem such as are
seized upon by the former, or bitten by the latter, to be happy
persons, and persons worthy of God.”

– Yosef ben Matityahu, Romano-Jewish historian. 37 – ca. 100 AD

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“Israel may be considered as contributing the element of form to
the world’s otherwise chaotic and undisciplined character. And if
Israel should, God forbid, perish, the whole world would fail.”
– Rabbi Judah Löw ben Bezalel, German-Jewish scholar and philosopher. 1520 – 1609 AD

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“It is certain that in certain parts of the world we can see a peculiar people, separated from the
other peoples of the world and this is called the Jewish people… This people is not only of remarkable
antiquity but has also lasted for a singular long time… For where as the people of Greece and Italy, of
Sparta, Athens and Rome and others who came so much later have perished so long ago, these still
exist, despite the efforts of so many powerful kings who have tried a hundred times to wipe them
out, as their historians testify, and as can easily be judged by the natural order of things over such
a long spell of years. They have always been preserved, however, and their preservation was
foretold… My encounter with this people amazes me…”

– Blaise Pascal, French mathematician, physicist and philosopher. 1623 – 1662 AD

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“Nowhere could poverty be more bearable than in the Hebrew State, where
loving kindness towards one’s neighbour, i.e. your fellow citizen, had to be
practised with the utmost piety, so that God their King would look with favour
on them. So things could go well with the Hebrew citizens in their own country,
and only there: outside it ·they could expect· only loss and shame.”

– Baruch Spinoza, Dutch-Jewish philosopher. 1632 – 1699 AD

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“The soil of Palestine still enjoys her sabbaths, and only waits for the return of her
banished children, and the application of industry, commensurate with her agricultural
capabilities, to burst once more into universal luxuriance, and be all that she ever was
in the days of Solomon.”

– John Lindsay, 20th Earl of Crawford, Scottish peer and colonel. 1702 – 1747 AD

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“It pleased God to make one nation the medium of all His communications with mankind: This the nation of the Jews
has done to a considerable degree in all ages. As civilization extended, they by one means or another became most
wonderfully dispersed through all countries; and at this day they are almost literally everywhere, the most conspicuous,
and in the eye of reason and religion, the most respectable nation on the face of the earth.”

– Joseph Priestley, English theologian and political theorist. 1733 – 1804 AD

Confusing The World With the Facts on “Palestine” by Eli Hertz

The Arabs invented a special national entity in the 1960s called the Palestinians, specifically for political gain. They brand Israelis as invaders and claim the geographic area called Palestine belongs exclusively to the Arabs.

The word Palestine is not even Arabic. It is a word coined by the Romans around 135 CE from the name of a seagoing Aegean people who settled on the coast of Canaan in antiquity – the Philistines. The name was chosen to replace Judea, as a sign that Jewish sovereignty had been eradicated following the Jewish revolts against Rome at that time.

In the course of time, the Latin name Philistia was further bastardized into Palistina or Palestine. During the next 2,000 years, What had been renamed Palestine was never an independent state belonging to any people, nor did a Palestinian people, distinct from other Arabs, appear during 1,300 years of Muslim hegemony in Palestine under Arab and Ottoman rule.

Palestine was and is solely a geographic name. Therefore, it is not surprising that in modern times the name ‘Palestine’ or ‘Palestinian’ was applied as an adjective to all inhabitants of the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River – Palestine Jews and Palestine Arabs alike. In fact, until the 1960s, most Arabs in Palestine preferred to identify themselves merely as part of the great Arab nation or citizens of “southern Syria.”

The term ‘Palestinian’ as a noun was usurped and co-opted by the Arabs in the 1960s as a tactic initiated by Yasser Arafat to brand Jews as intruders on someone else’s turf. He mendaciously presented Arab residents of Israel and the “Territories” as indigenous inhabitants since time immemorial. This fabrication of peoplehood allowed Palestinian Arabs to gain parity with the Jewish people as a nation deserving of an independent state.

Historically, Before the Arabs Fabricated the Palestinian People as an Exclusively Arab Phenomenon, No Such Group Existed

Countless official British Mandate-vintage documents speak of ‘the Jews’ and ‘the Arabs’ of Palestine – not ‘Jews and Palestinians.’

Ironically, before local Jews began calling themselves Israelis in 1948 (the name ‘Israel’ was chosen for the newly-established Jewish state), the term ‘Palestine’ applied almost exclusively to Jews and the institutions founded by new Jewish immigrants in the first half of the 20th century, before independence.

Some examples include*:

• The Jerusalem Post, founded in 1932, was called the Palestine Post until 1948.

• Bank Leumi L’Israel was called the “Anglo-Palestine Bank, a Jewish Company.”

• The Jewish Agency – an arm of the Zionist movement engaged in Jewish settlement since 1929 – was called the Jewish Agency for Palestine.

• The house organ of American Zionism in the 1930s was called New Palestine.

• Today’s Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, founded in 1936 by German Jewish refugees who fled Nazi Germany, was called the “Palestine Symphony Orchestra, composed of some 70 Palestinian Jews.”

• The United Jewish Appeal (UJA) was established in 1939 as a merger of the United Palestine Appeal and the fundraising arm of the Joint Distribution Committee.

Encouraged by their success at historical revisionism and brainwashing the world with the ‘Big Lie’ of a Palestinian people, Palestinian Arabs have more recently begun to claim they are the descendants of the Philistines and even the Stone Age Canaanites.

Based on that myth, they can claim to have been ‘victimized’ twice by the Jews: In the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites and by the Israelis in modern times – a total fabrication.

Archaeologists explain that the Philistines were a Mediterranean people who settled along the coast of Canaan in 1100 BCE. They have no connection to the Arab nation, a desert people who emerged from the Arabian Peninsula.

Contradictions abound, Palestinian leaders claim to be descended from the Canaanites, the Philistines, the Jebusites and the first Christians. They also co-opt Jesus and ignore his Jewishness, at the same time claiming the Jews never were a people and never built the Holy Temples in Jerusalem.

There Has Never Been a Sovereign Arab State in Palestine

The artificiality of a Palestinian identity is reflected in the attitudes and actions of neighboring Arab nations who never established a Palestinian state. It also is expressed in the utterances and loyalties of so-called Palestinians.

Only twice in Jerusalem’s history has it served as a national capital. The first time was as the capital of the two Jewish Commonwealths during the First and Second Temple periods, as described in the Bible, reinforced by archaeological evidence and numerous ancient documents.

The second time is in modern times as the capital of the State of Israel. It has never served as an Arab capital for the simple reason that there has never been a Palestinian Arab state.

The rhetoric by Arab leaders on behalf of the Palestinian Arabs rings hollow, for the Arabs in neighboring lands, who control 99.9 percent of the Middle East land, have never recognized as a Palestinian entity. They have always considered Palestine and its Arab inhabitants part of the great ‘Arab nation,’ historically and politically as an integral part of Greater Syria.

The Arabs never established a Palestinian Arab state when the UN offered a partition plan in 1947 to establish “an Arab and a Jewish state” (they did not term it a Palestinian state, it should be noted). Nor did the Arabs recognize or establish a Palestinian Arab state during the two decades prior to the Six-Day War when area of Judea and Samaria (“West Bank”) was under Jordanian control and Gaza was under Egyptian control; nor did the Palestinian Arabs clamor for autonomy or independence during those years under Jordanian and Egyptian rule.

Well before the 1967 decision to create a new Arab people called ‘Palestinians,’ when the word ‘Palestinian’ was associated with Jewish endeavors, Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, a local Arab leader, testified in 1937 before a British investigative body – the Peel Commission – saying: “There is no such country [as Palestine]! Palestine is a term the Zionists invented! There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries, part of Syria.”

What Are We Negotiating? By Michael Wolfowicz

Recently, as many as 100,000 readers were delighted to receive their copy of the second issue of the new ‘Sovereignty’ political journal.  This publication was started by Nadia Matar’s Women in Green movement and was made available in both Hebrew and English.  The need for such a publication, and the important void which it has filled was long overdue.

For decades the right has left the war of ideas to the left and instead has focussed on changing facts on the ground.  In light of the most recent push—led by US Sec. of State Kerry—to give up our heartland for the creation of another Arab state, the time has most definitely come to dispel the rhetoric that has plagued and infected the Israeli discourse for decades.

Even Bibi has apparently bought in to the left’s traditional arguments.  Israel basically has two options, according to the now broadly accepted premise:  Carry out a ‘two state solution’ in the creation of a ‘Palestinian’ state and in turn maintain Israel’s Jewish and Democratic character.  Fail to do this and end up with a bi-national state in which either the Jewish or Democratic features will ultimately have to be sacrificed.

What Sovereignty has done, and is doing, is highlighting the fact that Israel need not be constrained to such a choose-one-or-the-other’ fate.  It has thus far presented a number of different ideas that could be alternatives to the ‘two state solution’.  Arguably the most right-wing alternative is Annexation of Judea & Samaria, and then coming up with solutions about how to maintain the desired characters of the state following that step.  This idea denies that Israel must give citizenship to all 1-2 million Arab residents following annexation (something that is not outrageous by any means).

Does Israel really need an alternative?  Does Israel need to formally annex the territories?  I believe that after the nationalist camp has advertised the fact that alternatives do in fact exist, it will eventually need to band together around one single plan in order to succeed against those who would eagerly give up our land, our rights, and our sovereignty.  There is that word again, ‘sovereignty’, and this is the idea—as is the name of the political journal—around which the right can and should be rallied.

The state of Israel, created in 1948, can trace its foundation back to a single and regularly overlooked document, the San Remo document of 1920.  This document describes the outline of the ‘Land of Israel’, (or ‘Jewish National Home’) an important term when dealing with subsequent documents relating to Israel, the State of Israel, and Israeli law.  The ‘Land of Israel’ was never changed in international law after San Remo, only facts on the ground changed, the most important of which was the creation of Trans-Jordan (Jordan), which cut off some 70% of the ‘Land of Israel’ (together with modern day Israel constituting the British Mandate for Palestine).

In 1948, following the War of Independence, Ben Gurion used an interesting law in order to formerly incorporate—not ‘annex’—territories held by the Israeli forces that fell outside of the 1947 partition plan lines.  This included places such as Beer Sheva, where the world today doesn’t dare question Israel’s sovereignty.

Unfortunately and erroneously, on June 27, 1967, Section 11B of the Law and Administration Ordinance was enacted.  Disregarding the 1967 victory, and till today, the law states that:

“Any law applying to the whole of the State of Israel shall be deemed to apply to the whole of the area including both the area of the State of Israel and any part of Palestine which the Minister of Defence has defined by proclamation as being held by the Defence Army of Israel”

Since Judea and Samaria were part of the British Mandate for Palestine, they are also part of the Jewish National Home as defined at San Remo, and since the IDF had declared its hold over the area by proclamation, both in 1967 and until this day by way of action, the law of the State ought to have been applied to it – and could have been applied to it, but wasn’t.

According to the late legal expert Howard Grief, Israel thus

“failed at the appropriate moment to utilize the leading precedent established in his [sic Meir Shamgar] own country when, during the War of Independence, additional areas of the Land of Israel were recovered by the IDF, that were thenceforth subject to the law of the State. The above facts and precedent were simply ignored or never even thought of”.

If the precedent law would have been followed, or if it were to be followed, then another Israeli law would make the act of annexation at this juncture unnecessary.

Israel’s Basic Law-Israel Lands reads:

The ownership of Israel lands, being the lands in Israel of the State, the Development Authority, or the KKL, shall not be transferred either by sale or in any other manner.

It is unlikely that in 1967 the Eshkol government, acting on the advice of its top legal authority Meir Shamgar, could have foreseen the predicament we face today.  While it is undoubtedly important and overdue to express counters to the ‘Two-state solution’, Israel’s right must rally around a single idea if they wish to see that form of national suicide defeated.  And that idea is sovereignty, the rights enshrined at San Remo and later supported by Israel’s own laws.

Could it be that based on this rendition it is actually illegal vis-à-vis Israeli law for anyone to try and transfer any parts of the Jewish National Home to any other entity?  Have all governments since 1967 that have negotiated parts of the Jewish National Home been acting in contravention to Israeli law?

After all, what is actually being negotiated at the moment?  Our sovereignty.

In the late 1970’s, former Indonesian FM Malik said in reference to demands on the Philippines for Mindanao sovereignty; ‘no sovereign state worthy of the title could agree to such a thing’. ”

*(Note:I must credit the great work of the late Howard Grief, ZT”L for his excellent research on the legalities of Israel’s borders).

Inappropriate Use of the Fourth Geneva Convention by Eli Hertz

Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War Does Not Effect Jewish Rights to the Land of Israel

Background

The language of Article 49 was crafted in the wake of World War II and the Nazi occupation – an occupation that led to a war of aggression in which Nazi Germany attacked its neighbors with impunity, committing a host of atrocities against civilian populations, including deportation and displacement of local populations in occupied Europe. Millions were sent to forced labor camps and those of particular ethnic origin, most notably the Jews, were sent to their deaths in the gas chambers. The drafters of Article 49 were concerned with preventing future genocide against humanity. Critics and enemies of Israel, including members of the UN and organs such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) have come to use the Geneva Convention as a weapon against Israel, even when statements by authoritative analysts, scholars and drafters of the document contradict everything said by those who distort history for politically motivated reasons.

It is common knowledge that from its birth, Israel follows customarily international humanitarian law without being told or forced to do so by outside authorities.

“Occupied Territory”

The term “occupied territory,” which appears in the Fourth Geneva Convention, originated as a result of the Nazi occupation of Europe. Though it has become common parlance to describe the West Bank and Gaza as “occupied territories,” there is no legal basis for using this term in connection to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Professor Julius Stone, a leading authority on the Law of Nations, categorically rejected the use of the term “occupied territory” to describe the territories controlled by Israel on the following counts:

(1) Article 49 relates to the invasion of sovereign states and is inapplicable because the West Bank did not and does not belong to any other state.

(2) The drafting history of Article 49 [Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War] – that is, preventing “genocidal objectives” must be taken into account. Those conditions do not exist in Israel’s case.

(3) Settlement of Jews in the West Bank is voluntary and does not displace local inhabitants. Moreover, Stone asserted: that “no serious dilution (much less extinction) of native populations” [exists]; rather “a dramatic improvement in the economic situation of the [local Palestinian] inhabitants since 1967 [has occurred].”

Deportation and Forced Transfer

Arab opposition to Jewish settlements is based on the last paragraph of Article 49. The “Occupying Power” may not “Deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

One can hardly believe this baseless ICJ assertion that Israel, the only free and democratic country in the Middle East used “deportation” and “forced transfer” of its own population into “occupied territories.”

Article 2 of the Fourth Geneva Convention

Article 2 of the Fourth Geneva Convention applies only to conflicts that “arise between two or more high Contracting Parties,” which is not the case at hand, as Israel is the only High Contracting Party (or state) in this conflict, and Jordan never was. Thus, the Fourth Geneva Convention is inapplicable!

Professor Stone touches on the applicability of Article 49 of the Geneva Convention, writing on the subject in 1980:

“That because of the ex iniuria principle [unjust acts cannot create law], Jordan never had nor now has any legal title in the West Bank, nor does any other state even claim such title. Article 49 seems thus simply not applicable. Even if it were, it may be added that the facts of recent voluntary settlements seem not to be caught by the intent of Article 49 which is rather directed at the forced transfer of the belligerent’s inhabitants to the occupied territory, or the displacement of the local inhabitants, for other than security reasons.

Support to Stone’s assertion can be found in Sir Professor Elihu Lauterpacht’s writing in 1968:

“Thus Jordan’s occupation of the Old City-and indeed of the whole of the area west of the Jordan river-entirely lacked legal justification; and being defective in this way could not form any basis for Jordan validly to fill the sovereignty vacuum in the Old City [and whole of the area west of the Jordan River].”

Professor Eugene Rostow, past Dean of Yale Law School, U.S. under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and a key draftee of UN Security Council Resolution 242, concluded that the Fourth Geneva Convention is not applicable to Israel’s legal position and notes:

“The opposition to Jewish settlements in the West Bank also relied on a legal argument – that such settlements violated the Fourth Geneva Convention forbidding the occupying power from transferring its own citizens into the occupied territories. How that Convention could apply to Jews who already had a legal right, protected by Article 80 of the United Nations Charter, to live in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, was never explained.” It seems that the International Court of Justice never explained it either.

Article 80

Article 80 of the United Nations Charter specifically created in San Francisco on 26 June 1945, recognizes the continued validity of the rights granted to all states or peoples, or already existing international instruments including those adopted by the League of Nations, such as the “Mandate for Palestine.” Jews legal rights of settlements survived the British withdrawal in 1948.

The International Court of Justice [ICJ], Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court [ICC), and the Fourth Geneva Convention lack the authority to affect ownership of the Territories of Judea and Samaria known also as the West Bank.

The Ever-Elusive Peace by Yonina Pritzker By Jonina Pritzker

As pressure to reach a peace agreement mounts, strong voices urge Israel to relinquish land that has borne the name and history of the Jewish people for four millennia. The sources of conflict between Israel and her Arab neighbors are obscured by fabricated terms such as “occupation” and “apartheid,” and even by valid considerations such as “strategic depth” and “secure borders.” Security is indeed critical to Israel, as it is for any nation, but it does not begin to convey the deep connection the Jewish people have to the Land of Israel, where they have lived continuously since ancient times, nor does it adequately represent the undeniable rights the Jewish people have to that land.

Chaim Weizman, the first President of Israel, was once asked, “Why don’t you just accept the offer to establish a Jewish State in Uganda?” He answered, “That’s like me asking why you drove 50 miles to see your mother when there are so many other nice old ladies so much closer to your home.”

The Land of Israel is the national homeland of the Jewish people. By any criteria, whether by the Biblical Mandate, the historical connection, or through international law, the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people, and it is unjust to demand that the Jewish people relinquish their homeland.

The Jewish nation lived and worshipped as a free and sovereign nation in the Land of Israel, from the time Joshua re-entered the land with the Israelites, until the Babylonians destroyed the holy Temple in Jerusalem in 586 BCE.  Seventy years later, the Jews rebuilt this Temple, which then stood for centuries until the Romans destroyed it in the year 70 CE.The Temple Mount in the holy city of Jerusalem remains the holiest place within Judaism, and unto this day, every Jew turns towards the Temple Mount to pray.

Throughout the centuries, many conquerors tried to incorporate the Land of Israel into their own empires: the Babylonian empire, Persian and Greco-Assyrian, Roman, Byzantine, Arab Caliphates, Turkish, Crusader, Ayyubid, Mameluke, and Ottoman.

But despite these attempts, Israel remained the country of the Jewish people, and Jerusalem has served as the capital of only one nation: the Jewish nation.

Through every banishment and forced exile, the Jewish people continually looked to their ancient homeland, prayed to return to their land, included the mention of Israel and Jerusalem in daily prayers, and imbued each life-cycle gathering and festival celebration with the yearning for Shivat Tzion, for a return to the land of their ancestors.

Wherever a Jew was, his heart was always in Jerusalem. When he sat by the waters of Babylon, he wept as he remembered Zion. If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its cunning. May my tongue cleave to its palate… if I put not Jerusalem above my highest joy (Psalm 137). From Spain in the 12th century, Yehuda HaLevi cried “Libi B’Mizrach, Va’Ani b’sof ha’Ma’arav;” “My heart is in the east, though I am at the ends of the west.”

In the modern era, in the aftermath of World War I, the Principal Allied Powers, who were invested with the international authority to supervise the breakup of the former Ottoman Empire, met in San Remo, Italy, to discuss the borders of the new countries to be formed in the region, from the many peoples that had been part of the Ottoman Empire.

The San Remo Conference produced a series of mandates. Jan Christiaan Smuts introduced the Mandates System whereby a developed country would tutor and guide a not-yet-developed country down the path to statehood. Great Britain was tasked with supervising the Mandate for Palestine and the Mandate for Mesopotamia, while France was responsible for the Mandate for Syria. Ultimately, not only Israel, but Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan were all established out of what had been provinces of the Ottoman Empire.

There in San Remo, Italy, in April of 1920, this international forum passed the San Remo Resolution, and thereby, acknowledged the ancient and historic connection between the Land of Israel and the Jewish people, and declared their goal to “reconstitute the ancient Jewish state within its historic borders.”

For the Jewish homeland, they allocated all the land that is between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, as well as, the land that currently comprises the country of Jordan, along with the Golan Heights, and Gaza. They allocated these regions of the former Ottoman Empire for the Jewish homeland in recognition of the fact that these were the areas where the Jewish people lived, where the history of the Jewish nation took place, and where the prophets of Israel delivered their message.

Hebron was the first capital of Israel, burial place of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of Israel; Bethlehem is the city where the Matriarch Rachel is buried, where Ruth gave birth to the line of the Davidic monarchy; Shechem was the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel; Shiloh, the city of Priests, housed the holy Tabernacle before it was brought to Jerusalem. We read of Joshua in Jericho, Amos in Tekoa, Jeremiah in Anatot, and Jacob in Beit El. These regions of Shomron (Samaria) and Yehuda (Judea) constitute the Jewish spiritual heartland which is steeped in Jewish history dating back to Biblical times.

The San Remo Resolution and the Mandate for Palestine, as well as the Franco-British Boundary Convention of 1920, established international law which affirmed the Jewish right to settle the entire area that was designated as the Mandate for Palestine, just as San Remo and the Mandates System, which was enshrined in the Covenant of the League of Nations, affirmed the Arabs of their right to settle their respective countries. In fact, the Mandate for Palestine was synonymous with a Jewish National Home, as this was the land that was identified specifically for the Jewish people to reestablish an independent, sovereign state.

This exact linkage between the Jewish National Home and the newly developed Mandate for Palestine was further highlighted by the Arab rejection of the notion of “Palestine,” as Arab leader Abd al-Mahdi said in 1937 before the Peel Commission:

“There is no such land. Palestine is a term invented by the Zionists.”

These sentiments are echoed by P.L.O. founder Ahmed Shukari, in 1956, who, as the Arab League’s ambassador at the UN said, “such a creature as Palestine does not exist at all.”

This rejection continued in the 1977 interview with PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein, recorded in the Dutch newspaper Trouw. There he said,

“The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity…Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism for tactical reasons.”

Hafez al-Assa of Syria concurred when, in 1987, he said, “A country named ‘Palestine’ has never existed.”

The word “mandate” means trust. As stated in Article 6 of the Mandate, the British were tasked with assuring the “close settlement of the Jews on the land.” This was in keeping with a unanimous vote of the League of Nations which wanted to restore the Jewish people to their native land, thereby correcting the historical injustice of forced exile. The British, charged with this responsibility to serve as steward and trustee to bring forth a Jewish National Homeland, affirmed the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel, stating unequivocally that the Jewish nation was in this land “as of right and not on sufferance. That is the reason why it is necessary that the existence of a Jewish National Home in Palestine should be internationally guaranteed, and that it should be formally recognized to rest upon ancient historic connection.”

The British, nonetheless, went on to violate their obligations under these binding acts of international law by giving 77% of the lands allocated exclusively for the Jewish homeland, to create the Arab country of Jordan, or Transjordan, as it was initially called. The British gave away these areas that were steeped in Jewish history, areas where the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Menasheh had made their homes, thereby leaving only the land that was between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River for the Jewish National Homeland. The Jewish right to settle anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea remains enshrined in international law to this day.

Additional attempts to wrest the Jewish homeland away from the Jewish people have continued throughout the decades since San Remo. And we are seeing the current rendition today, as once again, pressure is being brought to bear on the Jewish nation to forfeit its legacy in order to appease those who reject her right to exist.

The Peel Commission advanced another such attempt. In 1937, it proposed a partition of the 23% of remaining Mandate land, after the British withheld 77% of the Mandate to create Transjordan. The Arabs rejected the proposal of the Peel Commission, just as they would reject every proposal that included a Jewish state within any borders. Instead, the Arab Bludan Conference, in September of 1937, proposed a boycott of “all Jewish goods and activities,” a tactic often used to criminalize the Jewish presence in the region. It is a tactic that is being utilized against the State of Israel again today.

The Partition Plan was yet another attempt to wrest away from the Jewish people additional portions of the Jewish homeland. Ironically, this November 29, 1947, vote of the General Assembly of the United Nations on Resolution 181 which, similar to the Peel Commission, tried to partition the remaining 23% of the land allocated for the Jewish homeland, has often, erroneously been viewed as the legal basis for the modern State of Israel. In fact, this Partition Resolution, which reserved for the Jewish State only 17% of the original Mandate, in illegal abrogation of Jewish rights to this land, was true to its name: it was yet one more attempt to subdivide the Land of Israel in order to appease those who have repeatedly rejected the right to sovereignty and self-determination for the Jewish people in their ancestral homeland.

The San Remo Conference along with various treaties following World War I succeeded in establishing independent countries sought by the Arab nationalists: the country of Iraq gained full independence in 1932, the country of Lebanon was established in 1943, and the country of Syria attained their independence in 1946. Nonetheless, when the modern State of Israel similarly exercised its sovereign right and formally declared statehood in 1948, the Arab armies of Egypt, Lebanon, Transjordan, Syria, and Iraq immediately attacked the nascent state. Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League announced: “It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history…”

Then, in 1949, when the Armistice Demarcation Lines were drawn, this line, which is commonly called “The Green Line,” and which many today attempt to reinvent and claim as borders – namely, so called “’67 borders” – was rejected vehemently by Syria, Jordan, and Egypt as delineating any type of border. The Armistice agreement with Egypt stated,

“The Armistice Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary…”

The Armistice agreement with Jordan included the following statement:

“The provisions of this article shall not be interpreted as prejudicing, in any sense, an ultimate political settlement between the Parties to this Agreement. The Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in Articles v and vi of this Agreement are agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto.”

And Syria was adamant that there be no misunderstanding, stating,

“It is emphasized that the following arrangements for the Armistice Demarcation Line between the Israeli and Syrian armed forces and for the Demilitarized Zone are not to be interpreted as having any relation whatsoever to ultimate territorial arrangements affecting the two Parties to this Agreement.”

These agreements were emphatic in ensuring that the Armistice line would not be considered a formal boundary, once again, rejecting a Jewish state within any borders.

Whether by further subdivision of the land, or through boycotts to criminalize the Jewish State, these tactics stem from the ongoing and absolute rejection of the Jewish people’s right to sovereignty and self-determination in their ancestral homeland. And while much attention is focused on the years of 1948 and 1967 as the lynchpins for strife in the region, in fact, attempts to rid the land of the Jewish people, as well as, violent attacks on Jews, were as clear before these dates as they were after these dates.

There was the Hebron massacre of 1929, when Arabs slaughtered their Jewish neighbors who had resided in Hebron for, literally, thousands of years. There was no “Green Line” at this time; there was no modern State of Israel at this time.

In 1938, in Tiberius, terrorists went from house to house killing parents and children. Again, there was no “Green Line,” no Jewish State.

In 1954, in Scorpion’s Pass (Maale Akrabim), 11 men and women were murdered as their omnibus travelling from Eilat to Beersheba was attacked. This was long before the 6 Day War of 1967.

In 1956, in Shafrir, terrorists fired on a synagogue full of children and teenagers.

In 1972, Israeli Olympic athletes were killed in Munich, Germany.

In 1974, schoolchildren on a field trip from Tzfat were executed in Ma’alot in northern Israel:

(Israeli General) Gur said later that he could see the girl students being shot one by one. Israeli officers said that they found ten girls dead, each with a bullet in the neck. Time’s David Halevy was among the first to enter. “Gray smoke enveloped the school,” he reported…I raced up to the second floor. A group of dead kids were lying in a corner. Their bodies were clustered in grotesque positions — as if they had died trying to protect one another. One girl was lying on her back, her eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling. Her body was cut in half at the waist. Most of the injured seemed to be girls. That was the shocking thing. They were beautiful girls with ugly wounds on their faces. Their clothes had been shredded, and there were open wounds on their breasts and legs. The movement of stretchers seemed endless.” The carnage, once the shooting ended, included 17 teen-agers dead and 70 wounded. (Time Magazine; Monday, May. 27, 1974).

Year after year, there have been terrorist incidents, too numerous to mention here.

The message has been consistent: it is the absolute rejection of the right of the Jewish people

to security, to self-determination, and to peace.

The right of the Jewish people to live in their historic homeland of Israel was rejected before 1948, and after the reestablishment of the modern State of Israel in 1948; before 1967, and after 1967, when, besieged by hostile Arab armies, Israel recovered those lands that had been internationally mandated and guaranteed to the Jewish people at San Remo; and this basic right is still being denied today.

In fact, after the war in 1967, Israel attempted to make peace with her neighbors. But, similar to every previous rejection of a Jewish state within any borders, the Arabs rejected Israel’s desire to negotiate peace, and instead, issued the “The Three No’s” of Khartoum, namely, no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israelandno negotiations with Israel. This resolution prompted Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban to declare, “This is the first war in history which has ended with the victors suing for peace and the vanquished calling for unconditional surrender.”

Had the neighboring countries and peoples ever offered Israel any kind of reciprocity, any acknowledgement of the rights of the Jewish nation to a sovereign state in her ancestral homeland; any recognition that the Jews, like the Arabs, were entitled to self–determination in their own homeland carved out of the vanquished Ottoman Empire; had they welcomed, or at least, tolerated, the Jewish people’s right to their sliver of the Middle East, the right to one Jewish state amidst 21 Arab states – there would be peace.

It is unjust that the same international law that upholds the rights of Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq was abrogated regarding the Jewish National Homeland, and is repeatedly violated in each new attempt to separate the Jewish people from the Land of Israel. It is unjust that Jews do not have free access to the lands allocated and guaranteed to the Jewish people, lands where our tribes lived on the eastern banks of the Jordan River. It is unjust to demand that the Jewish people relinquish any more of their homeland. It is the legacy of our ancestors and the heritage of our children.

Legally, spiritually, and historically, the Jewish people have always had the sovereign right to the Land of Israel, despite the dogmatic march that tries to conceal that fact and demand that they relinquish it. It is unconscionable that good and fair-minded people would bring such pressure to bear on a sovereign nation whose only desire is to live in her ancestral homeland in peace.

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