From Thinkisrael.org, photos from Life Magazine
The Jewish “Occupation” of Judea?
Judea and Samaria is a term you don’t often hear on the news, at least not outside of Israel. We usually hear about “the West Bank”. But where does this term come from? The name of the area was Judea and Samaria from biblical times until 1950, when Jordan occupied the area, renaming it “the West Bank”. So the name was changed during Jordan’s illegal occupation of Judea and Samaria during a period of nineteen years (1948–1967).
One has to wonder why the international community decided to use the term West Bank even after the area was liberated. And the fact that all Jews were forced out of Judea and Samaria during Jordan’s illegal occupation is something you rarely hear in the media or anywhere else. I guess people want to maintain the false image of Jews in Judea and Samaria as “foreign occupiers”? Well, they are not foreign occupiers. Jews lived in the so called “West Bank” for ages…. That’s until all of them were either killed or forced out of the area after Jordan’s occupation started in 1948.
Jews returned to Judea and Samaria after the area was liberated by Israel in 1967, but strangely enough they were referred to as illegal settlers by the international community and they still are to this day. So let me get this straight… A Jew can live in London, Paris, Moscow or New York, but not in Judea? To say that a Jew living in Judea (Judea is actually the origin of the term “Jew”) is an illegal settler is beyond absurd. Judea and Samaria is the cradle of Jewish history, religion and culture.
Then some would say that Judea and Samaria is “Palestinian land” and therefore Israel shouldn’t build Jewish settlements there. When did this area officially become “Palestinian”? In fact, let’s not only focus on the so called West Bank, but the entire geographical area once known as Palestine. One of the biggest lies out there is that this land belonged to the “Palestinian people” before 1948, and that Israel “stole” large parts of Palestine from the Palestinians through its re-establishment. First of all there has never been a Palestinian state, and “Palestine” did not belong to the Palestinians before 1948. It was ruled by Britain from 1917 to 1948, and before this the area was part of the Ottoman Empire for 400 years.
But aren’t Jewish settlements a threat to peace? Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria is not an obstacle to peace, but what does constitute an obstacle to peace is the racism from the Palestinian Authority. If you’re Palestinian you risk getting the death penalty if you sell your house to a Jew, and the PA doesn’t seem willing to have a state unless it is Jew-free.
I would like to end this blog post with a simple question. This is for those who say the 350,000 Jews living in Judea and Samaria constitute a threat to peace: Do you also believe that the 1.5 million Arabs living in Israel constitute a threat to peace?
– Andreas Fagerbakke is a Pro-Israel blogger from Norway