Saturday, October 4, 2014

Why the Mountains of Judea and Samaria Are Important to Israel

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                    

                       Samaria's strategic high ground is essential to Israel's security!
Judea and Samaria's mountain ranges  are 1,050 meters (0.65244 miles) high, which are about one-third as high as the Golan Heights, but still  look down on the major Israeli population centers. Cool winter with rainfall occurs mostly between November and March.  There is occasional snow-fall, warm and dry summers with cool evenings.   If Hamas gained control of Judea and Samaria, and controlled this height, it would be a threat to the safety of millions of Israelis.  There is no reason to  think it would not happen just as it did in Gaza.  There, Abbas was in control but pushed out by Hamas who were terrorists, very similar to IS with the same type of charter.  The southern part of Israel has suffered from 14,000 Palestinian rocket attacks which really started in 2001. 

The main job for the Prime Minister of Israel is to keep his population safe.  Netanyahu is trying to do just that in a very democratic society.  In the USA we have Republicans and Democrats.  In Israel we have Likud and Labor and many parties in between that make up an English type of government with coalitions in the Knesset.  This means they go from Peace Now to the extreme right including Muslim parties, communist parties and religious parties.  Everyone has an opinion and everyone is a reader.  As Ben Gurion once said, he was president of 600,000 presidents.  Nobody is shy in Israel.  You find your voice there.
                                 Tel Aviv as seen from mountains of Samaria

Israel is so very tiny.  Everything is minutes apart.  Israel can be crossed by car from the west to the east in 90 minutes by car.  Jerusalem in the Jordan Valley  and Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean Sea  are 1 hour apart, being only 38 miles.  Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean to Eilat on the Red Sea are 5 hours apart being only 46 miles. Mountains rise to 1,000 meters (3,300 feet)  and in the center are the mountains of Judea and Samaria.  In the north are the mountains making up the Galilee.
Israel is on the edge of the desert.  A large part of Israel, is the Negev Desert.  Jerusalem is on the threshold of the Judean Desert.  Most of the urban regions of Israel are less than 2 hours away from the cease-fire lines.  Before 1967, the armistice lines bisected Jerusalem and were 20 minutes away from Tel Aviv.  After 1967, Jerusalem become one united city again.

The magazine, The Jerusalem Report of October 6, 2014 has the viewpoint of the right in that Israel has the legal right and the moral imperative to Judea and Samaria and that means they have the right to build and live there. Oded Revivi, mayor of Efrat and a lawyer,  wrote this essay.   They do hold the legal title to all the land that is not privately owned in Judea and Samaria and this finally happened in the fatal attack of the Arab countries including Jordan against Israel in 1967.  Today the land in question pertaining to building is under full Israeli administrative and security control based on the 1993 Oslo Accords.  There is no agreement or peace treaty between Israel and the Arabs who live in Judea and Samaria.  Because of this, Israel has the right to build.  Gvaot in the Etzion bloc will be for both Palestinian Arabs and Israelis.

The Jerusalem Report also published on the next page the viewpoint of Yariv Oppenheimer, director of Peace Now,  who thinks this is a deplorable decision to build and thinks his government remains committed to building settlements rather than peace.  He wrote that according to international law, declaring an area "state land" requires the sovereign power to allocate the land for the common good--in other words, for the benefit of the entire population in the designated area.  Perhaps he didn't know at the time of writing his piece that this is what will be done with Gvaot, which is giving the international community a heart attack  Peace Now is an NGO which is opposed to settlement building and committed to the 2 state solution.  I've given up on it long ago.  It was a nice idea but cannot be one-sided only.  Oh yes, the Arabs want it, but their idea is of an Apartheid state; no Jews allowed, and no peaceful interactions with Israel. Their idea is to be close enough to destroy Israel.

Instead of being concerned about the Ebola virus spreading or IS spreading, they are concerned with Israel's building on land they won back in 1967, waiting for 47 years to use their own land because of all the harping about it to become an APARTHEID STATE OF PALESTINE,  another site to attack Israel from. Oppenheimer ignores such matters as the incessant attacks of mortars, missiles and rockets since 2001 from Gaza and  Asssd's teaming up with Hamas, a terrorist state to be the government of Palestine.  He's ignoring Abbas's planned 3 prong attack on Israel already published;
1. Demand withdrawal by Israel from "Palestinian territory to 1967 borders within 3 years-what Obama tried to force Israel to accept
2. Go to international Criminal Court if it doesn't pass

PEACE NOW is for:
  • Peace Now views the settlements as a threat to the existence of Israel as a democratic and Jewish state.
  • Peace Now views the settlements as a main obstacle to any future peace agreement.
  • Peace Now views the settlements as an element that harms the State of Israel on many fronts: security, economically, morally culturally. They also harm Israel's standing in the international community.
  • My question is,  "Does Peace Now expect Palestine to be peaceful?   How and why will it change? " Why don't they expect the charter of FATAH and HAMAS to change to a peaceful one?   

They both forgot one little matter.
1. Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip have never legally or historically been declared to be "Palestinian."
2. A Palestine state has never existed let alone a sovereign Palestinian state
3. No treaty agreement or binding resolution has ever determined that the territories belong to the Palestinians. .
It's simply been an assumed idea of having a 2 state solution of having Palestinians living next door peacefully to Israel.  The idea has been completely destroyed by the Arabs themselves by showing belligerency since  May 14, 1948.  They were offered their state and turned it down.  They've been offered it again and again ever since then and continually turned it down.  Now they want it as long as they can continue to attack Israel,  and like England appeased Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and gave him Transjordan (80% of the Jewish National Home) ,  Obama and successive American presidents before him have been trying to do the same thing for Arafat and now his successor, Abbas.    

Instead of making this declaration of building, Oppenheimer thinks that the right way to proceed would have been through negotiations.  I think the failed negotiations so far show that one cannot negotiate with Abbas or his followers.  Oppenheimer doesn't like Netanyahu taking what he thinks are  unilateral annexationist steps, but they aren't.   The land came to Israel rightfully in 1967.  47 years is long enough to wait for a peace treaty.  It has been Israel's for 47 years.  People need housing.  What Abbas's group proposed evidently was to negotiate a territorial agreement, not a word about keeping the peace, mind you, within 4 months.  Then each party would be free to build in all the areas within its putative borders.  The Arabs have been building all along illegally but this never makes the news, only if Israel does it.  Until the charters of both Fatah and Hamas change to speak only of peace with Israel, Israel must take a defensive stand and keep control of this land.  Otherwise it will turn into another Golan Heights which range from 400 meters (1,300 feet high in South to 2,814 meters (9,232 feet on Mt Hermon where people ski)  situation when the Arabs were attacking from the mountains there.  Only by taking that area has Israel been safe from that area.

Updated 10/5/14:  David Ben Gurion, 1st president and Prime Minister of Israel had said, "Let me first tell you one thing: It doesn't matter what the world says about Israel; it doesn't matter what they say about us anywhere else. The only thing that matters is that we can exist here on the land of our forefathers. And unless we show the Arabs that there is a high price to pay for murdering Jews, we won't survive."

Ezekiel knew the mountains belonged to Israel:

O, mountains of Israel, you will give forth your branch and bear your fruit for My people Israel are soon to come.

EZEKIEL (36:8)

Resource:  The Jerusalem Report, October 56, 2014
Facts About Israel by division of Information, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem
update: 10/5/14

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