What is always lost in the never-ending controversy over what to do with Judea and Samaria are the facts.
Here are some facts.
Arabs have zero historic ties to Judea and Samaria. Historic ties are what you base claims to a territory on. With zero ties Arabs are in the same category as the Japanese, Mexicans, and an atlas full of others.
There never were any Arabs in any part of Israel in discernible numbers until the British came and they were foreigners.
There may not have been any mosques here until Jordan arrived.
Here is another fact that is almost always overlooked.
UN Resolution 242, which set the rules on how to resolve the issues arising from the 1967 war, gives Israel the right to annex Judea and Samaria at any time at will.
The fear always was that we can’t do this because of demographics. But Israel’s Jewish birth-rate is now among the highest, if the not the highest, in the Western world, and has pulled even with, if not surpassed, the Arab rate, which fell back.
The nascent sovereignty movement has got it entirely right. Start annexing Judea and Samaria one piece at a time as is our right under Resolution 242, and be finished with this issue. Offer the Arabs living there citizenship, outlaw terrorist organizations and expel the terrorists. There is no down side. This is a rare case where there is nothing to lose and everything to gain, for both camps.
Let’s begin at the beginning. We lost the land in three wars against the Romans costing 2 million dead on each side. In the first, called the Jewish War, against Vespasian, the Temple was destroyed. The second against Trajan, the Kitos War, we could have won. Fighting ranged from the borders of Iran into Libya, then heavily populated, up into the Greek islands. Death tolls were astronomical. Roman governors were preparing to revolt and if they had, it would have given us a huge advantage. At that very moment Trajan dropped dead. His successor Hadrian called a time-out and asked the Jews what they wanted. “The Temple,” they replied. “You got it,” he said and they laid down their arms. Greek-Egyptians, who with their metropolis Alexandria formed the major population bloc in Egypt, suffered so many deaths they established an annual remembrance day on their calendar which was observed for centuries. The next war was led by Bar-Kokhba against Hadrian and fought entirely in Israel. The Romans threw every last thing they had into it, marching legions in from as far away as England and emptying their ships of sailors to fight on land. Israel was levelled from one end to the other as hit by a series of atomic bombs and the 1,900-year exile began.
Hadrian and the Jews took different views of the consequences. Hadrian figured the Jews were kaput forever and renamed the country after a coastal area, Palestine. The Jews countered, “we shall return.”
When the Arabians came through in the 7th century, the population was 60 per cent Christians and 40 per cent Jews. The Arabians were few in numbers, saw there was no problem in this land, and rode through.
In the 11th century an Egyptian imam declared that everyone in that land must convert to Islam. The Christians cleared out en masse and that’s why they are only 2 per cent of the population today. A few decades passed and Muslim authorities cancelled the decree ruling that forced conversion is illegal under Islamic law.
Only 25 per cent of the Jews by descent returned to the fold. Taxes on non-Muslims was prohibitive and the rest couldn’t afford it. For centuries they were neither here nor there. But unlike Europe there was no inquisition in Muslim lands so no one in authority much bothered the crypto-Jews.
Tsvi Misinai, a pioneer in software development, abandoned that to study the origins of the Palestinian Arabs. He found that 90 per cent are descended from Jews or people they absorbed way back, Moabites and Edomites. The major minorities are either Kurds who came in with Saladin during the Crusades or Romans, who came in with their army.
Arabs do not show up in DNA examinations of so-called Palestinian Arabs descended from Jews. They are like the Ashkenazim, who lived primarily in Europe, not the Sephardim, who lived among the Arabs. That’s because there were so few Arabs here ever to intermarry with.
You can’t say for certain that there were never any mosques here but the Jordanians after 1948 seem to be the first to build them in Judea and Samaria. A book done by a photographer in the 19th century showing major buildings in Palestine had no mosques except one museum piece, al-Aska.
Until modern times many Palestinian Arabs knew their origins; there’s one extended family that can trace themselves back to Bar-Kokhba. The Bedouin may be 100 per cent Jews by descent. Ben-Gurion, the first PM, knew this and at one point sent Moshe Dayan with a rabbi to convert them all back. That didn’t go anywhere but his heart was in the right place.
Here is what is likely to happen as Judea and Samaria are annexed. Jews by descent will start intermarrying bringing with them their entire extended families. In the end love will conquer all. This beats any other ideas anyone else may have.
The claim of Jews to Judea and Samaria under international law is ironclad.
The Zionist movement, to restore the state, was founded in 1897. As WWI erupted, the Zionist leader was Chaim Weizmann, a chemist, living in Britain.
The UK government put out a call for work that scientists had done which might be of value in the war effort. Years before Weizmann had developed experimentally a method to make acetone organically which would make supplies unlimited. No one was interested because they obtained acetone from charcoal and there was no shortage.
As the war went on the British Navy found themselves in a bind. They desperately needed cordite. Without that their guns gave off smoke which the enemy could see and adios, ship. To make cordite you needed acetone. They could have cut down every tree in the UK and not had enough acetone for their needs. Someone remembered Weizmann. They tested his process. It worked and as a result not only the UK but also all the allies had all the cordite they needed for the duration of the war.
The UK government asked Weizmann to name his reward. Nothing for me personally, he replied. Palestine for my people.
They awarded it to him readily in the Balfour Declaration but actually they were giving him nothing. They had not displaced Turkey from Palestine and there was no guarantee that they ever would.
Palestine then was comprised of both the east bank and the west bank of the Jordan River. In 1922 Britain split off east bank and gave it to the Arabs for a state, which they called Jordan. The Arabs got 80 per cent of Palestine.
That same year the League of Nations recognized the Jews as the indigenous people of Palestine with the inalienable right to settle anywhere in it in perpetuity. When the United Nations was founded it incorporated the League of Nations decree as part of Article 80 of the UN Charter, its constitution. This remains as they say international law.
In 1947 the UN split what remained of Palestine into two parts, one for the Jews and one for the Arabs and made Jerusalem an international city. Israel accepted the deal, the Arabs decided to play double or nothing, and five mechanized armies invaded in an attempt to throw the Jews into the sea.
When the ceasefire came Jordan annexed the parts meant for the Arabs, which were Judea and Samaria, also east Jerusalem, having driven out the Jewish residents there, destroying 35 synagogues in the process. Jerusalem had been rebuilt by Jews and they comprised the vast majority of the population. That’s when Arabs moved into Jerusalem. Egypt grabbed the Gaza strip.
Britain recognized de facto the annexation by Jordan; that theirs was not merely an “occupation” of someone else’s territory, on the principle that this was no-man’s land and you cannot occupy what never belonged to anyone. This was upheld by six consecutive British prime ministers and no one in the world dissented. Had there not been a war in 1967 when Israel liberated these territories that would have remained the situation, endorsed by another baker’s dozen British prime ministers. The territories would have been shrouded in non-controversy.
UN Resolution 242 determined how the issues arising from the 1967 war were to be resolved and this constitutes the official UN roadmap; there is no other and there won’t be any other.
Israel must give up some, but not all, of the land it conquered in the war, in return for peace treaties. It returned the Sinai to Egypt for a treaty and withdrew from Gaza voluntarily. The rest, which comprises only a small percentage of the total land mass in question, is ours to keep, including Judea and Samaria; the Golan Heights, already annexed, and east Jerusalem, which would never be abandoned under any circumstances short of losing another major war.
The resolution was written by Eugene Rostow, US undersecretary of state, and here is how he explained it.
Eugene Rostow: “Resolution 242, which as undersecretary of state for political affairs between 1966 and 1969 I helped produce, calls on the parties to make peace and allows Israel to administer the territories it occupied in 1967 until ‘a just and lasting peace in the Middle East’ is achieved. When such a peace is made, Israel is required to withdraw its armed forces ‘from territories’ it occupied during the Six-Day War — not from ‘the’ territories nor from ‘all’ the territories, but from some of the territories, which included the Sinai Desert, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.”
The only other parties recognized as any having any claim on the territories involved were Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. Israel made peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan and does not have to talk to Syria about the Golan Heights since it has already fulfilled the requirements to return some of the land taken in 1967.
The USSR was trying to conquer the world one piece at a time. Their KGB founded the PLO in 1964 as part of their strategy to get their hands on Arabian oil, thereby crippling the US oil supply. The USSR had founded “liberation” movements around the world, which if they succeeded in getting control of a territory, turned that into a Communist satellite. The Soviets were already in Egypt and the PLO was meant to be the administrator of Palestine after the USSR grabbed that, another domino to roll towards the oil. They appointed an Egyptian named Arafat as head of the PLO and told him to pretend to be a Palestinian Arab.
The KGB had no interest in Judea, Samaria, and east Jerusalem and the PLO charter formally renounced any and all claims to them. That just recognized reality; neither the artificial entity “Palestinian Arabs,” which did not yet exist in 1964, nor Arabs of any description, have historical ties to any part of the Jewish homeland.
Israel won the 1967 and 1973 wars and the Egyptians sent the Soviets packing. The PLO continued its activities as a terrorist organization. After being thrown out of Lebanon Arafat went to Gorbachev, then Soviet leader, and asked permission to raise havoc within Judea and Samaria itself, which Gorbachev approved. This was the “first intifada.” They called it a “spontaneous uprising” but its purpose was to execute alternative moderate leaders in the territories. Israel killed 808 Arabs in defending itself; the PLO executed 985 alternative moderate leaders. The KGB did nothing without a purpose.
Israel then suffered a loss of nerve due to demographic paranoia and brought in the PLO as a “partner” to make “peace” with, signing the Oslo Accords in 1994. Meanwhile, Arafat was surreptitiously caught on tape by a journalist in South Africa saying he had not come to Palestine to make peace, schmease. but to destroy Israel.
The moment of truth came in 2000 when the PLO was offered upwards of 90 per cent of their demands and answered by launching a four-year wave of terror costing 1,000 Israeli lives and many more on the other side, the “second intifada.” This was Arafat’s plan all along, cause enough furor among Arab states so that they, in their red-hot anger, would mobilize and throw the Jews into the sea. But, alas for him, al-Qaeda did not get the memo and turned their planes on New York and not Tel Aviv. The Arab states beat a hasty retreat from Arafat and his strategy collapsed.
Resolution 242 requires that the two refugee problems be resolved together. Arab states drove out 850,000 Jews, not a few of them the industrialists and owners of major assets, while 550,000 Arabs left of their own accord from Israel during the War of Independence.
Israel put their refugees back on their feet as best they could and the Arab states let theirs rot. There is no such thing as a refugee passing on his status to the next generation and all the myriads of refugees from the post-WWII era, in both Europe and the Indian sub-continent, were taken care of. The UN decided to make an exception in this case. So what we have today are 7 million Jewish “refugees” and 5 million Arab “refugees.” This problem is easily solved. Let the Arab states pay the Jewish “refugees” the trillion dollars, counting interest, they owe them and we’ll call it square. The Arab states could easily put their “refugees” back on their feet by building one less biggest skyscraper in the world per year. But Arab states look upon American taxpayers as suckers who will happily feed these “refugees” until the sun dies, and maybe they will.
Israel left Gaza so they could turn that into a new Singapore. Hamas, a terrorist organization, grabbed it and all they want to do is make war. Ultimately Gaza will be blessed with responsible leaders and build a peaceful society there. Gaza is not in Israel’s future.
The proposal etched on the table is a two-state non-solution. A PLO state would last six months before Israel would be forced to send the army in. Terrorists of every stripe and description would pour into there, launching attacks on Israel. Those who killed Jews would receive handsome lifetime PLO pensions, on a per skull basis, for themselves or their families, as they do today. No one there is going to police the terrorists and the flow of arms. You know what is going to happen so why even think about it? Meanwhile the people there would be abandoned to a brutal tyranny and abysmal unemployment. Given their past record, those running the PLO would steal all the foreign money coming in. No one else would see a dime.
Because the Palestinian Arabs have no freedom of speech or assembly in which they may discuss openly the options available to them, all we hear is the same ultimatum invented by the KGB years ago, meant to serve the Soviet interest. The PLO parrots it like a broken record and Israel might as well spend its time talking to a wall than to the PLO.
Unlike all other peoples in the Arab world, the Palestinians live next door to a full democracy and that’s what they want. They can’t speak out without getting their heads bashed in, but some do.
Bassem Ayyad: “If you were to secretly poll Palestinians, 99.9 per cent would ask to be under the Israeli authority rather than under the Palestinian Authority.”
“The true ‘nakba’ (‘catastrophe’ in Arabic) for Palestinians was the founding of the Palestinian Authority in 1994.” (The term nakba is used by Arabs to describe the inability of Arab armies to destroy the nascent Jewish state in 1948.)
“‘If you ask a Palestinian today what nakba do you suffer from more, 1948 or 1967? he would tell you the true nakba was the coming of the Palestinian Authority in 1994. There is great suffering today under the PA. This is an Arab dictatorship of Israeli invention.’”
Victims of oppression by the PLO have brought suit against them in Israeli courts for tens of millions of dollars in compensation. In the latest case victims of torture won $3.7 million. The judgment ran 2,000 pages, every allegation documented. These represent only a tiny fraction of the multitude of victims who have been subject to violence or extortion under the PLO tyranny over many years.
This is the judge quoting just one victim after referring to the damaged limbs that others showed him in court.
Moshe Drori: “(Some of the) witnesses who testified about their torture, … showed me … damaged limbs.”
“The detailed picture … shows that the Palestinian Authority — with all its branches and its mechanisms detailed in exacting detail in the individual chapters — used severe violence, including severe torture, against the plaintiffs.”
“One of the plaintiffs, Ahmed, relates that during his interrogation he had a daughter who was born prematurely. When the Palestinian Authority discovered this, it ordered that the hospital cease treating the infant. The child did not receive the necessary oxygen and as a result lives with a disability.
“The torture Ahmed underwent also included the placing of lit cigarettes on his body and slicing his body with razor blades until the interrogators had to put him in the hospital in Jenin.
‘‘‘In Israel it would not have happened,’ Ahmed said. ‘In Israel, when you are interrogated, they recognize your rights and treat you the way they treat everyone. Why do all Arabs want to work in Israel? Why does everyone want to celebrate when they are allowed to enter Israel? Because we know that here it is better.’
“‘In the Palestinian Authority it is enough that someone wants to settle an account with you. He tells everyone that you are co-operating (with Israel) and then they take everything, including your land,’ Ahmed said.”
Who in the world, if given a choice, would choose to live under tyranny, and for their children to live under tyranny, when at hand is a democracy where they could become citizens assured of both human rights and a social net? No one.
Equally as important are the job opportunities. Israel’s economy is booming with a — when I last looked — 4.4 GDP growth and 3.7 per cent unemployment. That’s one of the best performances in the world. Every citizen gets an opportunity to benefit from it, even new ones.
Annexation of Judea and Samaria is a win-win proposal for everyone. You start easy with Area C, where there are relatively few Arabs, and go on from there. It can be done tomorrow before breakfast,
The PLO trots out bogus grossly inflated population figures of Palestinian Arabs as a scare tactic. Yoram Ettinger, who keeps accurate figures, says even if Israel gave citizenship to all Palestinian Arabs — and that won’t happen because many will decline, for example those who have the option of Jordanian citizenship, and terrorists will be expelled — the Jewish population in Israel would only fall from 75 per cent to 65 per cent. We can live with that, but Jews by descent will start coming back to balance that off. We might even make a profit on this.
The alternative fits the definition of insanity attributed to Einstein.
Albert Einstein: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
Has that saying ever been translated into Hebrew for the benefit of politicians? It doesn’t seem that it has.