Hearing people in America refer to Israel’s “occupation of Palestine,” strikes more than just a nerve, it’s spreading incorrect information. As a Jewish American woman who has been involved in American national politics, while my husband ran for United States Congress in New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District, I came across many people including a disturbingly large population of liberal Jewish Americans who seem to be lacking tremendous knowledge of Israeli History and their beliefs are formulated based on what popular media tells them. United States and Israel have one of the strongest military to military alliances in the world. It’s important for American Jews to understand the West Bank dispute and to stop perpetrating false history that can lead to Israel’s destruction.
Let’s break it down. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict may be difficult to solve but if you know the history, it’s rather simple to understand. Israel wants to exist as a Jewish state and live in peace. Palestinians want them dead.
Let’s talk about the West Bank, that’s where the problem stems from but if you’re a liberal Jew, you often fall for the propaganda of saying “occupied territories” and “illegal settlements” because you don’t know Israeli history and you’re listening to false media controlled by groups who want you to believe something that isn’t true. We hear and read things all the time, even Wikipedia that says,” West Bank has been under Israeli occupation since the 1967 Six-Day War.” This is factually incorrect. How can you possibly “occupy” your own land?
In 1967, there was no Arab nation or state called Palestine, in fact, there was never any Palestine. During the Six-Day war, Israel took over their own land, the West Bank, from Jordan in self defense after Jordan joined a war launched by Egypt and Syria to destroy the state of Israel. In 1967, United Nations rejected Arab and Soviet attempts to recognize Israel as the aggressor. United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 was adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council on November 22, 1967, in the aftermath of the Six-Day war. This left Israel with secure and recognized boundaries/borders.
What right did Jordan have to invade Israel’s West Bank to begin with? Jordan was the one “occupying” Israel when they had no legal right to be there other than it’s attempt to destroy the state of Israel. Samaria is the territory generally referred to as the West Bank.
From 1517 to 1917 the West Bank was part of the Ottoman Empire. After losing World War 1, Ottoman Empire relinquished control to allied forces that divided land into countries. West Bank became an integral part of the British Mandate. Lord Balfour recognized the Jewish people’s right to their homeland, Israel. Jewish homeland originally included the West Bank and East Bank of The Jordan River but the Jewish people have accepted many painful compromises and given up a lot of land through the years. Britain received a mandate from the League of Nations recognizing Israel and to promote the establishment of the Jewish State. League of Nations recognized Israel including the West Bank as part of Israel. This was reaffirmed by the United Nations after World War 2. With the British Mandate ending, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 Partition Plan 1947 calling for land to be partisans between Arabs and Jews, allowing for the formation of the Jewish state of Israel. The Jewish people accepted this and went on to create Israel, the Arabs did not and they launched war on Israel because they do not want Israel to exist. Resolution 181 had no legal stance and was a non binding recommendation to begin with. At the end of the war, there was a cease fire. The armistice line, the “green line,” represents the position of both countries’ troops when the fighting stopped in 1949. At Arab insistence, the accords provide that the lines are not political boundaries and can be changed when the parties make peace.
According to Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “In 1949, with UN mediation, Israel concluded armistice agreements with Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon, thus reaching an official cessation of hostilities of the first Arab-Israeli war that had started in May 1948. Iraq and Saudi Arabia, whose forces took part in the war, never signed any agreements with Israel. The parties agreed that the armistice agreements would serve only as interim arrangements until replaced by permanent peace treaties. Israel’s territory according to the agreed 1949 Armistice Demarcation Line encompassed about 78% of the Mandate area, while the other parts, namely the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, were occupied by Jordan and Egypt respectively. The 1949 Armistice Lines between Israel and its Arab neighbors came to be known as The Green Line.” This was never an actual border. Israel has not “occupied” any land.
Zubarah, Tombs Island, Western Saharah, Abu Musa Island, Kashmir, are all disputed territories just like the West Bank but they’re not “occupied.” They are all disputed territories so let’s refer to them as such.
Israel’s presence in the West Bank is a result of self defense during a war on Israel’s right to exist. The West Bank cannot be considered “occupied” because there was no previous sovereign in the area. While it is considered a “disputed territory,” it’s not “occupied.” 1947 Partition plan has no legal stance. Israel’s claim to the West Bank was originally recognized by the international community during the 20th century. Therefore, the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are not illegal.
The Arab world consists of 22 countries is you include “Palestine” which is actually Israel’s land. Those countries are Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, the Comoros Islands, Iraq, Djibouti, and the United Arab Emirates.
Jewish people only have Israel.
Many well-meaning people in America imagine there could be peace and the that the United States could help convince Israel into giving up its claims to yet another slice of the land promised to the Jewish people in the British Mandate. These people are deluding themselves and this would surely cause another war that could cause Israel’s total destruction.
Jewish people want peace. Israel is under attack constantly by Arab terrorists that seek the destruction of Israel. Many Americans are blind to the terror attacks that Israel regularly endures. The only way there will ever be peace is by basing negotiations on legal and historical facts.
May Hashem continue to watch over Israel. We need Moshiach NOW!