Whose Land?

Israelis (many of them) rejoice in the American Secretary of State Pompeo’s announcement that Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria (occupied West Bank) are not illegal under international law.

He is not an expert on international law and America’s decision is not acceptable by any other nation. Only the international courts can determine ownership based upon existing laws.

The question of whose land it really is, now is being discussed once again. Two peoples claim it. Like the talit in Baba Metzia. zeh sheli. Lo. zeh sheli.

Prime Minister Netanyahu claims that “we are called Jews because we came originally from Judea”. With that logic, the area of Samaria must be returned to the Samaritans who live among us as it is their ancestral land.

International law will not determine ownership of a land. Only the military might of a nation will determine it. And as of this moment, Israel is the nation whose military might will annex the claimed territories now with 700,000 Jewish settlers living on the disputed territory.

With that reasoning, Poland should begin to reclaim its lost territory from Germany. Mexico should reclaim California, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and parts of Colorado and Nevada from the United States of America.

The indigenous Americans (called Indians) should reclaim all their territories stolen by America’s settlers and military murderers. Custer’s last stand should be un-hallowed by Sioux, Comanches, Navajo and other native tribes.

Land belongs to the people who live on it. No piece of paper can determine ownership. Courts can decide based upon precedent. So far, Israeli courts have not declared that Judea and Samaria can be annexed to Israel. And Trump is the last person on earth who could make that decision.

If we were to formally annex the West Bank territory, it would put to death any hope for peace arrangements with the Arabs of Palestine. And without peace there can be only more terrorism and war.

It would be more tranquil to allow Jews to live on disputed land without a formal annexation.

“Ma yomru ha goyim”? What will the nations say? Will there be withdrawals of embassies from Israel?

Will Israelis be prohibited from traveling to other countries? Would El Al be denied landing rights in foreign airports? In international disputes, everything is possible. Why give a weapon to nations?

In all my life, the only areas I have ever visited in the territories are Ariel, Bethlehem, Jericho and Hebron. I had no occasion, no purpose and no interest in visiting other Palestinian-held cities.

To withdraw from the territories as they now are could mean, God forbid, the destruction of our country. To legally annex them would mean that residents would be under the protection formerly of our IDF troops.

The murderous hilltop youth who commit terrorist activities upon Arabs in the neighborhood would now be legitimately under full Israeli control and could be punished and imprisoned for crimes under Israeli law.

The United Nations and the European Union will condemn us. But who pays attention to them. As it is, for the past 71 years we have been condemned simply for breathing.

Israel must do what is right and what is best for Israel. And damn the nations who oppose us.

Whose land is it? Ask Pompeo.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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