Why leave Judea and Samaria?

Everyone seems to have a compelling reason for Israel to withdraw from its biblical heartland.

Moshe_Arens_cropped-150x150By Moshe Arens

How many reasons can be found for abandoning Judea and Samaria, the biblical heartland of the Land of Israel? You’d be surprised. There are many — one to fit almost every prejudice and preference.

For those who do not like Arabs there’s the argument that we do not want Israel to become a binational state. This is said with a wink to the audience, whose members know what that really means. Yes, everyone knows that Israel is at present a binational state of Jews and Arabs, but we don’t want any more Arabs in the State of Israel, do we? And if we could realize the plans of our foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, and transfer Arab-populated areas in Israel to the future Palestinian state, so much the better. But that might be going too far. So quit while you’re ahead, and get out of Judea and Samaria.

For the fainthearted there is the argument that we’re incurring the wrath of “the world” by the continued Israeli “occupation” of Judea and Samaria, and that therefore the status quo is unsustainable. If continued it will be followed by boycott and sanctions which will crush the Israeli economy and impoverish each and every Israeli citizen. Don’t be fooled by the recent spectacular growth in the Israeli economy and the fable of the “start-up” nation. It will all be extinguished by the rage of “the world”. No matter that the United States, the world’s greatest economic power, will not wage economic warfare against Israel in the foreseeable future. That great economic powers, like China and Japan, seem to have other things on their agenda, and that the governments of Canada and Australia, and the new government in Italy, insist that their support for Israel is rock solid. You can ignore all that and believe that the bureaucrats in Brussels will have the rest of the world dancing to their tune. So get out of Judea and Samaria.

For the bleeding hearts and the starry-eyed there is the legitimate concern for the Palestinian population in Judea and Samaria. The Palestinians in Judea and Samaria see Israelis next-door, Jews and Arabs, voting in elections and participating in a parliamentary democracy, while they are deprived of these privileges. In addition, the presence of the Israel Defense Forces in the area is a continued reminder that in effect they are under military rule. But they know, what many Israelis prefer to ignore, that they have never had the privilege of living in a democratic society, and that the army’s presence in the area is the direct result of the Palestinian terror campaign in the years 2000-2002 which took thousand of Israeli lives, and that since then the IDF is charged with preventing a recurrence of such events. Whether an Israeli withdrawal from these areas would bring democracy to the Palestinians there, rather than a return to terror directed at Israel’s citizens, is far from certain. Things might get worse for Israelis and for Palestinians. But the starry-eyed insist that caution should be thrown to the winds. So get out of Judea and Samaria.

And for those inclined to legalistic arguments there is the claim that the Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria constitutes illegal occupation which must be ended. No need to refer to article 80 of chapter XII of the UN Charter which reaffirms the international recognition of Jewish rights in the Land of Israel, assigned as a mandate to Great Britain by the League of Nations. After all, that was long ago. Who still remembers the League of Nations? So why not go along with what almost everybody seems to be saying and just get out of Judea and Samaria?

So many reasons for abandoning Judea and Samaria, but If you believe in the justice of Israel’s cause, are concerned for the security of the State of Israel, and are convinced that Jews and Arabs can live together in a democratic society, you will dismiss them all.

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