When God facilitated Israel’s unexpected and glorious victory in the 1967 Six Day War, it was very obvious to many of us that we were supposed to have rapidly and enthusiastically begun settling all of the Holy Land liberated as a result of that victory.
Judea, Samaria, the Jordan Valley, Golan and the Sinai were pretty empty. Those lands had never been independent countries. There had never been a “Palestine,” sic, not there nor in pre-1967 Israel. The Golan had been used as a launching pad for missile launchings and terror attacks on Jews in the valley below. The kings of Jordan ignored and didn’t develop the Jordan Valley, Judea and Samaria.
When we first began visiting Shiloh in 1981, the few phones were via old-fashioned operators. It was Israel that brought in electricity, modern phone systems, piped water and sewerage. Remember that this was the late twentieth century when computers were becoming popular all over the developed world. Shiloh, even though it has always been a well-known archaeological and Jewish religious site, was only reachable by a difficult to traverse path. It shouldn’t be forgotten that Jordan illegally had taken over all of that land and eastern Jerusalem. They took advantage of their closeness to Israel to send in terrorists and have snipers shoot at Israelis.
The Sinai was a loosely controlled buffer protecting Israel’s south. But it, too, was a popular route for those who wanted to attack Israelis.
It’s now forty-six years after the Six Days War. Egypt now “controls” the Sinai, since then Prime Minister Menachem Begin, soon after his historic election in 1977, gave it to Egypt. And a very large part of Judea-Samaria is in the de facto and even de jure control of local Arabs and the P.A.
Jews who live in Judea-Samaria are treated as second class citizens of Israel. We’re constantly maligned by politicians, the media and academics. Even though we pay full taxes, we don’t get full benefits. One example is the “TV Radio Broadcasting Tax.” All television owners in Israel, including Jews in Land liberated in the 1967 Six Days War are required by law to pay this tax. Inspectors even go around the yishuvim, a.k.a., “settlements,” fining families who own televisions but don’t pay. There’s a big problem here. The Broadcasting Authority doesn’t broadcast to us. We have never gotten the same television reception you’d get in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beersheba, kibbutzim all over or Eilat.
It’s also much, much more complicated to get building permits. Supply and demand aren’t factors in government decisions. It’s all politics. The larger cities and communities in Judea and Samaria such as Ma’ale Adumim, Efrat and Ariel have suffered the most. Thousands of people want to buy homes in those communities and the government, that is, the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, keeps refusing to finalize permits, even after announcing that he is in favor of building.
Will this refusal by Bibi to sign the tenders break up his coalition? Many of Bayit Yehudi’s voters and MK’s won’t stand for it. By refusing to allow building for Jews in Judea and Samaria, Bibi is making a farce out of our great 1967 victory.
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