In a recent op-ed in The Jerusalem Post, Jason Greenblatt correctly asserts that Judea and Samaria is “not Palestinian land [but rather] land that is disputed.” Unfortunately, he also exaggerates the likelihood of the Palestinian Authority getting “their house in order.”
Arab hostility toward the modern Jewish enterprise in Eretz Yisrael is more than a century old. Efraim Karsh writes in Palestine Betrayed that most local Arabs in the early 20th century actually wanted to live in peaceful coexistence with the Jews returning to Eretz Yisrael. Sadly, though, their corrupt and extremist leadership conspired to quash the Jewish national revival, leading to a breakdown in relations between the Jewish and Arab communities.
Dr. Mordechai Kedar explains the mindset of the Arab elite quite eloquently: “The existence of a living Jewish people in a functioning Jewish state threatens the very raison d’être of Islam, which came into being to render Judaism obsolete. For that reason, the Arab and Muslim leadership will never accept Israel as the Jewish State.”
This hostility to the very idea of Jewish people living in any functioning Jewish state is why the reality on the ground has not changed. This hostility is why the Palestinian Authority continues its sickening “pay-for-slay” program and horrific anti-Semitic educational programs. This hostility is why it condones hateful sermons to the masses.
In the south, Hamas is preoccupied with building terror tunnels and launching rockets at Israeli civilian centers. In the north, Hezbollah prepares to rain hell on Israel. And to the east, Jordan – armed with U.S. weapons as a supposed “critical ally to the U.S.” – seems to be on the verge of tearing its “peace” treaty with Israel to shreds.
Mr. Greenblatt correctly asserts that a negotiated settlement between all interested parties is the only way to resolve a regional conflict. However, so long as the Palestinian leadership believes that Israel’s founding was “nakba” (a catastrophe) and that a Palestinian state is just the first step in expunging Jews from “the River to the Sea,” the regional conflict will continue.
How can Israel reach an agreement with a party whose ultimate aim is Israel’s complete elimination?
No other nation has a stronger case to the Land of Israel then the Jewish people. An objective review of the historical and archeological evidence can only lead to one conclusion: that Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights – indeed, the entire land of Israel – is the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people.
President Trump in his unique style made significant strides in resolving the conflict. He courageously moved the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and recognized the Golan Heights as part of Israel. In so doing, he brilliantly placed the Palestinian leadership, for the first time, in the hot seat. But that doesn’t mean the Palestinians are getting the message. In fact, they seem rather content to sit this one out until the next U.S. administration.
The State Department and White House officials should not be baffled by this Palestinian chutzpah. The Palestinians have long taken advantage of U.S. generosity and ignorance. If the United States cares about promoting policies based on traditional values, they should refer to these sentences written by my grandfather, Irving Moscowitz, in 1995:
“Israeli policy should be shaped according to Israel’s genuine security needs and Judaism’s teachings about the significance and centrality of the Land of Israel. Decisions should not be based on historically inaccurate slogans about cousins and sons of Abraham.”
Some Jewish leaders claim the latest U.S. peace proposal is “the best deal we’re gonna get.” But as Jews – the sons of Abraham – we should not be afraid to speak the truth. Israel’s right to assert sovereignty over Judea and Samaria – the heart of the homeland of the Jewish people – is grounded in international law, historical evidence, and present reality.
And once we champion the cause of our own family, perhaps the world will embrace its justness too. After all, if we don’t stick up for ourselves, who will?