Why Does The World Call Judea And Samaria Westbank? | VOL. 63 * NEWSLETTER * FEBRUARY 2011 |
Dear Friends of Or Tzion, and fellow-citizens of the Commonwealth of Israel;
The recent statement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an interview with anchor Christiane Amanpour, and the grudgingly made U.S. veto at the UN against the Security Council resolution condemning Israel for her settlement policy, has me write this letter, prompted by the Lord. The letter is meant to straighten out the truth which has become so twisted, and to acquaint you with the facts you may have been unfamiliar with.
For nearly three thousand years the area now referred to exclusively as “Westbank” was known as “Judea and Ephraim”, the latter denoting the territory of the tribes of Ephraim and half of Manasseh. After the division of the Solomonic Kingdom into the Southern Kingdom of Judah and the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the latter became known as “Samaria”, called Shomron in Hebrew, after its capital of the same name founded by King Omri of Israel. According to I Kings (16:24) the hill was purchased by Omri from a man named Shemer (hence Shomron) for two talents of silver. Following the Assyrian conquest of Israel by Sargon II in 721 B.C. the region became the Assyrian province of Samaria (Samerina).
These two regions are Israel’s “hill country,” the mountainous areas of Samaria to the north and Judea to the south of Jerusalem. These two regions have no other names. These names were used during the League of Nations Mandate period. They appear in British government documents, United Nations documents including the UN Partition Plan of 1947. They appear in U.S. State Department documents, including a July 18, 1948 map. Even as late as 1961, the Encyclopaedia Britannica refers to “Judea” and “Samaria” in an article on “Palestine” (Vol. 17, p. 118).1
In May 1948 the Arab Legion of Trans-Jordan illegally invaded Judea and Samaria and overran the eastern part of Jerusalem, dividing the city for the first time in its history. Thousands of Jews — whose families had lived in the city for centuries — were driven into exile. On April 4, 1950, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan – artificially created by the British when they excised it from the British Mandate – unilaterally annexed all the territory it occupied west of the Jordan River, including east Jerusalem, which was recognized by only two nations, the United Kingdom and Pakistan.
The other Arab countries denied formal recognition of the Jordanian move, and the Arab League considered expelling Jordan from membership. Eventually, a compromise was worked out by which the other Arab governments agreed to view all the West Bank and east Jerusalem as held “in trust” by Jordan for the Palestinians.
The Arab League, their Muslim supporters, anti-Israel elements and anti-Semites, deliberately sought to rob the region of its correct historical, political and geographic name, disconnecting it in the mind of the peoples from the land and people of Israel. They had to fabricate a brand new name for they could find no other name for the territory. Mislabeling was their technique of disinformation and de-legitimization. King Abdullah I of Trans-Jordan and his British advisors finally renamed Judea and Samaria ad-difa’a al-gharbiya, translated into English as the “West Bank”, allowing the king to annex that part of the Land of Israel “west” of the Jordan river, outside of his artificially “created” kingdom. Henceforth Judea and Samaria was referred to as a single unit.
It eventually became “politically correct” to use “West Bank” or “occupied territories” instead of the historically accurate names Judea and Samaria.
On 24 April 1950, the Jordan House of Deputies and House of Notables, in a joint session, adopted the following Resolution annexing the West Bank – aka Judea and Samaria WEST of the river Jordan – and Jerusalem:
“In the expression of the people’s faith in the efforts spent by His Majesty, Abdullah, toward attainment of natural aspirations, and basing itself on the right of self-determination and on the existing de facto position between Jordan and Palestine and their national, natural and geographic unity and their common interests and living space, Parliament, which represents both sides of the Jordan, resolves this day and declares:
First, its support for complete unity between the two sides of the Jordan and their union into one State, which is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, at whose head reigns King Abdullah Ibn al Husain, on a basis of constitutional representative government and equality of the rights and duties of all citizens…” 2
During the nineteen years of Jordanian administration, Jerusalem was split, with Israel establishing its capital in western Jerusalem and Jordan occupying the eastern section, which included the Old City and most religious shrines. Jordan refused to honour its undertaking in the armistice agreement to accord free access to the Holy Places and to cultural institutions, and use of the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives (Section III, Document 6, Article VIII, and Section V, subsection E, Documents 15 and 16).
Jerusalem suffered from Jordanian conduct. After the Jewish Quarter was captured, the destruction, desecration and systematic looting of Jewish sites continued. 57 ancient synagogues, libraries and centers of religious study were ransacked and 12 were totally and deliberately destroyed. Those that remained standing were defaced, used for housing of both people and animals. Appeals were made to the United Nations and in the international community to declare the Old City to be an ‘open city’ and stop this destruction, but there was no response. This condition continued until Jordan lost control of Jerusalem in June 1967.3
In addition, thousands of tombstones from the ancient cemetery on the Mount of Olives were destroyed and used as paving stones for roads and as construction material in Jordanian army camps, such as building fences and latrines. After the 1967 war, Israelis who visited the cemetery on Mt. of Olives and saw the desecrated graves and smashed gravestones noted “that Jordanian soldiers and local residents had helped themselves to the stones to use as building materials.” Graves were broken into pieces or used as flagstones, steps, or building materials. In 1967, graves were found open with the bones scattered. Parts of the cemetery were converted into parking lots, a filling station, and an asphalt road was built to cut through it. The Intercontinental Hotel was built at the top of the cemetery. Sadar Khalil, appointed by the Jordanian govt. as the official caretaker of the cemetery, built his home on the grounds using the stones robbed from graves to build it. In 1967, the press published extensive photos in which Jewish gravestones were found in Jordanian army camps, such as El Azariya, as well as in Palestinian walkways, steps, and pavement.
Jews were barred from the Old City and denied access to the Western Wall and other Holy Places.
Moslem residents of Israel were not permitted to visit their Holy Places in East Jerusalem. Christians, too, were discriminated against. In 1958, Jordanian legislation required all members of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre to adopt Jordanian citizenship. In 1965, Christian institutions were forbidden to acquire any land or rights in or near Jerusalem. In 1966, Christian schools were compelled to close on Fridays instead of Sundays, customs privileges of Christian religious institutions were abolished. Jerusalem was bisected by barbed wire, concrete barriers and walls. On a number of occasions Jordanian soldiers opened fire on Jewish Jerusalem. In May 1967, the Temple Mount became a military base for the Jordanian National Guard.
1 CONTENDER: The Institute for Christian Apologetics: Why is Judea and Samaria Vanishing? 2 Jewish Virtual Library: Jordanian Annexation of the “Westbank” 3 Terence Prittie, Whose Jerusalem? Frederick Muller Limited London 1981; Peter Schneider and Geoffrey Wigoder, Jerusalem Perspectives 1976
Why Does The Word Call Judea And Samaria Westbank?Page 2
Besides the political origins of the phrase, one must wonder from a geographical perspective how wide a river bank can be? A river bank may be a few feet or so, but not some 30 miles deep from the river! Just because a new name is invented, does not mean the world should adopt it in common usage. Does an aggressor get rewarded with the additional bonus of a geographic name change designed to eradicate the historic name of a region? In March 1939, Germany renamed the present-day Czech Republic, “Boehmen und Maehren” after seizing that land by aggressive act. During World War II, Germany invaded, occupied and annexed part of Russia calling it “Ostland.” Do we use those terms today? Do we call Mexico the “South Bank” because it borders on the Rio Grande? Should we rename Serbia, the “West Bank” (of Europe) because it lies to the west of the Danube River and re-designate Poland the “East Bank” due to its location east of the Oder-Neisse Rivers?
Adolf Hitler’s philosophy was that “If you tell a lie long enough, loud enough, and often enough the people will believe it.”
How true! Yasser Arafat accomplished this to perfection when for 40 years he propagated his lies which the whole world swallowed line, hook and sinker: his lies about his “Palestinian” people who in reality are not a historically and racially classifiable people but a mix of Arabs from various countries; and his “claim” to Israel being their historic homeland of Palestine, stolen from them by the Jews.
While ignorance is not malicious it can have devastating consequences.
The Media, out of fear and intellectual laziness, agreed to obfuscate the truth by surrendering the use of the name Judea-Samaria and adopt the term “West Bank.”
Hence, most people don’t even realize the absurdity of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling Israeli settlements “illegitimate” shortly before the United States vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning continued Israeli settlement expansion as illegal. In an exclusive interview with “This Week” anchor Christiane Amanpour taped on Friday afternoon, Clinton said, “I think it is absolutely clear to say, number one, that it’s been American policy for many years that settlements were illegitimate and it is the continuing goal and highest priority of the Obama administration to keep working toward a two-state solution with both Israelis and Palestinians.”
To convince the world of this on a less “politically tainted” level, the Obama Administration is accessing a new avenue, the “Social Media” such as Twitter, Facebook, etc., seeking to strengthen the lie about the “West Bank” and the “Two-State Solution.”4
Being well acquainted with the U.S. policy toward Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria, having shared with her husband Bill for 8 years the White House and his administration’s policies, Hillary took a similarly harsh line against continued Israeli settlements on December 2010:
“We do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity,” she said in a speech at the Brookings Institution. “We believe their continued expansion is corrosive not only to peace efforts and two-state solution, but to Israel’s future itself.”
Is she blind? Does she not know? Does she not understand? Hillary Clinton is a brilliant lawyer by profession, she knows how to obtain information. As U.S. Secretary of State she has a large staff gathering information. There is no way that she does not know the truth, just as the world’s leaders know exactly to whom Judea and Samaria belong.
But it is politically not expedient to acknowledge this and to correct the situation. The Middle East is as fragile as a land mine buried in a road: one must step very carefully and gingerly in order not to tread upon it and thereby trigger a deadly explosion. It is easier and safer to bully Israel and vilify her than to expose and overturn the Palestinians’ and Arab nations’ lie.
Let me refresh the memory of all of you who claim faith in the G-d of Israel and in the entire Bible – not only one third of it – being the Word of G-d. Most have read the Book of Psalms at least once, it being the most popular Book in the O.T. for many people. And there, in Psalm 60:6-8, the G-d of all the earth Who is the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, declares by His holiness:
“With exultation I will divide up Shechem5 and portion out the Vale of Succoth6. Gilead is Mine; Manasseh is Mine; Ephraim (aka Samaria) is My HELMET; Judah is My SCEPTER. Moab (aka Jordan) is My washbasin; upon Edom (aka Saudi Arabia) I cast My shoe; over Philistia (aka the Palestinians) I shout in triumph.”
Should not everyone who calls upon the Name of Messiah Yeshua, King of Israel and Savior of the world, tremble at what His Helmet and Scepter is called and what is being done to it by His enemies? Let us soberly consider this again and be warned: if we do not love the Truth but embrace a lie, we shall share in G-d’s judgments upon His enemies and the nations.
Let us therefore take a stand for and with the Truth – not merely with words but with action. For faith without works is a dead faith. The love of G-d necessitates also the love of His Own Land, city and people, of His “Helmet” and “Scepter”. Because love without works is a shallow love7.
Everyone who abides in the Savior and worships the Almighty Father in heaven needs to embrace and take an active stand for the Truth and all that this entails. Without the sovereign nation of Israel there will be no Second Coming – for where would He come to? Uganda? It would be delayed indefinitely. Realizing and understanding these truths should motivate every Christian to assure Israel’s survival and safety.
In the hope of not being misunderstood and misinterpreted, but that I have contributed to a more insightful understanding, I pray for G-d’s blessings upon you and upon Israel.
4 I list here just a few examples of web sites who build their case upon the lying premise of the “West Bank” belonging to the Palestinians and not the Jews. People, if uninformed and therefore ignorant of the truth, will be made to believe that Israel is in the wrong. There are many Christians who believe that; but thankfully there are also those who know the truth both from the Scriptures and from having searched out the facts.
Secondly, the Media always refers to the “Israel-Palestinian Conflict“; however, a “conflict” can be resolved. But the Palestinian entity does not want a mere “Two-State solution,” they want ALL of Israel (as all their maps prove) and the Jews dead, as their rhetorics and terror attempts – frustrated by the wall the world so forcefully condemns – make abundantly clear. There will be no two states living “peacefully” side by side. It is the height of wicked deception, an utter delusion.
There is no Two-State Solution, by Jeremy R. Hammond; A Two-State Solution, by Israel Policy Forum; Two State Solution, R.I.P, by Stephen M. Walt; One Voice;
Another voice to the issue: The ‘Myth’ of a Two-State Solution, by Caroline Glick; The Truth about the Two-State Solution, by B’nei HaMelech; Why The Two-State Solution Won’t Work, by Brad MacDonald
Finally, are 22 sovereign Arab States not enough, vis-a-vis one tiny Jewish State? Must they have yet a 23rd State, built upon Israel’s ancestral land, the Land God calls His OWN?
5 Today known as the Palestinian town of “Nablus” 6 A long valley running between Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Ebal, in the hills of Samaria/Ephraim where Nablus (originally Shechem) is and where once the Tabernacle stood in Shilo, the hill overlooking that valley 7 1 Jn 3:18 “… Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth…”