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Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Judenrein Palestine?

from Arutz Sheva
by Rachel Neuwirth
January 06, 2004

Why is it that people are proposing a Middle East peace plan that will make Judea and Samaria Judenrein (the Nazi term for a place with no Jews)?

It is the historic homeland and birthplace of the Jewish people, yet many world leaders believe the removal of Jewish communities from Judea and Samaria is a crucial prerequisite for a peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Jews have lived in Judea and Samaria for thousands of years. In fact, the Jewish religion and people were birthed in Hebron. We know of the ancient Jewish presence there from both the Hebrew and Christian Bibles and from abundant archaeological and documentary evidence.

No one denies that the oldest document showing the historical connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, including Judea and Samaria (a.k.a. the West Bank), is the Bible. Genesis 24:18 says: “And Abram moved his tent, and came and dwelt by the terebinths of Mamre, which are in Hebron.” And the world's oldest documentation of real estate being purchased for full price is also in the Bible (see Genesis 23:9). And for those who doubt biblical references, there is substantial evidence in archaeological findings.

Historically, the Jewish homeland included what is today called Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights, and a considerable part of today's Jordan. The land was inhabited mainly by Jews and was ruled by Jews. Therefore, Lord Robert Cecil, former acting British foreign secretary, was right to use the name "Judea" for the whole land in his famous remark: "Our wish is that Arabian countries shall be for the Arabs, Armenia for the Armenians, and Judea for the Jews" (December 2, 1917).

The Jewish presence there has been continuous, except for 19 years from 1948 to 1967 when the area became Judenrein. And during that 19 year period, the Jordanians and Arabs of the remaining portion of "Palestine" desecrated Jewish holy sites and cemeteries in an attempt to deny that the Jews ever lived there.

Those who advocate the dismantling of the Jewish communities in this territory are advocating a policy of ethnic cleansing. This may sound extreme, but from the early 1900s, the Arabs carried out a policy of ethnic cleansing that included the massacre and pogroms in 1929 and 1936 in Hebron. Both the spirit and practice of ethnic cleansing are being continued in the current conflict.

So, what did UN Secretary-General Kofi Anan mean in his 2001 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech when he said, “A genocide begins with the killing of one man — not for what he has done, but because of who he is. A campaign of 'ethnic cleansing' begins with one neighbor turning on another.”

Does this not also apply to the Israeli Jews who have re-established homes in Judea and Samaria? Should they be ethnically cleansed from the heart of their historical homeland? Does the Nobel recipient not know a real victim of ethnic cleansing when he sees one?

The same people and countries that condemned ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, Cyprus, Rwanda and Tibet totally reverse themselves when it comes to the right of Jewish people to live in the lands of their historic patrimony. If Chinese people were forbidden to live in China, Buddhists barred from Tibet, or Irish-Catholics banned from South Boston, there would be a tremendous outcry against such injustices. But where is the outcry against the removal of Jews from Judea — their historical homeland?

Is there any other nation on earth that has such a legitimate birth certificate as Israel? And if the Jews have no such document, then the Old and New Testaments are worthless.

The war for Israel's independence ended in 1949 with the Jordanians in full control of Judea and Samaria and the Old City of Jerusalem (the "West Bank"), cutting the Jewish people off from their most holy religious sites. The official status of these areas, then, was disputed territories, as no one had held sovereignty there since the defeat of the Ottoman Empire. Only two countries, Pakistan and Britain, recognized the 19-year Jordanian "illegal occupation." Even the entire Arab world refused to recognize it and, consequently, it was illegal and illegitimate ab initio.

After the 1967 war, the Jewish people have simply been returning to the land from which they were forcibly expelled during the first Arab-Israeli war of 1948-49.

This territory has always been known as Judea and Samaria. Do the names "Jew" (for Judea) and "Samaritan" (as in "good Samaritan") sound familiar? In fact, Shemer, founder of Asher, a clan of one of the twelve tribes of Israel, was the owner and eponym of the hills of Samaria. Is there anything Arab or "Palestinian" about either? Even UN Resolution 181, the Partition Plan of 1947, refers to these territories as Judea and Samaria.

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