The sovereignty of Israel over its historic homeland of Judea/Samaria has been making international news for weeks now. An official declaration placing portions of Judea/Samaria and the Jordan Valley under civilian Israeli rule is expected soon. With that in mind, 150 people ”Zoomed” online as the NCCI and the Raleigh-Cary JCC recently co-sponsored a talk by Daniel Pollak, the Director of Government Relations for the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), entitled “What Congress Needs to Know About Judea & Samaria.””
The YouTube film of Dan’s presentation is attached below, for your viewing pleasure.
Many Good Reasons to Declare Sovereignty
Mr. Pollak discussed a wide range of reasons why Israel has a strong, legitimate claim to this land, including historical, religious, diplomatic, pragmatic, and aspects of international law.
Some of the reasons are well known and obvious, thus were covered very quickly. For example, a religious justification is that the land of Israel was promised to the Jewish people in both the Torah and the Christian bible. It was interesting to learn that this land is referenced prominently both in the Koran (“…land of the Jews”) and in our Jewish heritage (“Judea” is the root word of “Jewish”). Even the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, an arch enemy of the Jews who collaborated with Hitler, acknowledged in written materials that Jerusalem was the home of the temples of the Jewish Kings Solomon and David.
Other reasons discussed regarding why Israel has a strong claim to the land are more complex. Under international law, the 1920 San Remo conference split up the defeated Ottoman Empire and explicitly gave Palestine (including Judea/Samaria) to the Jews, a decision that was ratified by the whole League of Nations. Of note, UN resolutions do NOT have the power of international law, so recent resolutions promoted by Palestinian supporters do not override the San Remo agreements.
There are also pragmatic reasons why Israel has a strong claim to Judea/Samaria. An interesting, little-known fact is that Jewish towns account for only ca. 3% of this land; some of the rest of Judea/Samaria is Muslim Arab towns, but most is uninhabited desert. However, over 500,000 Jews live in these towns. This makes moving them as was done in Gaza in 2005 an impossibility; that episode, very painful to the whole of Israel, involved relocating only 8,000 Jews. The alternative of placing 500,000 Jews under Palestinian rule, given the current hatred and violence directed toward Jews by the Palestinians, would be suicidal. Another pragmatic reason that Israel has a strong claim to Judea/Samaria is for defense of the whole of Israel. The Judean mountains abutting the Jordan Valley dominate the whole of the Jewish State of Israel; whomever controls these highlands controls the safety and well-being of all the citizens of Israel.
We are grateful to Mr. Pollack for taking the time to speak with us and appreciate all the work that ZOA does to support Israel.