Jews aren't 'settling' in the West Bank – they are going home

One of the biggest lies about the Israeli-Arab conflict is that Israel is taking lands from "Palestinians" (a name for a people without their own language or any prior claim to statehood)  and "colonizing" them as "settlers."  The truth is that Jews have lived in what is called the West Bank for thousands of years.

It is commonly known that when Israel captured the West Bank in 1967, Jews started to move there and establish communities.  But what many people don't know is that prior to 1948, Jews had been living in the West Bank for a long time.  After 1948, none were left to be found, because they had all been killed or driven out by the Arabs.

Let me repeat that.  Arabs (specifically, the Jordanians and their local helpers) ethnically cleansed the West Bank of Jewish people in 1948.  Thousands were driven from their homes.  Jewish people who moved back in 1967 were not the occupiers; they were the victims, trying to reclaim their land.

Would anyone think Jews trying to reclaim their homes in Germany and France after the Holocaust were "settlers"?  No, but descendents of massacres in the West Bank are called precisely that by John Kerry and Barack Obama, who view them as the aggressors and the descendents of the Arabs who drove them out as the victims.

For simplicity's sake, I have been calling this disputed territory the "West Bank," but to Jews it is called "Judea," as in the Jewish name "Judah."  Isn't it a coincidence that Jews, who supposedly have no connection to this territory, have a name for this territory that is thousands of years old?

Some historical facts:

In Hebron, the Jewish community existed throughout the centuries of Ottoman rule, until the massacre during the Arab rioting of 1929. Such settlements as Neve Ya'acov and the Gush Etsion block were established under the British Mandatory Administration, which allowed Jewish settlement in these areas. Even though British Mandate Authorities, particularly in the latter period of the Mandate, were not sympathetic to the Zionist cause, they nevertheless permitted the establishment of Jewish settlements in all areas west of the Jordan River, implementing the League of Nations Mandate. 

There had been Jewish communities and dwellers in the West Bank long before 1967 or even 1948. In, for example, Hebron and Gush Etzion, both sites of massacres by Arabs in which large numbers of Jews were killed. Kfar Etzion and other villages in the Jerusalem-Bethlehem corridor, fell to Arab forces in May 1948 and those captured were massacred. Sons and daughters of Jews who lived there until 1948 were the first to return after the 1967 war.

The land belonged to Jews. Near Jerusalem, for example, Palestinians describe Gilo as a neighborhood built on "West Bank land annexed to Jerusalem" that they consider an "illegal Jewish settlement". Suddenly Gilo, an integral part of Jerusalem proper for years, seems subject to negotiation, at least in the public mind. As to the "illegality" of Gilo, the vacant land in the Gilo area was purchased, before World War II, by a group of young Jewish lawyers, including Dov Yosef, who later became one of David Ben Gurion's most important advisors and government ministers. When the land was taken back from the Jordanians in 1967, it was returned to its owners.

Another myth is that Jews are kicking Arabs out of their homes in the West Bank.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  For the most part, Jews have created communities on completely empty land.

The Jewish settlements have been established only on:

  • Land in pre-existing Jewish communities, or
  • Land that was unowned (that is, was previously controlled by Jordan and had no private owner), or
  • Land purchased from established owners.

The propagandistic idea of Palestinian Arabs being "forced out" is not the case. Much land was still empty or underutilized. Many Jews bought the land or dwelling they moved to. When public land was involved, Israeli settlements were established only after an exhaustive investigation process, under the supervision of the Supreme Court of Israel, designed to ensure that no communities were established on private Arab land.

John Kerry knows this.  Barack Obama knows this.  All the members of the Security Council who voted to condemn Israel for moving back into territory Jews had once inhabited know this.  There can only be one explanation: anti-Semitism.  No other land dispute has so gripped the attention of the United Nations; conflicts where tens or hundreds of thousands of people are dying get only a fraction of the attention that democratic, peace-loving Israel does.

Obama's obsessive Jew-hatred must really be eating him up inside.  He's going to be president for only three more weeks, and this is his last chance to strike out at the Jews.  What an awful, evil man.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.

One of the biggest lies about the Israeli-Arab conflict is that Israel is taking lands from "Palestinians" (a name for a people without their own language or any prior claim to statehood)  and "colonizing" them as "settlers."  The truth is that Jews have lived in what is called the West Bank for thousands of years.

It is commonly known that when Israel captured the West Bank in 1967, Jews started to move there and establish communities.  But what many people don't know is that prior to 1948, Jews had been living in the West Bank for a long time.  After 1948, none were left to be found, because they had all been killed or driven out by the Arabs.

Let me repeat that.  Arabs (specifically, the Jordanians and their local helpers) ethnically cleansed the West Bank of Jewish people in 1948.  Thousands were driven from their homes.  Jewish people who moved back in 1967 were not the occupiers; they were the victims, trying to reclaim their land.

Would anyone think Jews trying to reclaim their homes in Germany and France after the Holocaust were "settlers"?  No, but descendents of massacres in the West Bank are called precisely that by John Kerry and Barack Obama, who view them as the aggressors and the descendents of the Arabs who drove them out as the victims.

For simplicity's sake, I have been calling this disputed territory the "West Bank," but to Jews it is called "Judea," as in the Jewish name "Judah."  Isn't it a coincidence that Jews, who supposedly have no connection to this territory, have a name for this territory that is thousands of years old?

Some historical facts:

In Hebron, the Jewish community existed throughout the centuries of Ottoman rule, until the massacre during the Arab rioting of 1929. Such settlements as Neve Ya'acov and the Gush Etsion block were established under the British Mandatory Administration, which allowed Jewish settlement in these areas. Even though British Mandate Authorities, particularly in the latter period of the Mandate, were not sympathetic to the Zionist cause, they nevertheless permitted the establishment of Jewish settlements in all areas west of the Jordan River, implementing the League of Nations Mandate. 

There had been Jewish communities and dwellers in the West Bank long before 1967 or even 1948. In, for example, Hebron and Gush Etzion, both sites of massacres by Arabs in which large numbers of Jews were killed. Kfar Etzion and other villages in the Jerusalem-Bethlehem corridor, fell to Arab forces in May 1948 and those captured were massacred. Sons and daughters of Jews who lived there until 1948 were the first to return after the 1967 war.

The land belonged to Jews. Near Jerusalem, for example, Palestinians describe Gilo as a neighborhood built on "West Bank land annexed to Jerusalem" that they consider an "illegal Jewish settlement". Suddenly Gilo, an integral part of Jerusalem proper for years, seems subject to negotiation, at least in the public mind. As to the "illegality" of Gilo, the vacant land in the Gilo area was purchased, before World War II, by a group of young Jewish lawyers, including Dov Yosef, who later became one of David Ben Gurion's most important advisors and government ministers. When the land was taken back from the Jordanians in 1967, it was returned to its owners.

Another myth is that Jews are kicking Arabs out of their homes in the West Bank.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  For the most part, Jews have created communities on completely empty land.

The Jewish settlements have been established only on:

  • Land in pre-existing Jewish communities, or
  • Land that was unowned (that is, was previously controlled by Jordan and had no private owner), or
  • Land purchased from established owners.

The propagandistic idea of Palestinian Arabs being "forced out" is not the case. Much land was still empty or underutilized. Many Jews bought the land or dwelling they moved to. When public land was involved, Israeli settlements were established only after an exhaustive investigation process, under the supervision of the Supreme Court of Israel, designed to ensure that no communities were established on private Arab land.

John Kerry knows this.  Barack Obama knows this.  All the members of the Security Council who voted to condemn Israel for moving back into territory Jews had once inhabited know this.  There can only be one explanation: anti-Semitism.  No other land dispute has so gripped the attention of the United Nations; conflicts where tens or hundreds of thousands of people are dying get only a fraction of the attention that democratic, peace-loving Israel does.

Obama's obsessive Jew-hatred must really be eating him up inside.  He's going to be president for only three more weeks, and this is his last chance to strike out at the Jews.  What an awful, evil man.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.

RECENT VIDEOS