Annexation of Judea and Samaria: A vision whose time has come
Many are looking forward to the day when Israel will soon annex the portions of Judea and Samaria that from time immemorial have been part of the Land of ancient Israel. The Jewish people were bequeathed this land, and the name of Judea and Samaria was always its official name, even throughout the years of the British Empire.
There is and has been an historical and biblical attachment of these lands as a valve in the heart of Israel. It is legitimately, by law, part and parcel of Israel and was never considered legally apart from the Jewish homeland until recent years, when enemies and bureaucrats hostile to the establishment of a Jewish state in its homeland began finagling international laws.
It must be observed that though this land had lain mostly fallow since Roman times and no other empire or people developed it, it is the Jewish people who have restored its cities and made its land productive and a flourishing place. This achievement was done by no other people except the Jewish people who loved the land, in contrast to other people who make claims on the land but have not dealt with it with love, sacrifice, ingenuity, and destiny. That is because the only nation that has been devoted to its fulfillment in and of itself are the Jewish people, who are biblically and intrinsically married to it, as opposed to those who make claims for it but never had a history entwined with it.
Historically, there was no Palestinian people except for the Jews who were so named during Roman occupation, and there never was an Islamic state, flag, language, and peoplehood connected with Judea and Samaria. In fact, the term "Palestinian" as a reference to an Arab-Muslim population was first coined after 1964, a modern period far removed from any historical chapter, as opposed to the Jewish tie to the land, which began 3,500 years ago.
Students of recent history will note that what are today called "Palestinian Arabs" are individuals not from the Judea-Samaria region, but transplants from Syria, Jordan, and Egypt who first began coming to this area precisely after the Jews had re-invigorated their settlement of Israel in the late 19th century. The Arab-Muslim population came to live within Israel's boundaries because the revived Jewish development in the land provided jobs, electricity, health clinics, and the full amenities of a modern life that the Arab-Muslim groups could not find in their ancestral land of Syria, Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq.
Actually, this not annexation of outside territory. Rather, it is the long awaited official incorporation of ancient, continuous homeland within the sovereignty of its modern reincarnation, the state of Israel.
Credit should be given to the singular vision of President Donald Trump and his courage and sense of truth in being the first world leader to finally bring this verity to sovereign reality. Thanks are due to secretary of state Mike Pompeo as well for his steadfast strength in carrying out the wishes of President Trump. As noted two years ago, when President Trump moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, there has not been a greater friend to the State of Israel and the Jewish people than Donald Trump, surpassing even the legendary King Cyrus.
Rabbi Spero is author of Push Back and president of the Conference of Jewish Affairs.