Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Israel Must Recognize An Independent State of Kurdistan

It’s very ironic that all the noise about the Kurdish independence referendum; the battles between Kurdish and Iraqi forces; Turkish, Syrian, and Iranian opposition to Kurdish independence; discussion in Israel whether the State of Israel should recognize Kurdish independence; is taking place within a few weeks before and just after the 16th Yahrtzeit – anniversary of the murder – of former Israeli Tourism Minister and Moledet Party founder Rechavam Ze’evi by PFLP terrorists in 2001.

It's no secret that close relations existed between Israel and the Kurds throughout most of the sixties and into the seventies, until the collapse of the Kurdish revolt in Iraq, in 1975. Ze’evias a young military officerhad been to Kurdistan in the 1960s and Iraqi Kurdish leader Mustafa Barzani had been to Israel. Reflective of this, the 1996 Moledet Party Platform, Chapter 9: Foreign Policy, paragraph 17, stated “Israel will act against the oppression of peoples like the Kurds...”

Ba’athist “forced Arabization” of minorities – Kurds, Yezidis, Assyrian Christians, Armenians, and others, in Kurdistan – northern Iraqbegan in the 1960s, and lasted until the early 2000s. The Kurds, were brutally suppressed by Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist regime, starting in the late 1970s. During the 1987-88 Al-Anfal Campaign, an estimated 180,000 Kurds were killed, hundreds of thousands more, were expelled from their traditional homeland in northern Iraq. During the campaign, over 3,000 Kurdish villages were destroyed and replaced with Arab settlers, and chemical weapons were used against them, as in the infamous 1988 Halabja Massacre, that killed as many as 5,000 and injured up to 10,000 people.

In fact, the town of Kirkuk, in the news a lot recently, was originally a Kurdish majority, multi-ethnic city. The Ba’athist Arabization program concentrated on moving Arabs to the vicinity of oil fields in Kurdistan, particularly the ones around Kirkuk. According to Human Rights Watch, from 1991 – after the Gulf War – until 2003, the Ba’athist Iraqi government, systematically expelled over 500,000 Kurds from the Kirkuk region.

The Kurdish people are the largest, stateless, ethnicity in the world, estimated between 30-45 million worldwide, with the majority residing in historic Kurdistan. The area the Kurds consider Kurdistan includes, parts of southeastern Turkey (Northern Kurdistan), northern Syria (Western Kurdistan), northern Iraq (Southern Kurdistan), and northwestern Iran (Eastern Kurdistan). The Turks, Syrians, and Iranians, have all oppressed their Kurdish populations also.

The Kurds have always looked toward Israel as a role model. The Jews are the only minority in the middle east – actually the remnant of the indigenous population of the land of Israel as the Kurds are in Kurdistan – that has liberated itself politically from the 7th century Arab imperialist invasion, occupation and oppression of the region.

With this in mind, Israel should actively and openly revive the former policy of support for the Kurdish people. Israel must recognize the State of Kurdistan, as soon as they declare independence, establish diplomatic relations, exchange embassies, work in international forums and agencies to support their independence, and at the UN, to have them admitted as a member state.

In a recent article, Dr. Mordechai Kedar, of Bar-Ilan University in Israel, raises an important point. Kedar referring to, “Israeli pundits, army officers and politicians...view the current regional situation as a golden opportunity that Israel must take advantage of by accepting the Arab peace proposals, establishing a Palestinian state and embarking on a new era of cooperation with the ‘moderate Sunni axis’ in order to bring peace and security to Israel and the entire area.” He then asks, “Why? Because all these countries fear Iran as much as, and possibly more, than Israel does.”

Referring to recent, seemingly warmer relations between Israel and the Sunni Arab states in the region who feel threatened by Iran, He then asks, “But let us suppose that the Iranian threat disappears because Israel succeeds in an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities...Will the Arab and Western worlds be grateful to Israel and act to protect Israel’s interests?”
Kedar then answers, “What happened to the Kurds will happen to Israel. The Kurds fought ISIS, sacrificed their soldiers and people, and were thrown to the wolves once they were not needed. That is exactly what the world’s nations will do to Israel once it extricates them from the Iranian problem. Why not? The immediate interests of each and every country and not the moral rights of the Kurds and the Israelis are what makes the world go round.”
In my recent article, “North Korea: The Israeli Connection” I made a similar point, “As the saying goes, ‘countries don’t have friends, just interests.’ There are close parallels between the US, South Korea and Japan, vis-à-vis North Korea, and the US and Israel, vis-à-vis Iran. So Jews and Israel should be watching closely how the Trump administration ‘protects’ its allies. One can get a picture of just how well America would cover Israel under its ‘security umbrella,’ when pushing Israel to take a ‘chance for peace’ as has been suggested, in any future Middle East peace deal, by watching the Korean crisis unfold. And, it will give a clue as to how much Israel can count on the US in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program.” One could now add to that, watch how the Trump administration has abandoned the Kurds.

Israel should pro-actively support the legitimate aspirations of the oppressed minorities – the indigenous peoples – of the Middle East and North Africa, like the Kurds and Berbers, and build alliances with them. It should be a corner stone of Israeli Foreign Policy.

In 2014, PM Netanyahu said that, “It is upon us to support the Kurds’ aspiration for independence,” and called them a “fighting people that have proven political commitment and political moderation, and they’re also worthy of their own political independence.”

In August of this year, Netanyahu told a visiting delegation of 33 Republican Congressmen from the US, that he was in favor of an independent state for the Kurds, “a brave, pro-Western people who share our values.”

And again, speaking at the state memorial ceremony for Ze’evi, just recently, Netanyahu said, “The Kurds demonstrate national maturity and international maturity...We have very great sympathy for their desires and the world needs to concern itself with their safety and with their future.”

Till now, Israel has been the only country to openly support Kurdish independence, with Netanyahu last month backing “the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of its own.” But, he did not specify how and where such a state should come into being.

Well, now that they’ve voted for independence, you have to put your words into action! The State of Israel must recognize the State of Kurdistan as soon as they declare independence.

Popular former Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar – and a potential challenger to Netanyahu – has also urged Israel support Kurdish independence, saying in June that, “they have proven themselves over decades to be a reliable strategic partner for us.” And again, on the day of the referendum in late September, “I hope that if there is a majority for independence, Israel will be the first country to recognize Iraqi Kurdistan.”

Finally, Israeli Middle East expert Dr. Eddy Cohenas reported in Arutz Sheva recently – said that if the Kurds are dislodged from their positions by Iran it could endanger Israel and therefore Israel has a strategic interest in helping the Kurds.
Israel has always had a strategic interest in the success of the Kurds. That’s why Israel has supported them since the 1960s, and why I’ve been calling for Israel to support Kurdish independence since the early 2000s.
I think the Americans blew it in 2003, they should have carved Iraq into three areas – or states on the way – approximately, a Kurdish north, Sunni center, and Shiite south. They should have offered the Kurds independence almost immediately, they then would have had a strong regional ally and bulwark against Iran much earlier. A de-Ba’athification program for the Sunni center should have been implemented, similar to de-Nazification in Germany after WWII. The Shiite south, by having their own area, might not have become as radical as they did. Without the power struggle with the Sunnis; in the “unified” Iraq, that the Americans attempted to maintain; the Shiites might not have drawn closer to Iran, being that they were Arabs and not Persians. The two other areas both under American military occupation, could have been offered a performance based track toward eventual independence, and seeing what the Americans did with the Kurds, would have proven the Americans trustworthy.

The Americans seem to be missing the boat of opportunity again, with regards to the Kurds. But Israel shouldn’t, it’s about time that Israel recognize an independent State of Kurdistan!

Ariel Natan Pasko, an independent analyst and consultant, has a Master's Degree specializing in International Relations, Political Economy & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites and in newspapers. His latest articles can also be read on his archive: The Think Tank by Ariel Natan Pasko.

(c) 2017/5778 Pasko

Published at:, ManhigutYehudit-JewishLeadership,,,  etc.

East & West Palestine, or Hamastan vs. Fatahland

The Hamas – Fatah Reconciliation Agreement, recently cooked up in Cairo, which would see the Palestinian Authority resume control of Gaza by December 1st; has barely cooled, and already there are problems in paradise, in spite of the early celebrations of Gaza residents waving Egyptian, Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and Fatah flags, upon announcement of the deal. Just days after signing the agreement, Egypt canceled it’s planned opening of the Rafiah border crossing, between Gaza and Sinai, a major incentive in the agreement, after another ISIS terror attack, that killed six Egyptian soldiers in Northern Sinai.

Egypt has kept the border crossing closed since October 2014, with a few exceptions for the passage of humanitarian aid. Egypt blames Hamas for a horrendous attack, that killed 30 Egyptian soldiers in 2014, by aiding ISIS terrorists in Sinai, through their weapons smuggling tunnels. Numerous attacks have occurred since, and Egypt continues to blame Hamas for the aid to the Sinai Islamists. And, it’s not lost on President el-Sisi, that Hamas was started by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Since the Sharm El-Sheikh meeting of 2005, which included the US, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority, it’s been rumored that there’s a proposal to bring Egyptian influence back into Gaza, and Jordanian influence back into Judea and Samaria. They are supposed to help the Palestinians reform their security services, democratize and stabilize society, so that the PA’s Abbas can govern, and ultimately negotiate with Israel.

It seems that Trump is continuing to carry out that plan.

As I wrote a couple months ago, “The Trump administration is exploring new approaches for easing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that builds on talks with the budding Sunni Arab coalition of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Jordan,” according to an unnamed US official.

The American strategy is to unite the Palestinian Authority (Fatah) and Hamas, under Abbas’ leadership, so that a united Palestinian bloc could renew negotiations with Israel. The Trump administration is using it’s connections with the Sunni Arab states, to put pressure on all the Palestinian factions to join up. Hence, the Hamas – Fatah Reconciliation Agreement. The Americans, in return, have promised to deliver Israel to the negotiating table, when the Palestinians are ready. And to grease the squeaky wheel, the US is trying to bring Jerusalem and Ramallah together through joint economic initiatives.

Meanwhile, the Arab coalition has tried to push Hamas closer to Egypt and the UAE, and distance them from Qatar, which for years has been a major financial backer. Mohammed Dahlan, a former Fatah leader in Gaza, who has been living in the UAE, has been the key intermediary. He recently returned to Gaza and organized UAE-financed humanitarian aid there, said to include about $15 million a month in food and social assistance for families, plus additional money for electricity and water.

The plan is to provide economic and social support, through Egypt, with Israel’s blessing, that can weaken the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence. Israel has allowed fuel and other shipments to pass from Egypt through the border crossing at Rafiah, signaling it’s tacit support. Dahlan and the UAE have larger plans. Dahlan said the UAE has pledged to finance a $100 million electricity plant, to be built on the Egyptian side of the border, to help power Gaza. Therefore, the announced canceling of the Rafiah border opening by Egypt, presents a serious challenge to the plan.

Over the years, international peace plans, have seen “Palestine,” as having a common border with Jordan, Egypt and a territorial link between Judea, Samaria (the West Bank/Fatahland) and Gaza/Hamastan.

Was that East and West Pakistan? We know what happened to them...

If a Palestinian state is born, East and West Palestine (the West Bank/
Fatahland and Gaza/Hamastan) will suffer a similar end. Or, do they intend to carve up Israel to gain territorial contiguity? Will Israel be reduced to a Northern and Southern Kingdom as in the Bible? Will Tel-Aviv and the Galileeformerly the coastal and northern parts of Israelbecome disconnected from the Negev, the newly formed Southern State?

Whatever they tell you, know this, states collapse, countries or areas of a country merge with other states, and some ethnic groups go extinct over time. East and West Palestine is just such a creature. It will be still-born at best, on long-term international life-support. But that won't save it from the fate of East and West Pakistan. So, even if an illegitimate child-state is born, expect its early demise.

“Why?” you might ask.

For starters, because there never was an independent Palestinian Arab state or
shared identity. The closest thing they have to a shared identity, is hatred of Jews, the desire for statehood, and to use it to wipe out Israel. If they achieved statehood and actually lived peaceably with Israel for some time, their whole purpose of existence would end. History abhors a vacuum, and the so-called “Palestinian identity” would probably be subsumed in a greater Muslim identity; Hamas will work to ensure that. And, that will lead right back to conflict with Israel.

Beyond this, Jewish identity is stronger. Simply put – Israeliness not withstanding – Jewish identity, the connection to our ancient and modern homeland, will prevail over a sick child-state and its international doctor-backers. You know, I feel that the US, EU, and UN are about to play the role of Dr. Kevorkian (the suicide doctor). They're about to help the “Palestinians” commit national suicide.

Why is this child-state doomed?

Because it won’t be a real democracy, in spite of a likely Jimmy Carter certification, as he did in 2006 when Hamas won parliamentary elections. My proof? Ask yourself, will Jews living in towns in Judea and Samaria be allowed to stay and be equal Palestinian citizens – including voting rights and electability to parliament – as Israeli Arabs are in Israel? No, they’re talking about ethnic cleansing, uprooting hundreds of thousands of Jewish “settlers”, making “Palestine” Judenreinfree of Jews. And a state born in such sin will never redeem itself. An independent Palestine might be described by some as a democracy, but, in fact, it will more closely resemble a Nazi state. Remember, Yasser Arafat's uncle Haj Amin Al-Husseini, was Hitler’s friend.

Does anyone really believe that Abbas/Fatah will gain control over Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Hezbollah and ISIS elements in Gaza? He’s been having problems within his own Fatah movement. East and West Palestine will be a terror state, and its eventual end will gladden the hearts of millions around the world.

If born, this moral-AIDS-ridden terror state won’t be a democracy. Lacking democracy, freedom, prosperity and real control over their own lives, Arabs will continue to suffer deprivations at the hands of their corrupt leaders and be used – by the likes of Hamas – to attack Israel. Because it won’t integrate the different elements of Arab society into an organic whole, they will never overcome their deeper inner contradictions. As long as they have an external enemy, the Jews, they might hold off the internal feud, but for how long?

Hamastan vs. Fatahland…

To give you an idea on how deep the divisions run, this latest Hamas – Fatah Reconciliation Agreement, is the fourteenth attempt at reconciliation since 2005.

In 2005, they signed the Cairo Declaration. In 2006 the Prisoners’ Document; in February 2007, the Mecca Agreement to form a national unity government; and March 2008, they signed the Sana'a Declaration. They held talks in 2009 and again in 2010. In May 2011, they signed the Cairo agreement, to form a joint caretaker government, with presidential and legislative elections to be held in 2012. The February 2012 Doha agreement, and the May 2012 Cairo accord, were a further push to implement the 2011 Cairo agreement. They held more talks in January 2013, following the upgrade of “Palestine” at the UN. Then signed the 2014 Gaza and Cairo Agreements, followed by more talks about reconciliation in 2016.

East and West Palestine, or Hamastan vs. Fatahland, won’t last because they aren’t the same societies.

Gaza is medieval, insular, Islamic, poverty-stricken, overcrowded and, in just plain language, “a hell hole”. It has no culture beyond terrorism, and no real chance of commerce or serious relations with Egypt, its neighbor to the west. They’ll be under Egyptian “occupation.” After Sharon’s “disengagement” plan and the Hamas takeover, being cut-off from Israel – which got tired of being attacked by them – the Gazans grew closer to the Bedouin of the Sinai.

The “West Bank or Fatahland,” by contrast, is more cosmopolitan. Although overwhelmingly Muslim, there is a significant minority of Christians. It has the potential to be more secular, more democratic, and more tolerant. Trade and cultural relations with Jordan exist and will continue to flourish.

East and West Palestine will suffer from uneven development. If the child-state is born, and democracy does “rear its ugly head” with its tolerance and pluralism, Western movies, music, gambling casinos and bars; you can count on the Ayatollahs and sheikhs of Gaza-Hamastan to rant and rave against “the infidels” in East Palestine, i.e. the West Bank-Fatahland.

I firmly believe that an independent Palestinian State will suffer the same outcome as East and West Pakistan.

For those of you who don’t remember, East and West Pakistan fought a bloody civil war in 1971, and the outcome was Bangladesh, an independent state. Although both parts of Pakistan were Muslim – the only reason for its separation from India in 1947 in the first place – cultural and ethnic differences led to serious animosity between the two sides.

Yet, developmental inequality is what pushed the final button. East Pakistan was an economic basket case (as it continues to be today). “Blessed” by being at the convergence point of several natural phenomena, the southern third of East Pakistan/Bangladesh sits on the mouth of the Ganges River, where it empties into the Bay of Bengal. Never short of water, they regularly suffer from floods from the Ganges overflow and yearly monsoons (hurricanes).

A former International Relations professor of mine – originally from Thailand – once commented that Bangladesh is situated in one of the harshest inhabited areas of the world. “Why would people want to live there?” he asked. “It would do the international community good to simply move the entire population out of there. It would save a lot of lives, money and time in disaster relief efforts.”

East Pakistan – the more populous area – for years complained that they weren’t getting their fair share of central government budgets. After a period of military rule, in December 1970, the East Pakistani Awami League won absolute control over the newly formed parliament. With the Awami League set to control the government and demanding autonomy for East Pakistan in a federated state, General Yahya – junta leader from West Pakistan – chose to disband the assembly and invaded the East. Civil war broke out and, after a half-million Bengalis (East Pakistanis) were massacred, India invaded to establish order. Ultimately India recognized Bangladeshi independence and so did the international community. But India continues to suffer until today from the Muslim fanatics of Pakistan.

Is that the prognosis for East and West Palestine? Will Gaza scream foul? Is a civil war or societal degeneration in the offing for the unborn child-state, or would a partial-birth abortion better serve the international community?

The world should think seriously about the viability – or not – of a territorially divided Palestinian state. Show me a successful model, anywhere in the world, of an independent country divided in two parts by another state. Or, will there be continuous warfare between Israel and Palestine to foster unity between the Arabs and to gain contiguity?

East and West Palestine, or Hamastan vs. Fatahland, is an experiment doomed to failure from the start.

Like my former professor’s advice about Bangladesh, I suggest about East and West Palestine that, “it would do the international community good to simply move the entire population out of there. It would save a lot of lives, money and time...”

Few things in life are certain, but these two are worth betting on...

First, that East and West Palestine won’t survive long if born, and second, that the territorial integrity of the Land of Israel will. The Jewish people didn’t survive 2,000 years of dispersal and persecution just to return to their homeland, gain independence, and then give it away to 7th century Arab imperialists and early 20th century Arab squatters.

Ariel Natan Pasko, an independent analyst and consultant, has a Master's Degree specializing in International Relations, Political Economy & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites and in newspapers. His latest articles can also be read on his archive: The Think Tank by Ariel Natan Pasko.

(c) 2017/5778 Pasko

Published at:,, United With Israel, etc. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Netanyahu, Tell the World the Truth!

This past Shabbat, all across the Jewish world, the yearly Sabbath Torah reading was begun anew with Bereshit, the beginning of Genesis. With the recent reconciliation agreement signed between Hamas and Fatah looming in the background, Trump’s push to renew “peace” negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians is seemingly on track again.

Traditionally, every Jewish child who learned Torah was taught the text and the commentary of Rashi – Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki – the famous 11th century French Biblical and Talmudic commentator. In the beginning, literally, of Genesis, Rashi asks a question, “Why does the Torah start with the story of creation? Since the Torah is a book of laws for the Jewish People, why doesn't it begin with the first law given by G-d to the Jews, the law for establishing a calendar?” He answers that it starts with the creation narrative to establish that G-d is the Master of the Universe. Then, Rashi says the most amazing thing that still resonates almost a thousand years later. Based on earlier sources and a thorough knowledge of the meaning of Judaism, Rashi says, “So that if the nations come to Israel and say, you are thieves – in Hebrew, she-kevash-tem, you conquered and occupied – the land from the nations living there, you can tell them that all the universe is G-d's, He created it and gave it to the nations, and when He decided, He took it from them and gave it to us.”

Three things have become starkly clear.

First, that Rashi’s explanation of the Torah has in fact come true. The nations today claim, as Rashi explained they would, that we stole the land from others, namely the so-called Palestinians. Second, the Israeli Left has used for years the same Hebrew root/term – kibush, occupation – as to denigrate the miraculous victory of the 1967 Six-Day War. It is the same term, “occupation”, used by most of the world in their criticism of Israeli policies in the “territories”. Even Ariel Sharon used it at one point. It is the language of self-hating Jews – those disconnected from Jewish history and tradition – and the Judeo-paths among the nations. Occupation is when you steal someone else’s land. The Jewish People liberated parts of their Promised Homeland in stages, first in 1948 and then in 1967 with G-d’s help. The Jewish People didn’t “steal” anything. And finally, that the only basis for the Jewish People’s national life in their homeland is G-d’s promise as set down in the Bible; not history, not security, but G-d's promise to their forefathers.

Rashi told the Jewish People to tell the world, “He took it from them and gave it to us.”

A true Israeli leader needs to stand up, not frightened of anyone or anything, and declare, “The Master of the Universe took it from them and gave it to us.” The Promised Land belongs to the Jews exclusively, and not to any other nation.

Any Israeli prime minister who can't get on TV or go to the UN General Assembly, or any other meeting with world leaders and say these words, should either quit or commit suicide before rejecting the promises of G-d and participating in a process to help another group take over part of the Land of Israel. As King David said, “If I forget you Jerusalem” - a term for the entire Land of Israel - “let my right hand wither” - rather than sign any false peace agreement - “let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth....” (Psalms 137: 5-6) rather than agree to foreigners taking over part of the Jewish People's homeland.

If someone can blow themselves up to gain a state not their own, if kamikaze pilots can kill themselves in war, if soldiers can risk their lives in suicide missions, then the Israeli prime minister can quit or “step out” rather than lie to the world.

Netanyahu, tell the world the truth, “He took it from them and gave it to us.”

Every Jew, in fact, every Christian and Muslim, knows that the Land of Israel was promised to the Children of Israel, the Jewish People, by G-d, forever. The same G-d they claim to worship. The British pro-Zionists who worked to convince her majesty’s government to issue the Balfour Declaration in 1917, believed in the Divine Promise to the Jews. So, why continue to perpetuate this lie called the “Peace Process”? The Palestinians might gain some temporary control over the land – like in Gaza – for G-d’s own reasons, but in the end, it will be taken from them anyway and returned to its rightful tenants, the Jewish People – I didn’t say owners, because G-d is the only true owner of everything.

It is true that a democratically elected government in Israel might choose, for political expediency, to transfer control over parts of the Jewish People’s homeland to others, like what happened in Gush Katif – Jewish Gaza; and that, in political terms, it might be seen as legitimate; but, in the Court of Final Justice, above, there never will be any Spiritual Legitimacy to the act. Anyone going against the will of G-d will ultimately have to account for their actions. Reward and punishment is a basic concept in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Heaven help those who try to take away the Divinely Promised Land from the Jewish People. Look what happened to Rabin, Sharon, Olmert, and countless others involved in the “Disengagement”...

Why lie to the Palestinians? Why make them believe they are right, that Israel “stole” their land? Why participate in a peace process? Why fool them into believing that Israel will give them land and a state?

Netanyahu, tell the world the truth, “He took it from them and gave it to us.”

What’s most important for Israeli leaders and the world to understand is, that no matter what the Israeli government decides to do, it has no Religious Legitimacy in Judaism. No Israeli leader or government has the moral, historical, or spiritual right to take away parts of the Promised Land from the Jewish People and give it to others. It’s not theirs to do with as they please; the Land of Israel is an inheritance from G-d and it is not for one generation to decide what to do with it. It is also for all future generations of Jews. It will never be accepted by Jews steeped in their heritage and tradition, or by G-d.

Ani Ma'amin...” I believe with complete faith in the coming of the Messiah, and even if he takes a long time to come, I believe every day, he’s coming! It is one of the thirteen principles of faith as codified by Maimonides. The Jews will get back their homeland; the Palestinians will not have a state. So why start now, so close to his coming?

The Land of Israel was promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The Master of the Universe told them that even though their children will suffer terrible exiles – an educational and cleansing process – in the end, He would bring them home. In the 1948 War of Independence, G-d gave political sovereignty to the Jews for the first time in almost 2,000 years. In the 1967 Six-Day War, G-d returned the Holy City of Jerusalem in its entirety – including eastern Jerusalem and the Temple Mount – to the Jewish People. Hebron – Judaism’s second holiest city – with the Cave of the Patriarchs, the burial place of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and King David’s first capital city, before Jerusalem – was returned as well. Truthfully, Judea and Samaria – the so-called West Bank – is drenched in Jewish history and Jewish holy sites. That’s why it’s commonly referred to as the “Biblical Heartland”.

The Jewish People have been brought home.

Those who have built their world-view on security needs and have claimed that we cannot allow a Palestinian state to come into existence because of that, have missed the point. The Palestinians, and the world, are playing the “Peace Card”. Even if they promised up and down, that there would be a thousand years of “Peace”, how can Israel spurn G-d’s promise?

Once there was a nice family who lived in a rough neighborhood. They wanted to get along with their neighbors, but the neighbors hated them, and used to throw rocks and break their windows all the time. One day, the leader and toughest of the neighbors came over and said, this is my house, and demanded it. The owner, father of the nice family replied, no it’s not, its mine. The neighbor insisted. Not wanting any more trouble, the owner invited him in to talk. The neighbor demanded the house and refused to leave; he threatened the owner. The owner decided to be nice and offered him a room to stay in.

Later, the neighbor claimed that the owner’s wife was in fact his wife. He implied he would kill the owner. The owner of the house, thought for a moment, my wife, my life, and then decided to share his wife. Why cause problems, he thought to himself. The neighbor, emboldened with his successful intimidation, next claimed the owner’s arm. Give me your arm, or else, he demanded. Well, the owner had a tough time at first, then he thought, my arm or my life, hmm, a small price to pay, and he meekly cut off his arm. Finally, the neighbor demanded, in the most insolent way imaginable, give me your heart...

The Land of Israel is the Jewish People’s heart.

Members of the ruling Likud Party and the National Camp have for years based their claim to the “occupied territories” on historical claim, and, more importantly, have said that for security reasons, they couldn’t give them away. The Israeli Left, in contrast, has argued for quite some time that control over Judea and Samaria is a security liability and not an asset. They have argued that the only true security is in “Peace” with the Arabs and not the status quo. American presidents, from Clinton to Obama, have basically said the same thing. Trump seems to be following their examples.

And what about settlement leaders, those so-called “right-wing extremists”, who spurn all talk of “Peace”?

When the Israeli cabinet decided to accept the “Roadmap,” with objections in 2003, the spokesman for the Yesha Council – of Jewish Settlements in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza – Yehoshua Mor-Yosef, said, “What is done is done. What we can do is try to amend the Roadmap and shift it to the right.” Shift it to the right? It wasn’t a matter of a little shift here and a little shift there. And, this is a so-called leader of the “Settlement Movement”! Their unsuccessful resistance to the expulsion of Jews from Jewish Gaza in 2005 confirmed the failure of their “moderate” policies.

The Likud, the National Camp, and the Yesha Council at the time, all missed the point. The Israeli Left never had it. To the world, well what can we say? Except, “He took it from them and gave it to us.” There is no spiritual legitimacy to retreat from the Land of Israel. There is no spiritual legitimacy in refusing to graciously receive G-d's Promised Land, and fight for it. There is no spiritual legitimacy to any of these so-called “Peace” agreements, Oslo, the Roadmap, or any other future agreement.

Netanyahu, tell the world the truth, “He took it from them and gave it to us!”

Ariel Natan Pasko, an independent analyst and consultant, has a Master's Degree specializing in International Relations, Political Economy & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites and in newspapers. His latest articles can also be read on his archive: The Think Tank by Ariel Natan Pasko.

(c) 2017/5778 Pasko

Published at: Arutz Sheva/ entitled, Tell the world: "He took it from them and gave it to us,", United With Israel, etc.