This article was originally developed as, and is available as, a PowerPoint presentation.
The theme of this article is that Judea and Samaria ARE the Heart of Israel, that as G-d’s gift to them, they belong to the people of Israel, and that Israeli sovereignty over them (and the Jordan Valley) only makes sense, both biblically, militarily, and even politically.
Each of us learned as children that the heart pumps the blood that maintains life in our human body. Scripture relates to that, Leviticus 17:11. The heart is also the conduit of love as commanded in Deuteronomy 6:5.
The Left Anterior Descending artery of the human heart bears a striking graphical similarity to the Biblical artery of Israel, the Path of the Patriarchs, the very heart land of both Biblical and modern Israel.
As background, let us remember a bit of orientation about the current Land of Israel. Some of her enemies lie close by. Others are farther away, e.g. Europe. Some even in the United States.
A little geography of Israel. The Jordan Rift is a segment of the Great Rift, 6,000 km long, which runs from Beqaa Valley in Lebanon through the Dead Sea, the Red Sea, and into Africa. From Dan (in the North) to Beer Sheva (in the South). Shfela = Judean foothills.
Texas is 31 times the size of Israel. The narrowest distance of the currently sovereign land is 9 miles, from Tel Aviv is 11 miles. (Apologies for the term “West Bank” on the copied map.)
The heart of Israel has always been Judea and Samaria. They were the heartland; they are the heartland. Even if neither modern Israel nor the rest of the world even considers them as part of Sovereign Israel. More on that momentarily.
How ironic! How ironic, that the very heartland of Biblical Israel is not part of Sovereign Israel today!
A larger map of the area. For orientation, note the Dead Sea. In red, then yellow, Avraham’s journeys from Ur of the Chaldees, to Haran, to Shechem, to Beer Sheva, to Egypt, to Beer Sheva. The path from Shechem to Beer Sheva is known as the Path of the Patriarchs. Genesis 12:6, 21:33 “Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem. Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the L-rd, the Everlasting G-d.” Note Ur in current Iraq; again, note the size of Israel.
Abraham’s son Isaac also walked up and down the mountain ridge. You shall go into my country and to my kindred and take a wife for my son Isaac. Genesis 24:4 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took . . . with him Isaac his son . . . and went to the place of which G-d had told him. 22:3 So Isaac lived in Gerar. 26:6 . . . as Rebekah approached with Abraham’s servant, Now Isaac had come from going to Beer-lahai-roi for he was living in the Negev. 24:62
Patriarch Jacob was also familiar with the mountain ridge known as the Path of the Patriarchs. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice, and arise, flee to Haran, to my brother Laban! Genesis 27:43 Then Jacob departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 28:10 He came to a certain place . . . and he had a dream . . . and he called the name of that place Bethel . . . the name of the city had been Luz. 28:11, 12, 19 then [Laban] took his kinsmen with him and pursued him a distance of seven days’ journey, and he overtook him in the hill country of Gilead. Genesis 31:23, 25 So Israel set out . . . and came to Beersheva . . . G-d spoke to Israel . . . And said “I will go down with you to Egypt.” 46:1 – 4
Weighty evidence that Judea and Samaria have been the heartland of the Jewish People for near 4,000 years.
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Rachel, Joseph, . . . Patriarchs and Matriarchs. were up and down throughout the heartland of Israel. Now Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem. Gen 33:18 Then the whole congregation of the sons of Israel assembled at Shiloh, and set up the tent of meeting there. Joshua 18:1 Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh 12:6 Take now your son, . . . Isaac, and go to . . . Moriah. 22:2 . . . far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning 13:3 . . . the cave of Machpelah 23:19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 35:19 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the L-rd, the Everlasting G-d. 21:33
Note the obvious similarity between the Path of the Patriarchs and Highway 60 today. Both running through the center of Judea and Samaria.
Portions of the Path of the Patriarchs are open to foot traffic today. Other portions of the Path of the Patriarchs are covered with asphalt. Others are covered by dwellings and villages, and Jerusalem.
The so-called West Bank is up to 75 km wide. Does it make sense to call a mountain range the bank of a river? 75 km wide?
So clearly, G-d spoke to Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob and to Joshua giving (not promising) the land to the sons of Israel. Genesis 13:14; 26:24; 35:12; Joshua 1:1
How many times must God prove himself to be true before man will believe him?
Repeating, how many times must G-d prove himself to be true before man will believe him?
In 1993 and 1995, Israeli administrators signed the “Oslo accords” which abrogated G-d’s multiple statements that the land belongs to the sons of Israel. The Oslo Accords created the PLO, whose functions are the limited self-governance over parts of the so-called West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza; and, it acknowledged that the PLO is now Israel’s partner in permanent status negotiations about the remaining issues.
One of the messes resulting from the Oslo Accords, agreed to by the Israeli Civil Administration. Judea and Samaria are divided into a mishmash of territories, into what I call the chicken pox map.
Area A is off limits to Israeli citizens, within the areas given to us by G-d our Creator!
Now for a bit of recent history.
“The right of the People of Israel to the Land of Israel was recognized by the League of Nations in 1921 with the end of the First World War. This international organization determined the partition of states that was necessitated as a result of the changes in the Ottoman Empire and in Europe. Within the framework of this assemblage it recognized the right of the People of Israel to the Land of Israel.” This recognition was achieved with the international adoption of the Balfour Declaration, which, until then, had only been accepted by the British government and from this moment on, became accepted by all of the nations. “This decision was unanimously taken in San Remo by all of the 52 countries that were members of this organization”.
“After the People of Israel had been in exile for so many years, its right was recognized to return to its Land. The practical translation of this recognition of the right of the Jewish People to its land was expressed in the text of the British Mandate for the Land of Israel, within which framework, Britain was named to be the executor of the plan to establish a national home for the People of Israel,” Shochetman explains.
The way to implement this international decision was to add to it several clauses, which also dealt with increasing Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel, the Jewish People being a small minority in the Land, faced with an absolute Arab majority. “In addition to this, in order to assure that the government of Britain would indeed carry out this plan, a specific clause was defined in the text of the Mandate in which it was stated that the government of Britain was forbidden from transferring any of the territory of the Land of Israel to a foreign sovereignty.
“This decision did not differentiate between the western part of the Land of Israel and the eastern part. Actually, every necessary step was taken in the framework of the text of the Mandate to assure the establishment of a national home for the Jewish People in the Land of Israel.
Britain governed Palestine and Jordan from 1922 – 1948. Then the state of Israel began.
The very next day, the fledgling nation was attacked by all 5 of her neighbors, threatening to destroy her.
After cease-fire agreements with other Arab armies, the Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement was signed on April 3, 1949.
The territorial result:
- The border with Egypt was restored to its previous line, with the exception of the Gaza Strip where Egypt continued in control.
- The border with Lebanon was restored to its previous line.
- The border with Syria was restored to its previous line.
- Jordan retained control of the hill country, Judea and Samaria.
- Jordan controlled the Old City of Jerusalem.
- The “1949 Armistice Line” has become known as the “Green Line”
The Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement was abrogated by Israel on 5 June 1967. Israel launched a series of preemptive airstrikes against Egyptian airfields following the mobilization of Egyptian forces along the Israeli border in the Sinai Peninsula. Syria and Jordan joined in.
Tremendously successful, by 10 June Israel had taken control of Sinai, Gaza, Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria.
The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War, or October War (מלחמת יום כיפור Milẖemet Yom Kipur), also known as the 1973 Arab–Israeli War, was a war fought by the coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria against Israel from October 6 to 25, 1973. With the exception of isolated attacks on Israeli territory on 6 and 9 October, the military combat actions during the war took place on Arab territory, mostly in the Sinai and the Golan Heights. Egypt’s stated goal for the war was the expelling of the Israeli forces occupying Sinai.
The 1978 Camp David Accords that followed led to the return of the Sinai to Egypt and normalized relations—the first peaceful recognition of Israel by an Arab country.
Three major wars by the new nation: 1948 (Independence), 1967 (6-day), 1973 (Yom Kippur). Many historians believe Israel decided it would never dominate the Arab nations; Egypt decided its army could not defeat the Israelis, so both agreed to sign peace treaty 1979 – Begin, Sadat, Carter.
Life is a series of questions. What do I wear today? Do I date that girl? Is it time to get up? Do I fight or run?
Military & political leaders must also make decisions.
So, let me ask you a simple, basic question.
What nation in history has taken an area militarily, and not declared sovereignty over it?
- US, UK, USSR > Germany. But they relinquished control to sovereignty of both states (1955) and to a reunified Germany. (1990)
- US > Japan. But we rebuilt their economy and ended occupation (1952), yielding to Japan’s independence.
Does the current map of Israel make sense when, The L-rd said to Abram. . . “Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever.. . . Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.”
Does this make sense when G-d said, “The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give it to you [Jacob], and I will give the land to your descendants after you.”
Does this make sense when . . . the L-rd spoke to Joshua . . . saying, “ . . . Cross . . . to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you . . . From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, . . . and as far as the Great Sea. . . will be your territory. No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. . . . I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.
Again, does this make sense?
No, but in the Oslo accords 13 Sept 1993:
- PLO recognized Israel
- PLO relinquished all forms of terror
- Israel recognized PLO as representing Palestinian people
- Democratic elections for P Legislative Council agreed
- Accords to be a precursor to final peace agreement
- So-called West Bank divided into 3 zones
- Hevron was left an exception
- Because of large Jewish community
- January 1997
- Security part Israeli; part Palestinian
Camp David Summit July 2000 failed to reach so-called permanent agreement.
Next question. If the mix of Areas A, B and C do not make sense, what does?
Why should Israel not declare sovereignty over Judea and Samaria?
Those who say not offer these “reasons,” or excuses, why Israel should not declare sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.
But not everyone!
Zionism: A social, political and religious movement among Jews and Jewish culture which holds that the Jews are a nation, and as such need to establish and maintain a national homeland in the territory defined as the historic and biblical Land of Israel.
Zionists find many reasons to respect, but not to fear failure, to respect, but not to fear the United States, to respect, but not to fear world opinion, and to have confidence in the future and in our G-d.
Forgetting or neglecting the promises of HaShem, civil and political authorities “quake in their boots” and admit to fear of failure, fear of the United States, fear of world opinion, and fear of the unknown. The Jokerman font of Yes is intended to connote trembling.
Israeli political and civil authorities have for years, until today, feared US and world opinion on declaring sovereignty in Judea and Samaria to the extent of destroying villages, homes and synagogues built even in Area C, some with and some without a building permit. The spirit that HaShem commanded of Joshua is absent from their bones, their heart and their spirit.
The Civil Administration on Monday night (13 April 2015) evicted and demolished the Hazon David synagogue, located near Kiryat Arba. Hazon David was built in 2001, in memory of David Hacohen and Chezi Muallem, who were killed by terrorists, and has been destroyed by the Civil Administration some 34 times, usually just before a visit by a U. S. representative trying to arm twist the Israeli government.
Like thieves in the night, armed with heavy equipment, the destruction contractor and a tight chain of policemen managed within two hours to leave the place as a heap of rubble.
Walls had been added after May 2011 photo; 18 April 2015 Shabbat worship in initial reconstruction.
Worshipers do not fear, are not dismayed, are strong and courageous, with dedication and tenacity. They gathered to worship four days later as they began to rebuild.
But this time, the civil authorities prohibit rebuilding . Note military troops standing guard.
The question all the world needs to ask, but doesn’t know how to ask.
Good question! Logical question! Being well answered by Women in Green.
My favorite organization in all of Israel is Women in Green. They are strong; they are courageous; they are very Biblical. They are rallying national leaders around the concept of Sovereignty.
For example of their efforts to encourage Sovereignty, 1 July 2014, “As a Zionist answer to the despicable murder of our three boys, a pioneering group of Jews headed by Women in Green went up to Givat Oz – a hilltop overlooking Tzomet HaGush – in order to create a new Jewish presence in the area. Since the beginning of Zionism, the land of Israel is sometimes built with blood and tears. The hill is adjacent to the historical community of Migdal Eder, which was dismantled in 1927, in a forest near to Bet Fajjar, on approved State land. The pioneers cleaned out an abandoned structure on the site and settled it, calling upon the government to immediately apply sovereignty, starting with Hevron and Gush Etzion. This call was made by the Women and Green, together with the Professors for a Strong Israel, headed by Aryeh Eldad and Matot Arim.
Four conferences have been addressed by Members of the Knesset, by rabbis, by administrative ministers, by lawyers, and by professors addressing the issues of Judea and Samaria, and Sovereignty. The central theme of the conferences, best stated by then Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi), now Minister of Education: “The central problem is the failure of the Israeli leadership to simply state that the land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel.”
As an outgrowth of the Sovereignty Conferences, Women in Green have developed a journal dedicated to the principle of sovereignty. Five issues, the fifth just before the March 2015 elections, provide excellent and convincing background material to justify sovereignty.
As an example of the Biblical comments published in the Journal, “Our teacher, Rabbi Zvi Yehuda ZT’’L, taught us that it is our right by inheritance, the right of the People of Israel for all its generations. That is why no Israeli government has the right to trade our land, which belongs to all the People of Israel, past, present and future. The current Israeli governments are temporary and fleeting in comparison to the eternity of Israel and they do not have the authority to give up the eternal promise. ‘and to your descendants have I given this land.’ ” Rabbi Gideon Perl, Gush Etzion Regional Rabbi
Other Biblical comments are:
♦ “The essential reason for our presence in Judea and Samaria is not security, but rather the fact that we belong to this place by merit of the biblical promise of thousands of years …” MK Naftali Bennett
♦ “Application of Sovereignty is a Positive Command-ment.” Rav Haim Druckman
♦ “The Right and the Left can be unified in striving toward sovereignty that will benefit the residents, Jews and Arabs.” Eran Bar-Tal
And “The application of sovereignty must be done with consideration and respect for the residents there. The Arabs of the area will be able to integrate into the life of the country and live well, if only they would recognize the fact that it is a Jewish state. If national identity is more important to any one of them, he would need to find a different country, just as Jews in the countries of the world do not aspire to establish a Jewish state within the United States, Canada or any other place.” Eran Bar-Tal
Legal opinions expressed in the Journal include:
♦ “Occupied Territories? There is no historical or legal basis for that.” Alan Baker
♦ “There Already Exists a Palestinian State – in Jordan.” Former MK Prof. Arie Eldad, M.D
♦ “Israel has implemented the Israeli ‘One-State’ Plan twice – in Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. And both experiences were successful.” Caroline Glick
♦ “The Jerusalem Law forbids the transfer of sovereignty in Jerusalem into foreign hands, but this is what is happening in practice.” Aryeh King
♦ “International law is on our side.” Prof Eliav Shochetman
And from economic considerations:
♦ “The application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria carries enormous economic implications, to which both the Left and the Right can relate.
♦ Unfreezing the building and opening the market for building, according to ordinary demand, will bring tens of billions of shekels into the state’s coffers.
♦ If we look at the issue purely from an economic point of view, we will understand that we are obligated by the reality to apply sovereignty – it is the only solution that will grant a better quality of life to the Arabs and the Jews alike.” Eran Bar-Tal
From a nationalist viewpoint come strong statements, e.g.
♦ “Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria will end an ongoing injustice.”
♦ “The Leftist vision is not the only one.”
♦ “Demography works in our favor.” Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
♦ “The 25-year Gradual Plan-’Annexation – Naturali-zation.’ ” MK Hotolevy
♦ “The world has no respect for the weak and for those who make concessions, but it respects those who have self respect.” MK Bennet
♦ “There is no people in the world that would surrender their homeland.” MK Ofir Akunis
From a diplomatic standpoint,
♦ “Explaining the Right’s alternative to the world.” Caroline Glick
♦ “Millions of people understand that the ‘Two-State‘ solution is a disaster. They are just waiting for someone to tell them that they can abandon it.” Caroline Glick
♦ “The world will not recognize our declaration? It did not recognize previous declarations either.” MK Bennet
♦ “The changes that have been taking place in the Middle East lead to the sober conclusion – a Palestinian state would be a disaster.” Dr Guy Bechor
And regarding the United States,
♦ “If we do not say these things, do not expect members of Congress to say them.” D Dayan
♦ “The world is beginning to become interested in an alternative on the Right.” MK Yoel Edelstein, Fmr Head of Knesset
♦ “We do not need to change direction because of some dependence or other on a friend like the United States.” Prof Moshe Arens
♦ “In discussions with members of the American Congress it is absolutely clear to them and they ask us why our government does not say these simple things.” Gershon Mesika, head of the Samaria Council
A major goal of Rabbis, of thinking MK’s, of Zionists, and of Bible believers: Reclaim, redeem the Land that HaShem gave to us. What a mitzvah to redeem the Heart of Israel!
Put in practical language, to redeem the Land that HaShem gave to us is to erase the Green Line, so that Eretz Israel extends from the Great Sea to the Jordan River, so that Judea and Samaria (and the Jordan Valley) are fully a part of the nation of Israel.
Each of us can help. How?
- Love Eretz Israel!
- “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” Psalm 122
- Visit our brothers and sisters!
- Visit Samaria! Visit Gush Etzion!
- Be a mensch!
- Speak up for Israel!
- Buy Israeli products!
- Visit LoveIsrael.World!
If you would like a copy of the PowerPoint presentation on which this “Heart of Israel” is based, please leave a comment with your email address and enough information about you to will dispel wonders if you are a spammer.