Total Pageviews

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Misguided Attitude Towards Judea and Samaria (West Bank)

Nadene Goldfoot

Today's Oregonian carried a story about a 55 year old Portland nurse who flew to Egypt with her friend on Friday with the purpose of getting into Israel to support Palestinian rights. I was flabbergasted. She was amid rioters who were looting, burning buildings and amassing into the thousands and she was concerned with Palestinians only. I feel that most of my fellow citizens in Portland really know very little about the relationship of Judea and Samaria, called "The West Bank" by Jordan, and Israel no more than they know about what's been going on in Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Yemen and other Middle Eastern countries. The only democratic country in the area is Israel who is constantly being attacked by the others, and more recently in history's time zone, by the Palestinians. Really, it would have been more helpful if this nurse were going over to help out Israelis. Our nurse was not allowed to get into Israel by the Egyptian government who had cancelled their travel permits. They did talk to a rioting Egyptian woman before boarding their plane who told her that they just want freedom of speech. She could have joined the Egyptians in their riot seeking freedom, but no, she wanted to help the Palestinians.

Judea and Samaria was called the West Bank by the Jordanian government to take away the connection it has had for the past 2,000 years or more with the Jewish country. In 1967 it finally got back to Jewish Israel after the Six Day War of 1967 when Israel defeated massed Arab armies, much to the world's surprise. This area had been part of the British Mandate of Palestine up to 1948 at the creation of Israel, but from 1948 to 1967 it was under Jordan's rule. They had actually annexed it in 1950. During that time Jerusalem had suffered from the community's behaviors, such as deficating all over the Jewish cemeteries and such. No Jew or Christian were allowed into Jerusalem under Jordan's rule.

Under Israel domain, Judea and Samaria became an administered area. I was there in Israel from 1980 to the end of 1985. My resource book, written in 1973 states that the status had not changed since June 1967. They were then waiting for a peace settlement in which the borders between Israel and its neighbors would be decided. This is what is expected of territories occupied during a war. Nothing has changed. Israel is still waiting now for Abbas to sit down at the peace table. Israel has not annexed any part of the area. However, East Jerusalem was reunified in June 1967 with West Jerusalem. Besides Judea/Samaria, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Desert and the Golan Heights were then administered areas because of the 1967 war. Israel won the onslaught but became burdened with responsibility and joy in legitimately gaining back beloved parts of their ancient land unwittingly, maybe even through the hand of HaShem (G-d). They did not start that war. They merely defended themselves. Little did their adversaries realize that the meek Jew had gone back to his ancient warrior capabilities from the times of King David. When your life is threatened and you have no place to run to, you fight for your life, especially after having your family's life taken in the Holocaust. Jews feel that must never again happen. I have a feeling that all Jews might be suffering from a type of PTSD in the knowledge that the world allowed Jews to be slaughtered without blinking an eye. Maybe we all have trust issues.

Jews are very concerned with fairness and legal matters so according to international law, appointed military governors for each of the 4 areas. They were like the sovereign of the area, responsible for military and civilian administration. Local affairs were administered by the Arab population through existing political groups such as the municipality and police. It comes down to the fact that the Israeli Military Administration was very small. In the West Bank and Gaza Strip together were 500 Israeli administrators but the Arabs ruling numbered 12,500 of the local community.

Judea and Samaria had 23 municipalities and 31 rural councils. The Israeli head would approve their budgets and help them financially by lending them funds at a low interest and then audit their finances and administration. They had municipal elections in 1972 according to Jordanian law. They had a lively election campaign and candidates were on television, just like in Israel and the USA. 75% of the population voted. Half of the mayors were replaced by new ones.

All during this time we see that there were Palestinians attacking Jews in Israel. That's why the wall had to go up. It was in defense of the Israeli citizens that this had to happen. Too bad the nurse couldn't have come to Israel to see how they were being treated for Israelis were victims of these Palestinians. In their schools Palestinian children are brain washed to take over Israel and to hate them. Too bad they didn't want to inspect their schools, but then they would really have to understand and be able to read Arabic to do it right.

Compared to all the surrounding Arab nations, Palestinians were given rights by Israel that they never had before. Many really want the right to kill Israelis, especially those in Gaza. If they are clamoring for freedom of speech, it is only their own Palestinian mayors and policitians they have to fear that they themselves elected. The one million plus Palestinians who are Israeli citizens have all the rights that Israelis do, and sometimes I think that exceeds the rights of Americans. In Israeli's knesset there are socialists, communists and Arabs. Besides that, Jews are not followers. Everyone has their own opinion. As Ben Gurion said in 1948, he was the Prime Minister of 3 million presidents. This means that to be a Prime Minister of Israel one has a teeny country full of individual thinkers and it is probably far harder to get agreement and to hear all the opinions than in the USA. The one thing they all agree on is that they want to live. With showing that they chose Netanyahu as their Prime Minister, they are saying that they are tired of giving away land for peace as they are not getting peace in return; only their adversary is getting a piece. You know, you cry Wolf once too often and no one will believe you, and that's what's happened with this peace process. Israelis haven't forgotten that their families shed blood in defending their land. They're not about to be driven back to the 1967 borders , G-d forbid, or the 1948 borders that are so impossible to defend.

Abbas is the future leader of the future Palestine. Shouldn't the nurse have planned to go to him first to talk about what Palestinians need today instead of relying on her Code Pink-US based peace group's information that she belongs to? There is so much anti-Israel propaganda out today that if people want to be informed, have to read other information other than this type.

Somewhere the nurse should have learned that the Oslo accords of Setember 13, 1993 had been destroyed by Palestinian behaviors. It's Declaration of Principals, called the DOP viewed Gaza and the West Bank as one unity. The DOP provides that Israel will retain responsibility during the transitional period for external security and for internal security and public order of Israeli settlements and citizens. Direct negotiations to determine the permanent status of Gaza and the West Bank had begun in September 1999 after a three-year hiatus, but have been derailed by the al-Aqsa Intifada that began in September 2000.

So by constant attack from the Palestinians we see the break of negotiations that had been agreed on. It was not to be. Israel needed some do gooders to re-teach the Gazans on how to get along in the world.

In 1981 I was living in Haifa in a 10 month teacher retraining program designed for teachers to become certified in Israel to teach. At Spring break my friend traveled by herself to Egypt as a tourist. It was one place Israelis could gain entrance to, as Jews aren't allowed in the other countries. She was so glad to get back to us, but had traveled as a poor unpaid as yet teacher, so stayed in hostels. She said that the phones didn't work, and was just amazed at the chaos then. Israel was heaven compared to Egypt. Then we had a wealthier retired principal friend in our program who traveled to Egypt in the next year and stayed in hotels. He had a marvelous time. There is so much history to take in.

Do gooders needing to help someone would do the world good if they really studied the history and facts of an area they are about to help. They may be helping those who are bent on destroying others. Israel is still under constant attack from Gaza. Yesterday 2 grad rockets (big ones) hit two cities in Israel. Since then more have hit Israel.

Resource: Book: facts about Israel 1973.
Oregonian Newspaper 2/1/2011 page A6 Cairo's turmoil mesmerizes Portlander

No comments: