If President Obama went to Shilo
Writing in the Los Angeles Times about President Obama’s upcoming trip to Israel, Yisrael Medad talks a bit about Shilo, the Samarian town in which he lives.
In September 2009, at the United Nations, Obama referred to Israeli communities established across the former Green Line as the “settlements.” His exact words were: “We continue to emphasize that America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.”
I live in such a community, Shiloh, which sits less than 30 miles north of Jerusalem, and I can’t imagine how my village and its inhabitants can be considered illegitimate. As archaeological excavations prove, the site was where Jews had lived for many centuries until the 2nd century.
Our community, along with other cities, towns and villages, was established in territory where Jews had even lived in the 20th century, until forced to move by Palestinians during the period of the British Mandate and Jordanian occupation. How can reclaiming land that was lost through what some would term ethnic cleansing be considered illegitimate?
The president should be careful about using the word “illegitimate,” by the way. A lot of Israelis are particularly sensitive to it because it is a word favored by those who think our state shouldn’t exist. In an October 2006 live broadcast, for example, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad labeled Israel a “counterfeit and illegitimate regime that cannot survive.”
Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria is quite legitimate. For 90 years, our enemies rejected all partition proposals and employed terror against us. Finally, in a war of defense in 1967, Israel assumed the administration of what are now commonly called the Palestinian territories.
It’s true that their status is disputed. But would it not be apartheid if Jews were prohibited from living there? Should Arabs be banned from Israel, where they are 20% of the population?
Moreover, a land-for-peace approach cannot resolve a problem that’s not territorial. There were no “settlements” before 1967, but there was Arab terror, and a war broke out. Indeed, our communities could be a bridge to peace and coexistence. Until Israel is accepted as the Jewish national state, no border is sufficient.
Indeed. Read the whole thing.