Thursday, April 13, 2017

 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column

In September of this year, Israel plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and the Golan heights. The main event will be held at Kibbutz Kfar Etzion, in the Gush Etzion area of Judea, south and slightly west of Jerusalem.

Zahava Galon, the leader of the Meretz party, which represents approximately 4% of Israeli voters with its 5 Knesset seats, and Chemi Shalev, writing in the left-wing Ha’aretz newspaper expressed their outrage that anyone would celebrate what they consider an oppressive and evil occupation of “Palestinian” land, and that Israel would add insult to injury by holding the ceremony in what they insist on calling the “West Bank.”

I know it’s a little thing and that most of my readers already know this, but I can’t say it too often: it was called Judea and Samaria from biblical times until 1948 when Jordan occupied it, ethnically cleansed it of Jews, and renamed it the “West Bank.” We really ought to stop calling it that.

Let’s talk a little about the Gush Etzion area, and specifically Kibbutz Kfar Etzion. Here is a summary of its early years by Ami Isseroff, z”l:

The Etzion Bloc, or Gush Etzion as it is called in Hebrew, is located on the main road from the south to Jerusalem, northwest of Hebron. The Etzion bloc was settled and resettled three times, on land purchased by the Jews, beginning in 1927. Each time, residents were forced to abandon their homes in the face of Arab violence. The final saga of the Etzion bloc included two separate massacres and a prolonged and stubborn defense against hopeless odds. The bloc was finally overrun by soldiers of the British armed and officered Jordan Legion, who were responsible for the final massacre of surrendered defenders, a war crime. 

The first settlement in this area was called Migdal Eder, built on land purchased from local Arabs by the Zichron David Company. It was founded in 1927. The pioneers included orthodox Yemenite Jews. During the Arab riots of 1929, Migdal Eder settlers were evacuated to the Russian Orthodox monastery and thence to the Arab village of Beit Umar, from which they were evacuated to Jerusalem by British mandate police. The British made no attempt to guard the settlement or safeguard property, and it was completely destroyed.

Additional lands were purchased by the El Hahar Company, which founded a kibbutz called Kfar Etzion in 1934. Like Migdal Eder, Kfar Etzion was abandoned during the Arab violence of 1936-1939 and destroyed by the Palestinian Arabs.

A third settlement attempt was made beginning in 1942 under the auspices of the Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemet). Kfar Etzion was re-founded in the Spring of 1943. In October 1945, a second kibbutz, Massuot Yitzchak, was added. Its members were Holocaust survivors from Eastern and Central Europe. A third Kibbutz, Ein Tzurim, was founded in 1946 by Israeli members of the Bnei Akiva religious Zionist movement. All three kibbutzim belonged to the religious Zionist movement, but in February 1947, a fourth kibbutz, Revadim, was established by the Marxist Hashomer Hatzair Youth Movement.

On May 13, 1948, the area was overrun by the Jordanian army. The remaining defenders of Kfar Etzion surrendered to the Jordanian Legion, who together with Arab irregulars, massacred some 128 (all but five) of them. The defenders of the other three kibbutzim surrendered in the presence of the International Red Cross, and were taken to Jordan as prisoners of war.

After Israel liberated the Gush in 1967, Kfar Etzion was rebuilt yet again. The other three, Revadim, Ein Tzurim and Massuot Yitzchak were reestablished within the Green Line shortly after the original kibbutzim were destroyed. I lived in Revadim in 1980-82 and worked in the musach (garage), where my boss told me about being forced to repair Jordanian military vehicles as a war prisoner.

There are many stories of heroism around the area, including the “lamed hay” (thirty-five), members of the Palmach (an elite force part of the Hagana) who were massacred trying to bring supplies through hostile Arab villages to the kibbutzim of the Gush.

So the complaints about holding a celebration in the “Palestinian West Bank” ring false to me. The land upon which Kfar Etzion stands was purchased dearly, with Jewish money and not a little Jewish blood.

It is true, as the kapos of +972 Magazine write, that the area of today’s Gush Etzion Regional Council is larger than that of the original land purchased in the 1920s and 30s. But they accept – as they did in the case of the settlement of Amona – the fanciful ownership claims of Arabs without verification, and do not accept Israel’s right to adjudicate land as state land.

Their uncritical acceptance of Arab claims is why they object to any celebration of the liberation of Judea and Samaria (they are quiet about the Golan and about Gaza, for different reasons), no matter where it is held. They believe that all land outside of the 1949 lines belongs to the Palestinians, simply because the Palestinians and their supporters say so, and despite the fact that the armistice agreements explicitly declare that the Green Line is not a political boundary.

They will tell you over and over that it is forbidden to acquire territory by war, as Israel did in 1967, but apparently do not object to Jordan’s conquest and annexation of Judea and Samaria in 1948 – areas that had been designated in the Mandate as the site of a future Jewish national home.

They will ignore the geostrategic imperative that says that our state cannot be defended without the high ground and the Jordan Valley. They will forget or ignore the fact that the hills and deserts of Judea and Samaria are the place where our people became a people. They will talk about the need of the newly-created “Palestinian people” for self-determination, but abandon the Jewish people.

Legal and political arguments may go on forever, but what will ultimately determine the ownership of the land will be who lives in it – who settles it and controls it. The original settlers of Gush Etzion, who put their bodies on the line for the land understood that.

The strategic and spiritual value of these lands is more important today than ever. Celebrating their liberation is appropriate, because they both make our country defensible and give us something important to defend, the historical heartland of the Jewish people.

And what better place to celebrate it than Kfar Etzion?

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz





For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs


#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Comix Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Ellen Horowitz Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow IJ Benjamin Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia infographic international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Omri Boehm Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tlaib TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra vaccination Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Best posts of the past 6 months


A new, better definition of antisemitism

Blog Archive