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Op-Ed: "Our Homeland": Speech Before the European Parliament

The dynamic and intrepid head of the Shomron Regional Council, Gershon Mesika, gave a stirring speech at the official meeting of the EU Parliament in Brussels. It was well received.
Published: Sunday, May 20, 2012 8:46 PM


Editor's Note: The speech was delivered in Hebrew and translated simultanously to the languages of the listeners. English translation by A7 writer Gil Ronen.

Heads of the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs,

Members of Parliament from European countries,

Distinguished guests,

The prophets of Israel predicted that before the Messiah comes there will be a time of confusion, when good is turned into evil and evil is turned into good.

We see this clearly today.

The Shomron, or Samaria, which I am honored to represent in this distinguished place, the European Parliament, is a region that is in the center of international attention, since it is a sizable part of the territory that is in dispute between the Jewish nation and its neighbors in the Middle East.

But this area, which for many in the world is nothing but “disputed land,” is a homeland for us, the place that characterizes and determines our national and religious identity, the scene of the great events described in the Book of Books, the Bible.

The Middle Eastern confrontation and the Islamic terror campaign against the citizens of Israel are attempts by reactionary forces to oppose the historic process of the Return to Zion: our return to our historic homeland after nearly 2,000 years, during which we were scattered all over the world – weak, humiliated, trampled, rejected, but strong in our spirit and faith.

During all those years, we did not cease for a moment to remain faithful to our homeland and to maintain a living, continuous, day-to-day connection with it. This bond was expressed in prayers and in the most important religious ceremonies, thanks to which it was only natural for us to realize the dream when opportunity came.

The connection also manifested itself in the continuous existence of Jewish settlement on the Land throughout the long years of exile. Jews always lived in the Land of Israel, throughout the years of Roman, Persian, Greek, Christian and Muslim occupation.

And indeed, even after 2,000 years of exile, the nations of the world recognized the Jewish people's right to its homeland. In the course of the First World War and immediately after it, the victorious powers made a series of decisions that culminated in the historic decision in 1922 by the League of Nations, to establish a national home for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.

It is interesting and important to look at the words used in the mandate that was given to Britain to implement this project.

"Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine, and to the grounds for reconstituting their National Home in that country…"

The justification that the League of Nations gave as the grounds for establishing the Jewish national home in the Land of Israel was the historical connection between the nation and the Land. What caused this? It was the power of the Bible and the Jewish insistence on maintaining the connection to the Land of Israel.

In 1945, with the establishment of the United Nations after World War II, the organization's founding charter included the recognition of the Jewish people's legal rights to the Land of Israel as eternal ones that cannot be revoked without the consent of the Jewish people.

Article 80, known as the "Land of Israel article," determines that "nothing in the Charter shall be construed . . . to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or peoples or the terms of existing international instruments." In other words, the continued legal rights of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel are anchored in the binding UN Charter.

These include the rights of the Jewish people to Judea and Samaria, which the UN has no right to take away from it.

We hear the word "occupation" repeatedly. From whom, exactly, did the state of Israel take the land in order to occupy it?

After the establishment of the state of Israel, the Kingdom of Jordan conquered the area of Judea and Samaria. Except Britain and Pakistan, no one in the world recognized Jordanian ownership of these territories. This was an illegal occupation of the area that the occupying power called "the West Bank of the Jordan."

This occupied territory served for years as a base for launching terror attacks, and for repeated firing on and shelling of Jewish population centers on the coastal plain, which is completely controlled by the Samaria mountains.

In 1967, the surrounding countries again tried to annihilate us. To realize what danger we were facing, one needs only to look through the newspapers from that time to see the threats of murder and destruction, the sickening cries – "We will throw the Jews into the sea," "The men are for the sea and the women are for us" – and the Nazi caricatures, this time with Arabic captions.

But this time we won a decisive victory and took back our heartland.

Before Israel regained them, Judea and Samaria were under illegal Jordanian occupation. That was preceded by the British Mandate, which by definition was intended for transferring the Land to the Jews. The British were preceded by the Turks who gave up the land, along with the rest of their empire, in the 1923 Lausanne Accord.

They, in turn, were preceded by the Mamelukes, the Crusaders, the early Muslims, the Persians, the Byzantine Empire and the Romans.

Where are all these nations? They are in the museum. Who preceded them? The Jews. And now the Land is back in the hands of its original owners.

Throughout all the years of exile, no conqueror established a political capital in the Land of Israel. This land was never considered the homeland of any nation except the Jews, and Jerusalem is the most holy and central place for the Jewish people.

Distinguished guests,

The three large religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam, believe in the Bible. One of its central themes is the promise of the Land of Israel to the Jewish people and their commandment to settle in it. No other nation in the world has a deed of ownership over its land as powerful as the one the Jews possess for their land – the Land of Israel.

The Nation of Israel implements, in the very establishment of the state of Israel, and especially in the acts of settlement and construction throughout Israel, the Divine promise and commandment, and the leaders of the world must stand beside the Nation of Israel and assist it in this.

Now that we have dealt with the central matter, our natural right to our homeland, let us devote a few words to security.

All of the western Land of Israel, including Judea and Samaria or the Shomron, is a tiny strip of land. A glance at the map of the Middle East shows an Arab Muslim ocean that starts next to the Atlantic Ocean in the west and ends on the border with India. Inside this territory, Israel is so small that on maps, its name is usually written in the Mediterranean Sea.

Israel is a small David facing a large and menacing Goliath who threatens it with destruction every single day, and means it, and prepares for it.

Israeli control of the mountains prevents this. Handing over this territory to the enemy means suicide.

The Shomron is the cradle of the birth of the Jewish People. It is a vital strategic component for the existence of the state of Israel, which measures 70 kilometers in width from the sea to the Jordan River, of which 55 kilometers are in Shomron.

Some of the distinguished Members of Parliament here in this hall have visited us and can attest to the truth of what I am saying. Anyone who arrives in the Shomron can see with his own eyes the acute importance of the Shomron for the state of Israel, both as a cradle of the Israeli nation's culture and roots, and as a protective buffer for the state of Israel.

The state of Israel, without the Shomron, is completely indefensible. Without Judea and Samaria, Israel is left with a narrow strip just 15 kilometers wide, in which most of the centers of population, commerce, finance and transportation are concentrated in the Tel Aviv area and controlled from above by the Shomron Mountains.

Israel has withdrawn from Gaza, and southern Israel is now under ceaseless bombardment. Handing over Judea and Samaria will create a similar and even worse situation in central Israel.

Those in Europe pressing for the establishment of a Palestinian state are actually advocating cutting out the heart of the Land, and creating an existential danger to the state of Israel.

If we go, terror will replace us.

Beside us in the Land of Israel live Arabs. In the Middle East, it has been proven that an Arab has no problem living under Jewish rule, but an opposite situation in which an Israeli populace will live in peace under Arab rule is impossible, of course. The reasons are clear to all thinking people.

This is also the sad fate of Christians, who are gradually disappearing all over the Middle East because of pressure from radical Muslims, while their numbers grow under Israeli rule.

The life of the Arab population in Judea and Samaria has also improved drastically under Israeli rule. Unlike them, the Arabs of Gaza who have gone back to living under Arab rule have become poor and unhappy.

Leading public figures from the Arab sector in Israel are seated here with us. They seek coexistence and help to create a better life for Jews and Arabs, side by side under Israeli control, in peace and security.

Unfortunately, the Oslo Accords imported into Israel thousands of terrorists and criminals from Tunisia and the Arab countries. This created a rotten and corrupt regime that violently steals the donations and aid money intended for the Arab population in Judea and Samaria, and that does all that it can to sabotage coexistence, and the ability of the two nations to live in peace and fraternity.

But like any country, Israel, too, has small extremist margins, tiny ultra-leftist organizations that have no real weight within Israel's population. These organizations act to undermine our state's legitimacy and attempt with all their might to incite the world against us with false accusations.


I, Gershon Mesika, son of Yosef and Gita, whose two older brothers were murdered by the damned Nazis in the Jado Concentration Camp in Libya, stand before you and hereby declare, for the world to hear, that the Jewish people now possess our own state, and not only are we not selling it – we are redeeming it again and again with our blood, and paying for the right to maintain it, safeguard it and settle in it.
Unfortunately, these people receive large sums of money in support from European nations and from various institutions within the European Union.

In these times, as we all face a common terrorist enemy and attempts by extremist Muslims to achieve domination, it is strange that European governments see fit to pour funds into such radical hate organizations, which failed to gain influence democratically because of their small size and general insignificance.

Under the cover of nice words like "peace" and "human rights," foreign countries fund numerous harmful and shameless groups that do everything to shrink Israel's borders, rob it of its right to self defense, undermine its culture and thus strengthen the Islamic terror organizations.

It is odd that at a time in which some European countries are in a state of near collapse, and their stronger sisters have to dip deep into their pockets to save them, certain elements in Europe continue to spend billions of euro on this anti-Israel activity. There is no logical explanation for this behavior.

In my opinion, this is the immediate and practical conclusion we all need to reach in this honorable conference: take robust action to cut off the flow of funds to subversive groups within Israel, as well as within the Palestinian Authority. If these groups succeed in assisting our common enemies, Europe and the free world will be the next victims.

Our role is to hold on to our very existence. Israel is a forward outpost, both culturally and physically, of the free world, in the heart of an extremist Islamic ocean that is getting more and more radical and is threatening to flood Europe. The European interest is to strengthen this outpost as much as possible.

We have come back to our Land and we have no intention of leaving it.

Almost 700,000 Jews now live in the area liberated from Jordanian occupation in 1967. This is a number that cannot be reversed, and it is constantly growing, despite the political and diplomatic pressure.

Without Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria there can be no state of Israel. It will be deprived of its roots and of the most basic security.

The Nazi propaganda minister, Josef Goebbels, used to say in his ugly and bestial manner, that if the Jews had a state they would sell it for money.

I, Gershon Mesika, son of Yosef and Gita, whose two older brothers were murdered by the damned Nazis in the Jado Concentration Camp in Libya, stand before you and hereby declare, for the world to hear, that the Jewish people now possess our own state, and not only are we not selling it – we are redeeming it again and again with our blood, and paying for the right to maintain it, safeguard it and settle in it.

The countries of Europe must understand that without the state of Israel, there is no one to stop the Muslim flood from washing over Europe, and without Judea and Samaria, the state of Israel cannot exist.

If the European Union supports the state of Israel and strengthens Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria, it will be bringing peace and quiet upon itself.

I will conclude with the immortal words of King David in the Book of Psalms: "May G-d give courage to His nation; may G-d bless His nation with peace." If we stand up for our rights with ferocity and strength, we will reach peace, too, by the grace of G-d. Thank you very much.