Op-Ed: Sovereignty Now, or Never
“Then said Satan: This besieged one, how shall I overcome him?
"He has courage and ability, he has weapons and imagination.
“So he said: I shall not take his strength, nor muzzle nor bridle him.
"Nor soften nor weaken his hands, only one thing I shall do;
“I shall dull his brain and he will forget that he is in the right.”
So wrote the Israeli poet, Natan Alterman, in his poem, "Gone like a Dream". He was expressing his deep anxiety over the weakening resolve of Jews in Israel and in the Diaspora to support the reconstituted Jewish state. This inevitably led to the fateful abandonment by so many Israeli politicians and successive governments of the need to include within the reconstituted Jewish state every inch of sovereign ancestral Jewish land from the Mediterranean Sea to the River Jordan.
For 47 long years since the liberation of biblical Jewish Judea and Samaria from illegal Jordanian occupation - territory the world grotesquely prefers to call the "West Bank" - the beloved Jewish heartland has remained in a political limbo and not been fully or even partially annexed.
Israel’s foolish failure to take sovereign control of its own historical, physical and spiritual heartland has allowed a hostile world to thus assume that Israel itself does not believe it has legal sovereignty in the territory. Like Moshe Dayan’s calamitous decision to give away the keys of the Temple Mount to the Muslim Waqf, this betrayal of the Jewish heartland of Judea and Samaria has become a living nightmare for Israel.
Both acts of searing stupidity could so easily have been avoided, but the seeming need by so many on the left in Israel to appease and placate the international corridors of power has had tragic consequences for the Jewish state.
Has it not been enough to have had to endure since 1922 that base betrayal by the British Colonial Office as it tore away from Jewish sovereignty all the land east of the River Jordan in order to create the artificial Arab entity called at first Trans-Jordan and later Jordan? That act by perfidious Albion left the Jewish people with only the land west of the River Jordan - a mere 17,500 square miles compared to the original Palestine Mandate on both sides of the Jordan extending to over 75,000 square miles.
It is within the remaining mere 40 miles width from the Mediterranean to the River Jordan that yet another Arab entity is planned to be wrenched out of what little remains of the Land of Israel - a Muslim Arab terror state that has never existed in all of recorded history and which arrogates to itself the name Palestine.
A succession of Israeli governments and politicians - many debilitated by corrosive leftwing influences - have allowed so much of the Jewish ancestral and biblical heartland in Judea and Samaria to be disfigured by illegal and rampant building activity by the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians.
The Arabs establish facts on the ground, encroach on state lands, and face little if any consequences from Israeli authorities.
But in stark and deplorable contrast, Jewish villages and villagers (not to be called settlers and not settlements) in the liberated heartland of Judea and Samaria so often face every form of harassment and discrimination from their own Israeli government and politicians – even to the outrageous demolition of Jewish homes in the night with the resulting homelessness of Jewish families with young children.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu recently stated that Israel’s Civil Administration, the body responsible for authorizing construction in the “West Bank” had been partially suspended because the United States demanded it, the news site nrg.co.il reported. Netanyahu, who met recently with mayors from 20 Jewish villages reportedly told the mayors that the he had resisted earlier Obama administration demands that “not a single brick be laid, not a single house be built.” And all this while the illegal Arab building frenzy goes unchecked with no doubt a wink and a nod from the White House and the State Department.
But a beacon of shining light remains undimmed.
Faced by radical leftwing NGOs who are supported by the limitless oil wealth of the Arab Persian Gulf regimes and confronted by vast sums showered upon the so-called Palestinian Authority by the European Union and the United Nations - all with the declared aim of demonizing Israel and pressuring Israeli governments to abandon its heartland and accept the delusional and suicidal Two State Solution - the work of two valiant women patriots, Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katsover, are living the Zionist vision.
Their organization, called the Women in Green, is doing yeoman work in stemming the tide of Palestinian Arab land grabs. I had the distinct privilege of seeing for myself with Nadia Matar the situation that obtains on the ground within Judea and Samaria.
Everywhere we drove, the sight of vast Palestinian Arab illegal building settlement activity smothering the hills and valleys of Judea was disheartening. The Government of Israel knows what is occurring but does nothing to prevent it, fearful always of incurring the wrath of the State Department and a hostile world.
I saw the hillsides of biblical Jewish Judea ripped open and turned into vast quarries from which enormous building blocks were gouged out and dumped onto empty fields; thus making yet more Arab facts on the ground. Some of these huge limestone blocks, torn from the Judean landscape, eventually are exported to the wealthy sheiks in the Persian Gulf states to erect their obscenely lavish palaces.
Many of the villas and veritable Arab mansions dotting the hills and valleys of Judea and Samaria stand empty, the result of vast inflows of Saudi and Persian Gulf Arab oil money, waiting to house the millions of Arabs who will - they hope - descend upon a newly established Palestinian state ripped out of the Jewish heartland should Israel succumb to the existential threat of a Two-State-Solution.
Then there is Shdema. Here, Women in Green have won a small but significant victory against the Israeli government’s shameful decision to abandon a military base deep in the heart of what is called Area C, the 60% of the Land that is not occupied by the Palestinian Authority. Everywhere one looks from Shdema’s hilltop one sees the ever encroaching Arab settlements and facts on the ground.
But for the persistent and valiant efforts of Women in Green, Area C which is Israeli controlled and has all the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, would have been cut in half thus rendering it lost to the Jewish homeland.
As soon as the IDF base was originally abandoned, hordes of local Arabs gleefully descending upon it, tearing it apart in a frenzied orgy of hate. Only because of pressure applied by Women in Green did the Israeli authorities finally but reluctantly allow a renewed, albeit token, military presence again in Shdema and the advancing illegal Arab settlement activity was stopped.
Today, parts of the base have been restored which allows supporters of Women in Green, including Israeli politicians and rabbis, to attend meetings and conferences in Shdema. But the perilously narrow link comprising a width of mere yards now existing between the two parts of Area C, with Har Choma and Shdema in the north and the Jewish villages and towns of Tekoa, Kfar Eldad and Kfar Etzion in the south, remain an open invitation to the Arabs in the PA occupied Area A to grab it if they can.
For long decades, in the face of unrelenting Arab Muslim hostility and aggression, Jews were imbued with a deep conviction of the justice of their cause. Many still are and fight against an unremitting and hostile world that would consign Israel to the abyss, but far too many today have fallen away and been seduced by an overwhelming onslaught - not of military might - but by a war of ideas, however false and twisted those ideas are. The success of those lies has sapped the will of many and confused many more.
The Muslim Arabs have learned this lesson all too well for they have succeeded in doing what years of Arab and Islamist warfare and terror have failed to do. They have isolated the Jewish state as never before and won millions around the globe to their cause by demonizing Israel with the Goebbelian technique of the Big Lie. The result is a cascade of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel NGOs swarming over the Land like human locusts, aided and abetted by the ever pernicious Israeli Left.
What has become a microcosm of the battle waged to save Jewish sovereignty is taking place in the Fields of Netzer. Here is a large plot of land adjacent to the Jewish town of Elazar, hotly contested by the many NGO supporters of a Palestinian state on the one hand and by loyal and patriotic Israelis on the other who are committed to keeping Jewish sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.
On the road to Netzer, we had passed a pumping station surrounded by a high chain link fence. This is taking water from the Judean aquifer for use solely by Arabs. It was built by US Aid and besides it was a large notice with the following words: “This project is a gift from the American people to the Palestinian people.” It was dated 2009, attesting to the length of time such NGOs have been perpetrating their activities in Jewish Judea.
All too often the tiny plots of Israeli and Jewish land at Netzer are sabotaged by Arabs and their mostly leftist European supporters. Trees planted on Jewish land are often torn up or cut down. These are the poisoned and bitter fruits resulting from what Mahmoud Abbas has planted in his viciously anti-Jewish Palestinian Authority media. This is also the lamentable outcome of the Oslo Accords - better called the Oslo War - so loved by the Left which gave the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians 40% of Judea and Samaria and nothing but oceans of Jewish blood and immense political pressure upon the Jewish state.
To return to the words of Natan Alterman. Satan is indeed busy. He hates the light of Israel. He hates the creativity, the progress and the freedoms that Israel spreads throughout the world. Above all, he hates the reconstituted Land of Israel and in particular the precious Jewish heartland of Judea and Samaria.
The Women in Green and their supporters need all forms practical support from Jews, Christians, and all who embrace biblical history and the eternal promise made by the true owner of the Land, the Almighty, to the Jewish people. As Nadia pointed out to me, Women in Green understand that local battles are not going to save all of Judea and Samaria and thus they started four years ago the Sovereignty campaign, which includes conferences and the distribution of the Sovereignty journal in hundreds and thousands of copies all over Israel in Hebrew and English.
There is also an urgent need to overcome profound ignorance in a world fast succumbing to a false Arab narrative that would leave ancestral Jewish land deserted and in the hands of thieves. The time is long past due for Israeli sovereignty throughout Judea and Samaria, beginning with urgently annexing the 60% of it known as Area C. This is what motivates the blessed work of Women inGreen.
The dark forces of Arab and Islamic hate, along with the legions of duped non-Muslim supporters in the West, will not prevail if they fail to extinguish the flickering candle of light in the world. Israel is that illuminating and flickering candle and will surely endure despite Satan’s eternal quest to snuff it out.
As it says in the Apocrypha’s Book of Esdras 2: “I shall light a candle of understanding in your heart, which shall not be put out.”
The hope is that many throughout the world - of all faiths or none - will more than ever support Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katsover and give Women in Green aid and comfort in their sacred work. They know the eternity of Israel; that it has sovereignty from the Great Sea to the Jordan River, and that the Jewish People are not “foreign conquerors” in their own ancestral and biblical land.
Let us also hope that Natan Alterman’s great fear expressed in the words of Satan, “I shall dull his brain and he will forget that he is in the right,” will never come true.
Victor Sharpe is a freelance writer and author of Volumes One, Two, and Three of Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish state.