Between Samoa and Samaria...

While Pres. Obama is trying to forbid Jews from living in Judea & Samaria, his country still controls islands thousands of miles from the USA.

Gerald A. Honigman,

Honigman
Honigman
INN:GH

Recently, tragedy struck Samoa  in the South Pacific in the form of a tidal wave.  American Samoa is an unincorporated state southeast of independent Samoa.

As reports came in, I couldn't help but ponder the irony inherent in the use of the expression American Samoa.

The Polynesian peoples living on those islands and others as well didn't ask to be converted, conquered, given offers they couldn't refuse, and so forth. Yet the French, Germans, and Americans wound up dividing the islands
The Polynesian peoples living on those islands and others as well didn't ask to be converted, conquered, given offers they couldn't refuse, and so forth. Yet the French, Germans, and Americans wound up dividing the islands among themselves
among themselves.

The U.S. Navy secured Deeds of Cession of Tutuila in 1900 and of Manuʻa in 1904. The last sovereign ruler of Manuʻa was forced to sign that Deed of Cession following a series of U.S. Naval trials in Pago Pago, Taʻu, and aboard a U.S. Navy warship.

Samoa is many thousands of miles away from America, Americans have no historical ties to the land, but--in the name of national interests--eastern Samoa became American territory as a result of the Tripartite Convention dividing the archipelago in 1899.

Now consider Samaria.

Samaria and the area known as Judea make up what is often termed the "West Bank", i.e. that of the Jordan River. The latter name did not exist until the early 20th century, when after the defeat of the centuries old Ottoman Turkish Empire in World War I, the British and the French divided up much of the region's spoils.

In 1922, to reward Hashemite Arab allies in the Arabian Peninsula, the British chopped off almost 80% of the original Mandate of Palestine that they had received on April 25, 1920 for the purpose of allowing a Jewish Homeland and handed it over to the Hashemites.

Since all of this land reward consisted of Palestine across (east of) the Jordan River, the East Bank became known as the Emirate of Transjordan. Thus arose the name  "West Bank"--formerly known for thousands of years as Judea and Samaria--located on the opposite shore.

When Transjordan illegally seized the non-apportioned territory of the Mandate on the "West Bank" in 1948 (where Jews, Arabs, and others were legally allowed to live), when it joined other attacking Arab states to try to nip a reborn Israel in the bud, it further emphasized this designation to distinguish its newly conquered territory from the original 1922 Emirate.

 Jews lived and owned property in Judea and Samaria for thousands of years. Massacres by Arabs in the 1920s and 1930s took their tolls as did previous ups and downs of Jewish history under various imperial conquerors which succeeded each other since the fall of Judea to Rome some two thousand years earlier. However, as soon as Transjordan seized  Judea and Samaria, it declared that no Jew could live there. Places such as Hebron, Beth-El, Shilo, Bethlehem, Shechem, and so forth are known to the world via the Hebrew Bible. Most  Arabs came into the area after their own imperial conquests in the 7th century C.E. They ruled, first out of Damascus and then out of Bagdad, for a few centuries and were then conquered themselves by the next of Judea's imperial settlers and colonizers.

After 1949, when Transjordan seized the "West Bank," while no Jews were allowed in the territories, Arabs poured
While America took over land thousands of miles away for its own interests, it claims that no Jew may live in Judea or Samaria. Does America act that way?
into them from all over. To further its Judenrein policies, Transjordan--now holding both banks of the River-- renamed itself Jordan and proceeded to destroy dozens of synagogues, cemeteries, and so forth in adjacent Jerusalem and elsewhere dating back numerous centuries and showing the Jews' continuous connections to the land.

The current American Administration insists that no Jews should be allowed to live in Judea or Samaria as well. It also demands that Israel abandon what UNSC Resolution 242 promised it after the June '67 War--secure, defensible borders instead of the previous '49 armistice lines which made it virtually invisible on a world map.

While America took over land thousands of miles away for its own interests, it claims that no Jew may live in Judea or Samaria.  Does America act that way?

When President Noriega was toppled in Panama, thousands of miles away, was it because he was  a drug dealer? Did the Panama Canal, perhaps, have something to do with it?

Only Jews worry about being fair when they're fighting for their very lives against enemies who won't grant them any peace except the peace of the grave--regardless of the size Israel shrinks itself to. The rest of the world couldn't care less.

Let us think about what's needed for survival for a change...not thousands of miles away from home, but right on Israel's front porch and backyard.

If Judea must be Judenrein, then every Arab in Israel should be sent packing.  Israel must be made Arabrein. Half of the latter are just waiting-- like vultures-- to pounce anyway... given the right moment.

It is truly time for equal treatment here. What's good for Jews must be good for Arabs.

Forget land for peace. It's a  bad joke--part of the Arabs' openly-admitted destruction-in-phases plan since 1967. Look at a map of the region. Is the problem really a lack of Arab land in comparison to Israel?

Peace for peace...Period.

No recognition of a Jewish State of Israel?


Look at what came after Israel's total withdrawal from Gaza years ago to see what a total Israeli withdrawal from the "West Bank" will mean for Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ben-Gurion Airport...
Then no recognizing a 22nd state for Arabs--and their second , not first, one in "Palestine".

Unlike Samoa to America, Judea and Samaria are literally a stone's throw away from Israel's heartland, are an integral part of Jewish history, and are positioned to allow a hostile army entering from the east to cut Israel in half.

Finally, and this can't be repeated too often...

Look at what came after Israel's total withdrawal from Gaza years ago  to see what a total Israeli withdrawal from  the "West Bank" will mean for Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ben-Gurion Airport, the Knesset,  and so forth once Israel has been forced back to the '49 armistice lines--not borders--imposed on it by the United Nations and which made it a mere 9-16 miles wide at its strategic waist, where most of its population, industry, and so forth are located.

And the next time you hear Washington insisting upon a Jew-free Judea and Samaria, please give a long, hard thought to American Samoa.

(Mr. Honigman's new book at makes its Washington debut at the Professors Fuad Ajami and Bernard Lewis's ASMEA Conference this month)



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