Returning to the Old/New Political Battleground
David RubinDavid Rubin is former mayor of Shiloh, Israel. He is founder and president...
It seems clear and apparent to all that the Gaza ceasefire agreement is now in place, which will lead to an approximately 1-2 year period of relative calm in the Negev.
That is the likely scenario, at least until Hamas has rebuilt, rearmed, and is ready for the next war. It's certainly not unreasonable to assume that they will be joined at that time by their Fatah partners in the Palestinian Authority (the PA), who will have seen that their diminished standing among the non-uniformed terrorists, AKA - the majority of the so-called Palestinian people - requires them to be an active part of the violent "resistance", not just in words, but also in more than sporadic terror action. We can also expect that once that war returns, Hamas and Fatah will have the active support of Islamic Jihad and perhaps The Islamic State (ISIS), unless a new, glamorously Jihadist, and even more radical offshoot of Al Qaeda will have emerged by then.
Meanwhile, the political battleground is likely to return to the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria, the notorious "West Bank", as the Hamas-Fatah unity PA brings its demand for a Palestinian State comprising those regions to the United Nations (UN) Security Council and to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
That is why this morning's announcement that Israel will approve the transfer of 4,000 dunams (nearly 1,000 acres) of land in the Gush Etzion section of Judea to Israeli state control is at least symbolically significant. Yes, any transfer of land to official Israeli control has to pass a proper legal process, and Prime Minister Netanyahu and his Likud party dominated governments haven't been supporting such land transfers in recent years, but now is the time to move in that direction - to assert our rights to the land.
With all due respect to Gaza, which will ultimately be returned to Israeli control and will eventually be reestablished as a thriving part of the State of Israel, the political struggle for the Land of Israel will clearly be won in the biblical heartland, where the most historical cities that we read about in the Torah, in the Bible, are located. The region of Gush Etzion, on the southern edge of Bethlehem, was reestablished shortly after Israel's miraculous Six Day War in 1967, when Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem, Sinai, Gaza, and the Golan Heights were liberated by the army of Israel. It's worthwhile to remember that the IDF, fighting ferociously, with seemingly inexplicable passion and emotion, won the war in six days and on the seventh day they rested. In that particular case, the UN-brokered ceasefire was only agreed to by Israel after those historically and strategically vital regions had been fully recaptured. The Almighty had given us a great opportunity and we seized the moment. Eventually, the politicians, true to form, betrayed that opportunity by handing over the Temple Mount, and eventually Sinai and Gaza to our enemies.
Some 47 years later, most of Judea and Samaria remains in our hands, even though seven Arab-occupied cities and some Jewish communities have been handed over to the Palestinian Authority, which was established after the Oslo "Peace" Agreements were inked near the end of 1993. Since those politically horrific days, we have seen some of the worst waves of terrorism in Israel's history.
Few people continue to share the wild-eyed, even blind optimism of a Shimon Peres, who pushed that process, and who irresponsibly still proclaims his imaginary vision of a new Middle East in the age of peace. However, a new kind of realistic optimism has reemerged, as we have seen a trend in the Israeli public that has been exploring and gradually reconnecting to its biblical roots and Jewish tradition. As the rest of Western civilization has been moving away from tradition, family, and biblical heritage, Israel is moving towards it in a big way. This trend can only make Israel stronger in defense of its beloved Land of Israel that the historical, reestablished towns in Judea and Samaria represent.
As our enemies go to the UN and the ICC with their false claims that we are occupying their "country", which in fact never existed and never had a right to exist, this would be an opportune time for Israel's political leadership to enable Jews to once again build and buy homes in the biblical heartland, The unofficial semi-freeze on the issuing of construction permits for Jews, along with the unreasonable bureaucratic restrictions that have hampered our natural growth, are immoral and politically foolish. Let's start building again.