Not Only Jerusalem

"There is a purposeful disregard of the liberation of Judea and Samaria during the Six Day War," says geographer and historian Avraham Shvut.

Hillel Fendel ,

Yesha hilltop community
Yesha hilltop community

"There is a purposeful disregard of the liberation of Judea and Samaria during the Six Day War," says geographer and historian Avraham Shvut.

Shvut said that ignoring these results of the Six Day War means "also ignoring the fact that the Six Day War was the 'finale' of the War of Independence. By doing so, they are purposely harming the nation's attitude towards the areas of Judea and Samaria."

Shvut, author of a work on the modern history of Judea and Samaria, was speaking with Arutz-7's Hebrew newsmagazine.

"It's part of our 'national sickness' of ignoring large parts of our Land, the Land of the Bible," he said.

Shvut's book HaAliyah El HaHar (The Ascent to the Mountain), published in 2003, reviews the history of Jewish settlement in Judea, Samaria and Gaza in the past 40 years. Almost immediately after the Six Day War, construction began in the areas of Jerusalem liberated from Jordanian control, leading to the addition of neighborhoods such as Ramat Eshkol, Sanhedria Murhevet, Talpiot, Gilo and others.

The other areas redeemed from Jordan - Judea and Samaria - were, in many ways, overlooked and viewed as "not to be settled." Then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan even said, "We are waiting to negotiate with King Hussein." Years were wasted as the Land of Israel loyalists expected the government to take the lead in inhabiting the areas, as it did in the Golan, the Jordan Valley and even the Sinai Desert.

When Judea and Samaria finally began to be settled, it was the first time that modern Israel was settled by a non-political organization - Gush Emunim - essentially a group of private people, as opposed to a government movement.

It was also the first time, Shvut noted, that massive settlement began in mountainous regions. In the Galilee, as well, mountainous overlooks were first built around the same time, in the 1970's.

Another first-time aspect of the Yesha communities was the lack of dependency on agriculture. "Until then, communities were built where the land could be farmed, and much money was spent on preparing the ground, building hothouses, chicken coops and cowsheds. But in Yesha, the new style of 'communal towns' enabled the construction of many of them. All you needed was a few caravans for living and public buildings, and you had a town!"





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