American talk show host Glenn Beck explained to his audience on Friday why Judea and Samaria should not be referred to as the West Bank, as the Arabs and mainstream media customarily do.
Beck made his comments in response to an interview given by Huffington Post contributor Frank Schaeffer to MSNBC’s Martin Bashir.
The interview dealt with the influence of religion on politics, and Schaeffer said that he believes such an influence exists, saying, “I think that the faith based politics is an immensely destructive thing. What do you think Iran, Saudi Arabia, or the settlers in the West Bank of Israel, who refuse to move and are jeopardizing world peace, are about? This is faith-based politics. We want reason-based politics.”
The staunchly pro-Israel Beck, who played the clip on his show, said: “Does anybody know why they call it the West Bank? Technically, what is the West Bank? I don’t think anybody in America knows.
“No Israeli calls it the West Bank because there’s no such place as the West Bank,” Beck added. His co-host then emphasized that the area’s real name is Judea and Samaria, noting that Judea comes from the name Judah.
The term West Bank dates from the establishment of the kingdom of Jordan on the east bank of the Jordan in 1922. It refers to Judea and Samaria by their location on the west bank of the Jordan River and is an attempt by the Arab world to link them to Jordan, although they were originally slated to be part of the state of Israel. Jordan has given up all demands for Judea and Samaria, which it occupied from 1949-1967, when they were united with Israel after Jordan attacked the Jewish state in the Six Day War.
Beck then added, “By calling it the West Bank, they are trying to erase the well-known documented Jewish claims to that area. They call it the West Bank so it is a ‘new place.’
“They’re saying that Jews have no claim on that land and that’s why they call it the West Bank,” he said. “Never ever call it the West Bank. It’s Judea and Samaria. Never call it the West Bank.
“They [the Arabs] are really really brilliant,” added Beck. “This is really being played very well…There’s no history of Palestinians [in that area]. You know what Palestine is named after? The Philistines. There were the Philistines. That’s why they came up with the name Palestine later.”
The Philistines were a warlike, sea people whose origins may have been Minoa, an island off Greece, and who lived on the southern coast of Israel, far from Judea and Samaria, during the time of the Bible after their attack on Egypt failed. They were the Jews' worst enemy during the time of the Judges and Kings, but were absorbed into conquering empires and disappeared as a distinct people by the 5th century B.C.E.
Glenn referred to the claims being made that Jews are “squatting in the West Bank” and said: “How can you squat in the land that you have all of that history written of that area is about you? In fact that area is named after you.”
Beck visited Israel last month, where he addressed the Knesset’s Aliyah and Absorption Committee, telling its members that the Biblical Esther and Ruth have guided him as he stands up for Israel.
Several weeks ago he addressed the annual Christians United for Israel conference and blurred the political and national -but not, of course, the religious - lines between Christians and Jews, whom they said are one and the same against common enemies.
“When we see Israelis not as part of us, but as us, we can move to the next level as human beings,” said Beck. “Let us declare ‘I am a Jew;’ they cannot kill all of us.”