Do not let Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria be 21st century ghettos

The internationally imposed freeze is in reality a return to the earlier prohibition upon Jewish life, banning Jews from living outside of the ghettos

Victor Sharpe

OpEds Victor Sharp;e
Victor Sharp;e

These are the three words and phrases of infamy. Disengagement; Building Freeze; Land for Peace.

They denote shame. They have reinstated ghastly ghetto realities which have shackled Jewish honor and pride in the reconstituted Jewish state since the crime of Oslo.

Disengagement is the stepchild of that odious decision by Ariel Sharon to expel thousands of Jews from their homes and farms in Gaza, and by Ehud Barak’s equally odious choice to hastily retreat from the security zone in southern Lebanon. Both decisions have predictably brought existential peril to the security and even survival of Israel.

Land for Peace and Building Freeze are the stepchildren of Binyamin Netanyahu’s early and baleful decision to give away Hebron to the hate filled Muslim Arabs.

It was on January 20, 1997, that the reprehensible ‘Hebron Accords,’ were signed during Netanyahu’s first term as Prime Minister. The bitter result was that Hebron, one of the four holy Jewish cities, King David’s first capital and the burial site of the Jewish Patriarchs and all but one of the Matriarchs, was mostly abandoned to the arch terrorist, Yasser Arafat.

The Arabs received 97% of the city and it essentially became judenrein save for a tiny and embattled Jewish ghetto. The malevolent and malignant consequence 20 years later has been the recent resolution by UNESCO to proclaim Hebron to be a ‘Palestinian heritage site.’

‘Building Freeze’ has echoed remorselessly and tragically down the long years since the Oslo Peace Accords became in realty the Oslo War with hundreds of Israelis killed and thousands maimed.

And all these self-inflicted wounds imposed upon the Jewish state by Jewish politiciansthemselves merely reinstates previous calamities that were inflicted respectively by the Church and the Mosque upon the hapless and stateless Jews living in Europe and throughout the world of Islam.

What a hostile world calls ‘settlements,’ - be they neighborhoods in parts of Jerusalem such as Pisgat Ze’ev, or towns such as Maaleh Adumim or Ariel throughout Area C in Judea and Samaria - are in danger of becoming in reality nothing more than 21st century versions of the medieval European Ghettos and North African Mellahs. Why?

Because these were places in which Jews lived, isolated from their gentile neighbors and forbidden, upon pain of death, to live outside of these restricted and walled in ghettos.

Similarly, just imagine what horrible fate awaits Israeli Jews who try to live outside their so-called ‘settlements’ among the hate filled Muslim Arabs, those who call themselves Palestinians and who occupy large swathes of the Biblical and ancestral Jewish heartland!

The internationally imposed building freeze is in reality a return to the Christian and Islamic prohibitions upon Jewish life banning Jews from living outside of the ghettos.

As we know, any limited construction beyond the so-called Green line can take place andONLY within those ‘settlements.’ This is an imposed anti-Jewish crime in the here and now;just as the Jews were treated during those dark days of exile in Europe and Araby.

Thus new Jewish villages or towns throughout Judea and Samaria are prevented from being built outside of the existing Jewish communities. The only new homes that are allowed can only be constructed within the existing Jewish villages and towns, known pejoratively as the ‘settlement blocs.’ This parallels what are in fact 21st century versions of those earlier imposed ghettos.

This is not only a grievous indictment of complicity, dishonor and shame by successive Israeli governments against Jewish sovereignty in its land, but is an appalling return to the time of the infamous ghetto itself.

It was in 1555 that Cardinal Giovanni Pietro Caraffa ascended the Papal throne of St. Peter and took the name Paul IV. Soon after, he published a vile and vicious bull whose first words were, ‘Cum nimis absurdum.’

This Papal bull forced the Jews to be evicted from their homes and forcibly relocated into walled-in neighborhoods from which they were forbidden to leave at night and must return during the day while remaining isolated from their erstwhile Catholic neighbors.

Certainly Paul IV was aware that the Lateran Councils of 1179 and 1215 already had advocated for the segregation of Jews. The Nazis eagerly reinstated the ghetto and the attendant horrors it ushered in.

Confinement and humiliation of the ghetto experience was to become a characteristic of the life of Jews for centuries in Catholic Europe and indeed proved to be no better for many long years in the Protestant lands. Luther’s brutal anti-Jewish invective scarcely tended to bring about a regime of tolerance and humanity towards the Jews.  

Successive Israeli governments have foolishly embraced international pressures to restrict Jewish villages and towns throughout the ancestral and Biblical Jewish heartland, known to most of that hostile world as the ‘West Bank.’ And limited building throughout Judea and Samaria occurs only in those still relatively few Jewish communities that do exist.

The internationally imposed freeze is in reality a return to the earlier prohibition upon Jewish life, banning them from living outside of the ghettos. This was then, and is now, an imposed anti-Jewish crime.

Thus, any new construction beyond the so-called Green line can take place ONLY within those ‘settlements’ - and by the way, that pejorative word, ‘settlements,’ which denotes a foreign or alien presence, is long overdue in being excised from the Jewish and Israeli lexicon. They are villages and towns, not ‘settlements.’ Jews are not settlers in their own ancestral and Biblical heartland!

Successive Israeli governments have permitted these ghastly capitulations. And they havetried to camouflage this abhorrent shame with these words and phrases of infamy:

Victor Sharpe is a prolific freelance writer and published author, His book of short stories is titled The Blue Hour and his acclaimed trilogy is called, Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish state. He is currently working on two additional volumes. All books are available in print and e-books from