So, Luxembourg thinks it can give Israel a Torah lesson

Former Luxembourg FM says sovereignty is against biblical "Thou shalt not steal," but does he accept Israel's biblical borders too? Op-ed.

Stephen M. Flatow ,

Jordan Valley
Jordan Valley

I’ve been reading up on the history of Luxembourg. That tiny landlocked country is not usually on my list of topics of interest. But this week, the former foreign minister of Luxembourg decided to give Israel a Bible lesson. That made me curious.

Jean Asselborn, a veteran political leader from Luxembourg who is currently the European Union’s Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, declared that if Israel annexes—or more accurately, reunites with—any part of Judea- Samaria, it will be “violating the seventh of the Ten Commandments: Thou shalt not steal.”

So, I decided I should read up a bit on his country before commenting. It turned out to be a lot more interesting than I thought.

To begin with, it turns out that Luxembourg came into being in the year 963 CE. By that time, Judea and Samaria had been the heart of the Land of Israel for well over two thousand years. Hmm.

Here’s another fascinating aspect of Luxembourgish (Note to editor: yes, that’s the word) history: Other countries have been stealing territory from Luxembourg since the 1600s. No wonder it’s so small!

Other countries have been stealing territory from Luxembourg since the 1600s. No wonder it’s so small!
In 1659, France seized 410 square miles of Luxembourg’s territory. That was one-tenth of the entire country.

So why isn’t Jean Asselborn complaining about France stealing part of his homeland?

Then came the 1814 Treaty of Paris. That agreement took 880 square miles of Luxembourg —24% of the country— and handed it to Prussia. Today Germany still rules it, except for a piece that it gave to Belgium at the 1919 under the Treaty of Versailles.

So why isn’t Jean Asselborn accusing Germany and Belgium of stealing parts of his country?

Fifty thousand people were living in that territory. Why isn’t Asselborn campaigning against Germany and Belgium “illegally occupying” the Luxembourgish people?

Wait, there’s more. The 1839 Treaty of London tore away all of Luxembourg’s western territories. More than 1,800 square miles—fully 65% of the country—was handed over to Belgium. It included 175,000 residents—half of the total population of Luxembourg.

Well, the Germans were furious about the Belgians getting so much of Luxembourg, so the Treaty of London compensated Germany by giving it a piece of Luxembourg that was being occupied by the Holland.

It’s a little hard to keep track of all these developments. So much theft! So many occupations! So many imperialist countries victimizing little Luxembourg! Today, poor Jean Asselborn’s country is but a rump of its former self—less than 1,000 square miles in total.

Yet, for some inexplicable reason, Asselborn never talks about the French, Germans, Belgians, and Dutch stealing large chunks of his country. He never talks about the fascist imperialists who keep occupying his countrymen.

Instead, Asselborn is focused on a tiny sliver of a tiny piece of territory that is over 2,700 miles from Luxembourg—the 30% of Judea- Samaria whose status Israel is currently contemplating.

Of course, the heart of the problem with Asselborn’s remark is not that he has an irrational obsession with Israel and annexation. It’s that he’s lying about who has a right to the territory.

To accuse Israel of “stealing” Judea and Samaria is to say that the land belongs to the Palestinian Arabs. That’s absurd.

Judea and Samaria don’t belong to the Arabs according to international law since Israel captured those areas in self-defense.

They don’t belong to the Arabs according to historical right because Judea and Samaria have been a central part of the Land of Israel for over 3,000 years—and were never part of any state of “Palestine.”

Judea and Samaria don’t belong to the Arabs according to any concept of fairly dividing the land, since the Arabs already got 78% of Palestine in 1922. That’s the area they chose to call “Jordan” and Judea and Samaria are part of the 22% that was left.

So, I say to Jean Asselborn: Stop lying about Judea and Samaria. You’re violating the ninth of the Ten Commandments: Thou shalt not bear false witness.

Stephen M. Flatow is a vice president of the Religious Zionists of America, an attorney in New Jersey and the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. His book, “A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror,” is now available on Kindle.