September 29, 2017
News Press Release

ZOA Praises Netanyahu’s Pledge: I Will Not Uproot Jews and I Will Strengthen Judea/Samaria

Jews, Not Arabs, are the Indigenous People of Palestine/Israel

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:

The ZOA praises Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge to maintain and strengthen Jewish communities (a/k/a “settlements”) and to not uproot Jews from their ancestral Jewish lands, during his speech at a September 27 public ceremony in Gush Etzion celebrating the 50th anniversary of Israel’s liberation of Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem (including the old city of Jerusalem and Jewish quarter), the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights. Netanyahu recognized that Jews, not Arabs are the indigenous people of Israel/Palestine/Judea/Samaria/Jerusalem. 

The Jews living in Gush Etzion (a/k/a the Etzion Bloc) were slaughtered/expelled in the 1936 Arab massacres. Again in 1947 and in the infamous Kfar Etzion Massacre during the 1948-1949 invasion of Israel by six Arab armies, the Arabs slaughtered hundreds of Jews who had returned and rebuilt the area in the 1940s, and Haganah soldiers who tried to defend them, including a convoy of 35 Haganah soldiers who tried to bring medical supplies and ammunition.  Those Arabs even murdered members of the Jewish community who had surrendered.  In 1967, after Jordan attacked Israel again during the Six-Day War, Israel liberated the area.  Jewish communities – including descendants of the Jews who had been murdered by Arabs in the massacres in 1936, 1947-1949, returned and rebuilt Jewish communities in Gush Etzion.

The Gaza withdrawal and the Oslo accords brought constant rocket fire against Israeli civilians, and deadly intifadas in which thousands of Jews were murdered and grievously wounded.  These painful lessons are a stark reminder that we cannot uproot Jews from our land and cede territory to Palestinian Arabs dedicated to genocide against the Jewish people.

Netanyahu eloquently stated:

I think of the defenders of Kfar Etzion who fell here in 1949. I think ‘if they could remove the dust from their eyes. If only they could see us today. If only they could see what has been accomplished in the last 50 years.’ . . Like you, we [my wife Sarah and I] are aware of the historical significance of our being here, because the history of this place is the essence of our people’s heritage.  We are all children of Kfar Etzion. . . . [I]n the miraculous defensive war, 50 years ago, we returned to Gush Etzion, to the Old City of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights. Which meant that we had returned home to our ancestral inheritance, and that we had renewed the historical continuity of our people. Here lies the story of our nation and our history, as well as the promise that that history will never be cut off.”

“[Fifty years ago as a soldier in Gush Etzion,] I looked around. Right here the convoys traveled to Jerusalem. Right here is where King David was born, was anointed king, and fought with Goliath.  Here Bar Kokhba fought the Romans. In the generations of the return [to Judea and Samaria] the settlers of Gush Etzion turned bare mountains into blossoming orchards.”I think of the defenders of Kfar Etzion who fell here in 1949. I think ‘if they could remove the dust from their eyes. If only they could see us today. If only they could see what has been accomplished in the last 50 years.’ . . Like you, we [my wife Sarah and I] are aware of the historical significance of our being here, because the history of this place is the essence of our people’s heritage.  We are all children of Kfar Etzion. . . . [I]n the miraculous defensive war, 50 years ago, we returned to Gush Etzion, to the Old City of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights. Which meant that we had returned home to our ancestral inheritance, and that we had renewed the historical continuity of our people. Here lies the story of our nation and our history, as well as the promise that that history will never be cut off.”

“Seven decades ago, a few facing many, surrounded by a hostile choking ring. Waves and waves assaulted them. The convoys that came to their aid, in particular the ‘Convoy of 35,’ [were massacred]. But the courageous pioneers held out until the bitter end. They themselves gave the answer – to win the battle for Jerusalem.”

There will be no more uprooting of homes in the Land of Israel. It’s not just a question of context. We will not uproot – neither the Jews nor the Arabs. Any territory that falls into the hands of radical Islam becomes a base for murder, violence, death. Instead, we will strengthen the communities and their momentum.”

Only a few weeks ago we inaugurated the southern interchange at Begin Highway in Jerusalem, a road that connects directly to the [Gush Etzion] tunnel road, and the road from Gush Etzion to Jerusalem is significantly shortened because of this. Tonight I say – the Etzion Bloc will always be part of the State of Israel.”  (“We Will Not Uproot Communities In The Land Of Our Forefathers,” Israel Nat’l News, Sept. 27, 2017.)

ZOA President Morton Klein stated:

“Prime Minister Netanyahu’s powerful expression of the Jewish people’s eternal connection to the land of Israel – including Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem (including the Old City of Jerusalem and Jewish quarter), the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights – and the Prime Minister’s pledge to strengthen Jewish communities in these areas and never uproot Jews again from these Jewish lands – is a most welcome beginning for the Jewish New Year, and for the next half century and centuries to come of Jewish life in the Jewish homeland.”

“Prime Minister Netanyahu is also correct that “Any territory that falls into the hands of radical Islam becomes a base for murder, violence, death.”  

The Gaza withdrawal and the Oslo accords brought constant rocket fire against Israeli civilians, and deadly intifadas in which thousands of Jews were murdered and grievously wounded.  These painful lessons are a stark reminder that we cannot uproot Jews from our land and cede territory to Palestinian Arabs dedicated to genocide against the Jewish people.

We Jews, not Arabs, are the indigenous people of Israel/Palestine.

Until a few decades ago, the whole world understood that a Palestinian meant a Jew, and that Palestine meant the Jewish homeland.  (Romans changed the name of the Jewish ancestral homeland to Palestine.)  The first Jewish orchestra was the Palestine Orchestra; the first Jewish paper was the Palestine Post. Until the late 1980’s, today’s “Palestinians” were known as “West Bankers.” Arabs were offended if one called them “Palestinians” because Palestinian meant Jew.  Arabs come from Arabia; Jews come from Judea. (Romans, who seized Israel from the Jews 2000 years ago, gave the area a Roman, not an Arab name; “Palestine,” they called the land, after the Jews’ arch enemy the Philistines, in attempt to “de-Judaize” the area.)