Israel must move to annex the “C” areas of Judea and Samaria to fulfill Zionism’s promise of making Israel the home of all Jews
In just a month or so Israel will have a general election for the second time in less than six months. All Israeli elections are crucial and critical, but this one stands out. It does so because it will answer the question: do the majority of Jewish Israelis see Israel as just another country, one that is meaningful to them because they were born there, or do they see in it as the prayer says “the beginning of the flowering of our (Jewish) deliverance”.
Israeli secular, largely Ashkenazi center left views Israel as the former. A high-tech superpower, a country that has a great food scene, great beaches, and great looking people who lead interesting, meaningful, fulfilling lives. In a strange and somewhat counter-intuitive way, these Israeli Jews have their counterparts in the diaspora among Jews who perceive their Jewishness as primarily a religious experience having little or nothing to do with ethnicity or a certain piece of real estate on the world map. To both of these Jewish groups, Israel has no transcendent meaning; to those who live in it it’s home and to those who don’t it’s just another country among all the countries of the world.
The Israeli right and center right, comprised as they are of many traditional and observant Jews of both Ashkenazi and Mizrahi origin see Israel in a totally different light. To them, it is the culmination of a two-thousand year-old dream, an answer to prayers said in burning synagogues in places like Mainz on the Rhine and in the ghettos of Poland and in inquisition cellars on the Iberian peninsula. To them, Israel is the redemption for all the Jews who willingly or unwillingly gave their lives for “kiddush haShem”, for glorifying His Name, from the defenders of Jerusalem against the Roman legions in 70 AD to the fighters in the Warsaw ghetto uprising in 1943.
These Israelis understand that the tragedy of the Holocaust was no more unique and unprecedented than it is the last. Jews have suffered holocausts aplenty throughout their exile and new ones are not only possible, they are inevitable. When my family and I left the USSR for Israel in 1973, my aunt thought we were crazy; the USSR was, in her view, a great power, while Israel was but a small mite soon to be crushed by its enemies. Twenty years later she was on our doorstep in Haifa, begging for help.
Jews in Western Europe who felt safe and secure a decade ago are snapping up Israeli real estate in preparation of escaping from the twin clutches of imported Islamic and homegrown European anti-Semitism. American Jews are tripping all over themselves denouncing Israel as white nationalist and fascist to try and escape the fate of their European brethren, but to no avail. It will not be long now before America is no longer safe for its Jewish citizens.
Israelis who care about not only Israel, but our entire nation understand that just as the fall of the Soviet Empire resulted in an influx of one million Jewish refugees to Israel in the 1990s, so the fall of the American Empire on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean is likely to result in a similar if not larger influx and that very soon. Israel, the size of New Jersey, already has a population of nine million. Land is scarce and its prices are exploding. The only reserves are located on the other side of the so-called “Green Line”, the line of the 1949 armistice between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
According to the Oslo agreements, territories to the east of this imaginary line were divided into areas A, B, and C. The C areas contain large Jewish populations and small Arab ones. In these areas Israel maintains full security and civilian control and it is unthinkable that it would ever withdraw from them. Israelis who believe in Israel as the home of all Jews understand that these areas must be fully annexed to Israel, so they can be properly developed for the benefit of their Jewish and Arab populations and serve as the land reserves for future waves of repatriates. The unique window of opportunity that has opened with the Trump administration, the first truly Zionist one, will not last forever. The time to act is now.
To those Israelis who see in Israel yet another country, the price of such annexation, a price that to others is mostly symbolic, is too high to bear. They seek the approval, or at the very least are desperate to avoid the disapproval of “progressive” elements in Europe and in America, elements to whom they desperately wish to belong. This need to be in with the in crowd outweighs for these people any other consideration, including the desperate need of their own people both in and out of Israel for affordable housing and land reserves for future growth.
A stable center-right government, whether led by Benjamin Netanyahu or someone else will undoubtedly move to make preparations for the annexation of first the major Jewish population centers in Judea and Samaria and then the entirety of the C areas. A center-left government will squander that opportunity and leave Israel at the mercy of skyrocketing land prices and an ideology of appeasement that has already claimed many thousands of victims. Jews in the diaspora, particularly in America should be carefully watching; they have a vested interest in the outcome whether they want to admit it to themselves or not.