On Tuesday, the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing over 1500 traditional, Orthodox rabbis in matters of public policy, expressed support for Israeli self-determination regarding extension of Israeli civil sovereignty over communities in Judea and Samaria. In particular, the rabbis deplored objection to Israeli sovereignty as “tainted with ugly bias.”
Following the end of the British Mandate in Palestine, the Arab League rejected peace proposals and attacked the nascent State of Israel. Though they failed in their goal of a “momentous massacre,” the Jordanian Army seized a portion of Judea and Samaria which it dismissively termed the “West Bank,” as well as East Jerusalem, including the site of the Holy Temple first built by King Solomon. The Jordanians ethnically cleansed all Jews from that territory, and it remained Judenrein until Israel, defending itself against a third Arab war of aggression in 1967, ended the Jordanian occupation and the racist exclusion of Jews.
“There is nothing more natural than recognizing the inalienable right of Jews to live in Judea,” said Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, Eastern Regional Vice President of the CJV, who plans to move to Modi’in, Israel, later this summer. “My new home is in a community straddling the Benjamin mountain range in Samaria. Why shouldn’t Israel extend its sovereignty to a territory where, any reasonable person would concede, Israel has already exercised sovereignty for more than 53 years? We should say ‘enough’ to both Israeli indecisiveness and Arab rejectionism.”
The CJV noted that the communities in question have hundreds of thousands of residents, many of whom have lived there for decades. In addition, successive US Administrations have confirmed that these towns and cities would remain part of Israel in any conceivable peace agreement – and thus objection to Israeli sovereignty simply holds these Jewish communities hostage to the intransigence of the Palestinian Authority, which has consistently refused any proposed final peace agreement with the world’s only Jewish-majority country.
“With 325,000 Jews now living in East Jerusalem and 470,000 Jews now living in cities and other communities throughout Judea and Samaria,” concluded Rabbi Dov Fischer, Western Regional Vice President of the CJV, “it is time for the world to understand that nearly one million Jews live in these historically Jewish lands, and they are not leaving. Abu Mazen has wasted decades without showing any willingness to negotiate a permanent and lasting peace. The world should realize that one million Jews are not going to be displaced from their patrimony.”