West Bank of what? / Op-ed: Term ‘West Bank’ only came about as result of Jordan´s imperialist effort to expand (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) David Ha’ivri Published: 03.23.12, 14:39)
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Do you know? Have you stopped to think? When did this area start
being called “the West Bank” and by whom?
The term “West Bank” is used so widely that one might get the
impression that it has some real historical significance. Those who
rally together, calling for Israel to pull out of this area and allow
the establishment of a Palestinian State here, would like you to
believe that one previously existed and that Israel took it over and
closed it down. The narrative presumes that people will believe it
without question and will not ask for any proof. Amazingly, that
strategy has worked pretty well so far.
Many people do not expect to be lied to by TV announcers and
academics, and so they just take the narrative at face value. Even
people who support Israel often do not realize how un-related to fact
many of these claims against Israel are. So Israel’s supporters are
more often put on the defensive, trying to point out the good deeds
that Israel is doing in the world as a way to cover up for actions
that they do not know how to explain.
But, in fact, the West Bank narrative really has little foundation.
It only appeared on the stage of history in 1948, when the Hashemite
army of Trans-Jordan crossed over its own western border, the Jordan
River, which it is named for. The army of Trans-Jordan did so as part
of the joint Arab effort to destroy the newly founded Jewish State
and push the Jews into the sea.
The line of defense that the Jewish army succeeded in holding as they
defended Tel Aviv from invasion was later dubbed “The Green Line”
because it was marked with green colored crayon on the map that was
used at the signing of the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its
neighbors in 1949 on the Greek island of Rhodes. In that agreement,
the Arab side refused to define the green line as a recognized
border, but only as an agreed ceasefire line - nothing more.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Trans-Jordan tried to annex their newfound
land west of the Jordan River by imposing their laws and naturalizing
the Arab residents of the area. They went so far as to change the
name of the country to Jordan, removing the prefix "Trans" as a way
to hide the fact that they belong on east side of the river, but not
Jordan´s occupation and annexation of “their” West Bank was not
recognized by the international community, or even sanctioned by the
Arab League. Only Great Britain and Pakistan backed the move. During
the 19 years of Jordanian occupation of the West Bank, not one move
was made to establish a Palestinian State there. On the contrary, the
PLO was founded during that period, with the stated goal of ridding
the rest of the land of Israel (pre-1967) of the Jewish State.
So actually, we see that the term “West Bank,” which only came about
as result of Jordan´s imperialist effort to expand its borders at the
cost of the Jewish State, is only as old as the State of Israel.
Before the Jordanian invasion, this region was always called Judea
and Samaria. That can clearly be seen on maps published throughout
Next time you hear people talking about the “West Bank,” ask them if
they have any idea when and why this term was coined. Point out that
Judea and Samaria are Israel´s heartland, and inform them that most
of the main events of the Bible occurred here.
Some 10% of Israel´s population has made their homes, built schools,
businesses and communities in this area that is 30% of the State of
Israel’s size. Just glance at a topographical map to realize the
strategic importance of this mountain ridge to the very narrow State
of Israel. With only 70 kilometers from the Jordan River to the sea
in Tel Aviv, and Samaria taking up 55 of those kilometers, understand
that all of Israel would be only 15 kilometers wide without it. This
is entirely too close for comfort and security.
When you hear talk of the West Bank, remember: This is Israel´s
heartland - Judea and Samaria. (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet
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