Monday, January 7, 2008

The Battle for the Land of Israel's Identity


by Tsafrir Ronen

The outcome is crucial and decisive.


From the day the Zionist Movement was established, the historical meaning of settling the Land of Israel was two-pronged: not only reclaiming the land for the nation of Israel, but mainly returning the Biblical identity to Eretz Yisrael - the Land of Israel.

If Jews are living there, then Hebron's identity will be Jewish.

The pioneers who turned Um-Juni into Degania (the first kibbutz "collective farm," established in 1909 by Jews in the areas of the Land of Israel then under Ottoman control) brought back its Hebrew identity. This was a piece of our homeland that was restored to us.


The working brigade of 70 young people from G'dud Ha'Avodah who turned Ein Jalud to Ein Harod (in the Jezreel Valley) brought the Biblical identity of Gideon's time back into the Valley.


The establishment of Mishmar Ha'Emek turned the "Abu Shusha hills" into the Mishmar Ha'Emek hills.


The establishment of Rosh Pina (settled in 1882 by a group of pioneers from Romania) turned Jauni into Guy-Oni (Valley of Strength).


Each settlement returned each remote point in the Land of Israel to its Biblical Hebrew identity.


Elon Moreh (an Israeli settlement located in the Samarian hills, overlooking Shechem [Nablus] on the slopes of the Mount Kabir ridge) has renewed the Israel identity of Biblical Elon Moreh. It represents the pioneering spirit of rebuilding the Land of Israel after 2,000 years of exile.


The most recent battle, for Hebron, is not a battle over two pioneer families who renewed Jewish life in that city; it is a battle over the identity of Hebron. If Jews are living there, then Hebron's identity will be Jewish. If only Arabs will be living there, then even the name Hebron will vanish - to become El-Khalil (Shrine of the Friend). The Left wants Hebron to have an Arab identity. Their hatred for the settlements is their hatred for the identity of the Land of Israel and for Am Yisrael - the Nation of Israel.


However, it is not only Hebron. The Left does not want to see Jewish identity anywhere in Judea and Samaria. Their friends in the media continue calling the heart of the Land of Israel by foreign names that our enemies use; i.e., "Palestine," as the androgynous Hadrianus Caesar named it, "West Bank," as King Hussein named it, "territories," "occupied land."


"Judea" means it is the land of the Jews.


They will call the Biblical land any name possible, but will not label it by the names that return its Jewish identity - Judea and Samaria. "Judea" means it is the land of the Jews; Eretz Yisrael means it is the Land of Am Yisrael.


Just as Ire-Land is the Land of the Irish and Eng-Land the Land of the English and Fin-Land the Land of the Finns, the name Eretz Yisrael means the Land of the Israelis. The identity of the land is the same as the identity of the nation residing in it; therefore, the Nation of Israel cannot be an occupier of the Land of Israel.


If not for the renewal of the settlements in Shiloh, Beit El and Elon Moreh, these names would have remained abstract legendary Biblical names. The settlements created the renewal of the land's identity and returned to its districts their real names, reclaiming from the Arab occupier the false Arabic identity. If Judea and Samaria were abandoned, then it would be not only a physical act but also an abandonment of identity. Again, on the map of the world, the land would no longer be called the "Land of Israel" or "Israel," but by another name.


You see, until 1967, Judea and Samaria appeared on world maps as "the West Bank of the Kingdom of Jordan." The victory against the Jordanian military brought back its Biblical names. If these places were to be abandoned, then the enemy would not call them by their Hebrew names, but rather by the false name "Palestine," an artificial name a Caesar gave it to fulfill his ambition to destroy the Jewish identity in Judea after he subdued the Bar Kokhba revolt. Hadrianus's curse did not succeed. Within a short time , the name "Palestine" was forsaken and forgotten.


The Crusaders named the land "Kingdom of Jerusalem." The Arab occupation did not have a name for the land; it was referred to merely as "southern Syria." For 1,300 years, the land had no identity in the absence of the Biblical Jewish nation that identified itself with it. No one claimed ownership but our nation. The British, when they halted immigration and settlements understood what the anti -Zionists among us understand, too, that settling the land returns the Israeli identity to the Land and each settlement that carries a Hebrew name is a milestone for the Hebrews.


Each settlement that carries a Hebrew name is a milestone for the Hebrews.

The battle is not of tanks or warplanes; today's battle is the most crucial and decisive one - the battle for the identity of the Land. The outcome will determine whether it will have the false, pagan, Arabic identity of Hadrianus Caesar or the Biblical Israeli identity and its real name.


This is the entire story. Only the settlements will return the Israeli identity to the Land of Israel. The Arabs demand that Ehud Olmert transfer the land free and clear of Jews. As long as there are Jews in Judea, that place cannot not be called by its false name - "Palestine." The only thing that stops the cadre of traitors from transferring our land to the enemy, already at our gates, is their inability to uproot the settlements. Those communities halt the wheels of destruction.


The building of tens of hundreds of new settlements is our only guarantee that the Land of Israel will have an Israeli identity. The wish to destroy the settlements is the wish to destroy the identity of the land, the land of the nation of Israel - the Land of Israel.



Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.




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