Lies about Samaria

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Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Michael Gottlieb, an oleh (immigrant) from the US who is a man on a mission. After moving from New York’s suburbia to Israel’s bucolic Samarian (Shomron) heartland region, he has joined the battle to save the Land of Israel in general and the Shomron in particular. His weapon of choice: his “Shomron Centralhasbarah blog.”

FP: Michael Gottlieb, welcome back to Frontpage Interview.

I would like to follow up a bit on our recent interview, The Dire Importance of Samaria.

Let’s start with Israelis’ lack of awareness, understanding and appreciation for their Shomron heartland. What are the consequences?

Gottlieb: It is true that most Israelis today are painfully unaware of the unique asset they have in Samaria. They haven’t been exposed to the immense strategic value of the Samarian mountain ridges, the important depth it adds to their tiny country, nor the crucial airspace it provides overhead. No one’s telling them about the Samarian Mountain Aquifer, Israel’s largest and most significant source of fresh water. They don’t realize how much cheap land and affordable living space is available out there, how close it is to the big cities nor do they have a clue that by Biblical, historical and legal right, it’s all theirs.

The consequences of all this are obvious. If the vast majority of Israelis don’t appreciate what they have in the Shomron; if they don’t understand its multi-faceted importance for the Jewish State; its people; its identity; and its future, then they can’t value it and they can be persuaded to give it away. What should be non-negotiable becomes negotiable. And that is what we’re seeing today. The Israeli government, with the support of many Israelis, is on the verge of capitulating to world pressure because they don’t understand why they should be saying “No”.

FP: Samaria is so close to Israel proper, yet most Israelis never venture there. Why is that?

Gottlieb: The violence of the second Intifada spooked many Israelis, and they have become conditioned not to visit and explore the Shomron, despite the fact that the security situation has improved substantially. Also, the Shomron tourism industry is underdeveloped and way below its true potential and thus is not the tourist attraction that it can and should be.

But most of all, Samaria is off most Israelis’ radar screens. It’s not on their list of places to visit, move to or vacation at. They probably don’t know anyone who lives there. It may be in their backyard, but it’s not in their consciousness. And that, I believe, is the result of a decades-long concerted effort by the political Left, their media accomplices, the intelligentsia and cultural elite to spread lies and hide the truth about the Shomron from the people. Because if the people knew the truth, they would act on it, and that’s very scary for the Left. That is a key point that my blog tries to make. Indeed, its tagline is “Samaria – Israel’s Hidden Asset. Having said that, there are encouraging signs of an awakening. Some Israelis are finally beginning to discover the treasure that lies east of the Green Line, thanks to some grassroots PR efforts.

FP: Expand a bit more on why Israelis know so little, if anything, about the Shomron.

Gottlieb: Most Israelis have little or no involvement with Samaria because their paths rarely lead there and because no one is seriously promoting it. Probably the extent of most Israelis’ interaction with the Shomron is the army service they periodically do there. When Samaria is mentioned, it’s usually something negative, thanks to the media’s biased and selective reporting. Again, it is my opinion that the people are being fed misinformation and being kept in the dark. There is definitely a story to be told, but it’s being suppressed.

FP: You write about the “War of Ideas.” Tell us what you mean by this term.

Gottlieb: The great debate over whether or not Israel’s sovereignty should extend from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River (“Greater Israel”) has been raging ever since Israel captured Judea and Samaria in the defensive war of 1967. Each side has been battling the other to win over public opinion and to control the narrative. It is a war in every sense of the word because sometimes ideas can determine an outcome in ways that guns can’t.  It’s now clear that the Arabs and the Left have been the hands-down winners in this War of Ideas because in 43 years they have managed to transform Israel’s image from being the heroic underdog David just trying to survive to the child-killer Goliath, usurper of other people’s land. The truth matters little. It’s what people believe that counts. And today most people believe that Israel must withdraw to indefensible borders. The Left is on the verge of defeating Israel in a way that Arab aggression couldn’t. This is the great challenge facing the Right today.

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  • ObamaYoMoma

    The Israeli conflict has never been about illegal settlements, extremist settlers, or illegal occupation, as Israel was subjected to repeated wars and almost continuous terrorist attacks even prior to the acquirement of the disputed territories in 1967. The reality is the conflict is really all about jihad as the presence of the Jewish people on land that at one time was formerly Dar al Islam became Dar al Harb with the establishment of Israel, as land that was once part of Dar al Islam must always remain part of Dar al Islam, per the strictures of Islam. Thus, the so-called peace process has always been a sham from the very beginning used by the Islamic world to finagle useful idiots to weaken Israel on their behalf, and in that regard it has been very successful. Nevertheless, there will always be jihad between the Israeli Jews and the Islamic world as long as Israel exists, just like there will always be jihad between the Islamic world and the non-Islamic world as long as the non-Islamic world exists.

  • Yisrael Medad

    Glad Michael has joined the struggle.

  • sebyandrew

    He has a great website… <a href="http://.” target=”_blank”>.

    …well worth perusing

  • Larry

    Given the fact that there are so many Moslems in these areas who don't accept the Jewish state, the choices are:
    1. Either rule over a hostile minority without voting rights
    2. Give them voting rights even if there is a risk of them becoming a majority and ending the Jewish state.
    3. Force them to leave.
    4. Give up the land to a Palestinian State that will do everything it can to destroy Israel
    5. Let the "Palestinian Authority" rule the cities, where they indoctrinate the inhabitants to hate.
    At the moment #5 is in action, and #4 may be coming. But all the alternatives are bad, from various points of view

    • Andres de Alamaya

      I would add a 6th option – Give them a ten year trial on 1. If they learn to behave and prove they can be civilized then there is the option of giving them 2. If they don't behave in the trial period then give them 3. Force them to leave.

    • ziontruth

      #3 is what the Torah says to do, and though it's been banned from public discourse since 1988, it's never been from the private sphere, and since October 2000 (the Second Intifada, where pre-1967 and post-1967 Arab alike rose against the Jewish State) has only been gaining ground.

    • Izzy

      Number 3 looks pretty good to me.
      We are not killing them g-d forbid.
      Let them start a new life someplace else just like they did to all the Jews after the 48 war.
      The Sephardic Jews lived in middle eastern countries for over 1,000 years.
      Everyone will kick and scream but eventually the noise will die down and be forgotten.

    • aviefar

      I think that the best solution is leting the Palestinian Arab to rule Eastern Palestine and send king Abdullah to live in his palace in London.

  • moshav

    muslims shouldn't be living in Samaria anyway. Those who are can only be interlopers since they arrived thosuands of years after Jews settled the area. Does it not make perfect sense to expel muslims whose only reason for living is to destroy Israel? arab states expelled almost a million Jews during 1949-1952. They went to Israel. Certainly, simple justice requires that muslim arabs living in Samaria be returned to place or origin, arabia. They will be happy there since imams will indoctrinate them to hate non-muslims and to blame their miserable existence on Jews, modernity, Americans, and Christians,

  • PAthena

    Michael Gottlieb is right. The self-designated "Left" is loyal to the old Soviet Union, which continued the old anti-Jewish policies of Russia. As for the propaganda use of "Palestinian" for "Arab," that comes from the Soviet Union, which, with Nasser in Cairo in 1964 founded the "Palestine Liberation Organization," with all the phony history.
    The Roman Emperor Hadrian changed the name of Judea to "Palestina" after having defeated the last of the Jewish rebellions under Bar Kochba in 135 A.D. From that time on, "Palestine" meant "land of the Jews" or "the Holy Land," and "Palestinian" was synonymous with "Jew". That is why the Zionists wanted the "Palestine Mandate" and that Great Britain was awarded the "Palestine Mandate" after World War I to be "the homeland of the Jews."

  • beniyyar

    Israeli society is clearly divided between those Jews who live and work on the densely populated coastal plain, and are largely secular and Left moderate regarding the Palestinian Israeli conflict and those who live in the less densely populated Jerusalem area, the Territories, the Golan, and the South, most of whom are religious and Right moderate. By the way, the Right and Left designations in Israel apply pretty much only to territorial and religious issues, not economic ones, and generally exclude the 1.2 million Israeli Arabs who always vote Left and radical Left. This is important in that how these people vote will determine who runs the country and who manages the Palestinian Israel negotiations.

  • beniyyar

    This population disparity and the Arab vote is also why the Left wing appeasement oriented and largely secular Kadima party holds 29 seats in the 120 seat Knesset, which when combined as they are with the radical Left wing Meretz and Arab parties, hold up to a third of the Knesset and with the help of an entirely Left wing Hebrew media, are able to inflict themselves on so much of Israeli society. While all Israeli Jews want peace with the Palestinians, the Left is willing to concede far more land, money, water, and even refugees than the Right is. Along with this political divide, the Israel Police, Army, Judiciary, Trade Union, and Education systems are all dominated by and run by deeply Left wing Jews who use their considerable power and influence to stymie and frustrate religious, Right wing, and Nationalist Israel Jews while at the same time assisting and promoting both the Israeli Left and the Palestinians to illegally steal Israeli land, attack Jewish settlers, and use international stage to demonize, delegitimize, and isolate Israel internationally.

    • ziontruth

      "Along with this political divide, the Israel Police, Army, Judiciary, Trade Union, and Education systems are all dominated by and run by deeply Left wing Jews who use their considerable power and influence to stymie and frustrate religious, Right wing, and Nationalist Israel Jews …"

      But as a note of hope: Demography is changing all that as we speak. The religious make more children, and the upper echelons of the Israeli Army are already being scaled by right-wingers.

  • beniyyar

    The Palestinians of course are delighted by these internal Israel divisions, believing that they will one day become so great that they, the Palestinians, will be able to finally achieve their dream of destroying Israel, and exterminating what few Israeli Jews are left. Unfortunately this also means that a divided and constantly bickering and fighting Israel are facing a united and determined Palestinian and Arab enemy. It is also true that Israel is also facing an American President Obama and his Administration which is openly hostile to Israel, plainly and unabashedly antagonistic towards the Jewish People, who is for the time being also the best friend and ally of the Palestinians and the Arabs vis a vis the Jewish State of Israel.

  • beniyyar

    So if you think to yourself sometimes, "What the hell is wrong with those Israelis?" or "What were those idiotic Israelis thinking when they did Oslo, the Disengagement,"or any other hugely stupid or potentially lethal act of appeasement to the Arabs just keep in mind that the Jewish Israeli Left has an incredible capacity for wishful thinking, naivete, and a deep feeling of Jewish guilt for everything.

    • ziontruth

      "… just keep in mind that the Jewish Israeli Left has an incredible capacity for wishful thinking, naivete, …"

      As does the Left everywhere else in the world.

      The time is past coming to the realization, "McCarthy was right"; it's time to say, instead, "He had no idea how right he was." Right squared. 1000000% right.

      Marxism must be outlawed, period.

  • beniyyar

    I have met and talked with these Jewish Israeli Leftists, and believe me, their mixed up anti Israeli and anti Jewish hatred and resentment, coupled with their almost slavish adoration of the Palestinians and everything non Israeli and non Jewish, make other Leftists look like normal and rational human beings.
    About the best way to describe a Jewish Israeli Leftist is as a wild eyed fanatic.

  • ziontruth

    From the OP:

    "… while providing the local Arab population with certain basic rights including limited voting rights. This would give Israel the defensible borders it needs while providing the local Arab population a higher standard of living."

    Why? Why should we do this? Are we, as the Marxists say, colonial rulers wishing to civilize the savage natives? It sure seems so from this sentiment.

    We are the Jews, the only true Palestinians; we are the indigenous of Palestine, and all else who are here and think this land belongs to them are invaders. We owe the Arab settler-colonist invaders nothing, nothing at all. The Arab nation has 22 states, which is 21 more than any nation deserves; and those states are situated on a huge mass of land way beyond that nation's indigenous mandate, which is the Arabian Peninsula. All this talk of us owing them something, or even having to help them in some way, is getting me down.

    We owe them nothing; we owe ourselves freedom from their threatening encirclement of us.

    • morrisdj

      Perfect. All this talk that the "Palestinians" *deserve* a state really annoys me. What have they ever done to deserve it?

  • 080

    The main point about Samaria or the west Bank is that without it Israel would be indefensible. That was the opinion of 100 American generals some years ago. It is all the more true today.

  • Shifra Shomron

    Lately we have been witnesses to tourist campaigns from the Samaria. It might be too little too late, but they certainly are trying to attract the masses of the Israeli public to come see with their own eyes. The question remains, how best can they – we – reach the public while circumventing the left-wing media?

  • Dan Sanders

    We need to find the funding from private sources on the Right to run tours to the Shomron for regular Israelis every week! Once you've actually set foot in the Shomron, everything that Michael talks about on his blog becomes very clear and obvious.

  • Yehoshua

    Michael, well said. Very accurate. All other options mentioned above are irrelevant as it is clearly the Almighty's will that this chosen land be given to the Jewish people. As a result the Arab Jew hatred is a blessing in disguise. For without it, the assimilated left Jews would be intermarrying and dissolving our heritage as the American Jews have done with 70% intermarriage today. Michael, go forward to audio and video media, this view is unheard there.

  • Israel Draiman

    non-broken series of treaties
    and resolutions, as laid out by the San Remo Resolution, the League of Nations and the United Nations, gives the Jewish People title
    to the city of Jerusalem. The process began at San Remo, Italy, when the four Principal Allied Powers of World
    War I – Great
    France, Italy and Japan – agreed to create a Jewish national home in what is
    now the Land of Israel.
    San Remo

    The relevant resolution reads as follows: “The High Contracting Parties agree
    to entrust… the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be
    determined by the Principal Allied Powers, to a Mandatory [authority that] will
    be responsible for putting into effect the [Balfour] declaration… in favor of
    the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.
    “Gauthier notes that the San Remo treaty specifically notes that “nothing shall be done
    which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish
    communities in Palestine” – but says nothing about any “political” rights of
    the Arabs living there. The San Remo Resolution also bases itself on Article 22
    of the Covenant of the League of Nations, which declares that it is a “a sacred
    trust of civilization” to provide for the well-being and development of
    colonies and territories whose inhabitants are “not yet able to stand by
    themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world.”
    Specifically, a resolution was formulated to create a Mandate to form a Jewish
    national home in Palestine. League
    of Nations

    The League of Nations’ resolution creating the Palestine Mandate, included the
    following significant clause: “Whereas recognition has thereby been given to
    the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national
    home in that country.” No such recognition of Arab rights in Palestine was granted. In 1945, the United Nations took over
    from the failed League of
    Nations – and assumed the
    latter’s obligations. Article 80 of the UN Charter states: “Nothing in
    this Chapter shall be construed, in or of itself, to alter in any manner the
    rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing
    international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may
    respectively be parties. ”UN Partition Plan.

    However, in 1947, the General Assembly of the UN passed Resolution 181, known
    as the Partition Plan. It violated the League of Nations’ Mandate for Palestine in that it granted political rights to the Arabs in
    western Palestine – yet, ironically, the Arabs worked to thwart the
    plan’s passage, while the Jews applauded it. Resolution 181 also provided for a
    Special regime for Jerusalem, with borders delineated in all four directions: The
    then-extant municipality of Jerusalem plus the surrounding villages and towns up to Abu Dis in the east, Bethlehem in the south, Ein Karem and Motza in the west, and
    Shuafat in the north. Referendum Scheduled for Jerusalem

    The UN resolved that the City of Jerusalem shall be established as a separate entity under a
    special international regime and shall be administered by the United
    Nations. The regime was to come into effect by October 1948, and
    was to remain in force for a period of ten years, unless the UN’s
    Trusteeship Council decided otherwise. After the ten years, the residents
    of Jerusalem “shall be then free to express by means of a
    referendum their wishes as to possible modifications of regime of the City.”

    The resolution never took
    effect, because Jordan controlled eastern Jerusalem
    after the 1948 War of Independence and did not follow its provisions.

    After 1967

    After the Six Day War in 1967, Israel regained Jerusalem and other land west of Jordan. Gauthier notes that the UN Security Council
    then passed Resolution 242 authorizing Israel to remain in possession of all the land until it had
    “secure and recognized boundaries.” The resolution was notably silent on Jerusalem, and also referred to the “necessity for achieving a
    just settlement of the refugee problem,” with no distinction made between
    Jewish and Arab refugees.


    Given Jerusalem’s strong Jewish majority, Gauthier concludes, Israel should be demanding that the long-delayed city
    referendum on the city’s future be held as soon as possible. Not only
    should Israel be demanding that the referendum be held now, Jerusalem should be the first order of business