The Dire Importance of 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 to Frontpage Interview.

I would like to talk to you today about the centrality of Samaria to the Land of Israel, its connection to the Jewish people and its importance to the State of Israel.

But first, let’s begin with why you moved to Israel and what Shomron Central is all about.

Gottlieb: Thanks Jamie.

I grew up in an orthodox family which emphasized Zionist values. My grandfather attended Zionist Congress meetings in the 1930’s and bought land in Haifa. He loved and revered the Land of Israel. Although we had a comfortable life in our Westchester, New York suburban community, we understood that there was more to life. By the time we made aliyah in 2002, most of my family had already been living in Israel.

Shomron Central is the name of the blog I authored. “Shomron” is the Hebrew term for Samaria, the northern half of the so-called “West Bank” (Judea and Samaria), captured by Israel in the defensive Six Day war of 1967. It is the historic Homeland of the Nation of Israel and represents a big chunk of what was originally conceived to be the future modern Jewish State, according to international agreements dating back to the post World War I era.

The blog explains in a concise and engaging way the centrality of Samaria to the Land of Israel, its connection to the Jewish People and its multi-faceted importance to the State of Israel.

FP: For those readers who might not know, explain what aliyah is and also what it meant to you.

Gottlieb: Simply put, aliyah is when a Jew emigrates from his host country to the Land of Israel. But it really goes much deeper than that. It is the destiny of every Jew to return to his Homeland, as foretold by the Bible and the Prophets of Israel. A unique, symbiotic relationship exists between the Jew and the Land and one is not complete without the other. Indeed, aliyah is Hebrew for “ascent”, signifying a rise to a higher spiritual plane. Aliyah is the modern day realization of this ancient prophetic vision and is an inevitable, inexorable and historic process which is unfolding before our eyes.

For me and my family, aliyah was and is part of an ongoing process of self-actualization.

FP: What do you love about Israel?

Gottlieb: I would say that a Jew’s attachment to his Homeland is highly personal, and its meaning can vary from individual to individual. My family and I simply feel more at home here than we ever did in New York. I find life here more enriching, more meaningful and more purposeful.

FP: Tell us a bit about the centrality of Samaria to the Land of Israel, its connection to the Jewish people and its importance to the State of Israel.

Gottlieb: Samaria is the cradle of the history of the Nation of Israel, reaching all the way back to the time of Abraham the Patriarch (Genesis, chapter 12), some 23 centuries before the advent of Islam. The heartland of the Land of Israel, Samaria was the inheritance of the now-returning ten lost tribes of Israel and it was from the Shomron that the Kingdom of Israel ruled until it’s eighth century, B.C.E. exile.

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  • PhillipGaley

    With Adam, "taxonomy", the science of naming, is the oldest occupation; and, if you don't know what something is, it is most easily said that, you don't know what you're talking about. In all science, naming is paramount.
    Though, without knowing the current status of things in print, we have to hope that, the Israeli thinkers and writers will do what they can to turn back the political correctness in this "West-bank" business, . . .

  • 080

    There is a statement on file from 100 American generals stating their opinion that without Samaria Israel would be indefensible.

  • Skandinav

    I think Bibi knows that the Arabs will never accept a two State solution, as that includes recognizing Israel. They will walk out at the last minute as always – so why should he take upon himself and Israel the role of the uncompromising tough guy, particularly with Obama in the white house with all his loose canons? No, you have a brilliant strategist in your Bibi, doing the painful work of diligently going through the futile motions of peace negotiations. Time is on Israels side – B is buying it for you.

  • Chezwick_Mac

    Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000 behind internationally-recognized borders. Hezbollah created the Shebaa Farms controversy in order to justify continuing its war on the Jewish state.

    Israel withdrew from Gaza in its entirety in 2005. The Palestinian response was to use their new-found freedom for the singular purpose of waging war on Israel, firing rockets and mortars indiscriminately into Israeli territory.

    The "cold peace" that came about as a result of the Sinai withdrawal has turned out to be the exception. Since then, the established paradigm has been clear: Israeli withdrawals create conditions not for the amelioration of conflict, but for escalation.

  • PAthena

    The Arabs now called "Palestinians" are so called because of Soviet propaganda. In 1964, in Cairo, the Soviet Union and Gamal Nasser of Egypt invented the "Palestine Liberation Organization," Since then Arabs have been called "Palestinians" with all the phony history and propaganda the Soviets and their allies could muster. It is Jews who are the "Palestinians," the name of Judea having been changed to "Palestina" by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 135 A.D., after he had defeated the last of the Jewish rebellions against Rome under Bar Kochba. He changed the name to forever eradicate all memory of Judea and the Jews, and outlawed Judaism. Since then, "Palestine" was synonymous with "land of the Jews" or "the Holy Land," and "Palestinian" with Jew. That is why the Zionists wanted Palestine, and why Great Britain was awarded the "Palestine Mandate" after World War I, in order to be the "homeland of the Jews." The Soviet and Egyptian propaganda has its origin in the antisemitism of the governments in both countries, and the Arabs who call themselves "Palestinians" are likewise simply antisemitic, as are the Arab states and the Mohammedans. The war between the Arabs and Israel would end if the Arab states stopped waging war on it, which they do for solely religious reasons.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    What is happening in Israel today is the fulfillment of what
    most Christians see in the Bible and expect in the end of days.
    Secularism takes away the entire panorama of the Israeli
    saga and tries to confine it's problems in anti-Semetic terms.
    The battle is between good and evil, the scriptures are full
    of the information contained on the front pages of todays
    news. Atheists find the Bible impossible but their own
    eyes and unfolding events can not convince them, for the
    believer the end is assured and Israel prevails in ways
    not found in what will be a vanished secular understanding.
    Israel is in the right and the Egyptians and Jordanians need
    to recall their people from Israeli lands as they the non-Jews
    are the interlopers in trespass……………………….William

  • Nancy Baron

    It is interesting to read a strong argument for annexing the Shomron. I often wondered why that had not already happened, but was then given the demographics argument, that Israel would be at risk of losing its Jewish majority. Jerusalem and the Golan were clearly cases where the need to have Israeli control out weighed that concern. We have visited the Shomron, driven in the Shomron, and fallen in love with it. Perhaps, if it were annexed, Israel could at least have a positive effect on the text books used in the Arab schools. Great interview.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    The reality is we are not really at war with terrorism because terrorism is just one tactic of many tactics our enemy, the militant theo-political totalitarian ideology of Islam, employs against us, and as long as we continue to pretend that we are at war with terrorism, the longer we will continue to lose the war.

    Likewise, Israel is just not at war with the so-called Palestinians, or even Arabs, for that matter. Instead, Israel is at war with Dar al Islam and the entire Islamic ummah. For instance, an Israeli Jew can’t even visit the Islamic country of Indonesia today, as all Muhammadans the world over consider Israel to be their enemy. Hence, as long as we keep pretending the Dar al Islam’s jihad against Israel is a conflict between Jews and so-called Palestinians only, the longer we will continue to lose the war.

    We can only begin to win this existential war only after we finally acknowledge the existence of the global jihad and finally take the logical steps necessary to protect and defend ourselves. Until that time, we will continue to lose the war.