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 Central” hasbarah 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.