VOL. 63 NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 2011
Dear Friends of Or Tzion, brethren, and fellow-citizens of the Commonwealth of Israel;
The recent statement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an interview with anchor Christiane Amanpour, and the grudgingly made U.S. veto at the UN against the Security Council resolution condemning Israel for her settlement policy, has me write this letter, prompted by the Lord. The letter is meant to straighten out the truth which has become so twisted, and to acquaint you with the facts you may have been unfamiliar with.
For nearly three thousand years the area now referred to exclusively as “Westbank” was known as “Judea and Ephraim”, the latter denoting the territory of the tribes of Ephraim and half of Manasseh. After the division of the Solomonic Kingdom into the Southern Kingdom of Judah and the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the latter became known as “Samaria”, called Shomron in Hebrew, after its capital of the same name founded by King Omri of Israel. According to I Kings (16:24) the hill was purchased by Omri from a man named Shemer (hence Shomron) for two talents of silver. Following the Assyrian conquest of Israel by Sargon II in 721 B.C. the region became the Assyrian province of Samaria (Samerina).
These two regions are Israel’s “hill country,” the mountainous areas of Samaria to the north and Judea to the south of Jerusalem. These two regions have no other names. These names were used during the League of Nations Mandate period. They appear in British government documents, United Nations documents including the UN Partition Plan of 1947. They appear in U.S. State Department documents, including a July 18, 1948 map. Even as late as 1961, the Encyclopaedia Britannica refers to “Judea” and “Samaria” in an article on “Palestine” (Vol. 17, p. 118).1
In May 1948 the Arab Legion of Trans-Jordan illegally invaded Judea and Samaria and overran the eastern part of Jerusalem, dividing the city for the first time in its history. Thousands of Jews — whose families had lived in the city for centuries — were driven into exile. On April 4, 1950, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan - artificially created by the British when they excised it from the British Mandate - unilaterally annexed all the territory it occupied west of the Jordan River, including east Jerusalem, which was recognized by only two nations, the United Kingdom and Pakistan.
The other Arab countries denied formal recognition of the Jordanian move, and the Arab League considered expelling Jordan from membership. Eventually, a compromise was worked out by which the other Arab governments agreed to view all the West Bank and east Jerusalem as held "in trust" by Jordan for the Palestinians.
The Arab League, their Muslim supporters, anti-Israel elements and anti-Semites, deliberately sought to rob the region of its correct historical, political and geographic name, disconnecting it in the mind of the peoples from the land and people of Israel. They had to fabricate a brand new name for they could find no other name for the territory. Mislabeling was their technique of disinformation and de-legitimization. King Abdullah I of Trans-Jordan and his British advisors finally renamed Judea and Samaria ad-difa’a al-gharbiya, translated into English as the "West Bank", allowing the king to annex that part of the Land of Israel “west” of the Jordan river, outside of his artificially “created” kingdom. Henceforth Judea and Samaria was referred to as a single unit.
It eventually became "politically correct" to use "West Bank" or "occupied territories" instead of the historically accurate names Judea and Samaria.
On 24 April 1950, the Jordan House of Deputies and House of Notables, in a joint session, adopted the following Resolution annexing the West Bank - aka Judea and Samaria WEST of the river Jordan - and Jerusalem:
“In the expression of the people's faith in the efforts spent by His Majesty, Abdullah, toward attainment of natural aspirations, and basing itself on the right of self-determination and on the existing de facto position between Jordan and Palestine and their national, natural and geographic unity and their common interests and living space, Parliament, which represents both sides of the Jordan, resolves this day and declares:
First, its support for complete unity between the two sides of the Jordan and their union into one State, which is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, at whose head reigns King Abdullah Ibn al Husain, on a basis of constitutional representative government and equality of the rights and duties of all citizens...” 2
During the nineteen years of Jordanian administration, Jerusalem was split, with Israel establishing its capital in western Jerusalem and Jordan occupying the eastern section, which included the Old City and most religious shrines. Jordan refused to honour its undertaking in the armistice agreement to accord free access to the Holy Places and to cultural institutions, and use of the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives (Section III, Document 6, Article VIII, and Section V, subsection E, Documents 15 and 16).
Jerusalem suffered from Jordanian conduct. After the Jewish Quarter was captured, the destruction, desecration and systematic looting of Jewish sites continued. 57 ancient synagogues, libraries and centers of religious study were ransacked and 12 were totally and deliberately destroyed. Those that remained standing were defaced, used for housing of both people and animals. Appeals were made to the United Nations and in the international community to declare the Old City to be an 'open city' and stop this destruction, but there was no response. This condition continued until Jordan lost control of Jerusalem in June 1967.3
In addition, thousands of tombstones from the ancient cemetery on the Mount of Olives were destroyed and used as paving stones for roads and as construction material in Jordanian army camps, such as building fences and latrines. After the 1967 war, Israelis who visited the cemetery on Mt. of Olives and saw the desecrated graves and smashed gravestones noted "that Jordanian soldiers and local residents had helped themselves to the stones to use as building materials." Graves were broken into pieces or used as flagstones, steps, or building materials. In 1967, graves were found open with the bones scattered. Parts of the cemetery were converted into parking lots, a filling station, and an asphalt road was built to cut through it. The Intercontinental Hotel was built at the top of the cemetery. Sadar Khalil, appointed by the Jordanian govt. as the official caretaker of the cemetery, built his home on the grounds using the stones robbed from graves to build it. In 1967, the press published extensive photos in which Jewish gravestones were found in Jordanian army camps, such as El Azariya, as well as in Palestinian walkways, steps, and pavement.
Jews were barred from the Old City and denied access to the Western Wall and other Holy Places.
Moslem residents of Israel were not permitted to visit their Holy Places
in East Jerusalem. Christians, too, were discriminated against. In 1958,
Jordanian legislation required all members of the Brotherhood of the Holy
Sepulchre to adopt Jordanian citizenship. In 1965, Christian institutions
were forbidden to acquire any land or rights in or near Jerusalem. In 1966,
Christian schools were compelled to close on Fridays instead of Sundays,
customs privileges of Christian religious institutions were abolished.
Jerusalem was bisected by barbed wire, concrete barriers and walls. On
a number of occasions Jordanian soldiers opened fire on Jewish Jerusalem.
In May 1967, the Temple
Mount became a military base for the Jordanian National Guard.
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