The Importance of Israel’s Constant Presence in Jerusalem Throughout History
The Jewish nation has maintained a nearly constant presence in Jerusalem and other essential locations in Israel throughout history. From ancient to modern times, Jews have worked hard to continue living in and visiting Israel’s eternal unified capital. Even during the short pockets of history when this was not possible, the Jewish People always maintained a direct relationship with Jerusalem through prayers, Torah study and minhagim (customs). This article explains why this is significant…
Photo Credit: TPS (via JewishPress.com) U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Melech Friedman went first to the Western Wall, straight from the airport, upon his arrival in Israel to start his new job.
Historical ‘Jewish presence’ key to Israel’s territorial claims, US envoy says
Article Courtesy: Israel Hayom
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman reiterated on Wednesday that the Trump administration did not consider Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria as illegal per se, while also noting Israel’s ancient ties to the land.
“Judea and Samaria – the name Judea says it all – is territory that historically had an important Jewish presence,” Friedman said at a conference in Jerusalem organized by the Kohelet Policy Forum, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting Israel’s sovereignty and strength as a Jewish democracy.
“As they say, it is the biblical heartland of Israel. It includes Hebron, where Abraham purchased a burial cave for his wife Sarah; Shiloh, where the tabernacle rested for 369 years before the Temple was built by King Solomon in Jerusalem; Beth El, where Jacob had his dream of the ladder ascending to heaven; Kasr al-Yahud, where Joshua led the Israelite nation into the Promised Land and John the Baptist baptized Jesus, and so many other famous locations.
“After the Ottoman Empire fell, Judea and Samaria, along with the rest of what was then referred to as Palestine, became subject to a British Trust which was subject to the Balfour Declaration, the terms of the San Remo Conference, and the League of Nations Mandate. In simple terms, the British were obliged to facilitate settlement of the Jewish people in this land. That’s not to say that Jewish settlement was exclusive, that no one else had the right to live there. But Jews certainly did,” he stressed, noting that during the 1967 Six-Day War Israel “recovers Judea and Samaria from Jordan” after it had been under Jordanian occupation for 19 years, after “almost no one recognized its [Jordan’s] rights to the territory.”
Friedman then asked a rhetorical question: “So, intuitively, who has a good claim to the land? Israel, whose historical and legal rights were recognized by the League of Nations, Jordan, which was there for only 19 years with virtually no legitimacy, and which, in any event, renounced its claim to territory west of the Jordan River in 1995, or the Ottomans, who washed their hands of Palestine after World War I. The answer, with all due respect to all the scholars, seems obvious.”
He lamented that because Israel had a legitimate claim to the land, “the goalposts started to move” and the 1949 armistice line between Israeli and Jordanian forces became “the inviolate ‘Green Line,’ the limit of Israel’s territorial entitlement.”
Friedman stressed that the Trump administration would continue to move away from the distorted situation that has been created over the years, which discriminated Israel, touting the 45th president’s unprecedented decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as well as other moves that have been regarded as major steps in correcting the historical bias against Israel.
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