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Adonai says: “… I will bless those who bless [Israel], And the one who curses [Israel] I will curse.” — Gen. 12:3
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The Judea and Samaria regions are indicated on
this detail of a French map of the area from 1791.
The Arab League, their Muslim supporters, anti-Israel elements and anti-Semites, deliberately sought to rob the region of its correct political and geographic name. 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. The “West Bank” was the name concocted by King Abdullah I of Trans-Jordan and his British advisors, allowing the king to annex land outside of his artificially “created” kingdom. He then changed the name of his kingdom twice, first to “The Hashemite Kingdom of the Jordan” but that was quickly rejected since it gave the appearance of a kingdom only along the banks of the Jordan River. The name then was changed again to the “Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.” The term “West Bank” eradicates all Jewish historical connection to the area. It is a sad commentary that many in the West, including the political left, many of Israel’s supporters, some Israelis themselves, as well as the naive and self-delusional who think the name does not matter, have acquiesced to this unilateral change of names and use it in common parlance. But the name does matter. Similarly, the Arabs insist on calling the Persian Gulf, the “Arabian Gulf” and Iran’s Khuzistan province, “Arabistan.” Why then doesn’t much of the world call the Persian Gulf “Arabian?” Is there a double standard at work here?
Besides the political origins of the phrase, one must wonder from a geographical perspective how wide a river bank can be? A river bank may be a few feet or so, but not some 30 miles deep from the river! Just because a new name is invented, does not mean the world should adopt it in common usage. Does an aggressor get rewarded with the additional bonus of a geographic name change designed to eradicate the historic name of a region? In March 1939, Germany renamed the present-day Czech Republic, “Böhmen und Mähren” after seizing that land by aggressive act. During World War II, Germany invaded, occupied and annexed part of Russia calling it “Ostland.” Do we use those terms today? Do we call Mexico the “South Bank” because it borders on the Rio Grande? Should we rename Serbia, the “West Bank” (of Europe) because it lies to the west of the Danube River and re-designate Poland the “East Bank” due to its location east of the Oder-Neisse Rivers?
Long before most of media capitulated to protests over Danish cartoons and statements by the Pope, the media and many in the world, out of fear and intellectual laziness agreed to obfuscate the truth by surrendering the use of the name Judea-Samaria and adopt the term “West Bank.”
The Roman emperor Hadrian in 135 CE after suppressing the Jewish revolt led by Bar Kochba, attempted to eradicate Jewish nationhood, statehood and any connection to the Land of Israel. He renamed the territory “Palestina” - after the Philistines, the ancient adversaries of the Israelites. Seeking to erase the Jewish connection to Jerusalem the Romans razed the city and named the city built atop the rubble, “Aelia Capitolina.” Nevertheless as late as the 4th century, the Christian author, Epiphanius, referred to “Palestina, that is Judea.” Despite this “Palestina” is still Israel, Aelia Capitolina is still Jerusalem and the West Bank is still Judea-Samaria.
Dr. Steve Carol
Prof. of History (retired)
Senior Fellow Center for Advanced Middle East Studies www.camesinfo.com
Official Historian “Middle East Radio Forum” www.middleeastradioforum.org
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In the event of my suspicious demise, let be clearly understood that I am not suicidal. I have, however, received countless death threats from “moderate Muslims” in response to the content of this website. I now have reason to expect retaliation from my own government as well. Here’s why.