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Cal Thomas: Speak up for Israel’s right to its ancient land

By Cal Thomas

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that U.S. policy on Israel’s “settlements” is reverting to one held by the Reagan administration; that is, the right of Israelis to settle in the ancient lands of Judea and Samaria “is not, per se, inconsistent with international law.”

This is good news, not only for Israel and its right to national security and sovereignty. After seven decades of enemy attempts to eradicate the Jewish state it says to the world, “time’s up.”

Israel’s enemies have had the most generous offers to live in peace, including the relinquishing of land captured by Israel after many aggressive and unprovoked wars and terrorist attacks. With ongoing propaganda statements by Israel’s enemies, the firing of rockets into civilian areas from Gaza and elsewhere, and ongoing sermons attempting to justify the violent overthrow of Israel and the murder of Jews, a reality check is long overdue.

Israel, under all of its prime ministers, has gone more than halfway trying to make peace. The responses have been as if no outreaches were ever made.

Israel and the West have a right to question the sincerity of those Arab and Muslim nations when they continue to denounce and defame Israel and the Jewish people as illegitimate occupiers of “Palestinian” land. As long as such denial continues, there can be no opportunity for peace and Israel is well within its rights to defend itself against such ominous and ongoing verbal, theological and military threats.

It is and always has been wishful thinking to believe that people motivated by hate, a mandate from Allah to conduct what would amount to genocide against Jews and revisionist history as to the original owners of “occupied land” would miraculously change their minds and agree to reverse decades of provocations and proof of their ultimate objective.

This has always been the danger when Westerners believe all humans are alike and given the right incentives can be persuaded to act in ways consistent with Western values and practices.

The next step is for the Israeli Knesset to validate the Trump administration’s new policy, which aligns with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ultimate goal.

As reported in the Jerusalem Post, “Likud (member of Knesset) Sharren Haskel proposed the bill weeks ago, but decided to fast-track it in light of the change in U.S. policy. Haskel submitted a request to exempt her bill to annex the Jordan Valley from the mandatory six-week waiting period for any new legislation, so that it can go to a vote in the plenum next week.”

Columnist Caroline Glick wrote for the publication Israel Hayot, “In the interest of promoting peace, Pompeo instead told the truth. Not only are Israeli settlements not illegal. Pompeo noted that they are arguably more justified than civilian settlements built in other disputed territories.

“In his words, the administration’s determination ‘is based on the unique facts, history and circumstances presented by the establishment of civilian settlements in the West Bank.’ That is, it is based on the historic ties of the Jewish people to Judea and Samaria. These ties lie at the heart of Jewish history and religion.”

Indeed, they do. Now if the European Union, whose hatred of Israel goes back to the shameless days of Nazi anti-Semitism and is now resurging, would only see the light and end its recently announced policy to require “goods from illegal settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories to be labeled as such,” perhaps some real steps forward might occur.

As long as a religious motivation for wiping out Israel persists, there will be no peace and no two-state solution. It is why the Trump administration’s position on the legality of settlements in Judea and Samaria is not only correct but a necessary contribution to Israel’s security and any true peace, or at least stability.

Email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com.

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