From Israel: “Fortify with Facts!!”

I am well aware that facts are not “in vogue” today. Passion is what counts. People become hysterical about an issue, even demonstrating in the street, without a clue as to the reality of the situation.  We have all seen examples of this: Demonstrators shouting, “From the river to the sea!!” who, when queried, have no clue as to what river and what sea they are talking about.  

It doesn’t really matter to them. They are showing support for the Palestinian Authority.  If you asked them why they are supporting the PA, my guess is that they couldn’t tell you this either, except with regard to the victimhood of people of color or the importance, according to progressive thought, of supporting those who are “oppressed” against the “oppressors.”  

Most of the time, talking “facts” to such people is like blowing in the wind.  This makes defending our position that much more difficult. Do they want to know, for example, that Israel is not a “white” nation, but has many citizens of color, from Ethiopia, India, northern Africa, etc.?  I don’t think so…

Henry Nicholls/AFP


On a more sophisticated level, we find a disregard for the facts when elected officials make statements and advance policies that don’t correspond with reality.  For them, the political stance is what matters, and here the situation is even more problematic. We are seeing this phenomenon with alarming frequency.  

When factual distortions come from agencies such as the UN, we are hardly surprised.  But – sadly, infuriatingly – we are also seeing it from the US, which purports to be our friend and have our back.  (In some regards, and with thanks to supporters in Congress, they still do.)


The Biden administration is focused on establishment of a Palestinian state, which would take over in Gaza after the war, prior to the institution of a “two-state-solution.”

The steadfast refusal of the government of Israel to buy into this scenario, for which we can thank Heaven, frustrates the Americans. It motivates them to declare one policy after another that seeks to delegitimize Israeli rights in Judea & Samaria, which they envision to be part of that Palestinian state.

Were I to sit down with Secretary of State Blinken or President Biden, I seriously doubt I could convince either of them to change their policies by providing irrefutable facts.  

Nicholas Kamm/AFP

Their positions are then embraced by others who believe these American officials are acting on the basis of solid information.  To best support Israel, we must remain apprised of pertinent facts and share them broadly.


Last Thursday, there was a serious terror attack near Ma’aleh Adumim, a community in Judea outside of Jerusalem.

Ettinger Report

One person was killed and at least eight others were wounded.  

By Thursday evening, a meeting had been held with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich regarding construction of housing units to be advanced in response to this attack.  Netanyahu agreed to bring plans for over 3,300 units for approval by the Higher Planning Council: 2,350 units in Ma’ale Adumim, 694 units in Efrat and 300 units in Kedar.

This was praised as an appropriate Zionist response to terror. Said Smotrich: “May every terrorist planning to harm us know that lifting a finger against Israeli citizens will be met with a death blow and destruction, in addition to the deepening of our eternal grip on the entire Land of Israel.”



By Friday, the Biden Administration had declared that settlements in Judea & Samaria were illegal.

“We’re disappointed in the announcement [about new units],” Blinken said at a press conference in Argentina.  “It’s been longstanding US policy under Republican and Democratic administrations alike that new settlements are counterproductive to reaching an enduring peace.

They’re also inconsistent with international law.” (Emphasis added)

The media emphasized that this was a “reversal” of the enunciated policy of former secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who had declared “Judea and Samaria are rightful parts of the Jewish homeland, and Israelis have a right to live there.”


Alex Brandon/AP


Many years before Mike Pompeo recognized Jewish rights in Judea & Samaria, US policy had been based on a memorandum by Herbert Hansell, who was a legal advisor in the State Department during the Carter administration.  The “Hansell Memorandum,” written in 1978, did not say that settlements were “illegal” but, rather, “illegitimate.”  Illegitimate is not synonymous with illegal, which pertains to a status in law.

Hansell had posited that Israel’s settlement policy violates the prohibition on transferring parts of its civilian population into Judea & Samaria, according to Article 49 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention. However, this provision was never intended to be applied to voluntary movement by individuals into the area.

For an analysis, see here:


Ronald Reagan followed Carter as president and in this regard we have a tweet by international law professor Eugene Kontorovich (emphasis added):

Reagan said Israeli settlements were legal. That position has never been reversed – until now. It took Hamas murdering, torturing, and raping Jews to keep them from living between “the river and the sea” to get U.S. to say law prohibits Jews from living btwn the river and Sea.”



In 1995, Oslo II of the Oslo Accords was signed between Israel and the PLO.  It established three areas in Judea & Samaria: A, B, and C.  C was under both the security and civilian control of Israel. All Israeli building in Judea & Samaria is done in Area C.  Within Oslo II, there is no restriction on establishment of settlements in Area C (until such time as a final status agreement would be reached between Israel and the PLO).

It should be noted that the US was a signatory as witness to these Accords, which it now conveniently chooses to ignore.


In the end, of course, Mike Pompeo was correct in stating that Judea & Samaria are part of the Jewish homeland.  This was recognized in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, signed by Lord Arthur Balfour, who was then British foreign secretary.

It said:

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object…”

In July 1922, the League of Nations, drawing on the wording of the Declaration, recognized “the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and…the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country,” and awarded the Mandate to Great Britain. 


Britain, the Mandatory, was charged with encouraging “close settlement by Jews on the land…” (Article VI)

This included close settlement in the region to the west of the Jordan River, which is now referred to as Judea & Samaria. (Originally, it also included land east of the River, but Britian separated this area and establish Transjordan.)

The Mandate for Palestine was an article in international law passed unanimously by the League of Nations.

When the United Nations succeeded the defunct League of Nations in 1945, it incorporated into its Charter Article 80, which sustained the Trusteeship System.  This effectively ensured that the terms of the Mandate for Palestine would continue to be fully implemented.


There is a doctrine of customary international law known as Uti Possidetis Juris. It says that emerging states presumptively inherit their pre-independence administrative boundaries.  This means Israel has the borders of the Mandate, which immediately preceded it.  That border is along Jordan on the east and includes Judea & Samaria as part of Israel.

For further information: https://41k.82b.myftpupload.com/basics-of-israels-legal-rights-in-the-land/


My argument above for Israeli rights in Judea & Samaria is predicated on legal issues because the Biden administration posits its objections legally.  But in truth this is only part of the story – there is a significant historical and moral case to be made for Judea & Samaria belonging to Israel.

Our history in this region dates back more than 3,000 years.  With Jerusalem, Hevron, Shilo, Beit El, and more, it is the heartland of our people – the place where our ancient history unfolded. Archeological evidence establishes this beyond a shadow of a doubt.


I will return to further discuss fallacious charges being made by the Biden administration regarding “settler violence.” This, too, pertains to Judea & Samaria, of course.

As to a possible negotiated agreement on release of hostages, there are hints of this happening, suggestions that we are getting closer. But there is no resolution yet.


Keep praying to Heaven for Israel, my friends.  Pray for the strength and wisdom of our leaders, for the safety of our soldiers, and for the rescue of our hostages.  Pray with a heart filled with hope.


© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by independent journalist Arlene Kushner. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.