Jewish Scene
Our claim to the land
Yoel Meltzer
Published: 01.04.11, 16:17
Comment Comment
Print comment Print comment
Back to article
47 Talkbacks for this article
1. religious stupidity
Green ,   Fr   (04.01.11)
It's badly retarded to pretend that the land was given by a god. Religion and religious stupidity are the bases of all this trouble. Shame on the stupidity of religion followers.
2. you got it, possess it, own it, and rule it
mike ,   israel (formerly usa   (04.01.11)
there's your claim.
3. Jewish Right to Israel
Reacting ,   Maine, USA   (04.01.11)
By your logic, Muammar el Ghaddafi, currently residing in Libya, has a right to take up residence in Israel, the land to which he is entitled (by virtue of his Jewish heritage). And then, perhaps, he'll want to enter politics there, as many who arrive in their Jewish "homeland" do...
4. I dissagree
Avi ,   Israel   (04.01.11)
I'm a religious Jew living in Israel. However, I completely disagree with this conclusion of this article. It is true that we need a clear and percise and easy to explain, claim to Israel. It is true that truth and reality are on our side. However, the first Aliyot were done in the 1800s, not after the Holocaust, and G-d or religion was the furthest thing from these most people's minds when they realized they could build a Jewish state in Israel. What we need, and what the Torah tells us to have, is a strong connection to the Land of Israel, because of the history of the land. Not because G-d gave it to us, but because we and our ancestors have always lived here, and always considered it our home and our land. In the past, those with more power took it away from us for various reasons. But today, those powers are gone, and the only thing threatening our claim is our own lack of historical knowledge. And more importantly, the inability to teach that history to others.
5. Our claim to the land
jack ,   london u.k.   (04.01.11)
If that fantasy being 'gave' the land to this tribe perhaps all you European and American 'jews' should have a dna test...lets see exactly what your origins are. Or you could simply incorporate Gaza and the West bank into Israel and let DEMOCRACY rock and roll.
6. Religion is the solution
Bertram ,   London, UK   (04.01.11)
This is an honest, clear argument. The claim to a territory is justified on the basis of theology, not on the basis of military victory, invasion, colonization, or anything else. It follows that a holy book which proclaims truths deriving from a deity can in principle provide a justifiable claims for all kinds of behaviour. By definition, such claims are not open to discussion or modification. So, any idea of a political settlement of competing claims will necessarily betray one side or the other. Hence: Islamism, Crusader Christianity and religious Zionism. Take your pick.
7. Are you stupid?
Unknown ,   USA   (04.01.11)
Does any of this make any sense? What the hell is wrong with you man? Based on this, the land clearly belongs to the Muslims. The word of God defines this to be their land.
8. It does NOT matter whether or not current Jews and Israelis
ENOUGH   (04.01.11)
believe that the land was given to us by God. ALL that matters is that the acient Hebrews/Israelites believed and possessed the land. The Roman's conquered the land...many Jews never left the land, until modren Jews/Israelis reestablished the current State of Israel on a tiny barren piece of the acient Israel, that NOONE gave a damn about until JEWS made it bloom...again.
9. Holes in whose story
David ,   Tinley Park, IL   (04.01.11)
I hate to break it to the poor Rabbi but the only story with holes in it is the Jewish version. Simply put, non-Jews (or Goyim as you call them) don't believe in this divine bill of sale you purport. The native inhabitants of Palestine may have been Arabized at one point and Islamicized at another but they're always been the same since they stepped foot on these lands 7,000 years' ago. Way longer than when the Isrealites came in and brutally colonized the land years later. I see how this story ends good Rabbi and I'm afraid it won't end well for you and your ilk.
10. Our claim to the land
Augusto ,   Porto, Portugal   (04.01.11)
My comment is this: There maybe is or was Jordan as a country. Regardless, Israel has conquered Israel to be theirs for thee Jews. As conquerers, they will or should conquer the entire region with or without help. Here is why, because if what is taking place is exactly not neighborly when you have someone in your country trying to create another country within. It is ridiculous.... It is like my neighbor owing my kitchen of my house. As I say surrounded by Arabs, why don't they just say what I say. Israel belongs to Israel and it's people, do not want what does not belong to you. For such a tiny country personally, i would like to see a country entirely for the Jews. And may they defend their borders completely. Not to mention that three religions the one that most influenced me was the Jewish. Christianity is power, Catholic is family and Islam is, I don't know exactly but I have had been tried to convert to and automatically I felt it was about not liking the others. I never want to experience that situation again. Anyway,
11. Assert our full legal ownership of Judea and Samaria.
Chaim ,   Israel   (04.01.11)
The author makes many good points. While Arabs are loud and proud in asserting their bogus right to our tiny Homeland, Israel's leaders cravenly beg for "peace". No wonder our enemies are prevailing. Countless legal scholars have proven that Judea and Samaria legally belong to Israel 100%. See, for instance, "The Myth Of Israel's Illegal Settlements" by David M. Phillips, Prof. at Northeastern University School of Law. Yet the Israeli government hides the proof. We should serve proof on the U.N. and all international bodies. We should shower all world governments and media with our proof. We will never convince our enemies, of course. But we'd greatly strengthen our position, encourage our friends and prove our correctness to every open minded person.
12. Agreed
Lenny ,   USA   (04.01.11)
The only possible claim to the land of Israel is the fact that it has been given to us by God. Otherwise, Israel is no different from Uganda or any other place on earth. Furthermore, the only thing that makes us Jewish is our connection to God. Every other defining factor fails. We have people that are not ethnically, linguistically, regionally, or culturally similar yet are regarded as fellow Jews.
13. To #7
Lenny ,   USA   (04.01.11)
Islam became a religion after we have lived in the land of Israel for over 1500 years. Whatever the muslims "say" is insignificant. Our claim trumps them and the Christians as it is the original promise. We have seen in our times how totally baseless and untrue "claims" get the attention of the world and apply "pressure" on Israel. Case and point "Israel Apartheid Week". We know the truth - God gave this land to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel). The arabs do not fall in this category of people. They can live next to us as neighbors. But have no legal claims to our land.
14. God given Land?
Beaumanoir ,   USA   (04.01.11)
As 99.9?????% of the people on earth do not believe in God, or believe in a different one, or believe in many different ones, this argument is going to totally disenfranchise Israel. Foucus on historical and political reasons, making sure that the Palestinians get treated fairly in the process.
15. doesn't convince we aetheists!
steve ,   massachusets, USA   (04.01.11)
some 5700 year old book, that claims to know god, is ZERO justification. try again.
16. Many Other Precedents ... Religion Not Valid
baderjune ,   chicago, usa   (04.01.11)
At most, in the context of the entire world, to expect that all others in the world ALSO accept your beleif in Judaism, and therefore that you are given the land is patently WRONG. Which peoples had the lands before the jews. Were they not also given the lands by thier gods? History is history, and it is past. Move on. As a comparative, consider all of the other lands throughout time that have been taken from other civilizations and never "returned." Prominent, modern day examples of this are much of the land that now constitutes the USA, was "taken" from the various indian tribes, oftern through extremely biased and unjust "treaties" that they were forced to accept. History, politics and civilizations move on. Judaism, proponing that there is some God given right to an expanded Israel needs to move on as well.
17. Our claims to the land
Gee ,   Zikron Yaakov   (04.01.11)
Are also based on INTERNATIONAL LAW. At the end of World War I, the allies broke up the Ottoman Empire and created several countries via the San Remo Treaty 1920 and the League of Nations. Those countries are Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Land was apportioned and that should have been the end of it. The Mandate for Palestine was violated by the administrator of the Mandate - UK, by giving 78% of the land to the Arabs that created Jordan. The UN took control of the mandates in 1945 under the provision that none of the current laws were to be changed. The UNGA voted to end the mandate and the British accepted the recommendation and withdrew. Our claim to all land west of the Jordan River is based on those INTERNATIONAL LAWS. The UNGA does not have the ability to make laws, just recommendations. The Arab claims to the land are as follows:
18. Gentile friend
Dan ,   Kansas City - USA   (04.01.11)
The land was promised to Abram even before he possessed it. Then, in several reiterations of that promise, it was promised again and promised to all of the descendents of Isaac and Jacob. Note clearly that the Scriptures indicate the land was not promised to Ishmael or any tribe or people already residing in it. Also, it should be remembered, this “promise” is not revocable or breakable since it was only applied to G-d Himself and didn’t require anyone else to make the covenant. To reinforce His covenant to Abram’s descendents, G-d even articulated the boundaries of the land and then promised to punish anyone (even His own people) who would partition the land or modify the borders. Now, for certain there were descendents of Noah in the Promised Land prior to the Hebrews possessing it. These in the land were to be followers of G-d, just as the Priest of Salem, Melchizedek. But, during the 400 years of Egyptian captivity, G-d allowed these people to reach the fullness of their sins when He would bring the Hebrews back out of Egypt to execute His judgment upon these people and fulfill His promise to the descendents of Abram. Whose is the land? It’s G-d’s land. He created it and has full justification to give it to anyone He is pleased to extended it. In this case, G-d gave this land to the Jews. People should be very careful not to advocate any division of the land promised to the Jews as described in Genesis and Exodus, which includes the Golan Heights, the West Bank, Gaza and every inch of Jerusalem. The boundaries are described as: “On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite,"” (Gen. 15:18-21). “I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates,” (Ex. 23:31a). If someone believes there should be both a Jewish state of Israel and an Arab state of Palestine, then they clearly are not reading the Scriptures. The Bible clearly teaches us that this land is not to be divided for any reason, even for what some claim as peace.
19. How bout this one Steve #15
GZLives   (04.01.11)
The UN / Great Britain, League of Nations etc agreed the Jews were entitled to a homeland. They agreed on a Partition. The Arabs rejected it went to war and lost and then tried again and lost. Now its ours end of story. we will move on and build our country - and they can do whatever it is they do ... if they want wars, we will accommodate them. If its peace we will do same.
20.  Archaeology trumps religion any day
Henry from New York ,   USA   (04.01.11)
It is silly to cite the Bible as our claim when we can cite the archaeology and genetic evidence which is much more reliable than the 2700 y/o holy book. The archaeology says that Israelites evolved from the Canaanites and the genetic tests show that almost all modern Jews are descended from Levantine people in this area. So we have a much older and better claim than the Biblical text. Also to the guy that says most other people believe in a different god; the Jewish God is the same as the Christian and Muslim one. Please do your research.
21. Israel's right to exist
David E Y Sarna ,   Teaneck, NJ USA   (04.01.11)
Israel, irrespective of whether you believe in God, is, always has been, and always will belong to the Jewish people. Period. No ifs, ands or buts. All the lies in the world won't change the facts. Calling white black does not change its color. It is foolish to tie the claim to"God" as that cannot be proven. If someone in California settled land, prior to its having been settled, and built a house and then passed it on to his descendants, they need not believe in God to justify his ownership. Same here. And by the way, I do believe in God, but that is irrelevant to the question.
22. To: #15
Marianne ,   US   (04.01.11)
Isn't it amazing how a book can last that long.. that's because God's Word is true.. and no one can 'Destroy' it.. and when God promised and gave this land to the Jews, He meant it.. and God doesn't change His mind.
23. To #1
Marianne ,   US   (04.01.11)
Shame on you, for disbelieving.. All the earth and everything in it belongs to God. Israel is the 'Apple of His Eye'..and He will protect Israel, until the day He comes to judge and rule the earth
24. Whose land is it?
Bertram ,   London, UK   (04.01.11)
Let me put a different argument. No-one can own a land. A people constitutes a temporary collective tenant with an obligation to inhabit and use the land wisely. Indeed, over time, peoples frequently settle, share with others, and eventually move on either voluntarily or as a result of force. That is the history of the world. Nothing is forever. The Jewish people have existed, and will continue to exist, everywhere - including Israel.
25. Promised Land
Henriette ,   The Netherlands   (04.01.11)
Although i believe that the land of Israel, with borders as mentioned in Numbers 4 : 1-12, was part of the everlasting covenant and promise of G-d to Avraham, Yitschak and Ya'acov (Israel), I do remember that Moshe was prohibited from entering the land because he doubted G-d. Also the people of Israel were sent into exile (more than once if I am not mistaken) because they did not follow G-d's ways. To claim the land today, an era in which large part of the Jewish Israeli's do not believe in their G-d, but celebrate their holidays merely because it is 'tradition'.. makes the claim to the land very difficult to defend on purely religious grounds.
26. #5
IZL   (04.02.11)
Lets assume the DNA of Ashkenazi jews shows they are purely European, did you check a history book? 2000 years of misery, 6 million Jews killed in the holocaust, all this Europe did. So Jack, if the DNA tests prove what you seem to be implying, why did Europeans kill their own? Why has a nice big plot of land in Europe not been given to Ashkenazi Jews. You seem to believe they are native Europeans, so why not give them land in their geographical region of origin? I mean afterall, you Europeans had no inhibitions butchering in the Spanish Iquisition, no problems with progroms, no problems commiting holocausts. I do not recall a Jewish Ashkenazi army trying to take over Europe, murdering other Europeans, so what exactly warranted your ancestors 2000 year behavior towards the Ashkenazim? What about middle eastern Jews Jack, can we live in Israel? If we are made the ruling power in Israel, not the Ashkenazi, and we decide to let Ashkenazis into the country is that still kosher by your rules? Afterall, I as a middle eastern Jew (family came from an Islamic country) would allow the Jews from Europe you claim are not the genetic descendants, but would that be against your view? Some food for thought Jack.
27. #14
IZL   (04.02.11)
Dude, 99.9% of people don't believe in god? Are you for real? Can anyone take you seriously after making a claim like that?
28. #16
IZL   (04.02.11)
Good point, so by your logic in lets say 100 years, history will prove the Jews have been in this region for enough generations for everyone to have to accept we live here? Problem solved no? Who needs god, who cares if Romans were in this land, who cares if Greece once had this land, babylon, assyria, arabs, ancient Jews, Pagan Caananites, etc.... All that matters is who is there now. So by your logic if tomorrow, we throw all the Arabs out of Israel, throw all the arabs out of WB and gaza, sit on those territories for 150 years, it will be cool? I mean initially it will be rough politically, economically, etc... but you know, it will be cool in 150 years, by your logic. Personally I like the God argument. We're the oldest existing religion to both have a religious claim to the land and a current physical presence within. The Pagan Caananites may have made those claims, but do you have pagans today with their texts to show this? We do however have Muslims who claim the land, Jews who claim the land, and Christians who claim the land. However, the Jews are the majority, the Muslims follow second, and the Christians third. The Jews however, have both physical contemporary presence in the land AND they also have the oldest God claim to the land. So.... Yeah, pipe down
29. Thank you, Yoel, for a thoughtful column
Marcella   (04.02.11)
It is indeed embarrassing to watch how the "right wing" has completely failed to present an alternative to Partition - or Two States as they prefer to call it. So bankrupt of ideas is the political right wing - or so under US government and Israeli financial elite control - that it has finally buckled and agreed to surrender the land for the creation of an Arab state. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Still not many people know this (both the right and left wing have been very quiet about it), but on February 23 Likud, Yisrael Beitenu - the alleged right wing of Mr Netanyahu's coalition - joined forces with the Arab parties and the left to vote against a National Union bill for the annexation of Judea and Samaria. Only four National Union MKs voted in favor. It was not the right time, said some government MKs. Still not the right time, after more than forty years. I hope people keep that Knesset vote in mind whenever right wing MKs make grandiose statements about their commitment to the land of Israel. Some commitment! ~~~~~~~~~ It's too bad this column was not in the Opinion section. I almost missed it, Yoel!
30. to Beaumanoir,USA 14
john Darren ,   cairns-Australia   (04.02.11)
Read your own post again-it's 99.9% stupid.Even the "Palestinians "are cringing.
Next talkbacks
Back to article