Land Expropriation? Seriously?

Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, and won. But according to President Obama, it’s “land expropriation.” Because President Obama doesn’t care what the bible says. He doesn’t care about archaeological artifacts that prove the Jewish provenance of the area. He doesn’t care about Israel’s security. And most of all, he doesn’t care about indigenous rights.

That is, indigenous rights for JEWS.

What are we talking about? Well, yesterday Army Radio announced that Israel had declared 234 hectares of land in the vicinity of Jericho and the Dead Sea, state land. This is land that has been farmed by Jews for over 20 years. No Arabs live there and it’s in Area C.

It’s unclaimed land, meaning it had no official designation until now, and it is land Israel deems essential for its security.

Now President Obama doesn’t care that some of the greatest legal minds of our era have declared this territory legally the property of the Jewish State (see, for instance: And he definitely doesn’t care that no Arabs reside there or have ever resided there. What he cares about is putting Israel in its place, damn it.

Now, Israel knew this would be a sensitive issue, meaning: the world doesn’t like it when Jews claim their land or try to defend themselves. So the government consulted a variety of experts to ensure that legally, ethically, and militarily, we really do have a valid claim on the land prior to declaring it ours. Only once the fact was established that heck yeah, it’s ours, did we actually then declare it so.

The UN predictably condemned Israel with Ban Ki Moon’s spokesman describing the designation as pointing toward “an increase in settlement activity,” which it is not. Moon’s guy also said some mumbo jumbo about settlements being illegal, which they are not, and anyway, what’s with this “settlement” stuff? It’s an area that has been farmed for two decades by Jews. But you know, Moon always has to paint Israel and the Jews, the villain.

We are talking about desert terrain here. We are talking about taking the desert and turning it into arable land. It’s a good thing, a liberal value, even. But when it comes to Jews, common sense falls by the wayside. Because Jews.

So now that the UN sank its teeth into Israel, it was time for Said Arikat to come to the table and take a bite of the Jewish State, with the State Department offering him a steak knife, for a better dining experience. Arikat, deft as always, managed to insert his false narrative into the State Department’s daily briefing, calling this legal designation of unclaimed land “land confiscation.” And naturally, John Kirby heartily agreed with him, going one step further and calling it “land expropriation.”

QUESTION: Today the Israeli Army Radio announced the expropriation of 2,342 dunams, which is roughly about 580 acres, in Jericho or a bit south of Jericho. And apparently that decision was taken on the 10th of this month, which puts it right when the Vice President was there, evoking images of, let’s say, 2009, when they did exactly the same thing when the Vice President visited. First, I want you – do you have any reaction to the – this latest land confiscation?

MR KIRBY: Yeah. I can tell you quite frankly we’ve seen these reports. We’re concerned about this reported expropriation of about, I think you said, 580 – it’s 580, I think – acres in the West Bank as state land, which is a significant increase over the prior announcement. This decision is, in our view, the latest step in what appears to be an ongoing process of land expropriations, settlement expansions, and legalizations of outposts that is fundamentally undermining the prospects for a two-state solution. As we have said before, we strongly oppose any steps that accelerate settlement expansion, which raise serious questions about Israel’s long-term intentions. And as we’ve repeatedly made clear, we continue to look to both sides to demonstrate with actions and policies a genuine commitment to a two-state solution. Actions such as these do just the opposite.

Let us be very clear here: Israel took this land from no one. And there was no one to take it FROM. No Arabs live in this area. The land has been farmed by Jews for more than 20 years.

Declaring this part of the Jordan Valley state land changes not a thing. It just solidifies Israel’s security and makes it possible to develop sandy nothingness into farming land (instead of letting Hamas or the PA turn it into an enemy position from which Arabs can kill as many Jews as possible).

Describing this legal designation of unclaimed land as “land confiscation” or “expropriation” is a very serious, extreme libel against the Jewish State by the American administration and no less than we have come to expect from this hostile president.

Moreover, the idea that Israel would allow this unclaimed land to become part of an Arab state is a non-starter. The Jordan Valley is deemed integral to Israel’s security. No matter how many times Ban Ki Moon and Barack Obama and their minions try to force Israel into ceding this territory to an enemy bent on Israel’s destruction, it just ain’t happening.

It would be suicide.

If the world doesn’t know this, it is because the world is not bothering to learn the facts. Which is maybe why Bibi thought to explain it all to President Obama. Or not. Because I think the President darned well knows what it would mean for Israel to cede the Jordan Valley to the Arabs. And I think Bibi knows he knows.

Realpolitik is getting us nowhere and it’s getting us dead. I have said it many times: the way out of this morass of violence is for Israel to assert its sovereignty over all its sovereign land. This would include designating unclaimed Jewish indigenous territory, state land. Every time Israel agrees to negotiate, every time Israel cedes land or control over its land, bloodshed ensues, for both Jews and Arabs. A show of strength by Israel is exactly what’s needed for both our peoples.

This legal designation of unclaimed land is a very good start to regaining the upper hand. It’s what Israel needs in order to hold on to its tiny sliver of land. It’s a sliver of land situated at the center of a boiling sea of hostile enemies. There can be no more two-state solution because Jordan is Palestine, Gaza is Palestine.

And the Jordan Valley is ours.


Varda Epstein

A third-generation-born Pittsburgher on her mother’s mother’s side, Varda moved to Israel 36 years ago and is a crazy political animal who spams people with right wing political articles on Facebook in between raising her 12 children and writing about education as the communications writer at Kars for Kids a Guidestar gold medal charity.

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