Guardian

Guardian refers to ‘Judea and Samaria’ as “right-wing” terms


The Guardian’s Middle East editor Ian Black published a report on July 16 about new EU guidelines on Israeli “settlements” – a so-called “territorial applicability clause” which spells out the rules, beginning in 2014, on funding projects across the green line. Whilst the original story in Haaretz – as Yair Rosenberg explained in a superb piece at Tablet – significantly exaggerated the importance of the new policy, Black’s story included a passage which itself reflects an extremely skewed understanding of the region.  

Black wrote the following: 

The EU’s “territorial applicability clause” spells out that there can be consequences for flouting UN resolutions and international legality. Not enormous ones, true, but they still include funding, co-operation, scholarships, research funds and prizes for institutions in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem…

The new Brussels guidelines are hardly the “earthquake” described in Jerusalem. But they do reflect changes on the ground in the territory that Israeli rightwingers call by the biblical names of Judea and Samaria and do not recognise as the heartland of Palestinian national aspirations.

However, Black’s implication that the term “West Bank” is the historically correct term and “Judea and Samaria” are modern, right-wing “settler” terms, has no basis in fact.  The term “West Bank” was not a term ever used by the area’s inhabitants or, for that matter, by anyone at all, until King Abdullah’s army occupied the territory after crossing the Jordan westward during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

As the Language Blog at the Jewish Daily Forward explained:

“Judea” and “Samaria,” the Hebrew “Yehuda” and “Shomron,” are not [merely] biblical words for the hill districts south and north of Jerusalem that were revived by Israeli nationalists after the 1967 war. That is, they are indeed biblical words, but they have been used by Jews through the ages and have been the standard Hebrew terms for these parts of Palestine since the beginnings of Zionist settlement in the late 19th century.

In 1950 (a year after Israel’s War of Independence) Abdullah annexed the “West Bank,” [a translation of the Arabic term al-daf’a al-gharbiya] – a move that was protested by the rest of the Arab world as a land grab over the heads of the Palestinians. Already, the previous year, he had changed the official name of his country from The Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan to The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to indicate that it now comprised territory on both sides of the Jordan River rather than only on its eastern side. And to drive home this point, the Jordanians encouraged the use of the terms “East Bank” and “West Bank” as a way of stressing that theirs was a single country that straddled a river running through it. Eventually, “West Bank” became a term used by the “West Bankers” themselves, as well as by the rest of the world.

After the 1967 Six Day War, the term “West Bank” became more common among many on the left to refer to “Judea and Samaria” as a way of expressing opposition to Jews’ re-established presence in the land – as if these lands were suddenly, due to the political situation, devoid of Jewish history.  

As Elder of Ziyon noted, official UN documents routinely used “Judea and Samaria” until the end of the British Mandate, and in fact didn’t begin capitalizing the words “West Bank” until after the Six Day War.  Further, before there were any settlements all, the Israeli government led by the left-wing Labor Party (under Levi Eshkol) called the area “Judea and Samaria” – as this 1968 UPI article, to cite but one example, shows.  

“Judea and Samaria” (Yehuda and Shomron) are the proper Hebrew words for “the central hill country of [historic] Palestine between the Galilee and the Negev”, and using “West Bank” merely because that term became popular under Jordanian rule, which lasted less than 20 years, makes no more sense than referring to eastern Jerusalem as “historically Arab East Jerusalem” because, during that same short span, Jews were ethnically cleansed from the area.

Palestinians routinely use language which downplays or erases Jews’ connection to Jerusalem and the entire land of Israel, and those in the media who use “right-wing” (in the pejorative) to characterize Israelis who fight back against such ahistorical narratives demonstrates how susceptible they are to the most cynical anti-Zionist propaganda. 

48 replies »

  1. I think in ancient time, from what the colonizers remember from 2000 years ago it was called Judea and Samaria – although they are not sure whether it was still the West Bank of river Jordan. Although, today Palestinians know it is the West Bank of river Jordan. However, they do not remember the time when it was called Judea and Samaria. Memory is always selective and history is adopted to justify the present. However, I find it difficult to remember when God exactly decided to give that piece of land and to whom and why? More importantly why should anybody give a damn. It is the West bank of River Jordan. Anybody can verify that by visiting the place Jeff.

    • Really? Is it he entire west bank of the “River Jordan?” Nice obfuscation though.
      You didn’t answer why it would be “right wing” and egregious to simply refer to the area as Judea and Samaria as historians have, the British during the mandate period did, and Jews whose civilization comes from there have for thousands of years.
      “However, they do not remember the time when it was called Judea and Samaria. ”
      Indeed, they only remember what they’re taught, which in itself is rather horrifying.

    • Sorry Alan.
      The River Jordan starts all the way up by my home in the North Hula Valley.
      This bank is not for sale, though the Syrians love to get their hands on it.

      Let’s start called Westminster the North bank, shall we?
      It’s called Westminster because this is what it is called.

  2. No real issues with this, it is quite right that the term “right wing” not be applied to those who call the area ‘Judea and Samaria’ when far more comical phrases are available.

    Telling a Palestinian he cant go home because his home has a different name is funny , there should be a special word to describe someone who can do this with a straight face.

    However CIF 0 CIF Watch 1 for todays match.

    • Rosco:
      “… those who call the area ‘Judea and Samaria’ when far more comical phrases are available.”
      Are you saying the maps from the era are all forged?
      The erea is can be named in both ways but historically it has always been known as Judea.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judea
      It is true that someone decided in 135 AD to remove that name and replace it with Palaestina in order to mock the Jews and erase them from history. But even thoug it upsets you like a bone in your throat the Jews are here to stay!
      Judae will leave!
      You are upset about this and it is understandable if you are called Ben White but alas, there’s noone of importance in that name around here.

      • “… those who call the area ‘Judea and Samaria’ when far more comical phrases are available.”
        Comical phrases such as rascal burnout?

  3. Jeff, I thought the answer was obvious. The Right always lies and deny facts. The West Bank is the West Bank of River Jordan and is a verifiable fact in our times. Now you can argue whether a river bank only extends 0.1 mm from the river or several Kilometers that is another question. I am not a geographer. Those who claim it was called Judea and Samaria when they lived there 2000 years ago is questionable even if we agree somebody can live for 2000 years you will agree at that age their memory will be suspect.

    • Alan Bird:

      “The Right always lies and deny facts.” – Really? That’s a blanket cover…

      “I am not a geographer.” – No Shit Sherlock!

      “Those who claim it was called Judea and Samaria…” – No one’s claiming. It’s written in maps from that era.
      “even if we agree somebody can live for 2000 years…” – Time for your medication again.

    • “Those who claim it was called Judea and Samaria when they lived there 2000 years ago is questionable”

      Never heard of The Good Samaritan? Guess where he hailed from …

    • You’re also not a historian as the West Bank became such when the Jordanians invaded Israel and held onto a portion of it (i.e. squatted there) for roughly 20 years.

      Convenient how you never remember the past Arab aggression that lead directly to the current Palestinian state of affairs.

      • ” the past Arab aggression that lead directly to the current Palestinian state of affairs. ”

        So the arrival of hundreds of thousands of immigrants …was this an issue at all or is it just that Arabs are programmed to be aggressive?

        • Rosco you must have very limited knowledge of the conflict or a very limited understanding ability (probably both). Koufaxmitzwah obviously refers the attack on Israel by the Arab states after the 1948 UN resolution and it has nothing to do with any kind of immigration. But don’t worry it is never to late to learn the basic facts even after you posted laughably ignorant and irrelevant crap.

        • You know what, Rosco? There’s a whole history to this situation. If you don’t know it by now, maybe you should spend your time reading up on it rather than wasting your time showing us Yid just how much of a Grade A Asshole you aspire to be.

          The good news is that you’re relegated to shouting bullshit from the peanut gallery. Whatever peace comes to the Palestinian people will have been made by people like me (Zionists). Your only advice is to continue the war because the Jews who piss you off. So congrats for encouraging to maintain the strife for others. You’ve done a super job. Like Ben White, you’re about as intelligent as corn in poo, a factoid which you shall take to your grave.

        • You are aware that most Palestinians are themselves immigrants from after the first aliyah, right?

  4. A Palestinian can`t go home because ..
    What utter nonsense of a loser. He`s appoaching the level of NatzieNIckJasonJim.

      • Claiming Palestinians are indigenous is like saying the white Europeans who conquered and cleansed the Americas via genocide are indigenous to N. America, on the grounds that they’ve “been here for generations”. Utter fucking nonsense. The Jews were displaced from their homeland for almost 2000 years, but we never forgot or relinquished our claims, our culture, or our identity in the hopes that one day we would finally have our land back. Jews are the indigenous people of Israel. The Arabs are nothing more than dishonest, hypocritical frauds.

  5. Jeff, I thought Alan has a point. To me the answer was obvious. The Right always lies and deny facts. The West Bank is the West Bank of River Jordan and is a verifiable fact in our times. Now you can argue whether a river bank only extends 0.1 mm from the river or several Kilometers that is another question. I am not a geographer. Those who claim it was called Judea and Samaria when they lived there 2000 years ago is questionable even if we agree somebody can live for 2000 years you will agree at that age their memory will be suspect.

    • “The Right always lies and deny facts”…
      Really. Only the right?
      Funny why they’re called the right wingers?
      What about left wingers?
      Don’t they lie?
      Didn’t Stalin lie?
      Just ask any left singer leader in South America if they comit human rights violations and you’ll get the answer.

      • Itsik I’m sure you have heard the old saying “Great minds think alike”?
        If you look at the post/s above by “Alan Bird” and “Chris Baldwin” they are so remarkably similar that not only do “Great minds think alike” but “Anti-Semitic retards do as well”

        That is of course if you believe it is more than one person.
        A very amateur attempt I hope your organ grinder isn’t giving you too many peanuts as you are not earning them.

        • Gerald 🙂
          Two points:
          A) They do not think – at least not in the multicellular level.
          B) They do, however, copy and paste.

        • OK, folks. It’s time for pseudonym bingo! We’ve had Alan Bird. We’ve had Chris Baldwin. Who’s next? My money (following the pattern and given that he seems to have run out of names beginning with J – Jessy, Jason, Jim etc) is on Darren Brown (no relation to Derren, Itsik).

        • “Itsik I’m sure you have heard the old saying “Great minds think alike”?”

          Tiny minds think even more alike.

    • Gee, AlanCHris BirdBaldwin, I just love it when you post the same crap twice under two different names.
      The Alan puppet certainly does have a point – as the top of his head comes to one.
      The West Bank was named that by the Jordanian King – himself a transplant – and the rest of the world was rather slow to pick up the habit of using this name.
      “The Right always lies and deny facts.” If that’s the case, you must be a member in good standing, but my own feeling is that you have the comprehension of a 3 year old.

  6. I have to say, I miss the old guard like Nat and Sanity. At least you could have an impassioned argument with them about facts and philosophy. This new breed are just raving loons, and all you can do is laugh at them. it’s not as much fun.

  7. When is Apartheid going to end in the West Bank – going back in my memory bank 2000 years I recall was called Judea and Samaria – I have got documents to prove it.

  8. Indeed it did in 1967 and than they had the exclusive settlements, exclusive roads exclusive everything but hey that is not racism or Apartheid it is just good old common sense colonialism. You win obviously.

  9. Dirk. I don’t know exactly how stupid you are, but consider this; are there arabs in Israel? Yes/No? Are there Jews in the arab countries? Yes/No? But hey that is not racism or apartheid … Duh.