In an unassuming way, the United States has been taking steps to show the world that Jewish life in Judea and Samaria is normal and right. There is a report this week that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will not only visit the Golan Heights on his visit to Israel next week, but he will also travel across the Green Line to visit Psagot Winery, located in Samaria, just north of Jerusalem.
While the “deal of the century” contained dangerous elements for Israel and advocated for the establishment of a Palestinian state, the United States has shown its strong support for Israel’s heartland in other ways since Donald Trump took office. One of his first steps was to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This was a controversial decision since Jerusalem has been at the forefront of every negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians for decades. Palestinians insist that Jerusalem must be on the table to be divided in any peace negotiations. President Trump’s bold move cemented America’s commitment to Israel’s eternal right to Jerusalem as their capital city.
The United States also recognized the Golan Heights as part of Israel, a move which should have been made long ago, but took the boldness of our current president to accomplish. There was no question as to whether Israel would ever cede the Golan Heights to Syria. Nevertheless, for years no country ever dared to officially recognize the territory as part of Israel.
Finally, in what became known as the Pompeo Doctrine in November 2019, the United States recognized that Israel’s settlements are not illegal according to international law. This was the most groundbreaking declaration America has made concerning Israel, as for years Israel’s settlements in Judea and Samaria were amongst the most controversial places in all of the Middle East, if not the world. Even though an international law cannot actually be found stating that the settlements are illegal, the world has constantly declared them to be so. Mike Pompeo and President Trump’s Administration were the only ones who had the boldness to state the truth.
The United States followed up on the Pompeo Doctrine by announcing last week that they are lifting the ban on government-funded projects that are located across the Green Line. If indeed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo crosses into Samaria to visit the Psagot Winery located just north of Jerusalem, he will again make history. Pompeo already made history by being the first Secretary of State to visit the Western Wall in March of 2019.
Many people claim that the United States is only widening the gap between Israel and the Palestinians by normalizing the existence of a Jewish state in territories like Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights. Nothing could be further from the truth.
This week Saeb Erekat died. Erekat served as the Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator for many years. He made headlines recently when Israel transferred him to Hadassah hospital to be treated for COVID-19. Erekat has a long record of promoting blood libels, advocating for violence against Israelis, and promoting massive lies about Israel. Most notably, he promoted a claim that Israel massacred hundreds of Palestinians in the town of Jenin in 2002, a claim which was completely refuted.
When Erekat needed life-saving treatment, however, he requested to go to Israel for help. Israel, in a perfect example of loving their enemies, brought him to Hadassah hospital and did everything in their power to save his life.
This is a perfect example of why peace will never be achieved by trying to give the Palestinians a state. A people controlled by a corrupt government who pay their people to murder Jews, will never achieve peace in this region. On the contrary, Israel has not only proven themselves to be people of peace, but they have proven that they care about the Palestinian people much more than the Palestinian’s own government. Normalizing Jewish life in Judea and Samaria can only mean one thing for Israel and the Palestinian people – peace.
We pray that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo crosses the Green Line to visit Psagot Winery next week. It will be America’s chance to make one more huge step in recognizing that Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the Golan Heights are an everlasting part of the nation of Israel.