Beyond The Green Line ‘Konseptzya’

What Is the ‘Green Line’

Following the 1948-1949 Israel war for independence, ending with a ceasefire, the “Green Line” is the name given to the ceasefire line of contact between Israel and the “West Bank” which remained under Jordan’s illegal occupation.

The “Green Line” was considered to be the de facto border of the State of Israel and was named for the green ink that was used by the ceasefire political orchestrators who drew the physical boundary line.

The land of Israel was under the rule of the British Mandate for Palestine since 1922. As soon as the British troops left, in May, 1948, Israel declared independence on Friday, May 14, 1948, without specifying the borders this new state would have.

As soon as the UN resolution, declaring Israel a sovereign state passed, the War of Independence began. The Mandatory Brits had no interest in keeping order in the land; they did not attempt to enforce the borders the UN had proposed and presented. The British left the land and let the Jews and Arabs duke it out.

On Saturday, May 15, 1948, the regular armies of the Arab countries Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt, with Saudi Arabia sending a formation that fought under the Egyptian command, attacked Israel simultaneously. The Arabs wanted all of Israel and the Jews out of the land; the Arabs wanted all or nothing and they got nothing.

In 1949, Israel agreed to a cease-fire, negotiated in Rhodes, where the border today known as the “Green Line” was drawn up for the first time, as the temporary border between Israel and Transjordan.

Due to the outcome of the 1948-49 war, Israel did not succeed in holding on to what is today known as Judea and Samaria, which was part of the entire land approved by the UN as the sovereign state of Israel. Transjordan got to rule this portion of the land, west of the Jordan River, and thus changed its name to the Kingdom of Jordan and it physically expelled hundreds of Jews who had lived there for centuries.

The 'Green Line' map - Screenshot
The ‘Green Line’ map – Screenshot

After Israel’s War of Independence ended, Jordan ruled over what it named “West Bank” and Egypt ruled in the Gaza Strip.

Jordan insisted that the cease-fire line of contact clearly stated that these borders were only a temporary ceasefire line, not final and not internationally recognized borders, and put in place until a final agreement could be reached.

This temporary ceasefire border status has lasted for some 74 years, longer than the entire existence of communist Soviet Union.

In the 1967 Six Day War, Jordan attacked Israel. Though Israel liberated the “West Bank,” the “Green Line” was never erased and at first Jews were forbidden from settling in the “West Bank.”

After the devastating 1973 Yom Kippur War which was another Arab states attempt to erase Israel from the map, in 1974 the Gush Emunim organization was founded. It began forcing the establishment of Jewish communities in the “West Bank” which assumed the original, Biblical names of Judea and Samaria regions.

After Gush Emunim’s many uphill encounters with the Labour-left government of Israel, in 1977 Menachem Begin, leading Israel’s political right-wing opposition, seized power and became Israel’s Prime Minister. A year later, the first Jewish-Israeli settlement in Samaria was legalized making it a no turning back fact while opening the door for Israeli-Jews settling in Samaria and Judea.

More Israeli settlements appeared all over Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip. The legal status of Judea and Samaria turned from “occupied [by Israel] territories” to “disputed*,” a more neutral language, opening to some of Israel’s claims to the land.

*The Arabs that Israel “gained” in the 1967 Six Day War saw Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip to be occupied territory and demanded of Israel to “end the occupation,” leaving no room for territorial compromise, as suggested by the original language of the 1967 UN Security Council Resolution 242.

In 1993, the Oslo Accords were signed and with it the Palestinian Authority (PA) was established to allow it to exercise self-rule in some parts of the biblical Judea and Samaria regions.

In 1994 Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty but the 1949 “Green Line” map marking remained relevant. Israeli law does not apply to the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Israel unilaterally gave up any and all presence in the Gaza Strip, where Hamas took control in 2007.

In Israel’s political system there are the right and the left political parties. Had Israel been a dictatorship it would have just destroyed and annexed Judea and Samaria regions without a second thought. However, as a democracy the country often faces a political standstill in making decisions. When the right wants to annex Judea and Samaria the left blocks it; when the left wants to evacuate Jewish communities from the “disputed” area, the right will block it.

Given this situation and how internationally infected this matter is, now more than ever, since the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack in Israel, a hostile independent Arab-Palestinian state within those borders could be an existential threat to Israel. Any kind of solution is difficult to fathom.

A view from the community of Yitzhar-יצהר, northern Samaria (Shomron),all the way to Israel Mediterranean shoreline - Photo: Nurit Greenger
A view from the community of Yitzhar-יצהר, northern Samaria (Shomron),all the way to Israel Mediterranean shoreline – Photo: Nurit Greenger

The Green Line, a Psychological Border

The entire establishment of Jewish communities beyond the “Green Line” became a controversy for Israelis. The ongoing battles of the Jews who wanted to settle in Judea and Samaria with their government dissuaded many Israel from crossing the “Green Line.” A trip overseas became a preference to a visit to the ancient land of Judea and Samaria where the Bible comes alive. To some degree, Judea and Samaria became a pariah.

But now a new reality has set in due to the war with Hamas. The majority of Israelis realized that Judea and Samaria are their geographic safety belt providers. The time has come to cross the invisible mapped-marked ‘Green Line’ and acknowledge that Judea and Samaria are part and parcel of greater Israel.

The ‘Konseptzya’ (Concept)

The Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, opened the eyes of Israeli Jews. They realize that their governments, left and right coalitions, led them astray for years; they have gone totally wrong in dealing with the ongoing conflict with the Arabs since 1948.

The Oslo Accords were wrong and fatal; the disengagement of all the Israeli communities from Gaza, in 2005, was wrong; giving land away and receiving nothing in return but bloodshed of Jews was wrong; pleasing and appeasing a hostile world on account of Israel survival was wrong.

The current war with Hamas is an existential war and in a way is the continuation of Israel’s 1948 Independence War.

With all the wrongs done, the Israelis coined the term “konseptzya” and they now try to seek remedy to all that has gone wrong; the konseptzya with which they have lived since the 1967 Six Day War. According to a majority of Israelis, the konseptzya for one, is the two-state solution which they now see to be dead. Witnessing Hamas’ latest actions Israel simply cannot afford to have a hostile Arab state established in 2-3 miles proximity.

Judea and Samaria, Beating Heart of the State of Israel

The future of the nation of Israel depends on its homeland.

And this is not just a cliché. Rather, a statement with deep roots and meaning. The difference between a Jew from the time of the Holocaust, 80 years ago, and the Jew of today is the fact that ‘next year in Jerusalem’ prayer has been answered; the revival of the people of Israel and their holy language, Hebrew, became a fact of life, taking place in their homeland, the Holy Land, the Land of Zion and Jerusalem – the State of Israel.

The war with Hamas brought Judea and Samaria, across the “Green Line” to the center of Israeli consciousness. The Jewish settlement enterprise and the residents of Judea and Samaria are now receiving recognition and appreciation from the nation they should have received years ago.

From the mountains of Samaria you can see the entire coastal plain of the State of Israel, from the very north all the way to the Dead Sea in the south. A distance of minutes by fighter plane or fired rocket.

If Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria were pictured in the eyes of the citizens of Israel as a trailer park or temporary structures; the picture has changed with facing reality. The reality is Jewish communities with red roof homes and industrial parks that characterize the area that should no longer be called the ‘West Bank’ and will not put cities like Tel Aviv or Jerusalem to shame.

It is a real shame and senseless that Israeli governments, for generations, did not promote and still do not promote an extensive “Jewish settlements” construction boom in Judea and Samaria, which are the heart of the State of Israel.

There is not a piece of land in Judea and Samaria that does not tell the history of the people of Israel from time immemorial. And so the time has come to return to the quarry of Judaism and the nation of Israel, to Judea and Samaria.

A tour of Samaria will open your eyes. I did and will do such a tour every time I visit Israel.

The write is standing on a hill, in the Jewish community of Yitzhar (יצהר) with a panoramic view of Israel's all the way to the Mediterranean Sea shoreline - Photo: Nurit Greenger
The write is standing on a hill, in the Jewish community of Yitzhar (יצהר) with a panoramic view of Israel’s all the way to the Mediterranean Sea shoreline – Photo: Nurit Greenger

The 2-State Solution

Now when Israel is in an existential war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip and with Hamas’ tentacles in Judea and Samaria territory, where the Palestinian Authority (PA) has some limited jurisdiction and where there are ongoing terror activities against Jews, many which end up with Jewish fatality, the question of the 2-state solution is up for discussion again.

Consequently we must ask: do we wish to live in a world where an aggressor doesn’t take a risk? Do we wish to live in a world where a country, a terror group, someone with ill intent can attack another country without provocation from the party attacked and not risk losing a part of their own land?

My answer is not at all.

Nurit Greenger

During the 2006 second Lebanon War, Nurit Greenger, referenced then as the “Accidental Reporter” felt compelled to become an activist. Being an ‘out-of-the-box thinker, Nurit is a passionately committed advocate for Jews, Israel, the United States, and the Free World in general. From Southern California, Nurit serves as a “one-woman Hasbarah army” for Israel who believes that if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.

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