The Battle for Eretz Yisrael-the Land of Israel's Identity

Tsafrir Ronen


From the day the Zionist Movement was established, the historical meaning of settling the Land of Israel was two-pronged: not only reclaiming the land for the Nation of Israel but mainly returning the Biblical identity to Eretz Yisrael-the Land of Israel.


The pioneers who turned um-Juni to Degania   (the first kibbutz "collective farm"—established in 1909 by Jews in the areas of the Land of Israel then under Ottoman control), brought back the Hebrew identity. This was a piece of our homeland that was restored to us.

The working brigade of 70 young people from Gdud Ha'avoda  who turned Ein Jalud to Ein Harod (in the Jezreel Valley) brought the Biblical identity from Gideon's times to the Valley.

The establishment of Mishmar Ha’emek turned “Abu Shusha” hills to Mishmar Ha'emek hills.

The establishment of Rosh Pinna (Rosh Pinna was settled in 1882 by a group of pioneers from Romania) and turned Jauni to Guy-Oni (valley of strength) to Rosh Pinna.

Each settlement returned each remote point on the Land to its Biblical Hebrew identity. 

 Elon Moreh (Elon Moreh is an Israeli settlement located in the Samarian Hills of the West Bank northeast of Shechem/Nablus on the slopes of the Mount Kabir ridge; it represents the pioneering spirit of rebuilding the Land of Israel after 2000 years of exile. The community overlooks the city of Shechem) and has renewed the Israel identity of Biblical Elon Moreh.


The latest battle for  Hebron is not a battle over two, pioneer families who renewed Jewish life in that city; it is a battle over the identity of Hebron. If Jews are living there then Hebron’s identity will be Jewish. If only Arabs will be living there  even her name 'Hebron' will vanish - to become el-Khalil (Shrine of the Friend). The Left wants Hebron to have an Arab identity. The hatred for the settlements is their hatred for the identity of the Land of Israel and for Am Yisrael-the Nation of Israel. This is the entire story.


However, it is not only Hebron. The Left does not want to see Jewish identity in Judea and Samaria. Their friends in the media continue calling the heart of the Land of Israel by foreign names that our enemies use i.e. “Palestine” as the androgynous Hadrianus Caesar named it; “West Bank, as King Hussein named it, “territories,” “occupied land.” They will call the Biblical Land any name possible but will not label it by the names that give back its Jewish identity -Judea and Samaria -  because Judea means the Land of the Jews and Eretz Yisrael means it is the Land of Am Yisrael - the Nation of Israel. 


Just as  Ire-Land is the Land of the Irish and Eng-Land the Land of the English and Fin-Land the Land of the Finns, the name  Eretz Yisrael-the Land of Israel—means the Land of the Israelis. The Identity of the Land is the same as the identity of the Nation residing in it, therefore, the Nation of Israel cannot be an occupier of the Land of Israel.


If not for the renewal of the settlements in Shiloh, Beit El,  and Elon Moreh, these names would have remained abstract legendary Biblical names. The settlements created the renewal of the land’s identity and returned to its districts their real names, reclaiming from the Arab occupier the false Arabic identity. Shiloh recreated and renewed the Biblical town of Shiloh. If Judea and Samaria were abandoned  it would  be not only a physical act  but also an identity abandonment.   Again, on the  map of the world the land would no longer be called Eretz Yisrael-the Land of Israel or Israel but another name.


You see, until ’67 Judea and Samaria appeared on world maps as “The West Bank of the Kingdom of Jordan.” The victory against the Jordanian military brought back the Biblical names. If these places were to be abandoned the enemy would not call them by their  Hebrew names but rather by the false name, 'Palestine', an artificial name Hadrianus Caesar gave  it to fulfill  his ambition to destroy the Jewish identity in Judea after he subdued the Bar Kokhba revolt.  Hadrianus’ curse did not succeed. Within a short time , the name 'Palestine' was forsaken and forgotten.


The Crusaders named the land “The Kingdom of Jerusalem.” The Arab occupation did not have a name for the land; it was referred to  merely as "Southern Syria".   For 1300 years the land had no identity in the absence of the Biblical Jewish nation that identified itself with it.  No one claimed ownership but our nation.  The British, when they halted immigration and settlements understood what the anti -Zionists among us understand, too, that settling the land returns the Israeli identity to the Land and each settlement that carries a Hebrew name is  a milestone for the Hebrews.


The battle is not of tanks or warplanes; today’s battle is the most crucial and decisive one, the battle for the identity of the Land - whether it will have the pagan, false Arabic identity of  Hadrianus Caesar, or the Biblical Israeli identity, the real name of the Land.


This is the entire story. Only the settlements will return the Israeli identity to the Land.  The Arabs demand that Olmert transfer the Land free and clear of Jews. As long as there are Jews in Judea, that place cannot not be called by its false name -'Palestine'.  The only thing that stops the cadre of traitors from transferring our Land to the enemy, already at our gates, is their inability to uproot the settlements that halt the wheels of destruction.

The building of tens of hundreds of new settlements is our only guarantee that Eretz Yisrael-the Land of Israel will have an Israeli identity.  The wish to destroy the settlements is the wish to destroy the identity of the land, the Land of the Nation of Israel—the Land of Israel.


Tsafrir Ronen


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