A left-leaning, peace-promoting Israeli leader is supposed to view what the world calls the “West Bank” as Palestinian Arab land illegally occupied by Israel.
Only Jewish “extremists” insist on calling the region by its biblical name – Judea and Samaria – and on the divinely-mandated right of Jews to settle these lands.
At least that’s the typical narrative.
But President Isaac Herzog certainly is no extremist, by anyone’s accounting. He’s seen the world over as one of Israel’s more dovish leaders.
Perhaps some people’s view of Herzog will change after his visit this week to the Binyamin region north of Jerusalem, in the part of the “West Bank” where the Palestinian Authority’s de facto capital of Ramallah is situated.
“Our forefathers were here in Binyamin and put down roots in the heart of the Land of Israel,” Herzog stated while standing beside his wife Michal at the Shaar Binyamin industrial park.
The visit wasn’t just about history. Herzog praised the present Jewish resettlement of biblical locations like Ofra and Shiloh, and the growth taking place there among Israeli communities.
Binyamin Regional Council Chairman Israel Ganz stated: “This visit attests to the central position of Binyamin and the towns in Judea and Samaria. Thanks to the Jewish heritage here and the human capital in these towns, Binyamin is growing and developing. We thank the president for coming to visit and to encourage us to continue developing this precious region that is home to Jews of all types, in the heart of the Land of Israel.”
Anyone who thinks that any Israeli government, left or right, is ever going to surrender Judea and Samaria is engaging in unprecedented wishful thinking.
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