I was all for "retention" as the political buzzword.

 
It is my presumption that politicians are afraid of movement, initiative, change. Presented with plans for immediate application of sovereignty over Judea and Samaria or suggestions of additional annexation moves, the reaction would be one of nervousness. I suggested a new campaign:
 

Retain The Territories


Retention, which I employed in this 2005 op-ed, avoids the issue of "sovereignty" which, I am forced to acknowledge, scares people because they think - wrongly - that Israel doesn''t have the better claim but it does.

The US Joint Chiefs of Staff reported on June 29, 1967, submitting an opinion about Israel’s needs for retaining territory which detailed in this Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense from the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCSM-373-67) possible lines in Judea and Samaria as so:

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a. The Jordanian West Bank. Control of the high ground running north-south through the middle of West Jordan generally east of the main north-south highway along the axis Jenin-Nablus-Bira-Jerusalem and then southeast to a junction with the Dead Sea at the Wadi el Daraja would provide Israel with a militarily defensible border...
Israel should not have pay a price of "territorial compromise".


I''ve been now outflanked:

ZOA''s Mort Klein had asked Newt Gingrich:

What is your position about the right of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] and the right of Jews to live in communities there at this present time?

and Gingrich replied:
 
Well, it depends on where exactly you define the boundaries. I do not oppose any development in the [Israeli occupied] areas, because I think that’s part of the negotiating process. To the degree that the Palestinians want to stop the developments they need to reach a deal in which they recognize the right of Israel to exist… As long as they are waging war on Israel, they are in no position to complain about developments. I think the whole peace process has been absurd and has created a psychologically almost impossible position for the average person because once you say there’s a peace process you wonder why the Israelis aren’t being more forthcoming. But if you say, look, we’re still in the middle of a war. They’re still trying to destroy the country — they’re still firing rockets, they still have terrorists coming in — then you all of a sudden understand what the real situation on the ground is, and in that setting, why would the Israelis slow down in maximizing their net bargaining advantage?
 
This thinking quickly followed his words to another Jewish questioner in an earlier interview when Gingrich said:-

"Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. And I think that we''ve had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, who are historically part of the Arab community."

Many of our establishment Jews, even some who share blog space here were upset, almost declaring Gingrich to be irrelevantly silly. But a statement like this one gets a free pass:


Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Gingrich needs to reexamine the history books..."The Palestinian people inhabited the land since the dawn of history, and intend to remain in it until the end times…People like Gingrich must consult history..."
 
Following Rick Perry (“I consider the Israeli settlements to be legal, from my perspective, and I support them...where the Israelis are clearly on Israel’s land that they have hard fought to win and to keep, absolutely.") and Rick Santorum (“The bottom line is that that [Judea & Samaria] is legitimately Israeli country. And they have a right to do within their country just like we have a right to do within our country [...] all the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis, they’re not Palestinians. There is no Palestinian, this is Israeli land."), the visit of five Congressmen to Judea and Samaria, the South Carolina State Assembly decision, US politics seems to be reorienting to the original intent of Congress.
 
Almost 90 years ago, the United States accepted the terms of the Mandate and its territorial applicability which included Judea and Samaria – and Gaza -  both in a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress on June 30, 1922 which was then signed on September 21, 1922, by then President Warren G. Harding, as well as appending its signature to the Anglo-American Convention of 1924. 

Gingrich, Perry, Santorum and others are not making any new statements but repeating traditional American diplomatic policy: Jews have a legal right to reside in Judea and Samaria and build their homes there.

^

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