For several hundred years before the Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917, enlightened European nations were quite well aware that the Jews needed and should go back to their ancestral land, the Land of Israel, Eretz-Yisrael.  Holland''s Hebraism, England''s Restoration Movement and more.  All civilized people knew that Judea, Samaria and Gaza were part of the geographic area that should be awarded, by historic right, to the Jewish people to become the reconstituted Jewish national home.  And in 1922, after the Versailles Peace Conference, the San Remo Conference and the Leauge of Nations Mandate decision, all that was confirmed by international law.
 
Those areas were not part of Israel between 1948-1967 because, in violation and contravention of the UN partition recommendation of November 29, 1947, Arabs had launched an aggressive war, first from within, then with assistance of ''volunteers'' and then from without, and Israel was not capable, militarily, of maintaining any control over the area and also because David Ben-Gurion actually halted an initiative of Yigal Allon of capturing them (the famous "crying shame" phrase) and when King Abdullah was assassinated, even made a diary entry about perhaps rolling in and taking over Judea and Samaria [see p. 72, footnote 17 here in Hebrew] but reconsidered.

In 1967, following further Arab aggression and an unending terror campaign over a 19-year period by both of the 1950s fedayeen and then the PLO beginning in 1965, Israel assumed administration over Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
 
Deputy-Minister Danny Ayalon has recently produced a video arguing for and explaining why these territories should be considered "disputed" and surely not "occupied".  Indeed, over the past 40 years we have come to hear other terms: "Occupied," "Disputed" or "Administered."
 
But could they be "liberated?"
 
Consider this langauge nuance (thanks to Howard Grief):
 

The goal envisaged by France and Great Britain in prosecuting in the East the War let loose by German ambition is the complete and final liberation of the peoples who have for so long been oppressed by the Turks...the establishment of indigenous Governments and administrations in Syria and Mesopotamia which have already been liberated...to facilitate the economic development of the country by promoting and encouraging local initiative; to foster the spread of education; and to put an end to the dissensions which Turkish policy has for so long exploited. Such is the task which the two Allied Powers wish to undertake in the liberated territories.

Now, I am quite well aware that there is a long-standing Arab propaganda claim that they are the indigenous people, and they deserve self-determination, etc., etc.  But that was answered by over 50 nations who made it clear that in the Middle East, in addition to Arab countries, there would be one Jewish national home and only Jews were gain political rights whereas all other non-Jews would be assured of their civil and religious and personal rights.  Moreover, it was quite clear that the Jewish national home was intended mainly for the Jews living outside of the country still needing to come home and therefore the claim mof indigenous people was not applicable.

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So, maybe the "territories" really could be described as "liberated."
 


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