A number of Christian and Jewish American groups have announced the formation of an umbrella organization that will lobby against acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s plan to withdraw Jewish communities from the West Bank, arguing in part any withdrawal would be against United States interests.
“Olmert’s plan means the destruction of the Jewish state. Judea and Samaria is part of Israel’s biblical homeland. It borders Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and most other major Israeli cities. There is not a single doubt if Israel vacated this heartland it would be turned over to Islamic terror groups for use to attack Israel with missiles,” said Susan Roth, founder of the United Front for the Land of Israel, the new coalition of American organizations acting against an Israeli West Bank evacuation.
Leaders of new United Front at New York press conference
“Olmert’s withdrawal would be a victory for worldwide Islamic terror. It would result in the formation of an al-Qaida/Islamic Jihad/Iranian-satellite state that would serve as a sanctuary for all kinds of terrorists. The withdrawal would be disastrous for America’s war on terror, for Israel and for the Jewish people. We have come together to do everything we can to stop this withdrawal from happening,” Roth said.
Roth is also chairperson of the Eshet Chayil Foundation, a Jewish humanitarian and charity organization. She was one of several Jewish leaders to speak at a press conference last week announcing the formation of the new United Front.
Olmert last month revealed his administration will seek to change Israel’s borders by withdrawing from most of the West Bank. He said it is necessary to separate from the Palestinians for reasons of demography, claiming the large Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip threatens Israel’s Jewish character.
The Front plans to educate the public about what they say are the dangers of a West Bank withdrawal and lobby U.S. politicians against Olmert’s plan.
The new organization also plans to promote the results of a new demographic study presented to Congress last week that documents the Palestinians inflated their numbers by over 50 percent, and that contrary to Palestinian Authority statistics, Jews in 20 years will likely outnumber Arabs by two-to-one if the West Bank and Gaza are retained.
The allegedly inflated PA population numbers have been accepted by Israel and were reportedly used in formulating future demographic statistics, including those outlined in Olmert’s withdrawal plan.
Groups now part of the United Front include Americans For A Safe Israel, the Jewish Action Alliance, Women in Green, Justice for Jews, Friends of YESHA, the Jewish Political Educational Foundation and several university-based groups. Roth says she welcomes other American organizations to join.
Joseph Frager, chairman of the Jerusalem Reclamation Project, which joined the Front, told WorldNetDaily, “It is inconceivable that while Hamas talks of destroying Israel, Olmert talks of further concessions and appeasement. This time Judea and Samaria. How can the U.S. allow this? Would President Bush cede territory to al-Qaida?”
Susan Roth, chairperson of the Eshet Chayil Foundation
Roth charged Olmert “wants to expel the religious members of Israeli society no matter how he does it to create a secular Israel. He plans on transferring the 250,000 Jews of Judea and Samaria into the Negev to be assimilated with nonreligious Jews.”
The Israeli Negev desert stretches from Eilat at the south of the country through Ber Sheva in the north. It encompasses about 66 percent of the land of Israel, but only houses about 10 percent of its population. Most Negev residents are secular Jews and Bedouins.
A top Kadima official last week told WND Olmert’s plan is to push for residents displaced during any withdrawal to either move to other West Bank communities that will remain intact or to settle in the Israeli Negev desert.
Together with Jewish organizations, particularly the American-based Jewish National Fund, Israel has led teams in developing the Negev into fertile land and preparing new communities in the area. Several American real estate companies and private U.S. citizens have invested large sums in Negev construction efforts, announcing plans to move 250,000 new residents to the area in the near future.
The West Bank, home to over 200,000 Jews, is considered landlocked territory not officially recognized as part of any country. Israel calls the land “disputed,” while the United Nations says the West Bank is “occupied” by Israel. The Jewish state maintains overall control of most of the area while the Palestinian Authority has jurisdiction in about 40 percent.
Many villages in the West Bank, which Israelis commonly refer to as the “biblical heartland,” are mentioned throughout the Torah.
Withdrawal from the West Bank may place Jerusalem and Tel Aviv within Palestinian rocket range depending on which territories are evacuated. Military strategists long have estimated Israel must maintain the West Bank to defend its borders from any ground invasion.
In a widely circulated WND article, leaders of every major Palestinian terror organization warned last month they will soon launch a massive violent campaign against Israel focused mainly on West Bank Jewish communities.
One senior terrorist said now that Olmert announced a West Bank withdrawal, terrorism against Israel must be stepped up “to prove we are chasing out the Israelis like we did in Gaza.”