By Howard Teich
Published in Long Island Jewish World/ Sentinel

President Obama opens the gathering in Washington, DC last week with the words, “This moment of opportunity may not soon come again.  They cannot afford to let it slip away.”  I agree, and yet, I am looking at the prospects differently than he is.  This is not the Year 2000, and much has changed.

We have awaited this opportunity for 2,000 years, to have Judea and Samaria and the entirety of Jerusalem as part of modern-day Israel.  Yes, now is that opportunity to guarantee it, and we must not lose that chance.

We need Judea and Samaria for Israel’s security, as without it and the protection of the Jordan Valley, Jerusalem could be attacked within two minutes, Ben Gurion Airport would be impossible to defend, and most rockets would be able to strike the major Israel population centers with extraordinary destructive capability within minutes.  Yes, now is that opportunity to broaden the safety zone, and we must not lose that chance.

We have 500,000 vibrant Jewish citizens of Israel in Judea and Samaria, and the eastern part of Jerusalem, and we must never again destroy our communities as was done in Gush Katif. and Yamit.  We should have been asking, and demanding answers to why Jews would not be allowed to live in a Palestinain State, and demanding of the world to explain their acceptance of this premise.    Yes, we must not lose the chance of having Jews living in our ancient homeland, promised by G-d..

And, we have the potential to work with the Palestinians who would remain on the land to continue to increase their individual standard of living, and secure their freedom of worship, and not risk losing that to Iranian-backed Hamas, and now is the opportunity to guarantee it, and we must not lose that chance.

There is a time for every deal to close, and the Palestinian Arabs may have missed their best opportunity in Judea and Samaria.  Right now there are negotiations underway, and yet there are murmurings that Abbas will insist on an extension of the moratorium on Jewish building in Judea and Samaria.  My answer to Abbas would be brief and simple, “We are building our future homes, and it’s time for Israel to annex the land of Judea and Samaria.”   September 26th will be the day that Israel takes its rightful ownership of its Biblical lands.  Now, let’s talk peace.”

For years Israel has offered incredible opportunities for peace to the Palestinian Arabs, and they have rejected all of it including offers to return nearly 100% of the land, with land-swaps.  I say that the same opportunity should be taken off the table, and Israel must move on to develop the land, and secure its  future.

Yes, secure its future.  Most recent studies conclude that Israel can never give up the Jordan Valley, with today’s threat of modern technology both in missiles and in cyber technology.  The Palestinians failed to cut a deal before the Israelis faced a strengthened Hezbollah to the North in Lebanon, the increasing control of Syria by Iran, the radicalization of the Palestinians in Gaza, and most importantly the failure of Abbas to build a credible infrastructure for peace, and for a Palestinian State that would survive.

Abbas could not hold on to Gaza when he had the opportunity, and he has failed miserably notwithstanding enormous support from Israel, and worldwide aid, to show that he either wants to, or could successfully build a Palestinian State that would give Israel any sense of long-term security.

Just this past week, in keeping with longstanding Palestinian tradition, four vital, contributing and essential Israeli citizens, one a pregnant woman, were brutally and calculatingly murdered in terrorist killings in Judea and Samaria.  Of course, it is passed off as Hamas wanting to fracture the peace talks, and Abbas is let off the hook in the hope of continuing with the negotiations.  I say it was Abbas’ obligation to protect these people, and he either couldn’t, or he was complicit in the killings.  Either way, he has shown no ability to control security on these lands, and protect human lives.

So, I say you had your chance, Mr. Abbas, as did your predecessor Yassir Arafat, and you failed your people, and Israel need not stop building, nor wait any longer to annex its Biblical land as a part of modern Israel.  And your people have a choice, as Arabs have done in Israel since its birth, to have better lives than they have now, and become citizens of Israel.  They will have to end their dream of destroying Israel, including changing school textbooks to change hate to support.

The land of Judea and Samaria was lost by the Arabs to Israel in the 1967 War, started by Arabs to destroy Israel.  It didn’t work out that way, and Jordan walked out of the land, for which they had only two countries recognize their control during their years of   occupation.  Yes, that’s all.  And the Palestinians never had a claim to the land.  It was never Occupied Territory.  UN Resolution 242 did not require Israel to return the land, and certainly the Resolution never had in mind using this same land to establish a Palestinian State.

So, I say we must fight for peace now, and we should be sitting with Abbas, but I say the parameters for negotiation must be changed.  The possibility for a Palestinan State can still be discussed, and it should be limited to the land today called Gaza, which is today controlled by the terrorist organization Hamas.

And it’s been threat after threat from Abbas and his Arab friends.  And step by step, with the support of other Arab countries, and their people throughout the world, they have done their best to threaten and isolate Israel.  Well, if they’re following Allah, as they say, I have a G-d to lead me on, and to lead my people, and the Word was given millennia ago, “This is the Land that I Have Given to You.”

So, with joy, and enthusiasm, I would support Israel’s annexation of Judea and Samaria, and the incorporation of the entirety of Jerusalem, as part of Israel, and commit to being on the front-lines, as a United States citizen, to call on the President of the United States, Barak Obama, and the United States Congress, to recognize the annexation.  This would be in the long-term best interests of Israel, of the United States, and of the great majority of the Palestinians.