Israel’s Biblical Heartland, Judea and Samaria, is mostly known and referred to by the term “West Bank,” a name given to it by Jordan in the 20th century—during its illegal occupation of the territory. The name “West Bank,” however, denies the rich history of the region, instead originating in the simple fact that it sits on the west bank of the Jordan River.
The term was propagated by those who deny Israel’s right to the land and seek to tear it from the Jews for the creation of a terrorist state.
A quick look at the history of Judea and Samaria
The United Nations, today a vitriolic Israel-hating organization, made reference to the region in 1947, months before the modern nation of Israel was established: “The boundary of the hill country of Samaria and Judea starts on the Jordan River…” It wasn't long though before they changed course, under the control of nations that want Israel wiped off the map.
“The boundary of the hill country of Samaria and Judea starts on the Jordan River…”
The name comes from the era of the Kings of Israel some 3,000 years ago, when the nation was divided into two parts (1 Kings 12). The area north of Jerusalem was called Samaria, after one of its capital cities. The area of Jerusalem and south was mostly in the territory of the tribe of Judah “Yehudah.” Judea is simply a variation of Judah, as is the term “Jews” (Yehudim).
Judea and Samaria is home to many significant places we read about in the Bible: Hebron, Bethlehem, Bethel, Jericho, Shiloh, Shechem and many others are all in Judea and Samaria,
This region where most of the events of the Bible took place, remains the home of the Jewish people and the heart of the nation. It seems that no other people group in the world today receives as much condemnation as do the Jews living in Judea and Samaria. Imagine that! The world hates to see Jews living in Judea. It makes sense then, that they refer to it with a generic name that bears no relation to its history or legal status.
Using the correct terminology makes a difference
Rabbi Dov Fischer succinctly summarizes the importance of using the correct name: “Names have great power and meanings. That is why Israel's enemies call that region ‘The West Bank.’ And why we should call it Judea and Samaria.”
“Names have great power and meanings. That is why Israel's enemies call that region ‘The West Bank.’ And why we should call it Judea and Samaria.”
Lovers of Israel need to completely reject the misnomer “West Bank,” a name given to it and popularized by those who hate the Jewish State. We need to boldly proclaim the truth regarding this crucial region, under attack from all sides. Calling the region Judea and Samaria correctly embraces its history, and recognizes the Jewish Peoples’ indisputable right to build their futures in their homeland.