The rolling hills of Samaria, cradle of the Jewish Nation, present a mosaic of rocky hilltops and fertile valleys, dotted with groves of age-old, silver-green olive trees. The terraced hillsides, first developed by farmers in ancient times, blend into the natural landscape. The vistas and scenery, seemingly unchanged since Biblical days, reflect the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy “Again shall you plant vineyards on the mountains of Shomron”. The perfumed mountain air and dazzling views excite the senses. Beautiful, barren and beckoning, the Shomron patiently awaits the return of the Jewish People.
Yet the Shomron, Eretz Israel’s heartland region, remains an orphan child. Most Israelis don’t go there and few really know anything about it, as if it were on another planet. However, far from being in outer space, the Shomron is virtually in our backyard. From Kfar Saba’s industrial zone it’s a ten minute bike ride away. Its majestic purple and gray mountain range, which runs north-south for 70 km, is clearly visible from any elevated location in Israel’s center. Its downward sloping hillsides provide us with our drinking water.
The most notable feature of the Shomron is the immense strategic value it offers Israel. Its mountain range dominates the heavily populated coastal strip to the west and the strategic Jordan Valley to the east. Whoever controls Samaria also controls 70% of Israel’s population and 80% of her industry capacity. Samaria is arguably more strategic to the State of Israel than the Golan Heights!
Another important feature of the Shomron is that it contains the Mountain Aquifer, Israel’s largest and most significant fresh water reservoir. It supplies about 600 million cubic meters of very high quality fresh water, equivalent to roughly one third of Israel’s yearly water consumption. The Shomron Mountain Aquifer contains at least as much water as the Kinneret!
Did you know that over 2.75 million Israeli Jews, nearly half of the country’s Jewish population, are squeezed into Gush Dan (Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area), an area covering just 6.2% of Greater (post ’67) Israel? Such a dangerous over concentration of civilians leaves us vulnerable and represents a frightful strategic threat in times of war. Meanwhile, the Shomron remains largely uninhabited and its vast land reserves completely underutilized. The 2800 square kilometer Shomron landmass, equal to over 13% of land-scarce pre-’67 Israel, is nearly twice the size of Gush Dan, yet has just one-eightieth (1.25%) of Gush Dan’s Jewish population density.
For an expanded explanation of these and other important features, please visit this website: http://shomroncentral.blogspot.com/. Here you will read about why the Shomron may prove to be an invaluable place of refuge for the center’s population in times of war and learn about the Jewish Biblical, historical and legal rights to Samaria. Also read about the fascinating if controversial phenomenon of “illegal outposts” and hilltop youth, an unfolding drama with long term consequences, happening right now on the hilltops of Samaria.
The above discussion is not only meant to be informative but also serves as a WARNING. Today, all indications point to a likely abandonment of virtually all of the Shomron in the context of either a peace deal or a unilateral withdrawal, if and when that happens. Every thinking and intellectually honest supporter of Israel owes it to him/herself to know exactly what will be at stake should such a scenario materialize and how it will affect us in the future. Here is your opportunity.
I invite you to visit http://shomroncentral.blogspot.com/ for a concise and engaging overview of the Shomron and the issues it involves.