[It’s remarkable that the Zionist press would ever use this term, which get’s the rest of us called “anti-Semites” every time we mention it. Of course the article never clarified what was meant by the expression “Greater Israel,” or more correctly, “Eretz Yisrael.]
Settler ideology has made the sanctity of the land a central tenet and effectively turned the Palestinians into aliens on their own soil
It was Israel‘s stunning military victory over its Arab enemies in 1967 that opened up Judea and Samaria – the Hebrew names for the West Bank and the heart of the biblical land of Israel (“the cradle of the nation”) for settlement by Jews.
In the background, Naomi Shemer, Israel’s Vera Lynn, sang her haunting anthem “Jerusalem of Gold” – in a euphoric and for some almost messianic atmosphere in which peace with the newly occupied Palestinians was barely considered.
The idea of “Greater Israel” (more accurately the “whole land of Israel”) appealed to both religious and secular rightwing nationalists who sought to fulfill divine commandments about the “beginning of redemption”, as well as create “facts on the ground” to enhance Israel’s security.
Settler ideology made the sanctity of the land a central tenet and effectively turned the Palestinians into aliens on their own soil.
Weeks after the war the first settlers came to Kfar Etzion near Bethlehem, where Jews had lived before 1948; at Passover 1968 others moved “temporarily” to Hebron, where members of the Orthodox Jewish community were massacred during the British mandate period.
Under the Labour governments that ruled Israel for the first decade of the occupation 30 settlements housing 5,000 people were established for “security reasons” .
When Menachem Begin’s rightwing Likud, allied with religious nationalist parties, came to power in 1977 the effort moved far deeper into the West Bank. The settlements “were intended to prevent the partition of the country based on the principle of two states for two peoples,” says Israel’s Peace Now Movement.