by WorldTribune Staff, October 20, 2017
Israel traces its roots to the Jordan Valley, where the nation’s eastern line of defense begins. If Israel is not there “Iran will be,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Oct. 19.
“We will not allow this to happen,” Netanyahu said during an event marking the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Jordan Valley.
“Our roots trace back to here,” the prime minister said. “Not far from here, Joshua the son of Nun crossed the Jordan River. Not far from here the Children of Israel entered the Promised Land. Here, a hundred years ago, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, a spiritual teacher, participated in a battle over the Jordan River crossings together with the Jewish regiments he founded.”
The Jordan Valley “has supreme importance in the context of the security of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “The Middle East is unstable and violent. The Jordan Valley is a strategic defensive belt for the state, and without it, the fundamentalist flood could reach into Israel as far as the Dan region [including Tel Aviv].”
Referring to recent Israeli military actions in Syria, the prime minister stated: “We have a clear policy – anyone who tries to harm us, we will hit him back. We will not accept ‘leakage,’ and if we are hit, we return fire, and it will not take long to do so. But it is not only the sword that we have built, but also the plow, the building, the mind, and the creativity. Fifty years ago, the Jordan Valley was a barren and yellow land, sun-ridden and nothing more.”
Netanyahu said of the Jordan Valley: “We will continue to settle it and to invest in industry and in tourism. I want to say something more about our relationship with our neighbor. All of this space should be a lever for regional cooperation. It should be a region of peace and prosperity for the benefit of all peoples of the region.”