By Michael Gottlieb
October 17, 2010
The Shomron (Samaria) is Israel's heartland region, located in the "West Bank". Among it's more important aspects is its strategic value to the state of Israel and her inhabitants. Read here why Samaria is MORE strategic and essential to Israel's security than the Golan Heights!
Highlands - whoever controls the Shomron mountain range also controls the low - lying regions on each side below. This means the heavily populated Gush Dan, Sharon and Carmel Coast regions (together, the coastal plain) to the west and the strategic Jordan Valley to the east would both be at the mercy of any foreign power that would hold the Shomron. The strategic value of the Shomron mountain range - the spine of which runs north-south for 70 kilometers and which overlooks to the west the majority of Israel's populated areas - is immense. One only needs to visit any of the Shomron settlements or outposts, look towards the sea and the strategic advantage of these highlands will become immediately obvious. One can easily imagine the threat posed to the millions of Israelis living below as well as to industry, infrastructure, military installations and Ben Gurion Int'l Airport if Israel would cede control of the Shomron to any hostile power, as envisioned in a "Two State Solution".
Territorial Depth - The pre-1967 borders (actually not a recognized border at all but merely the 1949 cease-fire line) that defined Israel for the first 19 years of its existence - the "Auschwitz" borders as Abba Eban once put it - are simply indefensible. Israel's coastal strip is home to well over half of Israel's Jewish population and most of her infrastructural and industrial base. Just 15 kilometers wide at its narrowest point, the pre-'67 lines (without the Shomron) represent an existential threat to the Jewish State. While a narrow waist may look good on a woman, it looks terrible on the map of a country as surrounded, threatened and embattled as Israel. The Shomron adds vital strategic depth to the country's outline and serves as a buffer zone for the crowded coastal strip to its west and for the Jerusalem area to its south.
For more information on the Strategic Value of Samaria, please click here: