Shopping in the West Bank

Gush Etzion SupermarketThe “West Bank” was given this name by Jordan when Jordan conquered and annexed it in 1948.  Only the US and the UK recognized the annexation.

Israel conquered the West Bank from Jordan in 1967, and thereafter administered it, pending a peace treaty with Jordan.

But Jordan relinquished its claim to the West Bank in 1988, stripped the residents of their Jordanian citizenship, and ceded its claim to the PLO.

The Jewish population of the West Bank is 500,000.  Depending on which Arab agency is asked, the Arab population of the West Bank is between 1.5 and 2.5 million.  So the ratio of Arabs to Jews is somewhere between 3 to 1 and 5 to 1.

The rightful sovereignty of the West Bank is disputed.  Those residents who want to kill or evict all the Jews call this area “Palestinian Territories” or “Occupied Territories” or “Palestine”, imagining themselves to be descendants of the Biblical Philistines and thus the land’s rightful owners.  Those residents who want to evict all the Arabs, or at least retain Jewish sovereignty there, call the area by its post-Joshua Biblical names “Judea and Samaria.”

Thus “West Bank” is useful as a neutral geographical place name.

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