Israel supporters increasingly appreciate a resolution the Arkansas House of Representatives unanimously approved, making a solid case for Jewish ties to Judea and Samaria.
In the April 6 resolution, it is demanded that Arkansas forge strategic alliances with Israel and build on the Memorandum of Understanding that Asa Hutchinson, the state’s then-governor, signed with the Israel Innovation Authority in 2022.
The resolution states that Arkansas, located in America’s heartland, has a unique affinity for Judea and Samaria, Israel’s biblical heartland.
The resolution adds, “Cities throughout Arkansas bear the names of biblical cities throughout Judea and Samaria, such as Bethel, Hebron, Shiloh, Salem, and many others.”
Other US states have also passed resolutions affirming Israel’s relationship with Judea and Samaria, including Florida in 2012, South Carolina in 2018, and Texas in 2023. They discuss the connections between Jews throughout history and in the Bible, but they also provide a current legal framework—either the League of Nations, the United Nations, or both—to support Jewish rights in various contexts.
The resolution from Arkansas goes a step further.
The natural right of Jews to Judea and Samaria, their ancestral homeland, is taken for granted by omitting all references to contemporary international law.
According to a statement from the Samaria Regional Council, “The decision of the House of Representatives in Arkansas is unique because, unlike most decisions of [state] houses in the United States regarding relations with Israel, this decision speaks of the special relationship with the Land of Israel… including Judea and Samaria.”
The chairman of the Samaria Council, Yossi Dagan, told JNS that “this is entirely normal for us.
The Bible’s most well-known book, the Bible, already references the Jewish people’s right to the Land of Israel. We are grateful to the state representative from Arkansas who sponsored this.
“We extend our gratitude to Arkansas as a whole. Dagan said that we hope everyone will acknowledge and comprehend that a country cannot occupy its land.
The Zionist Organization of America’s president, Morton Klein, told JNS that “ZOA strongly praised this fabulous, almost sacred, Arkansas resolution recognizing that Jews are the indigenous people of Judea and Samaria as clearly stated in the holy Bible; that this land was given to the Jews by God.”
The resolution stands out, according to Yoram Ettinger, a diplomat who served as Israel’s consul-general in Texas from 1985 to 1988 and has cultivated relationships with American evangelicals, not only for highlighting the “mutually beneficial U.S.-Israel strategic and commercial cooperation and the shared values between the U.S. and Israel,” but also for emphasizing the importance of the relationship between the two countries.
As for other resolutions that refer to Judea and Samaria similarly, the resolution’s sponsor, Rep. Mindy McAlindon of Arkansas’ District 10, told JNS that she hadn’t encountered any. “But I think it’s essential that we recognize that Judea and Samaria is Israel’s biblical heartland,” she said. As a state, we want to be clear that Judea and Samaria belong to Israel and are not part of Palestine.
She continued that we also need to acknowledge Arkansas’ unique connection to Judea and Samaria.
According to McAlindon, “quite a few” of her constituents have contacted her to express their delight that the Arkansas legislature is not only backing Judea and Samaria but also Israel in general. We frequently consider Israel.