May 17, 2017
News Press Release

ZOA Concerned: NSC’s McMaster Appoints Kris Bauman – Hostile Israel Critic

Kerry Protégé Bauman’s Plans Include: Israel’s Retreat to Indefensible Borders; Creating a Palestinian-Arab State; Sending in US and Palestinian Troops and “Engaging Hamas”- Blames Israel for Inciting Arab Violence/Derailing Peace
Jewish Settlement Givat Zeev, cc: Baz Ratner/Reuters

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:

The ZOA has asked General McMaster, Director of the National Security Council, to reconsider his appointment of new National Security Council advisor on Israel-Palestinian matters, pro-Hamas Kris Bauman.   This Administration should be “cleaning out the swamp” from proponents, architects, and protégés of the Obama administration’s dangerous Middle East policies.  Mr. Bauman’s ideas are particularly dangerous. 

Last summer, Bauman published a “security” blueprint for then-Secretary of State John Kerry and then-President Barack Obama’s plan to create a Palestinian-Arab state in the Jewish heartland.  (See Symposium | A Security System for the Two-State Solution,” by Kris Bauman & Ilan Goldenberg, Fathom Journal, Autumn 2016.)  In this plan, Bauman proposed to establish useless and/or unacceptably risky “security arrangements” in exchange for Israel retreating to the indefensible 1967 lines (the 1949 Armistice lines) with swaps, to make way for a Hamas-Fatah (terrorist) state in Judea/Samaria (a/k/a the West Bank). 

In fact, there is no substitute for Israel maintaining secure borders. Israel is entitled to secure borders under UN Resolution 242 and binding international law.  And Israel’s survival and Middle East peace both depend on Israel retaining secure borders.  As then-President Lyndon B. Johnson eloquently explained in his famous speech a year after the 1967 Six-Day War:

Former Israeli Defense Miniser Moshe Yaalon rejected and ridiculed Bauman’s plan as “not worth the paper it was written on.”  

We are not the ones to say where other nations should draw lines between them that will assure each the greatest security. It is clear, however, that a return to the situation of June 4, 1967, will not bring peace.  There must be secure and there must be recognized borders.”

Notably, then-candidate Trump’s Israel policy positions maintained the same view as President Johnson – that Israel must maintain defensible borders.  The “Joint Statement from Jason Dov Greenblatt and David Friedman, Co-Chairmen of the Israel Advisory Committee to Donald J. Trump, Nov. 2, 2016 list of Pres. Trump’s positions includes that:

Israel’s maintenance of defensible borders that preserve peace and promote stability in the region is a necessity. Pressure should not be put on Israel to withdraw to borders that make attacks and conflict more likely.”

Yet, Bauman would deny such secure borders to Israel. Instead of leaving Israel with defensible Israeli borders, Bauman plans to send in U.S. troops and Palestinian Arab “security” forces.  Sending in American troops would embroil the U.S. in wars in Judea/Samaria and Gaza- when the U.S. already has more than enough military conflicts to contend with.  Moreover, so-called Palestinian “security” forces have too often used their American training and weaponry to kill innocent Israeli civilians – and couldn’t stop terrorist organization Hamas from taking over Gaza.  Bauman proposes also relying on Jordan for Israel’s security, when Jordan is already having enough trouble assuring its own security nowadays.

Bauman’s plans also include airports being built for a Palestinian-Arab State in both Judea/Samaria and Gaza – but doesn’t even attempt to explain how and who would undertake the virtually impossible task of trying to prevent a Palestinian state and terrorist groups from importing weapons via air, for attacking Israel.

Bauman’s ill-conceived, jargon-filled vacuous “plan” also has no realistic analysis of the Palestinian Arab strategic threats to Israel, the Israeli people, and Israel’s airport and other infrastructure – all of which would be placed in the line of constant rocket fire if a Palestinian state were created in Judea/Samaria.  Bauman also has no analysis of the sorts of weaponry a Palestinian-Arab state is likely to build and acquire – chemical, missiles, mortars, and home-grown; and no analysis of topographical control issues, or of Israel’s vital need for strategic depth to counter invasion.  

Fittingly, when Bauman, as General John Allen’s chief-of-staff, worked on a similar plan for then-President Obama, former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon rejected and ridiculed Bauman’s plan as “not worth the paper it was written on.”  (See Trump Taps Kris Bauman, Expert on Peace Process With Palestinians, as New Israel Adviser,” by Amir Tibon, Haaretz, May 5, 2017.)

ZOA has also perused Bauman’s lengthy PhD dissertation (“The Middle East Quartet of Mediators: Understanding Multiparty Mediation in the Middle East Peace Process,” by Kurt A. Bauman, University of Denver, 2009) – and we are as horrified by Bauman’s opus as were the various commentators who have recently written about it.  (See NSC Official Blames Netanyahu for ‘Inciting’ Palestinian Terror,” by Jordan Schachtel, Conservative Review, May 15, 2017; and “The National Security Council’s New Pro-Hamas Israel Advisor: The Swamp Strikes Back Against Israel and Trump,” by Daniel Greenfield, Front Page Mag., May 10, 2017.)    

As Schachtel’s and Greenfield’s respective articles reported, Bauman’s dissertation: blames Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for “inciting Palestinian violence” (dissertation p. 103) and for “derail[ing] the peace process almost completely” (id.); quotes pro-Hamas Obama administration official Robert Malley (and Malley’s and other Arabists’ absurd claims that generous Israeli peace offers were “heavily favored in Israel’s direction”) (p. 43); insists that the U.S. should engage the terror group Hamas and include Hamas in a Palestinian state; and makes the absurd accusation that “Israel and the Quartet refused to engage with Hamas and instead turned Gaza into an open-air prison.” (p. 215) (In fact, Hamas usurps Gaza’s construction materials to build rocket launching pads, terror tunnels, and billion-dollar fortunes on the black market – while Israel sends in hundreds of truckloads of foods and humanitarian supplies to Gaza every day.)

Bauman also praises the “Arab Peace Initiative” as a “solid model” – and falsely asserts that Arab Peace Initiative offers Israel “full recognition.” (p. 128; 232).  In fact, the “Arab Peace Initiative” is a euphemistically-named plan for Israel’s destruction, which merely offers the possibility of vague “normalized relations” (not recognition) if Israel first makes dangerous tangible concessions.  

Bauman also adopts Walt & Mearsheimer’s conspiratorial anti-Israel views about the so-called “Israel Lobby,” and Walt & Mearsheimer’s proposals that the U.S. should pressure Israel by, inter alia, withholding US military aid and refusing to veto UN Security Council resolutions.  (pp. 52-54, 135, 226-231)  Indeed, the predominant thrust of Bauman’s dissertation consists of trying to formulate methods of forcing Israel to make dangerous concessions to terrorists.

ZOA sincerely hopes that the President will drain the swamp at the National Security Council, once and for all.