NEW YORK – The statement by the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer, that Jewish settlements should be dismantled (Washington Times, Jan. 9, 2002) would, if implemented, mean dismantling many Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem, such as the Jewish Quarter of the Old City.
Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America said: Since the State Department regards all Jewish communities beyond the 1967 border as settlements, Ambassador Kurtzers statement that settlements should be dismantled, would mean dismantling Jewish neighborhoods covering large parts of Jerusalemincluding Gilo, French Hill, Neve Yaakov, the Mount of Olives cemetery (the oldest Jewish cemetery in the world), as well as much of Jerusalems Old City section, where the Western Wall and Judaisms holiest site, the Temple Mount, are located.
Ambassador Kurtzers statement is just the latest example of the State Departments policy of appeasing Arafat, a policy which is doomed to failureas Winston Churchill said, Those who appease the crocodile will simply be eaten last.
The ZOA notes that this is not the first time Kurtzer has made statements objecting to Israels right to Jerusalem. According to the Israeli daily Haaretz (April 6, 2001), in Kurtzers conversations with Israeli officials over the years, East Jerusalem was occupied territory, he made clear.
ZOA president Klein noted that the United States has never taken the position that settlements should be dismantled; it has always said that the fate of the Jewish communities in the territories should be a subject for negotiations. Ambassador Kurtzers statement seems to be an implicit endorsement of the extremist Arab position that Jewish communities must be destroyed and their residents forcibly expelled.