NEW YORK – A Palestinian Arab state will be a catastrophic mistake and a danger to Israel, warned Dr. Jeane Kirkpatrick, formerly Americas ambassador to the United Nations, at a Capitol Hill seminar sponsored by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) this week.
The ZOA seminar, held in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, was attended by more than one hundred Senate and House staff members. It also featured U.S. Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) and Israeli Knesset Member Moshe Arens, who was formerly Israels Foreign Minister, Defense Minister, and Israeli Ambassador to the United States.
Ambassador Kirkpatrick said the creation of a Palestinian Arab state would be appeasement and it would be a step backward in Americas fight against international terrorism When we accept a terrorist state as legitimate, we strengthen terrorist groups, she said. Dr. Kirkpatrick said that while the Oslo accords were supposed to bring Israel peace and safety, the situation is more dangerous for Israel now than its ever been. She emphasized that The destruction of Israel and expulsion of the Jews has been the goal of the PLO since its beginning in 1964 and continues to this day.
Ambassador Kirkpatrick said that the Palestinian Arabs constant violations of the Oslo accords and broken promises of peace prove that their word cannot be relied upon. Its happened so many times theres no reason to expect otherwise, she said. Every commitment Arafat made in the Oslo accords has been violated and the violations began almost immediately upon the signing of the accords in September 1993.
She said that despite Arafats obligation to change the PLO National Covenant (which calls for violence and the destruction of Israel), the Covenant has never been revised, abandoned, or renounced, and the armed struggle to liberate all of Palestine continues.
Senator Smith said that creating a Palestinian state would send a message to terrorists that they will be rewarded for their violence.
Ambassador Arens said: Is there any doubt that if a Palestinian state was established, it would be the fifth terrorist state in the Middle East? (in addition to Libya, Syria, Iran, and Iraq) Is there any doubt that the danger will be more severe? He said the creation of a Palestinian Arab state would not serve the interests of Israel, the United States, or the civilized world.
Ambassador Arens also noted that while proponents of the Oslo process claimed that Israeli surrender of territory would lead to a decrease in terrorism, in fact Palestinian Arab terrorism against Israel increased very sharply following Israeli withdrawals from parts of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. He said: Atrocities against Israel under Arafat are unparalleled since the Nazi era.
In his remarks at the seminar, ZOA National President Morton A. Klein pointed out: Sovereignty does not necessarily put an end to terrorism. It only strengthens the existing pro-terrorist culture to wreak even more havoc. Iraq, Iran, and Syria are sovereign states; sovereignty has not turned them into civilized democracies. Wouldnt the world be better off if they did not have the powers of sovereignty?