NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized Secretary of State Colin Powell for publicly praising Yossi Beilins rogue operation to promote a plan that pushes Israel back to the indefensible pre-1967 borders and tears Jerusalem in half.
Powell made his statement in a letter to the authors of the so-called Geneva Plan, leftwing Israeli politician Yossi Beilin and Yasser Abed Rabbo, a longtime aide to PLO terrorist leader Yasir Arafat. Powell praised their plan as important for sustaining hope and understanding. (New York Times, Nov. 8, 2003) Powells letter followed a similar statement praising a petition in support of the Geneva Plan, made by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 31, 2003)
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: It is wrong and a mistake for the Secretary of State to essentially endorse in writing a plan negotiated by individuals acting in opposition to the democratically-elected government of Americas ally, Israel. How would Powell and President Bush feel if Israeli leaders praised a group of ex-Congressmen who signed a political agreement with North Korea or Iran?
The ZOA president added: If the statements by Powell and Wolfowitz do not represent U.S. policy, President Bush should publicly disavow them. If they do represent the Bush administrations policy, it would represent an alarming abandonment of Israels minimum security needthe need to never return to the indefensible 1967 Auschwitz borders. In addition, U.S. endorsement of the Geneva Plan, which would divide Jerusalem into two capitals, would contradict the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act of 1995, which states that the U.S. should recognize undivided Jerusalem as Israels capital alone.
The ZOA points out that for the Secretary of State and Deputy Defense Secretary to praise the extremist Geneva Plan gives legitimacy to this rogue operation and contradicts previous pledges by President Bush and his senior aides to refrain from interfering in Israels internal afairs, pressuring Israel, or imposing solutions on Israel.
During the 2000 election campaign, then-candidate George W. Bush criticized the Clinton administration for intefering in Israels internal afafirs, and pledged that he would never impose a solution on Israel. Speaking at the annual AIPAC Policy Conference in May 2000, Bush said: In recent times, Washington has tried to make Israel conform to its own plans and timetables, but this is not the path to peace. (Associated Press, May 22, 2000)
Similarly, in August 2000, Condoleeza Rice, who was then Bushs top foreign policy adviser, said in a speech at Tel Aviv University that Bush believes the U.S. cannot force its foreign policy on other states and that it is up to Israel to determine what risks it takes to reach peace. (Jerusalem Post, August 15, 2000)
After meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the White House on March 20, 2001, Bush told reporters, I told him that our nation will not try to force peace. And at the 2001 AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, Secretary of State Colin Powell said: We will propose solutions, we will not impose solutions.
Regarding the dangers of the 1967 borders:
* The late Abba Eban said that the 1967 border would leave Israel so vulnerable that it has for us something of a memory of Auschwitz. (Der Spiegel, November 5, 1969)
* A study by the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff in June 1967 concluded: From a strictly military point of view Israel would require the retention of some captured Arab territory in order to provide militarily defensible borders [including] control of the prominent high ground running north-south through the middle of West Jordan [Judea-Samaria], as well as the entire Gaza Strip and the entire Golan Heights.
* Lt.-Gen. Thomas Kelly, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the 1991 Gulf War, said: It is impossible to defend Jerusalem unless you hold that high ground [in Judea-Samaria]. I look out from those heights and look onto the West Bank and say to myself, If Im the chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, I cannot defend this land without that terrain. (Jerusalem Post, Nov.7, 1991)