NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is asking the Bush administration to clarify whether National Security Council official Elliot Abrams was articulating official U.S. policy when he reportedly said that all of the Jews living beyond the security fence in Judea and Samaria should be transferred out.
The Israeli daily Ma’ariv and radio station Arutz 7 reported (Dec. 9, 2004) that Abrams, the director of Near East Affairs at the National Security Council, recently told a group of American Jewish leaders, in Washington, D.C. that “in the end, the settlements on the other side of the partition [security fence] will be dismantled.” According to the report, Abrams “said that the U.S. has no plans to suffice merely with the uprooting of the Jewish presence in northern Samaria and Gaza. He explained that the Americans will support Israel’s retention of ‘settlement blocs’ only if Israel uproots everything else in the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria.”
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “If the report is accurate, this would be the first time that a senior U.S. official has called for the destruction of most of the Jewish communities in the territories and the implicitly racist policy of forcibly transferring tens of thousands of Jews from their homes, for no other reason than that they are Jews and that local Arabs refuse to have Jewish neighbors. Is this the Bush administration’s new policy? If so, it should say so — and if not, then Abrams should be appropriately reprimanded for his remarks.”
The ZOA notes that in recent years, there have been reports that Abrams has put unfair pressure on Israel to make one-sided concessions to the Palestinian Arabs. For example, the Jerusalem Post reported on August 3, 2004, that Abrams was traveling to Jerusalem in order “to pressure Israel” to take such steps as “removing checkpoints in the West Bank.” Israel’s checkpoints prevent terrorists from smuggling bombs into Israel to murder Jews, just as security checkpoints in American airports prevent terrorists from smuggling bombs onto American airplanes. Removing checkpoints makes it easier for terrorists to attack.
Abrams has also shown an inordinate focus on the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, to the point of giving the impression that the expulsion of Jews from those territories is one of his major goals. The New York Times reported on May 21, 2003, that Abrams and National Security Council assistant director Stephen Hadley took a helicopter trip across Judea and Samaria last year in order “to get a bird’s eye view of Jewish settlements to see which ones would eventually be frozen or even dismantled as part of the peace negotiations.” The ZOA notes that there have been no reports of Abrams ever showing any interest in the illegal Palestinian Arab settlements in those territories, even though illegal Palestinian Arab construction in the territories is proceeding at ten times the rate of Jewish construction, according to the Israeli government.