New York The former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief-of-Staff, Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon, and the former Director of the CIA under President Clinton, R. James Woolsey, have both spoken out arguing that creating a Palestinian state is a mistake, saying such an outcome is not the answer to Israels current problems with the Palestinian Arabs. Addressing the Herzliya Conference this week, both General Yaalon and Mr. Woolsey said that the Palestinian Authority (PA) was seeking Israels destruction, not the end of Israeli occupation of specific lands or a two-state solution, and that the conflict is rooted in Palestinian hate education. Mr. Woolsey also expanded on his views in a subsequent interview (Yediot Ahronot, January 22; Israel National News, January 24).
Remarks by General Yaalon:
- The fact that Israel was attacked last summer from two areas it left strengthens the sense of a dead end, and proves that the root of the conflict is not the occupation of territories
- …those who talk about a road map or call for pressure on Israel to take a step to solve the problem [are suggesting something that is] irrelevant. Withdrawal will not solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or solve the jihadi threat.
- We tried to ignore the education in Palestinian society. Eventually we were surprised that (Palestinian) society, educated from kindergarten to become suicide bombers, acted as it did.
- The basis of our belief, that the other side wants two states, is false. I think there is deep understanding among the American public over this.
Remarks by R. James Woolsey:
- The Palestinians should not be granted the right to statehood until they start to treat Israeli Jews who settle in the West Bank as fairly as Israel treats its Muslim citizens.
- As long as Wahabis are running Palestinian education, and little boys are taught to be suicide bombers, I dont see any reasonable prospects for settlement.
- An Arab Muslim living in Jaffa enjoys freedom of speech, religion, and expression, and can vote for his representatives in the Knesset, and doesnt go to sleep worrying that some government element might come and kill him. I think that once the Palestinians start treating Jewish settlers with that same degree of humanity — and theyre very, very far from doing that now — at that point I think we have to seriously consider how they could have some degree of self-governing.
- …the Palestinians must be held to the same standards as Israel regarding how they treat the other. I am sure this will be many decades from now, though, because their children are taught the Wahhabi doctrine of being suicide bombers and the like … [if standards were the same] something in the order 500,000 Jews would be living in West Bank.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, More and more people are coming to realize that a Palestinian state would not be a solution to anything — it would simply be another Middle Eastern terrorist state. Major changes are necessary within Palestinian society, starting with dismantling of terrorist groups and the ending of the incitement to hatred and murder of Jews that feeds it, before any genuine possibility of peace can arise. Palestinian statehood would solve nothing. Iran, Libya, North Korea and Syria are all sovereign states — are they lovely and peaceful? The U.S. and Israel need to adopt policies that will result in Israel defeating the Palestinian Arab terrorist groups, not rewarding them, least of all with their own sovereign state. This is a precondition for any future chance of peace.