Israeli Foreign Minister Livni: I Oppose Palestinian State Now
March 13, 2008

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is strongly supportive of Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s statement yesterday that “The creation of a Palestinian state is not the required answer to Israel’s security needs.” Livni made this declaration to visiting U.S. envoy, James Jones, in the context of discussions regarding the diplomatic process amid the current situation in the Gaza Strip and ongoing rocket, mortar and other terrorist attacks upon Israelis. Livni said that, “Israel is obligated to respond to terror, and every [peace] process must offer a unilateral response to its security needs … The creation of a Palestinian state is not the required answer to Israel’s security needs.” Livni also said that any future Palestinian state must comprise officials “who want not only to live in peace with Israel, but are also able to fight terror and promise the realization of all of its security needs” and that this is essential “not just prior to the creation of the Palestinian state but also after its establishment” (Barak Ravid, ‘FM to U.S. envoy: Conditions not ripe for forming Palestinian state,’ Haaretz, March 9, 2008).


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We applaud Foreign Minister Livni’s statement that peace and security are indivisible and that no conceivable peace process can involve Israel being continually attacked by terrorists. This is one of the major factors why ZOA has been a firm and consistent critic of the Olmert government’s attempts to negotiate and make concessions to an unreformed, terror-supporting and corrupt entity like Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA).


“In recent weeks alone, Mahmoud Abbas has praises deceased terrorist leader, airplane hijacker, and airport massacre veteran George Habash and order PA flags to be lowered to half mast in his honor; he has publicly refused to accept Israel as a Jewish state; he has given an interview to the Jordanian al-Dustur saying that he doesn’t support terrorism at present only because it would be ineffective but that the situation could change and that he is proud of Fatah’s pioneering role in terror, including training Hizballah; and Abbas’ Fatah has issued a poster celebrating its 43rd anniversary in which Israel is depicted as ‘Palestine,’ draped in the colors of the Palestinian kefiyyeh with a picture of Yasser Arafat and Kalashnikov rifle.


“ZOA has argued that negotiations and even discussions of any Israeli concessions must be only the result of PA moderation and fulfillment of Palestinian commitments to arrest terrorists, confiscate illegal weapons and outlaw terror groups and end the incitement to hatred and murder within the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps. They must not be an inducement to Palestinian moderation. The record of Oslo and the Roadmap shows with stark clarity that a concessionary policy, in advance of any Palestinian steps to end terror and incitement to hatred and murder, simply yields more Palestinian extremism, inflexibility and terror, not moderation and reconciliation. It is little wonder that the most eminent of Middle East historians, Bernard Lewis, former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, former presidential candidates Gary Bauer and Rudolf Giuliani,  and former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff, Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon have all come out explicitly against the creation of a Palestinian state.


“ZOA bases its opposition to negotiating with Abbas’ PA on the undeniable fact that it is an unreformed terror-supporting, hatred and violence inciting entity and that, as such, concessions to it will inevitably result in armed Palestinian attacking Israel from improved positions, leading to greater harm to Israel and deaths of innocent Jewish men, women and children. We have already seen that the 2005 unilateral Gaza withdrawal brought only more rocket and mortar attacks on an expanding number of Israelis cities, including Ashkelon with its vital national infrastructures. It is indeed vital that as Livni says Palestinian leaders with whom Israel sign any agreement be not only genuine moderates but capable of keeping the peace and fulfilling the agreement. We urge the Olmert government to heed the inherent logic of Foreign Minister Livni’s recent words and cut all ties to Mahmoud Abbas and his unreformed terror-supporting regime. Continued negotiations with Abbas’ PA have only one end in sight, and that is the creation of a Palestinian state run by Fatah or Hamas, something Foreign Minister Livni has now acknowledged cannot be in Israel’s interest. It is also worth remembering that statehood is not necessarily a panacea for transforming a terrorist society into a civilized one. (We note that the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), which has close relationships to military leaders and expertise in military affairs, has now called for ending negotiations with PA). Syria, Iran and North Korea are all states – none of them are democratic or peaceful. On the contrary, statehood has given their regimes even greater ability to further their pernicious agenda and cause enormous harm worldwide.”

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