The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has praised Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and Israels National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau for coming out publicly against President Obamas racist policy demanding that no additional Jews move into eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. Mr. Rivlin, speaking in Hebron, said, Whoever believes that by drying out Ariel and Maaleh Adumim we can build on to Tel Aviv and the like, or who actually believes that the demise of settlements on the mountain ridge will bring us the recognition we seek for out territorial rights, will just stumble like so many others Whoever believes that in this manner we will rescue ourselves from imminent disaster is living in false hope. Addressing a crowd celebrating the establishment of a new neighborhood in the E-1 corridor connecting Jerusalem to newer Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, Mr. Landau said that, It is the Arabs who are occupiers A settlement freeze is a violation of human rights. What can we tell the families? Dont have any more kids, dont build another house, you cant have a playground here. This construction must not stop under any circumstances. (Yuval Azoulay, Infrastructure Minister Landau: Arabs are the occupiers, Haaretz, September 7, 2009).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, We applaud Mr. Landau and Mr. Rivlins defense of Jewish rights to build and move into communities in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. It is entirely true that no peace and security have come to Israel by pretending that Jews somehow do not possess rights to live peacefully in the heartland of the Jewish people. No peace has come to Israel by playing along with the falsehood that Jewish communities in these territories are an obstacle to a peace that would be otherwise attainable.
At present, as ZOA has pointed out on innumerable occasions, the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority remains an unreconstructed terror-supporting regime that neither truly accepts Israel nor opposes the use of terrorism. But even if the PA had been truly reformed and now accepted peaceful co-existence alongside Israel, it could never be a condition of a meaningful peace that Jews, because they are Jews, must stop building in these territories.
Why, then, may not 300,000 Jews live among 2 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria while 1.2 million Arabs live among 5 million Jews in Israel? No peace can be built on the notion that the biblical, historical and religious heartland of the Jewish people, or any territory for that matter, must be judenrein.
If President Obama wants to stop additional Jews from moving into eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, even within the confines of existing communities, believing that to allow this would prejudice the outcome of future negotiations regarding who controls which territory, why then is he not also demanding at a minimum that Arabs also cease building beyond the existing boundaries of Arab settlements? Clearly, President Obama is saying with this demand that Jews should not be living there and that the land should go entirely to Palestinians before there has been a negotiated settlement between the parties. So in fact, by calling for Jewish construction to stop because it prejudices the outcome of negotiations, President Obama is himself seeking to prejudice their outcome.
Jewish growth in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem has a fundamental legitimacy and poses no obstacle to a true peace if Palestinians are ready for one so the Obama Administrations insistence on a construction freeze would remain inappropriate even if genuine peace negotiations with a truly peaceful Palestinian partner were available which they are not.
If Palestinians cannot accept a Jewish presence in a future Palestinian state, then that fact itself is indication enough that they are not prepared to live in peace with Israel. Who is prepared to argue that a people that resolutely insists on throwing all Jews out of their country, that criminalizes the sale of land to Jews and that lynches those deemed guilty of collaborating with Israel by having sold land to Jews is actually ready to live in peace alongside the Jewish state of Israel?