ZOA Agrees With Israel: Palestinian Intransigence Is Obstacle To Peace – Not Settlements
September 22, 2009


Obama doesn’t make serious issue of Palestinian incitement & terror




The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has applauded Israel’s emphasis that the obstacle to peace is posed by Palestinian intransigence in refusing to accept Israel’s existence while supporting terrorism and incitement to hatred and murder against her, not by Jews living in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. This Palestinian non-acceptance, plus the looming Iranian nuclear threat, poses the true obstacle to peace. In the meantime, President Obama has not made a serious issue regarding the absence of Palestinian compliance with signed commitments arrest terrorists and end the incitement to hatred and murder against Israel. The New York Times has cited Israeli officials who “say they will seek to focus American attention away from settlements and on what they consider the real issues: Iran’s nuclear ambition and Palestinian intransigence” (Ethan Bronner, ‘Obama to Meet With Mideast Leaders,’ New York Times, September 20, 2009).


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We applaud Israel for returning the policy focus to where it belongs – on the true obstacles to peace posed by Palestinian non-acceptance of Israel and support for terrorism and incitement against her, as well as on the looming Iranian nuclear weapons threat that endangers Israel and the world beyond.


“Peace has not been achieved for a simple reason: because the Palestinians have not taken any pro-peace actions which are required under their 16-year old obligations under the Oslo agreements and 2003 Roadmap peace plan to arrest anti-Israel terrorists; outlaw terrorist groups and end incitement to hatred and murder against Jews and Israel in their media, mosques, schools and youth camps. The PA has not taught Palestinian children that terrorism is a moral obscenity to be rooted out – rather, they have praised and extolled suicide terrorism and named their schools, sports teams and streets in honor of dead terrorists who murdered Jews. Nor has Fatah, which controls the PA, renounced or revised its Constitution, which calls the destruction of Israel (Article 12) and the use of terrorism as an essential element in the struggle to achieve that goal (Article 19).


“Instead, the PA continues to glorify terrorists in its media, mosques and school curricula; disseminate heroic posters of suicide bombers throughout Arab towns and exclude Israel from its maps, atlases and school texts. Abbas’ Fatah party’s new emblem shows all of Israel covered with an Arab headdress, next to a large rifle, with Arafat in the middle. Above all, the PA has not educated their public for peace and acceptance of Israel’s legitimacy as a Jewish state. We are critical of the fact that President Obama has not made a serious issue about Palestinian non-compliance with commitments to arrest terrorists and end incitement. He has not conditioned any further Israeli concessions on Palestinian fulfillment of these long-standing, unfulfilled commitments.


“We also applaud Israel for repudiating the false notion that Jews living in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria are the obstacle to peace. We endorse strongly its insistence that the real obstacles to peace are Iran’s looming nuclear weapons threat and Palestinian non-acceptance of Israel and support for terrorism.


It is both factually wrong and a moral travesty to argue that people, simply because they are Jews, should not be allowed to move into Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.  It would be a strategic error for Israel to agree to a construction freeze, because it would lend credence to the utterly false notion that Jews living in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem pose an obstacle to a peace agreement with the Palestinians while achieving nothing for the cause of peace.


“The efforts to stop Jews from living in or moving to these territories assists Palestinian and Arab propaganda efforts to distract focus from the real issue of Palestinian extremism and non-acceptance of Israel which are the root of the conflict. It disseminates the idea that Jews have no right to live in these areas, the historical and religious heartland of the Jewish people. And it lends credence to the false notion that peace can be built by making these territories judenrein.


“We also must recall that there were no Jews in these territories when they were under illegal Jordanian occupation (1948-67), yet there was no peace and no Arab acceptance of Israel. To the contrary, there were three major wars – in 1948, 1956 and 1967 – as well as sometimes continuous terrorist assaults from both Egyptian-controlled Gaza and from Jordan. Nor do the Jewish communities that have been established in these territories since 1967 harmed Palestinians or the prospects of peace: these Jewish communities are built on a mere 4% to 6% of the land in question, no new communities have been founded since 1993 and the existing ones have not expanded geographically since that date. The idea that Jewish communities take up Palestinian-owned land and harm Palestinian communities is propaganda.


“It is truly surreal that when Palestinians neither accept Israel’s existence as Jewish state, nor stop terrorism and incitement to hatred and murder against her, President Barack Obama acts as though the real obstacle to peace is Jews living and building their communities in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.


“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 Administration’s insistence on a construction freeze would remain inappropriate even if the prospect of genuine peace negotiations with a truly peaceful Palestinian partner were possible –which they are not, as the platform and utterances at the recent Fatah conference remind us only too clearly. At that conference, Fatah reaffirmed its refusal to accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish state, glorified terrorists and the “armed struggle,” insisted on the so-called ‘right of return,’ and rejected an end of claims in any future peace agreement with Israel. It even honored by name specific terrorists who murdered dozens of Jews. Clearly, no peace is about to be achieved with such a Palestinian leadership.”


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