The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) believes that Israeli-Palestinian direct negotiations, due to commence on September 2, under the auspices of the Obama Administration, has virtually no chance of success without at a minimum there being a single Palestinian entity capable of speaking for Palestinian Arabs (presently, Fatah and Hamas control different Palestinian areas); and an end to the failure to arrest terrorists and outlaw terrorist groups; an end to the honoring of killers of Jews by naming schools, streets and sports teams after them, an end to the promoting anti-Israel hatred and violence in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps, and an end to refusing to accept Israel as a Jewish state.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein has issued the following statement: The ZOA is deeply skeptical of these talks and we dont believe they should be proceeding under current conditions as they have virtually no chance of success.
Consider: at present, Gaza, which comprises 40% of Palestinian Arabs, is under the rule of Hamas terrorists, with their genocidal program, enunciated in their Charter, of destroying Israel and murdering Jews. Thus, not only is there a lack of peace and security in Gaza, but there is not even a single Palestinian governing authority or entity with which to negotiate, even if the PA under Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad were angels.
But, of course, they are very far from being angels. The PA is not fulfilling its Oslo-era signed commitments to arrest terrorists, outlaw terrorist groups, and end the incitement to anti-Semitic hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feed terror and bloodshed.
Instead, in January of this year, when terrorists from Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a recognized terrorist group, murdered an Israeli, Rabbi Meir Chai, in a drive-by shooting, Abbas PA did not condemn the murder but it did condemn the subsequent killing of the terrorists by Israel. Abbas himself sent condolences to the families of the three terrorists; PA prime minister Salam Fayyad even visited the terrorists’ families.
The PA continues to broadcast obscene Islamist sermons, like that from Nablus’s Bourin Mosque on January 29, in which Jews were declared the enemies of Allah and of His Messenger. Enemies of humanity in general and Muslims exhorted to murder them with the words The Prophet says: You shall fight the Jews and kill them.
Last month, Abbas told Arab journalists in Jordan that, If you [the Arab states] want war, and if all of you will fight Israel, we are in favor. In July, he honored Muhammad Daoud Oudeh, (Abu Daoud), the mastermind of the 1972 Munich Olympics hostage-taking by Fatah terrorists of eleven Israeli athletes, calling him a wonderful brother, companion, tough and stubborn, relentless fighter. Then, only weeks ago, a Palestine National Council member accused Israel and the U.S. of having poisoned Arafat.
Again, in the last ten days, the PA obscenely and publicly celebrated the 1978 coastal road massacre carried out by Fatah terrorists led by Dalal Mughrabi, in which 37 Israelis, including a dozen children, were murdered. The PA has also named two youth summer camps in Muhrabis honor.
What do all these examples of extremism, glorification of terror and advocacy of genocide have in common? the Obama Administration ignores them all, praises Abbas and Fayyad as moderates, give them $1.3 billion in aid (double than that given by George W. Bush) and proceeds with a charade peace process. It ignores incitement, even when specifically informed of these events by the Israeli government.
Until this incitement ends, all talk of peace is a farce. As the famous British historian Paul Johnson has written in his History of the Jews, one of the principle lessons of Jewish history has been that repeated verbal slanders are sooner or later followed by violent physical deeds. Time and again over the centuries, anti-Semitic writings created their own fearful momentum which climaxed in an effusion of Jewish blood.
We believe that in order for there to be genuine and productive talks, Israel should make it clear that it will not participate in them unless Abbas PA rescinds the naming of literally scores of streets, schools, computer centers, sports teams and other institutions after terrorists that have murdered Israelis, puts in motion a plan to genuinely overhaul the PA school curricula, textbooks, mosques and media so that incitement to hatred and violent doctrines is no longer part of them.
Furthermore, the ZOA believes it is likely that the Israeli government has agreed to the proposed talks only because of enormous pressure from the Obama Administration and the European governments. We also believe it has agreed to these talks because it fears that otherwise the world will blame Israel for the lack of peace.
Yet, agreeing to such talks could create a situation in which Israel will be unable to resist pressure to make concessions that could lead to more violence and insecurity.
ZOA is deeply concerned at what will follow, looking at the history of concessions since Oslo began in 1993, shows that a concessionary policy towards non-peaceful interlocutors has only bred more violence. Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000, but this did not lead Hizballah to become peaceful and moderate. On the contrary, Israel was subject to new assaults and waged a war in 2006 which cost it the lives of over 100 Israeli servicemen. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, only to face an exponential increase in rocket assaults and the violent seizure of the territory by Hamas. When Ehud Barak offer Yasser Arafat with huge concessions in 2000 only resulted in a terrible terrorist campaign by the PA which claimed over 1,000 Israeli lives and over 10,000 wounded and maimed Israelis. And the Obama Administration and European governments are pressuring Israel to talk and make more concessions without any change in the nature of Palestinian politics and society.
We agree with Washington Post columnist George F. Will when he says Patronizing American lectures on the reality of risks and the desirableness of peace, which once were merely fatuous, are now obscene. Also, when he writes that rhetoric about a two-state solution is delusional. We also agree with Professor Yoram Peri, professor of Israel studies at the University of Maryland, when, speaking of Israels million strong Russian immigrant community, that they dont understand how a state that can be crossed in half an hour by car would be willing to even talk about relinquishing territories to its seemingly perpetual enemies. As George Will has noted, These immigrants know that Russias strategic depth — space — defeated Napoleon and Hitler.
Likewise, we agree with Moshe Yaalon, Israels Strategic Affairs Minister and former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon, who has said that our withdrawals strengthened jihadist Islam We have the second Islamic republic in the Middle East — the first in Iran, the second in Gaza: Hamastan.
The ZOA agrees with the Netanyahu government that, were a Palestinian state to be created, and in order for any sort of durable peace to occur, it is necessary that such a state be demilitarized and that it would have to explicitly accept Israels existence as a Jewish state.
President Obamas proclaimed desire to produce an Israeli-Palestinian peace has no prospect of success unless he and the Congress focus on ending continuing Palestinian incitement to hatred and violence. To help achieve this, U.S. aid to the Palestinians must be conditional, Palestinian compliance strictly verified and discussion of Palestinian statehood suspended until the necessary transformation in Palestinian politics and society takes place.
In recent days, the Obama Administration has been warning Libya not to hold celebrations marking the anniversary of the release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi. The U.S. made substantive concessions to Libya for agreeing to have Megrahi tried in Scotland, including restoring diplomatic relations. Should Israel negotiate and make concessions to people who daily celebrate and glorify murderers of Jews? We dont think so.