Pressure the PA not Israel
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized reported plans being pushed by the Obama Administration for the creation of a Palestinian state on all of Judea and Samaria with parts of eastern Jerusalem and the strategically vital Jordan Valley to be leased by Israel from it. Media reports are discussing a secret initiative along these lines, pushed by the Obama Administration. According to such reports, this land-lease deal would last for a period of time between 40 and 99 years, after which the territories in question would come under Palestinian sovereignty. In the London-based Arabic newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat, an unnamed Palestinian source said that President Barack Obama had not informed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of these negotiations with Israel, while other sources described these talks as taking place quietly, and being US initiated, rather than Israeli (Ali El-Saleh and Nazir Majalli and Mohamed Ali Saleh, Secret Negotiations: Palestinian State in Return for Israeli Land Lease? Asharq Al-Awsat, October 29, 2010).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, We oppose the creation of a Palestinian state under current conditions, including one under which Israel would cede all the territories of Judea and Samaria, parts of which would remain only temporarily in Israel hands as a lease. A Palestinian state under current conditions in which there is incitement to hatred and murder against Jews in PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps; terrorist groups not outlawed; terrorists not arrested; a Palestinian society that supports terror against Israel and doesnt accept Israel as a Jewish state would likely become another anti-Israel terrorist state.
It would be wrong of Israel to agree to any proposition involving the false idea that the land in question is not rightfully Jewish and therefore must be leased from Palestinian owners. It is also wrong of the Netanyahu government to be seriously considering the idea, and it should cease to do so without delay. And it also wrong of the Obama Administration to be pressing the idea. Such a scheme, in addition to creating an unreconstructed Palestinian terror-sponsoring state in all of Judea and Samaria, sends the simple message that this, the heartland of biblical, religious and historical Israel, land earmarked legally for Jewish settlement already in 1920 at the San Remo Conference and never subsequently superseded by any binding legal instrument, is somehow not Jewish. What else can a scheme that would involve Israel becoming a tenant on its patrimony possibly mean?
Israels claim to the land is solid and must not be tampered with, as this scheme would do. It is one thing to make concessions to a genuinely peaceful Palestinian peace partner within the framework of a real peace settlement. It is quite another to do so with Mahmoud Abbas PA and in terms that write off Israels valid claim to the disputed territory. Israel should not touch this idea and neither should the Obama Administration. We urge the Netanyahu government to dismiss this absurd proposal as a non-starter and we urge the Obama Administration to withdraw it immediately.