The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has called attention to the recent Maagar Mohot poll which highlights that despite PM Netanyahus speech in favor of a conditional Palestinian Arab state in parts of Judea and Samaria, the rank and file members of his own Likud party – a full 78% – do not support renewed diplomatic efforts towards Palestinian Arab statehood.
The Maagar Mohot poll of Likud members also found that two-thirds of respondents said they would not support any government ministers who backed efforts to transfer additional Israeli land to the Palestinian Arabs. Further, 41% of respondents said that if Prime Minster Netanyahu followed up on his Bar-Ilan speech by announcing additional land transfers to the Palestinian Authority (PA) or by attempting to create a Palestinian Arab state with temporary borders, they would actively consider voting for the Israel Beiteinu party, instead of Likud, in the next election.
The Jerusalem Post report notes, that 53% said he [Netanyahu] gave too much weight to Defense Minister Ehud Baraks opinions and 57% said Netanyahu was not implementing the promises he made when he ran for prime minister Bibi has no backing in the Likud for taking diplomatic steps toward the creation of a Palestinian state, a senior Likud minister said in response to the poll. If thats what he wants to do, he at best can form a second Kadima.
At the time, ZOA immediately expressed our firm belief that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahus June 14, 2009 Bar-Ilan speech in which he declared that Israel will accept the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state on several conditions – that the state be demilitarized and that they accept that Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people, and that it would not be permitted to have alliances with Israels enemies – was a major, mistaken and unilateral concession. Clearly ZOAs view of this concession is the majority view among members of Netanyahus own party.
Such a major concession flies in the face of six decades of Palestinian Arab and general Arab refusal to accept Israel as sovereign Jewish state, the failure of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to fulfill its obligations under the Oslo Agreements and the 2003 Roadmap peace plan to arrest terrorists, dismantle and outlaw terrorist groups, confiscate illegal weaponry and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds terror.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, It is clearly mistaken to assert, as many in the media do, that the majority of Likud members or others who are considered right-of-center actively support Prime Minister Netanyahus error of essentially conceding, in return for absolutely no present Palestinian Arab fulfillment of previous agreements, Israeli agreement to the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state.
It is obviously correct to demand Palestinian acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state but, given the track record of the PA having continually violated its past commitments, can Israel afford to accept such assurances from the PA? After all, if the PA is prepared to arm, fund and protect terrorists that murder Israelis, and persists in glorifying them after such attacks, are they not at least equally likely to lie to Israel on this vital point, especially as the PA has an impressive record of lying to Israel since 1993?
It is all very well for Israel to demand a demilitarized Palestinian state, but after the PA obtains statehood, what likelihood is there that it will remain demilitarized, not form hostile military pacts, not import offensive weaponry, not continue to shelter terrorists and so on? Especially considering the PAs unceasing glorification of terrorists and incitement and inculcation of hatred, violence and extremism in the PA-controlled, media, mosques, schools and youth camps. Even during his own campaign for prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu mocked the very idea of asking for and expecting a Palestinian Arab state to remain demilitarized.
As this poll demonstrates, his own party recognizes that acceptance of a Palestinian Arab state, even on Prime Minister Netanyahus stated conditions, constitutes a massive reward for the terror-sponsoring PA, not to mention a major danger to Israel by having hostile Arab Muslim state on its longest boarder. And very likely this state would be controlled by Hamas and Iran.
A Palestinian Arab state would bring terror groups within rocket range of major Israeli population centers, including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion Airport; Israel would be reduced to a narrow waist a mere 9 miles wide, which would render Israel indefensible what Abba Eban used to call the Auschwitz borders. It would also be a humanitarian disaster, as hundreds of thousands of Jews living beyond the pre-1967 lines may well be uprooted in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria.