ZOA Criticizes Obama For Denouncing Jewish Israelis Announcing Future Construction Project in Eastern J’lem
August 10, 2011

Never Denounces Continuous Palest. Building There






The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is strongly critical of President Barack Obama’s renewed effort to stop additional Jews living and building homes in Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem by his denouncing the mere announcement of a new construction project for Jewish homes in the Har Homa neighborhood of the city, even though the actual construction project will not commence for another two years. The U.S. State Department criticized Israel’s decision to approve the building of 930 homes in Har Homa, saying that it was “deeply concerned” by the approval announcement. It also said that such “unilateral actions work against efforts to resume direct negotiations and contradict the logic of a reasonable and necessary agreement between the parties … [the United States] will continue to press ahead with the parties to resolve the core issues in the context of a peace agreement” (‘U.S. “deeply concerned” by Israel’s approval of East Jerusalem construction plans,’ Haaretz, August 9, 2011). This statement ignores the fact that the Palestinians have refused to negotiate even during Israel’s recent 10 month freeze.  President Obama’s anti-Israel bias is flagrantly conspicuous in that he has never expressed ‘deep concern’ about on-going, continuous and illegal Arab construction in eastern Jerusalem.


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “It is clear from the Obama Administration’s latest criticism of Israel for merely announcing a program of urban construction for Jews in a Jewish neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem that President Obama is intent on seeking every opportunity to press his policy of seeking to divide Jerusalem and to prevent Jews – and only Jews – from building homes there and moving into them. It widely understood that this Jewish neighborhood will never be ceded to the PA, even should there be an eventual peace agreement with the Palestinians.


“At no time has President Obama expressed ‘deep concern’ over Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority (PA) signing a unity government agreement with Hamas, a recognized terrorist group that calls in its Charter for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews – he has merely asked the PA to ‘explain’ the agreement. At no time has he expressed ‘deep concern’ at continuing Palestinian incitement to hatred and murder and the naming of streets, schools and sports teams after terrorists who shed Jewish blood. Clearly, President Obama adheres to an essentially racist and discriminatory policy of seeking to prevent Jews – and only Jews – from building homes anywhere in eastern Jerusalem while completely ignoring the PA’s truly pro-terror, anti-peace policies and actions.


“The Palestinians oppose Jews building homes in eastern Jerusalem because they seek to divide Jerusalem, cutting Israel off from its roots and holy sites in the city, and to establish a Jew-free Palestinian state. This is a racist policy which President Obama should not be endorsing by criticizing all Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.  The Palestinian Authority’s President Mahmoud Abbas has publicly stated that no Jew will be allowed in any future Palestinian state.


“Criticizing Jewish construction in Jerusalem conveys the damaging message that Jews have no right to live in these areas, the historical and religious heartland of the Jewish people. It lends credence to the false notion that peace can be built by making these territories judenrein.


“President Obama is wrong – Jews building and moving into homes in Jerusalem or anywhere else poses no obstacle to negotiating a peace settlement, if Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) was actually willing to conclude a genuine peace. President Obama should focus on actual obstacles to peace which he routinely ignores – PA failure to fulfill its signed obligations under the Oslo agreements to arrest terrorists, outlaw terrorist groups and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques schools and youth camps.


“Peace is possible with Jews living in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, just as it is possible with Arabs living throughout Israel. But peace is not possible if the PA continues to arm, sponsor, protect, glorify and reward terrorists who murder Jews while encouraging young Palestinians to become terrorists.


President Obama’s policy of seeking to divide Jerusalem also violates the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which calls for Jerusalem to remain undivided and Israel’s capital under Israeli sovereignty. The Jerusalem Embassy Act, passed by the U.S. Congress on October 23, 1995, by a vote of 93 to 5 in the Senate and 374 to 37 in the House of Representatives, rejects the past American practice of maintaining the U.S. Embassy to Israel in Tel Aviv and mandates its relocation in Jerusalem. It also holds that ‘Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected’ and that ‘Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel.’”


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