Rashid Khalidi, the ardently anti-Israel Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University who served in the 1970s and early 1980s as a director in Wikalat al-Anba al-Filastinija (WAFA), the PLO press agency, has written an opinion piece in the New York Times in which he not only remarkably criticized President Barack Obama for being insufficiently supportive of the Palestinians but also excoriated Israel, deploying an array of distortions, misstatements and half-truths.
In his piece, using a variety of standard, Palestinian propaganda buzzwords, Khalidi makes the following accusations:
- Israel has “illegally settled” Jews in Judea and Samaria, which refers to inaccurately as the “occupied Palestinian territories.” [ZOA: The territory of Judea and Samaria was earmarked for Jewish settlement in 1920 at the San Remo Conference that drafted the League of Nations Charter. This decision, enshrined in the British Mandate for Palestine that shortly followed, has never been superseded by an internationally binding agreement. Israel conquered these territories in 1967 from an illegal occupier, Jordan. Judea and Samaria are therefore unallocated under international law, not “occupied Palestinian territories.” Only Israeli annexation or an Arab/Israeli agreement on its status could alter this – something that has not occurred].
- Palestinians have been subject to “ghettoization” because many have not been able to visit Jerusalem [ZOA: It is typical for pro-Palestinian activists to support Palestinian “resistance” then to complain that Israel institutes security measures to protects its population which inconveniences Palestinian travel to places like Jerusalem. Before the massive wave of Palestinian terrorism in 2000, orchestrated by Khalidi’s former boss arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat in response to a sweeping peace offer from then-Israeli prime Minister Ehud Barak encompassing a Palestinian state in almost all of Judea and Samaria and all of Gaza, huge numbers of Palestinians worked in Israel, large numbers of Israelis sat in Palestinian cafes and vice versa. The wave of terrorism – still on-going – changed all that].
- The “peace process” has consisted of indulging Israeli intransigence over Palestine in exchange for foreign-policy goals unrelated to the advancement of peace and Palestinian freedom. [ZOA: In fact, under signed agreements with the Palestinians, “Israeli intransigence” has consisted of ceding over 40% of Judea and Samaria, 100% of Gaza, and handing over assets, funds and even arms to the Palestinian Authority (PA), only to receive increased terrorism and insecurity in return. The PA, in contrast, has not implemented its commitments under Oslo to arrest terrorists, disband terrorist groups, collect illegal weaponry and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth caps that feed terrorism and bloodshed].
- “Toward the end of his first term, Mr. Obama essentially abandoned his already modest peacemaking agenda in exchange for a lull in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign for war with Iran. Palestine was again sacrificed, this time to bribe a belligerent Israel for temporary good behavior” [ZOA: President Obama’s “modest” peace proposals called for a ban on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria, in keeping with Palestinian demands for a future, Jew-free state; harsh condemnation of Israel merely for approving Jewish construction in a Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem; and a peace settlement involving total Israeli withdrawal to the 1949 ceasefire line ‘with agreed swaps,” despite the absence of any PA concessions and the absence of the implementation of any Palestinian commitments under the Oslo Accords. Both President Obama and secretary of state John Kerry have indicated that they are seeking to further a peace agreement along these lines].
- “The American-led “process” has ultimately strengthened the Israeli far right and made Palestinian self-determination more unattainable than ever” [ZOA: The Israeli electorate, by its votes and repeated opinion polls over several years, has shown consistently that it is willing to make concessions for peace, but it is not willing to make further concessions to unreconstructed, terror-sponsoring Palestinian partners who don’t accept Israel as a Jewish state and will not sign a peace agreement with her. If Palestinians had been prepared to make peace with Israel, they could have had an Israeli agreement to a Palestinian state in almost all of Judea and Samaria and all of Gaza as recently as 2000 and again in 2008 when former Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert respectively made proposals to this effect but met no agreement or even counter-offer].
- 5 million Palestinians live in a state of subjugation or exile and 1.2 million Palestinian Arabs live in Israel as second-class citizens [ZOA: Israeli Arabs are full citizens who attend the same hospitals and universities, use the same buses and post offices, walk in the same public parks, sit in the same cinemas and – above all – vote in the same elections for the same parliament as do Jewish Israelis].
- Israel’s security fence, which has played a part in preventing Palestinian terrorists from blowing up Jews in Israeli streets, is an “apartheid-style wall.” [ZOA: Other than availing himself of an opportunity to defame Israel as being guilty of ‘apartheid,’ South Africa under apartheid had no wall – it had discriminatory laws. In apartheid South Africa, non-whites could not be treated in hospitals reserved for whites, nor attend cinemas or other places of entertainment in white areas, use separate entrances in post offices and so on and could not vote. 98% of Palestinians are under Palestinian control in Judea, Samaria and Gaza; Palestinians can, and often are, treated in Israeli hospitals and use Israeli facilities, transport, etc.]
- Refers to Hamas as “the militant group that controls Gaza” [ZOA: Hamas is a terrorist organization recognized as such by the U.S. and the European Union which calls in its Charter for the destruction of Israel (Article 1%) and the murder of Jews (Article 7). It has murdered hundreds of Israelis and maimed thousands more in scores of suicide bombings and hundreds of other attacks].
- Khalidi offered not a word of criticism of the Palestinians – nothing about its continuing promotion and glorification of terrorists and terrorism directed against Israelis; the hate education and indoctrination of Palestinian children; the denial of Jewish history and connection to Jerusalem and the land in general; the corruption and wastage of the PA squandering the highest per capita international aid in the world; and so on.