The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has made further criticisms of Secretary of State John Kerry’s Munich speech last week, in which he appeared to threaten Israel with isolation and boycott and Palestinian violence if peace talks fail. Rather than condemning these, Secretary Kerry suggested that these would be natural outcomes of Israeli non-acceptance of the dangerous and unjust Israeli concessions required by his so-called peace proposals.
Secretary Kerry and other Obama Administration officials have also darkly complained of Jewish influence upon Congress, hinting without openly stating it that a legitimate and important difference on key policy questions like Israeli/Palestinian peace talks and Iran’s nuclear weapons program amount to disloyalty by American Jews.
The ZOA has noted that:
- Secretary Kerry falsely claimed that no Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorists in the past year;
- Most Israelis oppose Secretary Kerry’s drive for a Palestinian state; &
- Most Americans also oppose a Palestinian state.
1. In his Munich speech, Secretary Kerry claimed that “there’s a momentary prosperity, there’s a momentary peace. Last year, not one Israeli was killed by a Palestinian from the West Bank,” but that is simply untrue. At least five Israelis were murdered by West Bank Palestinians in 2013 and many more would have been similarly murdered if the Israeli security forces were less effective in intercepting terrorist threats: Eiden Atias, an 19-year-old soldier who, in November, was stabbed in the neck while riding a bus; Seraya Ofer, who was bludgeoned to death outside of his home; Tomer Hazan, who was lured into a field and murdered; and Gabriel Kobi, who was shot in Hebron. Tsofia Borovsky, the wife of one of the five murdered Israelis, Evyatar Borovsky, who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian Arab, was strongly critical of Secretary Kerry’s false statement, saying it showed “insensitivity” and a “a feeling a carelessness and neglecting actual Israeli needs … I don’t even believe that President Obama even knows there was a murder or anything … If Kerry can say such careless things, [I’m] not sure they actually know, that the American government knows what’s happening in Israel, that people are being murdered … The American are supposed to be our best friends, but are actually working and doing everything that’s actually against us and pressing Israel with our backs to the wall” (Adam Kredo, ‘Israeli Widow Blasts ‘Insensitive’ Kerry Claim,’ Washington Free Beacon, February 5, 2014). A State Department spokesman did not respond to multiple Washington Free Beacon requests to comment on or clarify Kerry’s statement.
2. Most Israelis oppose Secretary Kerry’s drive for a Palestinian state. A July 2013 Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University poll found that 63% of Israeli Jews oppose a withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines with land swaps as part of any peace arrangement with the Palestinian Authority (PA), even if it meant Israel would hold onto the Etzion Bloc, directly south of Jerusalem; Ma’aleh Adumim, east of the capital; and Ariel in the central West Bank about 21 miles east of Tel Aviv. Even if Israel were to retain Etzion, Ma’aleh Adumim and Ariel, 58% of Israeli Jews oppose the dismantling of other, outlying Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria. 50% of Israeli Jews also oppose the transfer of Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem to PA control with a special arrangement for Jewish holy sites.
3. As the ZOA noted last week, a ZOA-commissioned McLaughlin poll of 1,000 Americans showed that by a ratio of 3.5 to 1 (58% –– 17%), Americans believe any future Palestinian Arab state would be hostile to Israel and support terrorism. Moreover, by a ratio of over 3 to 1 (47% –– 14%), Americans believe that Jews have the right to live in Judea/Samaria, thus entirely disagreeing with the Obama Administration’s unfounded claim that Jewish communities in these territories lack legitimacy.