The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has strongly criticized President Barack Obama’s remarks in a Bloomberg interview this week in which he appears to have threatened Israel with isolation and lack of American support if it fails to follow his negotiating dictates, while whitewashing the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s Mahmoud Abbas –– who has consistently honored and glorified Jew-killing terrorists, refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, end incitement to hatred and murder or arrest terrorists and ban terrorist groups –– as a peacemaker.
The ZOA has issued the following statement:
“The ZOA believes that this interview reflects a long-standing pattern of President Obama’s hostile bias against Israel and indulgence of the unreconstructed Abbas and his terrorist-sponsoring PA regime.
“President Obama spoke of Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria and the false claim of a declining Jewish majority as the causes of the receding of peace prospects –– not the PA’s refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish state, sign a deal that ends the conflict with Israel, implement its signed commitments under the Oslo agreements to outlaw and arrest terrorists and end the incitement to hatred and murder of Jews that suffuses the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps.
“At the same time, President Obama gave a free pass to Mahmoud Abbas, someone who has made no concessions over the five years of the Obama presidency and who has refused to even negotiate with Israel during almost all of that period.
“President Obama seems to be setting the groundwork for blaming Israel for the inevitable diplomatic failure that lies ahead.”
The ZOA has noted the following:
President Obama suggested that Israel would be internationally isolated and that America would not vigorously fight to prevent such a scenario:
“Israel has become more isolated internationally. We had to stand up in the Security Council in ways that 20 years ago would have involved far more European support, far more support from other parts of the world when it comes to Israel’s position. And that’s a reflection of a genuine sense on the part of a lot of countries out there that this issue continues to fester, is not getting resolved, and that nobody is willing to take the leap to bring it to closure.”
With regard to this statement, even President Obama’s interviewer, the liberal journalist, Jeffrey Goldberg, said that, “Obama … issued what I took to be a veiled threat” against Israel.
Asked if he agreed with Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement in a speech last month in which he suggested that Israel faced a third intifada, international isolation and boycotts if it failed to reach peace with the Palestinians, President Obama essentially did agree, claiming that Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria and the alleged (but untrue) situation that Jews are becoming a minority within the lands under their control, was causing the prospect of peace to recede:
“John Kerry … I think he has been simply stating what observers inside of Israel and outside of Israel recognize, which is that with each successive year, the window is closing for a peace deal that both the Israelis can accept and the Palestinians can accept — in part because of changes in demographics; in part because of what’s been happening with settlements … Israel has become more isolated internationally. We had to stand up in the Security Council in ways that 20 years ago would have involved far more European support, far more support from other parts of the world when it comes to Israel’s position. And that’s a reflection of a genuine sense on the part of a lot of countries out there that this issue continues to fester, is not getting resolved, and that nobody is willing to take the leap to bring it to closure.”
Note that President Obama did not say that the U.S. would oppose Israel’s isolation with all it might and, indeed, his Administration did not lobby allies to oppose the Palestinian statehood bid at the UN in November 2012 –– in stark contrast to the threat to defund UN agencies in the early 1990s that the George H.W. Bush Administration made when the UN looked like approving Palestinian statehood at the time. President Obama did not take issue with the dropping of international support, suggesting that blaming Israel for the diplomatic impasse is correct and understandable. Instead, he condemned Jews living in and building homes in Judea/Samaria, as they have every legal right to do –– but did not condemn the PA position, frequently restated, that insists that all Jews be uprooted from the territory of a future Palestinian state.
President Obama also bestowed unmerited praise on PA president Mahmoud Abbas:
“I believe that President Abbas is sincere about his willingness to recognize Israel and its right to exist, to recognize Israel’s legitimate security needs, to shun violence, to resolve these issues in a diplomatic fashion that meets the concerns of the people of Israel.”
This is the free pass President Obama gave Abbas, someone who repeats that he will not accept Israel as a Jewish state; who has confided to Arab journalists that “If [the Arab states] want war, and if all of you will fight Israel, we are in favor”; who has hailed Jew-killing terrorists as “heroes fighting for freedom”; who as stated that disarming terrorist groups is “red line” that he must never cross; and who has declared that, when there is a Palestinian state, “we won’t agree to the presence of one Israeli in it.”
President Obama also contended that “The Palestinians would still prefer peace” –– a flat-earth statement that flies in the face of innumerable polls over the years, including the last five years coinciding with Obama’s presidency. To name only a few of these:
- September 2013 Pew Research Survey: A large majority –– 62% –– of Palestinians justify the use of suicide terrorism, only 16% saying tat suicide bombing is never justified. In the words of the Pew Survey, “in some countries, substantial minorities of Muslims say attacks on civilians are at least sometimes justified to defend Islam from its enemies; in the Palestinian territories, a majority of Muslims hold this view.”
- July 2011 Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCP) poll: An overwhelming 73% of Palestinians agree with the hadith [Islamic tradition ascribed to Muhammad), quoted by the terrorist group Hamas in its Charter, about the need to murder Jews. An even larger number of Palestinians –– 80% –– agree with the statement in the Hamas Charter calling for creation of Arab and Islamic battalions to fight the Jews. Only 34% of Palestinians accept the idea of a peaceful Palestinian state living alongside Israel as the solution to the Arab/Israeli war, as against 61% who rejected the idea. 66% said that the Palestinians’ real goal should be to start with setting up a Palestinian state alongside Israel but then move towards creating a single Palestinian-controlled state.
- October 2010 Arab World for Research & Development opinion poll: An overwhelming 85% of Palestinians would oppose a peace settlement with Israel if it entailed Palestinian compromise on key issues such the legally baseless, so-called ‘right of return’ of Arab refugees and their millions of descendants; Jerusalem; borders; and Jewish communities in Judea & Samaria. In contrast, only 12% of Palestinians would accept such a peace agreement.
- October 2010 Palestinian Survey Research Unit poll: 49% of Palestinians support suicide bombing attacks upon Israelis, while a virtually equal number (49.2%) oppose such attacks. 14% of Palestinians strongly favored such acts of terrorism, while 6% of Palestinians strongly opposed them.
- October 2010 Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research poll: 51% of Palestinians support the murderous August 31, 2010 terror attacks by Hamas which killed 4 Israeli civilians near the Bani Nayim junction, while only 44% of Palestinians opposed it. An overwhelming majority of 76% of Palestinians opposed a PA crackdown on Hamas that followed the attack, whereas only 20% expressed support.
- July 2010 Palestinian Center for Public Opinion poll: An overwhelming 82% of Palestinians oppose the renunciation of the so-called ‘right of return,’ the legally baseless demand that all Palestinian refugees of the 1948-49 war and their millions of descendants return to Israel, whereas only 14% would support its renunciation. This opposition was expressed even if the price of maintaining the ‘right of return’ was the non-conclusion of a peace agreement with Israel. The poll also found that, by a nearly identical margin of 82% to 13%, Palestinians oppose the Palestinian leadership waiving the ‘right of return’ in exchange for financial compensation for refugees and their descendants.