Posted by: ZOA Staff
March 31, 2016
News Press Release

ZOA: Obama Falsely Blames Israel’s Good Economy for Lack of “Peace”- Not Palestinian Actions

Zionist Organization of America President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:

The Zionist Organization of America criticizes President Obama’s statements at the “Young Leaders of Americas Initiative Town Hall” in Buenos Aires, Argentina (March 23, 2016) where he falsely blames Israel’s good economy, lack of Israeli concessions, and the Israeli Prime Minister’s re-election ambitions for the absence of Middle East peace — when the real culprit is Palestinian Arab leadership’s refusal to negotiate, the rejection of three Palestinian statehood offers, and refusal to cease and desist from their goal of murdering Jews and attempting to destroy Israel.  

Obama stated: “Because Israeli society has been so successful economically, it has, I think, from a position of strength been less willing to make concessions,” and “If Netanyahu wants peace, he’s got to make concessions to create a Palestinian state.  But he has to get elected, and he’s thinking to himself, if I make this concession, then somebody in my party, the Likud, may challenge me.”     

In addition to ignoring that Palestinian Arab leadership is to blame for the unrest, Obama’s statement implies that if Jews are successful, they won’t make “peace” – an absurd anti-Semitic canard – which dangerously (and falsely) implies that “peace” will ensue if the U.S. weakens Israel economically.  Indeed, many of the Obama administration’s recent acts are aimed at economically damaging the Jewish State, including Obama singling out the pro-Israel portion of the trade bill for condemnation (Feb. 2016) and issuing an anti-Israel labeling requirement on January 23, 2016.

Obama’s statements ignore the fact that Palestinian Arabs were many times offered, and repeatedly rejected extraordinarily generous peace settlements, including in 1937, 1947, 2000, and 2008.

Palestinian Arabs Reject Peace and Negotiations:  Obama’s statements ignore the fact that Palestinian Arabs were many times offered, and repeatedly rejected extraordinarily generous peace settlements, including in 1937, 1947, 2000, and 2008. Yet, Palestinian Arabs have categorically refused to establish a state if Palestinian statehood means making a final peace with an existent Israel, and waging “no further claims.”  

Palestinian Arab leadership even rejected Israel’s offers in 2000 and 2008 for the opportunity of Palestinian statehood, with 97% of the West Bank, large parts of Jerusalem (the Jewish holy city), and parts of Israel proper.  During the past seven years Palestinian Authority (“PA”) president Mahmoud Abbas refused to negotiate at all – and only met Netanyahu on two evenings – despite Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s unprecedented concessions of freezing settlement building for 10 months, and slowing Jewish building in Judea/Samaria to a trickle since that time. Instead, PA leadership stated last month that they will “never” negotiate with Israel.

Palestinian Arab Leadership Continues to Incite Violence:  Instead of negotiating for peace, Abbas and other PA leaders continue to incite deadly intifadas and violence against innocent Israeli civilians in PA leaders’ speeches, songs, PA official television, PA newspapers, PA-controlled mosques and PA schools, and to proclaim that Jews will not be permitted to reside in any future Palestinian state.  It is clear that Palestinian Arab leadership’s rejectionism and unremitting, centripetal goal to destroy Israel is what prevents peace.

However, during his Buenos Aires speech, Pres. Obama misleadingly stated that both sides have to ask themselves: “Are you going to be living together with checkpoints and people being stabbed, and hatred?” thereby casting blame on both sides for what is in reality one-sided, stabbing, car ramming and shooting attacks by Palestinian Arab terrorists against innocent Jewish Israelis and U.S. citizens, incited by Palestinian Arab leadership.   

Israeli concessions do not bring peace:  Time and time again, Israeli concessions have only led to more Palestinian Arab terrorism against innocent Israeli civilians.   For instance:

  • Israel’s complete evacuation of every Jewish person from Gaza and northern Samaria in 2005 resulted in takeover by Hamas and other Palestinian Arab terrorist groups who fired thousands of rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli civilians, including at Jewish children in Israeli school buses, schools and hospitals. 
  • Israel’s removal of checkpoints resulted in fatal attacks on Israeli civilians by Palestinian Arab terrorists at the site of the former checkpoint. 
  • Prime Minister Netanyahu’s concession in the 1997 Hebron Accord (turning 80% of the historic Jewish city of Hebron over to Palestinian Authority control) resulted in frequent Palestinian Arab terrorist attacks (including recent sniper attacks) on the 20% of Hebron where Jews reside and other Jewish areas. 

It is thus, clear that the sole impediment to peace is Palestinian Arab leadership’s incitement to violence against Israelis and their obstinate refusal to accept the fact of Israel based on its historical and modern nationhood, and end what is their fabricated “right of return” to control Israel claim.

In light of the reality that Israeli concessions bring more terror, it was wrong for President Obama to assert that Israeli Prime Minister’s refusal to make further suicidal concessions is based on his re-election prospects. 

Obama reiterated his false demographic argument:  In Argentina, once again, President Obama restated his spurious argument that Israel needs to give Palestinian Arabs a state in order to avoid being outnumbered by Arabs’ demographic growth.   As ZOA has previously pointed out, repeated, reputable studies showing that the demographic threat has no basis.   (Additional source.) The 2007 American-Israel Demographic Research Group (AIDRG) study showed that the PA deliberately inflated its population figures to over 3.3 million, while the actual figure was closer to 2.4 million. The fertility rate of Palestinian Arabs in Judea/Samaria has declined from 5 births in 2002 to 2.91 in 2013, while the Jewish fertility rate in Israel is now 3.04. In 1995, the number of Jewish births constituted 69% of total Israeli births; whereas in 2014, the percentage was 77% and rising.