Obama Should Not Support Quartet Report Claiming Settlements Illegal
News Press Release
May 10, 2016

T

he Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has expressed deep concern amid reports indicate that President Barack Obama is going to agree to a harsh, anti-Israel line in a Middle East Quartet report regarding “settlements” –– i.e. Jewish communities based in Judea/Samaria.

The Middle East Quartet (which consists of the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the U.S.), set up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to coordinate and bring about a common U.S./international policy towards Israel and the Palestinians, is intending to produce a report on the subject, to be issued in the last week of May, that is reportedly going to take a harsh and inaccurate anti-Israel line. Israel is working to prevent the report from mentioning future possible steps by the UN Security Council on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

One reason for the report was the Quartet’s decision to respond to the French initiative to call an international peace conference, which had been announced a few weeks earlier, and to ensure that the French did not take over leadership of the process in the international arena. It could also serve as a basis for the next U.S. president’s policies, or at least have a significant influence upon them. The possibility exists that the Report would falsely declare Israeli communities in the territories to be illegal, something which U.S administrations have refused to do, thereby altering U.S. policy accordingly.

The Quartet’s report’s conclusions could be used as a basis for further action by President Barack Obama before he leaves office next January, of whom it has been rumored, is contemplating withholding America’s customary veto in the United Nations Security Council over resolutions targeting Israel and wrongly holding Israel responsible for the lack of peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.

The possibility exists that the Report would falsely declare Israeli communities in the territories to be illegal, something which U.S administrations have refused to do, thereby altering U.S. policy accordingly.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “As ZOA has repeatedly stated, it is morally wrong and politically dangerous to assert that Israeli/Palestinian peace is dependent upon Israel discriminating against Israeli Jews, and only Israeli Jews, because they are Israeli Jews, by preventing them from building homes and communities in Judea/Samaria — while the Arabs build in Judea/Samaria at 10 times the rate of the Jews. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas despite Israeli pleas has refused to negotiate with Israel for the last 7 years, even while Israel froze building in Judea/Samaria for 10 months, and during the last 18 months of a defacto freeze.

“(1) In fact, there have been no new Jewish communities built in Judea/Samaria. All new Jewish construction has been within the borders of the communities that were in existence when Oslo began in 1993.

“(2) Jewish communities comprise less than 2% of Judea/Samaria 

“(3) Israel has given away to the Palestinian Arabs 40% of Judea/Samaria, where the Arabs have full autonomy outside of security issues. 

“(4) Judea/Samaria is not Arab Land. England had legal control of Judea/Samaria from 1917-1947. It offered approximately 1/2 each to the Arabs and Jews of the 22% that was left of the Palestine Mandate to establish 2 states. (The other 78% of “Palestine” was temporarily given to King Abdullah as Transjordan in 1922 then permanently as Jordan in 1946). The Arabs were then offered their own state in 1937, 1947, 2000, 2001, and 2008. They said no each time because it meant accepting a Jewish state, which the Arabs refuse to do no matter what the borders may be.  Since the Arabs rejected this offer — refusing to accept land offered them and went to war against Israel, the area of Judea/Samaria and Gaza became unallocated international land.

“(5) After the war, Jordan illegally occupied Judea/Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, while Egypt illegally occupied Gaza. Only 2 countries recognized this illegal occupation as legitimate. The UN never recognized it.

“(6) When Jordan illegally occupied Judea/Samaria and eastern Jerusalem from 1948-67, they never created a Palestinian State, and no Arab leader(except King Hussein a few times) even visited Jerusalem. The 1964 PLO Charter doesn’t even mention Jerusalem.

“(7) When Israel captured Judea/Samaria and Gaza in the defensive 1967 war against Israel, they offered the Arabs Judea/Samaria and Gaza in return for peace. The Arabs said, ‘no recognition,no negotiation, no peace.’ And King Hussein relinquished claims to Judea/Samaria in 1988.

“(8) Jews are from Judea. The Arabs are from Arabia.

“(9) The land the Arabs claim does not even have an Arabic name. Its called “Palestine,” named by the Romans after they captured the area from the Jews 2000 years ago. The Romans named it after the Jews enemy, the Philistines. It has never been a sovereign Arab country. Never. Just as Jerusalem has never been the capital of any country except the Jewish state.

“(10) In the movie Exodus, Ari Ben Canaan stated he was a native born Palestinian which the entire world knew meant Jew. The Jewish paper there was the Palestine Post, the first Jewish orchestra was the Palestine Orchestra.

“(11) This is not Arab land. The Jews have a far greater political, historic, religious and legal claim to Judea/Samaria and Jerusalem.

“Jews residing in Judea/Samaria possess a fundamental legitimacy, and further, pose no genuine obstacle to peace  — were Palestinians willing to conclude one — which they are not, as we have repeatedly pointed out, citing innumerable polls and other indicators.

“It is absurd to criticize and condemn such things as the mere announcement of an urban construction program in a Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem, or some other major residential neighborhood that, in virtually any kind of peace agreement envisaged, would remain part of Israel.

“The true obstacles to peace are: Palestinian Arab refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish state; their horrifying Nazi-like Jew-hatred; their demand for a Jew-free Palestinian state; Palestinian insistence on the nonsensical, Israel-destroying, so-called ‘right of return’; and the continued promotion of the murder and maiming of Jews in every aspect of Palestinian culture.

“President Obama tried in 2011 to have Israel condemned in the Security Council for the “illegitimacy” of Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria –– a legally meaningless and morally vacuous assertion. Had Arab states been willing to agree to this, President Obama would have taken the lead condemning Israel in the UN Security Council. However, at that time, the Arab states, insisted on saying these ‘settlements’ were ‘illegal’ –– a legal baseless assertion, stemming from a deliberately misreading of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention –– and President Obama vetoed the resolution.

“President Obama should immediately clarify that he has no intention of permitting the Quartet report or any subsequent Security Council resolution falsely  condemning these Jewish communities as illegal and that the U.S. position has not changed.”

 

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