Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:
At the Saban Forum yesterday (December 3), Haim Saban opened his half hour conversation with White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner by thanking Mr. Kushner for his efforts to try to stop the infamous anti-Israel United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 (passed on Dec. 23, 2016) that declared all the land within the green line is occupied Arab Territory. (Obama refused to veto it). The ZOA joins Mr. Saban in thanking Mr. Kushner for these valiant efforts.
ZOA is concerned, however, about several of Mr. Kushner’s statements made during his Saban Forum conversation – especially his mistaken statements that an Israeli-Palestinian deal is the key to Middle East stability, and that the lack of a final status deal is the cause of day-to-day Issues.
In fact, an Israeli-Palestinian deal is not the key to Middle East Stability; Instead, a deal would undermine stability: ZOA respectfully disagrees with Mr. Kushner’s statements that: “I think that If we’re going to try and create more stability in the region as a whole, you have resolve this [Israeli-Palestinian] issue” and “A lot of the issues that come up in the relationship on a day-to-day basis are causes of not having a final status agreement.” In fact, the opposite is the case. A Palestinian-Arab state would be a corrupt Fatah-Hamas-Iranian proxy terror state, and is a recipe for disaster that would place the heartland of Israel in danger of day-to-day rocket attacks, increase day-to-day terrorism, and at best leave unaffected and at worst dramatically increase instability in the region and locally.
For instance, the PA’s $355 million per year of “pay to slay” payments to Arab terrorists to murder Jews would not cease if a Palestinian-Arab state were established on Israeli soil. Instead, these payments would become even more entrenched and difficult to stop. Statehood does not stop rewards to terrorists. For instance, under Saddam Hussein, Iraq – a full-fledged state – gave Palestinian-Arab terrorists $25,000.00 for each Jew that they murdered.
Establishing a Palestinian-Arab state would also not stop Iran’s continuing march towards nuclear weapons capability and regional hegemony, or Iran’s growing presence near Israel’s border with Syria, or Iran’s increasing support for terror proxies – the gravest dangers in the Middle East.
In fact, focusing on Palestinian-Arab demands interferes with the rapprochement between Israel and Saudi Arabia and other Arab states that is needed to curb Iran’s dangerous ambitions. The Palestinian Authority is already working to undermine Israeli-Arab alliances. Muslim Middle East expert Bassam Tawil recently described how the Palestinian Arabs are holding Saudi Arabia “hostage” and repeatedly ungratefully turned against and attacked Arab states that supported them, including Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, and now Saudi Arabia. Tawil noted: “the Palestinians wish to retain their death grip against Israel at the cost of their Arab brethren.” (“The Great Palestinian Shakedown: Have the Arabs Had Enough?,” by Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 30, 2017. See also “The State Department Drops the Ball,” by Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 27, 2017.)
Establishing a Palestinian-Arab state would also have no positive impact on the instability in Lebanon – where Hezbollah has over 150,000 rockets pointed at Israel (more than the combined arsenal of all 27 NATO countries except the United States), and Prime Minister Saad Hariri has publicly stated his fears of being assassinated (presumably by Hezbollah agents). Instead, a Palestinian-Arab state would endanger the Israeli territory to which Israeli children and other civilians living in northern Israel may need to temporarily flee to in order to remain safe from massive Hezbollah rocket fire.
Establishing a Palestinian-Arab state would also not end ISIS’s bombing and other attacks against civilian targets throughout the Middle East including against mosques, airplanes, Christian pilgrims and churches in Egypt; and restaurants in Iraq.
Establishing a Palestinian-Arab state would not stop Turkey or Iranian-backed Iraqi forces from attacking and killing Kurds. Nor would it end the genocidal tribal warfare and massacres in South Sudan, or the Muslim Brotherhood’s and Muslim mobs’ deadly attacks against worshipers in Christian Coptic churches in Egypt.
Establishing a Palestinian-Arab state would also not end centuries of Shia-Sunni violence against one another; or Somali Al Shabaab piracy in Middle Eastern shipping lanes; or Libya’s bloody civil war between an Islamist group and a rival militia for control of Libya’s oil fields; or ongoing violence and recent use of chemical weapons in Syria; or the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels’ violent attacks that have reached crisis proportions in Yemen – including the Houthi’s murder today of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Saleh’s entourage (and 125 civilians in recent days), in retaliation for Saleh seeking peaceful dialogue with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. (“Yemen Houthi Rebels Kill Former President Ali Abdullah Saleh,” The Guardian, Dec. 4, 2017.)
The ZOA appreciates Mr. Kushner’s sincere desire for peace and stability. The real keys to attaining these goals include: ending the PA’s “pay-to-slay” payments and daily incitement incentivizing the murder of Jews; moving the U.S. embassy to Israel’s capital Jerusalem; standing with Israel; focusing on countering Iran’s ambitions; and individually addressing each welter of crises plaguing the Middle East – instead of mistakenly viewing a Palestinian-Arab state as a panacea for matters that have nothing to do with Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.