August 13, 2018
News Press Release

ZOA Criticizes StandWithUs for Again Stating Falsehood That Israel Supports a Palestinian State When it Doesn’t

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (R) talks with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Chair Mark Levenson, Esq. released the following statement:

ZOA is compelled to again urge StandWithUs (SWU) to correct a serious falsehood, which they’ve now repeated on their website, in a suggested sample letter.  The StandWithUs letter falsely states that “Israel does not oppose the notion of an independent Palestinian state, and officially supports the two-state solution.” (See ZOA: Urgent Correction By StandWithUs Needed: SWU Wrongly Claims Israel Supports a Palestinian State in Sample Letter Against Colombia Recognizing Pal. State,” Aug. 12, 2018.)   

In March 2018, PM Netanyahu stated in the NY Times that a Palestinian state “doesn’t work . . . . When we leave land, terror organizations take over. Immediately.” In February 2017, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan stated: “All members of the security cabinet, and foremost the prime minister, oppose a Palestinian state.”  In July 2017, Israel’s ruling Likud party formally voted to oppose a Palestinian Arab state.

ZOA is dismayed to see that instead of correcting this serious error after being notified, StandWithUs is now ignoring the truth and is doubling down and is repeating this erroneous claim in a new StandWithUs website post that Israeli policy supports a Palestinian state.  StandWithUs’s claim is based on old, no-longer-relevant, abandoned statements and a single, very misleading poll.  StandWithUs’s false claim is extremely harmful, especially when one is seeking to have the Colombian government reverse its sudden recognition of a Palestinian state and when Israel is trying to convince the world to oppose the establishment of a Palestinian Arab State because of its serious danger to Israel. 

And such a false statement is also especially harmful at a time when Iran is spreading its terror tentacles throughout the Middle East, including to Israel’s doorstep, and it is apparent that a Palestinian Arab state would be an Iranian proxy terror state. 

In fact, CURRENT Israeli policy OPPOSES a Palestinian state, yet StandWithUs cites old abandoned Israeli statements.  ZOA’s press release yesterday cited the current up-to-date Israeli policies and statements, which all oppose the formation of a Palestinian Arab state.  Specifically: In March 2018, PM Netanyahu stated in the NY Times that a Palestinian state “doesn’t work . . . . When we leave land, terror organizations take over. Immediately.” In February 2017, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan stated: “All members of the security cabinet, and foremost the prime minister, oppose a Palestinian state.”  In July 2017, Israel’s ruling Likud party formally voted to oppose a Palestinian Arab state. PM Netanyahu stated that there will be no Palestinian state while he is in office.  The NY Times and other publications recently quoted PM Netanyahu strongly opposing a Palestinian Arab State, clearly stating it would be another Mideast terrorist state. 

By contrast and disingenuously, StandWithUs merely linked to old, no-longer-relevant, abandoned statements, made by Netanyahu under fear of and extraordinary pressure and threats by the hostile-to-Israel Obama administration.  Yet even under such extreme duress, Netanyahu’s statements in 2009-2011 and 2015 expressed willingness to accept an establishment of a Palestinian state only under the conditions that: (i) there were “ironclad guarantees” that the Palestinian state would be demilitarized; (ii) “the Palestinians must clearly and unambiguously recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people”; (iii) the formation of a Palestinian Arab state was the result of direct negotiations; and (iv) “there must also be a clear understanding that the Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside Israel’s borders” – in other words, no so-called Palestinian right-of return.  All these conditions have been rejected by the Palestinian Arabs. 

Netanyahu was well aware at the time of his Obama-era conditional statements that he was only expressing a willingness to accept a fantasy of a peaceful Palestinian Arab state.  He understood that the Palestinian Arabs will not comply with demilitarization, even in the unlikely event that they ever agreed to it.  In a famous 2002 speech, Netanyahu explained that there is no way to assure that a Palestinian state would remain demilitarized; there is no such thing as a demilitarized state.  Netanyahu explained that Israel must oppose formation of a Palestinian state because, among other reasons, a purported demilitarized Palestinian Arab state:

“…will demand all the powers of a state, such as controlling borders, bringing in weapons, control of airspace and the ability to knock down any Israeli plane that enters its area, the ability to sign peace treaties and military alliances with other countries. Once you give them a state, you give them all these things, even if there is an agreement to the contrary, for within a short time they will demand all these things, and they will assume these powers, and the world will stand by and do nothing – but it *will* stop us from trying to stop them. . . . We will thus have created with our own hands a threat to our very existence. On the day that we sign an agreement for a state with limited authorities, what will happen if the Palestinians do what the Germans did after World War I, when they nullified the demilitarized zone? The world did nothing then, and the world will do nothing now as well.  Even now, the Palestinians are removing all the restrictions to which they agreed in Oslo – they are smuggling in arms, polluting the water sources, building an army, making military deals with Iran and others, and more. . . . But when we try to take action against this, the world opposes us – and not them. . . .”  (“Netanyahu in 2002: Why We Must Oppose a Palestinian State,” by Hillel Fendel, Israel Nat’ News, Apr. 30, 2009.)   

Netanyahu’s 2002 speech, and Netanyahu’s and other Israeli officials’ statements in 2017 and 2018, as well as the Israel’s ruling Likud party’s official policy statement, all reveal that Israeli conditional support for a Palestinian Arab (terror) state was an Obama-era anomaly – and that today Israel openly and unequivocally opposes the formation of a Palestinian-Arab State which would surely be another Mideast terror State.

Accurate Recent Polls Shows that Israelis Overwhelmingly Oppose Creating a Palestinian Arab State.  StandWithUs Cited a Single Misleading Poll Funded by Some Hostile-to-Israel Entities.

Recent polls of the Israeli public by leading Israeli pollsters show that Israelis overwhelmingly oppose concessions, and the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state.  For instance, the 2017 Maagar Mochot Interdisciplinary Research Institute poll (directed by Professior Yitzhak Katz) shows that 75% of Israelis support Israeli sovereignty in Judea/Samaria and oppose a Palestinian Arab state, while only 7% support a Palestinian State.  In other words, 10 to 1 oppose a Palestinian Arab State and favor Israel sovereignty.   (See New Polls Show Overwhelming Opposition to Palestinian Arab State and Concessions: Poll Results Confirm That “Standing With Israel” Today Means Opposing A Palestinian Arab Terrorist State”.)

StandWithUs misleadingly cites an article, which solely relies on a misleading January 2018 joint poll by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research (at Tel Aviv Univ.) and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah (PCPSR).  The joint poll was funded by hostile-to-Israel entities including the European Union.  Yet, even that poll showed that a plurality of Israelis oppose a Palestinian Arab state: and that only 46% – not a majority – supported a Palestinian state, and only 43% of Israelis (and only 35% of Israeli Jews) supported a “peace package” which included a supposed demilitarized Palestinian Arab state.  Moreover, the updated same poll conducted by the same entities, and funded by the same entities, conducted last month (June-July 2018), showed that Israeli support for a Palestinian Arab state dropped further to only 43%, and that Israeli opposition to a Palestinian state grew from a plurality of 47% to a plurality of 48%. 

Based on the same joint poll, StandWithUs is misleadingly claiming that creation of a Palestinian state was the “preferred solution” (preferred by 46% of Israelis in January – which dropped to 43% in the updated poll last month).  It should be noted, however, that this poll involved a limited choice among four specific stated alternatives, of “two-state,” “expulsion,” “apartheid” and “one state.”  Important viable alternatives such as the status quo (a continued Palestinian Authority), another governing Palestinian Arab entity that is less than a state, and Israeli annexation of area C, were not among the choices given to respondents.  Giving survey respondents only limited choices does not accurately gauge the real support for a specific policy.  

Moreover, the same survey showed that a plurality of Israeli Jews, and 60% of Palestinians believe that a so-called “2 state solution” (the creation of a Palestinian Arab state) is not a viable solution.  In addition, when asked “what should happen next?”, only 38% of Israelis chose an agreement with the Palestinian Arabs. Only 26% of Palestinians chose an agreement, with Israel, while 38% chose armed struggle against Israel.   

Accordingly, ZOA urges StandWithUs to immediately correct the errors in its sample letter to the Columbian embassy, and its repeat of this error on its StandWithUs website. 

ZOA moreover once again urges all our friends to call and write to the Colombian embassy and consulate to ask Colombia’s new president to reverse the last-minute decision of its outgoing president to recognize a terrorist “State of Palestine.”  Email addresses, phone numbers, a sample letter, and further information are contained in the following ZOA Action Alerts:

URGENT ZOA Action Alert: Tell Colombia’s New President Ivan Duque – Rescind Outgoing Pres. Juan Manuel Santos’ Improper, Lame Duck Recognition of a Palestinian Terror State,” Aug. 10, 2018 and

ZOA: Urgent Correction By StandWithUs Needed: SWU Wrongly Claims Israel Supports a Palestinian State in Sample Letter Against Colombia Recognizing Pal. State,”Aug. 12, 2018.