November 19, 2019
News Press Release

ZOA Condemns Reform Jewish Leaders Urging Trump: Reverse Your Pro-Israel Decision on Settlements

ZOA Criticizes AIPAC for Refusing to Support Trump’s Historic Pro-Israel Decision
President Donald J. Trump

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein, ZOA Chairman Mark Levenson, Esq. and ZOA Director of Special Projects Elizabeth Berney, Esq. released the following statement:

President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo displayed tremendous courage, integrity and moral and legal clarity yesterday when the administration issued its historic, landmark decision acknowledging the truth that Jewish communities, homes and businesses in Judea/Samaria are not illegal under international law.  If fact, Jewish communities, etc. in Judea/Samaria are unequivocally legal under international law. It is an occasion for Jews and people everywhere who love justice to rejoice and celebrate that the Trump administration reversed the hateful, baseless, Orwellian, Israelophobic, antisemitic policies of the Obama and Carter administrations towards Jews living in the heart of the Jewish homeland.  

In sum, yesterday was truly a great day for the Jewish people and all those who love Israel and understand and believe the truth that Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria are unequivocally legal under international law.

In fact, U.S. treaty obligations and binding international law, including the Anglo-American Convention of 1924 and the Jewish people’s clause of the UN Charter, confirm the Jewish people’s rights to settle these lands. Jimmy Carter’s and Barrack Hussein Obama’s policies thus violated international law, and it was absolutely correct to end the Carter/Obama positions.   

Judea/Samaria is the holy Jewish land where our people lived and prayed for thousands of years.  It is the land where Abraham purchased the cave and fields in Hebron to bury his beloved wife Sarah; and where the Maccabees fought off foreign invaders and Hellenists.  It is where the shepherd David tended his flock, was anointed king, and first established his kingdom.  It is where the ancient Jewish community of Hebron lived for centuries, until Arabs massacred the Jewish community in 1929.  It is where the Jewish people planted the fields and cultivated our spiritual heritage.  

Today, 700,000 Jews live in the heart of the Jewish homeland in Judea/Samaria.

The Trump decision also strikes a blow at the hateful anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement, which relies on false claims that Jews are “illegal occupiers” of the Jewish homeland.

In sum, yesterday was truly a great day for the Jewish people and all those who love Israel and understand and believe the truth that Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria are unequivocally legal under international law.

ZOA is overjoyed by the President’s action.  Also, the two leading parties in Israel – Likud (Netanyahu) and Blue and White (Gantz) both praised the U.S. decision.

But our joy is diminished by the dangerous statements made by some of our co-religionists, including the Union of Reform Judaism and AIPAC leadership:  

ZOA’s Condemns Union of Reform Judaism’s Statement: ZOA strongly condemns the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ)’s leadership for urging the Trump administration to reverse – reverse! – the Trump administration’s moral pro-Israel position.   The reversal urged by URJ would take us back to those painful, frightening years when the Obama and Carter administrations relentlessly attacked the 700,000 Jews who live, work and pray in our holy, ancestral home. 

The URJ was also woefully wrong to assert that “any unilateral move [on settlements] would place serious and critical obstacles to a viable two-state solution, damaging the prospect of renewing the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and causing a long-term threat to Israel’s status as a Jewish and democratic state.”   

The real “obstacles to peace” are that the Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to pay people to murder Jews; and promotes hatred and violence against Jews in its schools, textbooks, government-controlled media and mosques, and names schools streets, sports teams and children’s camps after Jew killers.  The Palestinian Arabs were offered a state 3 times in the past 19 years, and 7 times in the last 80 years.  Each time, the Palestinian Arabs rejected a state that would end all hostilities and further demands on Israel – because the PA’s real goal is Israel’s destruction.  When the Arabs illegally occupied Judea/Samaria from 1948-1967, they formed no Palestinian state and there was no peace – because the Arabs’ real goal was and still is Israel’s elimination.  Moreover Palestine was never an Arab State. In fact Palestine is a Roman word. 

In fact, a so-called “two-state solution” (meaning, the creation of a terrorist Palestinian-Arab-Hamas-Hezbollah-Fatah-Iranian proxy state in Israel’s heartland) is not a “solution.”  It is an existential threat to Israel’s existence.  

Just last week, we again saw the results of uprooting Jewish communities:  Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired 400 missiles into Israel in just one day, terrorizing the entire nation.  In the areas hit by Hamas and PIJ rockets, almost every Jewish child suffers from PTSD.  ZOA urges URJ to learn from the painful results of uprooting the Jewish communities in Gaza.  The surest path towards preventing more missiles from raining down on Israel is to keep, build and grow the perfectly legal Jewish communities of Judea/Samaria. 

ZOA Criticizes AIPAC’s Statement: ZOA is deeply dismayed by and criticizes AIPAC’s statement that it “takes no position on settlements.” ZOA urges AIPAC to acknowledge that settlements are legal under international law and support Trumps decision. 

AIPAC’s statement refusing to support Trumps historic pro-Israel decision yesterday belies AIPAC’s repeated claim that AIPAC supports the policies of Israel’s democratically elected government—since the Israeli government and the major Blue and White Party under Gantz both lauded Trumps decision. In addition, AIPAC supports a so-called “two-state solution” – which the Israeli government does not support.  AIPAC also recently criticized Israel for refusing to admit two antisemitic Congresspersons into Israel. AIPAC also refused to support the Taylor-Force Act for a year until the Act was weakened (The Act cut aid to the Palestinians until they stopped paying Arabs to murder Jews). Why is AIPAC not supporting Israel’s positions as they claim they would?  Has AIPAC become just another leftwing Jewish group?

ZOA accordingly urges all our co-religionists to join us in celebrating the moral and legal landmark position advanced by the Trump administration yesterday.