April 13, 2020
News Press Release

ZOA Condemns Israel Policy Forum “Anti-Annexation” Letter and Campaign

ZOA Urges Israel: Apply Israeli Law to Jewish Communities in Judea Samaria
ARIEL, WEST BANK - APRIL 12: (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

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

It is ironic, painful and harmful that during Passover, when Jews throughout the world are celebrating our freedom from foreign enslavement and the beginning of our return to our holy Jewish land, that the extremist leftwing “Israel Policy Forum” (IPF) published a letter demanding that Israel’s leaders should not exercise Israel’s rightful sovereignty over the Jewish communities that presently exist in Judea and Samaria, including the Jordan Valley, located on the very same lands that the Jewish people resettled after escaping from Egypt and wandering in the desert. And this sovereignty would only be on 30% of Judea Samaria. These G-d-given, Balfour Declaration given, League of Nations given lands were moreover guaranteed to the Jewish people to re-establish the Jewish homeland under binding international law – including the San Remo resolution, the Mandate, and the UN Charter.  

IPF’s letter is part of IPF’s wrong-headed long-standing “anti-annexation” campaign.  “Annexation” is the wrong word: Israel’s exercise of its rightful sovereignty is not an “annexation” of another sovereign’s land. There was never an Arab country called Palestine; there were never any Palestinian Arab Kings and Queens. Jews have been living on this land for thousands of years ruled by dozens of Jewish Kings and Queens 

IPF has consistently refused to recognize the Jewish people’s history, lawful rights to our land and security needs.  In 2012, an IPF letter urged Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to reject the thoroughly-reasoned conclusions of the Levy Commission, led by eminent Supreme Court Justice (Ret.) Edmond Levy, confirming that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are lawful, and are not an “occupation” under international law.  IPF again complained when U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are legal.  

The new IPF letter absurdly cites the coronavirus as a new rationale for demanding that Israel should not exercise sovereignty over the lands to which Israel is entitled, and for demanding that Benny Gantz should renege on his promises to President Trump and the Israeli people to support sovereignty.  

However, the history of attacks on Jews during plagues should remind us that we need a strong Israel, unafraid to assert her rights.  A Palestinian-Arab state on Israel’s longest border may well result in non-stop Arab attacks on Israel’s major population centers, compounding and worsening the health crisis that Israel faces today.  

Sadly, the IPF letter and “anti-annexation” campaign is nothing new.  Ever since its founding in the early 1990s, IPF has been promoting positions inimical to the Jewish people’s rights and safety.  IPF’s positions have led to death and disaster, and have in every case been proven wrong.  For instance:

  • When ZOA President Morton Klein testified in Congress in favor of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, IPF’s policy director testified against moving the embassy, wrongly claiming that national security considerations required keeping the embassy in Tel Aviv. 
  • After ZOA President Morton Klein testified in Congress in favor of U.S. recognition of Israel’s strategically essential, historic and lawful sovereignty over the Golan Heights, IPF wrongly declared that U.S. recognition could be “counterproductive.” 
  • IPF promoted the disastrous Oslo Accords, and played a key role in persuading AIPAC to not oppose the supposed Oslo “peace process.”  Oslo led to Arab terrorists murdering and maiming thousands of Israeli civilians in suicide bombings and other terror attacks.
  • In 2005, IPF mobilized 27 Jewish organizations, and the Reform and Conservative movements to sign IPF’s New York Times ad promoting Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza and the destruction of Gaza’s thriving Jewish communities.  The result was that Hamas and PIJ turned Gaza into a rocket-launching pad, bombarding Israeli citizens with thousands of missiles to this day.  

 

The heartless Hamas regime does not cease these attacks even while thousands of Israelis are suffering from coronavirus.  Yet IPF would use the coronavirus to weaken Israel’s ability to withstand assaults.

The signers of the latest IPF letter include: the IPF board; top J Street officials; top URJ (Union of Reform Judaism) officials; members of the “progressive” pro-divestment slate in the recent World Zionist Congress election; signers of IPF’s 2012 letter which demanded rejection of the Levy Commission Report confirming Israel’s legal rights to Judea and Samaria; and a founder and leader of the radical, infamous pro-PLO CONAME and Breira organizations in the 1970s.

We hope that the IPF-letter signers will have a meaningful Passover, that enables them to realize how harmful their positions are to the Jewish State and the Jewish people.