Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Chair Mark Levenson, Esq. released the following statement:
A few days ago, Daniel Pipes published a falsehood-filled New York Times op-ed opposing Israel’s application of her legally valid sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley. ZOA promptly wrote a detailed article demonstrating the fallacy of each argument in Pipes’ op-ed. Five (out of six) of Pipes’ arguments were mere fear-mongering about various parties’ reactions – fears that have been time and time again proven unwarranted. ZOA also debunked Pipes’ absurd assertion that “annexation” achieves nothing. Exercising sovereignty is a long-overdue step that will promote Israel’s and her people’s security; firmly assure that Israel maintains defensible borders; and end the decades-long limbo of the 500,000 Jews who live in Judea-Samaria – who need to have their communities fully integrated with the rest of Israel and governed by Israeli law. It is moreover vital to apply sovereignty now, while there is a friendly administration in Washington.
Pipes has now written a response to ZOA and to the many others including the Jerusalem Post’s renowned, award-winning journalist Caroline Glick and distinguished Israeli Professor Ephraim Inbar, Director of the Begin/Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, who criticized Pipes’ op-ed, marked by the following:
- Pipes’ response failed to offer any substantive counter-argument to ZOA’s and others’ persuasive critiques. Instead, Pipes engaged in ad hominem attacks. Pipes mischaracterized ZOA’s thoroughly reasoned critique as “howling” at him. Pipes also called disagreement with him “wild attacks.”
- Pipes falsely characterized opposing“annexation” as a “midpoint” position between extremes. In fact, as ZOA’s article documented, polls demonstrate that the overwhelming majority of Israelis support Israel’s application of her sovereignty over all or part of Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley. Pipes’ position – of opposing Israel’s exercise of her sovereignty – is an extreme leftwing position, which undermines Israel’s security and the stability of the 500,000 Jews now living in Judea and Samaria.
- Pipes’ response also pretended that no one described the fallacies in his op-ed. Pipes wrote: “Show me how annexation now is in fact a good idea.” Pipes ignored that ZOA and others carefully outlined the need for Israel to apply sovereignty now – during a friendly U.S. administration, in order to maintain defensible borders, and to assure 500,000 Jews of the permanence of their communities.
- Pipes wrongly and baldly asserted that “there is no comparison” between his dire predictions if Israel asserts her sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, and the dire predictions if the U.S. moved its embassy to Jerusalem, which turned out to be unwarranted. In fact, dire predictions regarding Israeli moves and pro-Israel U.S. moves are essentially the same. Both are unfounded. Indeed, numerous dire predictions involving past Israeli actions (for instance, Israel’s passage of the Nation-State law, and Israel’s bombing of the Osirak nuclear reactor) turned out to be unfounded.
- Pipes’ response suggested that instead of exercising her sovereignty over lands to which Israel is lawfully entitled, Israel should cut off water and electricity to Palestinian-Arabs.
Pipes’ suggestion doesn’t help the 500,000 Jewish Israelis living in Judea-Samaria who need to be governed by Israeli law, and to have their homes fully integrated as part of Israel. Pipes’ “cut the water” suggestion also doesn’t achieve the strategic imperative of assuring Israel’s permanent control of the areas essential to Israel’s security. Israelis must hold Judea-Samaria and the Jordan Valley to prevent non-stop rocket attacks on Israel’s major population centers and prevent Israel from easily being cut in two in an attack.
We also have to wonder, if Pipes is not worried about the potential international reaction if Israel cuts off Palestinian-Arabs’ water and electricity, why is he so concerned about Israel simply exercising her sovereign rights to her land on which 500,000 Jews already live.
- Pipes always claims that his general overarching thesis and goal is “breaking the Palestinian will to eliminate Israel” and a “total victory” over the Palestinian-Arabs campaign. However, Pipes’ anti-sovereignty position directly contradicts his “total victory” campaign pledge and ideology. It surely won’t “break the Palestinian will to eliminate Israel” if Israel is too fearful to apply her sovereignty to her own, vital land and people. Applying sovereignty is surely a step forward in showing a clear Israeli victory over the Palestinian-Arabs.
Other Experts Agree with ZOA: ZOA notes that other distinguished experts agreed with ZOA’s criticisms of Pipes’ op-ed, including the following:
- Security expert Efraim Inbar’s excellent Al Monitor article was quoted in ZOA’s original article criticizing Pipes’ New York Times article.
- The Hebron Jewish community’s spokesman, Yishai Fleisher, explained that Pipes’ article is “entirely founded on needlessly fearful conjecture. . . . Daniel Pipes’ latest article serves as a boon to enemies who wish to weaken Israel through exaggerating the very fears he mentions. . . . Now is not the time to be gripped by fear. Now is the time for Israelis to gather strength and confidence from all we have been through and all we are becoming, and to take control of our land through sovereignty and of our future.”
- Esteemed journalist Caroline Glick tweeted: “@DanielPipes no one understands why you buried your principles and decided Israel must surrender its rights and strategic interests in the hopes of appeasing people who wish us ill. But alas, buried your principles you have. And we just have to accept that you switched sides.”
- Attorney Stephen M. Flatow, whose daughter Alisa Flatow was murdered by Iranian-sponsored Palestinian-Arab terrorists, summed up the relative unimportance of international complaints compared to the advantages of exercising sovereignty, saying: “It’s one or the other. “Annexation” and some international whining — or [an Israel that is only] nine miles wide and a daily threat to Israel’s very existence. That’s the choice Israel really faces.”
Pipes’ Deputy: Pipes’ deputy, Gregg Roman, joined Pipes in engaging in name-calling, targeting ZOA and others who criticized Pipes’ fallacy-filled op-ed. Pipes’ deputy tweeted that ZOA’s Morton Klein, Caroline Glick, “and other notable right-wing #Zionist#Twitterati” are “conservative dilettante detractors” and accused all of us of “explosive, demeaning, and disrespectful responses” to Pipes’ New York Times op-ed. Like Pipes’ response, Gregg Roman’s ludicrous tweet was simply name-calling and totally devoid of substance. Shameful.