By Morton A. Klein, ZOA National President
(JANUARY 22, 2022 / JERUSALEM POST) The Zionist Organization of America and millions of Jews, numerous commentators and others in Israel and around the world are deeply offended by and are strongly criticizing U.S. Ambassador Thomas Nides for boycotting visiting the legal and historically Jewish communities in Judea-Samaria. Nides stated that he will “absolutely not” “under any circumstances” visit these Jewish communities where over 700,000 Jews live.
By contrast, Nides said during the same interview that he might go to Judea-Samaria to meet with Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian Authority-Arab officials, the same people who pay Arabs $360 million per year to murder Jews.
Nides’ statements are a painful indication that the ambassador wishes to appease the PA’s terrorist dictatorship, radical Islamists and radical leftists who deny the Jewish people’s rights to live in the historic Jewish homeland.
Since the Reagan administration, the US has recognized that these communities are legal. In addition, throughout the past century, the US entered into still effective, binding international treaties recognizing the Jewish people’s rights to settle these lands.
Judea-Samaria, which is the heart of biblical Israel and site of Jewish kingdoms that existed for hundreds of years, is guaranteed to the Jewish people, for “close Jewish settlement” and for the reconstitution of the Jewish homeland, under binding international law and treaties, including: the San Remo Resolution; the League of Nations Covenant (Article 22); the British Mandate for Palestine (which also calls for assuring that none of the territory guaranteed to the Jewish people shall be ceded or leased to or placed under the control of a foreign power); the joint Lodge-Fish Resolution (signed into law by the US president); the 1924 Anglo-American Convention [Treaty] (a binding US treaty obligation – the highest law of the land – approved by the US Senate and president); and UN Charter (Article 80) (another binding treaty obligation, which preserved intact all rights granted to the Jewish people under the British Mandate, even after the mandate’s expiration).
Nides’ visit boycott of Jewish communities in Judea-Samaria also appears to violate his former beliefs. In November 2019 (before Nides became an ambassador in the hostile Biden administration), he praised then-secretary of state Mike Pompeo for (correctly) concluding, after a lengthy, comprehensive study, that Israeli civilian communities in Judea-Samaria are legal (“not illegal”). Nides tweeted: “My thanks to @POTUS and @SecPompeo for their important work which will advance the cause of peace by creating an appropriate level playing field for future talks.”
Nides’s recent wording in a tweet about a Palestinian Arab murder of a Jewish student in Judea-Samaria was also troubling. On December 16, Palestinian-Arab gunmen ambushed and murdered yeshiva student Yehuda Dimentman and wounded two other yeshiva students riding in a car on the way home from their studies. Nides’s deliberately nondescript tweet failed to acknowledge that the victims of this terror attack were Jews and that the perpetrators were Palestinian-Arab terrorists, and instead merely said: “Last night’s murderous terrorist attack in the West Bank robbed a family of their father and husband. May his memory be a blessing. We pray [for] swift healing to the injured victims.”
ZOA urges Ambassador Nides to visit the beautiful Jewish communities and Jewish families of Judea-Samaria, who made the barren desert bloom, and to stop his anti-Israel boycott of the Jewish people and communities in Judea-Samaria, which is reminiscent of Ben and Jerry’s ugly boycott.
Morton A. Klein is the president of the Zionist Organization of America.
This op-ed was originally published in the Jerusalem Post and can be viewed here.