By Morton A. Klein, ZOA National President
(FEBRUARY 17, 2022 / JNS) In an interview published on Wednesday, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides again used his phony assertion that he is “trying not to do things to agitate people,” as a pretext for boycotting (“not visiting”) Jewish communities in the lawful and historic Jewish heartland of Judea and Samaria where more than 500,000 or almost 10% of Israel’s Jews live. The only people who are “not agitated” by Nides’ boycott are the terrorist dictatorship of the Palestinian regime, Israel-haters and Jew-haters and extremist leftists. Yet his very act of boycotting and not going to Judea and Samaria is “agitating” most Israeli Jews and millions of Jews and members of the pro-Israel community in the United States and throughout the world, refuting his alleged theme of avoiding such distress.
This is his own mini-BDS movement. Shame on Nides, U.S. President Joe Biden, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Nides’ boycott also attempts to delegitimize 500,000 Jews and the Jewish people’s lawful right to rebuild in and resettle Judea and Samaria. These rights to resettle are guaranteed to the Jewish people under binding international law, including treaties to which the United States is a party.
Nides also previously used the same “agitation” pretext when he first announced his discriminatory Israelophobic policy of refusing to visit Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, but being willing to travel there to meet with terror-inciters Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas and other officials. (See “U.S. Ambassador Nides Boycott of Judea/Samaria Condemned by ZOA: Mort Klein Op-Ed in JPost,” Feb. 3, 2022)
In his interview, Nides also expanded his “agitation” excuse, saying that he won’t spend a day walking in the Western Wall tunnels because this would “agitate people intentionally.” By boycotting the tunnels, Nides is further attempting to delegitimize Jewish rights and agitating and insulting Israel, Jews and pro-Israel communities throughout the world.
Nides’ “agitation” pretext is reminiscent of the British Mandatory government’s similar pretexts used for acting against Jewish rights and the Jewish community in the 1920s to 1940s. Following Arab riots and slaughters of Jews in Eretz Israel in the 1920s and 1930s, the British forbade Jews from blowing the shofar at the Western Wall on Yom Kippur — because it might “agitate” the Arabs, and unlawfully slammed the door shut to Jewish immigration at the very moment when Jews desperately needed a place to go to escape from being slaughtered by the Nazis — because they didn’t want to “agitate” the Arabs.
Moreover, Nides’ interview responses repeatedly agitated against Israel in additional respects, including:
- Nides proudly announced that America is now giving an (increased) amount of “almost $450 million” of U.S. taxpayer dollars to fund various PA government functions for Palestinian Arabs. That $450 million frees up money for the PA to continue paying $400 million per year to Arab terrorists to murder Jews and Americans (“pay to slay” payments). These U.S. payments circumvent and gut the intent of the Taylor Force law, which was supposed to limit funding until the PA discontinues its heinous pay-to-slay payments.
- Nides also reaffirmed the Biden administration’s resumption of U.S. support for the hate-and-violence-against-Jews-promoting UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, or UNRWA. (Former President Donald Trump had properly cut off U.S. aid to UNRWA.) Nides failed to mention that UNRWA is a bloated, unnecessary, corrupt agency that improperly perpetrates and expands Palestinian Arab refugee status, generation after generation (instead of resettling alleged refugees); hides rockets for Hamas; is staffed with Hamas members; and teaches Arab children to hate and aspire to murder every Jew and destroy Israel.
- Nides emphasized that one of his top goals is working towards a “two-state solution,” and repeatedly reiterated the lie that this “solution” would be good for Israel. “Two-state solution” is the euphemism for creating an Iranian-proxy-Hamas-Fatah-Hezbollah-Palestinian-Arab terror state on land lawfully designated for the Jewish homeland. Such a state would endanger Israel’s continued existence.
- Nides attacked Jewish “settlement growth and outposts” (Jews living on lawful Jewish land) while saying nothing about the 72,000 illegal Arab structures built in Area C in Judea and Samaria, which is designated for Israeli administration under the Oslo Accords. In addition, Nides bragged about his unconscionable pressure on Israel to forbid Jews from building homes on Jewish land. Nides declared: “Every time one of these issues come up, they [Israel] get calls from me.”
In sum, Nides claims a strong sensitivity against “agitating” the terrorist dictatorship of the PA, which pays Arabs to murder Jews, yet Nides has no problem “agitating” against and hurting Israeli Jews and America’s greatest human rights-loving ally, the Jewish State of Israel.
Morton A. Klein is the national president of the Zionist Organization of America.
This op-ed was originally published in JNS and can be viewed here.