The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) denounces, in the strongest possible terms, the Biden Administration’s unconscionable, illegal plan to provide commando training in Jordan to a 5,000-man Palestinian-Arab army of terrorists or future terrorists; and to then equip and deploy this Palestinian-Arab commando army in Judea/Samaria, along with foreign and U.S. forces.
The administration’s horrific, frightening, dangerous plan also requires Israel “to sharply curtail IDF counterterror operations.” U.S. security coordinator Lieutenant General (LTG) Michael Fenzel, who is currently responsible for training Palestinian Authority (PA) police in Judea and Samaria, proposed training the new 5,000-strong commando army, and deploying foreign forces, including U.S. military forces, on the ground.
Thus, under the Biden administration’s plan, Israel would be restricted from defending innocent Israelis from terrorists; and much of Judea/Samaria would become a “safe haven” for terrorists to retreat to and be celebrated after perpetrating murderous terror attacks in Israel, with no consequences.
Moreover, American and other foreign forces on the ground would become sitting ducks, subject to Palestinian-Arab terror attacks. American and foreign soldiers would also become human shields, who block Israel from going after the terrorists, lest foreign forces be caught in the crossfire. Further, the PA will want foreign forces to include Iranians, thereby introducing even more terror into the region.
The Biden administration is promoting its abominable plan using the transparently absurd pretext that the 5,000-man U.S.-trained Palestinian-Arab terror-commando army will act against their fellow terrorists in Judea-Samaria. It’s obvious that, as occurred every time the U.S. trained Palestinian-Arab forces, these new commandos will join with their fellow Palestinian-Arab terrorists, and use their U.S. training, guns, and other weapons to attack innocent Israelis (and to attack Palestinian-Arab dissidents such as Nizar Banat – who was beaten to death by PA police forces).
As Basam Tawil noted in his article condemning the Biden administration’s plan: “Any time the US has funded, armed and trained Palestinian militias, the target has invariably ended up not terrorist groups but Israelis.” (“Biden Administration’s Delusional Plan to Combat Palestinian Terrorism,” by Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Mar. 16, 2023.)
The Biden administration’s plan also illegally violates Israeli sovereignty and agreed-to prohibitions on Palestinian-Arab and foreign armed forces and weapons.
Specifically, the 1995 Oslo Accords II, Article IV.3, states: “except for the Palestinian Police and the Israeli military forces, no other armed forces shall be established or operate in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.” Further, Article IV.4 states: “Except for the arms, ammunition and equipment of the Palestinian Police described in Annex I and those of the Israeli military forces, no organization, group or individual in the West Bank shall manufacture, sell, acquire, possess, import or otherwise introduce into the West Bank or the Gaza Strip any firearms, ammunition, weapons, explosives, gunpowder or any related equipment.”
If the Biden administration nonetheless proceeds with its illegal plan, Israel would thus have every right to deport and ban any Palestinian-Arab commandos trained by the U.S. from re-entering Israeli territory, including Judea/Samaria; have every right to expel or refuse entry to any foreign forces and U.S. trainers; and have the right to seize every weapon brought into Israeli territory.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said:
“Israel has always been responsible for her own defense and has never asked for a single American soldier to protect the Jewish State. The administration’s plan is a horrificly grotesque idea, which will weaken Israel’s counterterrorism defenses while massively increasing Palestinian Arab terrorism. The Palestinian Authority, which would supposedly direct this new elite armed force, is itself a terror organization that incites and pays Arabs to murder Jews. This outrageous proposal would result in the murder of more Israelis, and must be opposed and scrapped.”
ZOA Director of Government Relations Dan Pollak said:
“Many PA police have engaged in terrorism against Israelis. It is virtually certain that if this proposal is adopted, Arab terrorists and future terrorists will be trained by the U. S. Army in the latest special forces tactics, and will use those tactics to kill more Israelis. The Biden Administration should withdraw this proposal at once. Congress should hold hearings on the administration’s continued illegal actions, violations of Israeli sovereignty and the Oslo accords, and diplomatic malpractice against Israel.”
In summary, the Biden administration’s plan:
- Would train present and future anti-Israel terrorists to be far more lethal
- Would be overseen by the corrupt and terrorist-fomenting PA
- Would introduce U.S. and other foreign soldiers into Israeli territory, and enable Palestinian-Arab terror attacks against American and other foreign soldiers
- Would allow U.S. and other foreign soldiers to be used as human shields by terrorist factions
- Is designed to limit Israel’s ability to combat terrorism
- Requires that Israel “sharply curtail IDF counterterror operations”
- Pretends that US-trained Palestinian-Arab commandos would fight against Arab terrorists, when long history demonstrates that such forces will instead harm Israelis
- Violates the prohibitions on PA and foreign forces established by the Oslo agreements
The ZOA strongly urges that the Biden Administration withdraw this anti-Israel disastrous proposal immediately.