Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Response to Obama

Just for the record, I'd like to post the link to the June 5, 2009 Press Release of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein in response to President Barack Obama’s speech delivered in Cairo the previous day.

The following brief excerpt is even more relevant today:

Obama Gives Biased Speech, Inimical To Israel, Supportive Of False Palestinian/Arab Claims -- Indicating He May Become Most Hostile President To Israel Ever ...
  • ... “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.”

ZOA: What does this mean? How exactly do settlements stop? Is the President saying that Jews have no right to live in these places? The implication that these communities are illegal is wrong.

Jordan illegally annexed Judea and Samaria in 1948. When Israel captured it in 1967, it belonged to no sovereign entity. Legally, this is unallocated territory under international law. Practically, it is not the cause of conflict: there were no Jews in these territories between 1948 and 1967, but there was no peace during that period as well. We repudiate the proposition that Jews, because they are Jews, may not move to or live in Judea and Samaria, the religious, historical and political heartland of the Jewish people, as it has been from the Bible to the Jewish nation-state 2000 years ago, to the Balfour Declaration to the League of Nations, which reiterated the fact that this is the Jewish homeland.

On what basis is it said that 300,000 Jews cannot live among 2 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria, when 1.2 million Arabs can live among 6 million Jews in Israel proper? Jewish growth in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem has a fundamental legitimacy and poses no obstacle to a true peace if Palestinians are ready for one, so the Obama Administration’s insistence on a construction freeze would remain inappropriate even if the prospect of genuine peace negotiations with a truly peaceful Palestinian partner were possible.

In any case, no peace can be built on the notion that the biblical, historical and religious heartland of the Jewish people, or any territory for that matter, must be judenrein. Discussing further Israeli territorial and other concessions should be conditional on Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority arresting terrorists, outlawing terrorist groups, ending the incitement to hatred and murder against Israel in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps and the transforming of Palestinian society into one that opposes terrorism and accepts the legitimacy of Israel’s continued existence as a Jewish state.

  • “…many Israelis recognize the need for a Palestinian state. It is time for us to act on what everyone knows to be true.”
ZOA: Apparently, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the coalition government he heads, the majority of the Israeli electorate that voted heavily for right-of-center parties, and the ZOA, among others, are non-persons, because they oppose or are skeptical of the possibility under current conditions of a peaceful Palestinian state.

Leading figures, like Middle East historian Bernard Lewis, former CIA Director James Woolsey and former IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon all have opposed the creation of a Palestinian state under current conditions.

With Hamas controlling Gaza and Fatah running Judea and Samaria, a Palestinian state would become surely another terrorist state in the Middle East. This sort of intellectual absolutism that simply removes from the discussion anyone who does not share President Obama’s view bodes ill for new thinking about the region and this conflict....
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