By Moshe Dann
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s address to the Saban Forum should leave little doubt that she is a danger to the State of Israel and, thereby, to the Jewish people. For those who care about Israel, her words, because she expresses the position of President Obama’s administration, are alarming.
Clinton’s speech was praised for not demanding a further settlement freeze; this was because US policy makers realized it would accomplish nothing, and PM Netanyahu had already agreed to stop, or severely limit building de facto. Instead, she emphasized state-building, “ending the occupation,” and borders. Coupled with international recognition of Palestinian statehood, this side-steps Israeli resistance to a freeze and insistence on Palestinian acceptance of Israel, further isolating Israel. What she did not say is worse.
Not once did she mention official PA support, directly and indirectly, for incitement and terrorism. While passing on the usual gesture to America’s “commitment to Israel’s security,” her focus was elsewhere.
Blindly obedient to the notion of building a Palestinian state, she ignored the recent statement of Fatah, the PA’s ruling party in the West Bank: “No to Israel as a Jewish state, no to interim borders, no to land swaps.” And that’s only for openers.
She did mention how important it was to “ease the situation in Gaza,” and “foster legitimate economic growth.” Yet she forgot to mention the plight of Gilad Shalit.
Clinton’s focus was “the core issues of the conflict on borders and security; settlements, water, refugees; and on Jerusalem itself.” Her solution was “state-building work of the PA” and support for the Arab (Saudi) Peace Initiative – which grants the Palestinians a state based on the 1949 Armistice Lines, including Jerusalem’s division, and returning the Golan Heights to Syria. Israel gets “normal relations,” as long as that may last.
Clinton waves at “fundamental compromises,” but given her pro-Palestinian agenda, and her “two-state” axiom, this means Israel’s capitulation and surrender. Although she refers to “security arrangements” to prevent terrorism, she never spells out how that is possible; her vagueness is either lack of understanding, or ignorance. Even-handedly, she moves on to the issue of settlements: “we do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity.”
On borders: “the occupation will be over.”
On Palestinian refugees: “a just and permanent solution.”
On Jerusalem: “the religious interests of people and all faiths around the world must be respected.”
“Palestinian state-building” inspires her: “The lack of peace and the occupation that began in 1967 continue to deprive the Palestinian people of dignity and self-determination. This is unacceptable, and ultimately, it too is unsustainable.”
She missed the fact that Jordan is a Palestinian state, carved out of the Palestine Mandate by Britain in 1922, with a population that is two-thirds Palestinian.
This is not, however, what makes Ms. Clinton, and those who think like her, so dangerous; it’s the notion of what the core issues really are.
If the dispute between Arabs and Israelis is territorial, it would have been resolved long ago. It’s not about the “occupation in 1967;” it’s about the Nakba (Catastrophe), as Arabs see it, the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
The problem is not the area that Israel occupies, but her existence. Enshrined in the charters of the PLO and Hamas, Palestinians don’t want a state alongside Israel, but one that replaces Israel. Not understanding this is delusional; not including this as a core issue is evil.
Evil is a harsh word, so here’s why I use it. Clinton, Obama’s Administration, and everyone else know that Israel cannot accept her agenda, since that would mean exposure to significant risks. Rejecting her efforts will create more tension, and serve to isolate and vilify Israel, while strengthening the forces of de-legitimization.
She chose her words carefully: “We hope to see a significant curtailment of incursions by Israeli troops into Palestinian areas.” What about the reasons for those incursions? What about the lives that will be saved by capturing terrorists before they attack? From her impressions, Israel is not only wrong, but wicked.
And Clinton knows – as experts have informed her – that the Palestinian security forces that “stood watchful guard” during her visits may easily turn into executioners. They have done little or nothing to protect Israelis, nor should that be expected.
PA “corruption and mismanagement,” billions in US funds wasted? No problem; “I was pleased to announce the transfer of an additional $150 million in direct assistance to the PA” – and to Hamas. That should soothe American workers on unemployment lines.
Clinton’s emphasis on “an independent, viable sovereign state,” may be misguided; but in her insistence that there is no other alternative, linking such a state with vital American interests, condemning “provocative (Israeli) announcements on east Jerusalem,” and blaming Israel for preventing peace, Madame Secretary has contributed to a global climate of anathema towards Israel.
She cannot say, “I was only following orders;” she gives them.