Dear Mr. Secretary,
next week or so, you will be unveiling a US proposal for a “framework agreement”
between Israel and the Palestinian Authority as a prelude to a final-status
Before you do so, I encourage you to realistically consider
the issues that gravely concern most Israelis, and to believe wholeheartedly
that Israelis genuinely yearn for peace and will overwhelmingly endorse a plan
that separates them from the Palestinians, provided their security is
Unfortunately, Mr. Secretary, you and the administration you
represent are operating on premises that are misguided or false. President
Barack Obama has deluded himself into believing that this conflict is
essentially about real estate, an idea that has been disproven many times, most
clearly when Palestinian presidents Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas rebuffed
prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert’s offers to relinquish 95 percent of
the territories formerly occupied by Jordan.
As befits a mediator, you
have lavished praise on Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, and repeatedly
stated that both parties are willing to make sacrifices to achieve peace. But
alas, this assertion repeated endlessly by all parties, including Israelis, is
simply false and contributes towards the “Alice in Wonderland” environment
surrounding this issue which suppresses reality.
correctness, the fact is that our “peace partner” is a corrupt authoritarian
regime that brutally suppresses dissent. Over the years, the Palestinians’
corrupt officials have diverted a substantial portion of billions of dollars of
international aid to private, offshore accounts. This corrupt entity could
collapse at any time, and the constitutional term of office of its president has
Our “peace partner” is indisputably committed to the
elimination of Jewish sovereignty in the region.
That is why Palestinian
leaders so adamantly refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. President
Abbas even denies that the Jewish people have a biblical or historical link to
Our “peace partner” continuously assures its adherents that
Israel’s destruction is inevitable.
Abbas has learned that he can better
work toward this goal by exerting duplicitous diplomatic pressure on Israel than
by engaging in terrorism. Through this deceitful diplomacy, he is attempting to
dismantle Israel in stages, a strategy the majority in his government openly
Indeed, in the unlikely event that Abbas finalizes an agreement
that waives additional claims and pronounces the end of the dispute, there is
little doubt that he will be assassinated.
I urge you, Mr. Secretary, to
face the harsh reality that by American and Western standards, through intense
propaganda, the Palestinians have engineered what can only be defined as a
All sectors of Palestinian society – the government,
religious networks, the media, the educational system – engage in brainwashing
the Palestinian people, from kindergarten-age up, into regarding Israelis as
demonic monsters, and sanctifying fanatic Islamic suicide bombers and terrorists
Just last week, your colleague, the official Palestinian
spokesman, Saeb Erekat, whipped up fervor by accusing Israel of having murdered
Arafat and speculating that we would kill Abbas.
Mr. Secretary, can you
imagine an American government making peace with a neighboring government that
provides salaries from humanitarian funds for incarcerated murderers of American
citizens, and pensions to their families? Would Americans approve of their
government negotiating with a neighbor whose leader personally embraced and
hailed as national heroes those convicted of barbarically murdering American
civilians? Would Americans contemplate making peace with a neighbor who imposes
the death penalty on citizens who sell land to Americans? Bear in mind, Mr.
Secretary, that nearly half of Palestine is comprised of “Hamastan,” the
genocidal, Islamic fundamentalist entity that occupies the Gaza Strip and from
which missiles against our cities are still being fired. Were it not for an
Israeli military presence in the area, Hamas already would have wrested control of
other areas currently under PA control.
Hamas remains dedicated to the
destruction of Israel, and sanctions the murder of Jews
Hamas’s Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Zahar, recently proclaimed
that “any deal inked between the Palestinian Authority and Israel would be
non-binding for the Palestinian people.”
Mr. Secretary, you have put
pressure on us to make outrageous concessions under absurd
You have forced our hand in releasing mass murderers in order
to “induce” a hostile neighbor to agree to commence negotiations. Can you
morally justify freeing terrorists convicted of killing women and children?
Could you visualize the response of Americans to an outside party who pressured
their government to act in this manner? Mr. Secretary, during your numerous
visits to the region, you have insisted that you would never be party to a
policy that undermines Israel’s long-term security. But this is precisely what
you are proposing.
You do not take any account of the unpleasant reality
that our “partner,” the corrupt PA, could collapse or be taken over by Hamas at
any time, should the IDF totally withdraw from the area.
But setting that
aside, Mr. Secretary, you are now suggesting that more sophisticated technology
combined with an international, possibly American force, replace the IDF in
Israel has never asked America or any other country to
fight on its behalf. We are profoundly conscious of the fact that we can rely
only upon ourselves in the event of military attack. It is inconceivable for us
to contemplate subcontracting any aspect of our security to a third party,
including the US.
Nor can technological advances alone protect our
borders. While UN Resolution 242 implicitly provides for secure, defensible
borders, adherence to the1949 armistice lines, which give Israel a mere 14.5- to
24-kilometer-wide waistline, will place future generations at peril. And it is
imperative that we retain depth and an IDF presence in the Jordan
These border issues are absolutely fundamental to Israel’s
In addition, Mr. Secretary, I find it difficult to comprehend
your knee-jerk responses to housing construction for Israeli citizens in
Israel’s capital and areas over the Green Line that will always remain part of
Israel. This issue appears to weigh more heavily on your mind than the carnage
and sectarian violence taking place throughout the Middle East region with
hundreds of thousands of people brutally killed in within Syria, which borders
The Oslo Accords never precluded settlement construction.
while Israelis are divided over construction in isolated settlements in disputed
areas, they are pained that our American ally contributes to the global hysteria
around this issue – even when the construction in question is taking place in
Jerusalem’s Jewish suburbs.
Many longstanding friends of the US currently
believe that the Obama administration has contributed to our regional chaos.
Many of your staunchest Arab allies have lost faith in you. We pray that we may
be wrong, but to us and many others, the US gamble with Iran appears an
I respectfully suggest, Mr. Secretary, that you pause
before advising Israel on what is in her best interest.
(Imagine where we
would be today had Israel shared your optimism about Syrian President Bashar
Assad and taken your advice to cede the Golan Heights.) Israel’s relationship
and friendship with the US is profound and based on genuine shared values. We
are also deeply reliant on American military and diplomatic support, and greatly
appreciate that the military aid provided by the Obama administration has
exceeded that of its predecessors.
But we believe that the American
people understand that Israel cannot afford to continue to make unilateral
concessions, to accept the Palestinians’ stubborn refusal to acknowledge Israel
as a Jewish state, to accede to their unrelenting demand for the right of
return, or to compromise on long-term security issues.
please do not attempt to score an unattainable foreign policy achievement. In
the absence of Palestinian concessions on critical issues, a solution is simply
not possible and should your initiatives undermine Israeli security, you will
leave a legacy as the US secretary of state who abandoned the one and only
genuine democracy and US ally in the Middle East.
We hope that you will
concentrate on seeking interim solutions, encouraging mutual economic projects
to improve Palestinian living standards and maintaining the channels for
dialogue so that progress can be achieved, should a more accommodating
Palestinian leadership emerge.
I urge you to set aside conventional
political correctness to appreciate that our concerns are for the lives of our
children and grandchildren, the future of our nation. I pray that you will
contribute to our realization of the biblical vision of the Prophet Isaiah, and
enable Israelis and Palestinians to set aside their weapons, and work together
for the social and economic betterment of all inhabitants of the
The writer’s website can be viewed at
www.wordfromjerusalem. com; he may be contacted at ileibler@ leibler.com