Yossi Dagan, Head of the Samaria Regional Council and a senior activist in Israel’s settlement enterprise, on Sunday sent out a letter attacking the CEO of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Howard Kohr for his support of a future Palestinian State in Judea and Samaria.
“We must all work for that, toward that future, two states for two peoples: one Jewish with secure and defensible borders and one Palestinian with its own flag and its own future.”
“The rulers of the Middle East are now beginning to see that working with Israel – instead of isolating her – can strengthen their own security and help them meet the needs of their people,” Kohr argued, adding, “These emerging relationships promise to be an example for other nations to follow, a force for moderation, and it is a message to the Palestinian leadership that a bright future is possible when you finally put aside generations of hatred and choose to live side-by-side in peace with the Jewish State of Israel.”
The CEO’s assertion that there exist an inevitable link between Israel’s acceptance of a Palestinian state on its border and its good relations with Arab states in the region is not necessarily true. Those Arab states might not object to a third Palestinian state (in addition to Jordan and the Gaza Strip), but their acceptance of Israel has much more to do with their need for a strong Ally against the region’s bad guy, the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Those distinctions were lost on Kohr, who proceeded to declare: “We must all work for that, toward that future, two states for two peoples: one Jewish with secure and defensible borders and one Palestinian with its own flag and its own future,” cautioning that “there are no shortcuts to peace. You can’t do it through the United Nations, not through the European Union, and not through Moscow. So, we will stand with the Administration, our friends in Congress, and anyone in the international community who supports peace through direct negotiations.”
“I am astounded as to why such a great, meaningful organization as AIPAC, whose raison d’etre is pro-Israel advocacy in the United States, would present the positions of the State of Israel (and of the US) so inaccurately before senior government officials, senators and congressmen, and the general pro-Israel public,” Dagan wrote AIPAC.
It should be noted that Kohr’s Pollyannaish interlude did not contradict AIPAC’s official position on the peace process, which states: “A durable Israeli-Palestinian peace can best be achieved through direct negotiations between the two parties, resulting in a Jewish state living side-by-side in peace with a demilitarized Palestinian state.”
Dagan told AIPAC it’s time to “update its talking points,” and “participate even more effectively in Israel’s great quest – for survival as an independent, secure, moral, democratic, peaceful Jewish state, benefiting the world in the spirit of Tikun Olam.”