Jewish Leaders Agree With Romney: Palestinians Have ‘No Interest Whatsoever’ in Peace with Israel

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s astute observations on the Arab-Israeli conflict are likely to cause a great deal of controversy. But they’ll earn him greater confidence among Jewish and pro-Israel voters.In a press release last week, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) said that it “agrees (with) and applauds” Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s statement last May, recently reported in the media, in which he said correctly that the pursuit of Middle East peace is likely to remain “an unsolved problem” because the Palestinians have “no interest whatsoever” in reaching a peace agreement with Israel.

In response to a question about how to “resolve the Palestinian problem” during a speech to a private audience of campaign donors last May, Governor Romney said, “the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and … the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish … I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say, ‘There’s just no way’ … The idea of pushing on the Israelis to give something up to get the Palestinians to act is the worst idea in the world.”

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Governor Romney’s remarks on the unwillingness of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Palestinians in general to conclude a genuine peace with Israel should come as a surprise only to those who have not bothered to read what PA leaders say in Arabic about glorifying terrorism and not accepting peace with Israel or Israel as a Jewish state; what Palestinian textbooks teach their children about the Israel being an evil, foreign entity whom it is a Palestinian national and religious duty to destroy; what PA-appointed and salaried clerics tells their audiences about the religious duty of murdering Jews and fighting a jihad against Israel; and what PA officials, cleric and publications say about the Jews lacking any prior history or connection to their biblical, historic and religious homeland.

“PA officials, from PA president Mahmoud Abbas down, have repeatedly stated that they do not accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish state.

“The PA has repeatedly honored the worst Palestinian murderers of Jews, like Samir Kuntar and Dalal Mughrabi. Kuntar, a Lebanese terrorist who murdered in cold-blood a Jewish father and daughter in a terrorist assault on Israel in 1979 and has gloated of his gruesome exploits since, was given honorary Palestinian citizenship upon his release by Israel. Mughrabi, who led the terrorists in the 1978 Fatah terrorist attack on an Israeli civilian bus, leading to the coastal road massacre, in which 37 Israeli civilians, including a dozen children, were murdered, has been publicly honored by the PA with lavish ceremonies, including the naming of public squares and a computer center in her honor.

“PA polls have repeatedly shown that Palestinians support terror attacks upon Jews, including suicide bombings, do not accept Israel as a Jewish state, do not accept the idea of Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel and demand the so-called right of return whereby Palestinian refugees of the 1948-49 war and their millions of descendants would inundate Israel and turn its Jewish majority into an Arab-dominated minority.

“People who approve of terrorism that targets innocent Jewish men, women and children are not going to live peacefully beside a Jewish state. It is no surprise that they also refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state nor that they insist on the so-called ‘right of return.’

“If Palestinians were willing, peace could be had tomorrow. After all, in 2000 and again in 2008, Israel offered the Palestinians statehood in over 95% of Judea, Samaria and all of Gaza, only to have their offers rejected without counter-offer on both occasions. In the case of 2000, the Palestinians actually responded by launching a terrorist war that claimed the lives of over 1,000 Israelis in hundreds of suicide bombings, sniper and other attacks deliberately targeting civilians. What better evidence could there be of a Palestinian lack of intention for peace or even statehood? Destroying Israel by whatever means trumps even the goal of setting up a Palestinian state.

“It is therefore ironic that Governor Romney’s accurate assessment of Palestinian aims and attitudes should be greeted with alarm rather than approval.

“We therefore strongly disagree with the idea, expressed, for example, in the Washington Post, that Governor Romney’s remarks on Palestinian unwillingness to make peace with Israel ‘could compromise the GOP presidential candidate’s standing as an honest broker in the peace process should he win the election.’ Truth-telling is precisely what diplomatic efforts to terminate the Arab war on Israel requires. It has been the ignoring of basic realities in favor of flat-earth claims about Palestinians wanting and seeking peace and being ready to accept Israel that has guaranteed that Western, including U.S., policy towards Israel and the Palestinians prolongs hostilities and foils any possibility of Palestinian acceptance of Israel.

“A U.S. president who tells the Palestinian Authority that it will receive neither diplomatic nor financial support from the American taxpayer until it fulfills its outstanding, 19-year-old signed commitments under the Oslo agreements to arrest terrorists, dismantle terror groups and terminate incitement to hatred and murder against Israel in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps is a president who has the biggest chance of changing Palestinians from a society devoted to terrorism and destroying Israel into one that may one day live in peace with Israel.

“Governor Romney’s remarks indicate that, were he to be elected president, he might be willing to do what President Obama and his predecessors, Republican and Democratic, have not done – to act on the realities of the Palestinian situation and apply real, sustained pressure on the PA to change its ways.”

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