ZOA concerned by Jewish groups’ criticism of Israeli ministers’ opposition to two-state solution

(JNS.org) The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is expressing concern about the criticism leveled by two Jewish groups at Israeli ministers who opposed a two-state solution.

In June, following comments opposing a two-state solution made by Israeli Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett and Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) called Bennett’s comments “unwelcome” and praised what it called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “reprimand” of Danon’s comments.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), meanwhile, said opposing a Palestinian state would “add fuel to the fire” of “anti-Israel delegitimization and boycott campaigns,” and would “have destructive effects internationally.” On June 24, ZOA said the ADL was “stifling debate” and “suppressing opposition to a Palestinian state”  by making those statements.

The ZOA on June 26 “expressed concern and puzzlement” that AJC “condemns those who oppose creating a Palestinian state under prevailing conditions yet, at the same time, rarely condemns continuing PA incitement to hatred and murder against Jews and Israel in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps.” ZOA noted that the Prime Minister's Office said Danon's statement on the two-state solution “does not represent the position of Prime Minister Netanyahu and the government of Israel,” which was hardly a reprimand” of Danon.

“A search for the word ‘incitement’ on the AJC website reveals only occasional press releases over the past dozen or more years which even mention the subject; and none since 2001 in which Palestinian incitement was the headline issue,” ZOA said.

AJC Executive Director David Harris said in a statement provided to JNS.org on June 28 that AJC “has consistently supported a peace agreement that would lead to Israel, the Jewish state, and Palestine, the Palestinian state, living side-by-side in peace and security.”

“We can only hope that Secretary of State John Kerry’s urgent call for courageous leadership is heeded, and the Palestinians, missing from the peace table for the past four years, will return in good faith to hammer out the tough issues successfully with their Israeli counterparts,” Harris said. “While we are under no illusions about the challenges involved in achieving a durable accord, and ensuring compliance by the Palestinians ‘the day after,’ we believe a two-state deal is the best possible outcome to strive for.”

ZOA questioned why ADL criticized the recent remarks opposing a two-state solution but did not criticize January comments by then-Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon (currently the defense minister) ruling out the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel. ADL did not respond to a request for comment from JNS.org.

Posted on June 28, 2013 .