(JNS.org) Reacting to Israel’s announcement of 1,200 new housing units in eastern
Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that
the U.S. “views
all of the settlements as illegitimate.”
Israel is “only building within the borders of communities established before [the 1993] Oslo [Accords] on unallocated land that Jordan illegally occupied from 1948 to 1967, that the UN never recognized as sovereign Arab land,” Morton A. Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America, told JNS.org.
“Why isn’t Kerry complaining about illegal Arab building [within those borders], and [PA President Mahmoud] Abbas’s racist proclamation that no Jews will be allowed in Palestine?” Klein asked, referring to Abbas’s recent statement that ruled out the “presence of a single Israeli” in a future Palestinian state.
Sarah Stern, founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), told JNS.org that Kerry’s statement was “almost racist.” She said it is ironic that Israel, the Jewish state, would be asked to remove all Jews from certain communities.
“Why should Israel be the only country that has certain areas within it as Judenrein (clean of Jews)?” Stern asked.
The territories acquired by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War are considered disputed and subject to the result of final status negotiations. In 2004, President George W. Bush wrote in a letter to then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that it is “unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.”
“Ever since the Six-Day War, countless presidents, both Republican and Democrat, have said that the 1967 lines were indefensible, and that there was no way that Israel should go back to the 1967 lines,” Stern told JNS.org.
Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, wrote in a November 2011 for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs that the U.S. “has historically backed Israel’s view that UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted in the wake of the Six-Day War on November 22, 1967, does not require a full withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines.” Gold wrote that the U.S. position on Israel’s borders is important because it “directly affects the level of expectation of the Arab side regarding the depth of the Israeli concessions they can obtain.”
“To the extent that the U.S. limits its demands of Israel through either presidential declarations or statements of the secretary of state, then the Arab states and the Palestinian Arabs will have to settle for less in terms of any Israeli withdrawal,” Gold wrote.