Marking Independence Day by making Israel more dependent

Click photo to download. Caption: The S. Daniel Abraham Center's Israeli Independence Day ad in the New York Times. Credit: S. Daniel Abraham Center.
Click photo to download. Caption: The S. Daniel Abraham Center's Israeli Independence Day ad in the New York Times. Credit: S. Daniel Abraham Center.

By Stephen M. Flatow/

Just when you think they’ve run out of ideas, the American Jewish left has found a novel way to commemorate Israel’s Independence Day—by trying to make Israel more dependent.

In a full-page ad in the New York Times on Thursday, the S. Daniel Abraham Center demanded that Israel withdraw to the pre-1967 boundaries and accept creation of a Palestinian state.

The Abraham Center’s solution is a recipe for total Israeli dependence—on the goodwill of the Palestinians and the assurances of the international community. Which is probably not what Israel’s founders had in mind in 1948 when they established what was intended to be a free, proud, and genuinely sovereign state.

The New York Times ad began with the usual misleading claims. For example, it alleged that “the Jewish democratic character of Israel is at risk” because “Arabs are today 50% of the population between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Jews are 49% of that population.”

Well, if that’s the case—if the Arabs are already a majority—then how is it that Israel still exists as a Jewish state?

The answer, of course, is that the “50% Arabs” figure is a disingenuous combination of Arabs who are Israeli citizens and the 2.5 to 3 million Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria who are not. The latter are citizens of the Palestinian Authority. They do not vote in Israeli elections, they do not live under Israeli rule, and therefore they are no threat to Israel’s Jewish or democratic character.

The next misleading (and I am being charitable) claim in the ad was that Israel “must fully separate from Palestinian territories.”

Previous Abraham Center ads used the phrase “fully separate from the Palestinians;” but after that lie was exposed—since Israel separated from them when it withdrew in 1995 from the cities where 98 percent of them reside—the Abraham Center has started using the term “Palestinian territories” instead.

But what exactly makes those areas “Palestinian territories?” They were part of two sovereign Jewish kingdoms more than a thousand years before Islam even came into existence. Both the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible call the territories “Judea” and “Samaria,” not “Palestine.”  There is no basis in history, religion, or international law for declaring them “Palestinian territories.”

All of which brings us to the final and most misleading part of the ad—the part that concerns Israeli independence.

The Abraham Center demands the creation of “a demilitarized Palestinian state.” That’s an oxymoron if there ever was one.

No Palestinian Authority (PA) official has ever accepted the notion ofa demilitarized Palestinian state. The very concept was dreamed up by Peace Now activists and State Department officials as a way to get the Israeli public to swallow the Palestinian statehood idea.

But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the PA did sign an agreement promising that their state would be “demilitarized.” Who, exactly, could Israel rely upon to enforce it? The United Nations? The Arab League?

Remember, Israel withdrew from the Sinai after the 1956 war because of president Dwight D. Eisenhower’s promise that Egypt would not be allowed to close the Straits of Tiran. When Nasser closed the straits in 1967, who enforced Eisenhower’s promise? Nobody.

Israel pulled back its forces from the Suez Canal in 1970 because of president Richard Nixon’s promise that Egypt would not move its missiles up to the canal. When Egypt moved the missiles up a few weeks later, who enforced Nixon’s promise? Nobody.

Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 1978 because of president Jimmy Carter’s promise that United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) troops would stop the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from infiltrating the region. When the PLO returned and UNIFIL did nothing, who enforced Carter’s promise? Nobody.

So when the “State of Palestine” would start importing tanks and planes and other heavy weapons, who will be around to enforce the “demilitarization” promise? The answer is painfully obvious: nobody.

What will the United Nations do if Israel complains about Palestinian weapons? Nothing. How many “boots on the ground” would a U.S. president send in to enforce demilitarization? None. How many times has the international community seriously protested the constant Palestinian violations of the Oslo Accords? Never. So why expect them to start protesting now?

Israel would be trapped with a rapidly remilitarizing Palestinian state next door. The Israelis would be completely dependent on the mercy of the United Nations and the U.S. State Department. That is exactly the opposite of independence. It is not what the founders of modern Zionism, or the founding fathers of the State of Israel, had in mind when they set out to put an end to 2,000 years of Jewish statelessness, weakness, and dependence on others.

A demilitarized state next door to Israel? Hogwash.

Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in a Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.

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