(May 13, 2019 / JNS) New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker seems to think that America has been supporting the creation of a Palestinian state pretty much since time immemorial. He’s badly in need of a history lesson.
Booker made his latest comments in an interview with David Axelrod on his podcast, “The Axe Files.”
Axelrod was former President Barack Obama’s chief campaign strategist, and Palestinian statehood was a central plank in Obama’s ideology. So it’s no surprise that Axelrod would ask Booker a question slanted in favor of that goal. But Booker is well-educated on Israel affairs, and as such, should have known better than to give the absurd and false answer that he gave.
This part of the podcast discussion began with Axelrod asking Sen. Booker what he thought of the fact that “some young members of the House, of color, have raised concerns about the Palestinians, about Israeli policy toward the Palestinians.”
Axelrod’s wording was an outrageous distortion. The “young members of the House” to whom he is referring are Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. They are not “concerned about Israeli policy.” They oppose Israel’s existence.
Omar has repeatedly made openly anti-Semitic comments, accusing American Jews of being loyal to Israel and paying members of Congress to support Israel. Omar and Tlaib proudly support the BDS movement, whose goal is to destroy Israel.
Tlaib has said again and again that she wants to see Israel eliminated and replaced by a “Palestine,” which, of course, would have an Arab majority. She calls it “the one-state solution.” For the Jews, it’s the no-state solution.
In any event, Sen. Booker tried the maneuver that is standard practice among many liberal critics of Israel these days. He told Axelrod: “Some of the harshest critics of Israeli policy right now are Israeli Jews.” In other words, “those Jews are attacking Israel, so I can, too.”
That is a completely disingenuous argument because Israel just had an election, and 90 percent of Israelis voted for parties that oppose creating a Palestinian state. The only parties running that called for a Palestinian state (aside from the Arab candidates) were the left-wing Labor and Meretz parties. They won a combined total of 10 out of 120 seats.
Things went from bad to worse with Axelrod. He then asked Sen. Booker “whether or not the opportunity for the two-state solution that’s stood for a generation has a future.”
“Stood for a generation.” That’s the kind of deliberately slippery language that advocates of Palestinian statehood use in order to legitimize their demand. In other words, “this has always been American policy, so it should still be American policy, and anybody who deviates from it is a dangerous extremist.”
But it hasn’t “stood for a generation.” President Dwight D. Eisenhower didn’t call for creating a Palestinian state. Neither did presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush. Neither did Bill Clinton nor Jimmy Carter ever publicly call for a Palestinian state while they were president.
The first president to publicly call for a Palestinian state was George W. Bush in 2002, though he conditioned it on the Palestinians electing a new leadership and permanently abandoning terrorism. Needless to say, the Palestinians never met those conditions. The first president to call for creating a Palestinian state without preconditions was Barack Obama.
Sen. Booker answered Axelrod’s misleading question by saying, “I worry about this administration. You hear the president’s comments; he doesn’t even seem to understand the history of that commitment to a two-state solution … ”
Clearly, Cory Booker is the one who needs to understand the history. He needs to understand that the idea of unconditionally creating a Palestinian state is a recent invention, and the idea that it is longstanding American policy is a falsehood ginned up by advocates for “Palestine.”
Sen. Booker also needs to have a look at the map. The “two-state solution” he has embraced would mean reducing Israel to an absurd width of just nine miles at its midsection. More narrow than Washington, D.C. Rendering an American ally indefensible is not good for America, Israel or the cause of Mideast peace.
Let’s hope Booker and his aides read up on this subject a bit more before he speaks about it further. They might be surprised by what they find.
Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. He is the author of “A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror.”