What do you do if Israel’s prime minister makes a speech that includes some statements you don’t like? If you’re the left-wing lobby J Street, you just edit out the parts with which you disagree, thus fooling the public into thinking that the prime minister never said them.
That’s what happened with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s speech at the United Nations on Sept. 22. J Street loved his line about “two states for two peoples” and immediately issued a press release “welcoming and commending” Lapid for using those “extremely important” words.
But J Street edited out what Lapid said immediately after talking about “two states,” which was arguably even more important.
Lapid said, “We have only one condition: That a future Palestinian state will be a peaceful one. That it will not become another terror base from which to threaten the well-being and the very existence of Israel.”
Why is Lapid, like all Israelis, so worried about a Palestinian state becoming a “terror base”? Because it has already happened. In 1995, Israel gave the Palestinian Authority control over 40% of Judea and Samaria, where 98% of the Palestinian Arabs live, and 100% of Gaza. Those areas immediately became terror bases.
For the past 27 years, Israel has been pleading with the P.A. to fulfill its Oslo obligations to stamp out terrorism. Israel has even helped build up the P.A.’s security forces, which are among the largest per capita in the world, to no avail. The P.A.’s terror base grows and grows.
The reason that there have been so many recent Israeli counter-terror raids in Jenin, Nablus and other P.A.-controlled cities in recent weeks is because they are filled with terrorists and the P.A. is making no effort to arrest them—even though Oslo requires it to do so.
The P.A. has never outlawed or dismantled terrorist groups. Organizations such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine have never been expelled from the P.A. or its parent body, the PLO. The P.A.’s ruling faction, Fatah, openly engages in terrorism via its Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades. Not one of Israel’s dozens of requests for the extradition of terrorists from the P.A. has ever been honored.
P.A. schools raise children to glorify and imitate terrorists. The P.A.-controlled news media portrays terrorists as heroes and martyrs. P.A. summer camps train children to become terrorists. The P.A.’s “pay-to-slay” policy directly encourages terrorism through monetary incentives, with the size of payments increasing according to the number of Jews a terrorist manages to murder.
The P.A. regime in Judea and Samaria and the Hamas regime in Gaza are literally “terror bases.”
After warning about the danger of a sovereign Palestinian state serving as a “terror base,” Lapid went further. He presented his U.N. audience with a real-life example of how previous Israeli withdrawals have not resulted in peace, but more Arab terrorism.
“Look at Gaza,” the prime minister said. “Israel did everything the world asked of us, including from this very stage. We left. Seventeen years ago, we dismantled the settlements, took apart our military bases. There is not a single Israeli soldier in Gaza. We even left them 3,000 greenhouses so they could start to build an economy for themselves. What did they do in response? In less than a year, Hamas, a murderous terror organization, came to power. They destroyed the greenhouses and replaced them with terrorist training camps and rocket launch sites. Since we left Gaza, over 20,000 rockets and missiles have been fired at Israel. All of them at civilians. All of them at our children.”
Lapid added a personal anecdote to illustrate his point. He described how, when Palestinian Arab rockets were exploding near his home last year, he had to wake his autistic daughter at 3 am to rush her to a bomb shelter.
“All those who preach about the importance of peace are welcome to try running to a bomb shelter at 3 am with a girl who does not speak,” he said. “To explain to her, without words, why there are those who want to kill her.”
He then pleaded with the terrorists to “stop firing rockets and missiles at our children. … Put down your weapons and prove that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not going to take over the Palestinian state you want to create. Put down your weapons, and there will be peace.”
No hint of any of this appeared in J Street’s press release about the Lapid speech. Nothing about Lapid’s “terror base” warning. Nothing about the rockets fired at Israeli children. Nothing about the real-life consequences of “two states.” Like the Soviet propagandists of yesteryear, who literally went through their history books and whited out people who were no longer in favor, J Street whited out the truth about what Israel’s prime minister said at the United Nations. For shame!
Stephen M. Flatow is an attorney and 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.