Stephen M. Flatow
More than three-fourths of American Jews want Israel to be reduced to just miles wide—narrower than Washington, D.C., or the Bronx. How can that be?
The answer, of course, is that it can’t be. But J Street is now making that claim anyway, and some media outlets this week fell for it.
J Street wants to see an independent Palestinian state established alongside the pre-1967 armistice lines, which means that Israel would be a mere nine miles wide. It would be very helpful to J Street’s efforts if it could claim that most Jews support it. But most Jews don’t. So, what’s a J Streeter to do?
Simple. Take a poll in which the question about a Palestinian state is worded in such a way as to make it as appealing and non-threatening as possible. Don’t say a word about it making Israel nine miles wide. Pretend that it will bring peace. And then—presto!—the J Streeters can get the “poll results” that they want.
Sure, it’s dishonest, disingenuous and distasteful. But this week, that’s exactly what J Street did.
The J Street poll question began with a list of six points that supposedly would be part of any agreement creating a Palestinian state. The respondent was then asked whether he or she supports creating a Palestinian state. But the six points are all just figments of J Street’s imagination. They have either been rejected outright by the Palestinian Authority or are simply wildly implausible.
— “A demilitarized Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.”
Not only has the P.A. repeatedly refused this demand; it is already building an army. The P.A. has the largest per capita security forces in the world. They are already the size of a de facto army. The P.A. will never dismantle them. And if those P.A. security forces decided that they needed to upgrade their “defensive” capabilities to include, say, armored vehicles or missiles, do you think the international community would do anything to stop them? Of course not.
— “Internationally recognized borders based on the lines that existed in 1967, with mutually agreed land swaps that allow for most Jewish settlers in the West Bank to be inside Israel while the Palestinians get comparable land areas in return.”
P.A. spokesmen have said time and again that they will not agree to any “swaps,” and that every Jew must be evicted from Judea and Samaria.
— “Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem become part of the new Palestinian state while Israel retains control of Jewish neighborhoods and the Western Wall in Jerusalem.”
The P.A. has said over and over that all of the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall, is “occupied Palestinian territory.” The P.A. has said over and over that the Kotel is really the “Al Buraq Wall” and a Muslim religious site. So why pretend that they don’t mean what they say?
— “International forces to monitor the new Palestinian state and border crossings.”
Israel has enough experience with international forces to know that they are a sad joke. The international forces now in southern Lebanon have allowed Hezbollah to set up 150,000 rockets along the border with Israel. In the lead up to the Six-Day War, the international forces in the Sinai packed up and fled in 1967 as soon as Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser demanded they leave.
— “Financial compensation for Palestinian refugees while allowing a limited number of refugees to return to Israel if they meet specific family reunification criteria, and the Israeli government approves.
“Limited number” is a clever way of making the number sound small without actually saying how many. 10,000? 100,00? 250,000? By the time the number is picked, Israel will have been so cowed by international pressure that it won’t be able to say no.
— “The Palestinians recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, and Israel recognizes the Palestinian state as the nation-state of the Palestinian people.”
How many times do P.A. leaders have to say that they will never recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people before they are finally believed?
And, most important of all, notice what’s missing from J Street’s description of a Palestinian state: There’s no mention of what Israel’s actual borders would be. Because J Street doesn’t want poll respondents—or anybody else—to know that what they are talking about is reducing Israel to borders so narrow that an Arab tank column could cut the country in half in a matter of minutes.
That’s how they got 78 percent of respondents to say they “support creating a Palestinian state.” Now imagine if they were asked a question along these lines:
“If a Palestinian state were established in the disputed territories, Israel would then be nine miles wide at its midsection, about as wide as Washington, D.C., or the Bronx. Do you support a peace agreement that would establish such a state?”
How many American Jews do you think would say “yes” to that? Maybe it’s time some of our Jewish and Zionist organizations find out, so we can know the truth about American Jewish public opinion instead of relying on the blatantly biased polling of groups like J Street.
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. His book, “A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror,” has just been published and is available on Amazon.com.