An Open Letter to Peter Beinart and J.Street / DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

Prof. Beiart is working to disconnect American- Jews ties with Israel.

Peter Beinart, an Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science at The City University of New York and one of the leaders of the J.Street organization.

Prof. Beinart published an article "Reaching the Younger Generations about Israel."

According to Beinart, young Americans have "grown up viewing Israel as a regional hegemon and an occupying power. As a result, they are more conscious than their parents of the degree to which Israeli behavior violates liberal ideals, and less willing to grant Israel an exemption because its survival seems in peril."

Prof. Beinart liked Israel as long as he could be proud of Israel as a liberal state and as long as it fought for its survival and was the underdog. Now, in spite of perils Israel is facing, he does not feel any solidarity.


Prof. Beinart is no longer proud as a Jew of the Jewish State. He shares the views of some Israeli human rights organizations about Israeli occupation. These organizations publish reports on "ISRAEL'S BEHAVIOR IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES. Israel is accused of war crimes against the Palestinian population. Jonathan D.Halevi investigated these accusations and proved many accusations were false, including many of the the Goldstone report, in a serious of articles published by Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs.

As a matter of fact more than 22,000 Israelis were killed in wars initiated by Palestinians and Arabs compared with the number of Palestinians killed by Israel, according to the "Betzelem" organization reports.

It seems that Prof.Beinart did not read those investigations, or ignored them. J.Street is adopted the accusations against Israel and blames Israel for not ending the occupation..

I am not less a liberal than Prof.Beinart. I supported the Oslo agreement, I voted Labor all my life, I was against the settlement movement, and the actions of the "Tag Mechir" gang,I signed the Ayalon – Nussaiba petition and I was and still am against the occupation and for a 2 state solution along the Clinton- Barak lines..

But, although we have a right wing government whose policy I don't support, I can't agree with Beinart. I think he misunderstands the Middle East situation.

Lets have the facts:

A. Israel is not and never has been a regional power

Israel is not a regional hegemon power. It never tried to control the region. Israel's military power is kept for one reason only: to prevent its destruction. Israel is considered an outsider and a European Colonist Power who took Arab land, by Middle East states and people. Read the "VISION OF ISRAEL'S FUTURE published by the Israeli- Arab leadership a few years ago. The Arab world shares this view.

B. The Arab world was and still is determined to put an end to the Jewish state

At first they tried to eliminate Israel by military force. After failing to achieve this goal they are now trying to achieve the same goal by demonizing and de legitimizing Israel. They are doing this through theinternational media by telling lies, rewriting the historical facts, and by initiating resolutions against Israel in UN organizations. Generous money contributions to academic "research" produce the "new and improved history of the Holy Land"

The most famous lies which were proved to be so were: the Muhammad Al – Dura affair and the Jenin Massacred that never happened. The Durban conference resolutions against Israel are another example of the Arab- Palestinian effort to demonize and de legitimize Israel as a racist society. Christians are murdered and their churches put on fire in Iraq, Egypt and Gaza – not in Israek.

The Arab world tried to put an end to this Colonial Power in 1948 and in 1967 by military force, ignoring the resolution of two international organizations, the League of Nation and the United Nations who recognized the land of Israel (called Palestine) as the national home of the Jewish people.

Since the Arab world did refuse to recognize these resolutions, they rejected the Peel Commission proposal in 1936/7 and the UN 1947 resolution to solve the conflict by dividing the country into 2 states: a Jewish state and an Arab state.

If Palestinians wished to have a state why they did not demand a state from Jordan and Egypt who occupied the Western Bank and Gaza Strip from 1948 to 1967? Instead they sent terrorists to kill Israeli civilians under sponsorship of Egypt. This resulted in the 1956 Israeli – Egyptian war.

Another Arab – Palestinian attempt to eliminate Israel by force in 1967 failed. Israel conquered the Western Bank, Gaza Strip and Sinai from Jordan and Egypt.

Israel wished to end the conflict and proposed "land for peace." The Arab- Palestinian bloc answered with the 3 Hartum conference No's resolutions. Thus, the occupation was forced upon Israel.
There were no settlements in 1967.

Since the Arabs and the Palestinians rejected 4 opportunities to compromise and recognize Israel's right to exist, Israel started to settle the new territories which were part of its ancient homeland and part of the territory the League of Nations declared a Jewish homeland. This policy was wrong and Israeli society has been divided upon this issue ever since.

Let us not forget that the League of Nation resolution included Trans- Jordan. So, Jews, actually, was willing to give up Trans- Jordan, the Western Bank and Gaza Strip for peace.

The Palestinians formed their first national movement only in the 1960's, and declared their goal "to replace Israel with a so called democratic state where Muslims, Christians and Jews could live in peace." According to the Muslim tradition non- Muslims were always second degree citizens. There is no Arab country in which Jews were not second degree citizens.

The Palestinian started to terror against Israel and Jews all over the world in order to put an end to the Jewish state.

Since the terrorist effort failed, the PLO started an Intifada in the occupied territories and it ended with the Oslo agreement in 1993.

So, only in 1993 Palestinians declared their willingness to accept a 2 states solution. One of the sections of the Oslo agreement was to form the Palestinian Authority and cancel the section in the Palestinian constitution calling to destroy Israel. Israel fulfilled its part and let Arafat form the PA. The PLO never canceled the declaration to destroy Israel.

Another part of the Oslo agreement was to give up terror and continue the talks until a peace agreement is reached. The PA did not stop terror.

Israel made 2 more efforts to end the conflict:

A. The Camp David summit in 2000, in which Arafat rejected the Clinton- Barak proposal that included the division of Jerusalem, compensating the Palestinian state with Israeli territory in exchange of annexation 3% of the Western Bank territory on which the settlements were built, and more. Araffat did not even propose an alternative and started another Intifada. Why? because the proposal did not include settling the refugees in Israel but in the Palestinian state. Moreover, he had no intention to make peace. The Oslo agreement turned to be fraud.

Thus, Israelis found out that the PA had no intension to give up its goal to put an end to the Jewish state. The PA only changed its tactics: to put an end to the Jewish state by settling the refugees in Israel, thus turning the Jews into a minority.

After Abu Mazen became chairman of the PA he declared his goal was a 2 state solution and that he was opposed to terror as means to achieve a state.

Terror did not stop. The Hamas organization continued to terrorize Israeli civilians, and took over by force Gaza Strip from the PA. Israel under Sharon decided to evacuate the Gaza Strip: all settlements were destroyed and the Israeli army left Gaza. The result was 6 years of thousands of rockets daily on Israeli civilians.

B. Ulmert, Israel's Prime Minister, tried to end the conflict. He met with Abu Mazen and his proposal, according to Abu Mazen in an interview to the Washington Post, was even better than the Clinton – Barak proposal. Yet, Abu Mazen did not say Yes.

Israelis became disillusioned and choose a right wing government. This was "a dream come true" to Abu Mazen who now could blame Israel for refusing to a 2 state solution.

Since the settlements began to grow the US and Europe opposed the legality of the settlements, but the issue never became a pre-condition to talks. The new inexperienced US President Obama, made his first mistake and turned the freeze of settlement building into a pre- condition to talks. Prime Minister Netanyahu was put under great pressure by Obama and against his own agenda agreed to a 2 state solution and to a 9 months freeze, during which the 2 partners were supposed tol talk.

The PA spent the 9 months contributing nothing to advance the negotiations. Instead of pressuring Abu Mazen, Obama pressured Israel for 3 months freeze more. Obama, thus, gave Abu Mazen the excuse to refuse to talk.

The settlement issue should be solved as part of the negotiations – not as a pre- condition.

The PA was greatly encouraged by Obama's policy and its leaders revealed their real goal: to put an end to the Jewish state:
Nabil Shaat declared that the PA will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state and Abu Mazen repeated this statement. Saive Arikat declared the PA was not going to give up the demand to settle the refugees in Israel.
The meaning of these declarations was to turn the Jews into a minority in Israel thus eliminating the Jewish state by democratic vote.
These statements were backed by the Arab League.

Prof. Beinart should read about the incitement against Israel and Jews in the Arabic media, and the reports of the PMW(Palestinian Media Watch ) on the incitement that has been going on by the PA media and in the school system. Incitement against Jews in general and glorifying Palestinian suiciders are not signs of a will to put an end to the conflict.

And, since the PA has no intentions to give up the demand to settle the refugees in Israel, there is nothing to talk about. Israel is not going to agree to its elimination.

The PA solution to the situation is to get a state from the UN, thus avoiding an agreement with Israel and keeping a state of conflict until the Arab – Muslim world succeed in getting a UN resolution to force Israel to receive the refugees.


Abu Mazen will not be able to stand against the Hamas after the Israeli army leaves the Western Bank, since his rule is dependent on the activities of Israeli army against the Hamas. The same scenario that happened in Gaza will repeat itself. The Hamas will take over the Western Bank with the help of Iran and Israel will be surrounded by Iran, Hamas and Hizballah.

Iran declared more than once its intention to eliminate the Jewish state. Iran on the Western Bank is not only a threat to Israel, but to Jordan and the other Arab states, but also to the Interests of the US. But Prof. Beinart is not concerned, as long as Israel's occupation is ended and he will feel better being a liberal Jew.

In short, the PA policy is one of the main reasons Israel got a right wing government. Israelis became disillusioned about the prospects of peace. You need 2 for tango, and the PA, not only Netaniahu is not interested.

P.S: on the 2 connected issue:
The Jewish historical connection to Israel their homeland
Who is responsible for the refugee issue
Read on:

August 1922, League of Nation Resolution:a national home for Jew

On August 1922, after the end of First World War the League of Nation adopted the Balfur Declatation of November 2, 1917, fiven by Britain to the Zionist movement in which the British government recognized Palestine as the homeland of the Jews and supported their right to a national home there.
The League of Nation decided to give Britain the mandate on Palestine in order to preaper the ground for a national home to the Jewish people.
A short time after, the British government betrayed its mission and started to support Arab interests.

League of Nation resolution

Please expand on the League of Nation resolution.



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