A senior settlement leader criticized the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Monday morning, following the organization’s apparent endorsement of Palestinian statehood, in contradiction to Israeli government policy.
On Sunday, AIPAC CEO Howard Kohr endorsed the two-state solution in his address at the AIPAC annual conference in Washington DC, calling the establishment of a Palestinian state essential for Israel’s security.
“We must all work toward that future: two states for two peoples,” said Kohr. “One Jewish with secure and defensible borders, and one Palestinian with its own flag and its own future. Today that dream seems remote. This is tragic.”
Samaria Regional Council chief Yossi Dagan slammed the pro-Israel lobby group over its explicit endorsement of Palestinian statehood, saying the group was out of sync with both Israeli and US policy.
“We… note that the AIPAC talking points are still very much tied to establishment of a Palestinian state, what has been called ‘the two-state solution’,” said Dagan.
Dagan accused AIPAC of misrepresenting Israel’s position, noting that the current government has not endorsed Palestinian statehood.
“The AIPAC website also seems to imply that Israel is committed to a two-state solution and that the United States takes this position as well.”
“This assumption has no basis in fact,” continued Dagan. “The sovereign entity in Israel is of course the Government of Israel. The official GOI Guidelines are available to the public. As you see, they contain not one word or even hint of support for the ‘two-state solution’.”
The Samaria Regional Council chief also noted that the Trump administration had dropped reference to Palestinian statehood or the two-state solution in its latest National Security Strategy report.
“As for the United States, while the previous National Security Strategy report did state that the United States remains ‘committed to … a two-state solution’,” said Dagan, “the National Security Strategy currently in effect, as of December 2017, does not indicate support for the two-state outcome. This is presumably in an effort not to coerce an American ally, the State of Israel, into an outcome which that ally does not regard as desirable, just or safe.”
“I am astounded as to why such a great, meaningful organization as AIPAC, whose raison d'etre is pro-Israel advocacy in the United States, would represent the positions of the State of Israel (and of the United States) so inaccurately before senior government officials, senators and congressmen, and the general pro-Israel public. The position that AIPAC is representing as that of the State of Israel -- in the AIPAC mission statement and in the AIPAC talking points inter alia -- not only fails to represent Israel properly, it is detrimental to the efforts to achieve dialogue in the Middle East.”