December 7, 2015
News Press Release

After ZOA Complaint, Trump Commendably Acknowledged Israel Has Made Unthinkable Sacrifices for Peace

But Wrongly Questions Israel's Commitment to Peace; and Now Urges, "Everybody's even...we love nice" in Negotiations

Morton Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), released the following statement: 


ZOA is pleased to report that after ZOA’s complaint about Donald Trump’s previous false assertions implying that Israel had not made “sacrifices” (concessions) to the Palestinians Arabs, Mr. Trump has now firmly, publicly and promptly acknowledged Israel’s extraordinary “unthinkable” sacrifices.   Mr. Trump made this correction during his presentation at the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) forum on Thursday December 3. 


Previously, during an AP interview on December 2, Mr. Trump had made the factually inaccurate claim that a successful peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Arab dictators  “has to do with Israel and whether or not Israel’s willing to sacrifice certain things.” ZOA promptly issued a press release, criticizing that false statement.  ZOA’s release described how Israel has made sacrifice after sacrifice, concession after concession – including giving away large swaths of historic Jewish land in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) and all of Gaza to Palestinian Arabs – only to be met with Palestinian Arab intransigence, refusal to negotiate, relentless incitement to violence, and unremitting terror attacks on innocent Israelis.  ZOA’s press release urged Mr. Trump to correct his statement.  The ZOA praises Mr. Trump for doing so. 


  Israel tried calling Mahmoud Abbas and Yasser Arafat “peace partners,” and made breathtaking concessions and offering even much more. 

Commendably, at the RJC forum, Donald Trump stated:


“Israel has given a lot, . . . and a lot of people don’t know that.  I think the public relations, for Israel hasn’t been so great, because Israel’s given a lot, but hasn’t been given a lot of credit for what they’ve given. . . . In fact, some things have been given which were unthinkable, and a lot of turmoil it caused in Israel. Israel has not been given the credit they deserve for what they’ve done.”


Trump’s New Troubling Statements About Israel


Unfortunately, at the same December 3rd RJC forum, Mr. Trump made several offensive and ludicrous allegations.  He still questioned Israel’s commitment to peace, by stating: “I don’t know that Israel has the commitment to make it” – which is absurd given the extraordinary concessions Israel has offered and already made, and the fact that Israel has repeatedly pleaded for the PA to sit down to negotiations, while the PA has repeatedly rejected negotiations.  Also see the reasons listed in ZOA’s press release about Mr. Trump’s Dec. 2 AP interview.   Mr. Trump refused to acknowledge that Jerusalem is Israel’s undivided capital.  (ZOA’s December 4 press release urged Mr. Trump to study Israel’s historical, legal, religious and moral right to Jerusalem, described in that release.)  


And Mr. Trump made suggestions about Palestinian Arab-Israeli negotiations that have already repeatedly been tried and failed.  We hope that Mr. Trump will also promptly revise these statements, in a manner that befits Mr. Trump’s reputation as a talented negotiator.    


Specifically, Mr. Trump stated regarding the negotiations:  “I’d like to go in with a clean slate, and just say let’s go.  Everybody’s even. We love everybody.  Let’s see if we can do something.”   Mr. Trump also unrealistically and wrongly speculated that peace with Palestinian Arab terrorist regimes might be achieved with “a level playing field” and doing a deal “nicely,” and Israel taking even “another step” apparently unilaterally since he never mentioned that the Palestinian Arabs need to take another step. 


However, Israel repeatedly tried “playing nice” with the Palestinian Authority dictators whose sole goal is to destroy Israel – and this did not work.   Israel tried calling Mahmoud Abbas and Yasser Arafat “peace partners,” and made breathtaking concessions and offering even much more.  The result was more Arab Palestinian terror attacks on innocent Israeli civilians.  For instance, after Israel evacuated every Jew from Gaza, Hamas responded by shooting 19,000 rockets at innocent Israelis.  Israel’s evacuation of much of Hebron resulted in frequent Arab terror attacks on Hebron’s remaining Jewish enclave.   After Israel turned over to the PLO/PA large swaths of Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”), Arab terror attacks and murders of Israeli civilians increased fourfold.  After Israel made dramatic peace offers to the Palestinian Arabs, the Arabs responded with intifadas in which Palestinian Arab terrorists murdered and maimed thousands of Israeli Jews. 


When dealing with terror regimes – and that is what the PA/PLO/Hamas regime is, Mr. Trump clearly understands the need to negotiate from strength (not on a supposed “level playing field”). 


Mr. Trump knows the importance of making pre-conditions and taking strong positions to end malicious activities.  For instance, Mr. Trump has repeatedly stated that he would have demanded that Iran release the four Americans that Iran still holds hostage in its horrendous prisons – on day one, prior to beginning any nuclear negotiations with Iran – and would have walked out and tripled sanctions if Iran didn’t comply. Mr. Trump stated that he would have indeed promptly obtained the release of our prisoners if he had demanded it this way.


If Mr. Trump hopes for productive negotiations with the PA/PLO and Hamas, at a minimum, he should start – as a precondition to any talks – by demanding that the PA/PLO and Hamas immediately end their daily incitement in newspapers, schools, and the media of knife attacks, bombings, car rammings and other attacks on innocent Israelis, stop honoring terrorists, stop paying pensions to Arab families of those who murdered Jews, and stop teaching Arab school children to hate and kill Jews.


One assumes Mr. Trump is also a savvy enough negotiator to know the dangers and difficulties of negotiating with a party that never keeps its word.  In the Oslo Accords in 1993 and 1994, the PA/PLO agreed to end incitement against Israel, arrest terrorists, outlaw terror groups, extradite terrorists, and cooperate economically with Israel.   The PA/PLO violated each and every one of these agreements.


Israel’s deals with the Palestinian Arabs have been a disaster:  Israel invariably gives up tangible land and gets back thousands of rockets and terror attacks and phony promises.   Donald Trump should know that America’s greatest ally Israel needs to be extremely careful to prevent, as he would call them, more of these “sad, stupid” deals with the Palestinian Authority. 


There was a stark reminder last week of the vicious inhumanity of the PA/PLO, when the New York Times revealed the details of how the PLO terrorists brutally tortured eleven Israeli athletes that the PLO took hostage at the Munich Olympics- including beating them, breaking their bones, and even castrating one of the Israeli athletes while his teammates were forced to watch, before murdering Israel’s Olympic team.  The planner and financier of that depraved PLO Munich terror attack was the very same Mahmoud Abbas who today is the President of the Palestinian Authority.  


ZOA urges Mr. Trump to give careful thought as to how to deal with such ruthless and violent Arab leaders who truly have no interest in real peace or even statehood if statehood means truly accepting Israel with no further claims against the Jewish State.