My Testimony before the House Subcommittee on Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations
by Daniel Pipes
The Subcommittee on Middle East and South Asia of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearing on February 14, 2007, titled "Next Steps in Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process." Three witnesses appeared before the subcommittee: Martin Indyk of the Brookings Institution, David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and myself. (A complete video of the hearing, nearly three hours long, can be seen on the committee website; the transcript is available on my website.) The Democrats chose Makovsky and Indyk, the Republicans chose me. Gary Ackerman is the chairman of the committee and Mike Pence the ranking minority member.
We three witnesses differ deeply in outlook on the topic of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations and our testimonies made those clear. Makovsky and Indyk endorsed the "peace process" while I likened it more to a "war process." Makovsky and Indyk differed less widely among themselves but their differences were still clear, with Makovsky seeing the impact of the Mecca Accord in a distinctly more negative way than did Indyk.
But the three of us, I believe, share a concern for the security and welfare of Israel, that it remain a Jewish state. In brief, we are Zionists. Our disagreements concern tactics to achieve this goal.
Given that every poll over decades shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans agree with us, this would seem to be a banal position. But no longer. As a symptom, note the many vociferous attacks on the three of us being invited as witnesses, implying that there was something very amiss in not having anyone represent the eliminate-Israel position. A sampling of titles from publications and weblogs makes my point:
Comments: (1) The above listing is in chronological order. Note how the tone began with unhappiness and moved on to outrage and ended with vilification.
(2) This rhetorical assault points to the assumption of the eliminate-Israel crowd that its point of view has as much validity as the Zionist position, as well as the right to express it in the U.S. Congress.
(3) It did not used to be this way. That things have degenerated to this point results from Israel's many and deep mistakes over the past 15 years – which was, coincidentally, the topic of my testimony at that hearing on February 14, and which will be the subject of a forthcoming article. (February 20, 2007)
Mar. 2, 2007 update: One exchange at the hearing went like this:
The Zionist Organization of America has today in detail rebutted Martin Indyk's claims, in a press release titled "Martin Indyk Wrongly Paints PA Leader Mahmoud Abbas As Moderate Who Fulfilled Requirements For Peace." The ZOA evidence is listed under three headings:
The record is clear for anyone who wishes to see it.
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