Beck's Position On Palestine Is Out Of Step With All Recent Israeli Prime Ministers

››› ››› HARDEEP DHILLON

During the June 3 edition of his radio show, Glenn Beck suggested that a Palestinian state on Palestinian territory should not be created because such a state would be controlled by "revolutionaries in the Islamic world." In fact, Israeli prime ministers from three different parties support the eventual creation of a Palestinian state as have recent U.S. presidents.

Beck Fearmongers That A Palestinian State May Bring An End To Israel And America

Beck: "If They Reclaim Palestine," They Will "Run The Jews Into The Sea" And America Will Not "Survive." During the June 3 edition of his radio show, Beck stated: "The left is in bed with those revolutionaries in the Islamic world." He then stated: "Now, listen to the words in support of the Palestinian state" and played an audio clip of protesters shouting in Arabic that co-host Pat Gray translated as: "There is only one nation. Our entire nation is about Osama." Beck later added:

BECK: If you think giving these people aid and comfort is in our best interest, you are not even a fourth grader. You should be nowhere near public office. Nowhere near public office. If you don't think these people are going to be at least emboldened by the 1967 borders there of Israel, you are out of your mind. If you think that you can negotiate with people that are chanting death to Israel, death to the Jews, and death to America, if you think that we can just say to Israel, "Hey, you're on your own whatever, you know, you survive, you don't survive, whatever" and survive ourselves, you are out of your mind as well. This will sweep -- if they reclaim Palestine, which never existed, if they reclaim Palestine, and stop the oppression, and run the Jews into the sea as they are promising, think of that, as they are promising. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 6/3/11]

Beck Previously Attacked Obama For Supporting A Two-State Solution To The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. On the May 18 edition of his Fox News program, Beck mocked Obama's 2010 speech at the U.N. General Assembly in which Obama said, "last year, I pledged my best efforts to support the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine. ... This time we should reach for what's best within ourselves. If we do, when we come back here next year, we can have an agreement that will lead to a new member of the United Nations -- an independent, sovereign state of Palestine, living in peace with Israel." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 5/18/11, via Media Matters]

Recent Israeli Prime Ministers Have Called For The Eventual Creation Of A Palestinian State

Benjamin Netanyahu: "I Publicly Committed To A Solution Of Two States For Two Peoples: A Palestinian State Alongside The Jewish State." In his address before a joint meeting of Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed his commitment to a two-state solution, stating: "Two years ago, I publicly committed to a solution of two states for two peoples: A Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state. I am willing to make painful compromises to achieve this historic peace. As the leader of Israel, it is my responsibility to lead my people to peace." From the May 24 address:

The peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan are vital. But they're not enough. We must also find a way to forge a lasting peace with the Palestinians. Two years ago, I publicly committed to a solution of two states for two peoples: A Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state.

I am willing to make painful compromises to achieve this historic peace. As the leader of Israel, it is my responsibility to lead my people to peace.

[...]

But there is another truth: The Palestinians share this small land with us. We seek a peace in which they will be neither Israel's subjects nor its citizens. They should enjoy a national life of dignity as a free, viable and independent people in their own state. They should enjoy a prosperous economy, where their creativity and initiative can flourish.

[...]

So now here is the question. You have to ask it. If the benefits of peace with the Palestinians are so clear, why has peace eluded us? Because all six Israeli Prime Ministers since the signing of Oslo accords agreed to establish a Palestinian state. Myself included. So why has peace not been achieved? Because so far, the Palestinians have been unwilling to accept a Palestinian state, if it meant accepting a Jewish state alongside it.

[...]

The status of the settlements will be decided only in negotiations. But we must also be honest. So I am saying today something that should be said publicly by anyone serious about peace. In any peace agreement that ends the conflict, some settlements will end up beyond Israel's borders. The precise delineation of those borders must be negotiated. We will be very generous on the size of a future Palestinian state. But as President Obama said, the border will be different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. Israel will not return to the indefensible lines of 1967.

We recognize that a Palestinian state must be big enough to be viable, independent and prosperous. President Obama rightly referred to Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, just as he referred to the future Palestinian state as the homeland of the Palestinian people. Jews from around the world have a right to immigrate to the Jewish state. Palestinians from around the world should have a right to immigrate, if they so choose, to a Palestinian state. This means that the Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside the borders of Israel. [The Embassy of Israel to the United States, 5/24/11]

Ehud Barak: Israel Must "Present A Clear Initiative" "That Will Enable The Establishment Of An Independent And Demilitarized Palestinian State." In May 2010, former Israeli Prime Minister and current Defense Minister Ehud Barak stated: "Israel must pull that bull by the horns [during the meeting with Obama] and present a clear initiative that discusses drawing a border in Israel in a way that settlement blocs along the border will remain in our hands and have a solid Jewish majority for generations, but in a way that will enable the establishment of an independent and demilitarized Palestinian state." Barak was a member of Israel's Labor Party at the time he made these comments (but subsequently left to form the Independence Party). From Haaretz:

Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Monday said Israel must present U.S. President Barack Obama with a clear peace initiative that includes a proposed border between Israel and a future Palestinian state.

[...]

Before that meeting, Barak told a hearing for the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that: "Israel must pull that bull by the horns [during the meeting with Obama] and present a clear initiative that discusses drawing a border in Israel in a way that settlement blocs along the border will remain in our hands and have a solid Jewish majority for generations, but in a way that will enable the establishment of an independent and demilitarized Palestinian state."

He added that Israel must present an "assertive political initiative' to strengthen ties with the United States and moderate Arab countries, as well as curb the international de-legitimization of Israel. [Haaretz, 5/7/10]

Ariel Sharon: Israel "Has Lent Its Strong Support For" The Vision Of "Two States -- Israel And A Palestinian State -- Living Side By Side." During the Middle East Peace Summit in Aqaba, Jordan, hosted by King Abdullah of Jordan and former U.S. President George W. Bush, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon stated: "Israel, like others, has lent its strong support for President Bush's vision, expressed on June 24, 2002, of two states -- Israel and a Palestinian state -- living side by side in peace and security." At the time, Sharon was a member of the Likud Party (but subsequently left to found the Kadima Party). From the June 2003 remarks:

Ultimately, permanent security requires peace and permanent peace can only be obtained through security, and there is now hope of a new opportunity for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Israel, like others, has lent its strong support for President Bush's vision, expressed on June 24, 2002, of two states -- Israel and a Palestinian state -- living side by side in peace and security. The Government and people of Israel welcome the opportunity to renew direct negotiations according to the steps of the roadmap as adopted by the Israeli government to achieve this vision.

It is in Israel's interest not to govern the Palestinians but for the Palestinians to govern themselves in their own state. A democratic Palestinian state fully at peace with Israel will promote the long-term security and well-being of Israel as a Jewish state.

[...]

We can also reassure our Palestinian partners that we understand the importance of territorial contiguity in the West Bank, for a viable, Palestinian state. Israeli policy in the territories that are subject to direct negotiations with the Palestinians will reflect this fact.

We accept the principle that no unilateral actions by any party can prejudge the outcome of our negotiations.

[...]

Israel seeks peace with all its Arab neighbors. Israel is prepared to negotiate in good faith wherever there are partners. As normal relations are established, I am confident that they will find in Israel a neighbor and a people committed to comprehensive peace and prosperity for all the peoples of the region. [Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 6/4/03]

Ehud Olmert: "If The Day Comes When The Two-State Solution Collapses," "The State Of Israel Is Finished." During an interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of the Kadima Party stated: "If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories), then, as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished." From the November 2007 interview:

"If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories), then, as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Haaretz Wednesday, the day the Annapolis conference ended in an agreement to try to reach a Mideast peace settlement by the end of 2008.

"The Jewish organizations, which were our power base in America, will be the first to come out against us," Olmert said, "because they will say they cannot support a state that does not support democracy and equal voting rights for all its residents."

Olmert pointed out that he had said similar things in an interview he gave four years ago, when he was deputy prime minister under Ariel Sharon, in which he revealed for the first time his proposal for a withdrawal from most of the occupied territories.

"Since then, I have systematically repeated those positions," he said, adding that people "will say I'm having problems and that's why I'm trying to do [a peace process], but the facts must be dealt with justly." [Haaretz, 11/29/07]

Avigdor Lieberman: "I Also Advocate The Creation Of A Viable Palestinian State." In an article in the Washington Jewish Week, Avigdor Lieberman, founder of the Israeli party Yisrael Beiteinu and current Israeli foreign minister, wrote: "Another label that has been thrust in my direction is 'far right' or 'ultra-nationalist.' I want the state of Israel to remain a Zionist, Jewish and democratic state. There is nothing 'far' or 'ultra' about those ideals. I also advocate the creation of a viable Palestinian state." From the March 4, 2009, piece by Lieberman:

As we stand on the threshold of a new government in Israel, I am proud of our achievements as a political party. Yisrael Beiteinu has managed to rise from a largely sectarian party for Russian immigrants to the third largest party in the Knesset. How did it happen? More important, how are we going to put our electoral success to good use?

During Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, I was appalled by the calls for the destruction of the state of Israel and for renewed suicide bombings that some Israeli Arab leaders called for at pro-Hamas rallies.

Although "responsible citizenship" had always been part of our platform, I realized that this was a burning issue that had to take top priority.

At a pre-election panel, the Israeli Arab political party Balad's representative, Awad Abed Al-Patah, declared, "The elections are one of the means at our disposal for battling Zionism within its home."

We were the only Jewish politicians to react by demanding legislation to ban political leaders who wish to destroy the state.

[...]

Moreover, Yisrael Beiteinu has no objection to the nonviolent expression of opinion. It is violent speech that forms a clear and present danger that we refuse to tolerate. I am thinking of the Arab mayor of the Israeli town of Sakhnin who said during Cast Lead, "I call from here to the people in Gaza and say: Don't be afraid, don't give up, block them with your blood in order to build the state of Palestine, whose capital is Jerusalem. É [sic] Long live Palestine, whose capital is Jerusalem, and long live the shahids [martyrs]."

Another label that has been thrust in my direction is "far right" or "ultra-nationalist." I want the state of Israel to remain a Zionist, Jewish and democratic state. There is nothing "far" or "ultra" about those ideals. I also advocate the creation of a viable Palestinian state.

I welcome the contribution of minorities to Israel's flourishing. We do not ask Israeli Arabs to share in the Zionist dream. We are asking them to accept that Israel is a Jewish state -- the only one in the world. It is also the only democracy in the Middle East as well as the most advanced in terms of technology, health care and education. If those who strive to topple the state with terror and violence would instead focus on improving daily life, education, infrastructure, and health care, we could all move on to better lives for everyone.

As part of the next government, I look forward to working with President Barack Obama. I know that U.S.-Israel relations are as strong as ever, and that our shared values and interests make our friendship unshakeable. [Washington Jewish Week, 3/4/09]

Moreover, Recent U.S. Presidents Have Also Supported The Eventual Creation Of A Palestinian State

Barack Obama: "I've Been A Strong Believer In A Two-State Solution." During a May 28, 2009, press conference with President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, U.S. President Barack Obama commented on his commitment to a two-state solution, stating: "I've been a strong believer in a two-state solution that would provide the Israelis and Palestinians the peace and security that they need." From the press conference:

Hello, everybody. Well, it is a great pleasure to welcome President Abbas to the Oval Office. We had -- we just completed an extensive conversation, both privately as well as with our delegations, about how we can advance peace in the Middle East and how we can reaffirm some core principles that I think can result in Palestinians and Israelis living side by side in peace and security.

As I've said before, I've been a strong believer in a two-state solution that would provide the Israelis and Palestinians the peace and security that they need. I am very appreciative that President Abbas shares that view. And when Prime Minister Netanyahu was here last week I reiterated to him that the framework that's been provided by the road map is one that can advance the interests of Israel, can advance the interests of the Palestinian people, and can also advance the interests of the United States.

We are a stalwart ally of Israel and it is in our interests to assure that Israel is safe and secure. It is our belief that the best way to achieve that is to create the conditions on the ground and set the stage for a Palestinian state as well. And so what I told Prime Minister Netanyahu was is that each party has obligations under the road map. On the Israeli side those obligations include stopping settlements. They include making sure that there is a viable potential Palestinian state. On the Palestinian side it's going to be important and necessary to continue to take the security steps on the West Bank that President Abbas has already begun to take, working with General Dayton. We've seen great progress in terms of security in the West Bank. Those security steps need to continue because Israel has to have some confidence that security in the West Bank is in place in order for us to advance this process.

And I also mentioned to President Abbas in a frank exchange that it was very important to continue to make progress in reducing the incitement and anti-Israel sentiments that are sometimes expressed in schools and mosques and in the public square, because all those things are impediments to peace. [WhiteHouse.gov, 5/28/09]

George W. Bush: "I Became The First American President To Call For The Creation Of A Palestinian State." During a speech on the Middle East in July 2007, former President George W. Bush restated his commitment to "a new vision for the future -- two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security." From the 2007 remarks:

Good afternoon. In recent weeks, debate in our country has rightly focused on the situation in Iraq -- yet Iraq is not the only pivotal matter in the Middle East. More than five years ago, I became the first American President to call for the creation of a Palestinian state. In the Rose Garden, I said that Palestinians should not have to live in poverty and occupation. I said that the Israelis should not have to live in terror and violence. And I laid out a new vision for the future -- two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security.

Since then, many changes have come -- some hopeful, some dispiriting. Israel has taken difficult actions, including withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the West Bank. Palestinians have held free elections, and chosen a president committed to peace. Arab states have put forward a plan that recognizes Israel's place in the Middle East. And all these parties, along with most of the international community, now share the goal of a peaceful, democratic Palestinian state -- a level of consensus never before seen on this crucial issue. [GeorgeWBush-WhiteHouse.Archives.gov, 7/16/07]

Bill Clinton: "There Is No Choice But To Create Two States And Make The Best Of It." During his speech on the Mideast Peace Parameters, former President Bill Clinton stated: "Your land is also their land, it is the homeland of two people. And, therefore, there is no choice but to create two states and make the best of it." From the January 2001 speech:

The fact is that the people of Israel dreamed of a homeland. The dream came through; but when they came home, the land was not all vacant. Your land is also their land, it is the homeland of two people. And, therefore, there is no choice but to create two states and make the best of it.

If it happens today, it will be better than if it happens tomorrow, because fewer people will die. And after it happens, the motives of those who continue the violence will be clearer to all than they are today.

Today, Israel is closer than ever to ending a 100-year-long era of struggle. It could be Israel's finest hour. And I hope and pray that the people of Israel will not give up the hope of peace. [U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, 1/8/01]

Recent Peace Talks And International Proposals On The Middle East Have Been Guided By A Two-State Solution

In 2007, Annapolis Conference Called For "Performance-Based Road Map To A Permanent Two-State Solution To The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict." In December 2007, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas reached a "Joint Understanding" and agreed to "implement" the "2003 Performance-Based Road Map to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict." From the Congressional Research Service:

At the end of November 2007, the Bush Administration convened an international conference in Annapolis, MD to officially revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmud Abbas reached a "Joint Understanding," in which they agreed to launch continuous bilateral negotiations in an effort to conclude a peace treaty by the end of 2008 and to simultaneously implement the moribund 2003 Performance-Based Road Map to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Both leaders are operating under significant domestic political constraints and they continue to disagree on many issues. Thus, their negotiations will be challenging.

[...]

Instead of a declaration of principles, President Bush read a "Joint Understanding" at the conference that dealt with the process or structure of negotiations. In it Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas express their determination to "immediately launch bilateral negotiations in order to conclude a peace treaty to resolve all core issues without exception, as specified in previous agreements."

[...]

In the Joint Understanding, the parties also commit to immediately implement their respective obligations under the Road Map. The United States will lead a tripartite U.S.-Israeli-Palestinian mechanism to follow up on implementation. The parties further commit to continue implementing the Road Map until they reach a peace treaty. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, implementation of the future peace treaty will be subject to the implementation of the road map, as judged by the United States. The United States will monitor and judge fulfillment of their Road Map commitments, a task that may prove to be extremely difficult. [Congressional Research Service, 12/7/07]

In 2003, Roadmap For Peace Established "The Vision Of Two States" "Living Side By Side In Peace And Security." In 2003, the United Nations, European Union, United States, and Russia (the "Quartet" of mediators of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process) presented Israel and Palestine with a policy proposal known as the "Roadmap for Peace." The proposal had "the vision of two states, Israel and sovereign, independent, democratic and viable Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security" by 2005. From the 2003 "Roadmap for Peace":

The following is a performance-based and goal-driven roadmap, with clear phases, timelines, target dates, and benchmarks aiming at progress through reciprocal steps by the two parties in the political, security, economic, humanitarian, and institution-building fields, under the auspices of the Quartet.

The destination is a final and comprehensive settlement of the Israel-Palestinian conflict by 2005, as presented in President Bush's speech of 24 June, and welcomed by the EU, Russia and the UN in the 16 July and 17 September Quartet Ministerial statements.

A two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism, when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror and willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty, and through Israel's readiness to do what is necessary for a democratic Palestinian state to be established, and a clear, unambiguous acceptance by both parties of the goal of a negotiated settlement as described below.

The Quartet will assist and facilitate implementation of the plan, starting in Phase I, including direct discussions between the parties as required.

The plan establishes a realistic timeline for implementation.

[...]

At the outset of Phase I:

  • Palestinian leadership issues unequivocal statement reiterating Israel's right to exist in peace and security and calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to end armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere. All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.
  • Israeli leadership issues unequivocal statement affirming its commitment to the two-state vision of an independent, viable, sovereign Palestinian state living in peace and security alongside Israel, as expressed by President Bush, and calling for an immediate end to violence against Palestinians everywhere. All official Israeli institutions end incitement against Palestinians. [BBC, 4/30/03]

In 2000, Clinton Parameters Called For Two States. In December 2000, following the collapse of the Camp David talks in July of that year, Clinton offered a set of parameters that would guide the peace process in the Middle East. The proposal, titled the "Clinton Parameters," called for two states to be established. From the Council on Foreign Relations:

In late December 2000, Clinton mounted a last-ditch effort to make peace before he left office. Known as the Clinton Parameters, the plan offered proposals for dealing with the most protracted problems: settlements, Jerusalem, and refugees.
The plan offered the Palestinians:
  • Control over a sovereign, contiguous, viable state recognized by the international community.
  • Sovereignty over Al Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem.
  • Control over the Arab sections of Jerusalem, which would serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.
  • A comprehensive settlement plan for refugees that offered them several options: return to the new state of Palestine; return to the state of Israel (with restrictions); resettlement in a third country; and/or compensation.
The plan offered Israelis:
  • The right for 80 percent of the West Bank settlers, most of whom live near the 1967 borders, to stay put.
  • Security guarantees.
  • Control over the Jewish sections of Jerusalem, which would be internationally recognized as the capital of Israel.
  • Control over and access to Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem, including sections of the Temple Mount.
Both sides tentatively accepted the deal with reservations; some experts say Arafat later added so many conditions that the agreement fell apart. Clinton left office, and talks continued in January at an Egyptian resort. [Council on Foreign Relations, 2/7/05]
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