Gen. Petraeus Wrong To Blame 'Insufficient Progress' On Arab-Israeli Peace For Hindering U.S. Goals

New York, NY, March 18, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) criticized as "dangerous and counterproductive" the Senate testimony of Gen. David Petraeus in which he blamed "insufficient progress" in resolving the ongoing Israeli-Arab conflict as a significant impediment to achieving U.S. goals in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Iran, and for encouraging "anti-American sentiment."

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement in response to the General's March 16 testimony before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee:

The assumptions Gen. Petraeus presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee wrongly attribute "insufficient progress" in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and "a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel" as significantly impeding the U.S. military mission in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and in dealing with the Iranian influences in the region. It is that much more of a concern to hear this coming from such a great American patriot and hero.

The General's assertions lead to the illusory conclusion that if only there was a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the U.S. could successfully complete its mission in the region.

Gen. Petraeus has simply erred in linking the challenges faced by the U.S. and coalition forces in the region to a solution of the Israeli-Arab conflict, and blaming extremist activities on the absence of peace and the perceived U.S. favoritism for Israel. This linkage is dangerous and counterproductive.

Whenever the Israeli-Arab conflict is made a focal point, Israel comes to be seen as the problem. If only Israel would stop settlements, if only Israel would talk with Hamas, if only Israel would make concessions on refugees, if only it would share Jerusalem, everything in the region would then fall into line.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.