Translated from Hebrew by MEF staff. Originally published under the title "Right-Wing American Organization Meets with Netanyahu: 'Palestinians Must Understand That They Lost'."
From left to right: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Middle East Forum President Daniel Pipes, and Middle East Forum Director Gregg Roman.
Representatives of the Middle East Forum paralleled the visit of Trump's emissary to the region and they brought a proposal to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. The organization, which established the Congressional Israel Victory Caucus, established another body in Israel headed by Knesset members.
Representatives of the Middle East Forum, a conservative American organization, arrived in Israel last week for a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The organization's representatives presented the prime minister with the steps they are advancing with the U.S. administration should negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians collapse. The meeting took place against the backdrop of U.S. President Donald Trump's special envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, who also arrived in Israel this week as part of the efforts to renew Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
The organization, headed by Daniel Pipes and Gregg Roman, last month launched the "Congressional Israel Victory Caucus" in Congress. During their visit, they launched a parallel lobby in Israel, headed by MKs Oded Forer (Yisrael Beiteinu) and Yaakov Perry (Yesh Atid).
The basis of the idea they are promoting is that the starting point for any future negotiations is recognition by the Palestinians that they have lost the struggle against Israel. "I expect the American effort to renew talks between Israel and the Palestinians will fail," Pipes said at the launch of the Israel Caucus. "Our project offers an alternative to the peace talks that have been going on for so many years and do not lead to any solution, while Israel is repeatedly required to make 'painful concessions'."
He continued; "When the Palestinians recognize that they lost their struggle against Israel, that is, when they recognize the State of Israel as the Jewish state, they will be liberated from their obsession with harming Israel and genuine peace negotiations can begin. Such a process will bring Palestinian prosperity and many other benefits."
The launch of the Knesset Israel Victory Caucus. From left to right: Colonel Richard Kemp CBE, MK Ya'akov Perry, MK Oded Forer, MEF President Daniel Pipes, MEF Director Gregg Roman.
According to sources briefed on the meeting between Netanyahu and the organization's representatives, the prime minister showed great interest in the "Israel Victory Project" idea. According to the sources, Netanyahu would not have bothered to meet with the two had he not in the first place found merit in the concepts they promoted.
Gregg Roman told Walla! that he could not share details of the conversation with Netanyahu, but he agreed to describe the main points of the ideas presented in the visit: "Palestinians behave as if they have won; the time has come for them to understand that they have lost. We need to convey this message to them," he said. "To achieve this goal requires two things: political support in Congress and elsewhere in the United States; and for the administration to accept this new policy."
Toward this end, the two MEF leaders also met with members of Congress and U.S. government officials, urging them, should negotiations fail, to promote a series of steps. These include: getting the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA to stop inciting violence; ceasing tax benefits for Palestinian companies in American-designated Qualified Industrial Zones; and promoting legislation to allow the Palestinian Authority to be sued for terrorist attacks against Americans. Roman said, "If Palestinians do not cooperate, this wide range of options can be taken gradually."
The Prime Minister's Office did not respond to Walla's inquiry about the content of the meeting.