The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) last week blasted Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg after he falsely proclaimed that “the Netanyahu government is turning away from peace” and declared that if he is elected President, the United States would cut US aid to Israel if Israel annexed parts of the “West Bank,” which is better known by the historical name of Judea and Samaria.

Addressing his foreign policy goals for the first time as a presidential hopeful, Buttigieg used an address at Indiana University to assail Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Buttigieg astonishingly talked about cutting aid to Israel, an American ally; however, noticeably absent from his comments was any reference to the ongoing acts of terror emanating from Gaza and the “West Bank,” and the steps needed to be taken by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in order to attain peace. He also made no mention of the PA’s reprehensible practice of providing financial compensation to terrorists who attack Israelis, as well as the families of those terrorists, including the family of the terrorist who murdered American veteran Taylor Force in 2016.

Buttigieg’s comments about Israel “turning away from peace” indicate a complete lack of understanding of the fundamental core of the conflict, namely, that the Palestinian Arabs steadfastly refuse to accept the existence of the State of Israel and advocate for its destruction. The apparent failure to understand this central and critical point is shocking for someone who claims to be a supporter of Israel and is aspiring to the presidency.

The NCYI noted that Judea and Samaria is an integral part of Israel’s ancestral homeland and has deep-seated connections to the Jewish people that span millennia. The home of many Jewish holy sites, including the burial places of the forefathers and foremothers of the Jewish people, Judea and Samaria was returned to Israeli sovereignty in a defensive war after Jordan attacked Israel in 1967 in an effort to destroy the Jewish state.

“By promptly putting a bull’s-eye on Israel’s back and completely ignoring the Palestinian Authority’s deplorable pay-to-slay practice and incessant glorification of terrorism, Pete Buttigieg demonstrated a stunning degree of ignorance when it comes to the US-Israel relationship and the current situation in the Middle East,” said NCYI President Farley Weiss. “Rather than using his first major foreign policy address to demonize the United States’ sole democratic Middle East ally and threaten to withhold funds from Israel, Mr. Buttigieg instead should have focused on the Palestinian Authority’s repeated failure to take any constructive measures to achieve peace with its Israeli neighbors.”

“Mr. Buttigieg’s comments regarding the West Bank are outside the mainstream of Israeli public opinion,” Weiss added. “Both major political parties in Israel support the government maintaining control of the settlement blocks, and over 80 percent of Israeli voters supported parties in the recent election that favored Israel keeping those areas under Israeli jurisdiction. Mr. Buttigieg’s remarks are antithetical to the consensus of Israeli public opinion, and he made it extremely clear that his policies vis-à-vis Israel are not Israel’s best interests or America’s best interests.”