Nikki Haley: How the United States Is Stepping Up Efforts Against Hezbollah
That status quo with UNIFIL was unacceptable, so the United States refused to accept it. Last week, when the peacekeeping mission’s mandate came up for renewal, we pushed for changes to make sure UNIFIL is doing its job – and, critically, when it’s prevented from doing its job, that we know about it.
Following tense negotiations with just a day left before UNIFIL’s mandate expired, we reached agreement in the Security Council on a series of changes to how the mission will operate.
Our changes will make UNIFIL step up its patrols and inspections which will help disrupt Hezbollah’s illegal activity. UNIFIL will now enhance its visible presence on the ground and its ability to detect and deter incoming fighters and weapons.
Most importantly, our changes require UNIFIL to report when it is prevented from seeing something it wants to inspect. From now on, when the peacekeepers encounter a Hezbollah roadblock, they have to tell us the details of where, when and why they got stopped. This transparency will put an end to the ignorance about what’s really going on in southern Lebanon. When UNIFIL is prevented from doing its job, the Security Council will know about it. And if the UN refuses to act on this information, the world will know about it.
For the United States, this is a time for strength, resolve and accountability at the United Nations. That’s what our effort at strengthening UNIFIL was all about.
This is an important step, but there is much more to do. As the proxy for the outlaw Iranian regime, Hezbollah will not give up its terrorist goals. But just as Hezbollah is stepping up its efforts, the United States, and now the United Nations, are stepping up our efforts against them.
“Russia worked behind the scenes to protect Hezbollah during last week’s discussions in the UN Security Council on a resolution to renew the mandate of the UN peacekeeping forces (UNIFIL) in southern Lebanon, talks with Israeli officials indicated. A classified cable sent from the Israeli UN delegation to Foreign Ministry headquarters in Jerusalem reinforces that view.
Unlike in previous years, last week’s decision to renew UNIFIL’s mandate was not just a technical matter. Under American and Israeli pressure, several paragraphs were added to the text saying that the UN forces must increase their presence in the area south of the Litani River in southern Lebanon, and explicitly stating that UNIFIL forces have full authority to act to prevent violations of UN Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon War.
However, during the negotiations over the wording of the resolution, significant portions endorsed sought by the United States and Israel were removed, chiefly the direct reference to Hezbollah as conducting prohibited military activity in southern Lebanon that is in violation of Resolution 1701. It was Russia that ensured all mention of Hezbollah was omitted.
Two Israeli officials said that during the talks over the wording of the decision, the American delegation inserted several paragraphs relating to Hezbollah’s illicit activity in southern Lebanon. One referred to the press tour that several armed Hezbollah men conducted along the Israeli border – an action that violated Resolution 1701.
The Israeli officials say the Russian diplomats who took part in the discussions about the wording of the decision opposed the American version and said that if the final version included any mention of Hezbollah, Russia would exercise its veto. Israel’s UN delegation described the Russians’ stance in a cable sent to the Foreign Ministry last Friday. ‘The Russians watched from the side and their red line was that they would not consent to Hezbollah being named in the resolution,’ said the cable.
A senior Hezbollah official taunted Israel Tuesday, saying that “we are ready for any attack or Israeli stupidity.”
The official, who was quoted by several Lebanese media sources but was left unnamed, spoke out in reaction to the IDF’s announcement Monday that forces have launched the largest military drill in the past twenty years in preparation for a potential war against the terror organization.
“We [Hezbollah] are fully alert and ready at any time for any possible scenario,” the official was quoted as adding. He had also reportedly retorted that “The Israelis won’t succeed in surprising us, because Israel knows full well [what] Hezbollah’s capabilities are after the loss it suffered in 2006, which deterred the IDF.”
The official had also allegedly assessed that the IDF launched “the large military drill” due to “Hezbollah’s military capabilities.”
Other Hezbollah associates who were also unidentified by Lebanese media were quoted as speculating that Israel is carrying out the immense drill in order to prepare to face a renewed battle. The Jewish state is going to be forced to confront an entirely different and strengthened entity than the one it faced a little over a decade ago during the Second Lebanon War, they threatened.
IDF commanders have repeatedly affirmed this claim in recent years, saying that Israel has indeed been preparing itself to contend with an enemy that no longer fights in guerrilla-style groups and has amassed a significant arsenal of weapons as well as knowledge and training.
Caroline Glick: North Korea’s ultimatum to America
Finally, part of the considerations that need to inform US action now involve what North Korea’s success in developing a nuclear arsenal under the noses of successive US administrations means for the future of nuclear proliferation.
In all likelihood, unless the North Korean nuclear arsenal is obliterated, Pyongyang’s nuclear triumphalism will precipitate a spasm of nuclear proliferation in Asia and in the Middle East. The implications of this for the US and its allies will be far reaching.
Not only can Japan and South Korea be reasonably expected to develop nuclear arsenals. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and other inherently unstable Arab states can be expected to develop or purchase nuclear arsenals in response to concerns over North Korea and its ally Iran with its nuclear weapons program linked to Pyongyang’s.
In other words, if the US does not respond in a strategically profound way to Pyongyang now, it will not only lose its alliance system in Asia, it will see the rapid collapse of its alliance system and superpower status in the Middle East.
Israel, for one, will be imperiled by the sudden diffusion of nuclear power.
Monday morning, North Korea followed up its thermonuclear bomb test with a spate of threats to destroy the United States. These threats are deadly even if North Korea doesn’t attack the US with its nuclear weapons. If the US does not directly defeat North Korea in a clear-cut way now, its position as a superpower in Asia and worldwide will be destroyed and its ability to defend its own citizens will be called into question with increasing frequency and lethality.
U.N. Watch: Glass-House Syndrome
The call from a United Nations human-rights panel for U.S. leaders to “unequivocally and unconditionally” reject prejudice and hate speech and to investigate the “proliferation of such racist manifestations” falls flat in view of the world body’s own biases.
The admonition from the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination follows the violence in Charlottesville, Va., during which three people died and 19 were injured when a car slammed into counter-protesters at a “Unite the Right” rally, CNN reports. Separate from the committee’s critique, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres noted that “Racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism or Islamophobia are … poisoning our societies.”
Never mind that the Justice Department already has launched a federal civil rights investigation into the Charlottesville violence. Calls to order from the same world body that excoriates Israel at just about every opportunity are, to say the least, “disingenuous,” according to a human rights advocate.
“These same authorities on racism champion the U.N.’s racist Durban Declaration (which associated Israel with racism), support the U.N.’s rampant discriminatory treatment of the Jewish state and turn a blind eye to the modern forms of anti-Semitism,” says Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights.
On bias and prejudice, especially anti-Semitism, the U.N. needs to direct its focus inward, lest it be accused of Glass-House Syndrome.
A cross-regional coalition of 12 human rights activists from Latin America, the U.S. and Europe, today called on the U.N Human Rights Council to convene an urgent meeting to finally suspend the membership of Venezuela, which was re-elected in 2015.
UN Watch expressed “shock” that the U.N. Human Rights Council is allowing Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro to open its session on Monday, September 11, 2017.
“The dictator will use the U.N. podium to mock the world, as he continues to starve, beat, torture, jail and kill his own people with impunity,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based non-governmental watchdog organization.
“We urge member states not to allow the world’s highest human rights body to be abused in this way.”
“Instead, we urge democracies to join together in a robust response. Before Maduro speaks on Monday, Peru on behalf of the Lima Group of nations, supported by the European Union and the United States, should move for an Urgent Debate, and then adopt a version of this resolution (español) to finally expel the Maduro regime from the UNHRC, and to establish a Commission of Inquiry to hold perpetrators of gross human rights abuses to account,” said Neuer.
“To do any less on Monday will make a mockery of the United Nations, and show contempt for Venezuela’s millions of victims.”
“Regrettably, despite UN rights commissioner Zeid’s recent call for Council action, all we have been hearing are rumors of a joint statement by a minority of countries, which is far short of a Council resolution.”
BREAKING: UN says Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro cancelled his appearance at Human Rights Council in Geneva; instead his FM to speak.
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) September 5, 2017
In the current crisis, governments, NGOs, charities and the media have all embraced migrants in the millions, and welcomed them with open arms. The Jews during the Second World War — most of whom were turned away, turned in, or betrayed by all European governments — were not so fortunate.
All of Europe’s efforts have been devoted to rescuing migrants: on borders, at sea and in cities that host asylum centers. Such distinctions, however, are apparently not enough: the immigration question must become a new ideology, like a religion. That seems why there is an orchestrated attempt by large segments of the establishment to turn Europe’s rescue operations into a “new Holocaust”. Questioning them must become a taboo. Even Pope Francis, who compared a center for migrants to “concentration camps”, adopted this nonsense.
Despite Muslims historically having been the most aggressive colonizers, Europe’s élites have come to idealize them due to a mix of demographic decline, misconception of Islam, self-hate for the Western culture and a fatal, romanticized attraction for the decolonized Third World people.
The behavior of the police was strange enough throughout this tragic night. Yet further questions were soon to be raised about the handling of the case.
First, while the murder and its circumstances were reported almost instantly within the Jewish community and by the press agency AFP, the mainstream French media didn’t mention it at all for two days until BFMTV, a 24-hour news channel, quoted at least one AFP dispatch on its website.
Likewise, very little was shown or said about a protest march by 1,000 people in the Vaucouleurs Street neighbourhood on April 9. Considering the enormity of the crime, the reporting remained bafflingly low-key.
Things changed only after Sarah Halimi’s relatives and their lawyers convened a press conference on May 22 with the support of Jewish community leaders.
On June 1, 17 prominent French intellectuals, from philosophers Alain Finkielkraut, Marcel Gauchet and Michel Onfray, to historians Jacques Julliard and Georges Bensoussan, to demographer Michèle Tribalat and sociologist Jean-Pierre Le Goff, called for “full light” in the Halimi case — the very words President Macron would later use — in a collective statement published by Le Figaro. From then on, the mainstream media devoted more space to the case, and, ironically, wondered why they had not paid it more attention earlier.
Axel Roux, a journalist for Le Journal du Dimanche, a widely-read Sunday paper, admitted on June 4 that when he started investigating the case, he was “stunned” by the paucity of the media archives and the “minimalist” approach taken by his profession.
No less disturbing was silence of French public officials. French members of the cabinet or government officials usually react to such crimes ex officio. Some may even take a more personal stand. For instance, President Macron tweeted on August 14 about his concern for the victims and their relatives just a few hours after a car ran into a pizzeria and killed a 13-year-old girl.
No such reactions occurred after Sarah Halimi’s murder, even though the minister of the interior granted an emergency audience to the leaders of the Jewish community. Neither did the political class comment publicly, except for then National Front presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen, who made an indirect statement on April 11.
In a letter sent by the Executive Director of the pro-Palestinian state B’Tselem organization, it was implicitly threatened that the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers and the IDF Chief of Staff would “bear personal responsibility for this” were Israel to enforce the law against illegal Palestinian outposts in the Susiya and Ma’aleh Adumim areas.
A letter from Executive Director Hagai Elad implicitly suggests that the hierarchy of senior officials may be personally charged at the International Court of Justice in The Hague for war crimes.
The letter was sent against the background of Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s statement last week that his ministry will be prepared within a few months to evacuate the two outposts following Defense Ministry staff work to enforce the law, in accordance with the High Court’s instructions.
The outpost is located near the settlement of Susya in the southern Hevron hills, which the High Court has ordered evacuated several times. In 2001, the High Court ruled that the area did not belong to the squatters, and in 2013 prohibited continued construction in the area following a petition by the Regavim pro-Land of Israel organization. In 2014 the court ordered to demolish the structures erected due to the clear prohibition.
In May 2015, the High Court rejected the petitioners’ request for a temporary injunction preventing enforcement against them, on the grounds that they repeatedly took the law into their own hands.
The New Israel Fund, a left-wing umbrella group that finances nongovernmental organizations, recently launched a campaign seeking to give left-wing protesters an edge in demonstrations, Israel Hayom learned Monday. The group offers an informational pamphlet and has launched a new website outlining demonstrators’ legal rights, the do’s and don’ts during protests, how to deal with police officers, the limits of police authority and detainee rights.
Moreover, while the New Israel Fund has declared that it categorically opposes the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, NGO Monitor, a watchdog group that promotes greater transparency among foreign-funded Israeli nongovernmental organization, has found that the New Israel Fund collaborates with various controversial groups, some of which support BDS.
Visitors to the New Israel Fund website are referred to a list of left-wing organizations that can provide them with various forms of aid. The NIF even advertises programs to give interested demonstrators training. Through the website, visitors can obtain legal help from the Human Rights Defenders Fund in case they are arrested.
According to NGO Monitor, “Alma Biblash, HRDF executive director, was also an activist in the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement and the Israeli NGO Coalition of Women for Peace, a leader of BDS campaigns against Israel.”
As I recently wrote about, donations to the New Israel Fund have reportedly dropped nearly 20% in the past year, from $33,062,783 in 2015 to $27,064,945 in 2016. This is the lowest amount of money that the NIF has raised in the past six years.
And while a review of their recently released annual financial statement shows that the NIF has also cut its overall funding to Israeli groups by 35% over the past several years, it’s worth examining where their money is still going.
According to my analysis, significant NIF funds went to “Adalah: Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel” — which sounds politically benign and PC. The reality, however is that Adalah, publishes an online “Discriminatory Laws Database,” which claims to collect “text, analyses, and legal action for present and proposed discriminatory laws in Israel and the OPT [Occupied Palestinian Territories].”
This deceptive list does not distinguish between laws and legislative proposals, and refers to Zionism pejoratively. Furthermore, laws regarding the historic Jewish connection to Israel are labeled by Adalah as discriminatory, including the use of symbols and the Hebrew calendar. Just this summer, following an attack on Israeli police at the Temple Mount — in which two Druze border police officers were murdered — Adalah demanded that the Border Police be investigated for “the police killings of three Palestinian citizens of Israel involved in a shooting attack in the Old City of Jerusalem at the Al Aqsa Mosque.”
Honest Reporting: Why did Israel Really Build a Security Barrier? The reason may surprise you. HR In a Minute.
Some call it a “fence,” an “apartheid wall” and a “separation barrier.” It’s been the subject of heated argument and countless news stories. So why did Israel really build it? HR in a minute explores.
On August 28, 2017, UN Secretary-General António Guterres visited Israel, Ramallah, and Gaza in the Palestinian territories. One of the surprising developments was the cancellation of a meeting scheduled with the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, who preferred to go to Turkey and meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Palestinian sources gave two explanations why the Palestinian leader cancelled the meeting and why he preferred a meeting with the Turkish leader.
One explanation was that he did not want to hear Guterres’ position about the upcoming convening of the United Nations in New York in September. In this regard, so it was understood in the Muqata’a (PA headquarters in Ramallah), Guterres’ meeting was a continuation of the visit of the U.S. delegation led by Jared Kushner that pressured Abbas to “behave himself” at the international meeting. That meant not addressing the UN General Assembly with extreme anti-Israeli messages, not applying to the Security Council for full membership as a state in the UN, and not applying to UN agencies for membership.
The moderate Arab countries – Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia – are pressuring Abbas along the same line, and another meeting between the foreign ministers of Jordan, Egypt, and the radical Palestinian foreign minister, Riyadh Malki, is likely to take place either in Amman or in Ramallah.
The point the Arab states are emphasizing is that “we are with Trump.” They demand the Palestinians align with their pro-Trump policy.
Two years ago, a senior U.S. State Department official called me a liar to my face. He informed me that all the work done by the Center for Near East Policy Research on the Palestinian Authority textbooks used by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees was one great fabrication, that the U.S. government had checked the textbooks used by UNRWA, and that they met the highest standards of peace education.
Six months later, the White House issued a statement in a similar vein to a colleague in Washington: “While there is still work to be done, the Palestinian government has made significant progress in reducing inflammatory rhetoric and revising official textbooks. Over the past few years, the PA has helped improve the Palestinian curriculum, including textbooks that discuss human rights and the Holocaust, which has contributed to a better education for young Palestinians.”
To respond to this, I asked my staff to purchase and translate all PA textbooks used by UNRWA so that we could give the results to the U.S. Congress and the Knesset.
One of the ironies is that the United States Agency for International Development in Ramallah wrote to us, saying that the U.S. never examines the PA textbooks used by UNRWA, despite the fact that the U.S. donates $400 million each year to UNRWA — one-third of the agency’s budget.
Here are some quotes from the new schoolbooks that will be used in UNRWA schools this year:
Lithuania’s foreign minister on Monday called for stronger cooperation between Jerusalem and the European Union regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions, saying his visit to Israel this week has opened his eyes about problematic aspects of the nuclear agreement the international community reached with Tehran in 2015.
“I told [my Israeli interlocutors] that many think the Iranian deal is a way to mitigate the problem [of Iran’s nuclear ambitions] through engagement, but here I heard a lot of criticism of the Iranian deal. We need to put all the arguments on the table and to look at them very carefully. Otherwise it would be very difficult to find a common approach,” Linas Linkevičius told The Times of Israel.
“For me it was a bit new to hear about holes in the agreement, doubts about the implementation, doubts about [Iran] continuing the nuclear program regardless of what was agreed.”
To anyone who has followed Polish politics since the turn of this century, the strident language that marked 2016’s political earthquakes — from Brexit to the election of US President Donald Trump — carried a strong air of familiarity. In successive elections that have become unseemly tussles between EU-leaning liberals and nationalist advocates of sovereignty, Polish voters have become inured to talk of “elites” and “globalization,” and of the gulf that separates ordinary Poles from the interests and political commitments of those who purport to serve them.
Following the 2015 elections, Poland’s nationalist Law and Justice Party (PiS) is once again in charge. For at least a year, bitter rows have raged between Warsaw and Brussels over the direction of the country under Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, in particular regarding Poland’s controversial judicial reforms, as well as the PiS-led government’s desire to make the discussion of Polish history a target for legislation. All in all, that has resulted in Poland’s democratic image taking a battering. The general perception is that the forces of intolerance — antisemitism prominently among them — are on the rise.
Indeed, on the day last week when The Algemeiner sat down with Mateusz Morawiecki — the congenial alumnus of Northwestern University who now serves as Poland’s deputy prime minister – the European Jewish Congress had just issued a statement expressing “grave concern” at the rise in antisemitism in the country.
The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, met with Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip Yahya Sinwar on Tuesday to discuss the Israelis being held by the terror organization.
According to Palestinian news agency Ma’an, the meeting between the two lasted an hour, during which Maurer asked Sinwar to allow him to visit “the Israeli soldiers missing in Gaza.”
Ahead of the meeting, Maurer toured Gaza and met with some of the residents.
Maurer’s visit to the region is also expected to include Israel and Ramallah.
Israel’s intelligence community determined with high certainty that Hamas is holding two Israeli citizens: Abera Mengistu, 30, from Ashkelon, who has been in the strip since September 2014, and Hisham Shaaban al-Sayed, a Bedouin man from Hura, who crossed into Gaza in April 2015. Both are alive but suffering from physical and mental problems and need to be on medication on a regular basis.
In addition, Hamas is holding the bodies of IDF soldiers Lt. Hadar Goldin and Sgt. Oron Shaul, who were killed during the 2014 Operation Protective Edge in Gaza and their bodies were captured by Hamas.
Hamas is also holding an additional Israeli citizen, Jumaa Ibrahim Abu-Ghanima, whose presence in Gaza is defined as a “security affair” by the intelligence community, and he is not included on the list of POWs and MIAs. There is also doubt as to whether he really wants to return to Israel.
Hundreds of Israelis took to the streets of Tel Aviv on Sunday night in solidarity with the family of Israeli citizen Avera Mengistu, who has been held captive by the Palestinian terror group Hamas for three years in the Gaza Strip.
At the rally, demonstrators stated that the Israeli government should be making a greater effort to secure Mengistu’s release from Hamas-ruled Gaza. The Palestinian terror group is believed to have held Mengistu, who is of Jewish-Ethiopian origin, ever since he voluntarily crossed into the coastal territory in September 2014.
Mengistu’s relatives have said he suffers from mental health issues.
“Avera, our dear brother. Three years ago, when we heard the news of your disappearance, a great darkness fell over our home,” said Mengistu’s brothers, Ilan and Yossi, who read a letter at the rally on behalf of the captured Israeli man’s five siblings.
“For three years now our mother and father cannot sleep…you can’t even imagine how much your absence is felt,” they said.
Hamas has not officially confirmed Mengistu’s detention, but has published content on social media using his image several times.
A senior member of the Palestinian security forces was arrested on suspicion of online incitement, including posting content that glorified Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, the Shin Bet security service said in a statement Tuesday.
Muhammad al-Sawiti was arrested in August after posting on Facebook “extremist content that constitutes a direct call for violent action against Jews, as well as praise and support for the actions of [Palestinian] attackers,” the Shin Bet said.
He also posted pictures of Hitler and Adolf Eichmann along with expressions of admiration for “people like them,” the Shin Bet said.
Sawiti is a “senior employee” in the Palestinian Preventive Security service offices in the northern West Bank city of Jenin. One of the functions of the PPS is to foil terror attacks against Israel.
One picture posted by Sawiti online featured the World War II leader giving his signature Nazi salute, with the Arabic caption: “We need Hitler.”
The Palestinian Authority Preventative Security arrested Ayman Qawasmeh, the chairman of the Minbar al-Huriyya radio station, in Hebron late Sunday evening, a senior PA security official said on Monday.
Qawasmeh’s arrest came some three days after he made disparaging comments of PA President Mahmoud Abbas and PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.
In a fit of frustration, Qawasmeh on Thursday called on Abbas and Hamdallah to resign after the IDF raided his radio station in Hebron and confiscated equipment, accusing them of failing to protect PA -controlled areas in the West Bank. An IDF spokeswoman said security services raided the radio station because it was inciting violence, a charge that Qawasmeh has denied.
“I call on PA President Mahmoud Abbas and the prime minister to submit their resignations and not to remain in their positions,” Qawasmeh said in a video that was widely shared on social media.
“[To] he who cannot protect his institutions and people, I say to them, sit in your house.”
The PA is technically in charge of security inside major West Bank cities like Hebron, but the IDF frequently enters them to carry out arrests and confiscate equipment.
A senior official in the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate who is following Qawasmeh’s case said that Qawasmeh was arrested because of the remarks he made about Abbas and Hamdallah while technically serving as a member of the PA security services.
According to a member of Qawasmeh’s family, the radio station chairman served for a number of years in the PA security services, but resigned before municipal elections took place last May.
Yitzhak Rabin: So when the C-130 lands, Team One rushes the terminal and neutralizes the terrorists while Team Two peels off and destroys the Ugandan MiG-21’s. Can your men handle this Yoni?
Yonatan Netanyahu: Yes, Mister Prime Minister.
[A voice calls out from the corner. A man wearing Birkenstocks and a “Breaking the Silence” t-shirt stands up.]
Man: Excuse me, but if I could interject for a moment. Who is going to dialogue with the militants about deradicalization and counteracting the alienation endemic among those dispossessed by post-modernism?
Rabin: Nu? Who the hell are you?
Man: I am outgoing European Union Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen, and Israel has much to learn from the European Union when it comes to fighting terror. [REAL WORLD NOTE: He actually said this.]
Rabin (Looking around): How did this idiot get in here anyway?
Lars Faaborg-Andersen: Have you tried opening your country to millions of people who strongly oppose your support of Gay rights, Womens’ Equality, and Freedom of Speech …. while at the same time forgetting to have children of your own? Because that is working rather amazingly for us.
Rabin (throwing a stack of papers in the air): I quit.
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