Nikki Haley: A Diplomat who Delivers
Nikki Haley’s diplomatic career is no longer nascent, but her support for the Jewish state, while no longer surprising, is still one of the most reassuring features of the Trump administration.
Today, 14 members of the Security Council voted for an Egyptian-sponsored resolution regarding Jerusalem’s status. Nikki Haley, speaking for the United States, vetoed that resolution. She explained declaratively and unhesitatingly: “We do it with no joy, but we do it with no reluctance. The fact that this veto is being done in defense of American sovereignty and in defense of America’s role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us.” And then the zinger: “It should be an embarrassment for the rest of the Security Council.”
Speaking directly to those who would accuse the United States of being unconcerned with the plight of the Palestinians, she noted that the U.S. funded nearly 30 percent of UNRWA’s budget last year. Uninterested in the soft subtlety once expected of female diplomats, Haley minced no words. “I’ll be blunt,” she promised. “When the American people see a group of countries whose total contributions to the Palestinian people is less than 1 percent of UNRWA’s budget, when they see these countries accuse the United States of being insufficiently committed to peace, the American people lose their patience.”
As they should.
Haley, too, seems to have run out of patience. “What we witnessed here today in the Security Council is an insult,” she said. “It won’t be forgotten.”
Thank you, Ambassador Haley. On Hanukkah, you spoke like a Maccabi. You lit a candle of truth. You dispel the darkness. One defeated the many. Truth defeated lies. Thank you, President Trump. Thank you, Nikki Haley. pic.twitter.com/zFIiStoait
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) December 18, 2017
The United States vetoed an Egyptian-sponsored draft Security Council resolution on Jerusalem on December 18, 2017. In his remarks following the vote, Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon stated that the United Nations could not sever the historic connection of Jews to Jerusalem.
In his words:
“Today, the United Nations has taken another step backwards. Another step away from advocating for truth and justice.
Almost exactly one year ago, in this very same room, this body adopted the shameful resolution 2334. It was a resolution that had the audacity to try to designate Israel’s presence at the Western Wall, at Judaism’s holiest site in Jerusalem, as a flagrant violation of international law.
Those words pierced the hearts of Jews everywhere. They mocked the generations of Jews who prayed toward Jerusalem for thousands of years. They belittled the ancient declaration of the Jewish people that states, ‘next year in Jerusalem.’
Yet here we are again. We still find ourselves fighting the same battle for truth and morality.
Those who voted for today’s resolution have only reaffirmed the UN’s decades-long double standard when it comes to Israel. They are guilty of blatant hypocrisy.
Every other country in the world has the right to designate its capital city.
But when it comes to Israel, somehow this most basic national right is questioned and condemned.
We thank the United States for staying loyal to the truth and vetoing this absurd resolution.
President Trump’s controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has inflamed the Middle East, but it has not deterred thousands of Palestinians who live here from wanting to be Israeli citizens.
Since Trump’s declaration on Dec. 7, a long line of Palestinians seeking citizenship curls out daily from the Israeli Interior Ministry’s office in East Jerusalem, which is predominantly Arab and claimed by Palestinian leaders as the future capital of their own independent state.
The line stems from a social media news prank that claimed Israel was “imposing” citizenship on all of the city’s Arab residents, who make up about 37% of Jerusalem’s population.
The prank exploited real-life aspirations of Palestinians, most of whom still have not been granted citizenship and yearn for a better life here.
Ten years ago, it was taboo for Palestinians in Jerusalem to request Israeli citizenship, but now it is the norm, with thousands of new requests each year, accordiing to Israeli Interior Ministry figures. The wait time is about three years.
During an interview with Steven Sackur on the BBC program Hard Talk, MK and Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) qualified Palestine as a “fake state.”
“The Palestinian issue is a fake issue, just like the notion of a Palestinian state is a fake state,” he said, when asked about the effects of US President Donald Trump’s declaration recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
When challenged about the consequences of Trump’s move on the prospects for a peace and the future for a Palestinian state, Bennett deflected, questioning the Sackur instead of the other way around, leading to an awkward silence and a smirking education minister.
“No one in the Arab world ever accepted the notion of a Palestinian nation. They wouldn’t grant them a state. We’ve granted them a state in Gaza and they turned it into Afghanistan in the heart of Israel. We aren’t about to make that mistake again.”
The near-daily rocket fire towards Israel’s southern communities from Gaza for the past two weeks was the “price” Israel had to pay for US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Tuesday.
“It was clear to us that there would be a price to pay for [US President Donald] Trump’s declaration to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but it’s a price we are willing to pay. We are ready to pay the whole price” Liberman told reporters after meeting with the heads of mayors and regional council leaders from the communities surrounding the Hamas-run enclave.
“What’s important now is to strengthen the issue of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is not up for negotiation or for division,” he added.
Following Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem, riots broke across the West Bank, Jerusalem and along the Gaza border. Close to a dozen rockets have also been launched towards southern Israel with several being intercepted, including one over the city of Askelon, some 20 kilometers from Gaza, and a number more slamming into Israeli territory.
While Hamas is not believed to be behind the rocket fire, the IDF holds Hamas responsible for all that happens in Gaza.
In response, Israeli fighter jets, combat helicopters and tanks have struck over 40 Hamas targets since December 7th, including observation posts, military compounds, weapons depots and weapons production sites.
Israeli jets struck six Hamas targets in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday night, after rockets were fired into southern Israel earlier in the evening, one of which slightly damaged a home.
Israel Air Force planes struck the targets, including a military compound that served as a training site and other terrorist infrastructures, the IDF Spokesman’s Unit said in a statement.
“Hamas is exclusively responsible for the situation in the Gaza Strip. The IDF takes the firing of rockets at Israeli communities very seriously and will not allow any harm or attempt to harm the citizens of the State of Israel,” the statement said.
Two rockets launched from the Gaza Strip slammed into the community of Netiv Hashayara in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council area, with shrapnel from the impact slightly damaging a home. A second rocket that landed in open territory caused no damage.
Sirens sounded again in the Ashkelon Industrial Zone and nearby communities at 2:30 a.m., but the IDF said the rocket fell inside the Hamas-run enclave.
Leading politicians who consider themselves to be in the center of the Israeli political map told The Jerusalem Post Monday that they do not regret their endorsements of US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the nation’s capital and to start the process of moving America’s embassy there.
The main oppositions to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and Zionist Union chairman Avi Gabbay, said Trump made the correct decision in retrospect, despite the Palestinian violence that has ensued since.
“Jerusalem is our eternal capital and President Trump did the right thing in recognizing that,” Lapid said. “Israel and the United States cannot make policy based on threats and intimidation by extremists. We should deal with any terror attacks, including rocket fire from Gaza, with a firm hand.”
Answering a question from the Post asked at the Zionist Union faction meeting, Gabbay said that while he had no regrets about backing the Trump announcements, Netanyahu should have done a better job handling the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip that has come in response.
“I still support the Trump declaration that was 70 years overdue,” Gabbay said. “It was good to take a positive step on the diplomatic front. I’m sorry it hasn’t moved the diplomatic process forward. But there is no justification for firing on Israeli citizens, and when there is firing on Israeli citizens, we must respond. The response that there has been, clearly has not stopped the firing.”
Gabbay said Israel should not accept continued rocket fire on the south of the country. He accused Netanyahu of being soft on terrorist groups in Gaza and indifferent to residents near the border of the Strip.
It came as a surprise to absolutely nobody that the US on Monday vetoed a United Nations Security Council draft resolution condemning its recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
No one, not even the Egyptian sponsors of the resolution, believed for a second that the administration of President Donald Trump would allow a resolution to pass that expressed “deep regret” over his December 6 statement, and which declared that his words “have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded.”
Israeli leaders praised US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley’s raising her hand opposing the draft resolution. “On Hanukkah, you spoke like a Maccabee. You lit a candle of truth. You dispel the darkness. One defeated the many. Truth defeated lies,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
“Nothing could be more honorable. The Jewish people will not forget,” Deputy Minister for Diplomacy Michael Oren tweeted.
But the fact that the resolution was dead on arrival in the Security Council does not mean that it cannot become a veritable nuisance to Israel and the US elsewhere.
Jerusalem may remain Israel’s capital no matter what the UN says, but the cost of maintaining that stance alone against the world will leave America and Israel looking more and more like international rebels.
The Palestinians plan to call for an emergency meeting of the U.N. General Assembly after the U.S. vetoed a Security Council resolution calling for the withdrawal of Washington’s Dec. 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s reversal of decades of U.S. foreign policy was denounced by the Arab world and Western allies alike. The Palestinians threatened that unless the decision was reversed they would withdraw membership of international bodies, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced that he would no longer accept any role for the U.S. as a mediator in the Middle East peace process.
“We are moving within 48 hours … to call for an emergency meeting of the General Assembly,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki told reporters in Ramallah. He said the international community should “consider the decision by president Trump as null and void.”
Palestinian Ambassador to the U.N. Riyad Mansour told reporters after meeting with the General Assembly president that he expects a vote this week.
He said he hopes for “overwhelming support” telling the Trump administration that the international community does not accept the U.S. position, which he said violates international law and prior Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.
The Palestinians will seek full membership in the United Nations and join 22 international organizations in response to US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said in remarks at the start of a meeting with senior Palestinian leaders in Ramallah on Monday night.
Abbas elaborated on his theme from last week’s Islamic Conference Organization emergency meeting in Istanbul to the effect that Israel is unworthy of international recognition.
“There are no borders to Israel, and international law is against any recognition of it,” he said. “But they deceived the General Assembly by saying they would implement resolutions 181 and 194,” the former providing for the partition of Palestine and the latter the return of Palestinian refugees. “Until today they have not implemented them.”
Regarding the UN, Abbas said, according to Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency: “We will go once again and many times to get full membership. We are a state and an authority, and we have borders and we have the right to get the world’s recognition of us.”
Britain has joined 13 other Security Council members and backed a United Nations resolution that rejected the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The resolution was vetoed by the United States.
The vote offered a display of international condemnation following Donald Trump’s announcement on December 6 that the US would move its embassy to the holy city.
Trump sparked protests across the region after upending decades of US policy towards the Middle East by announcing he recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital earlier this month.
May said at the time she regarded the decision as “unhelpful for prospects for peace in the region.”
Speaking after Monday’s vote in New York, Britain’s UN ambassador Matthew Rycroft said: “The status of Jerusalem should be determined through a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and should ultimately be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states.”
Turkey on Monday blasted the U.S. veto of a UN resolution that would have required President Donald Trump to rescind his declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,
A statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry which was quoted by The Associated Press said Washington had lost its “impartiality” in the Middle East.
The fact that the resolution was approved by the 14 other Security Council members, the ministry said, is “the most concrete indication of the illegitimacy” of the U.S. decision on Jerusalem.
The statement added that the veto had left the UN Security Council “in a state of failure” and said Turkey would continue to stand by the “Palestinian state and its people.”
The resolution which Washington vetoed had called on “all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem” in order to prevent the fulfillment of President Trump’s pledge to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The text also demanded that all states “comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not recognize any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions.”
Iran on Tuesday condemned the United States veto of a UN Security Council resolution rejecting US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which it calls “provocative and unwise.”
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley on Monday vetoed the draft resolution which was backed by all 14 other members of the council.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said the US administration “showed its lack of compliance with international resolutions by its provocative and unwise decision to recognize Al-Quds as the capital of the Zionist occupying regime.”
He said Washington’s veto despite the rest of the council supporting the resolution “proved that it seeks a compromise by trampling on the legal rights of all Palestinians.”
Ghasemi’s statement said Tehran was unsurprised by the American recognition, given its “racist and hostile policies that unilaterally back the Al-Quds occupiers.”
Indonesia’s vice president said on Tuesday that calls for a boycott of US goods over President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel were misguided – not least because of the country’s reliance on US technology.
There have been a series of protests in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country since Trump’s controversial move this month to reverse decades of US policy.
At a rally of about 80,000 people on Sunday, the Indonesian Ulema Council, a body of Muslim clerics, called for a boycott of US and Israeli products if Trump did not revoke his action.
Vice President Jusuf Kalla told reporters that Indonesia was trying to put pressure on Washington through the United Nations and it was not even practical to stop using American products.
“Do not be emotional… do we dare to boycott iPhones, stop using Google? Can (you) live without them?” he asked.
“(You) cannot live without them now. If you go out of the house now, you put (an iPhone) in your pocket,” he said.
.@margotwallstrom I know you must be sad now after Nikki Haley just vetoed the U.N. resolution you wanted to reject U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, so I made you this video of your Stockholm supporters to cheer you up. pic.twitter.com/u66kLMBAly
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) December 18, 2017
Russia is ready to act as an impartial mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Russian Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Vladimir Safronkov said Monday at a U.N. Security Council meeting.
Russian media further quoted Safronkov as saying Moscow was willing to host direct talks between the parties.
Last week, following U.S. President Donald Trump’s Dec. 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for the United Nations to replace Washington as the Mideast mediator, saying the Palestinians would not accept any role for the U.S. in the regional peace process over its “obvious pro-Israel bias.”
Russia is ready to become “an honest mediator” in the Middle East peace process, Safronkov said after the U.S. vetoed a draft resolution demanding Washington’s decision on Jerusalem be withdrawn.
He called on both Israel and the Palestinians to “show restraint” and refrain from any provocative actions, warning unilateral action by either party could exacerbate the conflict and with it, the peace process.
The Palestinians do not want peace. They want victory, a victory that will lead to the elimination of Israel and the expulsion of the Jews.
The 1968 charter of the PLO has never been changed, despite decades of promises that it would be modified. Although secular in character, it advances much the same attitudes as those found in the Hamas charters. In Article 2, for example, it defines “Palestine” in boundaries encompassing the entirety of Israel: “Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit”. This means that calls for a Palestinian state based on that definition are also calls for the destruction of Israel.
All attempts at normalization between Palestinians and Israelis or between other Arab states and Israel are routinely dismissed as treachery, a position that endangers the lives of any Palestinian who seeks peace.
Meanwhile, Western leaders, including religious figures such as the Pope, are enchanted with the fantasy that a peace process exists, and forever chant the mantra that nothing must be done to interrupt it. President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is the first time any world leader has stood up to the threats of anger and violence.
It is worth noting that the campaign against US institutions also states that the Palestinians’ real goal is to “liberate Palestine, from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river.” In other words, this means that the true goal of the Palestinians is to destroy Israel.
Why do Mahmoud Abbas’s remarks come as a surprise? He is simply reiterating the official, long-standing policy of the Palestinian Authority. Where has the West been when Palestinian leaders have declared outright, decade after decade, that Israel has no right to exist and Jewish history is nothing more than lies?
Let us get things straight, finally. The Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims cannot stomach the fact that Israel exists, period. Their real problem is not with Trump’s recognition of the reality — that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Rather, they have a problem with Israel’s very existence.
By rejecting Jerusalem’s Judaic history, Erdogan is ironically denying that his holy book, the Quran, recognizes the Land of Israel. The Quran does not say that the Israelites originated in Alaska.
The United States will not retract its decision just because it angered the already angry jihadists in Turkey or elsewhere in the realm of Islam.
“There is only one conclusion we can draw from this comparison: The ‘ummah,’ the Muslim religious community, is tired of the Jerusalem issue…. [F]or many years angry groups have been chanting ‘Down with Israel’ and nothing happens to Israel. The angry slogans and burned flags have been no use for many decades. Most leaders of Muslim-majority countries are wary of the issue, and the Palestinian cause is used in many other countries simply as an outlet to reinforce the ruler.” — Ahmet Hakan, columnist, Hurriyet Daily News.
In an announcement, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Information expressed its indignation over the American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and suggested that US President Trump and Vice President Pence “give Israel the White House”:
“The ministry said that President Trump and his Vice [President] Pence can give Israel the White House in its entirety or give it Washington, the capital.”[Wattan, independent Palestinian news agency, Dec. 16, 2017]
On Facebook, Fatah posted a photo of Palestinians in Bethlehem who are burning a poster of Pence with the text in English:
“Bethlehem Welcomes the Messengers of Peace Not the Messengers of War Pence go home”
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Dec. 18, 2017]
The Ministry of Information also repeated the PA’s claim that the Western Wall – in the Palestinian-Islamic narrative “the Al-Buraq Wall” – is “Palestinian, Arab, and Islamic” and that Jews have no historical ties or rights to it:
“The ministry emphasized that the Al-Buraq Wall was, still is, and will remain Palestinian, Arab, and Islamic as UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) determined when it rejected any historical connection between the Jews and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque (i.e., the Temple Mount) and this wall.”
[Wattan, independent Palestinian news agency, Dec. 16, 2017]
Similarly a PA official repeated the lie that no Jewish archeological remnants have ever been found proving the existence of a Jewish Temple at the site:
“They [the Jews] have nothing. They cry over the claimed destruction of the Temple, but Israeli archeologists themselves have searched under the Al-Aqsa Mosque and have not found even one Jewish archeological remnant.”
[Donia Al-Watan, independent Palestinian news agency, Dec. 18, 2017]
Following U.S. President Donald Trump’s December 6, 2017 announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, harsh criticism was heard in the Palestinian territories and in Jordan towards Saudi Arabia, which, according to various leaks, is promoting Trump’s “deal of the century,” namely a U.S.-brokered Palestinian-Israeli agreement that favors Israel at the expense of the Palestinians. Saudi Arabia was therefore accused of colluding with Trump’s policy on Jerusalem. This criticism was expressed in the burning of the Saudi flag alongside the American one at a Gaza demonstration, and in slogans denouncing Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman at Jordanian protests against Trump’s announcement.
This unprecedented criticism against Saudi Arabia from Palestinians and Jordanians joins other expressions of the current tension between Saudi Arabia on the one hand and the Palestinian Authority (PA)
and Jordan on the other, and of the displeasure in Ramallah and Amman with Saudi Arabia’s recent measures regarding the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. Signs of this tension first appeared on social media, with heated debates between Saudi and Palestinian users over Hamas’s rejection of the Arab League’s November 19, 2017 announcement that called Hizbullah a terror organization.
Further evidence of the strained relations between the PA and Saudi Arabia was a December 3, 2017 report in the New York Times which claimed that, during Palestinian President Mahmoud ‘Abbas’s visit to Riyadh in November 2017, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman presented him with Trump’s plan for peace in the Middle East. According to the report, which cited “Palestinian, Arab and European officials who heard Abbas’s version of the conversation,” the plan includes the establishment of a Palestinian state without territorial continuity and with limited sovereignty, whose capital is Abu Dis rather than East Jerusalem. Furthermore, there will be no right of return for Palestinian refugees, but most of the settlements will remain in place. According to the sources, Bin Salman informed ‘Abbas that if he rejected the proposal, he would have to step aside in favor of someone willing to accept it.  The report itself stated that the information had been denied by both the U.S. and the Saudis. Palestinian officials denied it as well. Regardless of its veracity, the report indicates Palestinian apprehension about a Saudi plan that is being formulated without Palestinian involvement.
Kuwaiti TV Host Mohammad Al-Mulla on Trump’s Jerusalem Decision: There Is No Such Thing as Israel or Tel Aviv; Palestine will be Regained by Means of Weapons Alone pic.twitter.com/8SiwnK15Wa
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) December 18, 2017
The announcement of U.S. President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and stating that the American embassy would be moved there sparked outrage among the Palestinian leadership and public. It was described as a crime against the Palestinian people that makes the U.S. complicit in the Israeli occupation and invalidates the U.S. role in resolving the Palestinian conflict.
Palestinian President Mahmoud ‘Abbas, who is also head of Fatah, and other Fatah officials, harshly condemned Trump’s announcement, calling upon him to retract it and even comparing it to the Balfour Declaration. Fatah officials also urged the Palestinians to escalate the intifada and hold “days of rage,” with some even calling to carry out resistance by every means.
Fatah’s official Facebook and Twitter pages, and other social media accounts, were notable in posting violent incitement against Trump, especially in the form of graphics and videos denouncing and threatening him.
The following is a sampling of posts from Fatah’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts and from Fatah-affiliated accounts.
When you hear about “Palestinian demonstrations,” what do you think they’re REALLY like? pic.twitter.com/MIwljfK1hg
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) December 18, 2017
Israel stands accused of allegedly shooting and killing wheelchair-bound Palestinian Ibrahim Abu Thraya, as he protested by the security fence in Gaza. The IDF denies the allegation, saying it did not shoot live fire toward Abu Thraya.
As Hamas has so far refused to release the relevant medical details (such as autopsy results if they even exist) it is not possible for HonestReporting, or anyone else, to be entirely certain of the cause of death. In any case, the loss of life is tragic.
Yet at the same time, there are multiple discrepancies in Abu Thraya’s backstory, which the media have a professional obligation to address. (An obligation they have so far neglected.) Specifically, there are several different contradicting stories about how he lost his legs in the first place:
- AP reports that he “lost his legs in an Israeli airstrike during a 2008 war between Israel and Hamas. According to relatives, he was assisting in the evacuation of people after an earlier airstrike when he was struck.”
- “He was injured in 2008 by an Israeli helicopter that targeted him after he brought down the Israeli flag and raised the Palestinian flag along the border,” his brother Samir told AFP.”
- Le Monde (French) states that he was hit by shrapnel east of the Bourej refugee camp.
- He “was struck by an Israeli artillery shell. He lost both his legs and one of his eyes” in 2008 according to an APA Images photo caption.
- He was “bombed in his home” according to CJ Werleman from MiddleEastEye.
- An Irish publication reporting on Irish Friends of Palestine donating an electric wheelchair claims “Ibrahim had been working on a trawler when it was hit by an Israeli missile in 2008. Eight people onboard were killed while Ibrahim lost both his legs below the hips.”
Israeli lawmakers on Monday lined up to praise the IDF servicemen who were filmed resisting attempts by Palestinian teenage girls to provoke two soldiers stationed in the West Bank into a violent response, with one minister saying they should be jailed for life.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman hailed the IDF as the “most humane army that exhibits moral values that do not exist elsewhere.”
But, he warned this “humane behavior” must not come at the expense of deterrence. “If you riot during the day, you’ll be arrested at night,” he said during a press conference at the Re’im military base in southern Israel.
During an encounter in the village of Nabi Saleh Friday, the officer and another soldier were repeatedly shoved and hit by a group of women and girls. In the video, the soldiers scarcely reacted to the instigation, which prompted criticism from some commentators that they were being timid and not adequately defending themselves.
Liberman did not offer his opinion on that aspect of the case, but said that “if there was a shortcoming, it will be addressed.”
A Palestinian girl filmed hitting two IDF soldiers in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh in an apparent effort to provoke a violent response will remain in custody for two more days, police said Tuesday.
The remand of 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi’s mother, who was arrested on suspicion of assault and incitement, was also extended until Thursday.
During an encounter in the village on Friday, a group of women and girls repeatedly hit and shoved an IDF officer and another soldier.
Tamimi and two other teenage girls had filmed themselves hitting the soldiers, yelling at them and — at one point — slapping one of them across the face.
The girls filmed the soldiers with cellphones, which seemed to indicate they were trying to instigate a violent response from the soldiers. However, the servicemen did not oblige the girls, and refrained from retaliating throughout the encounter.
Once again, Sydney Town Hall was the scene of flags emblazoned with images of guns, chants calling for an uprising and ethnic cleansing, and hate-filled war-cries in the name of Allah. NSW state politicians, Labor’s Shaoquett Moselmane and the Greens’ Mehreen Faruqi, were among those who addressed the crowd of approximately 800 Muslim protesters, most of them wearing Islamic and Middle Eastern dress, and a small assortment of socialists and others.
The event on Sunday was to protest the recognition by the US President of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Trump’s declaration was merely a recognition of the fact that Jerusalem has been the seat of government in Israel since 1948; it did not pre-empt any outcome in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The protest in Sydney was one of several across Australia.
Shaoquett Moselmane asserted that
“Jerusalem is, always was and always will be, the capital of Palestine”
– but could not give even one example from history when this was the case. He condemned Donald Trump, and condemned the Balfour Declaration (which supported a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine). Moselmane denounced the “70 year occupation” of Palestine, meaning that he considers the State of Israel itself to be “occupied Palestine” with no right to exist. Moselmane’s words deny the right of self-determination for the Jewish people in their national homeland.
Hackneyed predictions that the Middle East would “go up in flames” following President Donald Trump’s official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital — and subsequent plans to move the US embassy there — have yet to materialize. While there have been scattered protests, they haven’t amounted to the predicted regional conflagration.
Rather, much of the hysteria is coming from professors of Middle East studies, who have taken their pre-existing animosity towards Israel and the US to new heights, while promoting divisive conspiracy theories about Jewish and Christian power.
Amid this discussion, anti-Israel rhetoric abounds.
University of San Francisco Professor Stephen Zunes described the Israeli presence in East Jerusalem as “a foreign, belligerent occupation,” while the University of Michigan’s Juan Cole referred ominously to “the Occupiers.” California State University, Stanislaus Professor As’ad AbuKhalil characterized the Jewish state as “the Israeli enemy.”
UC Berkeley’s Hatem Bazian bemoaned the “Israeli Apartheid system” and “settler-colonial project,” while George Mason University Professor Noura Erakat ranted about Israel’s “apartheid regime” and “settler-colonial encroachment.” Former academic Steven Salaita complained of “Israeli belligerence” and “Israeli expansionism.”
Not to be outdone, UCLA Professor Saree Makdisi accused Israel of “violent social engineering,” “slow-motion ethnic cleansing,” “apartheid policies,” “white supremacy” and “Islamophobia.”
Columbia University Professor Hamid Dabashi was characteristically histrionic: “On one side dwells an ugly apartheid settler colony supported by an even uglier imperial power, and on the other stands the glory of a global defiance against that immoral depravity called ‘Zionism.’”
The hacker group Anonymous intends to attack government and other websites in Israel and the United States in retaliation over U.S. President Donald Trump’s Dec. 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Signs of an impending attack were first detected by Israeli cybersecurity firm Radware, which issued a special alert on the matter. A Radware official said that in the wake of Trump’s declaration, groups of anti-Israel and anti-American hackers threatened to launch a cyberattack on Israeli and U.S. government websites.
The company also said that because government websites were normally sufficiently protected, Anonymous would likely focus its attack on small and midsized businesses.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration publicly blamed North Korea on Monday for unleashing the so-called “WannaCry” ransomware attack that crippled computer systems in hospitals, banks and other companies worldwide in May.
US President Donald Trump thanked the mayor of a northern Israeli city who named a new park after him.
David Even Tzur announced on December 7 he would name the new park in the Haifa suburb of Kiryat Yam after the US president in honor of his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Addressed to Even Tzur and dated December 13, the letter offers Trump’s gratitude and calls Israel “one of our most steadfast allies and an oasis of hope, democracy, and prosperity in the Middle East.”
“Thank you for this great honor,” Trump writes. “It was a distinct pleasure to visit Israel during my first international trip as President of the United States…. I am thankful for your gesture and am moved to know that the people of Israel are encouraged by my decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
Letter from US President Donald Trump thanking Kiryat Yam Mayor David Even Tzur for naming a park after him, dated December 13, 2017. (Facebook screen capture)
In his announcement heralding the decision to establish “Donald Trump Park” earlier this month, Even Tzur said, “The president of the United States took a brave and unprecedented step that none of his predecessors were willing to take and we must honor him for it.”
He added, “Jerusalem is a dream that is present in every Jew’s heart and Trump’s decision gives this dream clear international recognition.”
Tzur said the park, in which the municipality is investing NIS 4 million ($1.14 million), will stretch over seven dunams (1.7 acres) and border an existing science park in the center of the city.
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