JPost Editorial: Obama’s parting shot
What’s more, Resolution 2334 is absurd in that it makes no differentiation between places such as the Old City and the Kotel or consensus Jerusalem neighborhoods like Ramat Eshkol, and isolated settlements with a handful of residents in Judea and Samaria.
More pernicious, however, will be the ramifications of Resolution 2334. It will give new life to boycott, divestment and sanctions efforts, particularly article 5 of the resolution which calls upon the nations of the world “to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territories of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.” The distance is short from delegitimization of Jewish settlements, neighborhoods, towns, cities and institutions located beyond the 1967 armistice line to delegitimization of everything Israeli.
Even terrorist attacks directed against residents of the “territories” will be in some sense understandable, according to UN morality and legal principles, since every Jew living in these areas is considered, according to the Security Council, not only a criminal but an obstacle to peace.
We can only lament Obama’s decision, made in the twilight of his term. It hurts chances for direct negotiations, strengthen BDS and sullies Israel’s name. For all the strengthening of Israel’s defense deterrence and unprecedented financial aid that his administration heaped on Israel, this is Obama’s legacy; this is his parting shot.
The UN Security Council’s passage of Resolution 2334, an outrageous act of hostility personally engineered by President Obama against the State of Israel, has rightly evoked great anger across all parts of the American political spectrum.
This past summer, the Republican Party’s platform section expressing our unequivocal support for Israel, included a key statement made in anticipation of President Obama’s betrayal of our great ally: “We reject the false notion that Israel is an occupier…” Given the anticipated effects of Resolution 2334, this policy statement is critical, as it represents the central tenet of what will now unquestionably be the policy of the Trump Administration and the pro-Israel community.
“Occupier” is nothing more than a polite way of calling Israel a thief, suggesting that Jewish invaders colonized territory belonging to the Arabs, and which therefore must be restored to its rightful, victimized owners. The term is intentionally misused against Israel in order to shape negative misperceptions of her history and legitimacy, while perpetuating a sense of Palestinian-Arab victimhood. To suggest that the Jews are occupiers in a region that has been known as Judea for over 3000-plus years is no less ridiculous than to suggest that Arabs are occupiers in Arabia.
“Occupier” is a legal term whose definition does not apply to Israel under the law. Israel’s legal title and rights to all of its present territory stem directly from an act of international law made in the post-WWI San Remo Agreement, which was then further recognized and incorporated in subsequent binding acts, from the Covenant of the League of Nations all the way through Article 80 of the United Nations’ charter. None of the national and political rights thereby recognized as inherit in the Jewish People have ever been revoked, nullified or superseded by a subsequent act of international law.
Amb. Alan Baker: A Scandalous UN Resolution
“The U.S. abstention on this recent resolution in the Security Council is irresponsible to the point of being scandalous, because this resolution reaffirms the fact that the territories occupied by Israel and east Jerusalem are Palestinian. Now this runs directly against American policy and against the obligations according to the Oslo Accords, that issues of Jerusalem, issues of borders, and issues of the final status of the territories are to be negotiated.”
“The resolution repeats a lot of previous resolutions, a lot of previous determinations regarding the validity of settlements, regarding the status of the territories. But there are one or two paragraphs in here that seem to be direct quotes from [Vice President] Joe Biden, from [Secretary of State] John Kerry, from [President] Barack Obama, whether it refers to the 1967 lines or refers to the one-state solution or refers to the non-sustainability of the present situation – these are direct quotes from these people. So it shows that they have had direct involvement in actually drafting this resolution.”
“Why would the Palestinians want to negotiate with Israel on these things if they’ve got a Security Council resolution that basically determines that east Jerusalem and all the territories belong to them? Why should they go and negotiate – and compromise, because negotiating includes compromising? Why should they do this when they know that they can run to the international community and get whatever they want?”
Alan Dershowitz: UN Resolution Applies to Historically Jewish Areas in Jerusalem
The Obama administration pulled a bait and switch in refusing to veto the recent Security Council resolution against Israel. In attempting to justify its abstention – which under Security Council rules has the same effect as a vote in favor – the administration focuses on “new” settlement building, especially in areas deep into the West Bank.
In her speech to the Security Council, Ambassador Samantha Power explained the administration’s vote this way:
“Today, the Security Council reaffirmed its established consensus that settlements have no legal validity…. President Obama and Secretary Kerry have repeatedly warned – publically and privately – that the absence of progress toward peace and continued settlement expansion was going to put the two-state solution at risk, and threaten Israel’s stated objective to remain both a Jewish State and a democracy … This resolution reflects trends that will permanently destroy the hope of a two-state solution if they continue on their current course.”(emphasis added)
Likewise Ben Rhodes, Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor, said:
“Netanyahu had the opportunity to pursue policies that would have led to a different outcome today…. In the absence of any meaningful peace process, as well as in the accelerated settlement activity, we took the decision that we did today to abstain on the resolution.” (emphasis added)
In a press release, the pro-Obama advocacy group J. Street welcomed America’s abstention, citing a poll showing “that 62 percent of Jewish voters believe the United States should either support or abstain from voting on a United Nations Security Council resolution calling on Israel to stop building settlements in the West Bank.”(emphasis added)
And the media – from CNN, to the New York Times, to the Wall Street Journal – also reported that the resolution was only about the expansion of new settlements.
But the text of the resolution itself goes well beyond new building in these controversial areas and applies equally to historically Jewish areas that were unlawfully taken by Jordanian military action during Israel’s War of Independence and liberated by Israel in a war started by Jordan in 1967. (h/t Zvi)
Israel’s ambassador to the United States said Tuesday that the country will present President-elect Donald Trump with “evidence” that the Obama administration orchestrated an anti-settlement resolution at the United Nations Security Council on Friday.
Ron Dermer told CNN that Israel is angry with the US over the resolution because it is “the only country where we have any expectation to actually stand with us at the United Nations.”
The US abstained from the vote, which passed 14-0.
“It’s an old story that the United Nations gangs up against Israel. What is new is that the United States did not stand up and oppose that gang-up. And what is outrageous is that the United States was actually behind that gang-up,” Dermer said.
Confirming claims made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman a day earlier, Dermer said Israel has proof the White House drove the resolution, and will “present this evidence to the new administration through the appropriate channels.”
In this photo provided by the United Nations, members of the United Nations Security council vote at the United Nations headquarters on December 23, 2016, in favor of condemning Israel for its practice of establishing settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. In a striking rupture with past practice, the US allowed the vote, not exercising its veto. (Manuel Elias/The United Nations via AP)
In this photo provided by the United Nations, members of the United Nations Security council vote at the United Nations headquarters on December 23, 2016, in favor of condemning Israel for its practice of establishing settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. In a striking rupture with past practice, the US allowed the vote, not exercising its veto. (Manuel Elias/The United Nations via AP)
“If they want to share it with the American people, they are welcome to do it,” he said, sidestepping a question on why Israel would not release the information itself.
Israel: US helped craft UN resolution
Barry Shaw: Obama’s burden – the Nobel Peace Prize
Attempts to achieve peace through inaction are bound to fail. Just ask the people of Aleppo. Attempts to achieve peace through appeasement are bound to fail. Just ask Neville Chamberlain. Peace only comes from assertive action that destroys a rampaging enemy’s will to survive. Just ask Winston Churchill.
World War Two should have taught us that. Doing nothing in the face of an Assad-inflicted genocide supported by Iran and Russia is sufficient evidence of the inadmissibility of lack of action.
Obama’s legacy to live up to the vain philosophy of the Nobel Peace Prize panel lies in the ashes of Aleppo.
Obama’s dereliction of his international and humanitarian responsibilities by failing to implement his infamous “red lines” warning made a mockery of the Nobel Peace Prize. His non-violent policy and impotence to act decisively to save lives gave the green light to the resultant Syrian genocide.
It follows in the awful tradition of Ruanda, Darfur, Sudan. Collectively it shows us that only force against evil-doers will protect innocent lives against acts of unchallenged heinous massacre.
When good men of influence do nothing but complain evil triumphs. Obama was a complainer, not a doer.
President Barack Obama’s legacy at the UN will be marked by the year 2016.
The year was bookmarked by the passage of UN Security Council resolution 2231 in January, giving U.N. authority to the Iran Nuclear Deal, and resolution 2334 last week, purporting to declare illegal the presence of Jews in areas in which form a key part of Jewish history.
In the case of the Iran deal, the United States led the Security Council and voted for the resolution enshrining the nuclear deal into what passes for international law. In the case of the more recent resolution, the United States abstained, according to some incoherent reasons spouted by US Ambassador Samantha Power, but it looks like, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charges, that Obama orchestrated it. (Yesterday, Netanyahu spokesman David Keyes charged that Israel had “ironclad information” that Obama was indeed behind the maneuver.)
In the case of 2231, the Security Council reversed a decade of policy and undermined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by removing nuclear-related sanctions from Iran without insisting that Iran stop enriching uranium first. Obama, of course, obfuscated this by saying that sanctions brought Iran to the table. That’s incredibly misleading. Iran was sanctioned because it was a nuclear outlaw. Not only a nuclear outlaw, but a nuclear outlaw that had threatened and continues the destruction of another member state.
But administration officials insisted that Iran had, during sanctions, neglected too many civilian needs, so it would use the billions to shore up its crumbling infrastructure. Iran said it would use the billions to further its destabilizing activities and has done so. The destruction of eastern Aleppo, is the latest sign that Iran was emboldened by the deal that whitewashed its crimes and convinced its leaders that they could get away with mass murder. (Amb. Power telling Iran, Russia and Syria that they should be ashamed of themselves is not any sort of punishment.)
Eleven months after exonerating Iran, Obama put Israel in the penalty box by allowing a resolution that stated, “that Israel’s establishment of settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, had no legal validity, constituting a flagrant violation under international law,” meaning of course that the Jewish presence in the Old City of Jerusalem, (which Jews were illegally ethnically cleansed from by Jordan in 1948) is against international law.
The better solution is to start cutting loose the UN itself. For far too long the UN has served as a clubhouse for many of the world’s chief thugs, while deriving the lion’s share of its money and credibility from the United States. Turning the UN itself into an irrelevancy would be a fitting way to redeem, from Obama’s betrayal, a real chance of a world made safer for democracy, and decency.
That starts with cutting off Turtle Bay from its annual dole of billions of American tax dollars — for which, say, the U.S. military might find uses far more conducive to security and peace. Congress has tried cutting UN funding before, and the lesson of that experience ought to be, don’t think small. Don’t prune here and there, trying to micromanage the actions of an organization that while rolling in U.S. money has just provided a whopping reminder that it is morally bankrupt. Cut big. Let member states such as Venezuela, Malaysia, Senegal and New Zealand (all of which co-sponsored Friday’s anti-Israel resolution) make up the difference, if they care to. Let Russia divert some of its resources from cyber-warfare, or Iran repurpose some of its funds now budgeted for terrorism. These are among the powers whose ethos pervades today’s UN; let them pay for it.
There could still be a role for the UN as a low-rent talking shop, especially if its headquarters can ever be dislodged from its patch of prime real estate in midtown Manhattan. I’ve long thought that Russia’s Novosibirsk would be a more appropriate venue. That might sound surreal. But if Trump, or any successor U.S. president, aspires to secure a civilized 21st century world order, the day is coming when healthier institutions, or coalitions, must replace, or at least sideline, the UN. Obama, with his legacy betrayal at the Security Council, has at least done us the small favor of underscoring the rot at the core of the 71-year-old UN.
In an editorial headlined “A Problem From Hell, Indeed,” The New York Sun yesterday mapped the escape route: “The best way for President-elect Trump to view the Obama Administration’s betrayal of Israel in the United Nations is as the starting bell for a campaign to defund the world body.”
Why is Israel still sitting in the United Nations?
The Zionists established an independent country. If we are dependent on someone else for our well-being, in this case the treacherous leader of another country Obama, we are not independent. He could shaft us because we are members of the UN. But the UN is a voluntary organization. No one has a gun to our head. We can leave at any time.
We should have left the UN yesterday.
We needed the UN during our birth to give us international recognition. That only happened because one world leader decided to take up our cause. Stalin. As far back as 1945 he told Churchill that the Jews should have a state. Every other major power opposed a Jewish state and the proposal was dead in the water as far as they were concerned.
We had a second friend in 1967 at the UN, Lyndon Johnson. I think it was his grandmother who was Jewish. She came out of a large number of crypto-Jews who had swarmed into south Texas, when it under Mexican rule, fleeing the Spanish Inquisition. He was brought up as a staunch Zionist.
David Horovitz: Netanyahu goes to war with the world
Benjamin Netanyahu is waging diplomatic war against the world, and notably against Israel’s only vital ally, the United States. We’ve never seen anything like it. It won’t win Israel any new friends.
Israel has a solitary vote in the United Nations General Assembly, and no vote at all at the United Nations Security Council. Israel was annihilated in the Security Council vote on Friday that demanded an end to all settlement activity and that designated all the land that Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 war, which includes the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, as “occupied Palestinian territory.” The prime minister’s hope is that he can stave off further, and still more devastating, potential diplomatic defeat at the hands of the outgoing Obama administration via a mixture of pleas, threats and boycotts. On the horizon, he sees the incoming administration of Donald J. Trump. For Netanyahu, it cannot arrive soon enough.
Netanyahu’s repeated public assertion is that US President Barack Obama hatched the entire scheme to humiliate and abandon Israel at the Security Council. Why would a president who had just authorized the biggest military aid package to Israel in history do any such thing? Because, the prime minister has implied, Obama is fundamentally hostile to the Jewish state. Netanyahu hasn’t (yet) said this explicitly. He has, however, drawn a parallel between Friday’s decision by Obama to abstain, and thus facilitate the passage of UNSC Resolution 2334, and similar action by president Jimmy Carter at the Security Council in 1980, and noted that Carter was “deeply hostile to Israel.”
We will almost certainly find out one day, probably quite soon, whether, as Netanyahu has charged, Obama planned this “ambush” all along. Tellingly, in remarks to the Saban Forum earlier this month, Secretary of State John Kerry left open the door to a US abstention: “There are any number of countries talking about bringing resolutions to the United Nations,” Kerry noted. “If it’s biased and unfair, and a resolution calculated to delegitimize Israel, we’ll oppose it. Obviously, we will. We always have. But it’s getting more complicated now…”
In all the focus on the December 23rd vote at the UN Security Council — where 14 nations supported a resolution critical of Israel, and the US broke with longstanding policy and abstained instead of vetoing the measure — the question of underlying Palestinian motives has not been addressed.
It should be. In fact, it’s the key to the whole exercise.
First, the Palestinians have rejected one offer after another for a peaceful settlement in the past nearly 70 years. Second, and more tragically, their misguided actions now make any chance of an accord even less likely.
Friday’s UN Security Council resolution is a case in point.
If the goal was to increase the chance of Palestinian statehood alongside Israel (and not in its place), the effort was an abysmal failure, despite the lopsided vote. Those diplomats who rushed to applaud the outcome — and I’ll set aside that thuggish countries like Venezuela that don’t bring a shred of good will to the table — should think twice about what they actually achieved.
If they wanted to excoriate Israel, a longstanding vocation of too many UN member states, then they can thump their chests. But for those truly committed to advancing prospects for peace, they took a big step backwards, once again falling into the Palestinian trap.
Three things should be abundantly evident by now.
With Friday’s UN Vote, the international body and Barack Obama were basically saying that any Jewish community outside the “pre-1967 borders” is in “occupied Palestinian territory.”
What they won’t admit because of their anti-Israel bias is that there is no such thing as pre-1967 borders. That “green line” running through the West Bank is the 1949 Armistice Line.
The armistice line was created solely because that’s Israeli and Arab forces stopped fighting at the end of the War of Independence (with some added adjustments in certain sectors).Therefore that 1949 line, that people call 1967 border is really only a military line.In fact, 1949 Armistice Agreement with the Jordanians explicitly specified that the line that was designated did not compromise any future territorial claims of the two parties, since it had been “dictated by exclusively by military considerations.” Of course the Jordanian rationale for that clause was to allow them to claim territory inside the armistice line for their very own.
Even if the Palestinians were to change their minds about wiping the Jewish State off the map (they never have), there would remain another major barrier to Israel reverting to the pre-June 1967 borders….they do not exist!
Even “famous” UN Resolution 242 which was passed by the UN Security Council five months after the Six-Day War recognized that the 1949 Armistice line was not supposed to designate final Israeli borders.
Does it matter that the US abstained rather than voting for the resolution? After the vote, Ambassador Samantha Power said (at length) that she abstained rather than voting for the resolution because of the well-known anti-Israel bias of the UN, and because “it was too narrowly focused on settlements” and didn’t give enough emphasis to Palestinian terrorism. She indicated that she would have vetoed it if it had not contained what I called the “fig leaf” provision condemning terrorism and incitement.
The fact is that the abstention and the long, relatively friendly to Israel speech made by Ms Power will have absolutely zero effect on the consequences of this resolution. The speech will be forgotten, but the content of the resolution will not.
Practically, how bad is this for Israel? It doesn’t appear to have any immediate, direct effects. It has no significance in international law. It will not cause Israel to withdraw from the territories and it might even spur Israel to build more in the territories and Jerusalem or even extend Israeli law to parts of Judea and Samaria.
But it may be only the opening volley in a diplomatic campaign, which could play out before January 20. It sets the stage for follow-on resolutions under Chapter VII that could call for real sanctions against Israel or ICC prosecutions of its leaders, and the requirement for the Secretary General to report every three months will generate even more anti-Israel activity at the UN. It might be cited as a reason for arrest and harassment of Israelis abroad under the principle of “universal jurisdiction,” or even an ICC prosecution without a Chapter VII resolution. It will be used to justify boycotts, and even terrorism.
And – perhaps most important in the short term – at a time that worldwide hatred and threats against the Jewish people and the “Jew among nations” are greater than ever before, it will encourage Israel’s enemies, who will take it as a sign that the international community, including the US, is behind them.
Politicians’ responses to U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, passed Friday, continued to fly fast and furious on Sunday.
Kulanu leader Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon criticized U.S. President Barack Obama, saying, “We’ve talked a lot about the significance of the Security Council resolution, but we need to take note of one thing: how our best friends in the U.N. turned their backs on us at the moment of truth. That’s the most shocking part of the story.
“We have excellent relations with all these countries — economic, diplomatic, and security ties — but at the moment of truth, not one representative from those countries went along with us, and in the end they even applauded. Watching [the vote] on TV, I couldn’t believe my eyes,” Kahlon said.
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, who on Sunday evening took part in a Hanukkah candlelighting ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, said, “U.N. resolutions will not stop us from keeping hold of the land of Israel and building in reunited Jerusalem.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, currently in Norway, noted that “Israel is admired by the world when it acts against the accepted norms. Precisely now, with the U.N. Security Council resolution against the settlements, is the time for Israel to lead a move against the rules. History is on our side.”
In fact, Professor Stone observed that those enemies of Israel who point to the Fourth Geneva Convention as evidence of Israel’s abuse of international law and wish to use it to end the settlements are not only legally incorrect, but morally incoherent and racist. Stone suggested that in order to recognize the validity of using the Fourth Convention against Israel, one “would have to say that the effect of Article . . . is to impose an obligation on the state of Israel to ensure (by force if necessary) that these areas, despite their millennial association with Jewish life, shall be forever judenrein. Irony would thus be pushed to the absurdity of claiming that [the Fourth Convention], designed to prevent repetition of Nazi-type genocidal policies of rendering Nazi metropolitan territories judenrein, has now come to mean that Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) must be made judenrein and must be so maintained, if necessary by the use of force by the government of Israel against its own inhabitants.”
And does anyone doubt that once the Palestinians, aided and abetted by mendacious Western elites, diplomats, and an anti-Israel international community of supporters who cobbled together support for the latest anti-Israel Security Council resolution, have purged Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem of all Jews, that new calls will then arise accusing Jews of “occupying” more “Arab” lands in Tel Aviv, Netanya, Tiberias, or Haifa?
Professor Rostow himself saw through the disingenuous talk about legal rights and resolutions when it came to the issue of the settlements. The discussion was not, in his mind, “about legal rights but about the political will to override legal rights.” In fact, the settlement debate is part of the decades-old narrative created by the Palestinians and their Western enablers to write a false historical account that legitimizes Palestinian claims while air-brushing away Jewish history. “Throughout Israel’s occupation,” Rostow observed, “the Arab countries, helped by the United States, have pushed to keep Jews out of the territories, so that at a convenient moment, or in a peace negotiation, the claim that the West Bank is ‘Arab’ territory could be made more plausible.”
In the cognitive war against Israel, that “convenient moment,” at least for the “pack of jackals” in the
Three days after the United Nation’s Security Council voted to adopt a resolution condemning Jewish construction over the 1949 Armistice Line, multiple reports stated that the Jerusalem Municipality will approve hundreds of housing units in contested areas on Wednesday.
Angered by what the council deemed an “illegal” and “flagrant violation” of international law, Jerusalem’s Local Committee for Building and Construction is prepared to approve the construction of 618 homes, Haaretz reported on Monday.
The units will purportedly include 262 in Ramat Shlomo, 216 in Ramot, and 142 in Pisgat Ze’ev.
Additionally, the municipality’s District Zoning Committee is reportedly meeting on Wednesday to discuss approving 5,600 more residential units in Gilo, Ramot and Givat Hamatos, according to Israel Hayom.
Although the municipality has yet to release a pending statement about the matter, as recently as last month, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said he would never cease construction in the capital, despite ongoing international pressure.
The Middle East peace conference planned by the French for January 15 will be similar to the antisemitic trial of French Jewish artillery officer Alfred Dreyfus in 1894, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told his Yisrael Beytenu faction on Monday.
Liberman said UN Security Council resolution 2334 was “awful, unnecessary, and, harms any chance to reach dialogue with the other side.” He said he was worried that such misguided international efforts would continue with the French conference.
He noted that the timing of the conference was problematic, coming five days before US-president elect Donald Trump is sworn in and three months before elections are being held in France, in which current president Francois Hollande is not running.
“It is not a peace conference but a tribunal against Israel that is intended to harm Israel and its good name,” he said. “It will not just be a trial against Israel but a modern Dreyfus trial. Look at all how France has been voting against us. We know the direction and the goal of the conference. It adds to the atmosphere in France against Jews.”
Netanyahu is now reaching out to the incoming Trump administration, which takes office on January 20, and to friends in Congress, in the hope of “deterring” what he sees as further potential Obama administration-led diplomatic action against Israel, the Channel 2 report said. His aim is for the Trump team to make plain that his administration will “economically hurt” those countries that voted against Israel in the UN and that do so in the future.
Netanyahu’s fear is that Secretary of State John Kerry will set out principles or parameters for a Palestinian state in a speech that he has said he will deliver in the next few days on his Middle East vision. The prime minister fears that, in its final days, the Obama administration will seek to have a resolution enshrining those parameters adopted by the UN Security Council, the report said.
France is to hold a conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on January 15, and Netanyahu expects that Kerry will attend, that the Middle East Quartet — the US, UN, Russia and EU — will coordinate their positions at that summit, and that they will then turn to the Security Council in the very last days of the Obama presidency, a Channel 10 report further suggested.
Such speculation was not confirmed by the Prime Minister’s Office, but Netanyahu has made public his outrage at the Obama administration several times since Resolution 2334 was passed, claiming that the president initiated and helped draft the resolution “behind Israel’s back.” He has variously called the resolution skewed, shameful and ridiculous — in part because it brands Jerusalem’s Old City, including the Temple Mount and Western Wall, “occupied Palestinian territory.”
The prime minister warned ministers from his party that they should refrain from talk about annexing parts of the West Bank, since Obama may have more tricks up his sleeve.
After the vote was passed, Education Minister Naftali Bennett called for Israel to apply Israeli law and full sovereignty over the main West Bank settlements.
Netanyahu accused Washington of having a direct hand in the Security Council resolution.
“We have no doubt that the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated its versions and insisted upon its passage,” he said.
“Over decades, American administrations and Israeli governments have disagreed about settlements. But we agreed that the Security Council was not the place to resolve this issue,” Netanyahu said.
“We knew that going there would make negotiations harder and drive peace further away. As I told [U.S. Secretary of State] John Kerry on Thursday: Friends don’t take friends to the Security Council.”
However, Netanyahu said he was “encouraged” by statements of support from both Democrat and Republican allies in the U.S.
In a further response to a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday reportedly ordered the Foreign Ministry to suspend all working ties with 12 of the countries that voted in favor of the decision.
The move came after 10 ambassadors were summoned, at Netanyahu’s instruction, to the Foreign Ministry for an upbraiding over Friday’s vote.
Foreign ministers from the countries, all of which Israel has diplomatic ties with, will no longer be able to meet with Netanyahu — who is also foreign minister — or Foreign Ministry officials, Haaretz reported, citing a senior Israeli official.
In addition, travel by Israeli ministers to the countries will be kept to a minimum, an official said.
Of the 15 countries on the UN Security Council, 14 voted in favor of Resolution 2334, which demands a halt to all Israeli settlement activity, with one abstention, that of the US.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday denied that he intends to cancel a meeting next month with British Prime Minister Theresa May as part of his punitive response to the United Nations Security Council’s anti-settlements resolution. No such meeting was ever scheduled, the spokesman said.
Israel’s Channel 10 and other Hebrew media reported that Netanyahu was scheduled to meet with May at the World Economic Forum in Davos between January 17 and 20, but would not go ahead with that meeting because Britain, along with 13 other members of the Security Council, voted in favor of Resolution 2334, which demands a halt to all Israeli settlement activity and which the prime minister has called “shameful.” The United States abstained in the vote, enabling the resolution to pass.
Netanyahu’s spokesman denied the reports, however. “No meeting with the UK prime minister had been set, therefore no meeting was canceled,” the spokesperson said. Netanyahu had merely told his ministers to “travel less” to countries that voted against Israel in the near future, the spokesperson said.
Two weeks ago, in an address to the Conservative Friends of Israel, May showered praise on Israel, calling it “a remarkable country” and “a beacon of tolerance.” She said UK ties with Israel were “crucial,” promised to raise the bilateral trade relationship to new heights, and described the Balfour Declaration as “one of the most important letters in history.”
Minister of the Environment and Jerusalem Affairs, Zeev Elkin (Likud) spoke with Arutz Sheva about the recent anti-Israel resolution in the UN that was not vetoed by the US. Elkin was asked how he relates to the criticism leveled against the prime minister that his conduct has isolated Israel in the world.
Elkin said, “I do not accept the exile [mentality] approach of turning the other cheek and not making us of what leverage we do have. We’ve also recently heard accusations that we are to blame for the UN’s resolution. There is a very simple way to prevent such a decision – by withdrawing to the ’67 borders and dividing Jerusalem – but this is suicide.”
“This is not the first time that the UN has come out against us,” said Elkin. “When Netanyahu was UN ambassador, the UN adopted a resolution that Jerusalem is occupied territory. Then, too, there were 14 in favor and the United States did not exercise its veto. There is nothing new under the sun. These resolutions hurt us, but we shouldn’t give up on our interests. We need to react strongly and make it clear to these countries that they will pay a price for their support of this resolution.”
Elkin gives the example of Ukraine, with whom he has more direct contact. According to Elkin, America pressured Ukraine to not oppose the resolution. As a result of Ukraine’s vote, Israel cancelled the planned visit of the Ukrainian prime minister. In response, the Ukrainian prime minister said that he “accepts Israel’s decision under the circumstances and plans to re-schedule his visit and to strengthen Ukraine’s ties to Israel. The sky did not fall.”
While Israeli politicians from across the political spectrum condemned the anti-settlements resolution passed Friday at the United Nations Security Council, a former Labor Party MK on Sunday called it a “victory for Israel.”
In a counterintuitive interpretation of the resolution, Einat Wilf, who served as Knesset member between 2010 and 2013, argued that the controversial text actually enshrines in international law Israel’s right to West Jerusalem and thus makes it easier for the US to move its embassy there.
“UN Security Council Resolution 2334 is an important, if unintended, victory for Israel and Zionism. In it the UN Security Council provides the most resounding international and legal support yet for Israel within the 1949 ceasefire lines, including west Jerusalem,” she said in a statement Sunday.
Wilf, a native Jerusalemite, pointed to two sections of the resolution that she said were key to legitimizing Israel’s claims to West Jerusalem. For one, the text determines that Israeli settlement in territory captured in 1967, including East Jerusalem, “has no legal validity.” The resolution further calls on all states to “distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.”
Most Israeli politicians and pundits view those two sentences as the resolution’s most troubling, as they appear to invite boycotts of goods and people from the settlements.
Avi Issacharoff: In doleful West Bank, UN vote brings little cheer to Palestinians
The passage of a UN Security Council Resolution condemning Israeli settlements on Friday has not seen masses of Palestinians taking to the streets in the West Bank to celebrate Israel’s diplomatic failure.
Not even handfuls of Palestinians have come out to show their support.
While senior Palestinian leaders have talked up the passage of the UN measure as a historic achievement — an unprecedented Palestinian victory — they know that the resolution is toothless and limited in scope.
In their remarks, senior Palestinian officials, among them Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, have emphasized their desire to return to the negotiation table with Israel, while also stressing that the measure is not anti-Israel but rather anti-occupation.
But most Palestinians in the West Bank fear the so-called victory in the Security Council will likely pass them by without any noticeable impact on the ground. From the perspective of the average Palestinian (or Jewish settler), the Security Council resolution has no immediate or practical ramifications, and there is therefore not much to get excited about.
A close associate of Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, emboldened by the passing of the anti-Israel resolution by the UN Security Council on Friday, is threatening to sue Israeli officers in the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“In 2017 we will go to The Hague,” the associate, Palestinian Arab journalist Nasser Lahham, told Channel 2 News on Sunday.
“We have hundreds of pages with names of IDF officers. Every pilot and every officer and every soldier, we have his picture, his name, and we are waiting for him at The Hague. If we succeed in just one case, it’s a different world,” added Lahham.
The journalist also said that he has been calling on Palestinian Arabs through his television network to stop using violence against Israel and replace it with diplomatic actions.
“I told my people on live television – we will take the Israelis to The Hague in suits and ties, we will place handcuffs on their hands,” said Lahham. “Do not use violence. This is a war without bullets. Just wait, give us another chance.”
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal praised a UN Security Council resolution critical of Israeli settlements on Sunday night, but clarified “that [it] is not enough.”
“This resolution has given the world an indication of the danger of settlements, which are stealing our land…Thus, we consider this Security Council resolution an important, influential step in the right direction…and a correction of some American and international policy errors, but that is not enough,” Meshaal told a group of Turkish students in Istanbul.
The text of UNSC resolution 2334 said settlements “have no legal validity,” constituting a major violation of international law and an obstacle to peace.
Meshaal added that Palestinians now expect the international community to take more steps supportive of the Palestinian cause.
Dr. Ephraim Herrera, an expert on Islam, sees the Islamic response to the recent anti-Israel resolution in the UN Security Council as part of their new war against Israel.
“Fatah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad all see the Security Council resolution condemning Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as a historic achievement. The Security Council is now on record that Israeli control of all areas beyond the 1949 armistice line is invalid,” said Herrera in an interview with Arutz Sheva.
He said, “This is a further step for the Palestinian Arabs in their new war. The Muslim world realized that classical war against Israel has been a failure. The present war is a war over world consciousness and is being waged diplomatically, economically, politically, and legally in order to cause the collapse of the state of Israel”.
He noted that “Abbas said a long time ago that he would never recognize the State of Israel as a Jewish state – and is demanding the return of millions of refugees to Israel. The process of arousing international pressure to the point that not a single country defended the right of the State of Israel to even part of Judea and Samaria, is for them a primary way of pursuing their goal. They’re now calling for using this resolution as leverage to help reach their final goal.”
Wilders, the founder and leader of the Dutch Freedom Party, who has dominated Dutch polls during the year of 2016, wrote on his Facebook page:”Obama betrayed Israel. Thank God for Trump. My advise to my Israeli friends: ignore the UN and keep building more and more settlements.”
Wilders was voted politician of the year 2016 when 40,000 people participated in the annual public election held by Dutch TV-show ‘EenVandaag’. He is known for his sharp criticism of Islam and his outspoken support for Israel.
Wilders lived in Israel for two years during his youth, working on a moshav, and has visited the country 40 times in the last 25 years.
Wilders has stated about Israel: “I have visited many interesting countries in the Middle East – from Syria to Egypt, from Tunisia to Turkey, from Cyprus to Iran – but nowhere did I have the special feeling of solidarity that I always get when I land at Ben Gurion International Airport.” Wilders told audiences in Holland that “We [in the West] are all Israel”.
He has also said “Israel is the West’s first line of defence” against what he perceives to be a threat posed by Islam and has stated that “Jordan is Palestine. Changing its name to Palestine will end the conflict in the Middle East and provide the Palestinians with an alternate homeland.” Wilders has also called on the Dutch government to refer to Jordan as Palestine and move its embassy to Jerusalem.
All our Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, is missing is a fiddle. For the duration of the seemingly endless Syrian civil war, she has figuratively fiddled while that country burns. Now, with one foot out the door from a tenure that has all but obliterated her once formidable reputation as an anti-genocide activist, she’s decided to kick Israel in the teeth.
What most amazes me about this past Friday’s anti-Israel resolution that was cooked up by Barack Obama, John Kerry, Susan Rice, and Power is not that it took place. We have long known that the quartet had this in the works, and my organization, The World Values Network, even took out a full page ad against the proposed UN resolution a few months back.
Rather, the truly shocking part is that the most senior members of the American foreign policy team were pushing this resolution through while Aleppo burned.
Just imagine — there is a genocide going on for years in the Middle East in general and Syria in particular. It involves ISIS targeting Yazidis and Christians for extermination, and, in Syria, Shia Muslims joining Alawites to exterminate Sunnis. This is the classic definition of genocide where an ethnic group is target for annihilation.
The genocide reaches fever pitch in December 2016, just as the Obama administration, which hasn’t lifted a finger to protect 500,000 Arabs from being slaughtered, is winding down. Aleppo is in the news daily, as the world watches the horrors of bombings of civilians amid incalculable loss of life.
And what was Samantha Power, the great anti-genocide campaigner, doing while Aleppo and its residents were being reduced to rubble? Why, scheming against Israel, of course!
Brian of London: Obama And Samantha Power Lie And Deceive With Ronald Reagan’s Words
When Samantha Power began her speech at the UN to justify the Obama Administration’s decision not to veto UN Security Council Resolution 2334, she started with a quote from Ronald Reagan.
She did this with a specific goal: to find historical “proof” that the US, prior to Obama, has seen “settlements” as central to achieving peace. This is a complete lie. They were to be part of negotiations but nothing more. Samantha Power fraudulently quoted Reagan’s words to lie and change history.
Samantha Power’s selective quote was malicious and fraudulent. She stole words to prove her point. This is symbolic of the nature of Obama’s whole approach to his Presidency.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will not meet with outgoing U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon despite pledging to hold face-to-face talks with the world’s top diplomat, Foreign Policy magazine reported Sunday.
Ban’s term is scheduled to end on Dec. 31. He will be succeeded by Portuguese diplomat Antonio Guterres.
According to the report, the apparent brush-off of “a solidly pro-American U.N. chief who could become president of South Korea, a key American ally” has been taken by U.N. officials as a “worrying sign” that the Trump administration may prove more dismissive of the U.N. than the Obama administration.
Ban and Trump spoke after the Nov. 8 elections, and the outgoing U.N. chief had reportedly hoped to use their meeting to convince Trump to support a series of U.N. priorities, most notably the U.N.’s climate change accord, struck in Paris this year, which Trump has been dismissive of during his election campaign.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted on Saturday that he would oppose funding for the United Nations until the UN Security Council reversed an anti-Israel resolution that it approved on Friday, with the acquiescence of the Obama administration.
The resolution not only describes the Israeli presence across the 1949 armistice line as illegal — including in the Old City of Jerusalem — but also encourages countries to target Israeli settlements for boycotts.
The Obama administration had vetoed a similar resolution five years ago, taking the traditional U.S. position that the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians is best resolved between the two parties, and not by the UN. However, President Barack Obama and outgoing UN Ambassador Samantha Power — a genocide expert known for anti-Israel views, and notably silent on Syria for most of the past eight years — could not resist the opportunity to land a parting blow against Israel, and abstained from the resolution rather than vetoing it.
America’s top diplomat drew a flurry of ire and scorn in response to a Hanukkah greeting he tweeted on Saturday, less than 24 hours after the US allowed an anti-Israeli settlement UN Security Council resolution to pass.
“Happy Hanukkah!,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in the tweet. “May the lights of the menorah brighten your home and the year ahead. From my family to yours, Chag Sameach.”
With many Jews and other members of the pro-Israel community still smarting from the Obama administration’s abstention from the vote on the resolution — which, among other things, deemed Israeli communities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to be illegal — a fiery backlash to Kerry’s tweet was quick to come.
“Seriously? Go choke on a latke,” international human rights lawyer and freelance journalist Arsen Ostrovsky fumed
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