Caroline Glick: Obama’s war against America
In 1989, following her tenure as President Ronald Reagan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick described how the Palestinians have used the UN to destroy Israel.
Following outgoing US President Barack Obama’s assault on Israel at the UN Security Council last Friday, longtime UN observer Claudia Rossett wrote an important article at PJMedia where she recalled Kirkpatrick’s words.
In “How the PLO was legitimized,” published in Commentary, Kirkpatrick said that Yasser Arafat and the PLO worked “to come to power through international diplomacy – reinforced by murder.”
Kirkpatrick explained, “The long march through the UN has produced many benefits for the PLO. It has created a people where there was none; a claim where there was none. Now the PLO is seeking to create a state where there already is one. That will take more than resolutions and more than an ‘international peace conference.’ But having succeeded so well over the years in its campaign to delegitimize Israel, the PLO might yet also succeed in bringing the campaign to a triumphant conclusion, with consequences for the Jewish state that would be nothing short of catastrophic.”
As Rossett noted, in falsely arguing that Obama’s support for Friday’s UN Security Council Resolution 2334 is in line with Reagan’s policies, Obama’s UN Ambassador Samantha Power deliberately distorted the historical record of US policy toward Israel and the PLO-led UN onslaught against the Jewish state.
As Rosett noted, in stark contrast to Power’s self-serving lie, neither Reagan nor George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton nor George W. Bush would have ever countenanced a resolution like 2334.
Omri Ceren (@CerenOmri) is the Managing Director for Press and Strategy at The Israel Project (TIP) and he had this to say on Twitter about how unprecedented UNSCR 2334 is, what a major break it represents from long-term American policy, and how it treats “international law.” (Scare quotes because it’s a made-up term that now means what ever we can use to bash Jews and protect real human rights abusers.)
Can’t believe this has to be done, but here’s why anyone who compares Obama knifing Israel to previous US diplomacy is a hack or an idiot 1/
UNSCR 2334 existential not political. Past UN res’s about Israel doing X. 2334 ex post facto rewrites intl law about what Jewish state is 2/
First let’s do intl: 2334 flips intl precedents. So (a) it’s diplo assault on Israel (b) shows in principle goalposts can always shift 3/
(a): 2334 flips West Bank legal status: Jewish state had great claim (mandate, San Remo, Sevres) vs weak Arab claim (bc 1948 rejection) 4/
(b): 2334 shows hostile anti-Israel diplomats cant move goalposts any time. If 1948 lines can be imposed, why not 1947 lines? Or earlier? 5/
Now let’s do domestic: 2334 flips US policy, which has never said settlements “illegal.” ALL past resolutions were in line with US policy 6/
2334 also nukes 25 years of US diplo assurances to Israel, bought with Israeli concessions, that US would prevent EXACTLY ALL THIS 7/
Specifically it nukes core Oslo assurance that West Bank status would be decided bilat – so dissolves peace process. Which ALSO means… 8/
… that it sets 25 years of US Middle East diplomacy to 0. Now this part gets very specific: For US diplomats Mideast WAS LITERALLY Oslo 9/
Dissolving Olso, which 2334 did, is (sorry) ontological issue for US 10/
Other procedural diffs inside UNSC room, but details. NEVER EVER did US approve UN res reversing US policy and intl law. Obama just did 11/
If you read someone saying or tweeting that any Pres ever did anything comparable to what Obama just did, that person is hack or idiot 12/12
Amb. Alan Baker: The Dangers of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016)
- While the resolution does not replace Security Council Resolution 242, which is the accepted and agreed basis for the Israel-Arab peace process, it nevertheless contains elements that attempt to modify Resolution 242 and to sway the negotiating process in a particular direction.
- The resolution cannot, in and of itself, serve as grounds for legal proceedings in the International Criminal Court (ICC) or other international tribunals. But clearly, it will be used by the Palestinian leadership as a political tool to buttress existing complaints.
- The United States, through its decision not to veto the resolution, enabled acceptance of a Security Council resolution referring to “occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem.” This indicates U.S. acceptance of the fact that the territories and east Jerusalem belong to the Palestinians.
- This represents a serious, and even irresponsible departure from U.S. policy which has consistently advocated negotiated settlement of the issues of permanent status, Jerusalem, and borders.
- This position taken by the United States (as well as the other members of the Security Council) also undermines the basic obligation of the Oslo Accords, signed by the PLO and witnessed by the United States (as well as the EU, Russia, Egypt and others), that the permanent status of the territories, the issues of Jerusalem, and borders are to be negotiated.
- While the United States and Israel have entertained basic disagreements on settlement policy, the United States has consistently rejected, as a matter of basic policy, any attempt by the international community to prejudge this or the other permanent status negotiating issues.
- The outrage voiced by Israel with both the resolution itself and the Obama administration’s enabling it to pass stems from five basic components:
- The text of the resolution, which is unprecedented in the extent of the condemnatory language used.
- Israel’s frustration at the irresponsible behavior by the Obama administration.
- The evident irreversibility of the resolution and the potential for future damage.
- The imbalance between accusations of Israeli violations of the Oslo Accords and the Palestinians’ blatant violations of international law in their incitement and payment to terrorists.
- The issue of settlements is not the core of the conflict. It remains the Palestinians’ refusal to recognize the Jewish State and its right to any part of the land west of the Jordan River.
Elliott Abrams: The United Nations Resolution on Israel
So what is to be done when the Palestinians refuse to negotiate? Punish Israel. Join the jackals in Turtle Bay. Adopt the PLO view that action in the United Nations will replace face-to-face talks. That was Mr. Obama’s decision.
Mr. Rhodes’s twisted formulation “where is the evidence that not doing this is slowing the settlement construction?” is a kind of epitaph for Obama policy. He explained: “we have a body of evidence to assess how this Israeli government has responded to us not taking this kind of action, and that suggests that they will continue to accelerate the type of settlement construction that puts a two-state solution at risk.” Settlements expand if we veto resolutions, he is saying, so we have decided not to veto resolutions.
This is precisely wrong, a true inversion of the truth. The Obama account of settlement expansion is invented and avoids the facts to build a case against Israel. Netanyahu is not popular among settlers exactly because he has restrained settlement growth and as noted adopted a ten-month freeze. In 2009 Hillary Clinton said “What the prime minister has offered in specifics on restraints on a policy of settlements … is unprecedented.” What has been the Obama reaction to his restraint, to his freeze, to the PLO refusal to negotiate?
The reaction has been to blame Israel and assault Netanyahu year after year, including with childish epithets. And this attitude culminated finally in the abandonment of Israel at the United Nations. Supporters of strong Israel-American relations can only be glad that the 22nd Amendment limits presidents to two terms in the White House.
On Friday, the U.S. declined to veto a UN Security Council resolution that effectively declared it illegal for Jews to live in territories acquired by Israel in 1967. Eran Lerman explains the implications:
[T]he resolution greatly reduces the likelihood that the Palestinian leadership will have what it takes to strike a workable compromise at the negotiating table. It is weak and divided, and has not been marked hitherto by the courage necessary to make an implementable outcome possible.
Mahmoud Abbas did offer a conciliatory note after the UN vote, calling for coexistence and implying that he is aware that the future still depends on the Israeli electorate. But he is less able now than ever before to offer a vision that departs from the template of expectations he and his colleagues have generated. A “solution” tailored to satisfy the hopes fostered by the resolution’s text—i.e., the delegitimization and ultimate removal of each and every Jew living beyond the 1949 armistice lines, absurdly including east Jerusalem—simply cannot be implemented. Anyone who encourages the Palestinians to believe that the forced removal of hundreds of thousands is preferable to a convoluted but practical compromise that would involve human dislocation on a much smaller scale—and that leaves Jerusalem a living, united city—is abetting a pipe dream.
Venezuela and Malaysia, virulent anti-Israel players, [supported the resolution] for their own reasons. Senegal tagged along. New Zealand may have failed to comprehend what the initiative entails, and in Europe the settlements have been an obsessive preoccupation for years. But the Obama administration was well positioned to know that this resolution would do little but harm. Its decision to let it happen anyway, when Egypt offered a legitimate and honorable way out, raises troubling questions about Barack Obama’s motives.
Richard Kemp & Rafael Bardaji: Obama and the UN’s Outrageous Assault on Israel’s Legitimacy
It is no good President Obama’s staff pretending that the decision to abstain was made on the spur of the moment. Instead it has been long planned. We have known of the president’s intention to lash out at Israel in this precise way and at this precise time for over a year. We believe he would have done so whether it was Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump that succeeded him. The undoubted difficulties this move imposes on the next president are considered secondary to the need to make a final strike at Israel and to bolster his own legacy.
We remain confident that President-elect Trump, as he has already indicated, will act decisively to mitigate the damage done to Israel and to increase stability between the two sides. As well as taking a long, hard look at the UN itself, we would urge him to cease incentivizing and funding Palestinian violence and intransigence that has been the result of President Obama’s misguided policies and those of so many other world leaders, especially in Europe.
We also see a serious need to redouble global efforts against the pernicious BDS movement which, as we mention above, will have been emboldened by Resolution 2334. The BDS campaign is a racist cancer that seeks not a two-state solution but the destruction of the Jewish State through discrimination and boycotts, and encourages anti-Semitism wherever it raises its head.
Despite the unprecedented attack by President Obama and the UN Security Council we continue to see an ever-brighter future for the Jewish State, especially with the support and protection we are expecting from the Trump administration.
But we also appeal to democratic leaders everywhere, who have too often been blinded by a decades-old anti-Israel propaganda campaign. The State of Israel needs and deserves their support as well as that of the US. It is the only liberal, democratic country in the Middle East, where freedom and equality can be enjoyed by all, irrespective of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. And for every country in the West as well as many in the Middle East, Israel remains a vitally important ally against global terrorism and insecurity.
Ronald Lauder: The UN is preventing true Israeli-Palestinian peace
The issue at stake here is not the settlements, but rather the United Nations’ decision to impose external restrictions and intervene in Israeli law and efforts to resume peace negotiations, and the fact that by not vetoing or even rejecting this resolution, the US allowed it to pass, a resounding stab in the back of its great ally.
Israel has shown time and again that it is willing to enter talks to end this conflict, but the Palestinians, instead of coming to the negotiating table, have imposed numerous preconditions, including the settlement question. The most viable end to this conflict — as is the official position of the World Jewish Congress representing more than 100 Jewish communities across the globe — is a two-state solution, one reached through direct negotiations by the two parties who have lived together and suffered in this region for decades. Resolutions such as these only hinder the likelihood of a real settlement directly negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians.
The United Nations consistently takes sides against Israel and seeks to foist its will rather than playing honest broker so as to enable Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate. In deferring to the Security Council on this critical core issue, the US has allowed the counterproductive bias of the United Nations to gain the upper hand, at least in the short term, posing yet another obstacle to a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Just as important, it removes any incentive for the Palestinian Authority to budge from its refusal to negotiate peace with Israel. In effect, Obama, who has claimed to be a champion of the peace process, has effectively killed it. By colluding with the Palestinians in this UN gambit, Obama has endorsed their end-run around direct negotiations sponsored by the United States and has ensured they won’t be revived, no matter how many times Netanyahu reiterates his offer of talks.
Nothing Netanyahu did in the last eight years or even in the last few months was a departure from existing Israeli policies toward the territories. To the contrary, settlement growth slowed under his government, a fact that his right-wing critics have not missed. Nor has he stepped back from his willingness to negotiate a two-state solution.
No previous American government made a point, as Obama has consistently done, of attacking Israel’s position in Jerusalem. Under the terms of this resolution, the Western Wall and other Jewish holy places in Jerusalem are considered to be Palestinian. This isn’t merely offensive to Jews. It’s a not so thinly veiled endorsement of the vicious Palestinian campaign at UNESCO and other UN bodies to deny Jewish history and religion by claiming Jerusalem’s holy places are exclusively Muslim.
As Obama knew full well, the mischief that will ensue from Resolution 2334 will not be able to be undone by his successor. He took this vindictive act in full knowledge that it was the Palestinians who have turned down numerous offers of statehood. It may also be followed up in the days before January 20 with an even more damaging resolution that could recognize Palestinian statehood in the 1967 lines without forcing them to make peace with Israel first. Though Obama and his apologists may believe this is necessary to “save Israel from itself,” what he has done could actually finish the already remote hopes for peace for another generation.
This betrayal won’t cause Israel to surrender its rights or its security and it may well encourage President-elect Trump to take actions to retaliate against the UN and the Palestinians in order to restore some balance. But whatever else happens, it cannot be denied is that on Jerusalem and on peace, Barack Obama has done more to damage the U.S.-Israel relationship that any president in the last 60 years.
Also quick in support of Trump’s stance was former prime minister Stephen Harper.
“Thank you president-elect @realDonaldTrump for being a principled voice on Israel at the UN,” tweeted Harper, a staunch backer of Israel, and well versed in the nuances of Middle East complexities.
From Prime Minister Justin Trudeau … nothing.
Wherever he was on his Christmas break, he was staying mute.
Suffice, however, Trudeau is more in line with Obama when it comes to Israel than with Trump and Harper.
Back in August, for example, Trudeau told a Toronto town hall meeting that “Israel is a friend, Israel is an ally, and Israel is a country that has values and an approach on many issues that are very much aligned with Canadian values.
“But, at the same time,” he said, “we won’t hesitate from talking about unhelpful steps like the continued illegal settlements.”
So, there it is.
At a time when the Trudeau government has made it a priority to regain a seat at the UN’s Security Council, Canada’s presence would have done nothing to change last week’s UN vote.
Israel would have be condemned with the same unanimity.
Some “friend,” Canada; some “ally.”
Regardless, none of these political considerations make the legal argument(s) any different. It is important to remember that neither the UN (except in limited circumstances) nor the US make international law, and that the opinions they express about international law, and what it should be, are often simply political in nature, intended to pressure parties into conforming with a particular agenda. But the truth is that aside from being wrong and ineffectual, even from a political standpoint the U.S. allowing the Resolution to pass was likely actually harmful to the overall peace process.
As President Obama once famously explained, resolutions are not the way to make peace, negotiations are. And as former UN Ambassador for the United States Susan Rice explained when she vetoed the 2011 vote, all these resolutions do is make negotiations that much harder.
So long as institutions like the United Nations continue to issue one-sided statements that ignore foundational concepts in international law, pressuring Israeli leadership to concede more and more while ignoring their previous concessions (i.e. like the ripping up of Jewish settlements in Gaza, which led not to peace but to Hamas terror tunnels and rockets, or the fact that Israel has already returned roughly 95 percent of the territory it legitimately regained in 1967) and failing to hold Palestinian leadership accountable for their actions (inciting hatred) and statements (refusing to recognize Israel’s right to exist), real peace cannot happen.
These resolutions are annoying and sad — they incentivize Palestinian leadership to try and play end games around Israel instead of engaging directly with their bargaining opponent, and they leave Israel less inclined to even try.
In pulling his veto on the eve of Hanukkah President Obama failed to heed the lesson of the holiday. Historically speaking, unlike his own administration, when Israel faces illegitimate and unjust pressure to conform it does not bend. Instead it continues to shine its light as the only real democracy in the entire Middle East, with faith that its light will not be diminished but will eventually spread and grow.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received unexpected backing in his battle against UN Security Council Resolution 2334 Tuesday from two rivals who have recently been frequent critics: Former interior minister Gideon Sa’ar and former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon.
Sa’ar and Ya’alon are both senior Likud figures resigned from the cabinet and took a break from politics due in part to disputes with Netanyahu. Nevertheless, they both felt it necessary to speak out against the UN resolution and US President Barack Obama’s steps that permitted it to pass.
“I don’t believe the explanations of the Obama administration, which are not authentic,” Sa’ar told Army Radio. “I think there was an ambush here. That is why I choose to support the prime minister when Israel is under attack, and I think every Israeli patriot should do that.”
Sa’ar rejected charges from Ben Rhodes, Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications, that the resolution was brought on by Netanyahu’s policies on construction in Judea and Samaria.
“It is not right to blame ourselves,” he said. “This government isn’t building more than others. I don’t believe Obama administration claims that the resolution came because of outpost law. They were planning this ambush for an entire year.”
Ya’alon wrote on his Facebook page, purposely writing in English, that the resolution was “mistaken, immoral and counter-productive.”
“It will resolve nothing,” he wrote. “It will only embolden those who have no interest in peace!”
Israel will start the construction of a new bypass road in the West Bank next week, Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
“It’s a strategic plan that we have for the next 20 to 30 years to connect all the main roads in the West Bank to roads in central Israel,” Ben-Dahan told the Post from his office in Jerusalem, adding that “it will strengthen the Jewish presence in the West Bank.”
Despite the bombshell United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity as illegal and demanding that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the ‘occupied’ Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem,” the adoption of the resolution will not have an impact on the building of the bypass roads, according to Ben-Dahan.
“We have not been ordered to stop, and so we will continue,” he said, adding that now there “is a big opportunity for us to annex Judea and Samaria.”
Israel has invested billions of shekels into the construction of an extensive road system in the West Bank since 1967, and bypass roads enable access to and between settlements without having to pass through Palestinian villages.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to announce on Tuesday that Israel will suspend all development aid to the African nation of Angola following the latter’s support of a recent UN resolution condemning Israeli West Bank construction.
This is the latest in a series of retaliatory, diplomatic measures against those who went against the Jewish State. Angola is one of 14 countries who supported the anti-Israel resolution.
Angolan diplomats promised Israel that they would abstain from voting on the resolution, but decided to go against their word.
Additionally, when being called in to clarify his country’s actions during a meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, the Ambassador decided to park illegally, and was given a parking ticket from the municipality.
Angola is a major oil producing state, and currently occupies the province of Cabinda. Cabindans have been fighting for a sovereign independent state since 1960
One of the thirteen principles of the Jewish faith, compiled by the medieval philosopher Maimonides, reads as follows: “I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah, and although he may tarry, I wait every day for his coming.”
Replace “the Messiah” with “a drastic increase in Israel’s global popularity,” and you’ll get the first article of faith from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s foreign policy gospel.
It is his ironclad belief, despite significant evidence to the contrary, that Israel’s standing in the world is terrific and will imminently become even better that lies behind the array of dramatic punitive steps he took this week against the 14 countries who supported Friday’s anti-settlement resolution at the UN Security Council, and the one who abstained — the United States.
Netanyahu’s deep-seated conviction that the world no longer much cares about the settlements, or Palestinian statehood, but is extremely thirsty for Israel’s high-tech prowess and anti-terrorism know-how, has been undented by even the most crushing diplomatic defeats.
It was not shattered by the fact that the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of granting the “State of Palestine” observer status in 2011, or that UNESCO continually passes resolutions that ignore the Jewish people’s ties to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, or that, as a general rule, large majorities of the world’s countries still support the Palestinian cause and vote against Israel.
In September, Netanyahu told the General Assembly that “Israel’s diplomatic relations are undergoing nothing less than a revolution” and that the UN’s automatic anti-Israel majority will be a thing of the past less than 10 years from now.
A prominent Palestinian journalist and confidant of PA President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday the Palestinians were collecting the names and photographs of “hundreds” of Israel Defense Forces soldiers, with the intention of bringing them to the International Criminal Court in 2017.
“In 2017, we are going to The Hague,” said Nasser Laham, according to Channel 2. “We have hundreds of pages of names of IDF officers. Every pilot and every officer and every soldier — we have his photo, we have his name, and we are waiting for him at The Hague.”
“If we are successful with one, just one, it will be a different world,” the editor of the Palestinian Ma’an news agency was quoted saying.
In his remarks, Laham urged the Palestinians to renounce violence and allow the Palestinian leadership to focus on international efforts to prosecute Israeli military officials.
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, center, waits on the steps of the International Criminal Court after answering questions of reporters in The Hague, Netherlands, Thursday, June 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, center, waits on the steps of the International Criminal Court after answering questions of reporters in The Hague, Netherlands, Thursday, June 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
“I told my people in a live broadcast — in suits and ties we will take the Israelis to The Hague, we will handcuff them,” he said. “Don’t use violence, don’t explode. This is a war without bullets. Just wait, give us another chance.”
Since the 2014 Gaza war, Palestinian officials have sought to prosecute Israel in the international court. Palestinians formally asked the ICC in 2015 to investigate the Jewish state, which is not a party to the treaty that governs the court, for alleged war crimes.
While Israel vehemently opposes any ICC investigation, officials have said they will cooperate with the body to convince it of the competence of the state’s own court.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday expressed the hope that the upcoming Middle East conference in France will set in place a mechanism to end Israel’s settlement construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Abbas’s public remarks were his first since Friday’s United Nations Security Council resolution, which condemned Israeli settlements as a “flagrant violation” of international law. Abbas told a meeting of his Fatah party late Monday that the resolution “paves the way for the international peace conference” scheduled to take place in Paris on January 15.
A day after the vote, Abbas hailed the UN resolution as setting “the legal basics for a solution,” as it “reiterated that Israeli settlement is illegal.”
“The world said its word that settlement in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, is illegal,” Abbas said Saturday night, while calling on Israel “to sit together at the negotiation table to discuss all the outstanding issues between us and resolve them with good intentions…we are neighbors on this holy land and we want peace.”
Israel has refused to attend the January 15 gathering, with officials insisting that only bilateral negotiations can lead to a peace agreement. The Palestinians support the French initiative, which will see representatives of some two dozen countries convening in a bid to jump-start moribund peace efforts.
Bret Stephens: Obama’s Fitting Finish
In the list of low points in U.S. foreign policy, the betrayal of Israel ranks high.
Barack Obama’s decision to abstain from, and therefore allow, last week’s vote to censure Israel at the U.N. Security Council is a fitting capstone for what’s left of his foreign policy. Strategic half-measures, underhanded tactics and moralizing gestures have been the president’s style from the beginning. Israelis aren’t the only people to feel betrayed by the results.
Also betrayed: Iranians, whose 2009 Green Revolution in heroic protest of a stolen election Mr. Obama conspicuously failed to endorse for fear of offending the ruling theocracy.
Iraqis, who were assured of a diplomatic surge to consolidate the gains of the military surge, but who ceased to be of any interest to Mr. Obama the moment U.S. troops were withdrawn, and only concerned him again when ISIS neared the gates of Baghdad.
Syrians, whose initially peaceful uprising against anti-American dictator Bashar Assad Mr. Obama refused to embrace, and whose initially moderate-led uprising Mr. Obama failed to support, and whose sarin- and chlorine-gassed children Mr. Obama refused to rescue, his own red lines notwithstanding.
Ukrainians, who gave up their nuclear weapons in 1994 with formal U.S. assurances that their “existing borders” would be guaranteed, only to see Mr. Obama refuse to supply them with defensive weapons when Vladimir Putin invaded their territory 20 years later.
Pro-American Arab leaders, who expected better than to be given ultimatums from Washington to step down, and who didn’t anticipate the administration’s tilt toward the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate political opposition, and toward Tehran as a responsible negotiating partner.
Most betrayed: Americans.
In the wake of the US abstention on the UN Security Council vote to render all territory outside of the 1967 lines, including the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is rallying support in Congress in anticipation of the Obama administration’s final indignity against the Jewish State.
“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,” reports The Times of Israel. “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.”
If Netanyahu’s fears are materialized, peace, let alone a two-state solution, may be all but impossible.
A resolution cementing the parameters of a Palestinian state would tie Israel’s hands, imposing a restricting precondition on any and all serious future negotiations brokered by international partners, including the United States.
Under the guise of opposing so-called “settlements,” the Obama administration has already designated Israel as a de facto pariah state.
Casting more aspersions against Jewish sovereignty would likely embolden Palestinian extremists, including Islamic terrorist group Hamas, who call for the complete elimination of the State of Israel.
Vice President Joe Biden is denying accusations that he personally lobbied foreign leaders to vote in favor of a hotly contested anti-Israel resolution at the United Nations last week that has brought U.S.-Israel relations to an all time low, according to sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon about the matter.
Insiders familiar with the matter said Biden spoke by phone with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to ask that his country vote in favor of the resolution, which was passed by the U.N. Security Council last week when the United States, in a reversal of longstanding policy, did not exercise its veto power to kill the measure.
The Obama administration’s decision to allow the resolution to pass drew outrage from a bipartisan range of voices in Congress and the Jewish organizational world.
Sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon described Biden as personally lobbying in favor of the resolution, which comports with claims by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that “the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated on the wording and demanded that it be passed.”
A Russian diplomat claimed Tuesday that his country had misgivings about the timing and content of last week’s United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements.
While Moscow supported the resolution, Russia’s Deputy Ambassador to Israel Alexander Dubrovin told Army Radio on Tuesday morning that his country tried to delay the vote but was opposed by the rest of the Security Council members.
“Russia had reservations, primarily about the timing of the resolution,” he said, “but the other countries did not agree with Russia’s position to continue the discussion.” He said that Russia was also also unhappy that the resolution focused on one aspect of the complex ongoing situation between Israelis and Palestinians, that of settlements.
Jewish Ukrainian MP Alexander Feldman said Tuesday that he planned to put a new bill on the table at the Rada, proposing that Ukraine move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Feldman made the announcement on Facebook amid a diplomatic spat between Ukraine and Israel, following Ukraine’s vote in favor of an anti-settlements bill at the UN Security Council on Friday. The vote spurred Israel’s subsequent cancellation of a scheduled visit by Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman which caused Ukraine to summon Israel’s ambassador to Kiev for clarification.
In a Facebook post, Feldman emphasized that he was very upset by Ukraine’s vote at the UN and about the cancellation of the prime minister’s visit to Israel.
Feldman is an active leader of the Ukrainian Jewish community. “For many years my colleagues and I have been working on the development of relations between our countries and we have achieved a lot,” he said, mentioning visa-free entry between the two countries as well as lower airfares.
“Of course, the consequence of our vote has disappointed Israelis and seriously undermines what we have achieved,” he lamented.
President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told Israel’s Channel 2 news it was unfair to suggest the US decision to abstain from an anti-settlements resolution at the United Nations Security Council on Friday was proof of any anti-Israeli sentiment emanating from the White House.
“I think the true face of this president’s support for Israel can be seen in his entire record,” Rhodes said. “This president has overseen unprecedented military and security cooperation, life-saving support to Iron Dome and a $38 billion memorandum of understanding that he completed before he left office because he wanted to have that commitment to Israel’s security as part of his legacy.”
Netanyahu, who has publicly accused Obama of “ambushing” Israel at the UN with the “shameful” resolution has fumed at the White House for withholding its veto and allowing it to pass, and has also accused Obama of proposing and pushing the measure “behind Israel’s back.”
On Sunday, in an extremely rare move, Netanyhau summoned US Ambassador Dan Shapiro and personally met with him for “clarifications” on the decision to abstain.
A number of major American Jewish organizations are indicating that they will support the Israeli government if it decides to seek US recognition of Israeli retention of the Golan Heights.
Member of Knesset Michael Oren (Kulanu), a former Israeli ambassador to the US who currently serves as deputy minister for diplomacy in the Prime Minister’s Office, told Bloomberg News that he is urging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to seek US recognition of Israel’s control of the Golan after President-elect Donald Trump takes office next month.
“If it weren’t for Israel’s presence, the Syria war would be spilling over to Jordan,” Oren said. “So Israel’s presence in the Golan is indispensable for Mideast stability.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said in an interview with JNS.org that he visited the Golan earlier this year and was struck by the fact that “with a pair of binoculars, I could see the ISIS (Islamic State) flag flying on the Syrian side.” He said he was told by an Israeli intelligence officer that “there are at least eight different terrorist groups controlling areas along the Syrian side of the current Israel-Syrian border.”
“It’s no wonder Israelis across the political spectrum agree that Israel must retain control of this strip of land,” Cooper said.
Friday, after the United States failed to use its veto power to stop a strongly anti-Israel resolution from passing in the United Nations, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) offered a simple solution–pull funding.
Graham told CNN that he would introduce measures to pull funding from the U.N. until they reversed the resolution, and Cruz expanded on that thought in an official statement:
“For eight long years, the Obama administration has worked systematically to undermine the nation of Israel. They actively worked to defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu, and illegally used U.S. taxpayer funds to do so. Never has there been a more anti-Israel Administration, and today’s United Nations vote is the culmination of their systemic agenda to weaken Israel and strengthen its enemies.
I agree with the senior Israeli government official who said today:
‘President Obama and Secretary Kerry are behind this shameful move against Israel at the UN….The U.S. administration secretly cooked up with the Palestinians an extreme anti-Israeli resolution behind Israel’s back which would be a tailwind for terror and boycotts.’
Every Obama foreign policy official should be ashamed of today’s UN resolution, and any official who disagrees with or hopes to avoid the anti-Israel legacy of this Administration should resign on principle today.
Arab social media users were largely content with the UN Security Council motion condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. They were, however, skeptical of the international community’s ability to force Israel to comply with the resolution, which calls for a halt to all Israeli construction in those territories.
Some of the more prominent voices preferred to discuss Egypt’s initial introduction of the resolution and its subsequent decision to pull the resolution before it could be voted on.
Journalist and pundit Abdelbari Atwan wrote that he “would’ve loved for this achievement at UNSC to have gone under Egypt’s or another Arab state’s belt, but these are tough times for Arabs. Thanks to the four states who were not afraid to face up to Israel and defend justice.”
Al-Jazeera journalist Jamal Rayyan wrote that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah “Sisi’s willingness to protect Israel’s interests returned to hit him like a boomerang in the shape of a blunder so embarrassing that not even the waters of the Nile could wash it away. This laid bare the fact that Sisi is a traitor to vital Arab interests.”
A Colonialist state founded on the theft of Maori land blames Israel for its own crimes
Last Friday, New Zealand introduced a resolution in the UN Security Council that pronounced “settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967” to be illegal, a definition that includes the Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, and other historically-recognized parts of the Jewish State. While the United States made headlines by abstaining from the 14-0 vote, less attention was paid to the resolution’s sponsor—and to the dark history that lies behind a small South Pacific nation’s passionate feelings about a property dispute in the Middle East.
New Zealanders are no strangers to settlements—or to the cavalier denial of the rights of an indigenous people in their historic homeland. Coincidentally or not, this December marks the 153rd anniversary of The New Zealand Settlements Act, which shows that the denial of indigenous rights, and the deliberate destruction of a two-state solution in favor of an illegal land grab, are the bedrock on which the modern state of New Zealand was founded. Given that history, and the current realities of New Zealand’s treatment of its indigenous Maori population, the country’s steering of a UN Security Council resolution pronouncing the Jewish connection to our historic homeland to be illegal passes well into the territory of historical denialism.
The story of New Zealand’s continuing illegal occupation of Maori land is best told by numbers: in 1831, there were fewer than 1,000 Europeans living in New Zealand, a population dwarfed by that of the local Maori tribes. By 1881, that number had mushroomed to 500,000, largely the result of British policy that shipped off settlers to the new continent and encouraged them to stay. It goes without saying that these Europeans had neither historical attachment nor any legal claim to the land. While the Maoris were happy at first to trade with the newcomers, they eventually realized that the Pākehā, their name for the white settlers, would not be satisfied until they seized all of the land and eliminated the Maori way of life. Wars broke out, and treaties were signed, which finally divided sovereignty in the land between the European colonialists and the aboriginal inhabitants.
But dividing the land in half between the Maori and the European colonialists wasn’t enough to satisfy the ancestors of today’s New Zealanders. In 1863, the colonial government ordered all Maori to lay down their arms. Those who did not, according to the newly passed land confiscation clauses contained in the New Zealand Settlements Act, would “forfeit the right to possession of their lands.” Four million acres of Maori lands were subsequently seized by the government in Wellington without the slightest pretense of due process and handed out as prizes to European colonialists, and Maori sovereignty in their ancestral homeland was effectively eliminated.
IsraellyCool: An Open Letter to New Zealand
Here in Israel, people who hold one standard for themselves and another for others are called hypocrites. Apparently in your country, they are called politicians.
I think your rejection of our connection to the land of Israel isn’t based on anti-Israel beliefs but is likely an indication of a fundamental problem you have, a deep-seated fear that the Maori people might think they are entitled to their land, as we believe we are entitled to ours. Perhaps you identify more with the Palestinians than Israelis because ultimately, they, like you, are the true occupiers.
Your island is surrounded by glass and the stones you hurl at Israel merely strike back at you. Our rights to this land date back long before your island was even discovered. While it was a barren rock surrounded by sea, my people were building communities, practicing their religion, raising their children. They were exiled and returned, exiled and returned. We have fought off bitter enemies far more cunning than you.
Sometimes the greatest evil lurks in those who would claim they have no interest. But you have an interest. You don’t want the world to see the plight of the Maori; better to divert attention against Israel.
Shalom, New Zealand. I hope the rewards you get balance out for the integrity you lost, the honor you abandoned.
In real life, in political life, in its relations with its own people, New Zealand seems to be on very shaky ground while here in Israel, we walk on soil that has withstood countless enemies, liars, and hypocrites.
Fox News strategic analyst Lt. Col. Ralph Peters didn’t disappoint when he spoke with Patti Anne Browne on America’s Newsroom Monday, bluntly summing up President Obama’s Middle-East policy in a way only he could.
Peters, known for calling the president “such a total pu**y,” was commenting on recent remarks made by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani who called Obama’s attitude towards terrorism “lackadaisical.”
However, Peters disagreed with the former mayor for suggesting domestic terrorism has gotten worse under Obama, but that didn’t mean he had kind words for the president, either:
“I don’t think he’s right about the domestic scene. Our domestic intelligence and law enforcement agencies have really done an amazingly good job, if you think about it. We haven’t seen another 9/11-level plot or anything even approaching it, really. And inevitably, some terrorists will get through.
“Now, Obama could have done a better job, but where you really have to fault the outgoing president is on his disastrous approach to the Middle East which I can bluntly sum up in six words, which is: praise Islam, ignore Christians, blame Jews.”
Attorney Alan Dershowitz has condemned President Obama’s abstention from the U.N. resolution regarding Israeli settlements as a stab in the back, declaring he may go down as one of the worst American presidents on foreign policy.
Dershowitz, who supported Obama in both the 2008 and 2012 elections, pulled no punches in his condemnation of Obama’s treatment of Israel in the remaining days of his presidency, which is one of his harshest criticisms of the President to date:
It’s the most undemocratic thing a president can do, to tie the hands of his successor during the lame duck period. And what he did was so nasty; he pulled a bait-and-switch. He said to the American public: ‘Oh, this is all about the settlements deep in the West Bank.’ Yet he allowed his representative to the U.N. to abstain–which is really ‘for’–a resolution that is basically ‘Jews can’t pray at the Western Wall; Jewish-Arab students can’t go to Hebrew university; Jewish and Arab patients can’t go to Hadassah hospital; Jews can’t live in the Jewish Quarter, where they’ve lived for thousands of years.’ And he’s gonna say: ‘Whoops! I didn’t mean that…’
The United States pays 22% of the total UN budget. What we get for our $3 billion a year is a corrupt organization whose dysfunctional and hostile agencies are united in opposing us around the world.
The United Nations does only two things consistently and effectively: waste money and bash Israel. Sometimes it manages to do both at the same time.
After an extended, and no doubt costly, visit to the region, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women blamed Muslim men beating their wives on Israeli settlements.
No wonder the UN Security Council just condemned them. Who wouldn’t rightfully be upset that Jews living in Jerusalem somehow causes poor Mohammed to batter his wife?
The Jewish State is the UN’s scapegoat for anything and everything. The Palestinian Authority blamed Israel at the UN for Global Warming. WHO denounced Israel for violating “health rights.” And even when Muslim terrorists stab Israelis, it’s still Israel’s fault.
On Sunday, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, who in charge of the National Hanukkah Menorah lighting that occurred within yards of the White House, blasted the Obama administration’s decision to allow the United Nations to pass the vicious anti-Israel UN resolution on Friday.
Shemtov, executive vice president of American Friends of Lubavitch, reacted after Adam Szubin, acting treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, who was the Obama administration’s representative, spoke of the significance and symbolism of candles and light as they pertain to Hanukkah, according to The Washington Examiner.
Secretary Szubin spoke before of fighting darkness with light. I remember those words being spoken to a particular man by the Rebbe [Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson] many, many years ago on Simchat Torah, when we rejoiced with the Torah. The Rebbe told him, “You are working in a place where there is great grief and darkness, but remember that in that place of darkness, you can only counter it by lighting a candle. By creating light.”
That man was Benyamin Netanyahu, and he was at the time the ambassador to the United Nations.
PreOccupiedTerritory: UN To Wait On Setting Jerusalem Status Quo Till After Babylonian Conquest (satire)
Diplomats at the United Nations reported today that the Security Council will hold off on a resolution fixing the prevailing status of Jerusalem as the only legal disposition of the city until after Nebuchadnezzar’s forces vanquish Judean defenders and destroy the Temple.
A draft proposal by New Zealand and Venezuela calls for the Council to declare that any departure from the current sovereignty model in Jerusalem constitutes a violation of international law and is to be met with sanctions or other methods of enforcement, but representatives of both UN delegations indicated today that an immediate submission of the proposal would be inopportune, since passage of the measure risks establishing Jewish control of the city as the legal default, a situation that the diplomats called intolerable. The delegations will therefore wait until the Babylonian emperor’s army, under the command of Nebuzaradan, pierces the city’s perimeter, massacres its inhabitants by the tens of thousands, exiles the bulk of the population, and burns down the four-century-old Temple of Solomon.
“We do not feel comfortable cementing Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem,” explained Venezuelan Ambassador Rafael Ramirez. “It goes against the established and consistent policy of the Venezuelan government going back to Hugo Chavez, and unfairly prejudices the outcome of long-term status issues against the opponents of the Jewish State. Our allies in Tehran, for example, would see in such a move a betrayal of its vital interests.”
New Zealand diplomats voiced similar concerns. “This body must refrain from endorsing Jewish settlement of any sort beyond the 1949 armistice lines,” argued Ambassador Gerard Van Bohemen. “Longstanding international sensibilities do not consider it a material point that the settlement or settlement-type activity in question here is taking place prior to 1949. As far as New Zealand and her counterparts are concerned, Jewish assertion of control of Jerusalem in 586 BCE is no loophole. We hope the passage of this resolution sends a clear message to King Zedekiah that no such situation will be tolerated by the world community.”
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