Caroline Glick: Obama and Israel, strike and counter-strike
UN Security Council Resolution 2334 was the first prong of outgoing President Barack Obama’s lame duck campaign against Israel.
US Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech on Wednesday was the second.
On January 15, stage 3 will commence in Paris.
At France’s lame duck President François Hollande’s international conference, the foreign ministers of some 50 states are expected to adopt as their own Kerry’s anti-Israel principles.
The next day it will be Obama’s turn. Obama can be expected to use the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr. Day to present the Palestinian war to annihilate Israel as a natural progression from the American Civil Rights movement that King led 50 years ago.
Finally, sometime between January 17 and 19, Obama intends for the Security Council to reconvene and follow the gang at the Paris conference by adopting Kerry’s positions as a Security Council resolution. That follow-on resolution may also recognize “Palestine” and grant it full membership in the UN.
True, Kerry said the administration will not put forward another Security Council resolution.
But as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained in his response to Kerry’s address, there is ample reason to suspect that France or Sweden, or both, will put forth such a resolution. Since the draft will simply be a restatement of Kerry’s speech, Obama will not veto it.
Evelyn Gordon: The UN Vote Mocks the Law
Fast forward to the 1993 Oslo Accord, under which Israel voluntarily gave parts of the West Bank and Gaza to the Palestinians, and you still won’t find any sanctification of the 1949 armistice line. The accord explicitly lists “Jerusalem” and “settlements” as “issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations,” meaning Israel did not concede its claim to either east Jerusalem or any of the territory on which the settlements sit. This document was formally witnessed by the United States and Russia–two of the countries that blithely voted to abrogate its terms last week.
The 1995 Interim Agreement transferred additional territory to the Palestinians, but once again designated Jerusalem and the settlements as issues to be negotiated in final-status talks, thereby preserving Israel’s claims to them. This agreement also added several other witnesses, including Egypt and the European Union. Egypt is currently a Security Council member, as are three EU countries: France, Spain and Britain (which voted to leave the EU but hasn’t yet done so). So we’re now up to six Security Council members that voted last week to abrogate agreements they witnessed.
Not coincidentally, Resolution 2334 also treats Israel in a way no other UN member has ever been treated. As Eugene Kontorovich and Penny Grunseid wrote three months ago, the UN has never deemed any other state an “occupying power”–not Turkey in northern Cyprus, not Russia in Georgia or Crimea, not Armenia in Azerbaijan, etc. Yet those countries actually are occupying other countries’ territory. Israel, in contrast, is “occupying” territory that never belonged to any other country (no state of “Palestine” ever existed at any point in human history) and to which it has the strongest claim under international law.
In short, Resolution 2334 violates previous League of Nations and Security Council decisions; it violates signed agreements witnessed by the very states that voted for it; it violates a fundamental principle of all law by setting one standard for Israel and another for the rest of the world. As such, there’s only one possible way for anyone who actually cares about “international law” to treat it–as having “no legal validity” whatsoever.
Alan Dershowitz: Kerry’s Speech Will Make Peace Harder
The primary barrier to the two-state solution remains the Palestinian unwillingness to accept the U.N. resolution of 1947 calling for two states for two peoples — the Jewish people and the Arab people. This means explicit recognition by Palestinians to accept Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. Kerry did not sufficiently address this issue.
The most important point Kerry made is that the Obama administration will not unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state, without an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. He also implied that U.S. will not push for any additional Security Council resolution. Kerry’s speech is therefore just that: a speech with little substance and no importance. It will be quickly forgotten along with the many other one-sided condemnations of Israel that litter the historical record.
Kerry would have done a real service to peace if he had pressed the Palestinian leadership to come to the negotiation table as hard as he pressed the Israeli leadership to end settlement expansions. But his one-sided presentation did not move the peace process forward. Let us hope it does not set it back too far. What a missed opportunity — a tragedy that could have been easily averted by a more balanced approach both at the Security Council and the Kerry speech.
I hope the Trump administration will understand, and act on, the reality that the real barrier to peace is the unwillingness of the Palestinian authority to sit down and negotiate with Israel, with each side making
We who have been pro-Palestine have become our own worst enemies. When new thinking on any issue is instantly labeled treacherous, only inward looking violently inbred and dogmatic ideologies such as jihadism can thrive. All the more reason why creative thinking on this issue among Arabs, Muslims, and the left is so important.
I know that in writing these words I will inevitably be charged with being pro-settlements and much more. This tends to be the default reaction of those who love to deal only in absolutes—a right wing trait, no?
In truth, I believe Israeli settlements to be illegal under international law, built on occupied land, and that Netanyahu has been uncooperative while in office, and that a two-state solution is not only still possible, but is the only viable option for solving this conflict. Yet still I maintain that Resolution 2334 was an amateur, emotional move by liberal dogmatists that will only aid the Israeli right.
There is nothing unique about the Israel conflict deserving such disproportionate attention. Baluchistan, Kurdistan, Cyprus, Kashmir, and Taiwan are but a few other disputed territories not fetishized like Palestine is at the UN and in our media. All of these disputes involve deep religious, historic, and political meaning for their respective parties.
Only the overwhelming narcissism of our Abrahamic faiths – including those among us who define themselves against them—would deem the religious and historic significance of the “Holy Lands” to mean anything more than other lost holy lands for Buddhists in Tibet, or Sikhs in Khalistan, which was lost to Pakistan a year before Israel’s creation. Only by releasing the “exceptional status” pressure from this conflict, by stripping it of its religious hyperbole, by removing it from the spotlight, by simply placing it on a par with every and any other conflict in the world—tragic but not unique—do we stand a better chance of solving it, because the stakes are lowered and the frothing prophets of doom, with their Armageddon pathology, are taken out of the equation. Let us call this “Israeli unexceptionalism.”
I remain unaware of a single Middle East pundit not tied to Obama’s State department who holds that the outgoing president has done a good job in the Middle East. Obama cut a deal with Iran and conditionally lifted sanctions, while the Iranians, Hezbollah and Russian President Vladimir Putin aided Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as he used crude chemical bombs and massively destructive weapons against his own people. And just as Obama’s inaction allowed others to act in Syria, his inaction at the UN set the tone once again, this time reaffirming the notion that Israel is the region’s biggest problem. That is despicable. It is inexcusable. And I could remain silent no more.
Eight years of the administration’s efforts to tilt the diplomatic playing field in the direction of the Palestinians did nothing to encourage them to make peace, despite Israel’s willingness to negotiate and to give up territory. But rather than acknowledge failure, Kerry prefers to blame it all on Netanyahu and the Israelis for having the temerity to point out that his tunnel vision about settlements and unwillingness to see the Palestinians clearly doomed his efforts.
A UN resolution that treats East Jerusalem as stolen Palestinian territory makes a two-state deal involving territorial swaps impossible since there is now nothing for Israel to negotiate but its surrender. By sanctioning a Palestinian end-run around negotiations, the White House has effectively ended the peace process Kerry purports to care so much about.
A wiser and less arrogant man would have pondered what has happened in the 16 years since Clinton’s speech and understood that events since then have shown that territorial withdrawal and stopping settlements are not the answer to the puzzle. Kerry’s delusional pronouncements about the process have the effect of treating an Israel that refuses to bow to his demands as unworthy of support or respect.
It remains to be seen what the Trump administration will do to repair some of the damage that Obama and Kerry have done to the cause of peace and the encouragement they have given to those who seek to harm Israel. Kerry may be sincere about wanting peace for Israel, but he has demonstrated that sincerity is an overrated virtue.
Charles Krauthammer: Obama’s final, most shameful, legacy moment
People don’t quite understand the damage done to Israel by the U.S. abstention that permitted passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel over settlements. The administration pretends this is nothing but a restatement of long-standing U.S. opposition to settlements.
Nonsense. For the past 35 years, every administration, including a reelection-seeking Obama himself in 2011, has protected Israel with the U.S. veto because such a Security Council resolution gives immense legal ammunition to every boycotter, anti-Semite and zealous European prosecutor to penalize and punish Israelis.
It’s the third category of “settlement” that is the most contentious and that Security Council Resolution 2334 explicitly condemns: East Jerusalem. This is not just scandalous; it’s absurd. America acquiesces to a declaration that, as a matter of international law, the Jewish state has no claim on the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, indeed the entire Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. They belong to Palestine.
The Temple Mount is the most sacred site in all of Judaism. That it should be declared foreign to the Jewish people is as if the Security Council declared Mecca and Medina to be territory to which Islam has no claim. Such is the Orwellian universe Israel inhabits.
At the very least, Obama should have insisted that any reference to East Jerusalem be dropped from the resolution or face a U.S. veto. Why did he not? It’s incomprehensible — except as a parting shot of personal revenge on Benjamin Netanyahu. Or perhaps as a revelation of a deep-seated antipathy to Israel that simply awaited a safe political interval for public expression.
Another legacy moment for Barack Obama. And his most shameful.
National Review Editorial: John Kerry’s Indefensible Swipe at Israel
The Obama administration loves to boast of its “values,” and today’s speech was no exception. Yet the “values” advanced in the administration’s recent actions are abhorrent. It has perverted international law, rewarded Palestinian violence, endorsed ethnic cleansing, and applied U.N.-created double standards that leave Israel as the most persecuted and most condemned state in U.N. history.
In his speech, Kerry acknowledged that the Obama administration’s policies have a short shelf life. The Trump administration has signaled that it intends to make welcome changes in American policy towards Israel, beginning with moving the American embassy to the nation’s actual capital. It has already condemned the Security Council resolution and will make no move to enforce it against Israel. The resolution’s effects, however, will live on beyond the Obama administration’s dismal time in office, and its legacy is likely to be violent.
Palestinians have learned once again that terrorism has its rewards. Israel has been reminded once again that its friends can be fickle. And no one believes that true peace is any closer than it was in the days before the administration’s betrayal. The Obama administration is leaving office as it entered, arrogant and willfully ignorant, refusing to see the plain truth of the Middle East — that Israel cannot make peace with “partners” that long for its death.
Israeli Ambassador: Settlements Not Root Of Conflict | Morning Joe | MSNBC
Cruz took aim at Kerry’s ridiculous assertion that “Israel can either be Jewish or democratic, it cannot be both,” calling it “an inanity that passes as profound only in Ivory Tower faculty lounges.”
Then the rubber met the road: “There are roughly 50 majority-Muslim countries in the world. There is one — only one — Jewish state. And yet, for Kerry and Obama, that is too much.”
Cruz exhorted, “All Americans who understand the value of the U.S.-Israel alliance must immediately and unequivocally reject their false and dangerous narrative, and reassert our fundamental commitment to Israel’s security. Thankfully, Congress and the incoming administration can and I hope will take decisive action to intercept the administration’s final and desperate Hail Mary, and that should begin with eliminating U.S. funding to the U.N., unless and until this disgraceful resolution is reversed.”
When asked whether the UN would realistically ever reconsider the resolution, Gohmert answered forcefully: “Fine. They don’t need our help to be anti-Semitic.”
Slamming the Obama administration as a complicit partner in the campaign to demonize Israel, the Texas Congressman argued that the White House “bullies over victims” and fails to condemn legitimate evil actors, like the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Israel is “the only place Muslims have complete freedom in the Middle East,” the conservative lawmaker asserted.
Gohmert joins a growing chorus of voices in Congress calling for an American withdrawal from the United Nations.
This anti-UN sentiment is shared by President-elect Donald Trump, who has strongly signaled that he will pull back resources and participation from the UN on the day of his inauguration.
This is actually not a joke. The anti-Israel UN resolution – and subsequent speech by Kerry have not only rewarded the Palestinians’ past terror campaigns and intransigence but have also provided legitimization for what comes next – a new intifada.
The fact that the UK played a leading role in the UN resolution might be a surprise to those who were duped by Theresa May’s relatively warm words towards Israel in a speech last month, but not to anybody who has followed this blog over the last few years. In fact, if you actually listen to her speech she brags about banning ‘Islamophobic bloggers’ from entering the UK, whereas a major motivation for their ban was that they were ‘too pro-Israel’
David Horovitz: The only thing he didn’t say was ‘apartheid’
About half an hour into John Kerry’s valedictory lecture from the State Department on Wednesday evening, Israel’s most popular television station, Channel 2, stopped broadcasting it live and switched to other programming. The country’s two other main TV stations, Channels 1 and 10, had already electronically left the building. Given that Kerry’s anti-settlement and anti-occupation address was primarily directed at the Israeli public, the ratings-conscious schedulers’ impatient transition to other material rather encapsulates the climate in which the secretary’s extensive remarks were being received here.
In 1999, Israelis threw out first-term prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after three largely terror-free years, because many of them believed that an opportunity existed for dramatic progress toward a peace accord with the Palestinians, and that Netanyahu, far from seizing it, was standing in the way. They elected, in his stead, the ex-IDF chief of staff Ehud Barak, who quickly journeyed to Camp David. There, under president Bill Clinton’s informed aegis, a very serious effort to forge a permanent deal was doomed by PLO leader Yasser Arafat’s intransigence, as Clinton would acknowledge in his memoirs, and specifically by Arafat’s refusal to legitimate Jewish statehood.
Many in the Israel of 2016 would share some of the arguments they largely didn’t hear Kerry deliver on Wednesday evening. Many recognize the dangers of being permanently intertwined with millions of hostile Palestinians, and fear that the expansion especially of those settlements and outposts that lie to the east of the security barrier increases that risk, and thus puts a two-state solution in danger, threatening Israel’s Jewish character, or its democracy, or both. Kerry’s was a fiery critique, indeed, marked by the allegation that the settlement movement is driving the agenda of the Israeli government, and that Netanyahu has been allowing some of the most extreme voices to draw Israel closer to the Zionist nightmare of a single bi-national state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Just about the only charge Kerry didn’t lob, this time, was apartheid.
Washington Times Editorial: Throwing Israel to the U.N.’s wolves
Resolution 2334 demands nothing of Palestinians. Its definition of “occupied territory” is extreme, including even the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. Conquered in 1949 by Jordan’s Arab Legion, it was then “cleansed” of Jews. Synagogues and cemeteries were destroyed. Jewish holy places were desecrated. The U.N., of course, did nothing.
Look at the map: Across North Africa and the Middle East, from Morocco to Pakistan, there is only one state not ruled by Muslims, only one in which minorities — ethnic, religious, sexual — are guaranteed basic human rights. The dream of PIJ, Hamas, the Islamic State, the Islamic Republic of Iran and other Islamic revolutionaries is to destroy that exceptional state, to incorporate it into a new empire — an empire that, over time, is to expand well beyond the region.
Mr. Obama has now encouraged that dream. That will be his legacy. And he still has a few weeks left to do more damage. I wouldn’t put it past him.
The day before the U.N. vote, President-elect Trump stated what President Obama once claimed to believe, that “peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations.” After the vote, he added: “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.”
His nominee for ambassador, David Friedman, has proposed moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. That would be an appropriate response to this latest provocation.
Among the additional measures Mr. Trump will consider: dramatically reducing American funding for the U.N. Like other transnational progressives, Mr. Obama regards the U.N. as a proto-global government. Mr. Trump, an anti-globalist, does not.
It will be useful for him to emphasize that so long as he’s in the White House, America’s sovereignty will not be surrendered to transnational organizations, America’s tax dollars will not be squandered on transnational organizations, America’s enemies will not be rewarded and America’s allies will be abused no longer.
Nobody believes this anymore. Today the Middle East is coming unglued. Syria is no longer much of a state at all. Wars rage in Iraq, Libya and Yemen. Iran is meddling. Russia has entered the region for the first time since the 1970s. The jihadist Islamic State has suffered setbacks, but it still has its caliphate in Raqqa. These conflicts are complex, but they have nothing to do with settlements in the West Bank.
So why are Kerry and his boss, President Barack Obama, following the old playbook? They say they are driven by a desire to preserve the prospect of peace when the two sides come to their senses. The main threat to a two-state solution, they say, is the expansion of settlements. The Jewish state is gobbling up land that is supposed to be preserved for the Palestinians. Israel’s Knesset is on the verge of legalizing what were once illegal outposts.
“If more and more settlers are moving into the middle of Palestinian areas, it’s going to be just that much harder to separate, that much harder to imagine transferring sovereignty, and that is exactly the outcome that some are purposefully accelerating,” Kerry said.
This is true. But Israel has dismantled settlements before. It did so in 2005 in Gaza. At the time, the George W. Bush administration committed in return to acknowledge that some of the population centers in and around Jerusalem would remain in Israel if a two-state solution could be reached.
Obama, as I wrote earlier this week, abandoned this promise in his first year in office. The U.N. Security Council resolution that the U.S. allowed to pass on Friday says that all of East Jerusalem is now occupied territory. Why would Israel trust the U.S. to keep its commitments going forward after Obama discarded those made by his predecessor?
This will be Donald Trump’s problem in less than a month. For now, it’s worth marveling at the spectacle of Kerry’s dire warnings about the survival of a peace process disconnected from the wars raging all around it.
Had Hillary won the election, would Obama still have abstained on UNSC 2334 (full text) which, among other things, nullifies the Oslo Accords and essentially defines the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem as part of “Occupied Palestinian territory”?
I can’t know, of course, but I suspect not because, whatever anyone might think of the guy, he sincerely wanted Hillary to both win the election and succeed in the presidency in order to bolster his legacy… such as it is.
Therefore, I suspect that had Hillary won the resolution would never have come before the committee to begin with in order not to complicate her transition into power.
As it is, however, we are reading reports that the Obama administration actively lobbied UNSC countries, like Ukraine, and others, in order to assure that it came to a vote and passed with virtual unanimity.
President Obama’s decision not to block a UN Security Council resolution declaring Israeli settlements on the West Bank illegal can be read many ways. In part, it’s an Obama counter-strike against President-elect Trump’s unconventional moves aimed at sidelining Obama before the Inauguration. In part, it’s payback from the White House against a Netanyahu government that the White House feels has frustrated its quest for peace in the Middle East. In part, it’s a principled statement of sincere belief by a large group in the White House, representing many in the Democratic Party, reflecting the deep convictions of many American liberals and, especially, of American liberal Jews, about right and wrong in the modern Middle East. If American Jews were to hold a referendum on settlement policy, it is likely that the “no” side would win; American Jews are far more liberal than their counterparts in Israel, and the gap between the two communities is growing rather than shrinking over time.
Many Palestinians and many of their sympathizers would like to see this vote as a landmark victory for the Palestinian cause in a long campaign to isolate Israel diplomatically and to delegitimize it morally in the eyes of the world. The vote is certainly a propaganda victory for the Palestinian cause, but it does nothing to help the Palestinians in practical terms. Indeed, a sober look at the situation suggests that the Palestinians have not been this weak, this divided or this helpless in many decades. Almost everywhere one looks around the world, the net effect of the policies of the Obama presidency has been to undermine the movements and the values that the President hoped to support; the cause of the Palestinians and the quest for the two state solution are no exceptions to the rule.
Palestinians have been organizing to fight Zionism for well over 100 years; during all that time the fundamental problems of the Palestinians have come from the weakness of Palestinian political leadership and the lack of capacity of Palestinian institutions. During the Mandate period when Palestine was under British rule, the Jews organized a proto-state and a political leadership that was able to make the numerically smaller Jewish community much more effective and powerful on the ground than their Palestinian Arab rivals. The Palestinian Arabs were cursed by family and clan divisions, and perhaps most of all by the incompetent leadership of the Grand Mufti Amin al-Husseini, and were politically divided, militarily impotent and diplomatically inept in the most critical hours of their history.
The resolution, passed during the week that Aleppo was conquered by President Assad in the midst of brutal torture and massacres of thousands of innocent civilians, highlights the duplicity and hypocrisy of the United Nations, a body dominated by anti-Israel and rogue states, with democracies groveling in an effort to appease the dominant Muslim nations.
It will serve as an instrument for Israel’s adversaries to further promote boycott, divestment and sanctions, and the International Criminal Court will be encouraged to define Israel as a criminal state.
It officially nullifies the disastrous Oslo Accords, negates Security Council Resolution 242 and repudiates the concept of defensible borders. It paves the way for criminalizing all settlers, including those in the major blocs that will always remain part of Israel, and even Jews resident in Jewish neighborhoods of east Jerusalem. It actually defines the Old City of Jerusalem and the Kotel (Western Wall) as occupied Palestinian territory.
In this context the Palestinians will demand that any negotiations accept these bizarre territorial definitions as opening benchmarks – a status that no Israeli government would ever contemplate accepting. The UN resolution has effectively negated the concept of direct negotiations, thus ensuring that a peaceful solution to the conflict is more remote than ever.
In this poisonous anti-Israel international climate, we should not be influenced by the prophets of doom in our midst.
We are more powerful today than ever before and in the course of our history we have successfully overcome far greater threats to our existence than the United Nations. Now is a time for us to display unity and strength.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a staunch proponent of the Iran nuclear deal, has slammed Israel in a series of tweets and statements since last Friday’s Security Council resolution condemning Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.
In a statement issued to Germany’s largest circulation daily, Bild, after the UN resolution, the Foreign Ministry claimed that “a democratic Israel is only achievable through a two-state-solution.”
The statement prompted the editor-in-chief of Bild’s digital outlet, veteran journalist Julian Reichelt, to express astonishment at the harsh wording.
In response to Reichelt’s criticism, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffan Seibert wrote on his Twitter feed: “Israel is a Jewish democratic state.”
As we end 2016 and celebrate the festival Chanukah, our very own Foreign Minister Murray McCully at the final meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) of the year, of the very last UNSC meeting which New Zealand would be a non-permanent member of, finally got the opportunity to achieve what he has been trying to do since New Zealand was elected to a 2-year term at the UNSC. To get a resolution condemning Israel and trying to force a UN imposed settlement upon her.
New Zealand and Foreign Minister McCully should hang their heads in shame. They have bought into a false narrative, an antisemitic one, that tries to delegitimise the Jewish connection to Jerusalem.
McCully has taken the opportunity of lame-duck President Obama, who has used New Zealand and McCully to score a personal vendetta against Prime Minister Netanyahu. In doing so, McCully has helped Obama to seek his vengeance not just against PM Netanyahu, but against the whole of Israel and the Jewish people.
This resolution (full text with commentary available here) is without doubt a biased resolution. It not only rewards the Arab Palestinians with their strategy of continued violence, with continual refusal of all offers of Statehood and peace as long as Israel remains in the equation, but it also adds to the recent UNICEF resolution of ignoring historical Jewish ties to Jerusalem and the Old City. It makes any Jew living in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City an illegal settler. It makes any Jew living and studying at the Hebrew University an illegal settler. It makes all Jewish citizens living in areas that have long been internationally accepted as becoming part of Israel in any peace accord an illegal settler. Illegal that is in the eyes on the United Nations and the anti-Israel lobby!
Are you a New Zealand citizen or resident disgusted with the latest resolution in the Security Council? Now is the time to add your voice. Sign the petition to be delivered to Prime Minister of New Zealand, Bill English.
The letter below has been signed by 27 organisations and 858 individuals (see http://shalom.kiwi/2016/12/kiwis-challenge-pm-on-one-sided-anti-israel-unsc-resolution. Add your voice here.
Dear Prime Minister,
Re New Zealand’s vote on UNSC resolution 2334
1. We, the undersigned are New Zealand citizens and residents, Jewish and non- Jewish, with a spectrum of political views, who write to express our condemnation of United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 (“Resolution”), and particularly the New Zealand Government’s involvement in it.
2. We note at the outset that our dismay at the Resolution does not express a view on the matter of all such Jewish settlements outside of the 1949 armistice lines.
Dozens of Christian supporters of Israel protested outside the New Zealand parliament over the country’s sponsorship of a UN resolution criticizing Israeli settlements.
The 71 protesters traveled 13 hours to the capital Wellington from the city of Hastings in reaction to New Zealand sponsoring UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which passed last Friday.
Prior to the demonstration, the Flaxmere Christian Fellowship Church Hastings and 11,685 supporters signed a petition to parliament entitled “For the Protection of Zion.”
The petition called on New Zealand’s government to cease pressuring Israel to give up its “rightful and God-given land and to recognize Israel’s right to sovereignty over the entire Land of Israel.”
The Jewish state “should pay no attention to this anti- Semitic, anti-Israel, unjust and evil resolution,” Pastor Nigel Woodley said. Neither New Zealand nor the international community, he added, has the right “to impose on Israel restrictions as to where they can and cannot live within their historical homeland.”
On Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s “New Day,” PLO Executive Committee Member and head of the PLO’s Department of Culture and Information Dr. Hanan Ashrawi stated that accused the Israelis of demanding that “we have all to become Zionists suddenly, and we have to accept the idea of the Jewish state,” and added, “We cannot accept a religion for any state.”
After Ashrawi said, “We have recognized the State of Israel, in 1993 –,” host Poppy Harlow cut in that they hadn’t recognized Israel as a Jewish state,
Ashrawi responded, “Now, that’s a new precondition. Before the condition was, that the Palestinians have to recognize Israel, and have to recognize Israel’s right to exist and so on. Now when they destroy the peace process and all the talks, they introduced another precondition, is that we have all to become Zionists suddenly, and we have to accept the idea of the Jewish state, when we are desperately struggling to have, as I said the other day, an inclusive, democratic, tolerant Palestinian state. We cannot accept a religion for any state. We cannot talk about Jewish states or Islamic states or Christian states. Otherwise, you will end up having to deal with the Islamic state. We personally believe that there is no license to discriminate against any group, any ethnicity, any religion, or to give them any additional value because of their ethnicity and religion. So if you want equality, and if you want a state to be an equal among other states, then you recognize the democratic state, and that should be enough. We recognize Israel. If they want us to take that back, we will. But we’re not going to take it back just because they want us to become Zionists suddenly.”
Ashrawi also accused the Israelis of not valuing Palestinian lives and waging “state terrorism…against a captive civilian population.”
The Palestinian Authority has been in contact with the Obama administration and European countries about the possibility of taking more UN action on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict before President Obama leaves office next month, a senior PA official told Breitbart Jerusalem.
The official said the UN action could come in the form of declarations by UN bodies, including the General Assembly; UN sessions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; or even another United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution. He said any further UNSC resolution would depend on the support of the U.S. and European countries after the upcoming Paris Mideast summit slated for January 15.
He said the UN action would seek to set the parameters of a future Palestinian state with a clear timeline for negotiations. If the action comes in the form of a resolution at a UN body, it could call for an infrastructure to establish mechanisms to enforce last week’s UNSC resolution, which demanded a complete halt to Israeli construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem and declared those territories occupied Palestinian lands.
The PA official said the proposals set forth at the Paris Mideast conference will likely serve as the basis for upcoming UN action.
Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton told Breitbart News Daily SiriusXM host Raheem Kassam on Thursday, “Just as a matter of empirical reality, the two-state solution is dead. That’s about the only thing John Kerry came close to getting right yesterday.”
Bolton was discussing out-going Secretary of State John Kerry’s anti-Israel speech delivered Wednesday, as reported by Breitbart News:
Lame-duck Secretary of State John Kerry blasted the Israeli government at the State Department on Wednesday, and attempted to defend the Obama administration’s decision to let an anti-Israel resolution pass at the UN Security Council last week.
Kerry delivered his remarks in the midst of a diplomatic fight with Israel, in which President Barack Obama stands accused of working with Palestinians secretly to undermine Israeli security, overturning decades of American foreign policy precedent in the process.
Despite the strong pro-Arabist tilt in the British government, which not only voted for the vicious UN Security resolution targeting Israel but worked hard to get it passed, British Prime Minister Theresa May found US Secretary of State John Kerry’s Wednesday speech too much to stomach.
A spokesman for May stated, “We do not believe that the way to negotiate peace is by focusing on only one issue, in this case the construction of settlements, when clearly the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is so deeply complex. And we do not believe that it is appropriate to attack the composition of the democratically-elected government of an ally. The government believes that negotiations will only succeed when they are conducted between the two parties, supported by the international community.”
The spokesman added, “The British government continues to believe that the only way to a lasting peace in the Middle East is through a two-state solution. We continue to believe that the construction of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is illegal, which is why we supported UN Security Council Resolution 2334 last week. But we are also clear that the settlements are far from the only problem in this conflict. In particular, the people of Israel deserve to live free from the threat of terrorism, with which they have had to cope for too long.”
The unwillingness of the British government and other governments to acknowledge the legality of Israeli settlements is despicable, but May’s statement, coming after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lambasted ambassadors from the countries of the nations supporting the resolution, including the deputy ambassador from Great Britain, is likely due more to the fact that she wants business ties with Israel’s robust economy to stay intact.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull broke with much of the international community on Friday, attacking last week’s United Nations Security Council Resolution as “one-sided” and “deeply unsettling.”
Turnbull, speaking at a menorah-lighting ceremony at Sydney’s Central Synagogue, said that “Australia stands with Israel. We support Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East,” The Australian Jewish News reported.
Turnbull’s comments come after his foreign minister said Thursday Australia would likely have voted against United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Israeli settlements.
The resolution determined that Israel’s establishment of settlements anywhere outside the pre-1967 lines “has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.” The resolution did not distinguish between the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
On Thursday, the British government, which voted for the resolution, criticized US Secretary of State John Kerry’s subsequent speech for focusing on Israeli settlements and commenting negatively on the makeup of the Israeli cabinet. A spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said it was inappropriate of Kerry to attack the makeup of the democratically elected Israeli government. “We do not … believe that the way to negotiate peace is by focusing on only one issue, in this case the construction of settlements, when clearly the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is so deeply complex,” the spokesman said. “And we do not believe that it is appropriate to attack the composition of the democratically elected government of an ally.” The British government, the spokesman added, “believes that negotiations will only succeed when they are conducted between the two parties supported by the international community.”
Former adult-film star Jenna Jameson had some choice words for Secretary of State John Kerry after his abysmal speech on Wednesday in which he rebuked Israel, decrying their settlements as a threat to peace.
Jameson, a convert to Judaism, tweeted to her nearly 700,000 followers:
And she wasn’t done yet:
As for Kerry’s “Happy #Hanukkah” Tweet, Jameson wasn’t having any of it:
Yes Prime Minister On the Arabs and Israel
Yes Minister is a multi-award winning satirical British sitcom written by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn that was first transmitted by BBC television and radio between 1980 and 1984, split over three seven-episode series. The sequel, Yes, Prime Minister, ran from 1986 to 1988. In total this made 38 episodes, all but one of which lasts for half an hour.
The Palestinian issue today is not as central as it once was in the wider Arab consciousness. While most Arab states remain unlikely to recognize Israel any time soon, the Arab Spring uprisings and the violence that followed in Egypt, Syria, Yemen and Libya have left heads of state and their populations more focused on domestic concerns. And the rising influence of Iran has created new regional worries for Persian Gulf states like Saudi Arabia, which now share a strategic interest with Israel in checking Iranian power.
“Arab countries have sociopolitical problems that trump the Palestinian cause,” said Ziad A. Akl, a senior researcher at the Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo, noting that few Arab governments have done much for the Palestinians over the last decade. Now, he said, “a lot of Arab nations have interests with Israel, and it is part of their national security equation. They have realized that Israel is a fact that they have to live with.”
The region’s population is also skewed young, and younger Arabs feel less loyalty to the Palestinians than their elders, said Bassel Salloukh, a professor of political science at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. “There are generations of Arabs who have no idea what Palestine symbolizes.”
On Wednesday, radio giant Mark Levin disemboweled Secretary of State for his categorically heinous and dishonest attack on Israel in his Wednesday speech. Levin noted how Kerry cherry-picked facts, never bothered to mention when speaking of history that Palestinian Arabs collaborated with Nazis, and most importantly, refused to mention the 5,000 year-old connection Jews have with the land of Israel. He also noted that Barack Obama has been infatuated with the destruction of Israel even before his presidency.
John Kerry just delivered the most outrageous speech of any top American official in modern times. As if a special pleader for the Palestinians, his speech was an exposition in propaganda. He distorted history, cherry-picked facts, selectively used quotes by other political figures, gave a completely dishonest portrayal of Israeli society and policies, omitted endless examples of Israeli restraint in the face of endless examples of Palestinian terrorism and threats of war by surrounding regimes, and on and on. Not once did he bother to provide the full pre-1967 history of the region, including the Palestinian involvement with the Nazis; moreover, not a word about the PLO, the 1967 war, the 1973 war, etc.
Of course we could never expect mainstream media to provide any pushback over John Kerry’s (to refer to him as a Secretary of State, at this point, is just further insult to the office) shameful, anti-Israel screed delivered Wednesday.
Instead, NBC News correspondent and Hillary Clinton-sycophant Andrea Mitchell fawned over Kerry during an exclusive follow-up interview. According to Newsbusters, which provides the video clip below, Mitchell “gushed over how Kerry’s 70-minute-plus remarks were ‘unusual’ representing ‘an important moment'” despite President-elect Donald Trump’s disapproval of the current administration’s stance.
“How difficult is it for you to operate in this atmosphere where the President-elect is communicating directly with Prime Minister Netanyahu?” Mitchell asked of Kerry before fretting that Trump had too much influence over Egypt’s president.
“But also that is an impact because he had a direct impact. He called Egypt’s president. As a result of his call, of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s call, Egypt pulled down the resolution. That is part of the reason you were then accused of orchestrating other sponsors of it,” Mitchell added.
On Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s “New Day,” CNN Contributor and The Atlantic Contributing Editor Peter Beinart argued that it is “frankly a racist claim” to say that “Palestinians would inevitably kill Jews in the West Bank,” in response to an argument made by former CIA Director Amb. James Woolsey.
During the segment, Woolsey said that “Israeli Arabs — that is, Muslim, usually, as citizens of Israel, about one-sixth of the Israeli population, can go to bed at night without fear that someone’s going to bash in their front door and kill them. … That sort of life is not possible for a Jew living in the West Bank, governed by the Palestinians. They will be killed. And if you even sell property to an Israeli, you’ll get killed.”
Beinart later responded, “The claim that Palestinians would inevitably kill Jews in the West Bank, I have Jewish friends, Israelis who live in the West Bank. It’s frankly a racist claim to suggest that Palestinians would inherently kill Jews.
He added that “some Palestinians commit terrorism and many don’t.”
Fatah Official Abbas Zaki: “Anyone Who Bears Arms for Palestine Is Sacred to Us”
Speaking at a Hamas rally held in Ramallah on the 29th anniversary of the organization’s inception, Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki said that “we are working to cooperate and reach a true partnership in politics, and to stand side by side, in the same trench, against our common enemy – Israel.” Zaki saluted the Al-Qassam Brigades, as well as the fighters and martyrs of all factions, and addressed the leaders of Hamas, Fatah, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, saying: “Let us embark on 2017 with the internal Palestinian conflict behind us.” His address was broadcast by the Al-Jazeera network on December 17.
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