Gaza War Diary 1 Mon-Wed. Dec. 19-21, 2016 Day 1201-1203 1 Sent 12/22 1am
Every year, for 43 years of doing the daily Dry Bones cartoons, I face the same mind-cracking question; how to spell the name of our eight-day Festival of Lights!? The Hebrew word Chanukah (or Hanukka, Hanukkah, Chanukka, Hanucca,) means dedication. It celebrates our re-dedication of our Holy Temple in Jerusalem which was defiled by Syrian/Greeks occupiers. This year the first night of Hanukka (Hanukkah,Chanukah,Chanukkah,Hanucca) is 12/24 Have a happy!
Gail Winston Winston@winstonglobal.org Gaza War Diary 1 Mon-Wed. Dec. 19-21, 2016 Day 1201-1203 1 Sent 12/22 1am
Dear Family & Friends,
Some serious detail info re: Amona & the fraudulent claims Yesh Din has inserted into the issue. See #1 below: The Legal Background to Amona. The ‘claim’ this is private property & the Amona residents have taken it illegally is a terrible media slur against good, honest people. The case is based on 2 dunam (or half an acre) out of the 500 dunam (124 acres) upon which the settlement sits (!). How can our upstanding Supreme Court cave in to such patently criminal actions by Yesh Din? Why haven’t they done their own forensic investigation of the land itself? The truths of this case are described below.
Also note the Crowd-Funding project by Women-in-Green to fortify & protect their recreational monument to our 3 boys in the Forest Reserve on the hill overlooking the Gush Etzion junction. Take 3 minutes to view their YouTube. It’s a beautiful tribute to strength & endurance in the face of tragedy.
The IRS investigation threats to Americans living in Israel or Americans living in America who support Israel is chilling but, not unusual.
Meantime, it’s cold but sun peeks through the clouds. I spotted a delicate waning moon above my roof window. The sheets of rain we had this past week are most welcome but, so is the sun after the blessed deluge. All the very best, Gail/Geula/Savta/Savta Raba x 2/Mom
IsraPundit by Ted Belman December 16, 2016
Reno Tzror began his program on Army Radio this week with a Bible lesson. The journalist read every verse of the story of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite in the Book of Kings. For those who didn’t get the message, he took the trouble to spell it out: The government & the settlers are the equivalent of Ahab & Jezebel & the Palestinians are the hapless Naboth. “Will you murder and also inherit?” roared Tzror as he assailed the Regulation Law. Echoing his sentiments, Benny Begin said that while he indeed supports the settlement endeavor, it cannot be based on exploitation of the Palestinians.
Leftists don’t like to let the facts rain on their parade, and that’s why our task here is to remind everyone of the forgotten details of the case of Amona in order to understand what it’s really all about. To that end, I will put aside the question of motivation: Officials in the Attorney General’s office have already admitted that the petitions submitted by the Leftist organizations Yesh Din and Peace Now were not motivated by a desire to protect the property rights of the oppressed Palestinians, but were rather submitted in the context of “lawfare” — legal warfare aimed at promoting the interests of Palestinians, the purpose which is to force Israel to unilaterally withdraw from Israel’s heartland without an agreement. However, for now, that’s not the discussion, so let’s focus on the case itself.
When the Amona case reached the High Court of Justice, the Land Registrar of the Civil Administration maintained that although Amona was a bare, rocky, abandoned hilltop, its land was registered as private land, meaning that the Jordanian government had registered the land in the name of local sheikhs & clans. Amona initially argued that the Jordanian registration was not legally binding because the Jordanian occupation had never been recognized by any country other than the United Kingdom & Pakistan (and Aharon Barak), further adding that the land records did not provide evidence of actual ownership, which would be reflected in agricultural cultivation of the land, but that the land was registered as a form of bribery to serve the political interests of the Jordanian government.
However, these claims were not relevant because the court took no interest in them, but only wanted to know what the state’s position was. The state, i.e. the department in charge of responding to petitions to the High Court of Justice on behalf of the state & the Attorney General at the time, “admitted” that private lands were involved & that the state planned to have them evacuated.
The interesting twist in the plot occurred when Yesh Din, elated at its success, filed a civil suit on behalf of the plaintiffs against the state, demanding compensation for the years they had been denied the right to access and cultivate their lands.
However, unlike the Supreme Court, lower courts do not make decisions without any evidentiary foundation. The suit arrived in the court of Judge Shirley Renner in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court. During the proceeding, Land Registrar Uzi Gilo gave his testimony, and an amazing fact came to light: Of the nine petitioners, the lands of seven were found to be located outside Amona with nothing preventing the petitioners from accessing and cultivating them. It was further discovered that the two remaining petitioners upon which the impressive petition stands – Miriam Hassan and Ibrahim Khalil – claim ownership of only a tiny sliver of a percentage of the settlement land. Their proportion of the ownership rights grants them – wait for it – about 2 dunam (or half an acre) out of the 500 dunam (124 acres) upon which the settlement sits (!). This is what Registrar Gilo stated: “The proportion belonging to Plaintiff 1 (Mariam Hassan) is 12/109 of a plot of 24 dunam. The proportion belonging to Plaintiff 2 (Ibrahim Khalil) is 80/3600 in a plot of 36 dunam.”
It is important to dwell on this fact: The settlement of Amona is located on about 500 dunam. The plaintiffs that came to trial claim ownership of two dunam, i.e. less than half a percent. All the rest of the land is registered in the name of people that do not really exist either now or in 1967; there is no trace of them in the population records drawn up after the Six Day War.
At this point, the prosecution executed two painful fouls against the people of Amona: The first was to treat all the plots among which Miriam and Ibrahim’s sections are located as private plots, rather than relating only to the proportion of which they were the actual owners. In other words, instead of giving them their 2 dunam of land, they were given 60 dunam, an area that covers the entire southern part of the settlement.
The second kick was completely below the belt: In a particularly problematic response, the prosecution did not make any distinction between the plots that were the subject of the petition and those regarding which there was no claim at all. The state could take the strictest interpretation and say that since we had no idea where the tiny plots belonging to the petitioners are located, we will treat the entire southern part of the settlement as privately owned land, but will save the northern part of the settlement and move the buildings from the southern part to the northern part.
But that is not what the state decided to do. The 2 dunam were turned into a highly concentrated drop of iodine that stained the entire bucket. A senior official in the State Prosecutor’s office recently told me: The person that wrote that response didn’t have much in the way of brains. I told him that he had a lot of brains & quite a bit of malice too.
The third foul was delivered by the High Court of Justice when it accepted the state’s surreal position and issued a ruling that made no distinction between the southern & northern parts of the settlement. At that time, the county’s political leadership had little influence on the prosecution, but when the elected officials finally woke up, they held a trenchant talk with officials in the prosecutor’s office.
The state then announced that it would enforce the judgment, but only in regard to the plots over which the lawsuit had been filed, and on July 14, Yesh Din submitted a request that the state be held in contempt of court. As a result, Justice Asher Grunis handed down another ruling explicitly stating that the court’s ruling applied to the entire settlement.
The Regulation Law is truly the last opportunity to prevent a historic injustice from being perpetrated. With all due respect, the arguments put forth against it can be described as ranging from groundless to downright strange.
The first argument is that the Knesset has no legislative authority in Judea and Samaria because it is occupied territory. This argument was refuted by the former president of Tel Aviv University, an expert in international law, Prof. Yoram Dinstein: “If the occupier has legislative authority in the held territories, the authority is granted to the state as such, rather than to any of its organs.” In an article he published In Iyunei Mishpat, the law journal of the Faculty of Law of Tel Aviv University, he showed how international law is completely indifferent to the technique by which laws are applied in occupied territory, and consequently, there is no difference between an order issued by the military commander and Knesset legislation.
A second argument maintains that the Regulation Law contravenes international law because it permits confiscation of property belonging to the Arab population in favor of the Israeli population. This assertion is also strange because international law requires that Israel ensure the welfare of the entire population in the West Bank, Israelis and Arabs alike. The tool of expropriation is an inherent power possessed by every governmental authority in the world, without which it would be impossible to build roads, interchanges, public buildings and new residential neighborhoods.
Moreover, the Regulation Law is consistent with the legal systems that were applied to Judea and Samaria before their liberation: Article 906 of the Majalah, the Turkish book of laws, and Section 10 of the Jordanian Holding and Use Law (Tasruf) state that if a person built and planted land belonging to another in good faith, and if the value of the construction exceeds the value of the land, the landowner is forced to accept monetary compensation.
A further argument put forth against the Regulation Law is that it constitutes an attack on the High Court of Justice because it involves retroactive legislation that contravenes a peremptory court ruling. This argument does not hold water either, because the state has not hesitated in other cases to legislate against peremptory court rulings, for example when a law was amended to allow the government to release murderers as part of the Shalit deal, in contravention of peremptory court rulings that had sentenced those murderers to long prison terms.
The most important argument against the law is that it defies Israel’s Basic Laws. Let’s put aside the legal paradox for a moment – because if Israeli law may not be applied in the West Bank, then the Basic Laws do not apply there either. The crux of the matter is that the Regulation Law seeks to balance two values: 40 families & 200 children who have been living on land for 20 years, as opposed to 2 petitioners who own less than 1/2% of the land on which they have never lived. Anyone who thinks that ownership of half of a percentage of a community justifies the uprooting of that community in the name of any fundamental right either doesn’t understand the content of the Basic Laws, or has a moral compass so corrupted that it distorts their understanding of reality beyond repair.
Translated from Hebrew & republished with permission by Yehuda Yifrah, Editor of Law, Makor Rishon
IsraPundit by Ted Belman December 22, 2016
1A.Amona-A strategic defeat for Zionism By MARTIN SHERMAN
The impending destruction of the Jewish community of Amona reflect failure of political will & ideo-intellectual bankruptcy of the elected government rather, than the inevitable culmination of a legal battle.
To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means. – Thomas Jefferson, September 20, 1810
In Israel, the negative impact of the judicialization of politics on the Supreme Court’s legitimacy is already beginning to show its mark. Over the past decade, the public image of the Supreme Court as an autonomous and impartial arbiter has been increasingly eroded as political representatives of minority groups have come to realize that political arrangements and public policies agreed upon in majoritarian decision-making arenas are likely to be reviewed by an often hostile Supreme Court. As a result, the court and its judges are increasingly viewed by a considerable portion of the Israeli public as pushing forward their own political agenda… – Prof. Ran Hirschl,Towards Juristocracy: The Origins and Consequences of the New Constitutionalism, Harvard University Press, 2004.
I confess that over the past five years, I have used these citations in several articles dealing with the growing encroachment of the judiciary into the sphere of politics—and indeed, increasingly into the realm of common sense and natural justice.
However, I make no apology for lack of originality in re-cycling them this week. For in light of the Amona fiasco, the message they convey has never been more apt, more instructive & more compelling.
Only one grim political reality
There are of course divergent legal interpretations of events that led up to the fate of the community of Amona. Likewise, there can, of course, be differing chronological narratives of what transpired in the past, and why.
But at the end of the day, there remains only one grim political reality.
In essence, as any course on Political Science 101 will (or at least should) reveal, politics is a social science discipline that focuses on the administration of power and influence. It is the field of human endeavor that deals with whose will prevails over whom.
Accordingly, in the final analysis, whichever way you slice it, the only political reality that remains is the following: A small radical “Left-wing” splinter group, with miniscule domestic public support and generously funded by foreign government sources, masquerading as a “human rights” organization to further their anti-“settlement” political agenda, managed to impose its will on the incumbent democratically-elected government, allegedly the “most Right-wing” in the country’s history. Not only did the government prove unable to preserve the community set up two decades ago and endorsed by all its predecessors since 1996, but it failed to prevent its total demolition.
This vividly illustrates the veracity of my previous diagnosis of the disturbing dysfunctionality of governance in Israel, in which marginal civil society entities, financed by taxpayers in foreign countries, can not only “stymie the policies the government was elected to implement [i.e. preserve the Jewish communities in Judea-Samaria], but … [compel it] to implement measures it was elected to prevent [i.e. the demolition of Jewish communities in Judea-samaria].”
“The law is an ass”?
While there may be various conflicting accounts of how and why Amona came to be established on its current site, there can be little doubt, that given the prevailing realities that have emerged on the ground after two decades, one thing is beyond dispute: By any conceivable criterion of common sense and/or natural justice, the decision to evict the residents and to raze the homes to the ground is staggering.
For not only is it a decision that will benefit no-one involved, other than the malicious radical ideologues, who initiated the legal proceedings, but it will undoubtedly contribute to the steep ongoing erosion of public confidence in the judiciary, in general, and in the Supreme court, in particular.
Legal systems are not immutable products of natural laws. They are the result of human decisions which evolve over time to reflect various changes in prevailing circumstances and societal perspectives. Things once sternly forbidden, can later be permitted (say, homosexuality). Conversely, things once allowed, can later be forbidden (say, smoking in public places).
Without such adaptions to changing realities, whether political, societal or technological, prevailing laws may well be perceived as anachronistic, irrelevant, even unjust and hence unenforceable.
Clearly, given the Amona fiasco, and after half a century of Israeli administration of Judea-Samaria, the time has come for a rethink of the structure of the legal apparatus required for future governance of these areas. But this is a challenge that requires considerable political resolve, and even more ideo-intellectual commitment and clarity—something that has been disturbingly conspicuous by its absence in successive “Right-wing” governments to date.
Therein lies the rub
Indeed the dire need for change was succinctly expressed by Caroline Glick this week when, commenting on Amona, she aptly remarked that “the existing legal system is incapable of protecting the civil and legal rights of either the Israelis or the Palestinians living under it.”
After all, it is not difficult to imagine outcomes that would serve the civil and property rights of both Jewish residents & the Arab plaintiffs far better than eviction and demolition. However, any other such alternative would involve material compensation to the alleged Arab owners of the disputed land.
But therein lies the rub.
As Glick notes: “In Amona, 40 Israeli families are about to be thrown out of their homes because Jordanian law doesn’t allow Jews to…purchase land from Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority has made selling land to Jews a capital offense.”
So the real legal obstacle to any amicable settlement that will not trample the rights of either the Jewish residents or the Arab plaintiffs is the Arab legal system that Israel permits to operate in Judea-Samaria.
Thus, even assuming their claims to the land are valid, Arab claimants are precluded, on pain of death, of accepting any material offer, no matter how generous, that would allow the Jewish residents to continue to live in the homes they have occupied for years with the approval of successive Israeli governments –both “Left” and “Right”.
This, of course, tears away the mask covering the true motivations of the radical Left instigators of the legal action for the evacuation of Amona, and exposes their professed concern for human rights as nothing more than a farcical façade.
For they clearly care nothing about the human rights of the Jewish residents ,who were given every reason to believe that their community was sanctioned by the government, and are quite happy to see them stripped of their property and thrown to the wolves.
Moreover, they do not really give a hoot about Palestinian human rights either.
For if they did, surely their efforts would be directed against the draconian capital punishment laws that prevent Palestinians from making unfettered decisions on how to maximize the benefits from their property ownership, without the threat of execution hovering over their heads.
Indeed, condoning this kind of threat entrenched in the Arab legal code smacks of blatant Judeophobia and certainly should not be brooked by the Jewish state or any of its institutions.
Accordingly, the removal of such menacing obstructions to free interaction between potential buyers and sellers should be a prime objective for anyone genuinely concerned with the preservation of civil and property rights of both Jews and Arabs in Judea-Samaria.
Root of all evil: Failure of political will
But the legal system is not empowered to change itself. For that political enterprise is required.
Accordingly, to rationalize and standardize the legal system for Judea-Samaria and to remove the brutal preclusion of asset acquisition by Jews, the Israeli political leadership must… lead. But this has been something it has been painfully loath to do for decades.
Indeed, it has been almost four decades since Menachem Begin managed to break the Labor Party’s hegemonic grip on power in Israel. Since then, apart from several short interludes, the government has been headed by prime ministers drawn from the ostensibly “Right-wing” Likud, favorably inclined towards maintaining and securing a sizeable Jewish presence beyond the pre-1967 lines. Indeed, much of the support it acquired from the voters was due to this professed inclination.
As the Amona debacle dramatically demonstrates, under existing conditions, even decades of existence & sustained government support cannot ensure durability of Jewish presence on the land.
Sadly, government after government has failed to fulfill the spirit of their electoral pledges, allowing the state of legal limbo, and resulting legalistic labyrinth, to persist, never able to muster the political will to enact what is necessary to ensure the permanence of Jewish presence in the cradle of Jewish history.
Mindless, myopic—and malevolent
Israel’s misplaced reticence in staking Jewish claims for political control of the ancient Jewish homeland has led to a situation of dangerous ambivalence and a sense of impermanence—something that has heartened and emboldened its adversaries
This is a situation that can only be remedied by a bold political initiative which inevitably will entail imposition of Israeli sovereignty, or at least Israeli law, to Judea-Samaria so that situations such as Amona can be averted/resolved by means of some rational system of compensation.
(This, of course, leaves open the question of the fate of the Arab population resident in these territories. But this, however weighty, is a separate issue and one I have addressed in repeatedly in the past – see here . Accordingly its discussion must be left for some future opportunity.)
To drive home the point, a sum of upward of NIS 150 million is reportedly allocated for the demolition of Amona & relocation of the evacuees. Imagine if a small fraction of this sum —say 5% —was offered to the Arab claimants for their tiny rocky plot of land on the windswept hills of Eastern Samaria.
Indeed, this simple example demonstrates just how mindless, myopic—and malevolent—the demolition of Amona really is.
For with an iota of goodwill, alternative outcomes, which would benefit all parties—except for those intent on undermining Jewish presence in Judea-Samaria—were easily available, and which would have left the Jewish residents in their homes and the Arab claimants vastly better off—either with generous financial remuneration, or ownership of alternative land.
But legalistic intransigence and political dogma would have none of that.
Signaling impermanence of Zionist endeavor
The Amona demolition entails a myriad of detrimental effects.
– It has left hundreds of Jews displaced and deprived of their homes;
– It has deprived the Arab claimants of maximizing the benefits of their property;
– It has diverted millions of shekels in the state budget, required to cover the cost of demolition and relocation of the Amona evacuees, from other worthy causes.
But perhaps more than anything, much like the 2005 Disengagement in Gaza, it sends a clear and unequivocal signal to the country’s adversaries that no product of Zionist endeavor is permanent. With sufficient patience and ingenuity, everything the Zionists build will be destroyed—perversely, often by their own hand!
It is difficult to overstate the pernicious effect this will have on future stability, and firm steps must be undertaken to ensure that these are held in check.
Those radical ideologues, who initiated the process to demolish Amona, must be taught that their spiteful efforts will be counter-productive and that their endeavor to curtail the development of Jewish communities in Judea-Samaria will bring about precisely the opposite effect.
They must be shown that, even within today’s legal framework, for every house demolished, three more will be built—until the Government of Israel can summon up the political will, and the ideo-intellectual courage to extend Jewish sovereignty over all the land—from the River to the Sea.
Unless it can do that, the Amona debacle will mark a strategic defeat for Zionism. For, it will clearly demonstrate that those wishing to uproot Jews from their homes in the Jewish homeland proved that they could impose their will on those who wished to prevent it.
2.State Asking Supreme Court Once More to Postpone Amona Evictions by: David Israel JewishPress.com Published: December 21st, 2016
The demolition of Amona on Jan. 1, 2006. – Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90
The state on Tuesday petitioned the Supreme Court again to postpone by 45 days the evacuation of the Amona community in Samaria, until February 8, 2017, Walla reported. The purpose of the new request, submitted following the approval vote by the Amona residents for a new eviction outline, is to allow for carrying out the court-ordered eviction in an orderly fashion. The court gave the plaintiffs, represented by abti-Zionist NGO Yesh Did, one day to respond.
The appeal to the Supreme Court was done upon a request from Prime Minister Netanyahu & Defense Minister Liberman, with the consent of AG Madelblit & State Attorney Nitzan. The petition states that given the complexity, sensitivity & explosiveness than normally accompany the expulsion of a community the size of Amona, with its 40 families & about 200 children, the state has invested efforts in finding a solution that would enable the removal of the residents using peaceful means, keeping to a minimum the harm to the families.
The postponement is required to complete the location of temporary lodging solutions for the Amona residents, as well as to the examination of the legal status of lot 38, which the state had originally considered to be abandoned land and now an Arab resident of Silwad has come up with a claim on 90% of the site.
The State declared that this is its final request for a postponement, and that it is determined not to ask for yet another delay, even should it become apparent that the new outline cannot be applied come February 8.
Yesh Din issued a vehement response to the postponement request, which probably sounds
better in Arabic: “The state’s request to delay the evacuation of Amona is based on a corrupt deal between the government of Israel & lawbreakers, which constitutes a surrender to the blackmailing by a those who have been obliged by a court order to vacate the land they had invaded.”
David Israel writes news at JewishPress.com.
2A. Amona resident on Temple Mount: Our hearts are broken
A resident of Amona visited the site of the destruction of the Holy Temples before her own home is to be destroyed.
Arutz Sheva Staff, 20/12/16 16:19
Tamar Nizri, a resident of Amona, visited the Temple Mount, the site of the destruction of both Holy Temples, before her own home is scheduled to be destroyed,
“My heart is broken.” she said.
“We had to accept a bad proposal, and now our homes are about to be destroyed.”
Nizri has lived in Amona for the past 18 years.
She added that she had come to the site where God’s home was destroyed to pray for her community and for the complete redemption of the Jewish people.
The residents of Amona accepted a compromise on Sunday which would allow 24 families from the beleaguered community to remain on the same hill.
The Supreme Court had ordered the town to be demolished by December 25.
2C.’This is precisely the time to strengthen Oz veGaon’
Crowd funding campaign to double donations for the strengthening of Oz veGaon.
20/12/16 10:30 | updated: 14:56
Jewish women and children play at the Oz VeGaon – Flash 90
At the Oz veGaon nature preserve, we are preparing for the challenges of winter and the strengthening of this strategic point overlooking the Gush Etzion Junction with a special fundraising campaign.
These days, the Women in green movement is starting a broad-based fundraising campaign to finance preparations for the stormy winter days at Oz veGaon and to reinforce its security arrangements.
The heads of the movement, Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar explain the matching campaign that will take place during a period of thirty hours, beginning this coming Tuesday December 20th 2016. It is a mass fundraising drive to finance the reinforcement and strengthening of the preserve that was established more than 2 years ago in memory of the three youths that were abducted and murdered (Gil-Ad , Eyal & Naftali, hy”d) on the night it was discovered that they had been murdered.
“With the help of thousands of youths and volunteers, the preserve has become an active educational-tourist site and a thriving and flourishing cultural center. On the night that the bodies of the youths were found, we went up to the place and found it abandoned and neglected, used for criminal activity and drugs by the youths from the Arab villages in the surrounding area, and a place where people from these villages had used as a trash heap”, say the two women. “Since then, thousands of volunteers have rolled up their sleeves for the work of preparing the place to become a nature preserve.
Garbage was removed, paths were paved, tourist and recreational equipment were set up at the place, the Forester’s House in the center of the preserve was cleaned, improved and designated as a synagogue. The volunteers and youths who came from all areas of Israel, and even from abroad, showed their love for the Land of Israel with their hands and feet, and the place became a center to visit & enjoy the accommodations for tourists, visitors & soldiers that serve in the Gush Etzion area”.
Along with cultural events, a Torah study house for women, family events, large holiday events and lectures and speeches that have been held at the place, one can also find among those who have come to the preserve over the past two years, public figures and spiritual leaders, politicians and statesmen, among whom are Ministers Naftali Bennett, Yariv Levin, Miri Regev, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and many others.
People who pass through Gush Etzion Junction on their way to the communities of the Gush and South Hevron Hills testify to the dramatic change that has taken place since the preserve was established. “The obvious Jewish presence at the place radiates security. The residents of the communities of the area go on foot to the place feeling safe, also because of the expanded Jewish area of contiguity”, say Katsover and Matar and note the involvement of Gush Etzion Council and its acting head in assisting Women in Green with the preparation and realization of the preserve.
With the approach of winter, Women in Green invites members of the general public to mobilize themselves for the project of strengthening the preserve and to join in funding the acquisition of essential means to defend the place and continue its activity.
As we were making plans for the fundraising campaign, it was reported in the media that a gang of terrorists was captured from Beit Fajjar, the Arab village next to the preserve. As was ascertained in their investigation, both were involved in preparing Molotov cocktails and improvised weapons in preparation for carrying out terror attacks. This would have entailed throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Oz veGaon and the Migdal Oz community. “The security apparatus at Oz veGaon requires a serious upgrade; additional security lighting and security cameras are necessary to ensure the safety of the many visitors” state Katsover and Matar.
“We call on the public at large to come to our aid and to join in the project of strengthening the preserve. Winter conditions on the hills of Judea combine bitter cold with frequent power outages that make it difficult to keep the paths lit and to provide adequate heating at the preserve. Against all of this and the hostile Arab villages in the area, as well as the threat of terror arson, we will not weaken and we will not surrender. This is precisely the time when we need your help in maintaining and strengthening the place”, say Katsover and Matar.
The two women enumerate the objectives that they have set for the fundraising campaign:
“Acquiring a generator that will boost the lighting at the place and enable much stronger security and defense at the preserve,
Acquiring security cameras at strategic points around the preserve,
Renovating and strengthening the peripheral security lighting; organizing security arrangements at the preserve compound,
Repaving the paths around the preserve in such a manner that will enable passage for security vehicles to arrive in case of need,
Acquiring fire extinguishing equipment to cope with the threat of arson”.
As noted, because of the offer of special matching that the movement has received – all money that is donated toward these objectives will be doubled by donors who wish to remain anonymous. However, the campaign is “all or nothing” – only if the target amount is reached by the end of the thirty hour period of the campaign will the donations be doubled, but if the amount is not reached then even that will not be donated, and we at Women in Green prefer not even to think about this possibility.
Nadia Matar & Yehudit Katsover – INN: NM
“Every donation will have a strengthening effect, and now, every effect will have double the influence. Don’t minimize the benefit of any donation – even some tens of shekels. Every shekel will be doubled and bring us another step closer to the goal of the campaign”, say Katsover and Matar and emphasize: “the fortification of the preserve and strengthening of the communities in general is the appropriate and Zionist response to the wave of terror that the Jewish People has been contending with in recent times. We call upon you to join us in this campaign for Oz veGaon”.
Myths & Facts
3.UN Resolution 181 – The Partition Plan – 11/29/1947
By Eli E. Hertz
In 1947 the British put the future of western Palestine into the hands of the United Nations, the successor organization to the League of Nations which had established the “Mandate for Palestine.” A UN Commission recommended partitioning what was left of the original Mandate – western Palestine – into two new states, one Jewish and one Arab. Jerusalem and its surrounding villages were to be temporarily classified as an international zone belonging to neither polity.
What resulted was Resolution 181 [known also as the 1947 Partition Plan], a nonbinding recommendation to partition Palestine, whose implementation hinged on acceptance by both parties – Arabs and Jews. The resolution was adopted on November 29, 1947 in the General Assembly by a vote of 33-12, with 10 abstentions. Among the supporters were the United States and the Soviet Union, as well as other nations including France and Australia. The Arab nations, including Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia denounced the plan on the General Assembly floor and voted as a bloc against Resolution 181 promising to defy its implementation by force.
The resolution recognized the need for immediate Jewish statehood [and a parallel Arab state], but the blueprint for peace became a moot issue when the Arabs refused to accept it. Subsequently, realities on the ground in the wake of Arab aggression [and Israel’s survival] became the basis for UN efforts to bring peace.
Aware of Arab’s past aggression, Resolution 181, in paragraph C, calls on the Security Council to:
“Determine as a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression, in accordance with Article 39 of the Charter, any attempt to alter by force the settlement envisaged by this resolution.” [Italics by author]
The ones who sought to alter the settlement envisioned in Resolution 181 by force, were the Arabs who threatened bloodshed if the United Nations was to adopt the Resolution:
“The [British] Government of Palestine fear that strife in Palestine will be greatly intensified when the Mandate is terminated, and that the international status of the United Nations Commission will mean little or nothing to the Arabs in Palestine, to whom the killing of Jews now transcends all other considerations. Thus, the Commission will be faced with the problem of how to avert certain bloodshed on a very much wider scale than prevails at present. …
The Arabs have made it quite clear and have told the Palestine government that they do not propose to co-operate or to assist the Commission, and that, far from it, they propose to attack and impede its work in every possible way. We have no reason to suppose that they do not mean what they say.” [Italics by author]
Arab’s intentions and deeds did not fare better after Resolution 181 was adopted:
“Taking into consideration that the Provisional Government of Israel has indicated its acceptance in principle of a prolongation of the truce in Palestine; that the States members of the Arab League have rejected successive appeals of the United Nations Mediator, and of the Security Council in its resolution 53 (1948) of 7 July 1948, for the prolongation of the truce in Palestine; and that there has consequently developed a renewal of hostilities in Palestine.”
“Having constituted a Special Committee and instructed it to investigate all questions and issues relevant to the problem of Palestine, and to prepare proposals for the solution of the problem, and having received and examined the report of the Special Committee (document A/364). …Recommends to the United Kingdom, as the mandatory Power for Palestine, and to all other Members of the United Nations the adoption and implementation, with regard to the future Government of Palestine, of the Plan of Partition with Economic Union set out below;” [Italics by author].
In the late 1990s, more than 50 years after Resolution 181 was rejected by the Arab world, Arab leaders suddenly recommended to the General Assembly that UN Resolution 181 be resurrected as the basis for a peace agreement. There is no foundation for such a notion.
Resolution 181 was the last of a series of recommendations that had been drawn up over the years by the Mandatory and by international commissions, plans designed to reach an historic compromise between Arabs and Jews in western Palestine. The first was in 1922 when Great Britain unilaterally partitioned Palestine, which did not satisfy the Arabs who wanted the entire country to be Arab. Resolution 181 followed such proposals as the Peel Commission (1937); the Woodhead Commission (1938); two 1946 proposals that championed a binational state; one proposed by the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry in April 1946 based on a single state with equal powers for Jews and Arabs; and the Morrison-Grady Plan raised in July 1946 which recommended a federal state with two provinces – one Jewish, one Arab. Every scheme since 1922 was rejected by the Arab side, including decidedly pro-Arab ones merely because these plans recognized Jews as a nation a nd gave Jewish citizens of Mandate Palestine political representation. Arabs rejected the “unbalanced” Partition Plan. The UN International Court of Justice (ICJ) uses the term “unbalanced” in describing the reason for Arab rejectionism of Resolution 181, which does not exactly fit reality. Seventy-seven percent of the landmass of the original Mandate for the Jews was excised in 1922 to create a fourth Arab state – Trans-Jordan (today Jordan).
In a statement by Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, the representative of the Jewish Agency for Palestine to the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), he had that to say about fairness, balance, and justice: “According to David Lloyd George, then British Prime Minister, the Balfour Declaration implied that the whole of Palestine, including Transjordan, should ultimately become a Jewish state. Transjordan had, nevertheless, been severed from Palestine in 1922 and had subsequently been set up as an Arab kingdom. Now a second Arab state was to be carved out of the remainder of Palestine, with the result that the Jewish National Home would represent less than one eighth of the territory originally set aside for it. Such a sacrifice should not be asked of the Jewish people.” Referring to the Arab States established as independent countries since the First World War, he said:
“17,000,000 Arabs now occupied an area of 1,290,000 square miles, including all the principal Arab and Moslem centers, while Palestine, after the loss of Transjordan, was only 10,000 square miles; yet the majority plan proposed to reduce it by one half. UNSCOP proposed to eliminate Western Galilee from the Jewish State; that was an injustice and a grievous handicap to the development of the Jewish State.” [Italics by author].
Following passage of Resolution 181 by the General Assembly, Arab countries took the dais to reiterate their absolute rejection of the recommendation and intention to render implementation of Resolution 181 a moot question by the use of force. These examples from the transcript of the General Assembly plenary meeting on November 29, 1947 speak for themselves:
“Mr. JAMALI (Iraq): … We believe that the decision which we have now taken … undermines peace, justice and democracy. In the name of my Government, I wish to state that it feels that this decision is antidemocratic, illegal, impractical and contrary to the Charter … Therefore, in the name of my Government, I wish to put on record that Iraq does not recognize the validity of this decision, will reserve freedom of action towards its implementation, and holds those who were influential in passing it against the free conscience of mankind responsible for the consequences.”
“Amir. ARSLAN [Syria]: … Gentlemen, the Charter is dead. But it did not die a natural death; it was murdered, and you all know who is guilty. My country will never recognize such a decision [Partition]. It will never agree to be responsible for it. Let the consequences be on the heads of others, not on ours.”
“H. R. H. Prince Seif El ISLAM ABDULLAH (Yemen): The Yemen delegation has stated previously that the partition plan is contrary to justice and to the Charter of the United Nations. Therefore, the Government of Yemen does not consider itself bound by such a decision … and will reserve its freedom of action towards the implementation of this decision.”
The Partition Plan was met not only by verbal rejection on the Arab side but also by concrete, bellicose steps to block its implementation and destroy the Jewish polity by force of arms, a goal the Arabs publicly declared even before Resolution 181 was brought to a vote.
Arabs not only rejected the compromise and took action to prevent establishment of a Jewish state but also blocked establishment of an Arab state under the partition plan not just before the Israel War of Independence, but also after the war when they themselves controlled the West Bank (1948-1967).
The UN itself recognized that Resolution 181 had not been accepted by the Arab side, rendering it a dead issue: On January 29, 1948, the First Monthly Progress Report of the UN-appointed Palestine Commission charged with helping put Resolution 181 into effect was submitted to the Security Council (A/AC.21/7). Implementation of Resolution 181 hinged not only on the five member states appointed to represent the UN [Bolivia, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Panama, Philippines and Great Britain], but first and foremost on the participation of the two sides who were invited to appoint representatives.
The UN Palestine Commission’s February 16, 1948 report (A/AC.21/9) to the Security Council noted that Arab-led hostilities were an effort
“To prevent the implementation of the [General] Assembly plan of partition, and to thwart its objectives by threats and acts of violence, including armed incursions into Palestinian territory.”
On May 17, 1948 – after the invasion began, the Palestine Commission designed to implement 181 adjourned ‘sine die’ [Latin: without determining a date] after the General Assembly appointed a UN Mediator in Palestine, which relieves the UN Palestine Commission from the further exercise of its responsibilities.
Some thought the Partition Plan could be revived, but by the end of the war, Resolution 181 had become a moot issue as realities on the ground made the establishment of an armistice-line [the “Green Line”] – a temporary ceasefire line expected to be followed by peace treaties – the most constructive path to solving the conflict.
A July 30, 1949 working paper of the UN Secretariat entitled The Future of Arab Palestine and the Question of Partition noted further that:
“The Arabs rejected the United Nations Partition Plan so that any comment of theirs did not specifically concern the status of the Arab section of Palestine under partition but rather rejected the scheme in its entirety.”
By the time armistice agreements were reached in 1949 between Israel and its immediate Arab neighbors (Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Trans-Jordan) with the assistance of UN Mediator Dr. Ralph Bunche, Resolution 181 had become irrelevant, and the armistice agreements addressed new realities created by the war. Over subsequent years, the UN simply abandoned the recommendations of Resolution 181, as its ideas were drained of all relevance by subsequent events. Moreover, the Arabs continued to reject 181 after the war when they themselves controlled the West Bank (1948-1967) which Jordan invaded in the course of the war and annexed illegally.
Attempts by Palestinians to roll back the clock and resuscitate Resolution 181 more than six decades after they rejected it as if nothing had happened are a baseless ploy designed to use Resolution 181 as leverage to bring about a greater Israeli withdrawal from parts of western Palestine and to gain a broader base from which to continue to attack an Israel with even less defendable borders. Both Palestinians and their Arab brethren in neighboring countries rendered the plan null and void by their own subsequent aggressive actions.
Professor Stone, a distinguished authority on the Law of Nations, wrote about this novelty of resurrection in 1981 when he analyzed a similar attempt by pro-Palestinian experts at the UN to rewrite the history of the conflict (their writings were termed “studies”). Stone called it “revival of the dead.”
“To attempt to show … that Resolution 181 ‘remains’ in force in 1981 is thus an undertaking even more miraculous than would be the revival of the dead. It is an attempt to give life to an entity that the Arab states had themselves aborted before it came to maturity & birth. To propose Resolution 181 can be treated as if it has binding force in 1981, for the benefit of the same Arab states, who by their aggression destroyed it ‘ab initio’, [In Latin: From the beginning] also violates “general principles of law,” such as those requiring claimants to equity to come “with clean hands,” & forbidding a party who has unlawfully repudiated a transaction from holding the other party to terms that suit the later expediencies of the repudiating party.” [Italics by author].
Resolution 181 had been tossed into the waste bin of history, along with the Partition Plans that preceded it.
Israel’s independence is not a result of a partial implementation of the Partition Plan. Resolution 181 has no legal ramifications – that is, it recognized the Jewish right to statehood, but its validity as a potentially legal & binding document was never consummated. Like the proposals that preceded it, Resolution 181’s validity hinged on acceptance by both parties of the General Assembly’s recommendation.
Cambridge Professor, Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, Judge ad hoc of the International Court of Justice, a renowned expert on international law, clarified that from a legal standpoint, the 1947 UN Partition Resolution had no legislative character to vest territorial rights in either Jews or Arabs. In a monograph relating to one of the most complex aspects of the territorial issue, the status of Jerusalem, Judge, Sir Lauterpacht wrote that any binding force the Partition Plan would have had to arise from the principle ‘pacta sunt servanda’, [In Latin: treaties must be honored – the first principle of international law] that is, from agreement of the parties at variance to the proposed plan. In the case of Israel, Judge, Sir Lauterpacht explains:
“The coming into existence of Israel does not depend legally upon the Resolution. The right of a State to exist flows from its factual existence-especially when that existence is prolonged shows every sign of continuance and is recognized by the generality of nations.”
Reviewing Lauterpacht arguments, Professor Stone added that Israel’s “legitimacy” or the “legal foundation” for its birth does not reside with the United Nations’ Partition Plan, which as a consequence of Arab actions became a dead issue. Professor Stone concluded:
“The State of Israel is thus not legally derived from the partition plan, but rests (as do most other states in the world) on assertion of independence by its people and government, on the vindication of that independence by arms against assault by other states, and on the establishment of orderly government within territory under its stable control.”
4.Congress demands all IRS documents from 2009 till now that could reveal a policy to persecute pro-Israel Americans.
By: Hana Levi Julian JewishPress.com Published: December 21st, 2016
US Congress – Photo Credit: US Government
The IRS has been ordered to surrender all documents since January 1, 2009 containing the words “Israel,” “Zion,” “West Bank,” “Judea,” “Samaria,” & “Special Israel Policy” for review by Congress.
Late Tuesday night Israel time, investigative journalist Omri Ceren posted on the Twitter social networking site a copy of a letter dated December 14, 2016, that was sent to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, by House Ways and Means Committee co-chairs, U.S. Representatives Kevin Brady and Peter Rosam.
It said, in part:
“Although the Internal Revenue Service has vowed that it no longer considers inappropriate criteria, such as organization’s political beliefs, when reviewing applications for tax-exempt status, the Committee on Ways and Means remains concerned that IRS practices and policies may illegally target Americans and organizations based on their beliefs – in particular, their support for the State of Israel.
“… the Committee seeks documents from the IRS to understand how the IRS has treated tax-exempt organizations connected to Israel with viewpoints different than the Administration’s in the past and how the IRS plans to treat such organizations in the future…
“One such pro-Israel organization, Z Street, applied for tax-exempt status in 2009. After much delay in the application process, an IRS agent confirmed to Z Street that its application had been sent for special screening reserved for groups associated with Israel…
“It is distressing that the United States government subjected Americans to discriminatory treatment because of their political and religious beliefs,” the letter continues. “It is more distressing that it took seven years for one such group to get fair treatment by the IRS, even as the IRS told Congress that it no longer discriminated against such groups. And perhaps most alarmingly, recent press accounts suggest that even after all of this history, the IRS might even be pursuing new discriminatory policies. Reports state that the Administration is considering the possibility of pressuring Israel to make unilateral concessions to the Palestinians, such as through a United Nations Security Council Resolution, and in that context, also may consider new IRS actions that would affect the tax-exempt status of people or entities based on their viewpoints regarding Israel. Despite the IRS’s claim to Congress that it stopped political targeting in 2013, the IRS and Administration’s actions over the past seven years lend credibility to these reports…
“To help the Committee better understand the IRS’s historical and current position in these matters, please provide no later than 5:00 p.m., January 11, 2017, all documents dating from January 1, 2009, to the present to, from, or within the IRS, containing the words, “Israel”; “Zion”; “West Bank”; “Judea”; “Special Israel Policy”; and/or “Samaria.”
Beginning in 2011, Americans living in Israel began to hear stories circulating about friends or family members who also had immigrated on aliyah, or who were involved in Israel-linked activities, who were suddenly receiving notices from the IRS that their U.S. income tax returns for the years 2009 and/or 2010 were under audit.
One American living in Israel who has requested anonymity due to fears of retribution told JewishPress.com that during the process of untangling the long and “intimidating” audit, the IRS case manager assigned to the account said bluntly that American taxpayers whose “returns were coming in from Israel and who were getting money back for any reason, were being red-flagged.”
Now the House Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. Congress is ordering the IRS to turn over any and all documents that will reveal whether the Obama Administration has truly been engaged in a “Special Israel Policy.”
Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism from S. Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press & senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org & other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism. December 20, 2016 7:02 Am
that claims to discuss the legal status of Jerusalem –and it’s totally inaccurate. Every single thing that it gets wrong has an anti-Israel bias. In fact, the whole article is a lesson in media bias. Take the passage below, for instance:
“After the Second World War, the State of Israel was established and gradually recognized ‘de jure’ — or lawfully — by most of the world’s countries. However, although the U.N. recognized the state of Israel in 1948, allowing it to become a member state, it placed the whole city of Jerusalem under international control (a ‘corpus separatum’) on Dec. 13 1949. Despite this, most governmental offices moved to the city.”
was passed on December 9, not December 13. It did not place Jerusalem under international control; General Assembly resolutions cannot do that. It merely expressed “its intention that Jerusalem should be placed under a permanent international regime.”
As you know, the General Assembly of the United Nations has in the meantime, by a large majority, decided to place Jerusalem under an international regime as a separate entity. This decision is utterly incapable of implementation – if only for the determined unalterable opposition of the inhabitants of Jerusalem themselves. It is to be hoped that the General Assembly will in the course of time correct this mistake which its majority has made, and will make no attempt whatsoever to impose a regime on the Holy City against the will of its people.
…For the State of Israel there has always been and always will be one capital only – Jerusalem the eternal. So it was three thousand years ago – and so it will be, we believe, until the end of time.
Yet goes on:
But in 1967, during the Six-Day War, Israel captured the eastern section of Jerusalem, which Jordan presided over, and declared Israeli law, jurisdiction and administration would be applied to the whole city. Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem and was condemned by the U.N., as well as other states.
The link that state of occupation is not illegal. The most that anyone can claim is that some Israeli actions violate the laws of occupation, not that the occupation itself is illegal. gives to claim that Israel’s rule over the part of Jerusalem that Jordan had annexed is illegal says no such thing. It is an article by legal scholar Eyal Benvenisti that argues that even if Israel annexed “east Jerusalem,” it would still be considered an occupier (a controversial theory). Yet in no way does his article claim that such occupation is illegal. In fact, there is no such thing as “illegal occupation.” The laws of belligerent occupation simply reflect that an occupying country has certain responsibilities — but the
And it goes on:
In 1980, the Knesset declared that “Jerusalem, complete & united, is the capital of Israel,” but this law was declared null by the U.N., which called for removal of the remaining embassies in the city.
Here’s what doesn’t bother to say: Even though the US abstained on that Security Council resolution, it considered the demand that states abandon their diplomatic missions to be null and void. According to :
The status of Jerusalem cannot simply be declared; it must be agreed to by the parties. That is a practical reality. It will remain so, despite this draft resolution or a hundred more like it…
The Council calls upon those States that have established diplomatic missions in Jerusalem to withdraw them from the Holy City. . It is without force. We reject it as a disruptive attempt to dictate to other nations. It does nothing to promote a resolution of the difficult problems facing Israel and its neighbors. It does nothing to advance the cause of peace.
Yet goes on:
Countries continued to locate their foreign embassies in Tel Aviv, Israel’s second largest city, situated on the Mediterranean coast, and the refusal to recognize Jerusalem as Israeli territory has become a near-universal policy among Western nations.
Not really, since Western nations recognize the Green Line (falsely) as a border. Their diplomats and travel to to speak to Israeli diplomats. If pre-1967 Jerusalem were considered controversial, none of these national leaders would ever step foot in the city as guests of Israel.
Then contradicts itself:
The U.N. still maintains its position on Jerusalem. In October 2009, the U.N.’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that Jerusalem must be the capital of both Israel and Palestine—living side-by-side in peace and security, with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all—for peace in the Middle East to be achieved.
If the UN maintains its position of Jerusalem as a , then how can it also call for Jerusalem to be divided and become the capital of two states?
The UN Secretary General even realizes that the idea of Jerusalem as an international city is dead, yet says the UN’s position hasn’t changed since 1949.
This is really a poor article. Its bias & lies show that isn’t trying to explain the facts. It is trying to hide them.
IsraPundit by Ted Belman December 19, 2016
By Prof. Efraim Inbar, BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 387, December 18, 2016
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Though he might be a novice in foreign policy, Donald Trump could bring dramatic changes in the global arena by aligning with Russia against China. In this scenario, Russia would have an opportunity to align with Western civilization, ending a millennium-long schism. Will Russia be ready to end its cozy relations with the radical regime in Iran to become a true US ally in the fight against militant Islam?
US President-Elect Donald Trump lacks foreign policy experience, and during the election campaign did not proffer any comprehensive outlook on global affairs. He offered bits and pieces of ideas (building a wall along the Mexican border, moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, disparaging NATO, and demanding that allies raise their defense expenditures). Overall, he expressed isolationist sentiments alongside inconsistent and unpredictable thoughts. In any case, his focus is likely to be on domestic affairs.
Still, Trump might surprise observers. It is already emerging that he does, in fact, have clear preferences in global affairs. It seems he likes Russia (or, specifically, Vladimir Putin) and dislikes China, the two most powerful international actors other than the US. Trump probably admires Putin as a strong, charismatic leader who is intent on making Russia great again. Trump’s nomination of Rex Tillerson, a man with excellent contacts in Moscow, as Secretary of State signals a planned thaw in American-Russian relations.
In contrast, when Trump looks at China, he sees an economic rival that needs to be cut down to size. Trump feels that American industries and jobs have been stolen by China, and that Beijing is playing unfairly with its currency and taxes on US-made products. Significantly, Trump has already departed from America’s qualified “One China” policy (dating back to 1979) by taking a phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. This, together with the presence of strong Taiwan backers in the incoming administration, and with Trump’s recent meeting with Prime Minister Abe of Japan, hint that Trump might be heading towards a policy of confrontation with China.
It is possible that these moves are purely tactical, and are aimed at securing a better opening position in negotiations over elements of the US-China bilateral relationship. But Trump will soon hear from his foreign policy and defense advisers that a rising China is a major challenge to “making America great again” in a geopolitical sense.
Acting on his basic instincts, Trump may well be capable of grand Kissingerian diplomacy, without possessing Kissinger’s historic, intellectual and strategic baggage. Trump could be aiming for détente with Russia and the enlistment of Putin against China.
If this happens, it would constitute a radical shift in the global balance of power, considerably enhancing American leverage in international affairs. Moreover, it holds the potential for Russia’s integration into the West. After all, Russia is culturally part of Western civilization in many ways. Obvious examples are Russian literature, music and ballet, and of course its Christian heritage.
The American post-Cold War stance regarding Russia was very problematic. In the 1990s, there was an opportunity to bring Russia into the Western architecture. A Russia characterized by a resurgent Christianity and a desire to modernize could have become an integral part of the Western world, ending a millennium-long schism – or, at least, a valued ally.
But the expansion of NATO and the EU eastward, which ignored historical Russian sensibilities, heightened the threat perception of the Russian leaders who had lost the Cold War. Western attempts to politically engineer Ukraine, so close to Moscow’s heartland, and the subsequent imposition of economic sanctions on Russia’s moves in Crimea and Ukraine are the most recent examples of Western geopolitical mistakes that pushed Russia away.
Western pressure on Russia also led to a partial Chinese-Russian entente. The Chinese demographic threat in Siberia and the struggle over central Asia were put aside to form an anti-American front.
Trump seems ready to move in a different direction. In July 2016, candidate Trump defied political correctness by saying he would consider recognizing Crimea as Russian territory and lifting sanctions against Russia. He may well accept the return of Ukraine to Russia’s sphere of influence.
Trump also seems to have little patience with European allies who prefer that the US bear most of their defense burden. It remains to be seen whether Trump will be able to overcome anti-Russian and anti-Putin sentiment in Congress, particularly among Republicans. Many of them are unforgiving regarding human rights violations by Moscow (while more forgiving about those committed by Beijing).
The big question, of course, is whether there will be a Russian quid pro quo. Trump is a businessman and is likely to expect something valuable in return. He will need visible benefits with which to market any grand deal with Russia to Congress and the American people.
Will Russia be ready to end its cozy relations with the radical regime in Iran to become a true US ally in the fight against militant Islam? Will it settle for a small, Assad-ruled Syria without Iranian and Hezbollah control? Will Russia be flexible enough to end its territorial conflict with Japan over the Kurile Islands to buttress the anti-China realignment?
Trump probably expects Russia to take these steps. Will Putin take a historic gamble and align with the West, as did Peter the Great?
There are no clear answers yet. For its part, Israel should be cognizant of the fact that a Trump administration will be capable of radical change in global affairs. The changes to the big picture that Trump might produce could have fateful implications for the Jewish state. Israel should work assiduously to promote its interests in this new environment, capitalizing on its strong strategic partnership with the US and good working relations with Russia.
Efraim Inbar is professor emeritus of political studies at Bar-Ilan University, founding director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (1993-2016), & a fellow at the Middle East Forum.
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7.Dry Bones by Ya’acov Kirschen: ‘David Friedman’