Gaza War Diary 9 Tue. Dec. 27, 2016 Day 1209 Chag Chanukah Sama’ech 9 1am
Dear Family & Friends,
“Israel is a country with national pride & we do not turn the other cheek,”: PM Netanyahu said on December 28th, the second night of Chanukah when lighting the second candle in Ma’alot-Tarshiha.
Now we’re living through a change in our lives – which certainly was predictable. President Barack Hussein Obama lived his 8 years as the American President dropping all kinds of clues as to who he really was, what he wanted to do, what he was capable of doing & what he would do – to Israel & the Jewish people. Now, we have elected a new President, who may be a real hero in defending both of our countries & bringing Israel sovereignty with peace & security. Let us add a fervent prayer when we light our Chanukah candles that the President-Elect Donald Trump can fulfill his promises & our hopes.
It’s been raining off & on for 3 days, today ferociously in sheets & waterfalls with hail.
Have a wonderful fifth candle lighting tomorrow. I’m hosting a family party tomorrow. My grand-daughter & I spent yesterday making tons of latkes!
All the very best, Gail/Geula/Savta/Savta x 2/Mom
1.Diplomatic terrorism at the UN, courtesy President Obama By Anne Bayefsky
FoxNews.com Published December 24, 2016
[I can’t tell is that eagle on the flag is a Roman army symbol or not? Remember, the Romans destroyed the Second Temple in 70 CE?!]
President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference, Fri. Dec. 16, 2016, in the White House briefing room, Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)(Copyright 2016 AP. All rights reserved.)
The vicious condemnation of Israel at the UN Security Council on December 23, 2016 is a watershed moment in U.S.-UN relations – albeit not as President Obama hoped. Following the vote of fourteen in favor and one American abstention, Palestinian representative Riyadh Mansour & American Ambassador Samantha Power exchanged a telling handshake. Evidently, President Obama believes that he has put one over on Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu & the incoming Trump administration. But here’s another possibility: treachery at the UN will not be cost free.
[Gail Sez: “Mansour” is a significant name. Before Obama’s first election Sept. 7 2008 Emanuel A. Winston, Z’l, my husband wrote: “The Mansourian Candidate”, a significant play on the title of 2 movies. “The Manchurian Candidate”: one with Frank Sinatra & one with Liev Schreiber & Denzel Washington. We noticed that Barack Hussein Obama was being promoted & paid for by Khalid al-Mansour. Manny’s 2 articles listed various sponsors & mentors who seem to have been behind Barack Obama’s meteoric rise to public prominence & who may have influenced his political orientation.
Among those mentioned are the anti-American author Khalid al-Mansour, the principle adviser of Saudi billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal; the notorious Columbia University Professor Edward Said, once a member of the PLO; & Syrian-born Tony Rezko, a Chicago politician who became executive director of the Muhammad Ali Foundation to spread Islam.
To these add Bill Ayers, founder & theoretician of the Weatherman Underground terrorist organization (1969-1976), now a professor. Then there is the racist & revolutionary ideology/theology of Obama’s most publicized mentor the Rev. “G-d damn America” Jeremiah Wright. Obama attended Wright’s church for 20 years. This is the same Wright who unabashedly expressed his admiration for Jew-hater Louis Farrakhan, a purveyor of Islam.]
Cont.: Diplomatic terrorism at the UN, courtesy Pres. Obama By Anne Bayefsky
Let’s be absolutely clear about what has just happened at the UNGA. The Palestinians have completed the hijacking of every major UN institution. The 2016 General Assembly has adopted 19 resolutions condemning Israel, & only 9 critical of all other UN states combined. The 2016 Commission on the Status of Women adopted 1 resolution condemning Israel and zero on any other state. The 2016 UN Human Rights Council celebrated 10 years of adopting more resolutions & decisions condemning Israel than any other place on earth. Now – to the applause of the assembled – the Palestinians can add the UN Security Council to their list.
Resolution sponsors Malaysia & New Zealand explained UN-think to the Council this way: Israeli settlements are “the single biggest threat to peace” & the “primary threat to the viability of the two-state solution.” Not 7 decades of unremitting Arab terror & violent rejection of Jewish self-determination in the historic homeland of the Jewish people.
This is not just any lie. This is the Big Lie of modern anti-Semitism. This is the Lie that drove a Palestinian teenager in June of this year to creep into the home of 13-year old Hallel Ariel & butcher her with a knife in the back as she slept in her bed.
Her bed was located in the “settlement” of Kiryat Arba – on Arab-claimed territory whose ownership – by agreement – is subject to final status negotiations instead of back-stabbing UN resolutions. So to skip the UN-eze, today’s hate fest was diplomatic terrorism.
Obama’s failure to veto the resolution is at odds with long-standing American foreign policy that has insisted on peace through negotiations & not UN-fiat, as the only way to ensure genuine & long-lasting recognition & cooperation. His excuse for throwing bipartisan wisdom overboard was delivered by Ambassador Power, in one of the most disingenuous statements in the history of American diplomacy.
Power began by likening Obama’s deed to Ronald Reagan’s treatment of Israel. She repeatedly claimed that the move was nothing new & was “in line” with the past, though “historic” is how speaker-after-speaker & the President of the Council himself described it. She noted “Israel has been treated differently than other nations at the United Nations” and then doubled-down on more of the same. She complained that Council “members suddenly summon the will to act” when it comes to Israel, after the White House had actively pushed the frantic adoption of the resolution with less than 48 hours’ notice. [Gail sez: On the Friday afternoon before the Xmas holiday break at the UN & the 8 day Chanukah holiday.]
At its core, this UN move is a head-on assault on American democracy. President Obama knew full well he did not have Congressional support for the Iran deal, so he went straight to the Security Council first. Likewise, he knew that there would have been overwhelming Congressional opposition to this resolution, so he carefully planned his stealth attack.
He waited until Congress was not in session. Members of his administration made periodic suggestions that nothing had been decided. There were occasional head fakes that he was “leaning” against it. He produced smiling photo-ops from a Hawaiian golf course with no obvious major foreign policy moves minutes away. Holiday time-outs were in full-swing across the country. Then he pounced, giving Israel virtually no notice of his intent not to veto.
Profound betrayal of a true democratic friend of the U.S. is the only possible description.
Israel’s Ambassador Danny Danon held up a Bible in that sanctuary of idolatry & spoke of the holiday of Chanukah, about to commence this calendar year on Christmas Eve. He reminded his listeners that over 2,000 years ago another King had banished the Jewish people from the Temple in Jerusalem & tried to sever Jews from their religion & their heritage.
He continued: “But we prevailed. The Jewish people fought back. We regained our independence and relit the Menorah candles…We overcame those decrees during the time of the Maccabees and we will overcome this evil decree today.”
The Security Council & President Obama leave a trail of devastation across the planet, with evil empowered & good forsaken. But their record does not have to be our future. Today’s vote reminds us of what it takes for evil to triumph.
Doing nothing is not an option for our new President and our incoming Congress. The time has come to undertake an urgent and full review of America’s relationship to the United Nations & to suspend financial support until that review can identify how best to use American dollars in the interests of peace, security & human dignity. The perfidy of Barack Obama will not be the last word.
US President Barack Obama has but a month left in office. But he has a month left. And he is using it. In the days remaining, Obama is using the full authority of his office to advance his policies with the hope of rendering permanent his mark on American policy.
Domestically, Obama is working to undercut the capacity of his successor, President-elect Donald Trump, to implement his plans of expanding domestic oil and gas exploration and development.
On Tuesday, Obama banned offshore drilling in large swathes of the Artic & Atlantic oceans.
In foreign affairs, Obama has Israel in his crosshairs.
It is now apparent that the lame duck president, bereft of any partisan restraints, intends to make good on his eight years of promises to use his last month in office to stick it to Israel at the UN.
The opening act of Obama’s onslaught on Israel came on Wednesday, with State Department Spokesman John Kirby’s fatuous and unprecedented claim that Israeli communities built beyond the 1949 armistice line – the so-called settlements – are illegal.
Late Wednesday, the UN suddenly announced it would hold a vote on an Egyptian resolution parroting that language, and calling for a complete halt on construction projects for Jews in the areas, including Jerusalem.
The draft resolution included a call for an international governmental embrace of economic warfare against Israel. It called upon member states “to distinguish in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel & the territories occupied since 1967.”
An indication of the depth of Obama’s commitment to enabling the resolution to pass came amid reports that Secretary of State John Kerry was planning to address the Security Council ahead of the scheduled vote.
Following massive pressure from Israel & a statement by President-elect Donald Trump calling for Obama to veto the resolution, Egypt postponed the vote on its resolution “indefinitely.”
But with or without the resolution – & there are at least 2 others also poised for a vote – Obama is using his remaining time to empower the anti-Israel boycott, divestment & sanctions operation aimed at destroying Israel’s economy & international position.
As Anne Bayefsky reported in the Washington Examiner on Wednesday, Obama is supporting the UN budget which allocates funding toward the implementation of a UN Human Rights Council resolution promoting BDS. The resolution requires the Human Rights Council to compile a blacklist of companies worldwide with direct or indirect business ties to Israeli communities built beyond the 1949 armistice lines. Since all businesses doing business with Israeli entities have indirect or direct ties to the areas where some 750,000 Israeli live, the resolution represents a bid to conduct total war against the Israeli economy.
Obama is funding its implementation.
Moreover, Obama is trying to box the Trump administration into continuing his supportive stance on the Human Rights Council. Whereas the Bush administration refused to join the inherently & incurably anti-Israel body, Obama has lavished it with legitimacy and funding.
This month the administration won a new three-year term for the US on the Council beginning on January 1. This means that regardless of Trump’s approach to the phony human rights body, the US is now saddled with membership for the bulk of his presidential term.
One of the things operating in Israel’s favor as it seeks to undo Obama’s hostile legacy once he is gone, is that Trump’s election is part & parcel of a wide-scale change in Western politics that is fundamentally transforming the so-called “international community” that provides knee-jerk support for BDS & every other anti-Israel initiative.
The term “international community,” of course, is just a grandiose name for the collective views of the Western European elites and those of their counterparts on the US coasts. As Trump’s victory & the British decision to withdraw from the European Union indicated, the elites’ capacity to impose their views on voters is fast disappearing.
The populist wave that approved Brexit & brought Trump to power is far from spent force. Next year will see general elections in Holland, France & Germany, with nationalist parties in all 3 countries are likely to win or at a minimum be profoundly strengthened. This means the likelihood the EU will break apart is rising with each passing day. Foreign policies of the separate states of Europe will be far different than their collective positions under the EU.
The main cause of the swift rise of the nationalist Right throughout Western Europe is the mass Muslim migration to Europe. Profound public opposition to the deluge of migrants from Muslim states is bringing about wholesale popular rejection of the multicultural & anti-nationalist values that dictated the tone and substance of European politics for 2 generations. The implications of this revolutionary shift in values & its impact on European politics are enormous. Israel stands to be one of the first beneficiaries of this transformation, if our foreign policy bureaucracy is capable of understanding what is happening.
Unfortunately, actions by the Foreign Ministry this week indicate that our diplomatic bureaucrats haven’t the vaguest idea of what is happening, or why these developments can be beneficial for Israel.
The Foreign Ministry announced this week that the government was boycotting a delegation of visiting European lawmakers because Kristina Winberg, a member of Sweden’s rightist Swedish Democrats party, was among its members.
In recent weeks, the Foreign Ministry has managed to boycott Sweden’s entire political spectrum. Last week, the ministry announced that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had rejected Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom’s request for a meeting due to scheduling difficulties.
Wallstrom richly deserves the government’s unofficial boycott. Among other things, Wallstrom blamed Israel for the massacres in Paris last November.
While the Foreign Ministry used a procedural excuse to brush off Wallstrom, it threw diplomatic protocol to the 7 winds when it announced that Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely’s scheduled briefing of the delegation of European lawmakers was canceled due to Winberg’s participation.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said that the Swedish Democrats party “has neo-Nazi tendencies & therefore the Foreign Ministry decided not to include [Winberg] in the meeting with Hotovely.” Winberg’s colleagues, who included a member of Trump’s transition team, were appalled by the boycott. To protest the move, the entire delegation canceled its meeting with Hotovely.
The delegation was in Israel to participate in a leadership summit in Jerusalem. Due to its position on the Sweden Democrats, the Foreign Ministry caused Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to cancel her scheduled remarks at the conference.
In other words, the Foreign Ministry adopted and implemented a comprehensive, public and undiplomatic boycott of the rightist party.
It is unclear who stands behind this policy. But whoever is responsible should be subjected to a career review. The policy is as destructive to Israel’s national interests as it is unjust to the Swedish Democrats. The Swedish Democrats party is the only pro-Israel political party in Sweden. It is the only party that opposed Sweden’s recognition of “Palestine.”
The Foreign Ministry’s claim that the party has “neo-Nazi tendencies” is tendentious. Earlier this month, the party took the extreme step of banning one of its own lawmakers from the party after she made an anti-Semitic statement. In the past it disbanded its youth wing & formed a new one amidst allegations of anti-Semitism.
How many Nazi parties expel their members or disband their youth wings for hating Jews? The Swedish Democrats party, which is identified with the nationalist right, has built is political position around its unqualified opposition to immigration. For its opposition to immigration, the Democrats are castigated continuously as racists by their political rivals.
There is every reason to believe there are Jew-haters among the party’s members. But unlike members of Wallstrom’s Social Democratic Party, Swedish Democrats don’t participate in anti-Israel demonstrations where Hezb’Allah & Hamas flags are prominent. Indeed, they don’t participate in anti-Israel demonstrations at all.
Moreover, they are the fastest growing & largest party in Sweden. This fact makes the Foreign Ministry’s treatment of Winberg not only unjust, but deeply stupid as well. A mere decade after it won its first representation in parliament, the Swedish Democrats have been leading political polls for the past year. The Foreign Ministry just called it a Nazi party.
Sadly, it isn’t much of a surprise that the Foreign Ministry has failed to read the writing on the walls in Sweden & act appropriately. Our foreign & defense bureaucracies have a storied record of missing major developments. They are too busy talking to their bureaucratic counterparts to pay attention to what the public is saying.
In Egypt for instance, no one was more surprised at then-president Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow and the concomitant rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt than the defense establishment, whose members were largely responsible for handling Israel’s bilateral relations with Mubarak.
In the decade or more that preceded Mubarak’s overthrow, anyone paying attention to open source polling data of public opinion in Egypt, or to what was being said in the Egyptian media, was aware of deep-seated & rising public frustration and disgust with Mubarak, his sons & his cronies. But since the only people that Israel’s defense establishment spoke to were Mubarak, his sons & his cronies, they were taken by complete surprise when he was overthrown & replaced with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Obama will continue to be the president until 12:00 p.m. on January 20. Israel can expect him to use this time to take the actions against Israel that he has been threatening to take for 8 years. One way or another, he will exact his pound of flesh. But at 12:01 on January 20, a new era will begin.
In the coming months, as the next wave of populist right-wing parties rise to power in Europe, the “international community” that has been unanimous in its backing of the anti-Israel policies for a generation will become an altogether different body.
This new era presents Israel with profound, indeed unprecedented opportunities. But if our foreign and defense bureaucrats continue to behave as though nothing has happened, we will fail to benefit from any of them.
Contributor Caroline B. Glick is senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC & the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, contributor to the Washington post ,London Times, the Wall Street Journal &The Australian.
3. “Israel is a proud country & does NOT turn the other cheek”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks last night, on the first night of Chanukah, at an event in salute of wounded IDF & security forces veterans & victims of terrorism: (English captions available). Video: GPO ·
“Citizens of Israel, I would like to reassure you. The resolution that was adopted yesterday at the United Nations is distorted & shameful but we will overcome it. The resolution determines that the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem is ‘occupied territory’. This is delusional. The resolution determines that the Western Wall is ‘occupied territory’. This too is delusional. There is nothing more absurd than calling the Western Wall & the Jewish Quarter occupied territory. There is also an attempt here, which will not succeed, to impose permanent settlement terms on Israel. You might recall that the last one who tried to do this was Carter, an extremely hostile president to Israel, who just recently said Hamas is not a terrorist organization. Carter passed sweeping decisions against us at the UN of a similar kind. This was also unsuccessful. We opposed this & nothing (bad) happened.
All American presidents since Carter upheld the American commitment not to try to dictate permanent settlement terms to Israel at the Security Council. Yesterday, in complete contradiction of this commitment, including an explicit commitment by President Obama himself in 2011, the Obama administration carried out a shameful anti-Israel ploy at the UN. I would like to tell you that the resolution that was adopted, not only doesn’t bring peace closer, it drives it further away. It hurts justice; it hurts the truth. Think about this absurdity, half a million human beings are being slaughtered in Syria. Tens of thousands are being butchered in Sudan. The entire Middle East is going up in flames but, the Obama administration & the Security Council choose to gang up on the only democracy in the Middle East – the State of Israel. What a disgrace.
My friends, I would like to tell you on the first night of Chanukah that this will not avail them. We reject this resolution outright, just as we rejected the UN resolution that determined that Zionism was racism. It took time but that resolution was rescinded; it will take time but this one will also be rescinded. Now I will tell you how it will be rescinded. It will be rescinded not because of our retreats but because of our steadfastness & that of our allies. I remind you that we withdrew from Gaza, uprooted communities & took people out of their graves. Did this help us at all at the UN? Did this improve our relations at the UN? We were hit with thousands of rockets & the UN hit us with the Goldstone report!
So I will tell you what is clear, I know, to the vast majority of Israeli citizens: We learned this lesson & we will not go there. But I also want to tell you something else: We are not alone. I spoke last night with many American leaders. I was pleased to hear from members of the American Congress, from Democrats & Republicans alike, that they will fight an all-out war against this resolution with all the power at their disposal. I heard the exact same things from our friends in the incoming administration, who said that they will fight an all-out war against this resolution. I heard this from across the spectrum of American public opinion & American politics – Republicans, Democrats, Jews & non-Jews. As I spoke yesterday with leaders in Congress & the incoming American administration, they told me unequivocally: ‘We are sick of this & it will not continue. We will change this resolution. We will not allow anyone to harm the State of Israel.’ They are declaring their intention to pass legislation to punish countries that try to harm Israel. They say that this will also include the UN itself. I remind you that the UN receives a quarter, 25%, of its budget from the US alone.
In my most recent speech to the UN, in September, I said that a storm was expected in the UN before it gets better there. We knew that this is possible & we expect that it will come. The resolution that was passed at the UN yesterday is part of the swan song of the old world that is biased against Israel, but, my friends, we are entering a new era. As President-elect Trump said yesterday, it will happen much sooner than you think. In the new era there is a much higher price for those who try to harm Israel. The price will be exacted not only by the US, but by Israel as well.
Two countries with which we have diplomatic relations cosponsored the resolution against us at the UN; therefore, I ordered yesterday that our ambassadors be recalled from, Senegal & from New Zealand. I have ordered that all Israeli assistance to Senegal be halted & there’s more to come.
Those who work with us will benefit because Israel has much to give to the countries of the world. But those who work against us will lose – because there will be a diplomatic and economic price for their actions against Israel. Additionally, I have instructed the Foreign Ministry to complete, within a month, a reassessment of all of our contacts with the UN, including Israeli financing of UN institutions and the presence of UN representatives in the country. But I am not waiting; already now I have ordered to halt approximately NIS 30 million in financing for five UN institutions, five UN bodies that are especially hostile to Israel. I have already ordered that this be stopped. There is more to come.
We are on a campaign of improving our relations with the nations of the world. It will take more time. I have said this as well, until our improved relations with countries on 5 continents are also reflected in their decisions in UN institutions. But I would like to tell you something else, and listen closely to what I’m saying.
Contrary to what you might expect, it is very likely that last night’s scandalous resolution will accelerate this process, because it is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Last night’s resolution is a call to arms for all of our many friends in the US & elsewhere around the world, friends who are sick of the UN’s hostility toward Israel& they intend to bring about a fundamental change in the UN. Therefore, this evening I tell you in the language of our sources, the sweet will yet come forth from the bitter & those who come to curse will yet bless.
Here, on the first night of Chanukah, I stand next to the Maccabees of our times, IDF soldiers & wounded IDF heroes. I salute you & I say to you clearly: The light will dispel the darkness. The spirit of the Maccabees will overcome. Happy Chanukah.”
“Enough with the mentality of exile,” says Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks at the ceremony to launch the Socio-Economic Development Plan for the Galilee, today in Maalot-Tarshiha 12/26/16:
“There is continuing importance to this response even if there is another attempt or two to harm us in the coming month. But there is no alternative to a determined response because it is, in effect, creating the basis for a different approach in the future. Therefore, to describe our protest as a world war is ridiculous.
“Enough of this Diaspora-think. I tell you that there is no diplomatic wisdom in being ingratiating. Not only will our relations with the nations of the world not be harmed, over time they will only improve because the nations of the world respect strong countries that stand up for themselves & do not respect weak ingratiating countries that bow their heads.”
“Under my leadership Israel is a strong & proud nation. We will continue to defend our state & we will develop the country.”
The Prime Minister of Israel lights the second candle of Hanukkah at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
The Prime Minister of Israel Sunday :
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks on the second night of Chanukah, this evening, at the Western Wall: “I did not plan to be here this evening but in light of the UN resolution I thought that there was no better place to light the second Chanukah candle than the Western Wall. According to the UN resolution, the Maccabees did not liberate Jerusalem, they occupied Palestinian territory. According to the UN resolution, the villages that they started out from in the Modi’in area, those villages and that area were ‘occupied Palestinian territory’.
Of course the Palestinians arrived much later. We were in these places. We will return to these places & I ask those same countries that wish us a Happy Chanukah how they could vote for a UN resolution which says that this place, in which we are now celebrating Chanukah, is occupied territory.
The Western Wall is not occupied. The Jewish Quarter is not occupied. The other places are not occupied either. Therefore, we do not accept, nor can we accept, this resolution. We are certain of our future just as we are certain of our past. And here I would like to light Chanukah candles on behalf of the Glory of Israel. Happy Chanukah.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu moved from an offensive to defensive posture on Monday, 12/26, regarding the UN Security Council vote, rebuffing criticism that his angry response was too aggressive & saying that Israel will not “turn the other cheek.”
“Israel is a country with national pride & we do not turn the other cheek,” he said. “This is a rational, aggressive & responsible response, the natural reaction of a healthy nation that is making clear to the nations of the world what was done in the UN is unacceptable to it.”(Netanyahu: “Friends don’t take friends to the Security Council” (12/26/16)
Late Sunday night, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it is “confident that active & emotional internal debates in Israel will not impact traditionally friendly Ukrainian-Israeli relations, based on mutual respect & joint interests. Our country consistently advocates the respect for the international law by everyone & everywhere as [it] has experienced itself the tragic consequences brought [about] by its violation,” the statement read, in reference to Crimea. “That’s why our position was formed on the basis of our consistent line to ensure the respect for the international law by all its subjects.”
Posted: 25 Dec 2016 10:13 AM PST
A candle is a brief flare of light. A wick dipped in oil burns and then goes out again. The light of Chanukah appears to follow the same narrative. Briefly there is light & warmth & then darkness again.
Out of the exile of Babylon, the handful that returned to resettle and rebuild the land faced the might of new empires. The Jews who returned from the exile of one evil empire some twenty-six hundred years ago were forced to decide whether they would be a people with their own faith and history, or the colony of another empire, with its history and beliefs.
The Maccabees had fought courageously for the freedom to worship God once again as their fathers had, but courage alone could not make the Menorah burn & thus renew the Temple service again. Yet it had not been mere berserker’s courage that had brought them this far. Like their ancestors before them who had leaped into furnaces & the raging sea, they had dared the impossible on faith. Faith in a God who watched over his nation & intervened in the affairs of men. So on faith they poured the oil of that single flask in the Menorah, oil that could only last for a single day. Then having done all they could, the priests & sons of priests who had fought through entire armies to reach this place, accepted that they had done all they could & left the remainder in the hands of the Almighty.
Now the flame still burns, though it is flickering. 68 years is a long time for oil to burn, especially when the black oil next door seems so much more useful to the empires and republics across the sea. The children of many of those who first lit the flame no longer see the point in that hoary old light.
5.The Security Council vote was not about settlements. It was about something far worse. By Barry Shaw Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies & author of the upcoming & timely book ‘1917. From Palestine to the Land of Israel.’
The UNSC vote was not about “settlements.” It was an Arab subterfuge, a trap into which the United States, the UK, New Zealand and other naïve or cynical diplomats took an active role.
It was all smoke and mirrors, a con trick holding up the settlement issue to dazzle the voters while the real intent was to disown Israel of territories to which they have genuine claim and turn them into “illegally occupied Palestinian territory.”
For certain, President Obama latched on to the idea. It was pay-back time, a golden opportunity not to be missed to hit back at Bibi before handing in the keys to the White House. For shame!
Now we know that he was cooking up this evil brew back in November.
Not too many people noticed that Obama’s Secretary of State sneaked into New Zealand in November for a quick visit. The visit was to discuss the impending Security Council meeting. The press was given to believe that the burning issue was Syria, but nobody is putting it past Kerry that he didn’t get into a huddle with Kiwi leaders about supporting this anti-Israel settlement resolution. New Zealand has a seat in the Security Council.
When Egypt withdrew their sponsorship of the anti-Israel proposal due to the intervention of President-Elect Trump it probably took nothing more than a quick phone call to get New Zealand to step up and join Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela in sponsoring the treacherous United Nations act.
That Obama’s finger was all over it was confirmed by Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Obama was pulling the strings but it was the Palestinian/Arab narrative that was written into the resolution. Israel’s voice, its legitimate rights and claims to all or parts of the territory, were ignored.
So, how did it go beyond the issue of settlements?
The wording of a flagrantly biased resolution wrongly claimed that “settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including east Jerusalem has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”
This is blatantly incorrect.
It corrupted UN Resolution 242 of 1967 that called on Israel armed forces to withdraw from territory according to a timetable. 242 did not call on Israel to withdraw from all the territory as does this UNSC demand.
Resolution 242 acknowledged Israel’s right to protect itself and live in peace within secure and recognized borders. Although the UNSC resolution restates these essential prerequisites it has the chutzpah to impose where these borders should be by renaming anything beyond the so-called 1967 lines “occupied Palestine territory.” As such, the Security Council converts a false definition into international law.
It also ignored ongoing Palestinian belligerency (terror) and their absolute lack of respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial claims and political independence of every State in the area to live in peace, particularly Israel, as demanded in UN Resolution 242. Formally, the UN Resolution 242 was sent to and approved by the Security Council. They have now obliterated these commitments. Packed with demands of Israel to meet specific obligations, it makes no such demand of the Palestinian Authority and not of Hamas. Actually, Hamas is not mentioned once. It is as if Hamas didn’t exist.
Instead the UNSC Resolution blankets Israel as the sole perpetrator of international lawlessness overlooking ongoing Palestinian belligerency save for asking the PA to confront those engaging in terror as if those engaging in terror had nothing to do with the Palestinian Authority and their incitement to and glorification of Palestinian terrorism against Israel.
There are international laws that permit states to retain territory acquired in wars inflicted on them by aggressive enemies for the defensive state’s security and its citizen’s safety. That was the case of Israel which acquired territory in defensive wars against invading Arab armies. This gives international legitimacy to Israel’s claims to territories gained not in one war of aggression against the Jewish state (1948) but two (1948 and 1967).
All this was ignored by a Security Council determined to plough its way to legal impositions against Israel in their haste to establish a Palestinian entity on land on which Israel has longstanding and legal claims.
The United Nations brushes aside the fact that the Palestine they crave to establish is and will remain a dysfunctional, divided, violent, undemocratic society that refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist as the Jewish state. Both sides of the Palestinian political divide have permanent agendas to eradicate the Jewish state at some convenient future time. As proof, the charters of both the PLO and Hamas call for the eventual destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews. As further proof just listen or read the exhortations emanating out of their official statements and the official Palestinian media.
This was not addressed by the UNSC. It was not called unlawful. It was ignored, irrelevant to their sole ambition to create this monster and leave the parties to sort out the consequences.
The UNSC vote also obliterated the Oslo Accords signed on the White House lawn between Yasser Arafat and Yizhak Rabin in the presence of President Bill Clinton and witnessed by the EU and Russia.
The Oslo Accords divided the territories known as Judea & Samaria or the West Bank into three zones. Area A was put under the civil and security administration of the Palestinian Authority. Area B was given to the PA for their civil rule while the security elements were agreed to be a joint Israeli-PA project. Area C was designated to be under complete Israel civil and security control until some future permanent peace agreement depending on the terms and conditions of such an agreement.
Currently in Area C there are almost 600,000 Jews and just under 100,000 Arabs residing there although the Palestinian Authority with the physical and financial assistant of European countries and the EU are creating facts on the ground by transferring Bedouin Arabs into Area C. These people live in buildings provided by the EU in defiance of the provisions of Area C.
According to the Oslo Accords, Area C will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations which have not taken place because the Palestinian Authority, and certainly not Palestinian Hamas, has any inclination to sit with the Israeli leadership to negotiate mutual recognition, borders, or any other final status provisions.
The wording of new UNSC vote would have us believe that this Oslo Accord provision is null and void. Area C has been replaced and given the status of “illegally occupied Palestinian territory.” Not so. The presumption that Israel must withdraw from all territories or that Jews will not continue to live and work on Judea & Samaria is a gross and deliberate aberration.
What was most abhorrent in the wording of the unanimously approved UNSC resolution was the removal of all Israeli claims to the most holy Jewish sites placing them at the feet of the Palestinians.
When the United Nations Security Council calls the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem with its synagogues, yeshivot, Jewish population and businesses, the Jewish Temple Mount and the Western Wall and all its antiquities, and the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, the Hadassah Hospital and other profoundly Jewish/Israeli institutions and heritage as “Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem” it is a surrender that no Israeli government or any caring Jew are prepared to accept.
I doubt that many Jews in the global community would permit the United Nations to dispense so glibly with three thousand years of Jewish history.
The fact that the United States, New Zealand, the UK and France lent their hand to this infamous act is appalling.
6.Barack Hussein Obama as “The Mansourian Candidate” by Emanuel Winston, 2008 Middle East Analyst & Commentator, Chicago Area, IL September 5, 2008
President Barack Hussein Obama creates a lot to think & speculate about with respect to his policy toward Israel, coupled with his relationship to the Islamic & Arab world. The underlying considerations are “Trust” from Obama & the Security & Sovereignty of the Jewish Nation/State of Israel.
Despite self-serving political statements by Obama, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden that “Israel is America’s closest ally”, do the facts speak to a strong hostility? Is Obama to be trusted on Israel or even on his policies for America?
We just watched Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid bribe & bludgeon Congress to go their way “or else!” It’s not what someone says but, what they do which tells us about their character and thus establishes trust.
We have observed Obama’s friends & advisors during his years in Chicago. They were a ‘gang’ typical of some of Chicago’s twisty politicians. Some almost went to jail while others are already in jail.
Obama’s preacher of 20 years, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was (& is) anti-White, anti-American & anti-Jewish.
Obama still hasn’t released his birth records, his school & university records or his financial support from Saudi Arabia & the black millionaire convert to Islam, Dr. Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour. The result of his influential support led us & others to describe:
Barack Hussein Obama as “The Mansourian Candidate”.
Obama claims to be a Christian but, his actions speak more to his early education as a Muslim in an Indonesian “madrassa” (school for strict Islam).
Obama showed his animus against the Jewish Nation/State of Israel from his first days in office. Also, his first days in office he showed his bias for the Muslim & Arab Terror nations toward which he extended his Presidential “outreach”, including Iran, Syria, the Palestinian Authority – despite their overt hatred of Americans.
His score-card holds a lot more but, this gives you a brief idea of Obama’s character & that of his advisors. His main team players who established his hostile policies toward Israel would be the U.S. State Department’s Head, Hillary Clinton, his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, plus David Axelrod, James Baker III – plus Baker’s former advisors (called his Jew-Boys) – Dennis Ross, Aaron David Miller & Daniel Kurtzer [later joined by Martin Indyk].
In Israel there were always those of the Left who would offer advice – like President Shimon Peres, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, former PM Ehud Olmert, Tzippi Livni, etc. Now we await the final word of Prime Minister Binyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu as to whether he will (or has) cave in or stand up to Obama’s demands – as being head of the sovereign State of Israel mandates. [He stood up! GW 7/5/15]
We observe Obama’s political gifts to Israel by way of defensive military materials but NOT the necessary offensive weapons needed to take out Iran’s Nuclear capabilities. A recent report indicates that the 30,000 pound Bunker Busting bombs, designed to penetrate Iran’s nuclear facilities were shipped to Diego Garcia for “storage”. This would insure that, IF Israel were pressed to the wall, she would have to go it alone, with whatever weapons she has to cripple Iran’s Nuclear facilities – thus protecting the entire Middle East, Southern Europe and Russia, including the 300,000 to 500,000 Americans on various military bases in the Middle East.
This may, indeed, be Obama’s plan on advice from his advisors listed above so that Israel would take the full brunt of Iranian & Syrian counter-strikes.
Naturally, Obama would then blame Israel – as would the Europeans & the U.N. for daring to save herself from Iran’s pledge to wipe Israel off the face of the map.
During such an interchange, Obama’s regime could take the opportunity to finish off Iran’s attack capability while still blaming Israel for any American casualties.
Obama & the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff know they have to eliminate Iran as a threat to the entire Middle East but, they would prefer that Israel take the blame for initiating the coming War.
The Saudis are pressuring America to take out Iran – even to the point of opening Saudi air space to Israeli aircraft on their way to Iran. (Note! It was Zbigniew Brzezinski who advised that U.S. aircraft based in Iraq launch an attack on Israeli aircraft flying toward Iran!)
Obama (no doubt, on advice from those around him) know that, in order to keep his office for a second term he desperately needs a war. Obama needs a war with Iran but has arranged it in a way that Israel, not he, would be blamed by the Islamic world.
The more Obama shows his hostility toward Israel, the better his relationships with Iran, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Hezb’Allah, Hamas, etc.
Obama’s actions display an overwhelming desire to sever relationships with Israel for cause, even if the cause is well-planned by Arabists in Washington & Europe. The public relations mechanism – otherwise known as the propagandists in the bowels of the White House & the State Department (aka Foggy Bottom) are working 24/7 to prepare the American people to accept Obama’s declaration, severing America’s relationship with America’s most dependable, staunch & useful ally, Israel.
The dust-up of building 1600 apartments in North-West Jerusalem (I repeat in North-West – not East Jerusalem!) was merely an unplanned opportunity to pretend American rage & offense in order to ratchet up the ante on what Obama demands of Israel by way of suicidal gestures.
Hopefully, this time Bibi Netanyahu will politely stiffen his spine & tell America’s self-appointed messiah that each nation must defend herself even when their respective “best friends & allies” have special interests that are linked to the Arab Muslim oil nations. [He did! 7/5/15]
National suicide is NOT what you ask of a true friend for the sake of your own cash flow!
Obama and his advisors have crossed the threshold of tipping the American economy down to a level that will inevitably equal Zimbabwe or Venezuela. America is already in debt that exceeds $12 Trillion dollars [as of Jan. 2010] & that may double shortly. This is all thanks to the exorbitant entitlements that Obama is pushing Congress to pass in order to “redistribute the wealth”. Obama plans to take from those who earned & saved their money by creating American jobs & industries. That “wealth” will go to the unemployed, uninsured who don’t work. Now, with Obama’s entitlements, he will create future generations who are ever dependent on the American government dole.
I believe that Obama is not only destined to be a one-term President but, will likely be impeached long before 2012. How the crippling debt-heavy legislation can be canceled is a big unknown. Is that even possible?
Obama & his advisors have made every effort to nullify the American Constitution while replacing Congress with his 35 to 45 Czars & Czarinas who hate America’s capitalistic system. Destroying (or trying to destroy) America’s allies – whose mere existence irritates the rapidly expanding Global Islamic Caliphate would theoretically please the world-wide “Jihadists” (warriors for Islam) until they are ready to absorb America – just as they are already doing in France, England, the Netherlands & other European countries – wherever the incoming Muslims reach “critical mass”.
That process can be accelerated as the Muslim “sleeper cells” embedded in the European and American cities are awakened to blow up some subways, malls or perhaps to detonate a “dirty bomb” in the financial districts of New York, Chicago, etc.
Perhaps a bill of impeachment will be issued against Obama for whatever he has done against the American people & nation (including the subversion of America’s allies). Such a corrective action must reflect Obama’s alliance with America’s enemies – including the subversion of America’s allies who have long been America’s front-line against full Islamic assault.
The American people & Congress maintain a friendship to Israel which is well-known & deeply appreciated. But, regrettably, an evil cabal has captured political leadership & is dragging down the nation. This is reminiscent of the time of Noah – or Sodom & Gomorrah when black-hearted men took control & the people accept their rule, the nation suffers – as is happening right now!
P.S. This Just In! The Wall St. Journal March 25, 2010 front page article: “U.S. Softens Sanctions Plan Against Iran” [Gail Sez in July 5, 2015: ‘Some things never change – they just escalate’.]
As is to be expected, Obama & his Arabist advisors never intended to apply severe sanctions against Iran to stop them from reaching full Nuclear Weapons’ capability. The ruse (lie) was to keep Israel from acting in a no-choice survival mode against a lunatic religious leader who has repeatedly pledged to wipe Israel off the map.
Obama-Clinton & Obama’s Arabist advisors continued a steady stream of dis-information, assuring Israel that, not only would they force Iran to stop its Nuclear Development but, they would stand with Israel as a reliable ally.
Clearly, the lie was a long time in process while Obama was “reaching out” to Iran & Syria even as they were assisting in the murders of American soldiers in Iraq & Afghanistan.
One is easily reminded of 1938 when the nations of Europe betrayed Czechoslovakia in their futile effort to bribe Adolph Hitler, with a dangerous gift of the Sudetenland – a natural & military barrier that had protected Europe from invasion. Neville Chamberlain returned home to Great Britain proclaiming that this “bribe” he gifted had brought “Peace in Our Time” & stopped Hitler from his intended conquest of Europe.
Just listen to the propaganda being pumped of the White House, Germany, England, China, Russia – all to the effect that they are all working so hard to keep Iran from going Nuclear while Mohammed Ahmadinejad increases his speed of Nuclear production.
IsraPundit by Ted Belman December 26, 2016
The Trump administration is dedicated to undoing the harm done by the Obama administration in the Iran Deal. To succeed, it needs the right team.
Most of you have never heard of the Center for Security Policy. That’s about to change because it has a prominent, if not dominant role, in the Trump transition team in matters relating to Iran, Russia, China & Islam. Gone from the corridors of power is the Brookings Institute who have a satellite office in Doha, Qatar & their Vice President & Director for Foreign Policy, Martin Indyk. Soon, Pres Obama, the golfer, Sec’y Kerry, the bicyclist & Sec’y Clinton the failure will also be gone.
The CSP is a think tank created and led by Frank Gaffney Jr. He formerly acted as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy during the Reagan Administration, following 4 years of service as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces & Arms Control Policy. Previously, he was a professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee under the chairmanship of the late Senator John Tower, & a national security legislative aide to the late Senator Henry M. Jackson.
The background of other staff members may be found here. Of particular note is Fred Fleitz & Clare Lopez.
Mr. Fleitz served in U.S. national security positions for 25 years at the CIA, DIA, Department of State & the House Intelligence Committee staff. During the administration of President George W. Bush, Mr. Fleitz was chief of staff to John Bolton, then Under Secretary of State for Arms Control & International Security. During his tenure with the House Intelligence Committee, he was the staff expert on the Iranian & North Korean nuclear programs & briefed key National Intelligence Estimates on these issues to committee members.
Ms. Lopez, among other credits, is the author of an acclaimed paper for the Center, “The Rise of the Iran Lobby” & co-author/editor of the Center’s Team B II study, “Shariah: The Threat to America” as well as The Tiger Team’s “The Secure Freedom Strategy: A Plan for Victory Over the Global Jihad Movement.” She co-authored “Gulen, & the Gulenist Movement” with CSP’s Vice President for Outreach, Christopher Holton & “See No Shariah: ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ & the Disarming of America’s First Line of Defense” with Frank Gaffney.
Finally, Alex VanNess is the Director of the Middle East Peace and Security Policy. He writes extensively on issues relating to U.S. defense spending, the U.S./Israel strategic relationship, and the existential threats posed by Islamic fundamentalism.
Closely associated with them is the newly appointed National Security Adviser Gen. Michael T Flynn. He had been Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency until President Obama forced him to resign because of his vocal opposition to the Iran Deal and his belief that the Islamists were stronger than ever. He recently wrote Field of Flight in which he forcefully argues that the Islamist ideology must be defeated in order to defeat the Islamists.
All of them have positions of influence due to their recognition that the Islamist ideology embodied in Shari’a & Jihad must be defeated.
During the Bush administration & before, AIPAC was a powerful force in Washington. With the Election of President Obama & creation of J Street, it began to lose considerable power. It no longer was the sole voice for American Jewry. In addition, the Democratic Party, which was its power base, was moving Left & away from supporting Israel.
With the election of Donald J Trump, it lost even more influence due to the fact that a big majority of American Jews voted for Clinton and were anti-Trump. In addition, its public policies are to the left of Trump leaving them in an awkward position. They would have to support settlements and be flexible on the Two-State solution to be of any value to Israel. I don’t see that happening.
On the other hand, the Zionist Organization of America, which had been shunned by Obama, is replacing AIPAC as the leading Jewish voice. Its policies are totally aligned with those of the Trump administration in the making. Of course, so are the views of the soon to be appointed US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, an orthodox Jew who supports the settlement enterprise & annexation of all or part of the West Bank. Also, Trump’s son in law, Jared Kushner an orthodox Jew is slated to be one of his key advisers on Israel & he too is supportive of the settlement enterprise.
On Dec 15, 2016, at an elegant gala in New York City, the Center for Security Policy conferred awards on Ron Dermer, Israeli Ambassador to the United States & Mort Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America. Judge Jeanine Pirro, a stalwart supporter of Trump & Israel, introduced them. Video messages from Carolyn Glick & David Horowitz were viewed. Many other people who are in the frontlines of fighting Islamists were in attendance.
The first priority for the Trump administration is to neuter the Iran Deal. DEBKA reported that The Trump team is drawing up a deal more to its liking which will probably remove any possibility of Iran getting a bomb in 10 years & require them to abandon terror & terror groups. To get them to agree, the US has to have leverage. Russia is the key to this. But why should Russia agree? She obviously has to be induced.
It is in the interests of the US & Israel that Russia and Iran not get full control of Syria & Iraq unless an enforceable agreement can be reached akin to a peace agreement. Its either that or force must be mustered to stop them. As part of that agreement Israel would get to keep the Golan & Syria would agree to create a large buffer where no military activities would be allowed. That buffer would also extend to the land adjacent to Jordan.
In any scenario, the US must fully embrace Israel as a partner. The US has no military presence in the Middle East outside of a few aircraft carriers. Thus, the presence of the Israel’s Defense Forces (IDF) on the front lines greatly strengthens the US’s ability to project power immediately. This will add to her leverage.
It is also in the interests or the US to strengthen Israel by supporting a solution to the Palestinian problem in which Israel gets to annex all of Judea & Samaria (West Bank). The Palestinians would get autonomy only. Plus, the US must get the UN & the EU off Israel’s back. This will normalize Israel & enable her to play a larger regional role to the benefit of the US.
Furthermore, as ISIS is brought to heal in Syria & Iraq, it will foster terror cells all over the world. Gen Flynn is tasked with not only defeating ISIS but defeating the Islamic ideology that fuels it. Israel, who has the most experience in fighting terrorism & the best intelligence, will be of great help & a willing partner. All the more reason, she must be normalized.
Finally, strengthening cyber security has become a national imperative. Once again Israel is one of the leading experts.
With these challenges in mind, Trump has surrounded himself with the right people.
First there is the team at CSP who are dedicated to defeating the radical Islamic ideology who will support Gen Michael T Flynn in this endeavor. This is of particular importance if the State Department is not cooperative. It will lessen dependence on it.
He has embraced strong Zionists, including ZOA, Friedman and Kushner who can help and direct him in how best to normalize Israel.
Finally he has nominated Rex Tillerson to be his Secretary of State. Who better to find a way to bring Russia on board?
Since this article was written, Obama again stabbed Israel in the back by permitting & encouraging a UNSC resolution which freezes Jewish construction in Judea & Samaria & fixes the “Auschwitz borders” as the final borders. Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle are up in arms vowing to punish the UN & the PA for pushing it through. It will be up to Trump to back a solution in defiance of this resolution. His team is well suited to the task.
IsraPundit by Ted Belman December 26, 2016
8.Israeli Panel to Approve Construction of 618 More Homes in East Jerusalem By Nir Hassan, Ha’aretz Since Trump’s victory, there has been a sharp increase in building plans for the holy city, & the number of permits issued this year is more than triple than in 2015.
The Jerusalem Local Planning and Construction Committee is expected on Wednesday to approve permits to build 618 apartments in Jewish neighborhoods across the Green Line.
The meeting’s agenda was set before the United Nations Security Council resolution was passed on Friday condemning Israeli construction across the Green Line, including in East Jerusalem, as illegal.
But the new housing permits continue a trend this past year of a sharp increase in construction plans approved for East Jerusalem over the last two years.
The Commitee is expected to approve construction of 140 homes in Pisgat Ze’ev, 262 in Ramat Shlomo & 216 in Ramot. Additional permit requests for Pisgat Ze’ev & Ramot may be added.
In 2014 & 2015 there was a marked slowdown in the number of plans approved for East Jerusalem, with city planning officials repeatedly complaining that the Prime Minister’s Office was blocking plans seen as diplomatically sensitive.
But this past year, & in particular since U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s victory last month, there has been a sharp increase in plans being submitted & subsequently approved.
So far this year plans for 1,506 housing units have been approved, compared to 775 units in 2014 & only 395 units last year.
Another issue the Obama administration had been concerned about was the scope of Palestinian home demolitions in East Jerusalem. In recent years between 40 to 70 structures were demolished annually, but in 2016 the city demolished 130 structures in Jerusalem, including, for the first time, edifices established beyond the separation barrier.
The most important issue with regard to Jerusalem construction is the plan to build a new neighborhood at Givat Hamatos in southern Jerusalem.
The outgoing U.S. administration has viewed this plan as very sensitive because such a development would complete an encirclement of the Palestinian village of Beit Safafa with Jewish neighborhoods & make dividing Jerusalem even more difficult.
The tenders for these projects have been on hold for two years. If they are ever published it would be a clear signal of a change in the atmosphere between Jerusalem & Washington.
“The world sent Israel a clear message regarding the illegitimacy of its [construction & demolition] policy,” said Aviv Tatarsky, a researcher for Ir Amim NGO, which monitors planning policy in the capital.
“It’s time for the government to choose a different policy; to advance Jerusalem as the home of two peoples & to move toward an arrangement based on two capitals in the city.”
The Jerusalem municipality said, “There has been no change in the position of the Jerusalem municipality. The municipality works in all areas of the city in accordance with the master plan & the Planning & Construction Law & advances construction for Arabs & Jews alike.
“Construction in Jerusalem is necessary, important & will continue at full strength with the aim of enabling more young people to live in Jerusalem, build their future in it & strengthen Israel’s capital.”
Construction in in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev, 12/25/16. By Olivier Fitoussi
What does Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s int’l negotiator, really think about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
Moving U.S. embassy to Jerusalem only requires new sign on consulate building, city officials say
Israeli watchdog raps housing discrimination against Palestinians in Jerusalem
Discover East Jerusalem Israel Jerusalem Jews
IsraPundit by Ted Belman December 26, 2016
The past month provides a textbook example of one of the major flaws in Western efforts to promote a two-state solution: a tendency to focus on all the wrong issues. The peace processing community is currently in a tizzy over something that ought to be an irrelevancy: the possibility that the Trump Administration might actually move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. But it had nothing whatsoever to say about a far more significant development: the outcome of recent elections for the governing organs of the Fatah party, aka Israel’s “peace partner.”
As Jonathan Tobin correctly pointed out earlier this week, the idea that moving the embassy would destroy the peace process is ludicrous. If Palestinians were willing to recognize Israel within the 1949 armistice lines, as they claim, they would have no reason to care where the embassy is located as long as it’s inside those lines, which the proposed Jerusalem locale would be.
Moreover, judging by a report in the Jerusalem Post on Thursday, ordinary Palestinians (as opposed to the Palestinian leadership) genuinely don’t care. Reporter Daniel Eisenbud wandered around East Jerusalem asking random Palestinians what they thought about relocating the embassy, and couldn’t find even one who thought it worth getting upset over. “Why should I care about where the US Embassy is located?” one asked. “They want to move it to Jerusalem? So what?” said another. “I don’t understand why it matters,” added a third. “Don’t waste my time with such unimportant things,” a fourth demanded. Indeed, the only people Eisenbud found who did care were Israeli leftists, who offered patronizing explanations for why ordinary Palestinians seemed incapable of understanding the magnitude of the impending disaster.
In short, this is strictly a manufactured crisis–one that wouldn’t actually impede prospects for peace at all, and that ordinary Palestinians consider a nonissue. Yet Western peace processers are obsessed with it.
In contrast, I haven’t heard any veteran peace processers voicing concern over the outcome of Fatah’s elections 3 weeks ago. Yet those results matter, because Fatah is both the main component of the PLO–the organization with which Israel signed the Oslo Accords–and the Palestinian Authority’s ruling party.
So who came in first in the election for Fatah’s top governing organ, the Central Committee? Marwan Barghouti, a man currently serving five life sentences in an Israeli jail for murdering five Israeli civilians. And these weren’t murders committed back when Israel and the PLO were still officially at war; they were committed in 2001-02, almost a decade after the Oslo Accords were signed.
In other words, the 1,311 delegates who attended Fatah’s seventh General Conference thought the best choice to head their party was a man who had repeatedly violated the one key promise the PLO made under the Oslo Accords: to stop anti-Israel terror. And if Israel’s official peace partner believes a serial violator of signed agreements is the ideal choice to lead the Palestinian people, why exactly would Israel want to risk signing another agreement with it?
Nor was Barghouti’s involvement in terrorism incidental to his election. On the contrary, his overwhelming popularity stems primarily from the leading role he played in orchestrating anti-Israel terror during the second intifada (Israeli intelligence considers him responsible for many more attacks than the crimes for which he was convicted). If Israel’s official peace partner believes a mass murderer is an ideal choice to lead the Palestinian people, why exactly would Israel believe it wants any kind of peace, other than the peace of the grave?
But Barghouti’s first-place finish wasn’t the only problematic outcome of the vote; no less significant was the second-place finisher, who is now well-positioned to become PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s heir as long as Barghouti remains in jail. The second-place slot was won by Jibril Rajoub, who is famous, inter alia, for saying that if he had a nuclear bomb, he’d drop it on Israel tomorrow. That was in 2013–fully 2 decades after the PLO supposedly recognized Israel’s right to exist. In other words, in the eyes of Israel’s official peace partner, even openly voicing a desire to commit genocide doesn’t disqualify you from leadership.
No less significant, however, is how Rajoub has conducted himself his current role, as head of the Palestinian Football Association. Aside from doing everything he can to get Israel expelled from FIFA, the governing body of international soccer (which probably upsets soccer-mad Israelis more than his genocidal threats do), he has spent his tenure vigorously thwarting attempts to arrange soccer matches between Israeli & Palestinian youth teams.
In 2013, for instance, the Barcelona FC soccer team thought it could use its popularity on both sides of the Green Line to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace: It offered to host separate soccer clinics for Israeli & Palestinian youth, culminating in an exhibition match between the two sides. The clinics took place, but the match was canceled because Rajoub refused to allow Palestinian youth to participate.
In other words, in the eyes of Israel’s official peace partner, the ideal choice to be Abbas’s heir apparent is someone so opposed to “normalization” with Israel that he won’t even let Palestinian and Israeli kids play soccer together. And if someone won’t let children play soccer together, how exactly is he supposed to make peace?
No two-state solution will ever be possible as long as Israel’s “peace partner” sees men like Barghouti & Rajoub–men whose conduct is the antithesis of peace–as its preferred leaders. Hence, any effective Western policy to promote peace would focus first & foremost on education to change Palestinian attitudes. Instead, the West ignores the all-important issue of Palestinian attitudes & behavior while obsessing over issues with zero impact on the prospects for peace, like the location of the U.S. embassy. Then it wonders why more than two decades of efforts to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace have produced no progress at all.
New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind blasts President Obama’s treatment of Israel, calls UN a ‘cesspool.’ by Eliran Aharon, 27/12/16 19:01
New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind blasted President Barack Obama for allowing the passage of an anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council last week.
“He is now clearly the hero of the terrorists. Of Hamas. Of Hezb’Allah. That’s what our president in the United States is.” Hikind told Arutz Sheva
“He is an utter, complete, failure.”
Hikind accused Obama of doing irreparable harm to the peace process. “He set a new standard for the Palestinians. He ended the peace process. Whatever peace process there was, because of his actions.”
He expressed hope that President-elect Donald Trump would repair relations with Israel. “The good news is that we have a new administration coming in. Not just President-elect Trump, but also many of the people around him understand…what Israel represents to the world as a friend to the United States.”
According to Hikind, President Obama treats Israel’s allies and brutal dictatorships better than he treats Israel. “He is a true friend of our enemies. Our enemies were given a victory they did not deserve.”
“Barack Obama is much better in terms of how he treats the Ayatollah from Iran, the way he treats our enemies, the dictatorships of the world. The one democracy [the the Middle East] he takes a knife & stabs it in the back, & that is Israel.” he added.
“The United Nations is a cesspool.” Hikind said, adding that he hopes Trump will use America’s economic leverage over the UN to compel it to change its anti-Israel and anti-Semitic ways.
Liberal Attorney Alan Dershowitz says President Obama will go down in history ‘as one of the worst foreign policy presidents ever.’
By Gary Willig, 27/12/16 17:24
Liberal attorney Alan Dershowitz said that President Obama would go down in history “as one of the worst foreign policy presidents ever” on Fox News’ ‘Fox and Friends’ program Monday morning.
Dershowitz blasted the President’s decision to allow the UN Security Council to pass an anti-Israel resolution condemning all Jewish presence over the 1949 armistice lines as illegal last week.
“That’s not the way policy should be made.” Dershowitz said of Obama’s feud with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. “To get even in the lame-duck period, when there are no checks and balances and you don’t have to worry about any election. It”s the most undemocratic thing a president can do to tie the hands of his successor during the lame-duck period.”
Dershowitz accused President Obama of dishonest regarding the resolution. “What he did was so nasty, he pulled a bait & switch. He told the American public this is all about the settlements deep in the West Bank. Yet, he allowed he representative to the U.N. to abstain –which is really a vote for– a resolution that says the Jews can’t pray at the Western Wall…Jews can’t live in the Jewish Quarter [of Jerusalem] where they have lived for thousands of years. He’s going to say, ‘Whoops! I didn’t mean that!’ Well read the resolution! You’re a lawyer, you went to Harvard Law School.”
“He called me into the Oval Office before the election…and he told me he would always have Israel’s back. I didn’t realize what he meant is that he would have Israel’s back so he could stab them in the back.” he added.
He said that the resolution “will make peace much more difficult to achieve, because the Palestinians will now say: ‘We can get a state through the UN. We can get a state through the BDS movement…We can get a state through the International Criminal Court…We don’t have to negotiate. We don’t have to make painful compromises.”