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During testimony to Congress last week, Secretary of State Kerry criticized Prime Minister Netanyahu’s insistence that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Mr. Kerry said it was a mistake to raise the issue now because international law and various UN resolutions already recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland and the late Yasir Arafat, when he was the chairman of the Palestinian governing body, had endorsed those references.
Not only was the secretary’s comment a departure from prior American policy and still another example of the U.S. caving in the face of Palestinian adamancy, it also inadvertently pointed to a serious lack of commitment on the part of the Palestinians to achieving a genuine resolution of the conflict.
Testifying before the House Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Kerry said: “I think it’s a mistake for some people to be raising it again and again as the critical decider of their attitude toward the possibility of a state, and peace, and we’ve obviously made that clear.”
He also told a Senate panel that “ ‘Jewish state’ was resolved in 1947 in Resolution 181 where there are more than 40, 30 mentions of ‘Jewish state.’ In addition, Chairman Arafat in 1988 and again in 2004 confirmed that he agreed it would be a Jewish state. And there are any other number of mentions.”
Compare that with what President Obama had to say in a speech in Jerusalem a year ago, on March 21, 2013: “…Palestinians must recognize that Israel will be a Jewish state and that Israelis have the right to insist upon their security.”
In the context of the Obama administration’s continuing disregard of its own self-imposed “red lines” regarding Syria’s use of chemical weapons, Iran’s march toward nuclear power, and, most recently, Russia’s naked aggression against Ukraine, the flip-flop on Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state should not have been surprising.
Still, it speaks volumes as to why Israel and other Middle East countries are fast losing confidence in the United States as a bulwark against terrorism, Iran’s nuclear blackmail, and Russian intimidation and expansionism.
But for the Palestinians this is all even more serious business, and there is method to their madness.
President Abbas acknowledges that Yasir Arafat endorsed UN resolutions recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. Yet the Palestinian National Charter was never amended to reflect that and to this day declares “absolute irrevocable opposition to recognition of Israel as a ‘Jewish state’ to protect the rights of refugees and the rights of [Palestinians] beyond the Green Line.”
In fact, there has never been any formal document adopted by the Palestinians acknowledging Israel as a Jewish state.
Moreover, the UN resolutions everyone is referring to were adopted by the UN General Assembly, not the UN Security Council. Under the UN Charter the former is essentially a deliberative body while the latter is empowered to take action. The General Assembly operates by majority vote of all UN members while any action by the Security Council, including recognition of statehood, must have the affirmative vote of a majority of its 13 members, including its five permanent members – the United States, Russia, Great Britain, France and China.
So it is easy to see why the Palestinians would wish to burnish the authority of the General Assembly, where they enjoy automatic and overwhelming majorities on all of their issues with Israel. Indeed, two years ago the Palestinians were able to win extralegal recognition of various claims of statehood by the General Assembly after being rebuffed in the Security Council when the U.S. exercised its veto power. And the Palestinians have vowed that if the current negotiations do not yield an agreement for a Palestinian state to their liking, they will return to the General Assembly.
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Dear Pres. Obama, A “deal” in which one side makes all the concessions is, of course, a “surrender.”
ALLY is a terrific read because Oren has a mission: Defending&protecting the Jewish State of Israel.
George Soros: “European anti-Semitism is the result of the policies of Israel and the United States”
Instead of accepting reality, the President is trying to hold on to an illusion.
Those who suggest further capitulation to Iran are wrongly harming the interests of the West.
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US Jews prefer to be like their non-Jewish liberal friends complaining about “settlements” and Bibi
New Israel Fund & its supporters must be countered; Israel’s in the midst of an unprecedented storm
PM Netanyahu this week identified ISIS and Iran as Israel’s primary threat. It is a planetary threat that carries the promise of peace.
Haym Solomon, overlooked hero of the Revolutionary War, was America’s “Funding Father.”
Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive
There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN
Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well
When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel
Can adoption agencies limit the placement of children to heterosexual couples only?
It wasn’t too long ago that Mr. Erdogan, in his determination to burnish Turkey’s credentials as an Islamist state at the cost of the secularism that had brought much economic and political success to Turkey, upended his country’s decades-long cooperative relationship with Israel.
Does the pope really believe that Father Dehon’s destructive anti-Jewish calumnies do not disqualify him from the highest honor of the Catholic Church because in his time everyone did it?
There was something else of great importance in play – something we would have liked to see him take into account before deciding to stand with the boycotters.
“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”
Beyond the particulars of this tragic death, however, we should all be concerned about the possibility that a criminal prosecution in a major American city is being driven by fear of mobs in the street.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/the-jewish-state-issue/2014/03/19/
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