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October 26, 2016 / 24 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Ban Ki-Moon’

14 Senate Democrats Call for Extending Sanctions on Iran

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Tower Magazine website}

Fourteen Democratic senators introduced legislation last week calling for an extension of existing sanctions on Iran, which are set to expire at the end of this year.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D – Md.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D – N.Y.) are leading the push for renewing the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996, which aims to prevent foreign investment in Iran’s energy sector. Both voiced their opposition to the nuclear agreement with Iran after it was announced.

“After extensive consultations with my colleagues in both chambers of Congress and on both sides of the aisle, it is clear that we need to reauthorize the Iran Sanctions Act before the end of the year,” said Cardin, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Doing so is vital if the United States wants to retain a credible deterrent of snap back sanctions.”

Cardin and Schumer called on their colleagues in both chambers to quickly advance the legislation when Congress reconvenes in September.

“It is essential that Congress keep Iran’s feet to the fire to make sure they do not violate the [nuclear deal]. This bill would provide the sanction authority that helps us do just that,” said Schumer, chair of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.

On Friday, many of the same Democratic Senators who originally supported the nuclear deal wrote a letter criticizing the agreement’s inspection procedures and calling for the International Atomic Energy Agency to release more information from its inspections.

Despite international criticism, including from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Iran has continued to test ballistic missiles. The Islamic Republic reportedly launched a ballistic missile using North Korean technology on the night of July 11-12, the ninth such test it carried out since reaching a nuclear deal with global powers last year.

Tower Magazine

Iran Celebrates Anniversary of Nuclear Deal by Firing Ballistic Missile

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

One year almost to the day after the signing of the nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers, and in blatant violation of UN Resolution 2231, Tehran tried to launch a ballistic missile using North Korean technology, Fox News reported, citing intelligence officials.

The test failed when the missile exploded after liftoff, on July 11 at night, outside Saman, a city west of Isfahan, at a site Iran has used before to conduct ballistic missile tests. This is the latest attempt in the year since the signing of the nuclear deal.

The test rained on President Obama’s parade, who said on Thursday, the actual anniversary of the deal, that “over the last year, the Iran deal has succeeded in rolling back Iran’s nuclear program, avoiding further conflict and making us safer.”

But according to The Hill, the Republicans used the one-year anniversary for several largely symbolic measures to undermine the deal. “We need to look no further than Iran’s dangerous and destabilizing activities to see the disaster that the Iran nuclear agreement has been over the last year,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in a statement.

In UN Resolution 2231, Iran is “called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”

According to Reuters, a confidential report by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that Iran’s ballistic missile program is “not consistent with the constructive spirit” of the nuclear deal. The Security Council is due to discuss the Ban Ki-moon report on July 18. Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi announced that “Iran will strongly continue its missile program based on its own defense and national security calculations.”

Secretary of State John Kerry, who meets regularly with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, said this week that “Nobody pretends that some of the challenges we have with Iran have somehow been wiped away. There are other real issues, and we will continue and are continuing to focus on those issues.”

Which means the US is content to permit the Iranians to defy the UN and the Western allies in working on long-range missiles, which should be ready to carry nuclear payloads as soon as the temporary limit on Iran’s development of a nuclear device is removed, in 2025. And with its newly thawed billions of dollars, what would stop Iran from buying the device from North Korea, its favorite shopping spot?

In late June, North Korea succeeded in launching its home-grown Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile, which flew a distance of 250 miles to the Sea of Japan, this after five earlier failures.


UN Secy-Gen Ban Ki-Moon Rants to Security Council on Israel, Ramallah & Gaza

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a special meeting of the UN Security Council on Tuesday that he is dissatisfied with all the players in the Israel-Palestinian Authority drama. The outgoing international leader addressed the meeting on the situation in the Middle East, offering his assessment of how he believes peace can best be achieved in the region going forward.

Ban ranted in a long statement about myriad issues regarding Israel, the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority government and Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization. He clearly had long felt deep frustration about all three players.

High on the list of the issues that earned his “concern” was the passage in Israel this week of an NGO Transparency Law, approved by the Knesset on Monday. But Ban also expressed disgust over: – Israel’s continued plans to build housing for its residents in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, – Palestinian Authority leaders’ continued glorification of terrorism to its people and incitement of attacks against Israelis and Jews, and – Gaza’s Hamas rulers’ continued unwillingness to unite in a single government with the Ramallah-based PA leadership, stop stealing donated building supplies from its people for the construction of its terror tunnel infrastructure, and focus on peace, not war.

The NGO Transparency Law so despised by the UN leader forces some 27 mostly leftist Israeli non-governmental organizations who receive more than half of their financial support from foreign governments to report the source and amount of that funding to the government, and to reveal the information on every piece of literature they produce.

The United States Internal Revenue Service maintains similar regulations for tax-exempt non-profit organizations under the IRS 501(c)3 and other codes.

Ban visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority last month. He said that a report issued by the Middle East Quartet (United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the United Nations) makes it clear that “the prospects of a two-state solution grow more distant,” even as “negative trends” are rising. He named Israel’s NGO Transparency Law as one of those trends.

“The failure of Israeli and Palestinian leaders to advance peace has created a vacuum. Extremist voices have filled that space,” Ban said.

“Recent incidents reinforce the mounting risks. Those responsible for recent terror attacks must be held accountable. However, closures – such as those in Hebron — as well as punitive demolitions and blanket revocations of permits penalize thousands of innocent Palestinians and amount to collective punishment,” he went on.

Ban said “Israel’s passage of the so-called ‘NGO Transparency Law’… contributes to a climate in which the activities of human rights organisations are increasingly delegitimized.

Just as bad, he complained, “All the while, Israel’s settlement enterprise marches on. Days after the Quartet called on Israel to cease settlement construction and expansion, Israel announced plans to advance building approximately 560 housing units in the West Bank and 240 more in occupied East Jerusalem. This is in flagrant disregard of international law. These actions constitute an undeniable contradiction to Israel’s official support for a negotiated two-state solution.

“I urge Israel to immediately cease and reverse these plans,” he said. “We must ask: How can the systematic expansion of settlements … the taking of land for exclusive Israeli use … and the denial of Palestinian development be a response to violence? Such policies will not bring the two-state solution closer to reality.

“Such policies will not make Israelis safer or more secure,” Ban insisted. “As many former Israeli military and intelligence officers have clearly stated, these policies will do precisely the opposite. Indeed, every brick added to the edifice of occupation is another taken from Israel’s foundation as a majority Jewish and democratic state.”

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Cabinet Approves Deal With Turkey Despite Pressure from Families of Israelis Held in Gaza

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

By Joshua B. Dermer/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – The Israeli security cabinet approved a reconciliation deal with Turkey on Wednesday by a vote of 7-3. The deal, which was supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was opposed by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Education Minister Naftali Bennett.

The deal, which was signed Tuesday, comes six years after Israeli forces intercepted a flotilla attempting to break the Gaza blockade, leaving 10 Turkish citizens[editor: who attacked IDF soldiers] dead and causing a rift in Israeli-Turkish relations.

Three conditions on the part of Israel are to be met: (1) an official apology for the 2010 flotilla incident is to be issued, (2) as well as $20 million in compensation for families of those killed. In addition, (3) Turkey will be permitted to deliver aid to Gaza by way of the Israeli port of Ashdod.

The families of Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, soldiers killed during the 2014 Gaza War, whose bodies are currently being held by Hamas in Gaza, expressed disdain for the deal.

The families demanded the return of the soldiers’ bodies before any aid can be provided to Hamas-ruled Gaza, a condition not included in the current deal.

The Shaul family protested outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence, demanding for the recall of the peace agreement. The Goldin family submitted a letter to the Prime Minister’s office.

Together with the Shaul family, relatives of Avera Mengistu, attended the protests. Mengistu, a Israeli man with a history of mental-illness, who is believed to be in Hamas custody after crossing into Gaza and undergoing interrogation by Hamas operatives on September 7, 2014. Mengistu’s whereabouts and condition are unclear, though Hamas officials claimed he was released following interrogation.

Mengistu’s brother, Ilan, denounced the reconciliation agreement, saying: “The government needs to listen to our cries and to understand that we’re speaking of a humanitarian issue here. Avera is my brother and a brother to all of us. We need to bring him home.”

“It is unacceptable that while government permits a humanitarian agreement with Gaza, the humanitarian rights of my brother are forgotten,” he added.

The Israeli cabinet decided to discuss imposing harsher conditions on Hamas prisoners currently held in Israeli jails as a means to pressure Hamas to release the Israelis held in Gaza.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met with the three families for a half hour in the prime minister’s office, informing the families that the UN will appoint special representatives to handle the matter of returning the bodies and the missing Israeli.

Seven of the ten ministers who voted in favor of the deal met with the families before entering the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem to vote on the agreement.

Several Knesset members who opposed the deal expressed worry over the condition of paying the families of presumed terrorists as well as Turkey’s interests in entering the agreement, citing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s anti-Israel rhetoric in recent years.

MK Naftali Bennett expressed caution over the deal, explaining that “reconciliation with Turkey is important at this time and to the interests of the State of Israel, however payment of compensation to the perpetrators of a terrorist act is a dangerous precedent that Israel will regret in the future.”

“As long as there is Turkish influence over Hamas, it is (the Turks) who should do all they can to ensure that Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, may their memories be a blessing, return to Israel,” Bennett said.

Netanyahu adamantly defended the deal at a press conference in Rome on Monday announcing the agreement.

“We are not entering a honeymoon. I’m not trying to beautify this agreement or look at it through rose-colored glasses,” he said. “What I am saying is that our vital interests are promoted by this agreement, that on balance it leans towards our interests.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Netanyahu to Ban: Help Bring Israelis Back from Gaza, Rectify UN Bias

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and soon-to-be outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon faced a daunting agenda Tuesday (June 28) for their meeting in Jerusalem.

The two leaders met with journalists ahead of their afternoon talks, with Netanyahu using the opportunity to call on Ban to rectify the ever-present UN bias against Israel, and also to exert his influence to force Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorists to return its Israeli hostages to their families.

The latter has in particular taken center stage in Israeli politics in recent days as Turkey closed a deal this week with Jerusalem to renew its diplomatic ties on condition it would be allowed to rebuild the electric and water infrastructure in Gaza, as well as intervene with Israel for the terrorist-run enclave when there are security matters to discuss.

Not all of the Netanyahu government cabinet was in agreement with the deal that restored the ties between Israel and Turkey (but has yet to be signed, in July.)

Netanyahu also said that it’s time for the United Nations to end its biased treatment of Israel, and asked Ban to be the one to rectify that situation in his remaining six months in office.

“I remember well when you came in Israel in 2013 you said that Israel and the Israeli people face some bias,” Netanyahu said.

“That’s an understatement,” he went on. “But you also said that Israel must be treated equally at the UN. I appreciate your candor and this clear moral stance. It was exemplified in your efforts to secure the final Palmer report which was very important for Israel, and Mr. Secretary, I appreciate your personal efforts in that particular instance.

“Regrettably, the goal of treating Israel fairly remains unfulfilled across a wide spectrum of UN activities and UN forums. Your visit here comes as the UN Human Rights Council is meeting. As it always does, the Council will condemn Israel, a country that does more to promote and protect human rights and liberal values than any other in the blood soaked Middle East.

“Our progressive democracy has faced more country-specific resolutions, more country-specific condemnations at the UN Human Rights Council than all the other countries combined. And I believe this is a profound betrayal of the United Nations noble mandate.

“So today I want to echo your words from 2013, Israel still faces bias at the UN.I know that your desire for all countries to be treated fairly and equally remains true today. I urge you to dedicate your last six months as the Secretary General of the United Nations in trying to right this wrong. And when I say that, it’s not just for Israel’s sake. It’s for the credibility of the UN.

“If you can unfairly and in a bias way single out a country and apply to it what I call the ‘Ostracon rule’ – which is just decide to kick them out – just decide to brand them as criminal or whatever, you can apply that same principle to any other country, and this served as the downfall of the Athenian assembly, the first such body on which all of our parliaments and the UN itself is modeled after.

“I believe that this Ostracon problem, the singling out of Israel and the unfair treatment that it receives is a palpable threat to the future of the UN and not just for the interests of our country.”

In addition to his focus on the bias against Israel, however, the prime minister pressured Ban on helping the Jewish State retrieve its citizens and soldiers from Gaza. In connection with this issue, Netanyahu has faced intense opposition from coalition members on the newly-closed deal to renew diplomatic ties with Turkey. The ministers point to the fact that Israeli hostages are still being held by Hamas in Gaza; two live captives, and the kidnapped bodies of two killed IDF soldiers from the 2014 Operation Protective Edge. Those who oppose the agreement say Turkey should pressure its beneficiary, Hamas, to return the hostages before any deal is signed.

Hana Levi Julian

MK Ayman Odeh Slammed by Danny Danon over Request to UN via Palestinian Authority

Friday, June 10th, 2016

In a letter to Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstien, Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon accused Knesset Member Ayman Odeh of “crossing a red line”. The allegation followed a letter by Odeh, Chairman of the Joint List faction, to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calling for an investigation into land disputes in the Negev.

The application for the probe was submitted by Odeh through UN Palestinian Authority Representative Riyad Mansour. In it Odeh asked for a “UN fact-finding mission to the Negev to examine the dire situation of the land’s indigenous Arab population, and work to secure their rights as guaranteed by international law and conventions.”

Danon reacted harshly to Odeh’s actions in a letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, “I find it appalling that MK Odeh decided to work together with the Palestinian representative who regularly spreads Antisemitic lies against the State of Israel.  A red line has been crossed.”

Mansour is known for particularly vehement rhetoric towards Israel. In November he accused Israel of harvesting organs from Arab bodies, and last month he compared Israel to Nazis in the Warsaw uprising.

UN Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman denied Odeh’s request in a response to the Israel’s Mission to the UN, and not via the Palestinian Authority Representative.

Stephanie Granot

Israeli UN Ambassador Pressured Ban Ki-moon Into Condemning Sarona Center Terror Attack in Tel Aviv

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the Palestinian Authority Arab attack Wednesday night in Tel Aviv that left four dead and four others seriously injured.

But that vigorous condemnation was not issued until after Israel’s UN Ambassador, Danny Danon, stood up and demanded the international community respond to terror attacks in the Jewish State “the same way attacks are treated in Paris and Istanbul.”

Two Arab terrorists from the sprawling village of Yatta, a suburb of Hebron in the southern Hebron Hills, opened fire with submachine guns in the popular upscale Sarona Center.

Ban conveyed his condolences to the families of the victims and the Government of Israel. “There is no justification for terrorism nor for the glorification of those who commit such heinous acts,” Ban underscored, adding that he was shocked that the leaders of Hamas have chosen to welcome this attack and some to celebrate it.

Ban called upon the Palestinian Authority leadership “to live up to their responsibility to stand firmly against violence and the incitement that fuels it.”

But it appears that Ban’s condemnation may not have been a spontaneous response to terror, but rather a response to pressure by Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon.

It was Israel’s UN representative who demanded that the international body condemn the attack.

Immediately following the shooting, Danon called on the UN Secretary-General and the Security Council to condemn Palestinian Authority terrorism.

“Today’s attack is sad proof that when the international community refuses to condemn terrorist attacks against Israelis, the next one to come is only a matter of time,” Danon said in a statement to the UN.

Terror in Tel Aviv must receive the same response (from the international community) as terror in Paris, and terror in Istanbul,” he said.

“I urge the Security Council and the UN Secretary-General to unequivocally condemn this murderous terror attack and to demand that the Palestinian Authority leadership once and for all put an end to the hate speech that incites terrorism.”

Danon expressed his condolences to the families of the murdered and wished the injured a speedy recovery. “Israel stands by your side in this difficult period. Your pain is the pain of us all.” he said.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-un-ambassador-pressured-ban-ki-moon-into-condemning-sarona-center-terror-attack-in-tel-aviv/2016/06/09/

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