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January 18, 2017 / 20 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘diplomatic’

UN Demanding Diplomatic Immunity for Hamas Agent

Friday, August 26th, 2016

Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon revealed that the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), whose employee Wahid Abdullah Borsch, 38, has confessed to working for Hamas, using the international agency’s budget to promote terrorism against Israel, on Wednesday sought Borsch’s release on the grounds that he had diplomatic immunity. Nachshon said the claim had been examined by jurists who determined it is “unsubstantiated.”

Borsch, a resident of Jabaliya in the Gaza Strip, was arrested in July on suspicion of using his employment by the UNDP to carry out missions for Hamas. UNDP is engaged in housing and development projects for the Gaza population, including renovating homes damaged in the military conflicts with Israel. In his interrogation Borsch revealed that he diverted UNDP resources to building a clandestine marina in the northern Gaza Strip in 2015, to be used by the Hamas military arm. Borsch also confessed to influencing his superiors at UNDP to prioritize the rehabilitation in areas where Hamas seniors lived — following instructions he had received from Hamas.

Israel’s UN envoy Danny Danon was contacted by the UN legal office which claimed that UN employees are entitled to diplomatic immunity from prosecution by local authorities and that Borsch should receive UNDP visitors until he is released.

Danon, for his part, contacted the international aid organizations in Gaza with the message that “any dollar spent, and any local hire by an international organization, must be monitored [to] ensure they fulfill the purpose of aiding the residents of Gaza and not funding terror activities.”

The 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, and 1947 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies, contain privileges and immunities for three categories of persons crucial for the work of the Organization: 1) representatives of Member States; 2) United Nations officials; and 3) experts on missions for the United Nations.

While Member State representatives enjoy modified diplomatic privileges and immunities, United Nations officials, i.e. permanently employed staff members, enjoy “functional” immunity which is defined as immunity “from legal process in respect of words spoken or written and all acts performed by them in their official capacity.”Article V, section 20, stresses that “…privileges and immunities are granted to officials in the interests of the United Nations and not for the personal benefit of the individuals themselves” and that the Secretary-General has to waive the immunity of United Nations officials where it would “impede the course of justice and can be waived without prejudice to the interests of the United Nations.”

The UNDP demand in Borsch’s behalf might be a case of providing immunity post facinus, literally: after the crime has been committed, because, as opposed to United Nations officials, experts on missions for the United Nations, or members of United Nations peacekeeping operations, serve under a temporary and specific mandate and enjoy only certain functionally limited privileges and immunities pursuant to article VI of the General Convention. They are most likely not immune from criminal prosecution.

JNi.Media

Why Is Israel Chained To The Diplomatic Process?

Friday, August 5th, 2016

We are used to thinking that the goal of the state of Israel is to achieve peace and that the problems our state faces are security, demographics, Palestinian nationalism, international pressure, and economics.

But “peace” cannot be the defined goal of a state. Peace is the result of the proper definition and achievement of a goal. If peace were the Jewish people’s goal, it would be easier to achieve it in another place, by surrendering our sovereignty, or by assimilation.

But Israel’s leaders tell us that we must remain committed to a “peace process” to solve Israel’s problems. What are these problems according to the “experts” leading our country?

1) Security. Yet, the more we progress in the “peace process,” the more the security situation deteriorates. Buses and restaurants blown up by Islamic suicide bombers and missiles slamming into Tel Aviv and Jerusalem were unheard of before the “peace process.” Indeed, years of experience have shown us that any quest for security should distance us from all diplomatic processes.

2) Demography. But this too is a red herring. The average Tel Aviv woman has as many children as her neighbor in Ramallah. According to the American/Israeli Demographic Institute, the Jewish majority between the Jordan and the Sea is expected to reach 80 percent in the next 20 years. National upheavals like those in the Middle East and Ukraine can certainly speed up the process – all without “peace” talks.

3) The “Palestinian” nationalism problem. This problem was artificially created in reaction to Zionism. There is no “Palestinian” problem in any of the lands in which there is Arab sovereignty: Jordan, Egypt, Syria, or Lebanon. At the moment that Israel would G-d forbid disappear from the map, “Palestinian” nationalism would disappear, as well.

“The goal of the Jews in the Land of Israel is to establish a Jewish state there. The goal of the Arabs in the Land of Israel is to prevent the Jews from doing so” (British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin, pinpointing the foundation of the conflict in a speech before the UN in 1947).

Not much has changed since Bevin’s succinct explanation. There really is no “Palestinian” nationalism. There is the Arab nation, which does not accept Jewish sovereignty over Israel. This is also the reason why a “Palestinian” state has not yet been established and never will be established – despite the fact that no other group has ever received more international aid to create its potential state. The “Palestinians” simply do not want a state. All they want is to prevent Israel from having a sovereign state.

4) International pressure. If this pressure is indeed a problem, the last thing we should do is continue the “peace” process for this process always increases the pressure on Israel. The economic boycott of Israel was largely an Arab boycott before Israel recognized the existence of the “Palestinian” nation and its rights to Israel’s heartland. But since the Oslo process, it has become a largely European boycott of Israeli products.

Before the Oslo Accords, a large question mark hovered over the legitimacy of the PLO and its leaders. No such question mark hovered over the right of the Jews to their own state. Today, after 20 years of the “diplomatic process,” the situation has reversed. We recognize them, but they do not recognize us, and the world does not require them to do so. In other words, international pressure is exacerbated by the diplomatic process and cannot be used as an excuse to engage in it.

5) The economic problem. Yet, the diplomatic process makes things worse. The Oslo Accords siphon off 10.5 percent of the national budget every year. They have cost Israel over one trillion shekels since they were signed, not including items that cannot be calculated, such as the influence of the process on the cost of housing. Israel’s economic success is not in the merit of the diplomatic process, but despite it.

So if it’s not for peace, security, demographics, Palestinian nationalism, diplomatic pressure, or the economy – why is Israel constantly pursuing a diplomatic process? The true and deep answer is that we seek legitimacy for our Israeli identity. This answer was given by none other than the architect of the Oslo process himself, Dr. Ron Pundak:

“Peace is not a goal in and of itself. It is the means to bring Israel from one era to the next; to the era that I consider the era of the normal state. ‘Israelization’ of society instead of its ‘Judaization’ will foster the synthesis of Jewish nationalism, flourishing of Israeli culture, separation of religion and state, and complete equality for the Arab minority in Israel” (Ron Pundak, Jan. 2014).

Simply put, we strive for Israeliness instead of Jewishness. As long as our neighbors fight us and do not accept this new Israeliness as legitimate, we are thrown again and again to the Jewishness from which we started (and fled). That is why we desperately need a peace accord with the Arabs. Not because of security or demographics. We need an agreement with the Arabs at all costs in order to fulfill the dream of Israeli normalcy. The Israeli needs the Arab in order to forget that he is a Jew.

And for this, we lose thousands of victims to terror, surrender vast tracts of our homeland, uproot settlements and their residents, tolerate missiles in Tel Aviv, suffer the loss of our existential legitimacy, lose more than 10 percent of our national budget annually, and so much more.

Moshe Feiglin

Pragmatism Or Ideology?

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

During the week that the EU announced its planned sanctions against Israel, one of the dedicated Land of Israel lobbyists requested that I add my signature to a petition from MKs to the prime minister requesting the renewal of construction in Jerusalem. Thirty-two highly respectable signatures of loyal MKs from the center and right of Israeli politics already adorned the petition. But after a cursory glance at the following petition, I clearly could not sign:

To: MK Binyamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister

Re: Renewal of Construction in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria – Now

We turn to you regarding the above issue as follows:

1. In these days, we are witness to another attempt by the European Union to terrorize the State of Israel and to damage its vital interests. This attempt may thwart any chance for a political breakthrough and foil the efforts of Secretary of State Kerry to renew the diplomatic negotiations.

2. On the backdrop of this attempt and its results, there is no place to wait any longer and it is imperative to immediately renew construction in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

3. We request that you give the appropriate instructions for renewal of construction.

Respectfully,

“I can’t sign,” I gently said to the lobbyist. “I have a problem with the wording.”

“What’s the problem?”

“This document implies that we must renew construction in Jerusalem so that Kerry can succeed in the diplomatic process. But I think that we must build in Jerusalem for entirely different reasons, and I am absolutely opposed to the diplomatic process.”

The lobbyist tried to convince me that this is pragmatic politics, that this is the argument around which we can now achieve a consensus. “I also don’t like it,” he explained, “but that’s politics.”

The reputable number of MKs that signed the letter proved, on the surface, that he was right. One week later, Kerry succeeded in renewing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Thirty-two MKs, those most loyal to the land of Israel – from Likud, Jewish Home, Yisrael Beiteinu and even Shas – are now signed onto a document that implies that there is no longer a reason to renew construction in Jerusalem. Our common goal – renewal of “peace” talks – has already been achieved.

Would a leftist MK ever dream of adding his name to this type of convoluted document that fundamentally contradicts his entire worldview – all in the name of political pragmatism?

Which politics ultimately determines Israel’s agenda? The “pragmatic” politics of the Right or the ideology of the Left?

It is time for the Right to connect its politics to its ideology.

Moshe Feiglin

Resisting War, Terrorism, And Genocide (Second of Three Parts)

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Israel, with an understandable desperation, still seeks to discover some discernible correctness and reassuring clarity in the theatre of world politics. However, the polite diplomatic meanings with which it is pressed to “make peace” remain squalid and elusive. Ominously, these meanings continue to seethe menacingly.

A sometimes alien mythology can help Israel to better understand its remaining options. In ancient Greek myth, as recounted by Albert Camus, the pagan gods had condemned Sisyphus to roll a great rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. Unceasingly. By rendering this dreadful judgment, the Greek deities had imposed a mysterious punishment of interminable labor. But, at the very same time, they had also revealed something more difficult to understand.

Even useless labor need not be meaningless. Such labor could also be heroic.

Israel now faces the prospectively endless task of pushing a massive weight up the mountain. Always. And, with near certainty, the great rock will always roll right back down, to its point of origin.

There is, it would appear, no real chance that the rock will ever remain perched, fixed, securely, reassuringly, at the summit. Why, then, should Israel even bother to push on? It is not a silly question.

For Israel, long-suffering and always in mortal danger, there is no easy solution to its primal security problem. In the fashion of Sisyphus, the Jewish state must now accept the inconceivably heavy burden of a possible suffering without end. There is, of course, always reason to hope, but for now at least the only true choice seems to be to continue pushing upward, with no apparent relief, or to sigh deeply, lie prostrate and surrender (that is, to follow the “peace process” to “Palestine”).

What sort of sorrowful imagery is this? Can anyone really be shocked that, for the beleaguered people of Israel, a Sisyphean fate must lie beyond their ordinary powers of imagination? Expectedly, Israelis still search formally for ordinary diplomatic solutions. They look, commonly, into politics, into personalities, into leaders, into tangible policies. They seek remedies, answers, peace settlements, cartography, disengagements and realignments. They examine, sometimes meticulously, the whole package of ordinary prospects that would allegedly make Israel more “normal” and hence more “safe.”

But safety will never come to Israel through banality or compromise. Israel is not “normal,” nor should it be made normal. For reasons that are bound to be hotly debated and argued for centuries, Israel is unique.

To deny this uniqueness, and to try to figure out ways in which the eternally tormenting stone might finally stay positioned on the top of the mountain, forever, is to seek superficial answers to extraordinary questions. Above all, it is to misunderstand Israel’s special place in the world, and to subject all Israel to what the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard had called (as a generic affliction) the “sickness unto death.”

Significantly, the decidedly worst fate for Israel is not “merely” to have to endure one war after another, or, to continue with our metaphor, even to have to keep rolling the rock up the mountain. Rather, it is to try to buy its way free abjectly, from its own irresistible destiny and torment, by falsifying itself.

For each individual on earth, his or her personal existence is wholly improbable. Consider that the number of possible combinations for the human DNA molecule is ten to the 2,400,000,000th power. This means that the odds of any one of us being “me” are one in ten to the 2,400,000,000th power.

These are not betting odds.

Similarly, one can readily imagine that these not very promising numbers apply as well to nation-states. Still, when we speak of Israel, the singular Jewish state, we must enter into an entirely different and incomparable kind of calculation. In essence, Israel’s existence is both more and less probable than the life of any single human individual.

The apparent paradox lies in Israel’s special origins, and also in its absolute and incontestable uniqueness.

Let us return to the Greek myth. We recall that Sisyphus is a heroic and tragic figure in Greek mythology. This is because he insistently labored valiantly, despite the apparent futility of his efforts.

Today, Israel’s leadership, managing to more or less disregard the nation’s special history, still acts in ways that are neither tragic nor heroic. Unwilling to accept an almost certain future of protracted war, terror, and possibly even genocide, one deluded prime minister after another has sought to deny Israel’s special situation in the world. Hence, he or she has always been ready to embrace, unwittingly, the then-currently-fashionable codifications of collective suicide.

Louis Rene Beres

Islamists Target US Embassy in Indonesia

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

The U.S. Embassy and other sites connected with the U.S. were allegedly the target of terrorist attacks that were thwarted by the arrest of 11 suspected terrorists in Indonesia over the weekend.

The U.S. Embassy in the capital city of Jakarta, the U.S. Consulate in Surabaya, the local office of a U.S. mining company, as well as a plaza near the Australian Embassy and the headquarters of a special police force in Central Java were apparently the targets.

Indonesian national police spokesman Maj. Gen. Suhardi Alius told the Associated Press that the suspected terrorists were arrested in raids in four provinces.

“From evidence found at the scene, we believe that this group was well prepared for serious terror attacks,” Alius told the AP.

Bombs, explosive materials, a manual for making bombs, ammunition and a gas cylinder filled with highly explosive material was discovered in the raids.  Also seized were videos and images of attacks on Muslims in different parts of the world.

The suspects belonged to a new group called the Harakah Sunni for Indonesian Society, or HASMI.

According to the group’s website, HASMI was created in 2005, and seeks a strict interpretation of Islam, “since all innovation is misguidance.”

It is unclear whether the targeting of U.S. diplomatic posts is a new trend in Islamic terrorist activity, following the murderous assault by what U.S. officials now admit was a well-planned terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Maariv: Iran Said ‘No’ to Obama’s Plea for Reconciliation

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

A few months after he had been elected, President Barack Obama attempted to renew on a gradual basis U.S. diplomatic relations with Iran, a process that was to lead to establishing embassies and full diplomatic relations. But the Islamic Republic rejected the proposal out of fear for the future of the reign of the Ayatollahs, the Israeli daily Maariv reported on Sunday. The paper claims to have received this information from two Western diplomatic sources close to the Administration.

The American offer was part of an inclusive change of approach to U.S. foreign relations instituted by Obama upon his entry into the White House. The plan was focused on emphasizing negotiations and extending a “diplomatic hand.” Shortly after being elected, the new president announced that he intended to extended his hand to Iran. An announcement of the White House declared that Obama supports “an aggressive and direct diplomacy with Iran, without preconditions.” This was a 180 degree change of the Bush Administration’s approach to Iran. The new Administration was hoping that a rapprochement with Iran would help establish a mutual understanding with Iran regarding its nuclear plan.

At the initial stage, the Americans offered the Iranians the opening of government interests offices—the lowest level of diplomatic relations—in Tehran and Washington. Later on, the Administration was hoping to enter a track of detailed agreements.

Relations between the United States and Iran were severed in 1979, at the conclusion of the Islamic revolution and the ascent of the Ayatollah Khomeini.

According to Maariv, at least two direct meetings were conducted between U.S. and Iran officials starting in the summer of 2009.

Under Secretary of State William Burns and the Iranian head of the negotiations team Saeed Jalili participated in at least one of the two meetings. The two met following the six powers’ meeting with Iran in October of 2009, in Geneva. That direct meeting lasted about an hour. According to an Israeli source close to the negotiations, the Islamic Republic was leery of any sign of normalizing relations with the U.S., and refused to give the Americans “an award.” Iran’s main concern was that the Ayatollah’s regime would be weakened as a consequence of American involvement in Iranian society.

The Administration so far has denied a NY Times report on a new attempt to open a channel of communication with Iran. The White House statement on October 20 read:

It’s not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections. We continue to work with the P5+1 on a diplomatic solution and have said from the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally. The President has made clear that he will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and we will do what we must to achieve that. It has always been our goal for sanctions to pressure Iran to come in line with its obligations. The onus is on the Iranians to do so, otherwise they will continue to face crippling sanctions and increased pressure.

Jewish Press Staff

A Friendship Forged from 1,384 Ft. Below Sea Level and 29,029 Above

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Nepal and Israel issued joint commemorative stamps to mark 52 years of friendly relations between the two countries last week. The stamps showcase the highest and lowest points in the world which are found in both countries: Israel’s Dead Sea which is 422 meters below sea level and Nepal’s Mount Everest, at 8,848 meters above sea level.

A stamp signing ceremony was held in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu with officials from the Nepal government, the Postal Services Department and the Embassy of Israel as well as the Israeli Ambassador to Nepal, Hanan Goder.

Israel-Nepal joint stamp - The Highest and Lowest Places on EarthSimultaneously, the stamp was also issued in Israel at the same time in a festive ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Present were the Nepalese Ambassador to Israel, Prahlad Kumar Prasai and Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who stated that Israel has “a deep appreciation” for Nepal and its people.  “We are happy that our cooperation with Nepal will grow only stronger in the future,” Ayalon declared.

Although not new to Israel, it was the first time that Nepal issued a joint stamp with another country. The stamp depicts both the Nepalese and Israeli flags and includes writing in English, Hebrew, Nepalese and Arabic.

According to an article on NepalNews.com, a leading English-language news site from Nepal, “Israel and Nepal have enjoyed 52 glorious years of diplomatic ties between the two countries since diplomatic relations were established in the 1960s. Since then, both countries have seen the friendship grow and foster.”

Nepal was the first of the Asian countries to establish diplomatic ties with Israel.

The Israeli embassy in Nepal lists a number of programs that Israel has been conducting in the fields of health, culture, education, technology and agriculture in Nepal.

Most recently, Israeli medical students donated their medical books from Soroka University School at Ben Gurion University in the Negev to students at Nepal’s Patan Academy for Health Science through the Israeli embassy in Nepal.

In addition, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (Mashav) and the Agricultural Development Bank Ltd. (ADBL) conducted a 10-day session in Kathmandu on agricultural training programs, dairy production, and livestock management for Nepalese farmers in early September.

Every year, approximately 20,000 Israeli backpackers hike in Nepal and the Annapurna mountain range, many of them having finished their army service.  There are three Chabad Houses in Nepal, which hosts thousands of Israeli guests during Jewish holidays.

Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/a-friendship-forged-from-1384-ft-below-sea-level-and-29029-above/2012/09/12/

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