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February 28, 2015 / 9 Adar , 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘John Kerry’

US ‘Deeply Troubled’ Palestinians Join Intl Criminal Court, 21 Intl Treaties

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

The U.S. issued a strongly-worded response Wednesday to the move by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas to sign the Rome Statute joining the International Criminal Court at The Hague and 21 other international treaties.

Jeff Rathke, director of the Office of Press Relations at the U.S. State Department, said in a statement the actions taken Wednesday by the Palestinian Authority and Abbas were “counter-productive.”

In fact, Abbas directly defied the endless requests, recommendations and “advice” by U.S. envoys — including Secretary of State John Kerry — not to carry out such an action. It followed by one day the United Nations Security Council vote to nix the PA’s draft resolution submitted by Jordan demanding Israel withdraw its forces by 2017 from all territories conquered in the 1967 Six Day War.

Wednesday’s signature by Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah means the Palestinian Authority may have the right to initiate international criminal lawsuits and investigations in the Court — against those who are also members. However, the entity will also be subject to the same scrutiny and will be held to the same human rights standards as well.

The U.S. State Department said in a statement, “We are deeply troubled by today’s Palestinian action regarding the ICC. It is an escalatory step that will not achieve any of the outcomes most Palestinians have long hoped to see for their people.”

The Day Jews Prayed in a Minyan on the Temple Mount

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

The issue of whether or not to allow Jews to pray on the Temple Mount is bound to come up for heated discussion before the elections March 17, but a rarely shown photograph proves that Jews once managed to pray there with a minyan, the minimum of 10 men needed for public prayer.

Jewish Home Knesset Member Uri Ariel and Likud MK Moshe Feiglin have been the most prominent legislators insisting that Israel change the “status quo” and allow Jews to pray at the holy site.

The official status quo, as reported here several weeks ago, has been replaced by a new status quo in which Jews still are not allowed to pray on the Temple Mount but also are restricted in their visits, even without praying.

The police implemented the new and unofficial status quo by limiting the number of Jews at the site and often closing it to Jews for reasons of “security,” meaning they don’t want to deal with Muslim rioters.

The 1995 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan not only does not specifically prohibit prayer by non-Muslims but also leaves it open as a possibility.

Paragraph 3 of the treaty states:

The Parties will act together to promote interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace.

Regardless, the government policy not long after the Six-Day War in 1967 was to ban Jews form praying there. However, visiting was common.

Amos A., now in his 60s, told The Jewish Press that his father took him to all of the holy sites where Jordan had barred Jews. ”We went to the Patriarchs Cave in Hevron, Rachel’s Tomb at Bethlehem and the Temple Mount. No one said a word.”

He added that he and his father did not pray on the Temple Mount.

At that time, the Chief Rabbinate ruled that it is forbidden for Jews even to visit the Temple Mount, because of all kinds of issues of impurity and prohibitions of any Jew to walk on the ruins over the area where the High Priest entered only once a year, on Yom Kippur.

Very few rabbis were willing to question the opinion of the Rabbinate at the time, but that has changed in recent years. There now is an increasing number of prominent national religious rabbis who permit walking in certain areas of the holy site. Some also permit praying on condition of immersion in a ritual bath beforehand

Around 1980, give or take year, a group of 10 Jewish men, some posing as tourists, formed a minyan and prayed on the Temple Mount, as seen in the photograph above.

Yisrael Medad, a resident of Samaria, a former activist and now a blogger whose writing also appears on The Jewish Press, was one of the 10 men who formed a minyan.

The prayer service took place between 1979 and 1981, as he recalls. The picture shows nine men, with Medad on the far right. The 10th men was the photographer.

“It was one of the very, very few times that Jews have prayed on the Temple Mount,” Medad told The Jewish Press. “The group sneaked in and was able to pray until a Muslim guard was getting very upset and told us to stop. We motioned to him to wait because we were in the middle of the Amidah prayer,” the silent prayer in which interruptions are not allowed.

Medad said the guard “may have simply thought we were just looking around and not praying, but when he realized what was happening, he called the police, who hauled the men away.”

Abbas Bucks Kerry and Runs to the UN to Throw Obama under the Bus

Monday, December 29th, 2014

Mahmoud Abbas is ignoring hints of American sanctions and a possible defeat in the U.N. Security Council which is set to consider a resolution from Jordan on Monday, ordering Israel to sign a peace treaty with the Palestinian Authority in one year.

The resolution calls on Israel to surrender within three years all of the land in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria that was restored to Israel in the Six-Day war in 1967, and it demands a  “just” solution for millions of Arabs classified by the United Nations as “refugees,” a generation-to generation status that does not apply to any other people in the world.

Palestinian Authority chairman Abbas informed Kerry on Sunday of the decision that effectively is a slap in the face, if not a shot in the leg, to the Obama administration which has staked its reputation on negotiations between the PA and Israel while backing almost all of Abbas’ demands from Israel.

It is not certain the resolution will pass in the United Nations, which probably will vote on it later this week. If it does pass, President Barack Obama will have to decide whether to veto it or not. No matter what he decides, if he is forced to do so, it will have a dramatic effect on the Israeli elections.

That is exactly why Kerry has begged Abbas to postpone going to the United Nations at least until after the elections in mid-March, but Abbas, obviously is listening to someone else.

He sees to be hell-bent on self-destruction. He has a better chance of winning the needed two-thirds majority in the Security Council after January 1, when more pro-Arab countries take their turn as rotating members.

In its report on Abbas’ conversation with Kerry,  the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported, “A well-informed official closed to Abbas spoke on condition of anonymity that Kerry exerted heavy pressure on Abbas over the phone to postpone the bid until after March elections in Israel.

“The official said that Kerry hinted there will be economic sanctions imposed on the Palestinians and that the US would veto the draft resolution in case it gains the nine Security Council votes.”

Reaction among Israeli hawks was swift and sharp. Likud minister Yuval Steinitz said that if the Security Council passes the resolution, “We will need to seriously weigh the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority.”

That would be absolutely stupid because Abbas is doing a good job all by himself to make the Palestinian Authority history.

The PA has won worldwide support vocally, but it is totally dependent on a nearly bankrupt European Union for help. The Arab countries have pledged billions and have paid pennies, and now Abbas risks sanctions from the United States.

One of his biggest political backers is Russia, whose economy is showing signs of a recession.

What or who is pushing Abbas over the cliff?

Perhaps he is afraid of a coup if he does not do something to satisfy the hard-core camp that can’t live without murdering Jews to prove their “resistance.”

Perhaps he wants to convince Hamas that he really is serious about getting rid of Israel and spitting on the United States.

Perhaps he is senile.

Perhaps he simply wants to prove that he is no different from other Arab leaders who would rather fail in an attempt to destroy Israel rather than accept it as a fact life.

Netanyahu Tells GOP Sen Graham PA Incitement Led to Firebombing

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told visiting South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham Saturday night that Palestinian Authority incitement led to the firebombing attack that has left 11-year-old Ayala Shapira fighting for her life.

“The chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, has compared Israel to ISIS,” the Prime Minister said. “This is the same Palestinian Authority that joins hands with Hamas, incites constantly against Israel, the kind of incitement that has led to an attack that we witnessed just two days ago of a Molotov cocktail thrown at a little girl….”

“But the same Palestinian Authority is going to try to bring to the UN Security Council a resolution that seeks to impose on us conditions that will undermine our security.”

Sen Graham was an easy audience. He has been a strong backer of Israel and this month signed a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that the Obama administration must now allow the United Nations to pass a resolution that would impose a future Palestinian Authority on Israel.

“We write to express concern about ongoing efforts to impose the terms of a peace agreement on our friend and ally Israel outside of direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” wrote Senators Graham and Charles Schumer, a Democrat from New York.

We urge you to make clear that the United States will veto any United Nations resolution and would oppose any efforts to bypass direct negotiations and impose peace terms on Israel through the United Nations Security Council and other international bodies.

For decades, the United States has consistently opposed efforts to bypass direct negotiations and impose terms on Israel through the United Nations Security Council…. A failure to decisively announce that we will veto any resolution from the United Nations that dictates the peace process runs counter to decades of American foreign policy and only gives momentum to these counterproductive proposals.

Netanyahu also told Graham that Israel continues to face a threat from Iran, which he said conducted a test on a suicide drone today.

“I believe that what is required are more sanctions, and stronger sanctions,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said.

US Re-Defines ‘Unilateral’ to Justify PA Burying the Oslo Accords

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

The United States stated on Wednesday that not every resolution the Palestinian Authority presents to the United Nations Security Council is necessarily a ”unilateral” step, a term used in the Oslo Accords that prohibits Israel and the Palestinian Authority from taking steps that would preclude negotiations.

Article XXXI of the Oslo 2 Accords, signed by the Palestinian Authority and Israel, states:

Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.

This article prohibits unilateral measures which would alter the legal status of the areas, such as annexation or declaration of statehood.

Every time the Palestinian Authority turns to the United Nations, it is a unilateral action that violates the Oslo Accords. In truth, it doesn’t matter because there have been enough other gross violations that render it null and void.

Examples are, unilaterally halting security cooperation with Israel, exceeding the overall limit on the number of Palestinian “police,” failure to coordinate movement of Palestinian police, detention of Israeli citizens without notifying Israel, and failure to enforce restrictions on visitors’ permits

The United States has consistently winked its eye at the violations, but U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s spokeswoman Jen Psaki revealed that the Obama administration has turned around former policy by specifically putting a stamp of approval on the Palestinian Authority’s proposing a resolution to the U.N. Security Council on its future status if it “does not prejudge the outcome of the negotiations.”

How can she do such a thing? It’s simple. You just re-define the word “unilateral.”

Here is what deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf had to say last May, referring to Palestinian Authority threats to approach to the United Nations when her boss’s Peace Talks Follies fell apart:

We don’t think either side should do anything to complicate efforts right now to build the trust necessary to resume negotiations. No one should take any steps that undermine trust, including unilateral.

That was six months ago.

Psaki told reporters Tuesday, “UN Security Council resolution is not, in our view, a unilateral measure by either one of the parties. There are the – obviously, the details are what matter. And so our objection here, and our objection historically has been to measures that would prejudge the outcome of the negotiations. If you had a Security Council resolution from the Palestinians, which we’ve had in the past, that sought to have them recognized as a member of the – of – as a member state, that’s a unilateral action, as you all know. But if you were to do some kind of terms of reference in the Security Council resolution, that would not be what we would consider to be a unilateral step….

“We have supported a range of actions in the past. What we haven’t supported is steps that are unilateral actions that predetermine the outcome of negotiations.”

Kerry, speaking from London, said, “This isn’t the time to detail private conversations or speculate on a U.N. Security Council resolution that hasn’t even been tabled, no matter what pronouncements are made publicly about it.”

In plain talk, the U.S. State Dept. has given the green light for a resolution that does not specifically recognize the Palestinian Authority as a country  but leaves the door open for a resolution that calls on Israel to commit itself to “negotiations” based on Israel “withdrawing” from all land that is to be part of a new Arab country.

The fancy semantic footwork is the expertise of western diplomats trying to prejudge an outcome of negotiations by leaving open no other possibility.

Palestinian Authority Going to force Advance Goal of ‘State of Palestine’

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

The Palestinian Authority is planning to go ahead and press its case for getting closer to statehood Wednesday at the United Nations Security Council. Jordan, a rotating member, will be the formal conduit for the presentation of the PA proposal at the session of the UNSC.

This, despite the fact that the PA itself is not united — even under its own “unity government.”

The Ramallah-based PA government is led by Mahmoud Abbas, who also heads the government’s leading Fatah faction.

But Gaza is ruled by the Hamas terrorist organization, and Abbas still is unable to even enter that region, with or without bodyguards.

Nevertheless, the draft resolution calls sets November 2016 as the deadline for Israel to withdraw to the 1949 Armistice Lines, the border is also known to Arab nations as the “1967 line” where occupying Arab nations lost their grip on Judea, Samaria, much of Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights during the 1967 Six-Day War.

The United States has always been the most reliable of the five permanent members of the Council to whom Israel could turn for protection and support – but apparently not anymore.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters Tuesday that America had made “no determinations” as to how it would vote on any possible resolution presented Wednesday.

Kerry met with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday in Rome to discuss the upcoming vote, then followed that up with talks in Paris with his counterparts from Britain, Germany and France. He later met in London with PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and Arab League representatives, cautioning them, too, that the U.S. had yet to make a final decision about its stance.

Former Israeli chief negotiator Tzipi Livni, meanwhile, told Kerry in a telephone conversation Tuesday evening the proposal “is also bad for the Israeli sides who want a fair and permanent status agreement” with the PA.

Last week Livni announced a merger with Labor party leader Isaac Herzog for Israel’s upcoming national elections.

UN Security Council May Jilt Palestinian Authority

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

The Palestinian Authority has not yet secured the nine votes needed to approve a United Nations Security Council resolution setting a deadline for Israel to expel 10 percent of its population from parts of Jerusalem and all of Judea and Samaria.

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat told a Nazareth-based radio station Monday that Palestinians have yet to secure a two-thirds majority of the council.

The proposal, which calls for Israel to shrink to less than half its current size is supposed to come before the Security Council Wednesday, where majority approval could force the United States into the uncomfortable decision of deciding whether or not to veto the resolution.

Several European nations are formulating an alternate proposal calling for the establishment of the Palestinian Authority as a country through negotiations within two years.

On the other hand, PA delegate to the United Nations Riad Monsor said negotiations  are “history.”

The Palestinian Authority may have outsmarted itself.

It cannot save face by backing down from going to the United Nations unless  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry comes up some fancy semantics that can take PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas off from a weak and long limb on a tall tree.

Mansour insisted Tuesday, “Tomorrow, it is almost certain that a draft will be put into blue ink ,meaning a resolution will be put on the table of the Security Council.

That will get the Palestinian Authority off the hook with the Arab world that wants to see if it can finally go all the way and in effect tell the United States to take a long walk on a short pier.

But the Security Council is not going to vote on any resolution right away, and, in fact, it does not have to vote on it at all.

If Abbas does not come up with  enough support on the Council when the chips are down, he might be very happy to let Kerry save him for embarrassment and agree to some sort of cockeyed double-talk that makes as much sense as the entire “peace process.”

The Palestinian Authority may will have  a better chance of securing the needed two-thirds majority on January 1, when Venezuela and Malaysia will be new rotating members of the U.N. Security Council. On the other hand Jordan and Chile will leave the Council.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/un-security-council-may-jilt-palestinian-authority/2014/12/16/

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