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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Security Council’

Australian FM Attacks US, New Zealand, on UN Resolution

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (Liberal Party) on Thursday hinted that Australia would have opposed the anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution, thus breaking with the US and New Zealand on Israeli settlements in the 1967 liberated territories, The Australian reported.

Bishop spoke in response to former FM Bob Carr (Labor Party) statement that Donald Trump might allow Israel to annex Judea and Samaria. The Australian Labor party, which has been out of government since 2013, has been debating its position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Bishop said the government of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (Liberal) is “firmly committed to a two-state solution,” but, nevertheless, had Australia been a member of the Security Council, it would not have supported last Friday’s resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements.”

“In voting at the UN, the Coalition government has consistently not supported one-sided resolutions targeting Israel,” Bishop said.

New Zealand co-sponsored the resolution, and the US could have killed it with a nay vote.

Former FM Carr, a senior Labor Party politician, said Trump’s election was likely to “unleash Netanyahu to approve a rash of new settlements and even annex the West Bank […] that would destroy a two-state solution.” He added: “If that happened, nobody would be getting up at a [Labor] conference to shield a Trump-Netanyahu axis from the strongest criticism.”

Bill Shorten, the leader of the Australian Labor Party and the current leader of the opposition in Parliament, last week visited Israel, and met with PM Netanyahu, later tweeting that he is “a good friend of Australia.” His party members have criticized him for spending only a few hours in meetings with PA officials.

Labor is committed to a two-state solution, and its official policy states that “settlement building by Israel in the occupied territories that may undermine a two-state solution is a roadblock to peace.”

An email circulating among party members, sent by the Queensland Labor Friends of Palestine, called on Labor members “to entrench the recognition of Palestine as federal Labor policy before the next federal election,” according to The Australian. But it appears that in the Trump era, Labor leader Shorten realizes this attitude would keep his party in the opposition for many years to come – much like this other Labor party we know…

JNi.Media

President Rivlin to Israeli Christian Leaders: ‘United Jerusalem Is the Eternal Capital of Israel and It Will Remain So’

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday morning marked the civil New Year welcomed with the traditional annual reception for leaders of Christian communities in Israel, and wished all the Christian leaders and their congregations “a year of mutual understanding and respect. A year of justice and fairness.”

The reception, held in cooperation with Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, was attended by the Greek Patriarch Theophilos III, the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, and the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem Nourhan Manougian.

President Rivlin noted that “Looking back on the last year, there is a lot we should be proud of. We have continued to build good relations between the Jewish and Christian communities.” He added that “we may have different faiths, but we share many common values. We share a deep respect for mankind, created in God’s image. We share a commitment to love our neighbor. We share a hope for peace. And in this city, we all, the children of Abraham live together, side by side.”

“I see my role, and the role of the State of Israel, as guardians of this city,” the president continued. “As guardians, our sovereignty over Jerusalem will never compromise the freedom of worship and religion for all believers. United Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel and it will remain so. There is no international body with the power to revoke this. And as sovereigns of the city, I stand here today to repeat in the clearest way: the State of Israel is deeply committed to ensure the religious rights of all faith communities in Jerusalem and throughout Israel.”

The President stressed that “Israel is committed to finding a way to end the tragedy between us and the Palestinians. Time and again, we have held out our hand in peace, and called for direct negotiations, without pre-conditions, and without any delay. The decision to take Israel to the UN Security Council, was wrong in trying to force pre-conditions, but also in the way it was done. The international community’s, most important job in helping us solve the conflict, is to build trust between the sides. How can we hope, as the Pope said, “to write a new page” in the history of Israel and the Palestinians, without this trust?” He said firmly, “The Security Council vote, was a blow to peace, and it was a blow to trust.”

Speaking on behalf of the Christian leaders, Greek Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem said, “We take this opportunity of this holiday gatherings to express our gratitude for the firmness with which you defend the freedoms that lie at the heart of this democracy, especially the freedom of worship. We are always encouraged by your commitment to the sacredness of life and your condemnation of all forms of terrorism. These fundamental commitments are the basis of any society that understands that we share a common human destiny. The State of Israel takes pride in the fact that this state was founded on democratic principles in the Middle East, and that it guarantees full freedom of worship. We are confident Mr. President that you will continue to resist any restrictions of religious practices.”

He concluded, “We are keenly aware this season of the unspeakable experiences of those who suffer around the world, and especially those who suffer in the countries around us. So many are suffering for the mere fact of their religious allegiance, and as those who serve the moral values of our respective religious traditions we are deeply concerned.”

Minister Deri said, “Our ability to celebrate the festivals side by side, reminds us of the great extent to which we share common histories and future. The destruction of faiths has occurred in this land, and the State of Israel is the only, and the only secure state in this region where the Christian population lives and grows – not decreasing but increasing – all the while in other counties there is mass immigration and expulsion of the Christian community. Here the Christian community stands at 120,000 and its proportion to the general population continues to flourish.”

“The Government of Israel, and my office which is responsible for religious affairs, has been and remains committed to the strengthening and prosperity of the Christian community in Israel,” Deri added. “We are doing all in our to allow freedom of religion and worship to each according to their faith and outlook in their holy places. We are preserving and conserving the holy places as much as we are able. Last night I declared the launch of the strategic plan to strengthen the northern region, together with the Finance Minister, and in the presence of the Prime Minister. This is the region where 70% of the Christian community in Israel lives, and will directly benefit together with the other residents of the region from this initiative.”

Going into details, the minister explained that “the project funded by more than $5.2 billion will see investment transport infrastructure, and in the fields of health and education. In addition, in recent years, with the support of the President who pushed for the economic plan for the Arab regional authorities – where the Christian community also live – we have transferred $91 million in 2015-16, and in the framework of development grants we are transferring $208 million.”

JNi.Media

Trump: UN Nothing But a Good Time Club

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

President-Elect Donald Trump Twitted Monday afternoon: “The United Nations has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!”

 

At the AIPAC policy conference last March, Trump announced that “the United Nations is not a friend of democracy. It’s not a friend to freedom. It’s not a friend even to the United States of America, where as all know, it has its home. And it surely isn’t a friend to Israel.”

In the part of his speech dedicated to what Trump called “the utter weakness and incompetence of the United Nations,” the candidate quickly shifted to one of his favorite subjects, the soon-to-be-former President Barack Obama.

“He may be the worst thing to ever happen to Israel, believe me, believe me. And you know it and you know it better than anybody,” then presidential candidate Trump continued. “So with the president in his final year, discussions have been swirling about an attempt to bring a Security Council resolution on terms of an eventual agreement between Israel and Palestine.”

“Let me be clear,” Trump stated, “An agreement imposed by the United Nations would be a total and complete disaster. The United States must oppose this resolution and use the power of our veto, which I will use as president 100 percent.

“When people ask why, it’s because that’s not how you make a deal. Deals are made when parties come together, they come to a table and they negotiate. Each side must give up something. It’s values. I mean, we have to do something where there’s value in exchange for something that it requires. That’s what a deal is. A deal is really something that when we impose it on Israel and Palestine, we bring together a group of people that come up with something.

“That’s not going to happen with the United Nations. It will only further, very importantly, it will only further delegitimize Israel. It will be a catastrophe and a disaster for Israel. It’s not going to happen, folks.

“And further, it would reward Palestinian terrorism because every day they’re stabbing Israelis and even Americans. Just last week, American Taylor Allen Force, a West Point grad, phenomenal young person who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was murdered in the street by a knife-wielding Palestinian. You don’t reward behavior like that. You cannot do it.

“There’s only one way you treat that kind of behavior. You have to confront it.

“So it’s not up to the United Nations to really go with a solution. It’s really the parties that must negotiate a resolution themselves. They have no choice. They have to do it themselves or it will never hold up anyway. The United States can be useful as a facilitator of negotiations, but no one should be telling Israel that it must be and really that it must abide by some agreement made by others thousands of miles away that don’t even really know what’s happening to Israel, to anything in the area. It’s so preposterous, we’re not going to let that happen.”

Finally, obviously anticipating the events of last Friday, Trump promised: “When I’m president, believe me, I will veto any attempt by the UN to impose its will on the Jewish state. It will be vetoed 100 percent.”

David Israel

Former US Envoy to Israel Dan Kurtzer Slams Netanyahu for ‘Unprecedented’ Language Against Obama

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer publicly reprimanded Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday for what he called an “unacceptable” response to the UN Security Council resolution 2334 (2016) passed last Friday with the aid of the United States. The resolution severely condemned the State of Israel and the U.S. did nothing to stop it. Netanyahu had bluntly accused U.S. President Obama of back-channel dealing to ensure the resolution made it to the floor despite being withdrawn by its original sponsor.

The allegation outraged Kurtzer, who said in an interview with Israeli radio that Netanyahu’s “nasty” language was “unacceptable.”

An envoy to Israel under former president George W. Bush, Kurtzer was quoted by the DPA German Press Agency as saying, “The language being used against the president of the United States is itself unprecedented, and it really should not be language that an ally uses with an ally, however angry someone is.”

In the past, the U.S. has provided diplomatic protection for Israel by using its veto power as a permanent member of the Council to kill the plethora of anti-Israel resolutions that rise each year in the largely biased international forum.

But on Friday, President Barack Obama is alleged to have personally ordered his envoy to the body to abstain in voting on the resolution that condemns Israeli development in post-1967 areas — including areas like the Old City of Jerusalem, and Judaism’s most sacred sites, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

The resolution, which at first had been proposed by Egypt as a draft on Wednesday evening but within hours was instead withdrawn, and advanced instead by Senegal, New Zealand, Venezuela and Malaysia.

In response, Netanyahu lashed out Sunday evening, noting in remarks to the government cabinet, “We have no doubt that the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated on the wording and demanded it be passed.”

A French peace initiative that was postponed from last summer has now been scheduled for January 15 — just five days before Obama leaves office, and shortly before French citizens go to the polls to choose new leadership.

There are rumors that U.S. Secretary of State is to deliver his newly re-polished address on his “vision for a Middle East peace” — with the details of his plan for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinian Authority– and which he originally intended to deliver before the UN Security Council vote.

Hana Levi Julian

Liberman: Paris Summit Will Be Modern-Day ‘Dreyfus Affair’

Monday, December 26th, 2016

by Andrew Friedman

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Monday that an Israel-Palestinian peace summit, set to convene on January 15 without the participation of either Israeli or Palestinian Authority representatives, will be little more than a “modern day Dreyfus affair” to conjure up false charges against the entire Jewish people. He added that the current diplomatic offensive against Israel has nothing to do with Israel’s domestic behavior.

“The timing of this farce – 15 January, just four days before President Oabama leaves office, and not to mention the 23rd of April, when it is clear the French government will be voted out of office – makes it absolutely clear that this is not a peace conference. It is a tribunal against Israel meant only to damage Israel’s security and to sully Israel’s good name,” Liberman said.

Speaking to reporters before the weekly meeting of the Yisrael Beteinu Knesset faction, the defense minister said Israel must prepare for the summit by clearly articulating its positions and its relationship to the gathering, and to any declarations that come out of it. He added that the foreign policy establishment in Jerusalem is now focused on looking to the future and coordinating policy and expectations with the incoming Trump administration, particularly on four major policy issues: Iran, the Palestinian Authority, Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and Syria.

Liberman also used the statement for a blistering attack on the French government, and called on French Jews to move to Israel.

“I think that this is transparent, that everybody understands the logic behind holding this conference at this time. People say that I’m exaggerating, but look at all of France’s votes over the past year, in every UN forum imaginable – UNESCO, the Security Council, the General Assembly. Once you consider all that, everything falls into place and the point of all this becomes clear.

“I don’t want to get into a long history Jews in France, but the past few years – from the attack on the Jewish school in Toulouse to Hyper Cacher, to all the anti-Semitism of recent times. Maybe this is the right time to tell French Jews that France is simply not your country. Get out! Come to Israel. If you want to stay Jewish, if you want to protect your children and grandchildren, get out of France and come to Israel,” he said.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

PM to Cabinet: I Told Kerry, Friends Don’t Take Friends to the Security Council [video]

Sunday, December 25th, 2016

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet ministers, “I told John Kerry on Thursday, friends don’t take friends to the Security Council.” Alas, Kerry and his boss, President Barack Obama, last Friday revealed themselves as less than friends of the Jewish State.

“Over decades, American administrations and Israeli governments had disagreed about settlements, but we agreed that the Security Council was not the place to resolve this issue. We knew that going there would make negotiations harder and drive peace further away,” Netanyahu noted.

“I share ministers’ feelings, anger and frustration vis-à-vis the unbalanced resolution that is very hostile to the State of Israel, and which the [UN] Security Council passed in an unworthy manner,” Netanyahu confessed, adding that “from the information that we have, we have no doubt that the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated on the wording and demanded that it be passed.”

“This is, of course, in complete contradiction of the traditional American policy that was committed to not trying to dictate terms for a permanent agreement, like any issue related to them in the Security Council, and, of course, the explicit commitment of President Obama himself, in 2011, to refrain from such steps, Netanyahu said.

However, the PM said he was “encouraged by the statements of our friends in the United States, Republicans and Democrats alike. They understand how reckless and destructive this UN resolution was, they understand that the Western Wall isn’t occupied territory.” He also said that he was looking forward “to working with those friends and with the new administration when it takes office next month. And I take this opportunity to wish Israel’s Christian citizens and our Christian friends around the world a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

Netanyahu promised to “do whatever is necessary so that Israel will not be damaged by this shameful resolution and I also tell the ministers here, we must act prudently, responsibly and calmly, in both actions and words. I ask ministers to act responsibly as per the directives that will be given today at the Security Cabinet meeting immediately following this meeting. I have also asked the Foreign Ministry to prepare an action plan regarding the UN and other international elements, which will be submitted to the Security Cabinet within one month. Until then, of course, we will consider our steps.”

JNi.Media

Defending The ‘Fourth Front’

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

A year and a half ago his appointment as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations made headlines around the world. This week Danny Danon sat down with The Jewish Press to talk about his experiences on the job.

The Jewish Press: What does a UN ambassador do all day?

Danon: Coming from Israeli politics, I thought it would be more relaxed here in the UN but actually that’s not the  case. There are so many initiatives and resolutions regarding Israel we are constantly busy blocking, but at the same time we must promote our agenda.

Almost every week we have a positive event about Israel – like last night’s Chanukah party, or taking delegations of ambassadors to Israel, or the innovation event the prime minister attended. I call it soft diplomacy.

What’s it like carrying the responsibility of representing your country in what is often a hostile environment?

Well, it’s not easy. I came back from Israel last week. We visited the borders of Syria and Lebanon. Every morning the commander there has to wake up and make sure everything is OK, the fence is fine, etc. Same here; you wake up and you have the responsibility to make sure everything is OK.

People in Israel know about the fronts in Lebanon, Syria, Gaza. But there is another front – a “fourth front” – right here, in New York, at the UN.

You had several diplomats accompany you to Israel last week, as you did last summer. What do these visits accomplish?

We took a helicopter trip. In the morning we flew to the Gaza border. Then we flew to the Golan Heights. I told them “That’s Netanya on the left, and here’s the ‘green line’ on the right, and that’s my house here in the middle.” They look down at the narrow waist of Israel and can’t believe it. That’s something you can’t explain from a podium at the UN.

I wish I could take every ambassador and every UN official to Israel because it’s so effective. It doesn’t mean they’d all vote with us, but at least they would know the issues.

I’ll give you an example. At the Security Council, I bring up Hizbullah at almost every meeting and the fact that they are ignoring resolution 1701 by building bases and bringing missiles to the border. Now, the next time one of those ambassadors who went on our trip and actually saw Hizbullah across the border hears me speak in the Security Council, he’ll know what I’m talking about.

In your 2012 book Israel: The Will to Prevail,  you describe how your father, who sustained life-changing injuries during the Yom Kippur War, instilled in you two qualities: a deep connection to the Land of Israel and a willingness to speak out.

I was never exposed to another reality so for me it was normal to live with a father who was wounded and deaf. He taught me to speak up and not to be afraid to make bold decisions.

As Israel’s UN ambassador you constantly deal with conflict. Does it ever get you down on a personal level?

It can get exhausting sometimes when you sit in the Security Council for eight hours and one after another the other representatives get up and speak against us. But it’s like army service: you just have to keep blocking attempts to hurt Israel.

What are the chances Israel will get elected to a seat on the Security Council?

The prime minister’s recent declaration that we are running for a seat on the Council is a game-changer for Israel at the UN. It will obviously be a difficult campaign, but we proved when I ran for the chair of the Legal Committee that when it comes to a secret ballot at the UN, quiet diplomacy can lead to surprising results.

Your election to chair the Sixth Committee – the primary forum for the consideration of legal questions in the General Assembly – in the face of a strong opposition campaign mounted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was viewed as near miraculous.  What factors do you think contributed to your victory?

We had a lot of opposition but we also had friends. For example, Iran, which is chair of the Non-Alliance Movement [NAM], circulated a letter saying that all member states should oppose my nomination. If no one opposes within 24 hours, it becomes the official position of NAM. Usually people are afraid to go against the chairman but we saw friends of Israel standing up. I think Singapore was first. Then India, Rwanda, Panama. For me it was amazing, because they sent a letter saying, Listen, you should not circulate that letter because it does not represent us; we support Danny Danon…

It was a remarkable experience, real proof of the relations we have been building with countries like India. The vote at the General Assembly was a secret ballot. Some 109 member states wrote my name on the ballot, while 44 countries opposed my nomination. But since there are 56 voting members of the OIC, it shows that maybe some of the Muslim countries are not really against us, and maybe some of that private diplomacy is paying off.

How are the Islamic Coalition states behaving? Do they accept your authority?

The first day they made a lot of comments against me. But I said, So what? I’ve heard worse in my life. I did not respond. And the next day, they came. They participated. They were part of the process, and that was it.

How does chairing a major UN committee compare to chairing a Knesset committee?

I was chairman of two committees in the Knesset and it’s different because here you have 193 members on the committee. There are long meetings; each one has a statement to make. It’s challenging but for me it’s a great experience, the fact that I’m sitting at the head of the table with a gavel in my hand. At the Chanukah party last night one of the members came up and told me, “I wanted to say thank you, the way you run the committee is so professional.”

Does the UN ever remind you of the Knesset?

Well, really it’s quite different. In the Knesset you have more energy, people don’t read their statements. Here in the UN, people come to the meeting and read a prepared speech. In the Knesset you have more of a dialogue, you can argue, you can try to convince.

You’ve spoken of a “private UN” that exists alongside the public one – backroom meetings where appreciation for Israel is expressed by representatives of countries formally recognized as opponents. Do you find this to be a source of frustration or of hope?

It depends. When I deal with the Arab countries it’s a different ballgame because the leadership understands the importance of  Israel, that Israel is a solution and not the problem, but they have a problem with their constituencies. So you have this phenomenon where publicly they speak against Israel but privately they will tell me what they really think.

I don’t like it, but I can understand it. One of them told me, “If we will be seen together I will have a problem flying to my capital tomorrow.” And that’s true.

On the other hand, with Europeans and other countries, I don’t accept it.

We all remember the Security Council meeting last April attended by the family of Dafna Meir, who two months earlier had been stabbed to death in her kitchen by a Palestinian terrorist. You abruptly stopped your speech to demand answers from Palestinian Authority Permanent Representative Riyadh Mansour. What was going through your mind in that moment?

Actually that’s the only time it looked like the Knesset. One of the UN photographers who has been in the Security Council for many years said he never saw anything like it.

Was it planned it ahead of time?

No. I was furious. It was such an emotional moment, visiting with Dafna’s daughter Renana, who witnessed her mother’s murder and was now addressing the Council. And then we got the message about a terror attack in Jerusalem. It just ignited everything. I thought it was an appropriate moment for both of us to condemn terrorism.

Did any personal experiences during your time as a student at Florida International University come into play with the anti-BDS initiative you organized?

Absolutely. I vividly remember standing behind a table with an Israeli flag and people were cursing at me. It’s not easy to face this on campus. I think anyone who was at the UN for the anti-BDS event and saw 2, 000 people in the General Assembly hall waving Israeli flags and singing “Hatikvah” will never forget it.

My approach is that we must keep denouncing resolutions against Israel even though we cannot get rid of them. But we must also continue to build achievements and victories, big and small. The Sixth Committee was a big victory. Getting Yom Kippur recognized as an official holiday was a victory, and so was getting kosher food in the cafeteria.

How does the Jewish community here in the U.S. fit into all this?

The involvement of the Jewish community is crucial. When the Venezuelan ambassador compared IDF soldiers to Nazis, the Jewish organizations joined me in condemning it. By putting pressure on him, we got him to apologize. I’m grateful for that. We need the Jewish community to be aware of what’s happening at the UN; we need their support.

 

 

Stephanie Granot

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/defending-the-fourth-front/2016/12/20/

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