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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘settlements’

The 7 Things NPR Wants You to Know About Settlements

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

{Originally posted to the CAMERA organization website}

In the wake of the recent UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlements, passed without veto by the US, NPR International Editor Greg Myre (previously, Middle East reporter for the AP and the New York Times) and Middle East Editor Larry Kaplow (previously, reporter for Newsweek and Cox newspapers) offered the public radio station’s website readers an article entitled “7 Things To Know About Israeli Settlements.”  The piece, however, would have been more aptly titled “The 7 Things We Want You to Know About Israeli Settlements” because it conceals relevant information, cherry-picking the facts to present a partisan, evasive and distorted view of the topic.

The tone is set by Myre and Kaplow’s misleading half truths in the opening paragraphs of the article:

When Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War, no Israeli citizens lived in the territory. The following year, a small group of religious Jews rented rooms at the Park Hotel in Hebron for Passover, saying they wanted to be near the Tomb of the Patriarchs, one of the holiest sites in Judaism (as well as Islam and Christianity).

The Israeli government reluctantly allowed them to stay “temporarily.” From that beginning, hundreds of thousands of Israeli Jews now reside in the West Bank, citing religion, history and Israel’s security among their reasons for being there.

While it is true that no Israeli citizens were living in the territory in 1967 when Israel gained control of it, that is because no sooner had Israel declared its statehood in 1948, than the neighboring Arabs waged an aggressive war to eradicate it. Jewish residents of this territory were killed or expelled by Jordanian troops and the territory was rendered Judenrein (Jew free). Jordan kept it that way for the 19 years (1948-1967) of its occupation and subsequent illegal annexation. Contravening the1949 armistice agreements, Jordan did not allow Jews to visit their holy sites or access the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives. Synagogues, holy sites and cemeteries were destroyed and ransacked and paved over. And that is why when Israel managed to repel Jordan’s attack from West Bank territory in 1967, no Israeli citizens were living there.

Kaplow and Myre suggest that the “small group of religious Jews” who attempted to move to Hebron did so under the pretext that “they wanted to be near the Tomb of the Patriarchs.” The implication is that they were trying to establish a new Jewish presence in foreign Arab territory near an ancient holy shrine.

This is not so. The authors conceal the fact that it is not only the Tomb of the Patriarchs that has major biblical significance to the Jewish nation, but the entire city of Hebron, which was home to Jewish communities since biblical times. Hebron’s Jewish residents were ethnically cleansed from their city in a massacre by their Arab neighbors in 1929. And although they attempted to rebuild the Jewish community two years later, the British authorities evacuated them during the Arab riots of 1936 and did not allow them to return to their homes. Hebron, one of the four cities holy to Jews, and where Jews had lived for centuries throughout various foreign occupations, remained Judenrein for over 30 years from 1936-1968. It was only after Hebron came under Israel’s control that Israeli citizens succeeded in re-establishing their historic Jewish community there.

The NPR editors repeatedly counter the perspective of Israelis who “cite” (with its connotation of self-justification and excuses) with that of Palestinians who “see” or regard” (with its connotation of deeply held beliefs). This subtle double standard in language is scattered throughout the piece, skewing it even further toward the Palestinian perspective.

For example, the introduction refers to Israelis “citing religion, history and Israel’s security among their reasons” for being the territories versus Palestinians who “see their presence there one of the key obstacles to a peace agreement and the creation of a Palestinian state.” Lending weight to this Palestinian perspective is the authors’ sweeping suggestion that it is shared by “the rest of the world.”

What the authors strategically omit is that Israelis and supporters of the Jewish state around the world see the key obstacle to a peace agreement and the creation of a neighboring Palestinian state as the steadfast refusal by Arabs and Palestinians to accept a Jewish state of any size, within any boundaries, in the region.

Below are the 7 “things” chosen by the NPR editors to misinform their readers:

1. Settlements are growing rapidly

The facts belie this disingenuous claim. According to the most recent report from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, there are 126 government-sanctioned Israeli settlements in the West Bank. No new settlements were established since 1998, almost two decades.

From 2008 until now, under the regime of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom the authors label as “hard-line,” the population of Israeli Jewish citizens living in the West Bank has increased from 274,500 to 377,900. This is an increase of about 3.4% per year, which reflects  the natural growth of the population.

The NPR authors link to Peace Now, an activist group whose fierce opposition to settlements are its raison d’etre. Peace Now’s facts and statistics are based solely on Palestinian allegations, often unproven or false. CAMERA has previously exposed the group’s lack of trustworthiness on the subject. (See here, here and here.) Yet even the statistics cited by Peace Now in this link do not indicate rapid growth in recent years.

2. Settlements complicate efforts for a two-state solution

This is opinion, not fact. And it is the opinion of those who oppose settlements:

Critics of settlements say they’ve intentionally been established in every corner of the West Bank, giving the Israeli military a reason to be present throughout the territory and making it impossible to create a viable Palestinian state.

Absent from the authors’ telling is the opinion that settlements do not complicate a two-state solution.

Israel has always declared its willingness to dismantle settlements in the context of a peace agreement and has demonstrated this, as well. In 2005, Israel removed all Jewish residents from the thriving, greens settlements they had built in the Gaza Strip. That this move resulted in a violent Hamas takeover of the area and conversion of the once-flourishing neighborhoods into launching pads for rocket and missile attacks into Israel’s heartland is seen by many as a cautionary tale against the removal of settlements and military as a prelude to a two-state solution.

Another opinion that is increasingly heard is that an agreement based on the peaceful co-existence of two neighboring states should not necessitate the removal of all Jewish residents. After all, Arab-Israelis make up 20% of the State of Israel’s population.

But these opinions are apparently not part of the narrative that NPR editors want to promote, so they limit their citing to critics of the settlements.

3. The distinction between East Jerusalem and the West Bank

According to Myre and Kaplow, the distinction between the two areas is Israel’s annexation of eastern Jerusalem, which the authors hasten to tell readers is not recognized by any other country. But far from explaining the hows and whys, they set the stage by disingenuously asserting that when Israel gained control of eastern Jerusalem in the 1967 war, “it had a population that was then entirely Palestinian” as if to suggest that Israel annexed a Palestinian territory to which it held no claim.

To support this evasive and distorted position, the authors must again conceal inconvenient facts. Thus, there is no mention of the fact that the area referred to as “East Jerusalem” was only exclusively Arab for the 19 year-period between 1948 and 1967 in which Jordan occupied it. Nor is there mention of the fact that Jewish presence and sovereignty in east Jerusalem actually predated the Arab/Palestinian presence there, and that for over three millennia, since King David established Jerusalem as the capital of his kingdom in 1004 BCE, there has been an almost continuous Jewish presence in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest city. For most of that time it was concentrated in east Jerusalem, where Judaism’s holy sites lie. Readers are not informed that since the mid-1800’s, Jews have constituted the largest single group of residents in the city, that Jordanian forces seized east Jerusalem in 1948, expelled its Jewish residents, destroyed Jewish property and religious sites, and cleared it of Jews.

The authors explain that “while the Israelis tend to speak (again, with the connotation of self-justification and excuses) of East Jerusalem and the West Bank as two separate entities, the Palestinians regard (with the connotation of a deeply held belief) them as a single body — the occupied West Bank” but they give support only to the Palestinian position by declaring up front, as fact, in their own voices, that east Jerusalem “is part of the West Bank.”

4. What does Israel say about settlements?

The authors continue to differentiate between Israeli and Palestinian perspectives, presenting the first in terms of “citing” and “arguing,” and the second in terms of “seeing.”

More importantly, however, the authors oversimplify the perspective of Israeli settlers to citing “the Jewish Bible, thousands of years of Jewish history, and Israel’s need for ‘strategic depth’ as reasons for living in the West Bank.”

Missing from their account are the legal reasons why Israeli settlers see their cause as legitimate. It is not, as the authors erroneously suggest, because “Jordan has since relinquished its claim to the West Bank. Therefore, the settlers argue, there is no legal sovereign in the territory.”

The international legal right for Israelis to live in the West Bank is vested in political and legal agreements drawn up in the post-World War I years between 1919 and 1923. A Mandates System established in Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, was contained in the Treaty of Versailles and other peace treaties made with the Central Powers. The Supreme Council of the Principal Allied Powers officially recognized Palestine as a mandated state for the Jewish people at the 1920 San Remo Conference. The San Remo Resolution of April 25, 1920 served as the basis for the future administration of Palestine which would henceforth be recognized as the Jewish National Home, as envisioned by the Balfour Declaration. The resulting 1922 Palestine Mandate, which incorporated the resolution into its preamble, confirmed Jewish historical and national rights and converted the Balfour Declaration from a statement of British foreign policy to binding international law.

According to Article 6 of the Mandate, “close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands not required for public use” was to be encouraged. Article 80 of the U.N. Charter preserved this Jewish right to settlement by specifying that nothing in the U.N. Charter’s chapter on the administration of Mandate territory shall be construed ” to alter in any manner” the rights of people and the terms of “existing international instruments” (for example, the Mandate).

The authors err too on why “the settlers argue there is no legal sovereign in the territory.” It is not because Jordan has relinquished its claim to the West Bank, but because Jordan never had title to that territory.

According to Professor Stephen Schwebel, former judge on the Hague’s International Court of Justice (1981-2000), regarding Israel’s acquisition of the West Bank:

Where the prior holder of territory [ed: Jordan] had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense [ed. Israel] has, against that prior holder, better title. (“What Weight to Conquest,” American Journal of International Law, 64 (1970)

And according to Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, an international legal expert, scholar and director emeritus of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge, “Jordan’s occupation of the Old City–and indeed of the whole of the area west of the Jordan river entirely lacked legal justification” and was simply a “de facto occupation protected by the Armistice Agreement.”

5. How about the Palestinians?

The authors describe them simply as  seeing “visual proof that their sought-after independent state is being taken from them.”

How about Palestinian leaders’ adamant refusal  to accept a neighboring Jewish state, with or without settlements? For example, former Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister/chief negotiator Nabil Shaath went on record on Arabic TV in 2011 to declare that Palestinians would never accept “two states for two peoples” that included a Jewish state. As he put it then:

The story of “two states for two peoples” means that there will be a Jewish people over there and a Palestinian people here. We will never accept this – not as part of the French initiative and not as part of the American initiative. (Arabic News Broadcast TV, July 13, 2011; recorded and translated by MEMRI)

How about the Palestinian leadership’s consistent unwillingness to negotiate a final settlement without any preconditions, and with  settlements on the table for negotiation?  How about their repeated rejection of statehood offers that involved removal of settlements and land swaps?

The authors find no room for this in their article.

6. Has Israel ever dismantled settlements?

Although the authors here acknowledge that Israel dismantled all settlements in Gaza in 2005, they describe it only in derogatory terms:

The evacuation of the settlements was deeply divisive within Israel, and Israel’s security forces had to drag some settlers from their homes kicking and screaming. The episode demonstrated that Israel could remove settlers, but it also showed how much friction it creates inside Israel.

Concealed from readers is what else the removal of settlers showed and why this may have caused friction inside Israel:  The authors make no mention of the fact that the territory was used as a launching pad for Palestinians to attack Israel  deep inside its pre-1967 boundaries.

7. What are the proposed solutions?

Although the question purports to present a variety of solutions, it mentions only one that would entail dismantling settlements. And just in case the authors did not yet manage to convince their readers that this must be the only choice, they end by declaring that “it would be difficult for a Palestinian leader to accept a peace deal without removing settlements.”

Perhaps so, but increasing numbers of voices are asking why this must be the case. Maawid Nawaz, for example, a British-Pakistani journalist/politician/liberal activist voiced his views about this in a column he wrote for The Daily Beast. Although Nawaz still believes that settlements are illegal, he nevertheless questions the assumption they they must be dismantled for peace:

Settlements are illegal. But why is it that Israel is expected to integrate—and does a reasonable job of including—the 20 percent of its population that is Arab, yet a Jewish presence of 500,000 settlers in any future Palestinian state is deemed “an obstacle” to the two state solution? Are Palestinians assumed to be ethno-fascists? Are they not capable of building a multiethnic state just like Israelis? Is this how low the standard is to which Western leftists hold Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims?

The NPR editors have clearly articulated their views on the subject supporting those of Palestinian leaders and they have every right to do so, but  it should be done in a clearly labelled opinion piece. Using NPR as a bully pulpit to indoctrinate readers by purporting to inform them the “things to know” about any topic  is a departure from journalistic norms.



It’s Not the Settlements, Stupid

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

{Originally posted to the Commentary Magazine website}

Immediately after the UN voted last week to vilify Israel, Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy national security advisor, held a conference call to argue that the Obama administration was motivated by its “grave concerns” about “the continued pace” of Israeli settlement activities. He asserted that the administration could not “in good conscience” veto the resolution. Here is how Rhodes quantified the administration’s “grave concerns”:

[S]ince 2009, the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank has increased by more than 100,000 to nearly 400,000. … There are now nearly 900,000 — I’m sorry, 90,000 settlers living east of the separation barrier that was created by Israel itself. And the population of these distant settlements has grown by 20,000 since 2009.

The figure of 100,000 sounds significant until you realize that 80 percent of it has been in the settlement blocs “everyone knows” Israel will retain in any conceivable peace agreement. The 20,000 person increase east of the separation barrier, established to stop the wave of Palestinian mass murders against Israelis, translates into less than one percent of the population in the disputed territories, over a period of eight years.

It is ludicrous to argue that the settlements are an “obstacle to peace,” because they were not an obstacle to offering the Palestinians a state on three separate occasions: (a) in July 2000 at Camp David; (b) in the Clinton Parameters six months later; and (c) in the Olmert offer at the end of the one-year Annapolis Process in 2008. Each time, the Palestinians rejected a state on substantially all of the West Bank and Gaza with a capital in Jerusalem. Since then–as Rhodes’ numbers show–the vast majority of Israeli settlement activity has been within settlement blocs that no one can realistically expect Israel to dismantle. During the Bush administration, the U. S. and Israel agreed on a formula for settlements–precisely so that they could not become an obstacle to peace. They agreed to apply a “Google Test”: building could continue within the boundaries of existing settlements, but not outside them, so that construction would not affect the amount of land available for a Palestinian state, which was more than 90 percent of the disputed territories (before considering a land swap). It was the Obama administration that reneged on that agreement in 2009 and made an issue out of something that had already been resolved.

In any event, Israel declared a ten-month freeze on new construction in the West Bank in 2009-2010–an action deemed “unprecedented” by both the Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton) and the administration’s Middle East envoy (George Mitchell). It resulted in nothing from the Palestinians. And even after the Obama administration reneged on the assurances to Israel in the 2004 Bush letter, and even after the ten-month freeze produced nothing, Israel continued to observe the Google Test in the vast majority of its construction building, as the administration’s own eight-year 20,000 figure demonstrates.

The real obstacle, as Michael Mandelbaum showed in his landmark essay in the May 2016 issue of COMMENTARY, “The Peace Process is an Obstacle to Peace,” is the Palestinian refusal to accept a Jewish state within any boundaries, much less defensible borders. Until the Palestinians endorse “two states for two peoples”–something the Palestinians have not yet done–the process will be stuck on side issues such as settlements. Until the Palestinians declare that a Palestinian state is an end-of-claims solution, and not simply a step in further prosecuting a specious “right of return,” the Palestinians have not even put peace on the table.

There has been much speculation about the Obama administration’s motives in deserting Israel at the UN and orchestrating support for the resolution behind the scenes. There are three things, however, that we do know: the administration did not act out of “conscience;” its “concerns” are not grave; and they involve an obstacle the administration created for itself.

Rick Richman

Kerry Slams Israel, Netanyahu Hits Back in Wake of UN Vote Against Settlements

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

{Written by Karen McDonough and originally posted to the JNS.org website}

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry slammed the Israeli government over settlement building, warning that the two-state solution is “in jeopardy,” in a lengthy speech Wednesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu swiftly called “almost as unbalanced” as the United Nations Security Council’s recent anti-settlement resolution.

“If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or Democratic, it cannot be both, and it won’t ever really be at peace,” Kerry said in his speech, which lasted an hour and a half and detailed the outgoing Obama administration’s vision for Middle East peace.

With less than a month left in President Barack Obama’s term, Kerry defended Obama’s decision to abstain from the vote on U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, allowing the measure to pass and breaking from the longstanding U.S. policy of vetoing one-sided U.N. resolutions targeting Israel. The secretary of state laid out the case to continue to push for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while questioning Netanyahu’s commitment to Palestinian statehood and calling the Israeli leader’s current government “the most right-wing in Israel’s history.”

The reaction from Jerusalem was immediate and searing. At a press conference, Netanyahu expressed “deep disappointment” in how Kerry blamed Israeli policy for the conflict and merely “paid lip service” to the unrelenting terrorism waged against the Jewish state since it declared independence in 1948.

“Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders,” Netanyahu said. “No one wants peace more than the people of Israel.”

The prime minister said he looks forward to working with the incoming Donald Trump administration to “mitigate” the fallout from the U.N. resolution and to “repeal” it. He predicted that stemming from next month’s international peace conference in Paris, France or Sweden could bring another devastating U.N. resolution against Israel, emphatically saying that the U.S. should not enable more harmful resolutions against the Jewish state and calling on Obama to “stop this game, the charades.”

Netanyahu went on to say, “Palestinian rejection of Israel and support for terror are what the nations of the world should focus on if they truly want to advance peace, and I can only express my regret and say that it’s a shame that Sec. Kerry does not see this simple truth.”

President-elect Trump took to social media before Kerry’s speech, tweeting, “We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect.” He added, “Israel used to have a great friend in the U.S., but…not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)! Stay strong Israel, Jan. 20th is fast approaching!”

Netanyahu responded by tweeting, “President-elect Trump, thank you for your warm friendship and your clear-cut support for Israel!”

On Dec. 23, the U.N. Security Council voted 14-0 to pass the resolution, which demanded that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the ‘occupied’ Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem,” adding that the establishment of Israeli settlements has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.” The measure states that the Western Wall is located in “occupied Palestinian land,” and encourages boycotts and sanctions against Israel.

The resolution was first introduced by Egypt, which backed down after Trump intervened, before New Zealand, Senegal, Malaysia and Venezuela pushed for the eventual vote. Netanyahu said Wednesday that he has “absolutely incontestable evidence” that the Obama administration colluded against Israel prior to the U.N. vote, a claim supported by leaked documents released in the Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Youm Al-Saba’a, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Ten days before the vote, Kerry and White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice had told a Palestinian delegation in Washington, D.C., that “the U.S. would not impose a veto on such a resolution if its wording was balanced,” Haaretz reported. The White House has denied that report.

Meanwhile, Israeli media reported that British diplomats worked with the Palestinians on the wording of the resolution before it was unveiled Dec. 21, ahead of the vote two days later. The U.K. also reportedly encouraged New Zealand to be at the forefront of the vote. Hours before the Security Council voted, Netanyahu called New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully and asked him to not support the “scandalous decision,” adding that “it will be a declaration of war” if he supported the resolution, according to Haaretz.

Commenting on Kerry’s speech, Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon said the Obama Administration “acted against Israel at the U.N., and any claim to the contrary is a distortion of reality.”

“Neither speeches nor statements will bring peace to our region,” Danon said. “The only way forward is for the Palestinians to understand that they must condemn terror, end incitement and return to the negotiating table.”


JNS News Service

Kerry Defends Obama Decision to Abstain at UNSC Vote Condemning Israel

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

Kerry Defends Obama Decision to Abstain at Anti-Israel UNSC Vote

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pushed back on Wednesday against the fury in Jerusalem that has followed the decision by President Barack Obama to order the abstention that allowed the UN Security Council to unanimously pass anti-Israel resolution 2334(2016) last Friday.

“The two-state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians,” he began, saying that only with two states can Israel remain Jewish and democratic. “Friends need to tell each other the hard truths,” he said. “The policies of [the government of Benjamin Netanyahu] are leading … towards one state.”

Kerry flatly denied an accusation by Israeli leaders that Obama was directly behind the formulation and sponsorship of the resolution, saying the administration “did not draft or originate” the measure and instead insisting it was advanced by Egypt and “other nations.”

Nevertheless, Kerry also said bluntly, “The United States did in fact vote in accordance with our values… the vote in the United Nations was about preserving the two-state solution. That’s what we were standing up for.” He repeatedly expressed concern that the two-state solution was in “jeopardy,” and that a “one-state solution… will not be able to be both Jewish and democratic.”

In a pointed jab at the Netanyahu government, he said, “Let’s be clear. Settlement activity has nothing to do with Israeli security.” Kerry also called for “both sides” to show willingness to work towards peace by making “meaningful” gestures.

On the part of Israel, he recommended the government “transition the administration of Area C to the Palestinians” in accordance with the once-upon-a-time long-term-goals of the long-dead Oslo Accords.

The Secretary also sketched a brief outline of the points he believes would be best to set as final status goals once the two sides come to the negotiating table, for “the way forward” during direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

They were as follows:

1. Provide for secure and recognized intl borders based on the 1967 lines with mutual agreed equiv swaps, viable and contiguous Palestine

2. Fulfill the vision of Res. 181, two states for two peoples, Jewish and Arab, where each can achieve their national aspirations – with mutual recognition and full equal rights

3. Just equal fair rights for Palestinian refugees … comprehensive resolution consistent with two states for two peoples … compensation, options and assistance … Can come from the international community.

4. Establish united Jerusalem as the international capital for two states with access to holy sites for all three world monotheistic faiths.

5. Satisfy Israel’s security needs and ensure Palestine can provide security for its people in a non-militarized state

6. End the conflict and all outstanding claims and enhanced regional claims by the Arab peace initiative.

Hana Levi Julian

The Security Council Vote Was Not About Settlements

Monday, December 26th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Israel Seen}

The UNSC vote was not about “settlements.”  That was an Arab subterfuge, a trap into which the United States, the UK, New Zealand and other naive or cynical diplomats fell. It was all smoke and mirrors, a con trick holding the settlement issue in one hand to dazzle the voters while the real intent was to disown Israel of “disputed” territories and turn them into “illegally occupied Palestinian territory.”


The crime of UNSC was that only the Palestinian/Arab voice was heard and written into the resolution. Israel’s voice and words, its legitimate rights and claims to all or parts of the territory, were ignored.

Instead we got a false resolution that wrongly claims “settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including east Jerusalem has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”

This is blatantly incorrect.

It obliterated UN Resolution 242 of 1967. Resolution 242 called on Israel armed forces to withdraw from territory. It deliberately did not call on Israel to withdraw from all the territory as does the recent UNSC resolution.

Resolution 242 acknowledges Israel’s right to protect itself and live in peace within secure and recognised borders. The UNSC resolution ignores these essential prerequisites. It also ignores the ongoing Palestinian belligerency (terror) and their absolute lack of respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial claims and political independence of every State in the area to live in peace, particularly Israel as demanded in UN Resolution 242. Formally, this UN Resolution 242 was sent to and approved by the Security Council which has now ignored its provisions.

Instead the UNSC Resolution blankets Israel as the sole perpetrator of international lawlessness overlooking ongoing Palestinian belligerency.

Furthermore, there are established rulings on states that acquire territory in wars inflicted on them by aggressive enemies, as is the case of Israel acquiring territory in defensive wars against invading Arab armies.  This gives international legitimacy to Israel’s claims to territories gained not in one war of aggression against the Jewish state (1948) but two (1948 and 1967).

All this was ignored by a Security Council determined to plough its way by legal impositions against Israel to establish a Palestinian entity on land on which Israel has longstanding and legal claims.

The United Nations brushes aside the fact that this Palestine they crave to establish is and will remain a dysfunctional, divided, violent, undemocratic society that refuses to recognise Israel’s right to exist as the Jewish state. Both sides of the Palestinian political divide have permanent agendas to eradicate the Jewish state at some convenient future time. As proof, the charters of both the PLO and Hamas call for the eventual destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews.

This was not addressed by the UNSC. It is not called unlawful. It is ignored, irrelevant to their sole ambition to create this monster and leave the parties to sort out the consequences.

The UNSC vote also obliterated the Oslo Accords signed on the White House lawn between Yasser Arafat and Yizhak Rabin in the presence of President Bill Clinton and witnessed by the EU and Russia.

In this agreement the territories known as Judea & Samaria or the West Bank were divided into three zones. Area A was put under the civil and security administration of the Palestinian Authority. Area B was given to the PA for their civil rule while the security elements were agreed to be a joint Israeli-PA project.  Area C was designated to be under complete Israel civil and security control until some future permanent peace agreement depending on the terms and conditions of such an agreement.

Currently in Area C there are over 500,000 Jews and just under 100,000 Arabs residing there although the Palestinian Authority with the physical and financial assistant of European countries and the EU are creating facts on the ground by transferring Bedouin Arabs into Area C. These people live in buildings provided by the EU in defiance of the provisions of Area C.

Area C will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations which have not taken place because the Palestinian Authority, and certainly not Palestinian Hamas, has any inclination to sit with the Israeli leadership to negotiate mutual recognition, borders, or any other final status provisions.

The wording of new UNSC vote would have us believe that this Oslo Accord provision is null and void, replacing Area C with the status of “illegally occupied Palestinian territory.” Not so.

What was most abhorrent in the wording of the unanimously approved   UNSC resolution was the removal of all Israeli claims to the most holy Jewish sites placing them at the feet of the Palestinians.

When the United Nations Security Council calls the Jewish Quarter in the Old City with its synagogues, yeshivot, Jewish population and businesses, the Jewish Temple Mount and the Western Wall and all its antiquities, and the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, the Hadassah Hospital and other profoundly Jewish/Israeli institutions and heritage as “Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem” it is a surrender that no Israeli government is prepared to accept.

I doubt that many Jews in the global community would permit the United Nations to dispense so glibly with three thousand years of Jewish history.

Barry Shaw

Full Text of UN Security Council Condemnation of Israel, Resolution 2334

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

JewishPress.com is providing the full text of Resolution 2334(2016) for readers who are wondering about the precise language in America’s betrayal of Israel on Friday, and that of others who voted unanimously for the UN Security Council resolution condemnation of the Jewish State.

The full text of resolution 2334 (2016) reads as follows:

“The Security Council,

“Reaffirming its relevant resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 446 (1979), 452 (1979), 465 (1980), 476 (1980), 478 (1980), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003), and 1850 (2008),

“Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirming, inter alia, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

“Reaffirming the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice,

“Condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions,

“Expressing grave concern that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines,

“Recalling the obligation under the Quartet Roadmap, endorsed by its resolution 1515 (2003), for a freeze by Israel of all settlement activity, including “natural growth”, and the dismantlement of all settlement outposts erected since March 2001,

“Recalling also the obligation under the Quartet roadmap for the Palestinian Authority Security Forces to maintain effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantling terrorist capabilities, including the confiscation of illegal weapons,

“Condemning all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation, incitement and destruction,

“Reiterating its vision of a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders,

“Stressing that the status quo is not sustainable and that significant steps, consistent with the transition contemplated by prior agreements, are urgently needed in order to (i) stabilize the situation and to reverse negative trends on the ground, which are steadily eroding the two-State solution and entrenching a one-State reality, and (ii) to create the conditions for successful final status negotiations and for advancing the two-State solution through those negotiations and on the ground,

“1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;

“2. Reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard;

“3. Underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations;

“4. Stresses that the cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-State solution, and calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground that are imperilling the two-State solution;

“5. Calls upon all States, bearing in mind paragraph 1 of this resolution, to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967;

“6. Calls for immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation and destruction, calls for accountability in this regard, and calls for compliance with obligations under international law for the strengthening of ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, including through existing security coordination, and to clearly condemn all acts of terrorism;

“7. Calls upon both parties to act on the basis of international law, including international humanitarian law, and their previous agreements and obligations, to observe calm and restraint, and to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric, with the aim, inter alia, of de-escalating the situation on the ground, rebuilding trust and confidence, demonstrating through policies and actions a genuine commitment to the two-State solution, and creating the conditions necessary for promoting peace;

“8. Calls upon all parties to continue, in the interest of the promotion of peace and security, to exert collective efforts to launch credible negotiations on all final status issues in the Middle East peace process and within the time frame specified by the Quartet in its statement of 21 September 2010;

“9. Urges in this regard the intensification and acceleration of international and regional diplomatic efforts and support aimed at achieving, without delay a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap and an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967; and underscores in this regard the importance of the ongoing efforts to advance the Arab Peace Initiative, the initiative of France for the convening of an international peace conference, the recent efforts of the Quartet, as well as the efforts of Egypt and the Russian Federation;

“10. Confirms its determination to support the parties throughout the negotiations and in the implementation of an agreement;

“11. Reaffirms its determination to examine practical ways and means to secure the full implementation of its relevant resolutions;

“12. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council every three months on the implementation of the provisions of the present resolution;

“13. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Cabinet Approves Budget for 113 More Bulletproof Buses

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

In light of the ongoing – and in some areas, escalating – terror attacks against Israeli motorists and bus drivers – the government has approved a proposal by Likud Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz to add another 113 bulletproof buses to the nation’s fleet.

The new buses will cost an estimated NIS 215 million and are to be purchased and added to the school and civilian bus lines in Judea and Samaria in the next four years.

“I attach great importance to the issue of increasing the number of bulletproof buses in Judea and Samaria,” said Katz. “This will strengthen the communities and allow us to increase the frequency on the routes to different destinations while making sure Israeli citizens who ride as passengers are safe.”

Shomron (Samaria) Regional Council head Yossi Dagan agreed, noting, “This was a critically important decision.” He thanked Katz for his efforts in getting the budget item passed, saying the increase of bulletproof buses would return the residents of Judea and Samaria “to their natural place as Israeli citizens with rights equal to other Israeli students and citizens.”

Just last week, Arab terrorists attacked Israeli drivers as they traveled along a bypass road in Judea, just a few minutes south of Jerusalem.

No one was physically injured as their vehicles came under the hail of stones, but there was no information about the extent of damage to the cars.

Last month an Israeli bus driver was injured after his bus came under a stoning attack by Arab terrorists on Highway 60 near the Jewish community of Ofra, in the Binyamin region.

The bus driver – whose bus was not the only vehicle to be damaged that night – was evacuated to Jerusalem’s Sha’are Zedek Medical Center with shattered glass in his eyes.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-cabinet-approves-budget-for-113-more-bulletproof-buses/2016/12/18/

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