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At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘status’

Jerusalem…on Mars?

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

http://fresnozionism.org/2012/03/jerusalem-on-mars/

In the 1947 UN partition resolution, the General Assembly recommended that Jerusalem be made a corpus separatum, a political entity under international control, distinct from the proposed Jewish and Arab states. This was reaffirmed at the time of the 1949 armistice agreements, but nobody paid attention to it — Jordan annexed the eastern part of Jerusalem, and the new state of Israel of course included the western part, which became its capital.

The US did not vote for the corpus separatum resolution in 1949 , but nevertheless was not happy with the situation. In 1962, the State Department issued a statement which said, in part,

The United States undertook, however, to give due recognition to the formal acts of the General Assembly and the Trusteeship Council relating to Jerusalem and has since maintained its position that the Holy Places in the Jerusalem area are of international interest to a degree which transcends ordinary considerations of sovereignty.

…the status of Jerusalem is a matter of United Nations concern and no member of the United Nations should take any action to prejudice the United Nations interest in this question. Our objective has been to keep the Jerusalem question an open one and to prevent its being settled solely through the processes of attrition and fait accompli to the exclusion of international interest and an eventual final expression thereof presumably through the United Nations.

I have always suspected that the State Department — many of whose employees were the children of missionaries — simply couldn’t handle the idea of the holy places in the hands of Jews and Muslims. Be that as it may, at some point the position changed — probably with the passage of UNSC resolution 242 in 1967 — so that the status of Jerusalem would be decided by negotiations between the parties concerned, and not by the UN.

The parties, in 1967, were Israel and Jordan. With the Oslo agreements, the status of Jerusalem became a “final status issue” to be negotiated by Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This is today’s official State Department line.

Note that in respect to sovereignty, the State Department has never distinguished between the eastern and western parts. Neither are part of Israel. The 1962 statement explains that

As a consequence of this policy, when the Department learns that a government for the first time is contemplating the establishment of a diplomatic mission in Israel, we inform that government of the historical background of United Nations attitudes toward Jerusalem and express the hope that, in deference to United Nations attitudes, its mission will be established in Tel Aviv, where most other missions are located.

Since the seat of Israel’s government is in western Jerusalem, the only reason to do this is because State believed that Israel is not sovereign in any part of Jerusalem, east or west.

This was reinforced more recently by the case of Menachem Zivotofsky. Zivotofsky was born in Shaare Tzedek hospital in western Jerusalem. His parents requested that his passport read that he was born in “Jerusalem, Israel,” but the State Department refused to issue a passport with this description, despite a law passed by Congress in 2002 directing it to change its policy.

Now, one can argue that the status of eastern Jerusalem is in dispute, but all of Jerusalem? Apparently the US State Department thinks so. Watch spokesperson Victoria Nuland try to wiggle and dance her way out of some expert questioning by AP reporter Matt Lee:

The part in which she will not say whether Jerusalem is the capital of Israel is priceless. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R. FL), chairperson of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, responded “Where does the Administration think Jerusalem is? On Mars?”

But interestingly, in other contexts — like Israel thinking about building apartments in Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the Green Line — they do seem to be able to make the east/west distinction quite clearly!

Some commentators have pointed out that if “all of Jerusalem is a final status issue” — as reporter Lee cannot get Nuland to deny — then the Palestinian Authority in effect is given a veto power over Israel’s possession of its own capital.

MK Tibi Rebuked by Knesset for Praising Terrorism

Monday, March 19th, 2012

A speech MK Tibi gave in Ramallah during the “Shahid Day” cost him a severe rebuke by the Knesset Ethics committee, which did not hold back in criticizing him. One of Tibi’s statements was: “Blessings to the thousands of Shahidim in the homeland and abroad; blessings to ours and yours Shahidim inside the Green Line – those who the occupier wanted to brand as terrorists, while we say that there is no one loftier then those who have died for the homeland”.

The committee stated that, “His words constitute an insult to the Knesset’s honor and the public trust in it,” thus accepting the Forum’s stance. The committee decided to penalize Tibi with a severe rebuke.

In his response to the committee, MK Tibi explained that the meaning of the words to a Jewish ear is not the same meaning to which he intended in his speech in front of a Palestinian crowd. Even so, the committee pointed out, his words are understood in their literal terms by the majority of Israeli citizens. His words constitute support by an MK for people who were killed while killing others in terrorist acts.

In its decision the committee stated that it goes to great lengths to safeguard the political right of expression of the MKs, even when it involves difficult and extreme statements, although the committee differentiated between “political statements and statements which are comprised of support and encouragement of violence.”

The committee chose to point out to MK Tibi that, “We will not accept in the future, as a justification of extreme and violent expressions, a claim of misunderstanding and double meaning. MK Tibi, as all other members of Knesset, must weigh his words and their understanding by the broad public, and decide if they constitute an insult to the Knesset and the breach of the ethical guidelines of the MKs.”

The Legal Forum lauded this decision. Hila Cohen, the Forum’s representative, stated that the severe rebuke is a worthy punishment, even though some may claim that it is a light punishment for such harsh words. “The fact that MK Tibi participated in such a heinous event is in itself a testimony to the fact the Tibi’s objective is the destruction of the State of Israel.”

This recent success of the Legal Forum is the result of four years of intensive work tracking statements by MKs who speak against the State of Israel as the Jewish People’s state. Similarly, the Forum has lodged a complaint with the Ethics Committee and the Attorney General against MK Hanin Zoabi’s participation in the Gaza Flotilla, a complaint against Arab MKs who traveled to Libya, MKs who participated in demonstrations against the Israeli state and more.

“An MK cannot take advantage of his status and fool u,s” stated Nachi Eyal, director of the Forum. “The Forum’s objective in its continued activities against these MKs, is to restore the democratic values to their proper place, together with the Jewish Zionist values on which the State of Israel was founded. In a democratic state, the democratic values do not tread upon the foundations of state itself, but rather walk hand in hand with them. This is the status the Forum is trying to achieve, and the Ethics committee’s latest decision proves that we are in the correct direction. This decision together with the previous ones has an accumulating affect.”

Citing Honor Killings, Israeli-Arab Lesbian Couple Reprieved from Deportation

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

The website Shalom Toronto reports that the Canadian Supreme Court has accepted the appeal of Iman Musa and Majida Mugrabi, an Israeli Muslim lesbian couple who sought refugee status in Canada. The judge ordered further hearings on the request  due to the possibility that they would be honor-murdered if deported to Israel

Iman and Jada came to Toronto in 2007 and shortly thereafter applied for refugee status,  claiming that their lives were in danger in Israel because they maintain a lesbian relationship, which is considered an affront to their Muslim family and would surely result in their being murdered by a family member.

Their plea was rejected by the Canadian Immigration Service and the couple was ordered deported to Israel. The two women filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, to include a personal letter in which they listed the dangers to their lives from their families. They wrote:

“The reality is that if we go back home (to Israel), we will be in danger of being murdered. Same-sex relationships are not allowed in Arab countries. There were many instances of honor killings and we are the victims of that reality. We have a lesbian relationship which is prohibited in our home (in Israel). Having damaged the reputation of our families, we were forced to flee from homes, in an effort to retain a relationship with each other.”.

Time to Kick the Palestinian Can?

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Would it be prudent for Israel to launch now the kind of unilateral initiative proposed by former Yesha Council Director Naftali Bennett, or is it best to leave well enough alone?

Under Bennett’s plan, Israel would annex Area C – where Jews live – granting full citizenship to the Palestinians residing in the area while at the same time Israel would make the heavy infrastructure investment required so that Palestinians residing in the remainder of the West Bank (under a “full” autonomy subject only to security-related limitations and restrictions on the return of refugees) could enjoy complete freedom of movement within and between those areas.

What’s wrong with continuing with the status quo?

That question itself hinges on a critical assumption, namely that the status quo can be reasonably expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

Will the Palestinians be able to change the situation on the ground or will they only spin their wheels in an ongoing series of international resolutions, declarations, and photo ops?

Would a second term President Obama pull all the stops to impose his vision on the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip?

Would a world facing a nuclear Iran seek to appease it by forcing Israel to make dramatic concessions to the Palestinians?

What’s the downside to acting now?

Would it shift the focus away from Iran?

Certainly in column inches and broadcast minutes, but that’s not necessarily the relevant measure.

As it stands today it would appear that an American and/or international decision to use force against the Iranian nuclear program would be driven by assessments of intelligence regarding progress in the Iranian program, with Israeli-Palestinian relations having little if any impact on – or relevance to – the decision making process.

And finally – is it better to implement Bennett’s plan already or instead to make preparations so that the plan can be implemented if and when the Palestinians cross some red line?

Is it realistic to assume that Israel would be able to annex Area C after the Palestinians took their move?

Certainly a lot to think about.

One thing is certain.

It would be a terrible mistake to postpone thinking this through.

 

Originally published by IMRA http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=55982

MK Danon: Stop Arab MKs from Joining Qatar Anti-Israel Conference

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Ma’ariv reported that MK Danny Danon (Likud) requested that the Knesset Ethics Committee ban Arab MKs from going to the “International Conference for the Defense of Occupied Jerusalem,” to be held in Doha, Qatar next week.

“The conference will include many haters of Israel and therefore the Arab MKs are guaranteed front row seats,” Danon stressed. “The State of Israel should defend itself, and not allow those who take advantage of democracy to attack her from the inside.”

Danon said the Arab MKs are going the way of terror-supporter, former MK Azmi Bishara, and the Knesset must forbid them to participate in forums that have the potential for planning anti-Israel initiatives.

The Qatar News Agency reported that some 350 representatives from Arab, Islamic and other countries will discuss “the legal status of Jerusalem before and after the Israeli  occupation, the reality and the future of Jerusalem under occupation, and the status of the holy places under international law.”

The Qatar Tribune reported that Arab League Assistant Secretary-General for Palestine and the Occupied Arab Territories’ Affairs Ambassador Mohamed Subeih on Thursday said he was confident of the success of the International Conference for the Defence of Al Quds (Jerusalem), scheduled to kick off in Doha on Sunday.

Subeih, who arrived in Doha on Thursday as the head of a high-profile delegation of the Arab League general secretariat to prepare for the conference, said that the Palestinian issue in general, and the issue of Al Quds in particular, are at the top of Qatari policy agenda.

“Preparation for the conference began a long time ago. Qatar and the Arab League general secretariat headquarters constantly consulted each other and coordinated their efforts to ensure success of the conference. It will help provide real support to the city of Al Quds”, he said, adding, “This has been a pledge on part of Qatar and its policy.” “The large number of people participating in the conference demonstrates the interest in the Al Quds issue. The participants realise the gravity of the legal violations, forgery and counterfeiting constantly done by the Israeli occupiers,” Subeih said.

The conference will focus on the topics of “Jerusalem and International Law,” “History of Jerusalem,” “Jerusalem and Settlements,” “Israeli Violations and Jerusalem and Civil Society Organizations.”

Jerusalem and International Law will see discussions on the legal status of Jerusalem before and after the Israeli occupation, the reality and the future of Jerusalem under occupation and the status of the holy places under international law.

US: Israeli Settlements Not Constructive for Peace

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

According to FOCUS Information Agency, the United States said Wednesday that Israel’s settlement activity was not “constructive” for Middle East peace after a committee approved a plan for at least 500 new homes in Judea and Samaria, and legalized the outpost of Shvut Rachel, which had been unauthorized. Officials said the committee gave legal status to around 195 existing homes and gave the go-ahead for some 500 new ones.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said he was not familiar with the latest approval of settlements but reiterated that the United States opposes such moves. “We don’t believe it’s in any way constructive to getting both sides back to the negotiating table,” Toner told reporters.

Germany Raises Diplomatic Ties With PA/PLO

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Germany has just raised the level of representation of the PA/PLO delegation in Berlin to “Diplomatic Mission” headed by an Ambassador. This was announced Wednesday by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle while visiting in Ramallah. The change in diplomatic status may be related to Merkel’s several recent condemnations of Israel’s settlement policy.

France, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Denmark and the UK have already elevated the PA/PLO delegations in their countries to “Diplomatic Missions”.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/germany-raises-diplomatic-ties-with-paplo/2012/02/03/

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