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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘UN General Assembly’

Stop the Presses: Abbas Reelected Fatah Chief

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

In an astonishing move that caught the world by surprise, about 1,250 Fatah party politicians opened their seventh conference in Ramallah on Tuesday by reappointing Mahmoud Abbas chairman. At 81, an invigorated Abbas, a.k.a. Abu Mazen, was voted in unanimously, despite speculations that this time the ruling party of the PA would entertain serious discussions of a post-Abbas future.

Fataḥ, formerly the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, is the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Abbas was elected in January 2005 as President of the Palestinian National Authority until January 2009, but in December 2009 was voted into office indefinitely by the PLO Central Council.

An estimated 75 Fatah representatives from Gaza were not granted permits by Israel to leave the Strip to attend the conference. But its doubtful the vote in Ramallah would have been any different had they been allowed to go through.

The date picked for the conference, as it is done every conference, was November 29, the anniversary of the last time the Arabs in the Land of Israel had a real chance for statehood, which they blew, in the spirit of the late Abba Eban, who said, The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. For the record, Eban did not focus solely on the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians, since he made his immortal observation after the 1973 Geneva Peace Conference with Arab countries (which Syria refused to attend).

November 29 was commemorated by the UN on Tuesday, as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. UN General Assembly president Peter Thomson honored the occasion by wearing a Palestinian flag scarf, just like the one Yasser Arafat wore when he first appeared at the General Assembly back in 1974 as the chief of Fatah – which was established back in 1959 to “organize the armed resistance against Israel,” almost a decade before the 1967 war.

Which brings to mind another Abba Eban immortal observation, from 2004: If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.

David Israel

On 69th Anniversary of UN ‘Partition Plan for Palestine’ Arabs Still Hopelessly Stuck

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

On November 29, 1947, by a vote of 33 for, 13 against, and 10 abstained, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 181(II) to partition Mandatory Palestine at the end of the British Mandate in 1948. The Plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, despite the fact that it turned Jerusalem into an international city, outside Jewish control, and carved out an enormous section in the center of the country for the future Arab state.

Arab leaders and governments, on the other hand, rejected the partition plan and declared their unwillingness to accept any form of territorial division.

A civil war, known to Jews as The War of Independence and to Arabs as The Catastrophe, broke out in Mandatory Palestine immediately following the adoption of the Resolution by the General Assembly. Then, at midnight on 14 May 1948, the British Mandate expired, and, a few hours earlier, the Jewish People’s Council approved a proclamation, declaring “the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel.” The 1948 Arab–Israeli War began with an invasion of the fledgling country by the Arab States on May 15 1948. Hundreds of thousands of Arabs fled the country, never to return, eventually losing the entire area they could once declare their own.

Moshe Ma’oz, professor emeritus of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, explains why the Arabs reject the 1947 partition plan. Noting that some moderate or pragmatic Arabs were prepared to accept a small Jewish state in part of Palestine.

“But the [Husseini family] – not democratically elected but backed by the Arab League – continued to intimidate its moderate brethren and to maintain its uncompromising position against the Jews. Even according to moderate Palestinian intellectuals, this leadership adopted an extreme policy vis-à-vis the idea of two states, thus grossly ignoring the will of the UN and the Great Powers, and leading the Palestinians into war and tragedy.”

“Indeed, this militant syndrome of the Palestinian leadership significantly contributed to preventing a political solution to the Arab-Jewish dispute over Palestine in 1947, as in 1937,” Ma’oz argues. “This syndrome was inspired by an intense Islamic and nationalist ideology, dominated by the Husseini family and in particular, Hajj Amin al Husseini, the charismatic Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Head of the Supreme Muslim Council.”

“Denying the right of the Jewish-Zionist community to national self-determination even in part of Palestine, the Husseinis periodically used violence and terror against Jews, as well as against the moderate Palestinian Nashashibi faction that for many years cooperated with the Jewish community and acknowledged its national aspirations,” he reiterates, explaining that “this moderate faction, although supported by many families and notables throughout the country, was not as organized, armed, motivated or influential among the younger generation as the Husseinis. Consequently, the moderate/pragmatic Palestinians were unable to neutralize the powerful militant Palestinian nationalist leadership or induce it to accept a political settlement.”

Fifty years after that catastrophic Arab failure, in 1977, the UN declared an International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, to be celebrated each year on November 29. Special commemorative activities are organized by the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat, in consultation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

One would think that on these commemorative events Arab participants would meditate on and recognize their mistakes of the past, and finally adopt a pragmatic, if not friendly approach to their dominant neighbor, the State of Israel.

Not really, to judge by the tone of Arab media’s observance of the November 29 anniversary. One example is an essay by Dr. Ramzy Baroud, “Symbolic ‘solidarity’ is moral defeat: A Palestinian view,” published on the occasion of November 29, 2016, in The New Arab.

“There was no moral or legal basis for that partition, as communicated in UN resolution 181 (II) into a ‘Jewish State’ and an ‘Arab State,'” Baroud writes, pointing out that “Jewish immigrants were granted over 55 percent of the total size of historic Palestine and the ‘Arab State,’ which never materialized, was accorded the rest.”

A quick glance at the map shows that more than half the Jewish portion was awarded in the arid Negev and Arava deserts down south, while the Arab portion was mostly contiguous and captured the bulk of central Mandatory Palestine.

Baroud’s recollection of history is understandably different from the Israeli view: “A few months after that unwarranted partition, well-trained Zionist militias moved from several fronts to ‘secure’ the borders of their promised state, only to take over half of what was designated for the future of the Palestinian state, leaving the indigenous Palestinian Arab population of that land with 22 percent of historic Palestine.”

There were no Arab gangs shooting at Jewish civilians in Baroudi’s narrative, nor is there the invasion by well armed Arab forces from three directions. In the same account, the Jews are “immigrants,” the Arabs “indigenous,” despite the fact that the vast majority of Arabs arrived from all across the Middle East in response to the economic renewal brought by European Jews.

Baroud spells it out: “By adopting a popular Palestinian narrative (not an official one), in which all Palestinians – Muslim or Christians, in Occupied Palestine or in “shattat” (diaspora) – are the center of the story, a better understanding of Palestine and its people can be established, and true solidarity can be offered.”

How should they unite around their national narrative? Simple, Baroud explains, “One major platform for their resistance, which strongly bonds Palestinians at home with those in shattat, is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which pushes for accountability from those who make the Israeli domination over Palestine possible. It advocates for the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees, the end of occupation and equal rights for Palestinians who live in Israel.”

And so, according to him, “any solidarity that deviates from the current aspirations of Palestinians – as articulated by their fighting women and men, by their prisoners on hunger strikes, by their students fighting for the right to education, by these resilient, but often neglected voices – is not true solidarity.”

And so, in the best tradition of the French Royal House of Bourbon, the Arabs of the Land of Israel have forgotten nothing and learned nothing.

JNi.Media

What If Bibi Jabbed Obama at the UN But No One Noticed?

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

No one in the Israeli media or abroad seems to have noticed, and if they did they are yet to elaborate on the fact that in the midst of his optimistic speech before the UN General Assembly in NY, about the stellar future of Israel, and while he was inviting the global community to benefit from Israel’s amazing technological and other gifts, Prime Minister Netanyahu also delivered a shot across the bow of both the UN Security Council and, despite all his flourish of gratitude for the man, at President Obama, too.

Here’s what the prime minister said, verbatim, about 1,200 words into his Thursday’s speech:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished delegates from so many lands,

“I have one message for you today: Lay down your arms.

“The war against Israel at the UN is over. Perhaps some of you don’t know it yet, but I am confident that one day in the not too distant future you will also get the message from your president or from your prime minister informing you that the war against Israel at the United Nations has ended.

“Yes, I know, there might be a storm before the calm. I know there is talk about ganging up on Israel at the UN later this year. Given its history of hostility towards Israel, does anyone really believe that Israel will let the UN determine our security and our vital national interests?

“We will not accept any attempt by the UN to dictate terms to Israel. The road to peace runs through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not through New York.”

Everything Netanyahu has been doing over the past month or so, most notably his concession to a degraded US military aid package that could hamper Israel’s future ability to both use some of the aid money for its own industry and to appeal to a friendly US Congress for additional funds, were out of his concern for an Obama Administration November surprise.

Since the summer of 2015, the rumor mill has churned an alarming note regarding the outgoing president’s plan to take down Bibi at the final round, after the Nov. 8 vote will have been cast. Once the Democratic Party no longer needed the Jewish and pro-Israel Christian vote, regardless of who was elected, the US envoy at the UN Samantha Power would either vote in favor of a UNSC resolution on a Palestinian State in all of Judea and Samaria, or merely abstain, which would be tantamount to giving it its full support. Indeed, as Netanyahu stressed in his Thursday speech, “the only time that the United States cast a UN Security Council veto during the Obama presidency was against an anti-Israel resolution in 2011.”

There is no valid US vote other than a veto on an anti-Israel resolution, in the context of a healthy alliance between the US and Israel. On Thursday, Netanyahu made it loud and clear: if the UNSC imposes such a vote on Israel, without an American veto, Israel will disregard it.

Here’s an idea one can only raise in a rightwing Jewish publication such as The JewishPress.com: What if the fact that no one has noticed Netanyahu’s unveiled threat is because they were not expecting it? At least not as a full, frontal, in-your-face challenge? Maybe the entire speech was too “messianic” for anyone to grasp the fact that the PM was foretelling a new world order, the biblical kind? I’ll explain.

The Haftora this week is Isaiah 60, 1-22. Of the entire cycle of Isaiah prophecies of comfort Jews recite on the Shabbat days between the 9th of Av and Rosh Hashanah, this one is probably the least mystical. It does not promise any harmony between lambs and lions; instead it describes a scene astonishingly reminiscent of Netanyahu’s speech at the UN Assembly Thursday.

This chapter in Isaiah reads almost like a newspaper account of Israel’s economic, technological and diplomatic rise. It very well could be published as an actual report, with a few textual changes — taking out the camels laden with goods is recommended, for instance — that could be the leading article of some major publication on Rosh Hashanah 5778, when we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Zionist miracle.

Here is a selection of verses, there are 22 altogether — can you see these verses as headlines for current articles?

3: TECHNOLOGY: And nations will walk by your light, and kings by the brightness of your rising.

4. DEMOGRAPHIC GROWTH: Lift up your eyes round about, and see: They all are gathered together, and come to you; Your sons come from far, And your daughters are carried on their mothers’ side.

5. NATURAL GAS: Then you will see and be radiant, And your heart will throb and expand; Because the abundance of the sea will be given to you, The wealth of the nations will come to you.

6. FOREIGN INVESTMENTS: The caravans of camels will cover you, And of the young camels of Midian and Ephah, All coming from Sheba; They will bring gold and incense, And will proclaim the praises of God.

9. MASSIVE ALIYA: Surely the islands will wait for Me, And the ships of Tarshish first, To bring your sons from far, Their silver and their gold with them, For the name of the Lord your God, And for the Holy One of Israel, because He has glorified you.

11. POLITICAL PROMINENCE: Your gates also will be open continually, Day and night, they will not be shut; That men may bring to you the wealth of the nations, And their kings in procession.

12. SECURITY: Because a nation and kingdom that will not serve you will perish; Yes, those nations will be utterly wasted.

Is that a cool prophecy, or what? Obviously, the running theme through the prophecy is the fact that it’s all being done strictly because God wants it this way. He signed several covenants to this effect and now He’s starting the implementation. So, obviously, we’ll need to behave ourselves, that whole love your fellow Jew thing.

Enjoy your Shabbat…

David Israel

FULL TEXT: PM Netanyahu’s Speech to UN General Assembly [video]

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

Below is the FULL TEXT of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly, delivered on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at UN Headquarters in New York City.

Mr. President,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

What I’m about to say is going to shock you: Israel has a bright future at the UN.

Now I know that hearing that from me must surely come as a surprise, because year after year I’ve stood at this very podium and slammed the UN for its obsessive bias against Israel. And the UN deserved every scathing word – for the disgrace of the General Assembly that last year passed 20 resolutions against the democratic State of Israel and a grand total of three resolutions against all the other countries on the planet.

Israel – twenty; rest of the world – three.

And what about the joke called the UN Human Rights Council, which each year condemns Israel more than all the countries of the world combined. As women are being systematically raped, murdered, sold into slavery across the world, which is the only country that the UN’s Commission on Women chose to condemn this year? Yep, you guessed it – Israel. Israel. Israel where women fly fighter jets, lead major corporations, head universities, preside – twice – over the Supreme Court, and have served as Speaker of the Knesset and Prime Minister.

And this circus continues at UNESCO. UNESCO, the UN body charged with preserving world heritage. Now, this is hard to believe but UNESCO just denied the 4,000 year connection between the Jewish people and its holiest site, the Temple Mount. That’s just as absurd as denying the connection between the Great Wall of China and China.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The UN, begun as a moral force, has become a moral farce. So when it comes to Israel at the UN, you’d probably think nothing will ever change, right? Well think again. You see, everything will change and a lot sooner than you think. The change will happen in this hall, because back home, your governments are rapidly changing their attitudes towards Israel. And sooner or later, that’s going to change the way you vote on Israel at the UN.

More and more nations in Asia, in Africa, in Latin America, more and more nations see Israel as a potent partner – a partner in fighting the terrorism of today, a partner in developing the technology of tomorrow.

Today Israel has diplomatic relations with over 160 countries. That’s nearly double the number that we had when I served here as Israel’s ambassador some 30 years ago. And those ties are getting broader and deeper every day. World leaders increasingly appreciate that Israel is a powerful country with one of the best intelligence services on earth. Because of our unmatched experience and proven capabilities in fighting terrorism, many of your governments seek our help in keeping your countries safe.

Many also seek to benefit from Israel’s ingenuity in agriculture, in health, in water, in cyber and in the fusion of big data, connectivity and artificial intelligence – that fusion that is changing our world in every way.

You might consider this:

Israel leads the world in recycling wastewater. We recycle about 90% of our wastewater. Now, how remarkable is that? Well, given that the next country on the list only recycles about 20% of its wastewater, Israel is a global water power. So if you have a thirsty world, and we do, there’s no better ally than Israel.

How about cybersecurity? That’s an issue that affects everyone. Israel accounts for one-tenth of one percent of the world’s population, yet last year we attracted some 20% of the global private investment in cybersecurity.

I want you to digest that number.

In cyber, Israel is punching a whopping 200 times above its weight. So Israel is also a global cyber power. If hackers are targeting your banks, your planes, your power grids and just about everything else, Israel can offer indispensable help.

Governments are changing their attitudes towards Israel because they know that Israel can help them protect their peoples, can help them feed them, can help them better their lives.

This summer I had an unbelievable opportunity to see this change so vividly during an unforgettable visit to four African countries. This is the first visit to Africa by an Israeli prime minister in decades. Later today, I’ll be meeting with leaders from 17 African countries. We’ll discuss how Israeli technology can help them in their efforts to transform their countries.

In Africa, things are changing. In China, India, Russia, Japan, attitudes towards Israel have changed as well. These powerful nations know that, despite Israel’s small size, it can make a big difference in many, many areas that are important to them.

But now I’m going to surprise you even more. You see, the biggest change in attitudes towards Israel is taking place elsewhere. It’s taking place in the Arab world. Our peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan continue to be anchors of stability in the volatile Middle East.

But I have to tell you this: For the first time in my lifetime, many other states in the region recognize that Israel is not their enemy. They recognize that Israel is their ally.

Our common enemies are Iran and ISIS. Our common goals are security, prosperity and peace. I believe that in the years ahead we will work together to achieve these goals, work together openly.

So Israel’s diplomatic relations are undergoing nothing less than a revolution. But in this revolution, we never forget that our most cherished alliance, our deepest friendship is with the United States of America, the most powerful and the most generous nation on earth.

Our unbreakable bond with the United States of America transcends parties and politics. It reflects, above all else, the overwhelming support for Israel among the American people, support which is at record highs and for which we are deeply grateful.

The United Nations denounces Israel; the United States supports Israel. And a central pillar of that defense has been America’s consistent support for Israel at the UN. I appreciate President Obama’s commitment to that longstanding US policy. In fact, the only time that the United States cast a UN Security Council veto during the Obama presidency was against an anti-Israel resolution in 2011. As President Obama rightly declared at this podium, peace will not come from statements and resolutions at the United Nations.

I believe the day is not far off when Israel will be able to rely on many, many countries to stand with us at the UN. Slowly but surely, the days when UN ambassadors reflexively condemn Israel, those days are coming to an end.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today’s automatic majority against Israel at the UN reminds me of the story, the incredible story of Hiroo Onada. Hiroo was a Japanese soldier who was sent to the Philippines in 1944. He lived in the jungle. He scavenged for food. He evaded capture. Eventually he surrendered, but that didn’t happen until 1974, some 30 years after World War II ended.

For decades, Hiroo refused to believe the war was over. As Hiroo was hiding in the jungle, Japanese tourists were swimming in pools in American luxury hotels in nearby Manila. Finally, mercifully, Hiroo’s former commanding officer was sent to persuade him to come out of hiding. Only then did Hiroo lay down his arms.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Distinguished delegates from so many lands,

I have one message for you today: Lay down your arms.

The war against Israel at the UN is over. Perhaps some of you don’t know it yet, but I am confident that one day in the not too distant future you will also get the message from your president or from your prime minister informing you that the war against Israel at the United Nations has ended.

Yes, I know, there might be a storm before the calm. I know there is talk about ganging up on Israel at the UN later this year. Given its history of hostility towards Israel, does anyone really believe that Israel will let the UN determine our security and our vital national interests?

We will not accept any attempt by the UN to dictate terms to Israel. The road to peace runs through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not through New York.

But regardless of what happens in the months ahead, I have total confidence that in the years ahead the revolution in Israel’s standing among the nations will finally penetrate this hall of nations. I have so much confidence, in fact, that I predict that a decade from now an Israeli prime minister will stand right here where I am standing and actually applaud the UN.

But I want to ask you: Why do we have to wait a decade? Why keep vilifying Israel?

Perhaps because some of you don’t appreciate that the obsessive bias against Israel is not just a problem for my country, it’s a problem for your countries too. Because if the UN spends so much time condemning the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, it has far less time to address war, disease, poverty, climate change and all the other serious problems that plague the planet.

Are the half million slaughtered Syrians helped by your condemnation of Israel? The same Israel that has treated thousands of injured Syrians in our hospitals, including a field hospital that I built right along the Golan Heights border with Syria.

Are the gays hanging from cranes in Iran helped by your denigration of Israel? That same Israel where gays march proudly in our streets and serve in our parliament, including I’m proud to say in my own Likud party.

Are the starving children in North Korea’s brutal tyranny, are they helped by your demonization of Israel? Israel, whose agricultural know-how is feeding the hungry throughout the developing world?

The sooner the UN’s obsession with Israel ends, the better. The better for Israel, the better for your countries, the better for the UN itself.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

If UN habits die hard, Palestinian habits die even harder. President Abbas just attacked from this podium the Balfour Declaration. He’s preparing a lawsuit against Britain for that declaration from 1917.

That’s almost 100 years ago – talk about being stuck in the past.

The Palestinians may just as well sue Iran for the Cyrus Declaration, which enabled the Jews to rebuild our Temple in Jerusalem 2,500 years ago.

Come to think of it, why not a Palestinian class action suit against Abraham for buying that plot of land in Hebron where the fathers and mothers of the Jewish people were buried 4,000 years ago?

You’re not laughing. It’s as absurd as that. To sue the British government for the Balfour Declaration? Is he kidding? And this is taken seriously here?

President Abbas attacked the Balfour Declaration because it recognized the right of the Jewish people to a national home in the land of Israel. When the United Nations supported the establishment of a Jewish state in 1947, it recognized our historical and our moral rights in our homeland and to our homeland.

Yet today, nearly 70 years later, the Palestinians still refuse to recognize those rights – not our right to a homeland, not our right to a state, not our right to anything. And this remains the true core of the conflict, the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize the Jewish state in any boundary.

You see, this conflict is not about the settlements. It never was.

The conflict raged for decades before there was a single settlement, when Judea Samaria and Gaza were all in Arab hands. The West Bank and Gaza were in Arab hands and they attacked us again and again and again.

And when we uprooted all 21 settlements in Gaza and withdrew from every last inch of Gaza, we didn’t get peace from Gaza – we got thousands of rockets fired at us from Gaza.

This conflict rages because for the Palestinians, the real settlements they’re after are Haifa, Jaffa and Tel Aviv.

Now mind you, the issue of settlements is a real one and it can and must be resolved in final status negotiations. But this conflict has never been about the settlements or about establishing a Palestinian state. It’s always been about the existence of a Jewish state, a Jewish state in any boundary.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Israel is ready, I am ready to negotiate all final status issues but one thing I will never negotiate: Our right to the one and only Jewish state.

Wow, sustained applause for the Prime Minister of Israel in the General Assembly? The change may be coming sooner than I thought.

Had the Palestinians said yes to a Jewish state in 1947, there would have been no war, no refugees and no conflict. And when the Palestinians finally say yes to a Jewish state, we will be able to end this conflict once and for all.

Now here’s the tragedy, because, see, the Palestinians are not only trapped in the past, their leaders are poisoning the future.

I want you to imagine a day in the life of a 13-year-old Palestinian boy, I’ll call him Ali.

Ali wakes up before school, he goes to practice with a soccer team named after Dalal Mughrabi, a Palestinian terrorist responsible for the murder of a busload of 37 Israelis. At school, Ali attends an event sponsored by the Palestinian Ministry of Education honoring Baha Alyan, who last year murdered three Israeli civilians. On his walk home, Ali looks up at a towering statue erected just a few weeks ago by the Palestinian Authority to honor Abu Sukar, who detonated a bomb in the center of Jerusalem, killing 15 Israelis.

When Ali gets home, he turns on the TV and sees an interview with a senior Palestinian official, Jibril Rajoub, who says that if he had a nuclear bomb, he’d detonate it over Israel that very day. Ali then turns on the radio and he hears President Abbas’s adviser, Sultan Abu al-Einein, urging Palestinians, here’s a quote, “to slit the throats of Israelis wherever you find them.” Ali checks his Facebook and he sees a recent post by President Abbas’s Fatah Party calling the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics a “heroic act”. On YouTube, Ali watches a clip of President Abbas himself saying, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem.” Direct quote.

Over dinner, Ali asks his mother what would happen if he killed a Jew and went to an Israeli prison? Here’s what she tells him. She tells him he’d be paid thousands of dollars each month by the Palestinian Authority. In fact, she tells him, the more Jews he would kill, the more money he’d get. Oh, and when he gets out of prison, Ali would be guaranteed a job with the Palestinian Authority.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All this is real. It happens every day, all the time. Sadly, Ali represents hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children who are indoctrinated with hate every moment, every hour.

This is child abuse.

Imagine your child undergoing this brainwashing. Imagine what it takes for a young boy or girl to break free out of this culture of hate. Some do but far too many don’t. How can any of us expect young Palestinians to support peace when their leaders poison their minds against peace?

We in Israel don’t do this. We educate our children for peace. In fact, we recently launched a pilot program, my government did, to make the study of Arabic mandatory for Jewish children so that we can better understand each other, so that we can live together side-by-side in peace.

Of course, like all societies Israel has fringe elements. But it’s our response to those fringe elements, it’s our response to those fringe elements that makes all the difference.

Take the tragic case of Ahmed Dawabsha. I’ll never forget visiting Ahmed in the hospital just hours after he was attacked. A little boy, really a baby, he was badly burned. Ahmed was the victim of a horrible terrorist act perpetrated by Jews. He lay bandaged and unconscious as Israeli doctors worked around the clock to save him.

No words can bring comfort to this boy or to his family. Still, as I stood by his bedside I told his uncle, “This is not our people. This is not our way.” I then ordered extraordinary measures to bring Ahmed’s assailants to justice and today the Jewish citizens of Israel accused of attacking the Dawabsha family are in jail awaiting trial.

Now, for some, this story shows that both sides have their extremists and both sides are equally responsible for this seemingly endless conflict.

But what Ahmed’s story actually proves is the very opposite. It illustrates the profound difference between our two societies, because while Israeli leaders condemn terrorists, all terrorists, Arabs and Jews alike, Palestinian leaders celebrate terrorists. While Israel jails the handful of Jewish terrorists among us, the Palestinians pay thousands of terrorists among them.

So I call on President Abbas: you have a choice to make. You can continue to stoke hatred as you did today or you can finally confront hatred and work with me to establish peace between our two peoples.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I hear the buzz. I know that many of you have given up on peace. But I want you to know – I have not given up on peace.

I remain committed to a vision of peace based on two states for two peoples. I believe as never before that changes taking place in the Arab world today offer a unique opportunity to advance that peace.

I commend President El-Sisi of Egypt for his efforts to advance peace and stability in our region.

Israel welcomes the spirit of the Arab peace initiative and welcomes a dialogue with Arab states to advance a broader peace. I believe that for that broader peace to be fully achieved the Palestinians have to be part of it.

I’m ready to begin negotiations to achieve this today – not tomorrow, not next week, today.

President Abbas spoke here an hour ago. Wouldn’t it be better if instead of speaking past each other we were speaking to one another?

President Abbas, instead of railing against Israel at the United Nations in New York, I invite you to speak to the Israeli people at the Knesset in Jerusalem. And I would gladly come to speak to the Palestinian parliament in Ramallah.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

While Israel seeks peace with all our neighbors, we also know that peace has no greater enemy than the forces of militant Islam. The bloody trail of this fanaticism runs through all the continents represented here.

It runs through Paris and Nice, Brussels and Baghdad, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Minnesota and New York, from Sydney to San Bernardino. So many have suffered its savagery: Christian and Jews, women and gays, Yazidis and Kurds and many, many others.

Yet the heaviest price, the heaviest price of all has been paid by innocent Muslims. Hundreds of thousands unmercifully slaughtered. Millions turned into desperate refugees, tens of millions brutally subjugated. The defeat of militant Islam will thus be a victory for all humanity, but it would especially be a victory for those many Muslims who seek a life without fear, a life of peace, a life of hope.

But to defeat the forces of militant Islam, we must fight them relentlessly. We must fight them in the real world. We must fight them in the virtual world. We must dismantle their networks, disrupt their funding, discredit their ideology. We can defeat them and we will defeat them. Medievalism is no match for modernity. Hope is stronger than hate, freedom mightier than fear.

We can do this.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Israel fights this fateful battle against the forces of militant Islam every day. We keep our borders safe from ISIS, we prevent the smuggling of game-changing weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, we thwart Palestinian terror attacks in Judea and Samaria, the West Bank, and we deter missile attacks from Hamas-controlled Gaza.

That’s the same Hamas terror organization that cruelly, unbelievably cruelly refuses to return three of our citizens and the bodies of our fallen soldiers, Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin. Hadar Goldin’s parents, Leah and Simcha Goldin, are here with us today.

They have one request – to bury their beloved son in Israel. All they ask for is one simple thing – to be able to visit the grave of their fallen son Hadar in Israel. Hamas refuses. They couldn’t care less.

I implore you to stand with them, with us, with all that’s decent in our world against the inhumanity of Hamas – all that is indecent and barbaric. Hamas breaks every humanitarian rule in the book, throw the book at them.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The greatest threat to my country, to our region, and ultimately to our world remains the militant Islamic regime of Iran. Iran openly seeks Israel’s annihilation. It threatens countries across the Middle East, it sponsors terror worldwide.

This year, Iran has fired ballistic missiles in direct defiance of Security Council Resolutions. It has expended its aggression in Iraq, in Syria, in Yemen. Iran, the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism continued to build its global terror network. That terror network now spans five continents.

So my point to you is this: The threat Iran poses to all of us is not behind us, it’s before us. In the coming years, there must be a sustained and united effort to push back against Iran’s aggression and Iran’s terror.

With the nuclear constraints on Iran one year closer to being removed, let me be clear: Israel will not allow the terrorist regime in Iran to develop nuclear weapons – not now, not in a decade, not ever.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I stand before you today at a time when Israel’s former president, Shimon Peres, is fighting for his life. Shimon is one of Israel’s founding fathers, one of its boldest statesmen, one of its most respected leaders. I know you will all join me and join all the people of Israel in wishing him refuah shlemah Shimon, a speedy recovery.

I’ve always admired Shimon’s boundless optimism, and like him, I too am filled with hope. I am filled with hope because Israel is capable of defending itself, by itself, against any threat.

I am filled with hope because the valor of our fighting men and women is second to none. I am filled with hope because I know the forces of civilization will ultimately triumph over the forces of terror. I am filled with hope because in the age of innovation, Israel – the innovation nation – is thriving as never before. I am filled with hope because Israel works tirelessly to advance equality and opportunity for all its citizens: Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, everyone. And I am filled with hope because despite all the naysayers, I believe that in the years ahead, Israel will forge a lasting peace with all our neighbors.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am hopeful about what Israel can accomplish because I’ve seen what Israel has accomplished.

In 1948, the year of Israel’s independence, our population was 800,000. Our main export was oranges. People said then we were too small, too weak, too isolated, too demographically outnumbered to survive, let alone thrive.

The skeptics were wrong about Israel then; the skeptics are wrong about Israel now.

Israel’s population has grown tenfold, our economy fortyfold. Today our biggest export is technology – Israeli technology, which powers the world’s computers, cellphones, cars and so much more.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The future belongs to those who innovate and this is why the future belongs to countries like Israel. Israel wants to be your partner in seizing that future, so I call on all of you: Cooperate with Israel, embrace Israel, dream with Israel. Dream of the future that we can build together, a future of breathtaking progress, a future of security, prosperity and peace, a future of hope for all humanity, a future where even at the UN, even in this hall, Israel will finally, inevitably, take its rightful place among the nations.

Thank you.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu to UN General Assembly: Road to Peace Runs Thru Jerusalem, Ramallah [video]

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu devoted the lion’s share of his speech at the United Nations General Assembly to his vision of a future in which “someday” Israel will be accepted by the “nations of the world.”

JewishPress.com brings you a video of the prime minister’s address in its entirety, courtesy of the United Nations website.

But one of his first declarations was to acknowledge a debt of gratitude and to reiterate Israel’s loyalty to the United States, “the most generous nation on earth.” He said the two nations have an “unbreakable bond that transcends parties and politics” and said he is “deeply grateful” for America’s “consistent support for Israel at the UN,” — perhaps also an extra bit of insurance against any ninth hour actions by outgoing President Barack Obama. It was, he reminded, Obama who declared, “peace will not come from statements and resolutions.”

Any bright future with Israel working together with its Arab neighbors, he said, would require Palestinian Authority leaders to wake up and join today’s reality, rather than continue to wallow in its love of hate. The automatic majority against Israel that the PA has recruited in its campaign to win statehood by evading direct final status negotiations, will ultimately prove useless, he explained.

“Yes, I know, there might be a storm before the calm. I know there is talk about ganging up on Israel at the UN later this year. Given its history of hostility towards Israel, does anyone really believe that Israel will let the UN determine our security and our vital national interests?

“We will not accept any attempt by the UN to dictate terms to Israel. The road to peace runs through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not through New York.”

Netanyahu also described a day in the life of a boy named “Ali,” walking the hypothetical child through his indoctrination-filled world. He talked about the child’s walk to school past the public monuments named after terrorists who murdered Jews, the curriculum and school events named after terrorists, and the TV, radio and social media programs filled with government leaders promoting murder of Israelis as a worthwhile goal to achieve. He used actual quotes from Palestinian Authority officials — including PA leader Mahmoud Abbas — to make the point.

He added that “Ali’s” mother assured him that if he killed an Israeli and was sent to a prison in Israel, the Palestinian Authority would pay “thousands of dollars” each month to him and the family — “the more Jews he would kill, the more money he would make” — and that when he gets out, the PA would also have a job waiting for him too.

All true, Netanyahu underscored.

He emphasized that it was unrealistic — in fact, impossible — for anyone to expect children raised on such a steady diet of hate to then be able to break free of such brainwashing and suddenly switch gears to “live side by side in peace” with Jewish neighbors.

He warned that the UN obsession with Israel damages the international body far more than it does Israel. “But if UN habits die hard, Palestinian habits die harder,” he said, and pointed to the current lawsuit Abbas said he is filing against the United Kingdom, over the Balfour Declaration.

“Talk about being stuck in the past,” Netanyahu said. Come to think of it, why not a Palestinian class action suit against Abraham for buying that plot of land in Hebron where the fathers and mothers of the Jewish people were buried 4,000 years ago?

“You’re not laughing. It’s as absurd as that. To sue the British government for the Balfour Declaration? Is he kidding? And this is taken seriously here?”

The truth is, the Palestinian Authority conflict with Israel is not based on the issue of settlements, the prime minister said bluntly. It never was. “It’s the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize the Jewish State in ANY boundaries.” He reviewed the entire history of the State of Israel, beginning with the partition plan offered to both sides of the conflict by the international body, which was rejected in 1947 by the Arab side.

“One thing I will never negotiate, ” he thundered, “and that is the right to the one and only Jewish State!! Had the Palestinians said yes to a state in 1947, there would be no conflict, and when they do finally say yes to a Jewish state we will be able to end this conflict once and for all.

“Not only are they trapped in the past, their leaders are poisoning the future,” he added. Netanyahu called on Abbas to work together to establish peace. He said he is willing to sit down with Palestinian Authority leaders “not tomorrow, not next week, TODAY” for direct talks. “Wouldn’t it be better if instead of talking PAST each other, we talked TO each other? he asked.

He invited Abbas to come to Jerusalem to speak to the Israeli Knesset, and said he is willing to go to Ramallah to speak to the Palestinian Authority parliament.

“Many of you have given up on peace,” he told the assembly. “I remain committed to a vision of peace based on two states for two peoples. I believe as never before that changes taking place in the Arab world today offer a unique opportunity to advance that peace. I commend President El-Sisi of Egypt for his efforts to advance peace and stability in our region.

“Israel welcomes the spirit of the Arab peace initiative and welcomes a dialogue with Arab states to advance a broader peace. [But] I believe that for that broader peace to be fully achieved the Palestinians have to be part of it.”

Hana Levi Julian

Obama, Netanyahu Exchange Thoughts About Peace at Final Meeting

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exchanged brief but courteous remarks Tuesday afternoon at their final meeting before Obama leaves office next January.

The two men met at the Palace Hotel in New York City, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly where Obama has already delivered his final address, and where Netanyahu is still expected to speak.

It’s the 17th time the two men have held any conversation since Obama entered office in January 2009, at least a couple less than Obama’s predecessor in the White House had with Israeli leaders during his tenure.

Netanyahu first thanked Obama — as he told media he would — for the $34 billion 10-year U.S. military aid package signed last week with Israel.

Israel will never give up on its attempts to reach a comprehensive peace with its neighbors, he told the American president.

He also said Obama will always be a welcome guest in Israel, and invited him to come and visit after he leaves office.

The U.S. president began his response by saying his thoughts are with former president Shimon Peres, who is still sedated and breathing with the aid of a respirator in the intensive care unit at Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv following a major stroke last week.

Obama then verified that the bond between Israel and the United States is “unbreakable,” and based on “common values.” The United States wants Israel to be secure, Obama said, especially in times of uncertainty.

He therefore could not resist adding his hope that the possibility of a “Palestinian state alongside Israel” would remain alive: specifically, an Israel “at peace with its neighbors and a Palestinian homeland.”

Obama also said he hopes he will hear more about this from Netanyahu when he delivers his speech from the podium of the UN General Assembly.

Obama’s biggest concern regarding Israel clearly remains the issue of “settlement activity” on any land where the Palestinian Authority has laid claim for its hoped-for state, regardless of its actual status.

Hana Levi Julian

88 Senators Asking Obama to Protect Israel from Hostile UN Resolution

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Senators Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) and Michael Rounds (R-SD) have led 88 Senators in a letter urging President Obama to veto one-sided UN resolutions on the Israeli-PA conflict. Anticipating that Obama is planning to embark on a post-election peace push using the UN Security Council, the 88 Democratic and Republican senators are telling the president to curb his enthusiasm.

“At this delicate stage the international community should both provide hope to the parties and avoid taking action that would harm the prospects for meaningful progress,” the Senators’ letter cautions, pointing out that “even well-intentioned initiatives at the United Nations risk locking the parties into positions that will make it more difficult to return to the negotiating table and make the compromises necessary for peace.”

The letter reminds Obama of his own UN envoy Susan Rice, who in 2011 told the UNSC: “It is the Israelis’ and Palestinians’ conflict, and even the best-intentioned outsiders cannot resolve it for them.” It also reminds the president of his own speech at the UN General Assembly, back in September 2011, when he said, “Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians — not us — who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them.”

“We could not agree more with these statements,” the Senators’ letter concludes. “We urge you to continue longstanding US policy and make it clear that you will veto any one-sided UNSC resolution that may be offered in the coming months.”

Now let’s sit back and watch what President Obama does after Nov. 8.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/88-senators-asking-obama-to-protect-israel-from-hostile-un-resolution/2016/09/20/

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