Israel was accused in the United Nations on Friday by Venezuela of preparing a ‘final solution’ for Arabs from the Palestinian Authority.’
“What is Israel planning to do with the Palestinians?” asked Venezuela’s UN Ambassador Rafael Ramirez. “Do the Israelis want the Palestinians to disappear? Is Israel preparing a ‘final solution’ for the Palestinians similar to that which was perpetrated against them?”
Venezuela holds one of the ten rotating seats on the UN Security Council.
Ramirez was present at a meeting of the council where Michael Sfard, a member of the far-left Yesh Din organization, described ‘price tag’ attacks by Israelis against Arab targets and the response by law enforcement.
Sfard suggested that price tag attacks are an attempt by Jews to drive Arabs out of the country. Ramirez asked during his presentation whether the State of Israel had a similar agenda.
The comparison, drawing a link between Israel and Nazi Germany, drew immediate outrage from Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon.
“This statement by the Venezuelan ambassador is straightforward anti-Semitism against the Jewish state,” said Danon,” according to a statement by the Israeli mission to the UN. “His remarks are a direct continuation to the Palestinian representative’s statement a few days ago comparing Israel to the Nazis,” Danon said, adding the remarks were “unequivocally condemned” by the U.S., the UK and France.
Ramirez subsequently apologized to the “Jewish People if they were offended by the remarks,” according to the statement.
“The Palestinians are bringing anti-Semitism into the halls of the UN and are legitimizing racists and crass language in the parliament of nations,” Danon noted.
Last month Palestinian Authority representative to the UN Riyad Mansour drew a parallel between the Jewish resistance fighters during the Holocaust and the Arab attackers in the current wave of terror.
The attempt to compare the two was roundly condemned at the time by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations as “offensive, hateful anti-Semitism.”
Responding to Israeli media reports of Russian fighter jets opening fire at IAF aircraft in Syria’s skies, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday, “I don’t want to comment on the Israeli press. The Israeli press’s reports in this case are far from reality.” Which for someone unwilling to comment on the Israeli press was plenty commenting.
Yediot Aharanot reported last week that Russian fighter jets in Syria had opened fire twice at Israeli aircraft, but did not provide dates and locations of the incidents, nor the sources for the report.
Peskov was asked about the topics discussed during last week’s meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and said that both leaders had focused on Syria and the Middle East as a whole, as well as on bilateral trade and economic cooperation.
“The meeting was very useful and very substantive. It comprised three formats: a narrow-format meeting, negotiations at the level of delegations, and a tete-a-tete talk,” the spokesman explained.
According to Yediot Aharanot, the meeting between Putin and Netanyahu took place even as two separate reports on the Russian fighter jets opening fire on Israeli aircraft were coming in.
Peskov was asked about the Netanyahu cabinet resolution to keep the Golan Heights as an eternal part of the State of Israel, and told reporters, “The Russian position does not change, is in compliance with the corresponding resolutions of the UN Security Council and has no new aspects.”
United Nations Security Council resolution 497, adopted unanimously on December 17, 1981, states that the Israeli Golan Heights Law, which annexed the Golan Heights, is “null and void and without international legal effect,” and called on Israel to rescind its action. The Council requested the secretary-general to report to the Council within two weeks on the implementation of the resolution, and in the event of non-compliance by Israel, the Council would reconvene, not later than January 5, 1982, to discuss further action under the United Nations Charter.
State Dept. Spokesperson John Kirby’s daily press briefing on Thursday touched on the ominous possibility that the Obama Administration will wait until after the November election, so as not to steer Jewish votes away from the Democratic candidate, and then, in a final splash of power, just before going down from the world’s stage, blow up a landmine in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s face and support or fail to veto a UN Security Council resolution creating a Palestinian State and ordering the hasty removal of all Jewish presence on the “wrong” side of the 1967 border.
We redacted and edited the exchange to make it a tad more entertaining. But one can smell the danger hidden in the spokesman’s evasions. Barring divine intervention, the Obama gang is planning to install a Palestinian State and create facts on the ground so that the next Democrat in the White House will have to start from that point, rather than with today’s murky uncertainty.
We join the conversation that’s already in progress…
Reporter: On Security Council resolutions – will you consider either supporting or failing to veto a resolution on settlement activity in the West Bank?
Kirby: …We are very concerned about trends on the ground and we do have a sense of urgency about the two-state solution. We will consider all of our options for advancing our shared objective of lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but I’m not going to comment on a draft Security Council resolution. Okay?
Reporter: What does that mean, we do have a sense of urgency for a two-state solution?
Kirby: It means exactly what it says and what I’ve been saying from the podium here for months and months and months.
Reporter: So you see a sense of urgency to get to a two-state solution?
Kirby: Sure we do. We very much would like to see a two-state solution realized, yes.
Reporter: I don’t understand.
Kirby: I don’t know what’s not to understand about “we have a sense of urgency.”
Reporter: Well, because there’s only, like, eight months left of the Administration. … You had a sense of urgency back in 2009; you had a sense of urgency when Secretary Kerry took over in 2012.
Kirby: So as time gets shorter, we shouldn’t have a sense of urgency?
Reporter: But if you had a real sense of urgency, you would’ve done something already, right?
Kirby: We have consistently had a sense of urgency.
Reporter: Does that mean, when you say you have a sense or urgency about this, that you’re going to try to cram something in that results in a two-state solution by the end of this Administration?
Kirby: I’m not going to hypothesize on future actions, whatever we continue to do or continue to consider, I don’t know that I would say it’s about cramming. It is about trying to move forward in a productive way towards a two-state solution. And as I’ve said before, we also look to the sides to enact the right kind of leadership to get us there, because ultimately it has to be done by them.
Reporter: But you’re not automatically opposed to a UN Security Council resolution that would call for a two-state solution?
Kirby: We’re not going to comment on this informal draft resolution.
Reporter: I’m not asking you to comment on this informal one. I’m saying that if a resolution presented itself that was evenhanded, in your view – not one-sided or biased against Israel – that called for an end of settlements, called for an end of incitement, and also called for the creation of two states, would you automatically oppose?
Kirby: Well, without getting into those provisions that you listed out there and making a judgment about that, I’d go back to what I said before, and that’s we will consider all of our options for advancing a shared objective, a two-state solution.
Reporter: And that would include a resolution?
Kirby: We’ll consider all options to advance a two-state solution.
Reporter: When you spoke of urgency, did you mean that the urgency comes from the possibility that the two states [solution will go] beyond reach?
Kirby: A sense of urgency about the importance of getting to a two-state solution, which has been a consistent point that we’ve made.
Reporter: But there’s a difference between consistency and urgency.
Kirby: What’s the difference?
Reporter: Well, if it’s always urgent, then it’s never more urgent than before.
Kirby: Well, I don’t know that I’d agree with that. Sometimes something can be always urgent and consistently urgent —
Reporter: You sound like a Foreigner song. (Laughter.) … There’s a song called Urgent. Maybe you’re too young to remember —
Kirby: No, I remember that. (Laughter). I know – I remember the song. I didn’t like it.
For the record, here’s the refrain from Foreigner’s memorable ending to Urgent:
“It gets so urgent / So urgent / You know it’s urgent / I wanna tell you it’s the same for me / So oh oh urgent / Just you wait and see / How urgent our love can be / It’s urgent.
“You say it’s urgent / Make it fast, make it urgent / Do it quick, do it urgent / Gotta rush, make it urgent / Want it quick / Urgent, urgent, emergency / Urgent, urgent, emergency / Urgent, urgent, emergency / Urgent, urgent, emergency / So urgent, emergency / Emer… emer… emer… / It’s urgent.”
Reporter: There are those within the President’s party, certainly the former Secretary of State, that say that simply the venue itself is not the place to impose a solution from without. I just want to be clear that you think that, because you’re considering all of your options, you may consider the UN Security Council to be the venue to impose —
Kirby: I don’t – I’m not going to elaborate on my answer to you. I think I’d point you back to what I said before.
Reporter: Let me just follow up on this just for a second, okay? I mean, seeing how time after time you call on the Israelis to refrain from settlement activities, to cease settlement activities, you call them illegal and so on, but in fact they don’t really listen much to what you have to say. So in that case, in that situation, why not have a forum in the United Nations where the world can collectively come up with some sort of a resolution that they all agree on, which is the cessation of settlement activities? Why would you be opposed to that? Why can’t you say that you would support this at the United Nations?
Kirby: Again, I’m going to point you back to my original answer, which made it clear we’re not going to comment on a draft resolution that’s only been informally presented in New York, and that, as I said, we’ll consider all of our options to try to get to a two-state solution. So I think I’m just not going to go any further than that, Said. I know that’s not satisfying for you, but that’s really where we are right now.
(The conversation we refer to starts around min. 43:50)
Citing unnamed sources, the UK-based Al-Hayat publication reported Thursday that the United States and Russia have come to an agreement over the thorny issue of what to do about Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.
According to the report, the two world leaders have agreed on a way to end the years-long civil war with a political solution that allows Assad to find refuge in another country.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has allegedly already informed his Arab counterparts about the deal, which was welcomed by members of the UN Security Council.
However, the source stressed, “the timing of the move and its political context are still not clear.”
The news follows by one day a statement by the embattled Syrian president in which he opined that it would not be difficult to agree on a new Syrian government with opposition figures. That was a statement roundly denounced by the said opposition figures, who responded bluntly that no administration would be legitimate while Assad remained in office.
“What Bashar al-Assad is talking about has no relation to the political process,” said George Sabra of the UN High Negotiations Committee.
White House spokesperson Josh Earnest also rejected the idea. “I don’t know whether he envisioned himself being a part of that national unity government. Obviously that would be a nonstarter for us,” Earnest told media.
At a conference in Geneva, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on countries Wednesday to increase global solidarity and resettle nearly half a million refugees in the next three years. Only three countries responded to the appeal: Italy, Sweden and the United States.
Physical damage to infrastructure in Syria has been estimated by the UN at $90 billion, with an additional $169 billion in accumulated losses due to a collapse in the GDP, reaching less than half of its level in 2011.
The “Quartet” comprised of the United Nations, European Union, Russia and the United States is forming a new plan to revive the moribund Israel-Palestinian Authority peace process.
UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process Nicolai Mladenov told media at a news conference in New York on Wednesday the Quartet plans to issue an analysis of the obstacles to a final two-state solution. Included in the report will be recommendations on how to advance the process.
Mladenov is to brief the UN Security Council Thursday on the situation in the Middle East, including the current status of reconstruction efforts in Gaza.
Work on the analysis of the obstacles to peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority has already begun, according to Mladenov. He said the Quartet is seeking input from Israel as well as the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, “to produce a good assessment,” Xinhua reported.
He added the report, to be completed by the end of the summer, will be used to inform the international body and consolidate consensus on a two-state solution “as the only viable option.”
Mladenov also told media that 100,000 families in Gaza now have access to construction materials with which to repair and rebuild their homes. In addition, 9,000 new jobs have been created, he said. But infrastructure projects relating to accessing fresh water and electricity are still needed, the envoy noted.
He also claimed that only 35 percent of the $3.5 billion pledged by the United States at the 2014 Cairo conference has been disbursed thus far. Mladenov urged all donors to “make good” on their commitments. Very few of the Arab nations who pledged millions have actually fulfilled those promises.
This White House and its environs were just teasing when the inhabitants of that foggy realm said they were stepping back from trying to arm wrestle the inhabitants of the Middle East into creating another terrorist state and undermine the only vibrant democracy in the area. Yes, the news is now out: yet another Arab-Israeli “peace process” plan is in the works, as reported in a news story posted late Monday, March 7, in the Wall Street Journal.
This one, the White House threatens, may involve a United Nations Security Council Resolution that will impose a solution, rather than the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs working out the details of how they will co-exist “side by side in peace and security.”
In addition to a UN Security Council Resolution, other initiatives may include a presidential speech and a joint statement from the Middle East Quartet: the U.S., the U.N., the E.U and Russia. Sound friendly? It’s not clear which is scarier: another speech on the Middle East by President Obama, or his coordinating a joint statement by a larger group of foreigners, none of which includes Israel. But both, not either-or, are being threatened.
The timing for the launch of this new plan is not yet set in stone, but for sure it will be before President Obama leaves office in January.
An earlier JewishPress.com article mentioned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision not to come to Washington later this month, either to attend in person the AIPAC conference or to meet with Obama, as had been requested. It is not hard to imagine Netanyahu seeking to avoid any arm-twisting on such a mission playing a role in his decision not to come to the States at this time.
The White House let it be known that it was disappointed by Netanyahu’s refusal to show up for the meeting, and allowed that it had found out about it by reading the newspaper – the same story it told about Netanyahu’s acceptance of a Congressional invitation to speak about the proposed Iran treaty.
The concessions to be extracted from each side are likely deal-breakers for both: from Israel, an end to building for Jews beyond the 1949 Armistice Line and handing over what the Americans call eastern Jerusalem to the Palestinian Arabs; from the Arabs, recognition of Israel as a Jewish State and ending the call for a “right of return” to Israel for the descendants of Palestinian Arab “refugees.”
No word on whether the Arabs will be asked to stop the non-stop television shows teaching their children how to murder Jews and die a martyr.
Also no word on who will be the one expected to make any promises for the Palestinian Arabs: Mahmoud Abbas, in the eleventh year of his four year term? One of the jihadi leaders from Hamas? Someone who represents all the so-called Palestinian Arab refugees scattered around the Middle East? Details, shmetails.
Of course the only change in circumstances is Mr. Obama beginning his exit, which has no bearing whatsoever on the people whose lives will be impacted by any new effort on his part.
According to the Journal, Obama’s plan is to create facts on the ground that will constrain the next White House occupant. No word in the White House press guidance on why that’s an appropriate task for someone who won’t have to live with whatever problems are created by the latest Obama “peace” initiative.
Ban Ki-Moon had it right when he began his remarks to the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, Jan. 26. In the first session of 2016, Ban said that this new year started the same way that 2015 ended, with “unacceptable violence.”
We’re with you there.
But despite emitting a one sentence acknowledgement of reality – “Stabbings, vehicle attacks, and shootings by Palestinians targeting Israeli civilians – all of which I condemn — and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces, have continued to claim lives,” Moon then proceeded to justify Palestinian Arab terrorism.
It’s the same old tired trope: the “Occupation” leads to “frustration,” the sense of “alienation and despair,” a “potent incubator of hate and extremism,” a “chipping away” at the “ability of Palestinian people to live in dignity.”
So what does Ban suggest to end the terrorism? He called for the “strengthen[ing] of Palestinian institutions, security and economic prospects,” [please note, the Palestinian Arabs are among the world’s largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid] hand over more control of Area C (the sector of the disputed territories where the greatest number of Jews live!) to the Palestinian Arabs; and a “freeze of Israel’s settlement enterprise.” Oh, and everyone should please fulfill their pledges to help rebuild Gaza and Palestinian Arab groups please stop fighting with each other and concentrate instead on Israel.
Just in case you might be wondering where Ban’s sympathies lie, he lays it out clearly. The building of homes for Jews anywhere in the disputed territories, he said, “are an affront to the Palestinian people and to the international community. They rightly raise fundamental questions about Israel’s commitment to a two-state solution.”
Ban went so far as to suggest that Israelis should ignore the ruling by its own Supreme Court – not a hawkish institution by anyone’s (rational) imagination – that land south of Gush Etzion could be used by Jews.
That’s right, the Secretary General of the U.N. told a sovereign people to ignore the ruling of their own Supreme Court. That is unprecedented and unconscionable.
The whole issue is the creation of a Palestinian State. It is not a peace process, it is simply a Palestinian State creation process, and the security of Israel? Yes, of course, if that happens. But make no mistakes about what is the priority.
To be fair, the U.N. Secretary General also chided the Palestinian Arabs. There was one sentence, 21 paragraphs along, in which he “condemned the firing of rockets into Israel from Gaza.” But the remainder of his focus on Gaza was about reconciliation, about encouraging Arab factions in Gaza to work out issues amongst themselves. The better to eat you with, my dear. No, he actually didn’t say that. What he said was that will enable the Palestinian Arabs to work together in a more unified fashion in order to achieve a Palestinian State.
Finally, in paragraph 31, Ban slips in along with his beseeching of all parties to please, oh please quickly create a Palestinian State, a wag of a finger at the Palestinian Arabs. No, not for terrorist acts, but just to remind them that “incitement has no place,” and that “questioning the right of Israel to exist cannot be tolerated.”
In other words, all the evil terrorist acts of the Palestinian Arabs can be understood as the result of the occupation, but stop saying Israel has no right to exist and stop saying (at least in public) that killing Israelis is your right.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response was swift and unequivocal, rejecting Ban’s statement and its premise. Rather than seeking to justify the terrorism of the Palestinian Arabs, the U.N., including its titular head, must recognize that “Palestinian murderers do not want to build a state – they want to destroy a state and they say this openly. They want to murder Jews simply because they are Jews and they say this openly. They do not murder for peace and they do not murder for human rights.”