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October 8, 2015 / 25 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘United Nations General Assembly’

Abbas Wins a Flag but Backs Off from ‘Bomb’ at Half-Empty United Nations

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Mahmoud Abbas informed the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday that he has submitted a request to the Security Council for recognizing the Palestinian Authority as an independent country based on its territorial demands with its capital in Jerusalem.

He also conditioned the Palestinian Authority’s abiding by agreements on Israel’s doing the same, which in his view means agreeing to all demands for a new state based on the Arab world’s terms.

However, the fact that the General Assembly was half-empty symbolizes the decreasing interest in the “Israeli-Palestinian” struggle and is a follow-up to President Barack Obama’s speech earlier this week in which he totally ignored the issue.

Abbas did not drop his threatened “bombshell,” perhaps a direct cancellation of all agreements, after a warning from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to keep his cool. Instead, he spun the yarn that the Palestinian Authority honors all agreements but that Israel does not..

His favorite point was “illegal settlements.” There is no agreement with the Palestinian Authority that Israel will not retain a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, unless negotiations conclude otherwise. But Abbas is relying on U.N. resolutions as “agreements.”

Since he has the support of most of the United Nations and foreign media, he can get away with the semantic trickery.

Abbas referred to Israel as an “occupying power” five times in his 40-minute speech, and he played on theme of the “Holy Land” six times, alleging that the “occupying power” prevents Muslims from worshipping at the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is expected to tell the General Assembly in his speech that the Palestinian Authority is behind vicious incitement on the Temple Mount in an effort to change the status quo and prohibit Jews from the holy site.

Abbas’ speech was filled to the brim with accusations against Israel, which afterwards called the address one of “incitement,” while he acted as the eternal peacemaker.

He rewrote history for a receptive audience and media, stating in part:

We entered those negotiations with open hearts and attentive ears and sincere intentions, and we were ready with our documents, papers and proposals. But the negotiations broke down just weeks after their launch…..

Sincere efforts and endeavors undertaken by international parties were repeatedly wrecked by the positions of the Israeli government, which quickly dashed the hopes raised by the launch of negotiations last September.

Unsurprisingly, Abbas weighed into “settlements.” an issue on which he has the full backing of the Obama administration. He told the United Nations:

Settlement activities embody the core of the policy of colonial military occupation of the land of the Palestinian people and all of the brutality of aggression and racial discrimination against our people that this policy entails.

This policy, which constitutes a breach of international humanitarian law and United Nations resolutions, is the primary cause for the failure of the peace process, the collapse of dozens of opportunities, and the burial of the great hopes that arose from the signing of the Declaration of Principles in 1993 between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel to achieve a just peace that would begin a new era for our region.

He repeated what has become an Arab mantra, totally unsubstantiated by facts, that Israel is conducting “excavations that threaten our holy places, and its military checkpoints prevent our citizens from getting access to their mosques and churches.”

Abbas managed to bring Israeli Arabs under his umbrella, warning that the Israeli government is imposing “new conditions…that will transform the raging conflict in our inflamed region into a religious conflict and a threat to the future of a million and a half Christian and Muslim Palestinians, citizens of Israel.”

His speech exposed the Palestinian Authority strategy of using the original peace agreement with Israel as a basis to demand that all its conditions be met under “negotiations,” which in essence have left nothing to be negotiated.

Abbas recalled that in 1988, “We agreed to establish the State of Palestine on only 22% of the territory of historical Palestine – on all the Palestinian Territory occupied by Israel in 1967.”

Obama’s UN Speech Ignores Israel but Hits Hard at Putin and Assad

Monday, September 28th, 2015

President Barack Obama’s address to the United Nations General Assembly Monday was extraordinary in its total exclusion of Israel and the Palestinian Authority and its hard-hitting attack on the Assad regime in Syria and its ally Russia.

A strong indication that President Obama has finally realized what he and numerous predecessors did not understand was this statement:

There are no simple answers to the changes that are taking place in much of the Middle East and North Africa.

It is not the first time he has said that, but unlike previous speeches, it was not followed up by the usual pie-in-the-sky statements that “Peace is made with enemies.” or “Solving the Israel-Palestinian Authority struggle is the key to bringing peace to the Middle East.

Saeb Erekat, who chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority and is secretary-general of the parent PLO, was extremely disappointed with Obama’s speech. He said:

Does President Obama believe that he is able to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) and terror or bring stability and security to the Middle East by ignoring the continuing Israeli occupation, settlements and the ongoing Israeli attacks on Al Aqsa [the mosque on the Temple Mount]?

Obama’s speech was a resounding “yes” to Erekat.

The “occupation” never was a threat to the Middle East, but the United States foreign policy gurus couldn’t figure that out, even when the Arab Spring rebellions upended stability and brought anarchy, termed by the United States as democracy, to Egypt, Libya, Iraq and other boiling pots in Arab Muslim countries.

Years after the United States ignored ISIS, it has become Public Enemy No. 1 and is being used brilliantly by Russian President Vladimir Putin to justify direct Russian military force in Syria.

When Putin told the United Nations he is fighting the Islamic State, he could have been more accurate, Russia may be the only country fighting ISIS.

The American-led strike force has proven to be pitiful, as the JewishPress.com reported here last week on the American-trained Syrian rebels who betrayed the United States and delivered American weapons to Al Qaeda.

The President verbally attacked ISIS but he was extremely careful to be polite to Islam, stating:

Part of that effort [against ISIS] must be a continued rejection by Muslims of those who distort Islam to preach intolerance and promote violence, and it must also a rejection by non-Muslims of the ignorance that equates Islam with terror.

President Obama mentioned “Israel” zero times in his speech. Ditto for the terms “Palestinian Authority” and Palestine.”

The only time he mentioned “Middle East” was in the context quoted above, that there are no simple solutions.

But he mentioned Syria eight times and Russia 15 times with harsh comments that were nothing short of cold war speech.

For example:

The history of the last two decades proves that in today’s world, dictatorships are unstable.

Consider Russia’s annexation of Crimea and further aggression in eastern Ukraine. America has few economic interests in Ukraine. We recognize the deep and complex history between Russia and Ukraine. But we cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated. If that happens without consequence in Ukraine, it could happen to any nation gathered here today. That’s the basis of the sanctions that the United States and our partners impose on Russia. It’s not a desire to return to a Cold War.

But his speech was remarkably chilly towards Moscow. He flatly stated:

Russia’s state-controlled media may describe these events as an example of a resurgent Russia… And yet, look at the results. The Ukrainian people are more interested than ever in aligning with Europe instead of Russia. Sanctions have led to capital flight, a contracting economy, a fallen ruble, and the emigration of more educated Russians

Imagine if, instead, Russia had engaged in true diplomacy, and worked with Ukraine and the international community to ensure its interests were protected. That would be better for Ukraine, but also better for Russia, and better for the world.

President Obama claimed he does not mind a strong Russia so long as it works with the United States “to strengthen the international system as a whole.”.

That gave him a platform to plow into the Assad regime Putin and Russia’s presence in Syria and ISIS, which he still refers to as ISIL and which he called ” an apocalyptic cult.

President Obama stated:

When a dictator slaughters tens of thousands of his own people, that is not just a matter of one nation’s internal affairs… Likewise, when a terrorist group beheads captives, slaughters the innocent and enslaves women, that’s not a single nation’s national security problem — that is an assault on all humanity.

Putin has taken the military offensive in Syria, giving him a military and political base across from Israel’s northern border. Putin knows that the Muslim Middle East understands only one word – “force” – but Obama dealt with the issue from weakness because without a military presence, the United States has little ammunition except Obama’s oratory.

He told the United Nations:

But while military power is necessary, it is not sufficient to resolve the situation in Syria. Lasting stability can only take hold when the people of Syria forge an agreement to live together peacefully. The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict. But we must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the pre-war status quo.

He could have used that as an excuse to throw in something about the “Israel-occupied Golan Heights,” but he did not.

His speech was remarkable in that it exposed how weak his administration has become in international affairs following the debacles in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, which now is under growing ISIS influence.

American influence had been on the decline for years but accelerated with the inevitable failure of the “peace process.” which was focused on the wrong country and the wrong issue at the wrong time.

Kerry Plays Pollyanna to Zarif’s Machiavelli

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif at the United Nations on Saturday, Sept. 26, in advance of the General Debate of the U.N. General Assembly which opens on Monday.

Why the State Department issued a press release and video of the absolutely content-less exchange is hard to understand. While Kerry appeared to be conciliatory and eager to please, Zarif was completely no-nonsense and uninterested in even the appearance of being conciliatory or cooperative. He had one issue on his mind: having the Iran Deal implemented “in good faith.”

In the extremely brief press availability prior to the meeting, a reporter asked Zarif whether he could imagine cooperating with the U.S. regarding Syria, if the U.S. insists on Assad stepping down, eventually. The second permitted question was directed to Kerry. The Secretary was asked whether he was going to raise the issue of American citizens being held in Iran.

Perhaps no one will be surprised to learn that neither of the questions were answered.

Secretary Kerry was upbeat and positive. He reminded the reporters that this was the first time he and Zarif were meeting since the Nuclear Iran Deal negotiations in Vienna.

Kerry congratulated everyone on all the work that has been done to keep the process moving and on track. Presumably he was talking about the squelching of all efforts to derail the non-signed, non-treaty treaty.

The Secretary also said that there were “a lot of issues to talk about,” but refused to identify or discuss any of them individually. However, he said “I view this week as a major opportunity for any number of countries to play an important role in trying to resolve some of the very difficult issues of the Middle East.”

Kerry said that peace needed to be achieved in the Middle East generally, and specifically mentioned Syria and Yemen, but refused to be any more specific about issues.

With respect to the question regarding American prisoners being held captive by Iran, Kerry said, “We always talk about American citizens with respect to their detainment in any part of the world, and so you can count on the fact that we will have a discussion.”

The two minute press briefing was then turned over to Zarif.

Zarif wasted no time on congratulations to anyone. He made it clear the only interest Iran has is moving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran Deal) to implementation. He said that is his priority and have full, good-faith implementation may relieve “some of the mistrust that has existed over the past many decades.”

Zarif also suggested that there may be fireworks coming regarding Saudi Arabia, which Iran has charged was at fault for the hajj stampede which killed hundreds of people this week.

The problem with Saudi Arabia is the only specific issue he mentioned, but acknowledged there are other problems in the region which need to be addressed at some point.

Text of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Speech at the UN General Assembly [video]

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The following is the text and video of the speech delivered by PM Netanyahu at the United Nations General Assembly on September 29, 2014:

Thank you, Mr. President, Distinguished delegates,

I come here from Jerusalem to speak on behalf of my people, the people of Israel. I’ve come here to speak about the dangers we face and about the opportunities we see. I’ve come here to expose the brazen lies spoken from this very podium against my country and against the brave soldiers who defend it. Ladies and Gentlemen, The people of Israel pray for peace. But our hopes and the world’s hope for peace are in danger. Because everywhere we look, militant Islam is on the march. It’s not militants. It’s not Islam. It’s militant Islam.

Typically, its first victims are other Muslims, but it spares no one. Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Kurds – no creed, no faith, no ethnic group is beyond its sights. And it’s rapidly spreading in every part of the world. You know the famous American saying: “All politics is local”? For the militant Islamists, “All politics is global.” Because their ultimate goal is to dominate the world. Now, that threat might seem exaggerated to some, since it starts out small, like a cancer that attacks a particular part of the body. But left unchecked, the cancer grows, metastasizing over wider and wider areas.

To protect the peace and security of the world, we must remove this cancer before it’s too late. Last week, many of the countries represented here rightly applauded President Obama for leading the effort to confront ISIS. And yet weeks before, some of these same countries, the same countries that now support confronting ISIS, opposed Israel for confronting Hamas. They evidently don’t understand that ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree. ISIS and Hamas share a fanatical creed, which they both seek to impose well beyond the territory under their control.

Listen to ISIS’s self-declared caliph,Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. This is what he said two months ago: A day will soon come when the Muslim will walk everywhere as a master… The Muslims will cause the world to hear and understand the meaning of terrorism… and destroy the idol of democracy. Now listen to Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas. He proclaims a similar vision of the future: We say this to the West… By Allah you will be defeated. Tomorrow our nation will sit on the throne of the world. As Hamas’s charter makes clear, Hamas’s immediate goal is to destroy Israel. But Hamas has a broader objective. They also want a caliphate. Hamas shares the global ambitions of its fellow militant Islamists. That’s why its supporters wildly cheered in the streets of Gaza as thousands of Americans were murdered on 9/11. And that’s why its leaders condemned the United States for killing Osama Bin Laden, whom they praised as a holy warrior. So when it comes to their ultimate goals, Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas. And what they share in common, all militant Islamists share in common: • Boko Haram in Nigeria; • Ash-Shabab in Somalia; • Hezbollah in Lebanon; • An-Nusrah in Syria; • The Mahdi Army in Iraq; • And the Al-Qaeda branches in Yemen, Libya, the Philippines, India and elsewhere.

Some are radical Sunnis, some are radical Shi’ites. Some want to restore a pre-medieval caliphate from the 7th century. Others want to trigger the apocalyptic return of an imam from the 9th century. They operate in different lands, they target different victims and they even kill each other in their quest for supremacy. But they all share a fanatic ideology. They all seek to create ever expanding enclaves of militant Islam where there is no freedom and no tolerance – Where women are treated as chattel, Christians are decimated, and minorities are subjugated, sometimes given the stark choice: convert or die. For them, anyone can be an infidel, including fellow Muslims. Ladies and Gentlemen, Militant Islam’s ambition to dominate the world seems mad. But so too did the global ambitions of another fanatic ideology that swept to power eight decades ago. The Nazis believed in a master race. The militant Islamists believe in a master faith. They just disagree about who among them will be the master… of the master faith. That’s what they truly disagree about. Therefore, the question before us is whether militant Islam will have the power to realize its unbridled ambitions.

There is one place where that could soon happen: The Islamic State of Iran. For 35 years, Iran has relentlessly pursued the global mission which was set forth by its founding ruler, Ayatollah Khomeini, in these words: We will export our revolution to the entire world. Until the cry “There is no God but Allah” will echo throughout the world over… And ever since, the regime’s brutal enforcers, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, have done exactly that. Listen to its current commander, General Muhammad Ali Ja’afari. And he clearly stated this goal. He said: Our Imam did not limit the Islamic Revolution to this country… Our duty is to prepare the way for an Islamic world government… Iran’s President Rouhani stood here last week, and shed crocodile tears over what he called “the globalization of terrorism.” Maybe he should spare us those phony tears and have a word instead with the commanders of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

He could ask them to call off Iran’s global terror campaign, which has included attacks in two dozen countries on five continents since 2011 alone. To say that Iran doesn’t practice terrorism is like saying Derek Jeter never played shortstop for the New York Yankees. This bemoaning of the Iranian president of the spread of terrorism has got to be one of history’s greatest displays of doubletalk. Now, Some still argue that Iran’s global terror campaign, its subversion of countries throughout the Middle East and well beyond the Middle East, some argue that this is the work of the extremists. They say things are changing. They point to last year’s elections in Iran. They claim that Iran’s smooth talking President and Foreign Minister, they’ve changed not only the tone of Iran’s foreign policy but also its substance.

They believe Rouhani and Zarif genuinely want to reconcile with the West, that they’ve abandoned the global mission of the Islamic Revolution. Really? So let’s look at what Foreign Minister Zarif wrote in his book just a few years ago: We have a fundamental problem with the West, and especially with America. This is because we are heirs to a global mission, which is tied to our raison d’etre… A global mission which is tied to our very reason of being. And then Zarif asks a question, I think an interesting one. He says: How come Malaysia [he’s referring to an overwhelmingly Muslim country] – how come Malaysia doesn’t have similar problems? And he answers: Because Malaysia is not trying to change the international order. That’s your moderate.

So don’t be fooled by Iran’s manipulative charm offensive. It’s designed for one purpose, and for one purpose only: To lift the sanctions and remove the obstacles to Iran’s path to the bomb. The Islamic Republic is now trying to bamboozle its way to an agreement that will remove the sanctions it still faces, and leave it with the capacity of thousands of centrifuges to enrich uranium. This would effectively cement Iran’s place as a threshold military nuclear power. In the future, at a time of its choosing, Iran, the world’s most dangerous state in the world’s most dangerous region, would obtain the world’s most dangerous weapons. Allowing that to happen would pose the gravest threat to us all. It’s one thing to confront militant Islamists on pick-up trucks, armed with Kalashnikov rifles. It’s another thing to confront militant Islamists armed with weapons of mass destruction.

I remember that last year, everyone here was rightly concerned about the chemical weapons in Syria, including the possibility that they would fall into the hands of terrorists. That didn’t happen. And President Obama deserves great credit for leading the diplomatic effort to dismantle virtually all of Syria’s chemical weapons capability. Imagine how much more dangerous the Islamic State, ISIS, would be if it possessed chemical weapons. Now imagine how much more dangerous the Islamic state of Iran would be if it possessed nuclear weapons. Ladies and Gentlemen, Would you let ISIS enrich uranium? Would you let ISIS build a heavy water reactor? Would you let ISIS develop intercontinental ballistic missiles? Of course you wouldn’t. Then you mustn’t let the Islamic State of Iran do those things either. Because here’s what will happen: Once Iran produces atomic bombs, all the charm and all the smiles will suddenly disappear. They’ll just vanish. It’s then that the ayatollahs will show their true face and unleash their aggressive fanaticism on the entire world.

There is only one responsible course of action to address this threat: Iran’s nuclear military capabilities must be fully dismantled. Make no mistake – ISIS must be defeated. But to defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war. To defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The fight against militant Islam is indivisible. When militant Islam succeeds anywhere, it’s emboldened everywhere. When it suffers a blow in one place, it’s set back in every place. That’s why Israel’s fight against Hamas is not just our fight. It’s your fight. Israel is fighting a fanaticism today that your countries may be forced to fight tomorrow.

For 50 days this past summer, Hamas fired thousands of rockets at Israel, many of them supplied by Iran. I want you to think about what your countries would do if thousands of rockets were fired at your cities. Imagine millions of your citizens having seconds at most to scramble to bomb shelters, day after day. You wouldn’t let terrorists fire rockets at your cities with impunity. Nor would you let terrorists dig dozens of terror tunnels under your borders to infiltrate your towns in order to murder and kidnap your citizens. Israel justly defended itself against both rocket attacks and terror tunnels. Yet Israel also faced another challenge. We faced a propaganda war. Because, in an attempt to win the world’s sympathy, Hamas cynically used Palestinian civilians as human shields. It used schools, not just schools – UN schools, private homes, mosques, even hospitals to store and fire rockets at Israel. As Israel surgically struck at the rocket launchers and at the tunnels, Palestinian civilians were tragically but unintentionally killed. There are heartrending images that resulted, and these fueled libelous charges that Israel was deliberately targeting civilians.

We were not. We deeply regret every single civilian casualty. And the truth is this: Israel was doing everything to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties. Hamas was doing everything to maximize Israeli civilian casualties and Palestinian civilian casualties. Israel dropped flyers, made phone calls, sent text messages, broadcast warnings in Arabic on Palestinian television, always to enable Palestinian civilians to evacuate targeted areas. No other country and no other army in history have gone to greater lengths to avoid casualties among the civilian population of their enemies. This concern for Palestinian life was all the more remarkable, given that Israeli civilians were being bombarded by rockets day after day, night after night. As their families were being rocketed by Hamas, Israel’s citizen army – the brave soldiers of the IDF, our young boys and girls – they upheld the highest moral values of any army in the world. Israel’s soldiers deserve not condemnation, but admiration. Admiration from decent people everywhere. Now here’s what Hamas did: Hamas embedded its missile batteries in residential areas and told Palestinians to ignore Israel’s warnings to leave. And just in case people didn’t get the message, they executed Palestinian civilians in Gaza who dared to protest. No less reprehensible, Hamas deliberately placed its rockets where Palestinian children live and play. Let me show you a photograph. It was taken by a France 24 crew during the recent conflict. It shows two Hamas rocket launchers, which were used to attack us. You see three children playing next to them.

Hamas deliberately put its rockets in hundreds of residential areas like this. Hundreds of them. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a war crime. And I say to President Abbas, these are the war crimes committed by your Hamas partners in the national unity government which you head and you are responsible for. And these are the real war crimes you should have investigated, or spoken out against from this podium last week. Ladies and Gentlemen, As Israeli children huddled in bomb shelters and Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system knocked Hamas rockets out of the sky, the profound moral difference between Israel and Hamas couldn’t have been clearer: Israel was using its missiles to protect its children. Hamas was using its children to protect its missiles. By investigating Israel rather than Hamas for war crimes, the UN Human Rights Council has betrayed its noble mission to protect the innocent. In fact, what it’s doing is to turn the laws of war upside-down. Israel, which took unprecedented steps to minimize civilian casualties, Israel is condemned.

Hamas, which both targeted and hid behind civilians – that a double war crime – Hamas is given a pass. The Human Rights Council is thus sending a clear message to terrorists everywhere: Use civilians as human shields. Use them again and again and again. You know why? Because sadly, it works. By granting international legitimacy to the use of human shields, the UN’s Human Rights Council has thus become a Terrorist Rights Council, and it will have repercussions. It probably already has, about the use of civilians as human shields. It’s not just our interest. It’s not just our values that are under attack. It’s your interests and your values.

Ladies and Gentlemen, We live in a world steeped in tyranny and terror, where gays are hanged from cranes in Tehran, political prisoners are executed in Gaza, young girls are abducted en masse in Nigeria and hundreds of thousands are butchered in Syria, Libya and Iraq. Yet nearly half, nearly half of the UN Human Rights Council’s resolutions focusing on a single country have been directed against Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East – Israel. where issues are openly debated in a boisterous parliament, where human rights are protected by independent courts and where women, gays and minorities live in a genuinely free society. The Human Rights… (that’s an oxymoron, the UN Human Rights Council, but I’ll use it just the same), the Council’s biased treatment of Israel is only one manifestation of the return of the world’s oldest prejudices.

We hear mobs today in Europe call for the gassing of Jews. We hear some national leaders compare Israel to the Nazis. This is not a function of Israel’s policies. It’s a function of diseased minds. And that disease has a name. It’s called anti-Semitism. It is now spreading in polite society, where it masquerades as legitimate criticism of Israel. For centuries the Jewish people have been demonized with blood libels and charges of deicide. Today, the Jewish state is demonized with the apartheid libel and charges of genocide. Genocide? In what moral universe does genocide include warning the enemy’s civilian population to get out of harm’s way? Or ensuring that they receive tons, tons of humanitarian aid each day, even as thousands of rockets are being fired at us? Or setting up a field hospital to aid for their wounded? Well, I suppose it’s the same moral universe where a man who wrote a dissertation of lies about the Holocaust, and who insists on a Palestine free of Jews, Judenrein, can stand at this podium and shamelessly accuse Israel of genocide and ethnic cleansing.

In the past, outrageous lies against the Jews were the precursors to the wholesale slaughter of our people. But no more. Today we, the Jewish people, have the power to defend ourselves. We will defend ourselves against our enemies on the battlefield. We will expose their lies against us in the court of public opinion. Israel will continue to stand proud and unbowed. Ladies and Gentlemen, Despite the enormous challenges facing Israel, I believe we have an historic opportunity. After decades of seeing Israel as their enemy, leading states in the Arab world increasingly recognize that together we and they face many of the same dangers: principally this means a nuclear-armed Iran and militant Islamist movements gaining ground in the Sunni world. Our challenge is to transform these common interests to create a productive partnership. One that would build a more secure, peaceful and prosperous Middle East. Together we can strengthen regional security. We can advance projects in water, agriculture, in transportation, in health, in energy, in so many fields. I believe the partnership between us can also help facilitate peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Many have long assumed that an Israeli-Palestinian peace can help facilitate a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab World.

But these days I think it may work the other way around: Namely that a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab world may help facilitate an Israeli-Palestinian peace. And therefore, to achieve that peace, we must look not only to Jerusalem and Ramallah, but also to Cairo, to Amman, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and elsewhere. I believe peace can be realized with the active involvement of Arab countries, those that are willing to provide political, material and other indispensable support. I’m ready to make a historic compromise, not because Israel is occupying a foreign land.

The people of Israel are not occupiers in the Land of Israel.

History, archaeology and common sense all make clear that we have had a singular attachment to this land for over 3,000 years. I want peace because I want to create a better future for my people. But it must be a genuine peace, one that is anchored in mutual recognition and enduring security arrangements, rock solid security arrangements on the ground.

Because you see, Israel’s withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza created two militant Islamic enclaves on our borders from which tens of thousands of rockets have been fired at Israel. These sobering experiences heighten Israel’s security concerns regarding potential territorial concessions in the future. Those security concerns are even greater today. Just look around you. The Middle East is in chaos. States are disintegrating. Militant Islamists are filling the void. Israel cannot have territories from which it withdraws taken over by Islamic militants yet again, as happened in Gaza and Lebanon. That would place the likes of ISIS within mortar range – a few miles – of 80% of our population. Think about that. The distance between the 1967 lines and the suburbs of Tel Aviv is like the distance between the UN building here and Times Square. Israel’s a tiny country.

That’s why in any peace agreement, which will obviously necessitate a territorial compromise, I will always insist that Israel be able to defend itself by itself against any threat. Yet despite all that has happened, some still don’t take Israel’s security concerns seriously. But I do, and I always will. Because, as Prime Minister of Israel, I am entrusted with the awesome responsibility of ensuring the future of the Jewish people and the future of the Jewish state. And no matter what pressure is brought to bear, I will never waver in fulfilling that responsibility. I believe that with a fresh approach from our neighbors, we can advance peace despite the difficulties we face.

In Israel, we have a record of making the impossible possible. We’ve made a desolate land flourish. And with very few natural resources, we have used the fertile minds of our people to turn Israel into a global center of technology and innovation. Peace, of course, would enable Israel to realize its full potential and to bring a promising future not only for our people, not only for the Palestinian people, but for many, many others in our region. But the old template for peace must be updated. It must take into account new realities and new roles and responsibilities for our Arab neighbors. Ladies and Gentlemen, There is a new Middle East. It presents new dangers, but also new opportunities.

Israel is prepared to work with Arab partners and the international community to confront those dangers and to seize those opportunities. Together we must recognize the global threat of militant Islam, the primacy of dismantling Iran’s nuclear weapons capability and the indispensable role of Arab states in advancing peace with the Palestinians. All this may fly in the face of conventional wisdom, but it’s the truth.
And the truth must always be spoken, especially here, in the United Nations. Isaiah, our great prophet of peace, taught us nearly 3,000 years ago in Jerusalem to speak truth to power.

לְמַעַן צִיּוֹן לֹא אֶחֱשֶׁה וּלְמַעַן יְרוּשָׁלִַם לֹא אֶשְׁקוֹט עַד-יֵצֵא כַּנֹּגַהּ צִדְקָהּ וִישׁוּעָתָהּ כְּלַפִּיד יִבְעָר.

For the sake of Zion, I will not be silent. For the sake of Jerusalem, I will not be still. Until her justice shines bright, And her salvation glows like a flaming torch.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Let’s light a torch of truth and justice to safeguard our common future.
Thank you.

Netanyahu Arrives in New York, Prepares for UN Speech

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu landed Sunday evening at JFK International Airport in New York, in advance of his address to the United Nations General Assembly, set for Monday.

Netanyahu is scheduled to speak three days after Israel was accused in a speech at the same podium of carrying out a “genocidal crime” in Gaza by Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

The PLO chairman, who also heads the Palestinian Authority unity government and Fatah faction, began his own speech by proclaiming that Israel had chosen to make this year “a year of a new war of genocide perpetrated against the Palestinian people.”

This was presumably a reference to the 50-day counter terror Operation Protective Edge that Israel was forced to carry out in order to silence the endless rocket and missile attacks on southern Israel by Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization.

Abbas went on to bemoan the “Palestine’s beloved martyred children, women and men” and rage against “the colonial occupying Power” that he said was responsible for “a new Nakba.” It was the “racist occupying State” which he said had committed a larger “genocidal crime” in Gaza, displacing “half a million people” from their homes.

He failed to mention that it was the Gazans themselves who were responsible for the deaths — Hamas members who insisted on launching attacks on Israelis from within civilian enclaves, using their relatives and neighbors as human shields and teaching children how to launch rockets too.

Israeli satellite imagery captured shots of the sites from where the rockets and missiles were being launched, and detailed maps have been documented for media and legal experts in the international arena.

“I will tell the truth on behalf of Israel’s citizens to the entire world,” the prime minister said in a statement late Saturday.

“In my UN General Assembly speech and in all of my meetings I will represent the citizens of Israel and will, on their behalf, refute the slander and lies directed at our country.”

Netanyahu is expected to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday.

Obama’s YouTube Wars

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Originally published at Sultan Knish.

Last September, Barack Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly to denounce a YouTube video, calling it “crude and disgusting” and assuring Muslims everywhere that this particular YouTube video did not represent America.
Finally Obama delivered what is surely one of the most famous YouTube negative video comments ever, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

The future is still up for grabs, but the man behind the YouTube video was taken in by a crowd of armed police and locked up earning him the privilege of being one of the few movie producers imprisoned for their movies; alongside Robert Goldstein of  “The Spirit of ’76”.

As YouTube thumbs downs go, a year in jail is pretty harsh. The thumbs of American presidents historically lacked the thumbpotence of Roman emperors sitting in their Coliseum boxes and deciding if a gladiator should live or die. But when a YouTube video is passed off as the biggest national security threat since a Twitter hashtag about Biden’s hairplugs, why shouldn’t Obama take on imperial airs and drop the prison banhammer?

The trailer for a movie about the Muslim persecution of Christians did not actually lead to multiple coordinated attacks by Salafists against American embassies and diplomatic missions.

Unfortunately in an election where the incumbent was running on his claim that he had single-handedly killed Osama bin Laden in an arm wrestling match, it would have been embarrassing to admit that Al Qaeda had pulled off its second worst attack on America since September 11… on September 11.

It was easier to blame it on YouTube.

Last September, a YouTube video was blamed for several acts of war. This September, a war may be fought over a bunch of YouTube videos.

Obama addressed the nation to rally support for his Syrian strikes. As evidence that “chemical weapons were used in Syria” he mentioned the “videos, cell phone pictures, and social media accounts from the attack”.

The message was that if you want Obama’s case for war, go watch it on YouTube. And hope it isn’t as staged as Jimmy Kimmel’s Twerking fail video..

William Randolph Hearst was supposed to have told a reporter, “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war”. Now YouTube and social media furnishes the videos and pictures and Barack Hussein Obama will furnish the war.

Obama didn’t even bother assembling a playlist of the top 10 WMD YouTube videos that will make a case for war; a strange omission for an administration that prides itself as the most tech-savvy organization in the room when it comes to emailing voters and reading their email.

Instead officials boasted about their high-end YouTube watching skills and their “Classified intelligence tools… used to ensure that bodies were not counted twice.” Hopefully at least one of those classified tools involved basic arithmetic.

Traditionally a case for war would be based on some kind of physical evidence, but in this new digital world where no one ever has to do anything in person, except get treated for carpal tunnel syndrome, we can blame wars on YouTube videos and fight wars over YouTube videos.

And if the whole Syrian chemical attack turns out to have been faked by Jimmy Kimmel, at least it will have been the most epic troll ever leading to a flame war with actual flames.

It’s easy to blame Obama for being too lazy to send someone out to Syria to actually check the toe tags instead of clicking through a few videos, marking the WMD box checked and then checking out the trailer for the remake of Robocop.

But it’s not like anyone else has been doing a much better job.

French intelligence released a report confirming a chemical weapons attack by Assad that killed 281 people based in part “on dozens of videos culled by French intelligence services”.

Forget James Bond. Jacques Bond dispenses with the tuxedo, martinis and the Walther PPK and equipped with a Snuggie, a swivel chair and some Hot Pockets assembles a case for war based on his unique skill of video cullings. It really is the ultimate playlist with Europe’s The Final Countdown as the soundtrack. Or maybe Iggy Pop’s Search and Destroy.

When Assad said that the accusations are based “on arbitrary videos posted on the Internet”, he kind of had a point. Or maybe he didn’t. After all they’re based on arbitrary videos posted on the internet and then culled by the crack Le Hot Pockets team at French intelligence and the best YouTube watchers our own intelligence services have to offer.
It’s easy to get confused when building a case for war based on YouTube videos.

France’s Top Secret YouTubers claimed 281 people had been killed. Our own YouTubers appear to have come up with 1,429 since that’s the number that John Kerry has been waving around on any channel willing to give him 5 minutes of airtime.

But maybe our YouTubers just watched the same video 5 times.

Across the channel, UK’s social media spooks claimed 350 dead. Maybe they watched the full video. Doctors Without Borders, which hopefully counted actual bodies instead of URLs, pegged the death toll at 355. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights went up to 502. Even that is only 1/3 of Kerry’s 1,429.

Where does Kerry get his oddly specific 1,429 number from?  No one knows. The Senate Intelligence Committee received 13 videos whose authenticity was verified by that specter known as “the intelligence community”. The intelligence community is a notoriously flexible entity. It usually knows the truth, but sometimes serves other masters.

Back when Obama was determined to blame a movie trailer for the murder of four Americans, the intelligence community, which originally pointed to a terrorist attack, was muscled by Hillary’s people into blaming the dreaded YouTube video in the Benghazi talking points.

Online videos don’t make the best case for war. It’s not just Jimmy Kimmel who can fake viral videos.

Both sides in the Syrian Civil War have filled the internet with viral videos claiming to show the other side using chemical weapons, killing babies and eating with their left hands. There’s a fake suicide bomber auction video being distributed by the regime and a fake government massacre being passed around by the rebels. And those are just some of the more notorious examples.

The pro-regime Syrian Electronic Army is hacking websites and the Syria expert whose Wall Street Journal article claiming that the Syrian rebels were moderate was cited by McCain and Kerry turned out to have faked her academic credentials while working for a Syrian rebel front group.

The best thing to believe about Syria is nothing. Both sides are engaged in epic levels of fakery. And if we are going to bomb Syria, the least we can do is sort through real life evidence.

Obama may begin wars over YouTube videos and blame wars on YouTube videos, but the people who die in those wars are all too real. In his UN General Assembly speech, he mentioned the video seven times, but never once mentioned the names of the two former Navy SEALS who rushed to the rescue.

If the future is to belong to anyone, it should belong to men like them and not to amateur YouTube reviewers who start wars.

Those who live in a virtual world, often forget that the things that matter are real. Wars aren’t really virtual; even if they’re fought with drones and reported on by Twitter accounts. The people who die in them are real and the money used to wage them has to be taken out of the monthly paychecks of families struggling to pay for winter clothing, braces and a home cooked meal.

Obama, like Hollande and Cameron, his leading Syrian War allies, slashed military spending while starting new wars. He cut military paychecks and raised the cost of military healthcare while drastically slashing the armed forces. In a debate, he sneered that objections to his policy of gutting the Navy while expecting it to fight all his wars for him were like so retro.

“We have fewer ships than we did… we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed,” Obama said. The line quickly became a trending Twitter hashtag and inspired YouTube videos; none of which, fortunately, led to jail sentences.

But now it’s not hashtags or YouTube videos steaming toward Syria; it’s Navy ships with not enough of the cruise missiles that Obama would like to fire off. And so the bayonets may have to do.

YouTube videos are great for streaming Obama’s war speeches and finding scapegoats for the terrorist attacks he wants to deny happened, but they don’t fight wars.

Men like Glenn Doherty and Tyrone Woods, who died not because of a YouTube video, but because Obama failed to provide them with armed support while they were fighting for their lives, are the ones that fight them. And they fight with whatever is left to them by a government that tried to blow $250,000 on an Afghan YouTube channel, but didn’t have enough left over to provide security for American diplomats or health care for American soldiers.

Obama is a virtual leader for a virtual nation. He has virtual solutions for all problems, none of which actually work in the real world. He can virtually do anything, but he can’t really do anything except spend fortunes on useless boondoggles in proper Silicon Valley style. Like so many dot coms, he thinks that inspiration is a substitute for a business plan and communications and social media outreach are a substitute for a strategy. They aren’t.

Like so many Silicon Valley dot coms with a huge audience and no profits to show for it, he has gotten away with it because too many are invested in the virtual pyramids of the Arab Spring, along with his other pyramid schemes, to hold him accountable.

But his Syria speech is only another reminder that he doesn’t have a plan for the war. He has a video.

It’s Official: Jew Killers to Be Released in Phase 1 of 2-State Talks

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

To those of us who went into the Shabbat secure in the knowledge that the Arabs have once again saved the day and the peace process negotiations are off—Saturday night held some unpleasant news. First, of course, was the very idea that the talks are on again, seemingly in response to direct, heavy, two-punch pressure from both Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama.

Second is the fact that Israel is giving in on the release of Palestinian prisoners with Jewish blood on their hands. “There will be some release of prisoners,” said Minister of Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz. “I don’t want to give numbers but there will be heavyweight prisoners who have been in jail for tens of years.”

Of course, the reason they’ve been in jail all those years is not because they drove with a broken tail light. It’s because they murdered Jews. Many Jews. Lots and lots of Jewish victims, whose families will now, for the second time in a row under this prime minister, watch the killers go free.

The first time, of course, when more than a thousand Arab murderers were released in exchange for one captured Israeli soldier.

The Palestinians will also give up something: they agreed to postpone their applications to participate in international organizations based on the observer-state status the PLO had won at the United Nations General Assembly last fall.

Just minutes before boarding a plane to fly home, Kerry told reporters that both sides had reached “an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming direct final status negotiations.”

According to the NY Times, the way Kerry got the two sides to agree—Netanyahu to give and Chairman Abbas to take—was by stating that it was Washington that believed peace should be based on an Israeli return to the 67 border, and that Israel is a Jewish state. This way, publicly, both sides still look sufficiently rejectionist, and yet are both able to sit down and talk.

Once again, a significant majority of Israelis who had voted into office a majority right-wing government, today discovered that it’s starting to function as a left-wing government, fewer than six months after the vote.

This kind of betrayal has been practiced by every single right wing government since the day the late Yitzhak Shamir capitulated to a combined American (Bush 1) and European pressure and sent a delegation to the 1991 Madrid Conference. For Prime Minister Netanyahu this is the third time in so many terms: in 1997, after running on an anti-Oslo Agreement platform, Netanyahu handed Hebron and other critical areas to the Palestinians; in 2009, having run on a post-Gush Katif agenda, Netanyahu declared a 10-months settlement freeze; and now, having been elected again as a friend of the settlements—Netanyahu is once again capitulating to the left-wing line.

Is the Israeli right-wing voter suffering from a battered wife syndrome? Why do we keep coming back for more? Is there no Likud leader out there capable of holding on to the supposed Likud values once they get the voter’s nod?

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon has been telling anyone who would listen that he objects to all of the above: no to releasing prisoners before the conclusion of the negotiations, meaning as part of the prize the Palestinians will earn after signing the peace agreement—and not as a “confidence building” measure.

Danon is against a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, because it would endanger the very existence of Israel. He pointed out, in an appearance on Reshet Bet, that Netanyahu has committed to a national referendum on the peace treaty with the PA.

MK Tzahchi Hanegbi, a recent returnee from an 8-year stint with the now defunct Kadima party (certain political animals just don’t go down with the drowning ship) announced that only “older prisoners” would be let go in the initial good will gesture. Of course, the reason they’re in jail is that they’ve kept a whole lot of Jews from growing old, but that’s just too complicated.

Another survivor of the Kadima fiasco, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, also has the special negotiations portfolio in the Netanyahu government. She will be in Washington in a couple of weeks, to personally run the first round of renewed talks. If I were living beyond the green line I’d be doing heavy davening right about now. Unlike Netanyahu and Hanegbi, Tzipi doesn’t event pretend to be a friend of the settlements.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/its-official-jew-killers-to-be-released-in-phase-1-of-2-state-talks/2013/07/20/

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