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October 25, 2016 / 23 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘United Nations’

Israeli UN Envoy: Stop Funding B’Tselem

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Israel’s UN envoy Danny Danon will call on the UN Security Council to suspend UN funding for the anti-Israeli NGO B’Tselem, Israel’s Army Radio reported Wednesday morning. In his speech before a special session of the UNSC on the Middle East, Danon will reveal the funding provided the leftwing NGO by the UN, blaming the latter for orchestrating attacks on Israel through this funding. “It is no coincidence that this specific organization is invited to speak at the UN, to damage the State of Israel,” Danon will tell the special Thursday session.

On a related topic, Danon announced on Tuesday a new “political struggle against aid money which is transferred to Hamas in Gaza.” He noted that intelligence reaching Israeli security forces points to a worrisome increase of humanitarian funds ending up in Hamas hands. “Today we launch a political war against funding Hamas terror infrastructure with money from aid organization,” Danon declared, adding, “We will not rest until the UN and the aid organizations keep track of every dollar being transferred to the Gaza Strip.”

Danon said that he had approached directly the UN secretary-general regarding the creation of control mechanisms to stop the leakage of funds into the hands of Hamas. He also called on international aid organizations to do the same. In recent months, Israeli security forces detained two Arab officials of international aid groups who confessed to diverting tens of millions of dollars in aid money to Hamas. Israel has reported that Hamas invests $110 million annually in constructing terror tunnels, using, among other sources, International aid money.

“We must put an end to the unacceptable phenomenon whereby the international community believes it is funding hothouse construction while, in reality, the money goes to digging tunnels and buying arms,” the envoy said.

At the same time, Danon also praised the forum of donor countries to the Palestinian Authority, whose annual meeting is coming up, saying “Israel welcomes the contribution of these countries to the Palestinian Authority and sees great value in it.”


Netanyahu: UNESCO Rewrites History

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

By Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel

On Friday I spoke with newly elected UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. I shared with him the outrage of all Israelis following Thursday’s UNESCO decision that once again denied the over 3,000 year old connection between the Jewish people and its holiest site in Jerusalem, the Temple Mount. This was the site of Solomon’s Temple described in book of Kings in the Bible. It was the site of the second temple built by Jewish exiles who returned from Babylon some 500 years later. It was this second temple that was refurbished by King Herod and visited by Jesus as recounted in the New Testament.

Decisions like this distort historical truth that Jews, Christians and most of humanity know to be fact. These decisions also do nothing to advance peace. On the contrary, they only fuel the Palestinian fantasy of a Land of Israel with no Israel. They falsely teach Palestinian children that the Jews have no history and no rights here and therefore there’s no need to make peace with them.

Yesterday the United Nations further demonstrated its moral bankruptcy when it comes to Israel.

The Security Council discussed what it calls “Illegal Israeli Settlements.” According to the UN concept paper, the very presence of Jews living in Judea and Samaria, the West Bank, “seriously jeopardizes” the viability of two states.

That claim only makes sense if you ignore thousands of years of Jewish history, as UNESCO did this week.

That claim only makes sense if you accept the anti-Semitic Palestinian demand for a state free of Jews as somehow essential for peace.

Over a million and a half Arabs live in Israel as full citizens. Does their presence constitute a barrier to peace? Of course not. That some Jews live in Judea and Samaria is no more a barrier to peace than that.

No matter how often lies about Israel are repeated, this doesn’t make them true.

The real barrier to peace is not the settlements but the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize a Jewish state in any boundaries.

That’s why the Palestinians attacked the Jews for half a century before there was a single settlement and continued to attack Israel after it dismantled all the settlements and withdrew from Gaza entirely.

The real barrier to peace is the outrageous idea that Jews cannot live in their ancestral homeland and need to be cleansed from it. The real barrier to peace is terrorist regimes like Hamas that launch tens of thousands of missiles at Israeli civilians and call for genocide of all Jews.

But the UN, and the so-called peace groups that testified there on Friday, are too busy denying Jews our rights, spreading lies and distorting history to recognize and condemn the actual barriers to peace.

Until that changes, until the UN drops its double standards towards Israel and stops ignoring Palestinian terror and rejectionism, peace for Israelis and Palestinians will not come from the United Nations any more than security for Israel will come from the Security Council.

I said recently at the UN that there may be a storm before the calm in the coming months. We are in the storm. But I also said that “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.”

It will take some time, but that too will come, when most of nations of the world will decide to stop using the UN as a platform for lies and hate and it will reclaim its noble mandate to advance truth and peace.

Jewish Press News Briefs

B’Tselem Rejects Criticism, Says UN Session Not Stacked Against Israel

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

by Andrew Friedman The B’Tselem human rights watchdog said in a statement Thursday that organization Director General Hagai El-Ad would address the issue of settlement construction at a special session of the UN Security Council this Friday (Oct. 14), but an organization spokesman said the group’s appearance at the world body was not a political move.

The session, “Illegal Israeli Settlements: Obstacles to Peace and Two-State Solution“, was initiated by the delegation from the Palestinian Authority and will be co-chaired by Angola, Egypt, Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela.

The leftist Peace Now organization was also scheduled to speak, but has reportedly backed out at the last minute, according to a report posted by Ha’aretz.

B’Tselem’s spokesman Amit Gilotz told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) the session will not recommend concrete policy decisions. But Israeli diplomatic sources are concerned that the hearing could be a first step towards a full-fledged Security Council resolution denouncing Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, possibly to be supported by the United States before U.S. President Barack Obama leaves office in January.

In a news release ahead of the appearance, B’Tselem said El-Ad will stress that “after almost half a century of Israeli military control over millions of people, the occupation is only deepening, while the settlements – one of the main reasons for daily violations of Palestinians’ human rights – continue to expand. Under these circumstances, it would be unreasonable to consider the occupation temporary or to believe that Israel intends to change this reality in the foreseeable future.”

But when asked how El-Ad’s appearance in a political setting could be considered “non-political,” Gilotz said that the group’s testimony is intended to get the international community to act, but he stopped short of specific policy recommendations.

“We don’t give instructions, we don’t make suggestions of what they should do. For that, there are politicians and statesmen,” Gilotz said. “The idea is to encourage the international community to stop accepting the violations of human rights and international law that Israel is committing.”

Reaction from the Israeli political stage to the announcement of El-Ad’s upcoming testimony came quickly. Israel’s permanent representative to the UN, Danny Danon, slammed the decision to appear at the meeting, calling it “diplomatic terrorism against Israel.”

MK Ofir Akunis (Likud) was less subtle, invoking a 2nd century prayer asking God to ensure that Jewish spies not be able to harm the Jewish people.

Further to the middle of the political spectrum, Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid described the group’s participation as “a declaration of divorce” from Zionism.

Gilotz was unmoved by the criticism. Asked whether B’tselem’s appearance could be interpreted as part of a wider anti-Israel move, Gilotz said only that he could not comment on a speculative suggestion. But he stressed that a UN session initiated by the Palestinian Authority delegation is not necessarily stacked against Israel.

“The UN is the body that gave its stamp of approval to the State of Israel, and in general Israel enjoys excellent relations with the international community. And her desire to be considered one of the enlightened, democratic countries means we have to also maintain certain standards that we are not maintaining at the moment,” Gilotz concluded.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

PM Netanyahu : UNESCO Resolution is ‘Theater of the Absurd’

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the UNESCO resolution passed Thursday rejecting Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Speaking at a Bible study gathering at his home, the prime minister urged the members of UNESCO to go visit the Arch of Titus, and “see for themselves” which treasures were plundered during the destruction of the Second Holy Temple in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago.

“The UNESCO theater show continues,” Netanyahu said. “Today it took a ridiculous decision denying the connection between the Jewish people and the Western Wall. It’s like saying that the Chinese have no connection to the Great Wall of China and the Egyptians have no connection to the pyramids,” he said. “What’s next?”

The Western Wall was referred to as Al Buraq Plaza in the resolution, with its Hebrew name, the Kotel, in quotation marks only. UNESCO didn’t even bother to do that with the Temple Mount, referring to it only in Arabic as ‘Haram a-Sharif’ and Al Aqsa Mosque.’ The move clearly promotes the site solely as one sacred to Muslims alone, denying any sanctity or connection to Jews or Christians.

A line acknowledging recognition of Jerusalem “and its walls” as holy to the three monotheistic faiths, beginning with Islam, then Christianity, and finally Judaism, reveals the cunning of the Palestinian Authority attempt to “balance” its resolution so as to avoid the appearance of outright anti-Semitism, but fails to do the job.

The UNESCO vote was passed with a vote of 24 to 6, with 26 abstentions and 2 absences. Voting against the resolution were: the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Britain, Estonia and Lithuania.

“This resolution flies in the face of, among other things, science as recent archeological excavations, notably in the City of David, have revealed incontrovertible, physical evidence that reaffirms Jewish and Christian ties to the holy city of Jerusalem,” wrote Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida) in a letter they wrote together, calling on the U.S. government to do what it could to block passage of the resolution.

U.S. Representative Ted Deutch of South Florida, meanwhile, tweeted the UNESCO vote dangerously seeks to rewrite Jerusalem’s Jewish and Christian history.

An official at the White House told the Jerusalem Post said a response to the letter was in the works.

“The recurring highly politicized use of the UNESCO Executive Board meetings only further underscores the urgent need for the United States to restore its leadership at UNESCO, which has been considerably undercut since the United States ceased funding UNESCO in 2011,” said the official.

Hana Levi Julian

Rivlin: UNESCO “Humiliating Itself” if it Approves Resolution Denying Jewish Ties to Jerusalem

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said Thursday that United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will “humiliate itself” if the world body approves, as expected, a draft resolution denying Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and other holy sites in Jerusalem.

“No forum in the world can come and say there is no connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem,” Rivlin said. “A body that does so is simply humiliating itself. History cannot be changed.”

UNESCO is scheduled to vote Thursday on a Palestinian Authority initiative condemning Israel for its conduct in and around Jerusalem’s Old City and denying Jewish ties to the city’s holy sites. The group is also expected to approve another anti-Israel resolution filed by the PA during the UNESCO Executive Board convention in Paris on October 23-25.

The resolution focuses on the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site and Islam’s third holiest, and contains no reference to the compound’s holiness to Jews. The draft refers to it the Mount only by its Muslim name, al-Haram al-Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary. Even the Western Wall, an iconic Jewish site, is mentioned in the resolution mainly by its Arabic name, al-Buraq Plaza.

The resolution also denies any Christian connection to the sites and to the Old City, describing them as holy to Muslims only.

Both UNESCO and the Israel Antiquities Authority refused on Thursday to comment on the expected resolution, citing political reasons, but a slew of Israeli politicians slammed the expected approval. MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) called it “a shameful resolution meant to pressure Israel and erase the proven historical ties between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount and Western Wall,” adding that “our political status has never been worse.”

In the United States, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx) and Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fl) led a bipartisan effort criticizing UNESCO for trying to “delegitimize Israel.”

“Numerous archaeological excavations have uncovered a myriad of antiquities that scientifically prove the historical connection of all three religions to Jerusalem, such as the discovery of the Pool of Siloam or the restoration of floor tiles of the Second Temple in the City of David,” read the letter. “Yet, this resolution seems to prioritize the Muslim heritage of the Old City, while diminishing the ties of either of the other religions,” said the letter, signed by 39 Republicans and Democrats.

“The United Nations’ obsessive hostility towards Israel will be on display yet again this week,” added Cruz. “This resolution flies in the face of, among other things, science as recent archaeological excavations, notably in the City of David, have revealed incontrovertible, physical evidence that reaffirms Jewish and Christian ties to the holy city of Jerusalem. Members of the UNESCO Executive Board should vote against this intentional campaign to deny these historical truths, rewrite the history of Jerusalem, and delegitimize Israel.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Dore Gold Resigns as Director-General of the MFA

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Director-General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Dore Gold has just resigned, citing personal reasons, according to Israeli sources.

Gold said, “I thank the Prime Minister for the trust given to me and I will continue to make myself available for any mission imposed on me in the future.
The Foreign Ministry General-Director role was a personal and professional summit in which I served on the diplomatic front.
I am grateful for the professional and dedicated employees of the Foreign Ministry, together with them we were led to Israel’s diplomatic struggles. During my service as Director-General, we had a boom in foreign relations led by the Prime Minister.
I feel proud of being a partner in this.
I wish great success to my replacement”

PM Netanyahu thanked Gold for his contributions in strengthening Israel’s political position in the world, including in Africa and the Middle East.

Gold is a close associate of Prime Minister Netanyahu and they have worked together for the past 25 years.

From 1997 to 1999, Gold served as the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations.

From 2000, he served as the president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

In May 2015, Netanyahu appointed him as Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the time Gold agreed to serve a maximum of 6 months.

He was born in 1953 in Hartford, Connecticut, in the United States, and now lives in Jerusalem with his wife and children.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Before Yom Kippur, Israelis Pray for Syrian Neighbors

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

Hundreds of Israelis gathered across the country on Monday to pray for the welfare of their Syrian neighbors the night before the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur. Prayer rallies were held in nine different locations including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Pardes Hanna, Beer Sheva, Tekoa, Ariel, Ma’ale Gilboa, and the Golan Heights, where shofars were sounded in solidarity.

According to UN estimates, over 400,000 Syrians have been killed in the past five years of civil war, including some 50,000 children according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Event organizer, Einat Kramer, 39, of the Galilee told TPS that a recent news report on Syria spurred her to organize the prayer gatherings. “I recently saw a news report that showed two Syrian children crying,” said Kramer.

“There was something about their crying that reminded me of the sound of the shofar [ram’s horn] that we just heard in the synagogue on Rosh Hashana. After seeing how the war has caused such terrible suffering for the Syrian people, I felt that during these holy days I had to something for our neighbors.”

Kramer said the nation-wide prayer rally was organized in less than five days. Volunteers across the country responded to Kramer’s Facebook posts and began planning prayer rallies in different locations.

“There was an overwhelming response. All the different sectors of Israeli society took part – from Orthodox Jewish volunteers in Jerusalem to the Reform movement in Tel Aviv, along with musicians, rabbis, and professors who took on active roles in the gatherings – leading the calls to wake up the world to the dire situation in Syria,” said Kramer, who describes herself as social activist.

“The one thing we can do is pray for the Syrian people and not ignore what’s happening. We cannot allow the tragedy facing our neighbors to continue quietly,” added Shivi Froman, 36, another event organizer. Froman is the son of the late peace activist, Rabbi Menachem Froman of Tekoa in Gush Etzion.

“The human catastrophe in Syria keeps getting worse. The world cannot accept the slaughter of innocents and I hope our prayers open the gates of heaven tonight,” Froman told TPS.

Despite the terrorist attack that shook Jerusalem on Sunday, which left two Israelis dead and six injured, over one hundred people attended the prayer rally overlooking the walls of the Old City in Mishkenot Sha’ananim. One elderly religious couple, Gal and Uri Kaplun told TPS that they felt it was important to attend the event. “For us, this is about Jewish values and sharing our empathy for others through praying,” said Gal Kaplun.

Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/before-yom-kippur-israelis-pray-for-syrian-neighbors/2016/10/11/

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