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July 23, 2016 / 17 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘United Nations’

Netanyahu to Ban: Help Bring Israelis Back from Gaza, Rectify UN Bias

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and soon-to-be outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon faced a daunting agenda Tuesday (June 28) for their meeting in Jerusalem.

The two leaders met with journalists ahead of their afternoon talks, with Netanyahu using the opportunity to call on Ban to rectify the ever-present UN bias against Israel, and also to exert his influence to force Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorists to return its Israeli hostages to their families.

The latter has in particular taken center stage in Israeli politics in recent days as Turkey closed a deal this week with Jerusalem to renew its diplomatic ties on condition it would be allowed to rebuild the electric and water infrastructure in Gaza, as well as intervene with Israel for the terrorist-run enclave when there are security matters to discuss.

Not all of the Netanyahu government cabinet was in agreement with the deal that restored the ties between Israel and Turkey (but has yet to be signed, in July.)

Netanyahu also said that it’s time for the United Nations to end its biased treatment of Israel, and asked Ban to be the one to rectify that situation in his remaining six months in office.

“I remember well when you came in Israel in 2013 you said that Israel and the Israeli people face some bias,” Netanyahu said.

“That’s an understatement,” he went on. “But you also said that Israel must be treated equally at the UN. I appreciate your candor and this clear moral stance. It was exemplified in your efforts to secure the final Palmer report which was very important for Israel, and Mr. Secretary, I appreciate your personal efforts in that particular instance.

“Regrettably, the goal of treating Israel fairly remains unfulfilled across a wide spectrum of UN activities and UN forums. Your visit here comes as the UN Human Rights Council is meeting. As it always does, the Council will condemn Israel, a country that does more to promote and protect human rights and liberal values than any other in the blood soaked Middle East.

“Our progressive democracy has faced more country-specific resolutions, more country-specific condemnations at the UN Human Rights Council than all the other countries combined. And I believe this is a profound betrayal of the United Nations noble mandate.

“So today I want to echo your words from 2013, Israel still faces bias at the UN.I know that your desire for all countries to be treated fairly and equally remains true today. I urge you to dedicate your last six months as the Secretary General of the United Nations in trying to right this wrong. And when I say that, it’s not just for Israel’s sake. It’s for the credibility of the UN.

“If you can unfairly and in a bias way single out a country and apply to it what I call the ‘Ostracon rule’ – which is just decide to kick them out – just decide to brand them as criminal or whatever, you can apply that same principle to any other country, and this served as the downfall of the Athenian assembly, the first such body on which all of our parliaments and the UN itself is modeled after.

“I believe that this Ostracon problem, the singling out of Israel and the unfair treatment that it receives is a palpable threat to the future of the UN and not just for the interests of our country.”

In addition to his focus on the bias against Israel, however, the prime minister pressured Ban on helping the Jewish State retrieve its citizens and soldiers from Gaza. In connection with this issue, Netanyahu has faced intense opposition from coalition members on the newly-closed deal to renew diplomatic ties with Turkey. The ministers point to the fact that Israeli hostages are still being held by Hamas in Gaza; two live captives, and the kidnapped bodies of two killed IDF soldiers from the 2014 Operation Protective Edge. Those who oppose the agreement say Turkey should pressure its beneficiary, Hamas, to return the hostages before any deal is signed.

Hana Levi Julian

PM Netanyahu Explains His Turkey Deal While Visiting in Rome

Monday, June 27th, 2016

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Monday, 27 June 2016), issued the following statement at his press conference in Rome:

“Israel has reached an agreement of strategic importance for the State of Israel, for security, for regional stability and for the Israeli economy. As Prime Minister of Israel, it is my responsibility to be concerned with its strategic interests, to take a broad and long-term view, based on an understanding of the international arena as well as of our security and economic needs, at present and in the future.

Last night and this morning, I spoke with US Secretary of State John Kerry. Last night I spoke with US Vice President Joe Biden and have spoken just now with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Of course, they all welcomed the agreement. They think that it will greatly strengthen the State of Israel and its position in the region. Of course, the US says this based on that same strong and fundamental alliance that is a cornerstone of our international relations. But we know that we need to add centers of stability. The world and the Middle East are in turmoil and my policy is to create centers of stability in this unstable and stormy region.

We are doing so with our close neighbors, Arab countries. We are doing so with Greece and Cyprus. We are doing so with Russia. We are also doing so with Turkey. Of course, we are doing all of this in full coordination with our greatest ally, the United States. This is part of a clear strategy, to create centers of stability in the stormy Middle East. Now, Israel and Turkey are two major powers in the region and the break between us is not good for our vital interests and prevents us from cooperating in those instances, and there are more than a few, in which cooperation is warranted.

The first thing in this agreement is protection for IDF commanders and soldiers from criminal and civil claims, both those being prosecuted now and those that might be prosecuted in the future. As of now there are very many such claims and their scope is increasing; they could reach many millions of dollars and prevent the free movement of our soldiers, their freedom of activity – all of this is cancelled. The agreement will ensure that our soldiers and commanders will not be exposed to claims by Turkey. Moreover, the agreement also stipulates that the Turkish parliament will pass a law cancelling all of these processes in Turkey.

The second thing that this agreement gives is maintaining the maritime security blockade of the Gaza Strip. This is our supreme security interest; I was not prepared to compromise on it. This interest is vital to prevent the strengthening of Hamas and it remains as it has been. Of course, we are allowing ships to dock at Ashdod port and unload civilian and humanitarian cargoes there for the Gaza Strip. We have never prevented this, of course, and we are making it possible now.

The third thing that this agreement does, along with maintaining the security arrangement, is to allow for dealing with humanitarian issues in the Gaza Strip, subject to Israel’s security procedures and considerations. I would like to explain that beyond the humanitarian consideration, this is also an outstanding interest of Israel’s, especially in two areas – water and electricity. Water: When there is not enough water in Gaza, and Gaza is in the process of gradually drying up, the aquifers become polluted and when the aquifers become polluted, this is not limited to the Gaza side of the aquifer but also passes over to the aquifer on our side. Therefore, it is in Israel’s clear interest to deal with the water problem in the Gaza Strip. Electricity: When there is not enough electricity, various problems arise, including those having to do with sanitation, and when there are outbreaks, the outbreaks do not stop at the fences. This is both a humanitarian interest and an outstanding Israeli interest. Therefore, we are allowing these infrastructures to be dealt with. Just like other countries, from Norway to Arab states, so too will Turkey be able to help on this matter. Of course, we will hold discussions with Turkey on these issues.

An additional thing that the agreement gives is a commitment to prevent all terrorist or military activity against Israel from Turkish soil, including collecting funds for these purposes. This is an important – even primary – commitment that we have not had up until now.

In addition, we received a letter according to which the President of Turkey has instructed the relevant Turkish agencies to assist in every way in returning the prisoners and MIAs on a humanitarian basis. I understand the suffering of the families. I speak with them and I know what they are going through, and I would like to assure them: I promise you, members of the families, I promise you that we will not stop and we will not rest until we bring the boys back home. This is a personal, national and moral commitment. I think that the letter which accompanies the agreement gives us another tool to use in this holy work.

Also, this agreement requires Turkey to assist Israel in entering into all international organizations that Turkey is a member of. Now, we have already had one case before the signing which is very important from our point-of-view and it is based on goodwill, and this is Turkey dropping its opposition to Israel establishing a NATO office. Israel is now working to open an office with NATO; this has been a goal of ours for many years and it is being realized.

I would like to touch on an additional point, which I think is critical, and this is in the economic sphere. This agreement opens the way to cooperation on economic and energy matters, including the gas issue. Gas is so important and contains the possibility of strengthening the Israeli economy and state coffers with vast capital. But the gas issue is composed of several things: One, extracting it from the sea and we have dealt with this; I will not go into detail on this issue here. But the second thing is creating markets for the gas that we are extracting from the sea. I remind you that 60% of every shekel that comes out of the sea goes to the state treasury. These are vast sums but we need markets. Leviathan could supply both the Egyptian market that we intend to work with and also the Turkish market as well as the supply of gas through Turkey to Europe, and this is a strategic issue for the State of Israel. This could not have come sooner without this agreement and now we will work to advance it.

I updated the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, Cyprus, Greece, Russia and, of course, our American friends, on this development. We updated them on every aspect that we focused on in this agreement. This took a lot of time, including recently. But I would like to update you on something: There are two people here who worked very hard on this matter. I would like to thank Yaakov Nagal from the National Security Council, who did very loyal – and I must say quiet – work. I would also like to thank someone who, not for the first time, has aided the State of Israel, and he has done exceptional work, Yossi Ciechanover. Yossi did marvelous work dealing with the Palmer report in wake of the Marmara incident. He dealt with it, the results are known, one of the few cases in which Israel came out on top in a UN report, and this was greatly due to Yossi. Yossi worked diligently on this agreement and I want to offer him the heartfelt gratitude of the citizens of the State of Israel. Thank you to you both.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

Obama Administration Admits Iran Worked on Nuclear Weapons

Monday, June 20th, 2016

The Obama Administration has belatedly come to the realization that Iran really was working on a nuclear weapon of mass destruction, just as Israeli and other intelligence sources said prior to the signing of the nuclear pact with Tehran in 2015. Current and former government officials told the Wall Street Journal that the administration has concluded radioactive particles discovered last year were tied to an Iranian nuclear weapons program, as pointed out by Omri Ceren of the Israel Project.

Two man-made uranium particles discovered in soil samples at the Parchin facility southeast of Tehran by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency were too small to confirm exactly what kind of nuclear weapons work took place at the site. But they were big enough to make it clear that nuclear weapons-related activity was indeed going on there.

Iranian explanations for their presence — chemical storage for use in developing conventional weapons — were not supported by the evidence of satellite imagery and test results.

The issue was raised in an article written by Jay Solomon for the Wall Street Journal, in which the Obama administration was said to have underlined the discovery mentioned in a 16-page December 2015 report by the IAEA indisputably points to an Iranian weapons program, contradicting denials by Tehran.

On Saturday an Iranian government spokesman in fact denied uranium was found at Parchin, WSJ reported, adding the spokesman quoted a 2005 IAEA report that found no “unusual activities” there.

The terms of the pact signed by Iran with the six world powers last July required Tehran to address the evidence compiled by the IAEA showing that Iran had a program to create a nuclear weapon of mass destruction until at least 2003. Iranian officials repeatedly denied the charge.

In exchange for suspending its nuclear technology activities for a 10-year period, Iran would receive the $150 billion that had been held in frozen assets in addition to international sanctions being rolled back.

Now that Iran is receiving all those benefits, however, Tehran’s lies are also becoming clear. And the critics of the deal who were opposing it from the start are citing this latest news as confirmation that opposition of the deal was justified, and that Obama didn’t go far enough in his demands that Iran come clean on its nuclear activities before lifting sanctions in January.

Evidence of the man-made uranium that was found at Parchin has only low levels of fissionable isotopes, according to WSJ. But this can be used as a substitute for weapons-grade materials in the development of nuclear bombs and can also be used as a component in a neutron initiator — a triggering device for a nuclear weapon, WSJ reported.

But now the IAEA is blocked from any further investigation of the Parchin site, thanks to the deal signed last year. And although the deal forces Iran to allow the agency access to “all” suspected nuclear technology sites, that does not include Iranian military sites — where the weaponry is most likely to be developed.

Hana Levi Julian

The man Who Gave Everything: Report Exposes Herzog’s Plan to End Israel As We Know It

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

A paper of understanding that was exposed Sunday night by Channel 10 News shows that MK Isaac Herzog, chairman of the Zionist Camp, who conducted extensive meetings with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas before the March 2015 elections, agreed to hand over all of Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem to a Palestinian State, and reached a deal on letting Arab refugees come back to live inside 1967 Israel. The negotiations with Abbas were conducted in secret between retired Brigadier General and former MK and Minister Ephraim Sneh and a senior PA official. It should be noted that during the weeks just before the March 17 elections, the polls showed the Zionist Camp edging out Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party, and the plan back then was seen as the shape of things to come in the most realistic way.

On the issue of the borders between Israel and Palestine, Herzog agreed to giving up 100% of the post 1967 territories, with an allowance for a mere 4% of Israeli settlements staying put in exchange for comparable land in pre-1967 Israel to be handed to the Palestinians. Eastern Jerusalem was going to become the capital of Palestine, but the two halves of the city would share municipal responsibilities. Temple Mount would be turned over to an international monitoring force, but Israel would have retained its hold on the Western Wall.

The Arab refugees were going to be taken care of based on UN resolution 194, with some being allowed back into Israel and the rest receiving financial compensation for the lands they left behind.

Israel was going to maintain a symbolic presence in the Jordan Valley, including two armored bases, and terrorism would be handled by a combined force made up of Jordanians, Palestinians and Israelis.

In response to the revelation, MK Herzog’s office released a statement saying, “In my contacts with the Palestinian Authority Chairman in 2014 I made an effort to reach understandings that would have prevented the wave of terror which I predicted, just as I am working now to prevent a situation where the abandoning of a regional conference on the part of the extreme right-wing government won’t bring on us the next war. After the rounds of the almost annual wars and funerals of the past decade I am no longer prepared to listen to the mantra that says we can defeat every threat with only military force.”

Minister Ze’ev Elkin said in response to the revelations that “an abyss separates us and them and they have no place in a Liked led government.”

David Israel

UNSC Unanimously Condemn Tel Aviv Terror Shooting, State Dept. ‘Happy to Once Again Condemn’

Friday, June 10th, 2016

The credit for this one belongs entirely to Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon, who, in less than one year at a job to which he was appointed to get him out of PM Netanyahu’s and DM Ya’alon’s hair, appears to be making a difference in effectively representing Israel’s case in the most hostile international arena outside Khartum, Sudan. In a manner reminiscent of another UN envoy, Benjamin Netanyahu, Danon is not a complainer, he is an attacker, and he makes demands. Such as the demands he has made of the UN to at last treat the murder of innocent Jews by Arab terrorists in Tel Aviv as seriously as the did, say, the murdrer of innocent Frenchmen in Paris by Arab Terrorists. Well, last night they did.

For the first time since the wave of Arab terrorism began, on September 2015, on Thursday at 11:30 PM, the UN Security Council condemned the deadly shooting in the strongest terms, calling for the individuals behind “these reprehensible acts of terrorism” to be brought to justice. The council statement was approved by all 15 members. It expressed sympathy for the families of the four civilians killed and those who were injured, and “reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable.”

Also on Thursday, in the daily press briefing by Mark C. Toner, Deputy Spokesperson for the US State Dept., reporter Arshad Mohammed asked Toner if he had anything more to say about the terror attack. Toner answered: “I’m happy to once again condemn yesterday’s terrible terrorist attacks in Tel Aviv.” Oh, for sure, this is gotcha’ journalism on our part, because, of course, Toner didn’t mean to say he was happy there was a terror attack — but the officious, businesslike manner in which the spokesperson treated the story and the statement conveyed how much empathy he really felt, which was probably somewhere between zero and one on the eleven-notch Spinal Tap volume scale.

The original State Dept. response, on Wednesday, sounded real, though: “The United States condemns today’s horrific terrorist attack in Tel Aviv in the strongest possible terms. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and our hopes for a quick recovery for those wounded. These cowardly attacks against innocent civilians can never be justified. We are in touch with Israeli authorities to express our support and concern.”

So we probably shouldn’t begrudge Toner his unfortunate expression of happiness.

The same reporter on Thursday continued, saying “the defense minister over there, Avigdor Liberman, has said that in the future Palestinians that are killed while carrying out attacks– their bodies will not be returned to their families. They’re going to be interred somewhere. Israel has a cemetery for enemies, I think.”

The Internet is rife with Arab media stories about Israel’s “cemetery for enemies.” It’s a real place, in the Jordan valley. Back in 2011, Prime Minister Netanyahu approved the transfer of 84 bodies from the Jordan Valley cemetery of enemy combatants to the Palestinian Authority. The Liberman new decision to stop returning terrorists’ bodies is a blessed step in the right direction, and a clear change in the IDF soft arm policy of Liberman’s predecessor. Turns out Israel now has a rightwing defense minister. Liberman also revoked thousands of entry permits issued to Judea, Samaria and Gaza Arabs for the month of Ramadan, added two IDF battalions to Judea and Samaria, and sent security forces to Yatta Village, home of the cousin terrorists who murdered four Israelis in Tel Aviv. If Liberman also gets those two the death penalty he could probably be Israel’s next prime minister.

About which Toner had to say: “We understand the Israeli Government’s desire to protect its citizens, after this kind of terrorist attack, and we strongly support that right. But we would hope that any measures it takes would also take into consideration the impact on Palestinian civilians, who are just trying to go about their daily lives.”

We’ll see what we can do.

David Israel

Israeli UN Ambassador Pressured Ban Ki-moon Into Condemning Sarona Center Terror Attack in Tel Aviv

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the Palestinian Authority Arab attack Wednesday night in Tel Aviv that left four dead and four others seriously injured.

But that vigorous condemnation was not issued until after Israel’s UN Ambassador, Danny Danon, stood up and demanded the international community respond to terror attacks in the Jewish State “the same way attacks are treated in Paris and Istanbul.”

Two Arab terrorists from the sprawling village of Yatta, a suburb of Hebron in the southern Hebron Hills, opened fire with submachine guns in the popular upscale Sarona Center.

Ban conveyed his condolences to the families of the victims and the Government of Israel. “There is no justification for terrorism nor for the glorification of those who commit such heinous acts,” Ban underscored, adding that he was shocked that the leaders of Hamas have chosen to welcome this attack and some to celebrate it.

Ban called upon the Palestinian Authority leadership “to live up to their responsibility to stand firmly against violence and the incitement that fuels it.”

But it appears that Ban’s condemnation may not have been a spontaneous response to terror, but rather a response to pressure by Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon.

It was Israel’s UN representative who demanded that the international body condemn the attack.

Immediately following the shooting, Danon called on the UN Secretary-General and the Security Council to condemn Palestinian Authority terrorism.

“Today’s attack is sad proof that when the international community refuses to condemn terrorist attacks against Israelis, the next one to come is only a matter of time,” Danon said in a statement to the UN.

Terror in Tel Aviv must receive the same response (from the international community) as terror in Paris, and terror in Istanbul,” he said.

“I urge the Security Council and the UN Secretary-General to unequivocally condemn this murderous terror attack and to demand that the Palestinian Authority leadership once and for all put an end to the hate speech that incites terrorism.”

Danon expressed his condolences to the families of the murdered and wished the injured a speedy recovery. “Israel stands by your side in this difficult period. Your pain is the pain of us all.” he said.

Hana Levi Julian

In Netanyahu Meeting with Putin Tuesday Syria on the Table, But Not Iran

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to hold talks on Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, on a state visit to Moscow marking the 25th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries. This is the second meeting between the two leaders in Moscow in the past month and a half, and the fourth over the past year. Netanyahu only met once with President Obama over the same period of time.

Speaking on Monday at a ceremony commemorating the Six-Day War, Netanyahu noted that the hostile Arab armies that circled Israel back in 1967 were “armed, trained, supplied and supported by the Soviet Union.” He added quickly: “Look what a tremendous difference there is nowadays. Russia is a world superpower and the relations between us are getting ever tighter. I’m laboring over tightening this connection and it serves our national security these days, and it has prevented needless, dangerous confrontations on our northern border.”

It could be said that Israel is experiencing its best relationship with Russia on record, with the volume of trade, tourism, security and political coordination at a peak—much of it credited to Avigdor Liberman’s stint as foreign minister. But there are obvious areas where Russia is not coming across as a friend of the Jewish State, if anything, it appears to be leading and supporting Israel’s most vehement enemies — Iran with its proxies, and the Palestinians.

The Russians are supplying Iran with advanced S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile systems, and are in the process of selling the Iranians many more weapons, because the Iranians can now afford it, their multi-billion dollar accounts having been restored by the Obama-Kerry team.

The Russians are fighting in Syria alongside Hezbollah, and are facilitating—actively or tacitly—the leakage of weapons, advanced and otherwise, from Syria into south Lebanon, where they will some day be used against Israel.

In 2015-16 the Russians have spearheaded several critical anti-Israel UN votes: they supported the Egyptian proposal to impose UN supervision on Israel’s nuclear facilities; they’ve been voting regularly with the anti-Israel majority at the UN Human Rights Council; they supported the Palestinian proposal to create a blacklist of companies that trade with the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria; and they’ve supported the shameful UNESCO resolution that removed all trace of recognizing a Jewish presence in Jerusalem.

So perhaps the friendship between the two countries could get a little friendlier.

According to the Kremlin press service, Putin and Netanyahu are going to have a detailed exchange of opinion on the Middle East regional issues, with special emphasis on the struggle with international terrorism. The agenda will be expansive, says the Kremlin, “since relations between Russia and Israel are at an advanced stage and have the character of partnership.”

Russian Ambassador to Israel Alexander Shein told TASS that the two sides plan to sign an agreement on pensions to Russian-born Israelis who did not keep their Russian citizenship after emigrating from the former USSR. A Russian good will gesture in this case would go a long way to boost Netanyahu’s promise to his new coalition partner Liberman, who conditioned the move into government on an increase in those pensions.

There is certainly a renaissance in Russian-Israeli ties: since the year 2000 Israeli Prime Ministers have made thirteen visits to Russia, Netanyahu accounting for seven of those visits. Putin visited Israel once during the same period.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/in-netanyahu-meeting-with-putin-tuesday-syria-on-the-table-but-not-iran/2016/06/07/

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