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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘United Nations’

Netanyahu Says Israel Will ‘Overcome’ UN Resolution, Will Also Stop Funding UN Agencies

Sunday, December 25th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told participants at a Chanukah lighting ceremony for wounded IDF soldiers, disabled veterans and terror victims on Saturday night that Israel is “reevaluating its ties with the United Nations.” He also said the Jewish State would “overcome” the anti-Israel condemnation, Resolution 2334 (2016), passed unanimously Friday by the UN Security Council with the assistance of the United States.

“The resolution … is distorted and disgraceful, but we will overcome it,” the prime minister said. “The resolution determines that the Jewish Quarter (in Jerusalem) is occupied territory. It determines that the Western Wall, the Kotel, is occupied territory. There is no greater absurd than that,” he said.

Netanyahu pointed out that the last U.S. president who was vindictive enough to allow such an anti-Israel resolution to pass at the UN Security Council had been former President Jimmy Carter, who until today maintains that Hamas is not a terror organization.

Netanyahu commented that Carter was a “particularly hostile president to Israel… Carter passed similar sweeping resolutions against us at the UN and that didn’t succeed either,” he said. “We objected to it, and nothing happened.

“All of the U.S. presidents after Carter met the American commitment not to try and dictate to Israel at the Security Council conditions for a final-status agreement. And yesterday, in complete contradiction of this commitment—including a specific commitment made by President Obama himself in 2011—the Obama administration carried out a disgraceful anti-Israeli underhanded move at the UN,” he said.

“Not only does the resolution not promote peace – it pushes it further away,” he added, vowing to “cancel” this resolution “just as we rejected the UN resolution that equated Zionism with racism… It took a while, but that decision was canceled. It’ll take time, but this decision will be canceled as well, not by concessions from us, but by us, and by our allies standing firm.

“Here on the eve of Chanukah I stand next to the modern-day Maccabees – IDF soldiers and wounded soldiers. I salute you and say this clearly: Light will banish the darkness.

“The spirit of the Maccabees will come out on top.”

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Slams Obama’s Betrayal at Security Council

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an irate message following the US’ betrayal of its most loyal Middle East ally. On Friday, the US chose to abstain at a critical anti-Israel vote at the UN Security Council, for the first time since the Carter Administration in 1980. The Council passed a resolution condemning Israel’s settlements enterprise in the liberated areas of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. The vote passed with the vote of 14 of the council’s 15 members, to the sound of great applause. A veto by the US – or any of the five permanent members of the council – would have killed the resolution.

Netanyahu’s message was unabashed: “Israel rejects the anti-Israel resolution at the UN and will not abide by its terms. At a time when the Security Council does nothing to stop the slaughter of half a million people in Syria, it disgracefully gangs up on the one true democracy in the Middle East, Israel, and calls the Western Wall ‘occupied territory.

“The Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it collaborated with the UN behind the scenes.

“Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and with all our friends in Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution.”

Indeed, the president-elect tweeted Friday evening: “As to the UN, things will be different after Jan. 20th.”

Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said Netanyahu had only himself to blame for being knifed in the back as he had been, for failing to heed repeated US warnings against his increased settlement activity. “Prime Minister Netanyahu had the opportunity to pursue policies that would have led to a different outcome today,” Rhodes said.

But The Hill’s Jordan Fabian noted that Rhodes couldn’t really explain how the betrayal at the UNSC would improve the situation in the Middle East. Instead, it appears Obama just used his last chance to smack Netanyahu right where it hurt, in a final show of force, once he was free of the need to restrain himself on account of the elections.

As Rhodes put it, quite shamelessly, “There is one president at a time, [and] President Obama is the president of the United States until Jan. 20 and we are taking this action, of course, as US policy.”

In other words, we’re doing it because we can.

Netanyahu has begun to retaliate for the vote, ordering the Israeli ambassadors to New Zealand and Senegal for consultation. Israel does not have diplomatic ties with the two other states that called for a vote on the resolution – Venezuela and Malaysia. The PM also canceled a scheduled visit of the Senegal’s foreign minister to Israel in retribution for its vote as a temporary UNSC member, and voided Israel’s entire aid package to that country. He also canceled the visits of the non-resident ambassadors from Senegal and New Zealand.

Israel’s UN envoy Danny Danon said the US betrayed Israel, saying in a statement: “It was to be expected that Israel’s greatest ally would act in accordance with the values that we share – and would have vetoed this disgraceful resolution”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) attacked President Obama, stating: “President Obama is personally responsible for this anti-Israel resolution. His diplomats secretly coordinated the vote, yet he doesn’t even have the courage of his own convictions to vote for it. This cowardly, disgraceful action cements President Obama’s richly deserved legacy as the most anti-Israel president in American history.”

Actually, Obama will probably have to fight Jimmy Carter for the title, but it’s close.

The Republican Jewish Coalition released a statement saying that “by allowing the United Nations’ anti-Israel resolution to be adopted by the Security Council, in the face of fierce bi-partisan opposition, the actions of the Obama Administration will forever be remembered as a dark, shameful moment for our country. The resolution passed today will only serve as a greater barrier to peace, which can only truly be achieved through negotiations. Instead of pressuring the Palestinians to be a partner for peace, President Obama chose to break with long-standing diplomatic practices and allowed the one-sided, anti-Israel United Nations to be used as a tool to bludgeon Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East.

“We applaud the efforts of Republican Senators, led by Senator Graham, to strip funding to the United Nations, which has time and again showed their anti-Israel bias. What happened today will forever be on the heads of the President, his Party, and groups like J Street that remained silent.”

This last part might not be such a smart move – some in Israel have pointed out that the last time the US cut its UNESCO funding it lost its influence on that vehemently anti-Semitic body, and remained unable to assist Israel when it is being attacked there. If anything, the Trump White House should enhance its involvement to be able to sway the support of the members in a desired direction.

Knesset opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp) condemned the UNSC vote and Netanyahu with the same breath, stating: “This is a difficult night for Israel. I strongly oppose this harsh resolution of the UN Security Council, which is a strategic defeat for Israel.”

The far-left was giddy. Meretz Chair MK Zehava Galon said she was happy the US did not veto the resolution “against the policy of annexation and settlement and not against Israel.” She pointed out the vote was “the direct result of the law to legalize settlements, with Israel having lost all its shame and the world having lost its patience.”

The party to the right of Netanyahu’s Likud was also pleased with the vote, recognizing a rare opportunity to use the unifying anger of the vast majority of Israelis to get some positive action going. Habayit Hayehudi Chairman MK Naftali Bennett said on Saturday night that now is the time to “switch from retreat to sovereignty.” Bennett added that “thousands of terrorists the world over are watching the UN resolution, seeing it as a call to arms. This resolution is the direct outcome of the policies of Oslo, of concessions, withdrawals and splitting – and the result of our public agreement to establish a Palestinian State at the heart of our country. [This resolution] must be discarded to the trash heap of history like all its predecessors.”

“This is the time for a U-turn,” Bennett said, “It’s time to switch from retreat to sovereignty. The conclusion is that we must stop marching on the suicidal track of a Palestinian State and to impose Israeli law on Ma’aleh Adumim, the Jordan Valley, Ofra and the entire Area C, as soon as possible.”

JNi.Media

BULLETPROOF – Would the U.N. Recognize Honesty if it Knocked on its Door? [audio]

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

Ari slam-dunks it when he rips the lies off of what the world says about Israel and her newly established communities in Judea & Samaria, and the hypocrisy that goes along with it. This show may stress you out, but you will be better for it. Listen now!

BULLETPROOF 22DEC2016 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Trump: Anti-Israel UN Resolution ‘Extremely Unfair to All Israelis, Should Be Vetoed’

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

U.S. President-elect Donald J. Trump urged outgoing President Barack Obama to veto a draft anti-Israel resolution circulated Thursday at the UN Security Council. The resolution calls for an immediate end to Jewish construction on any land desired by the Palestinian Authority for its hoped-for state.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed concern months ago that such a resolution would be circulated at the UNSCH in the final days before Obama leaves office — and that Obama might withhold America’s veto this time around as a parting shot at Israel over the issue. The prime minister posted a video statement on social media Thursday, appealing to the U.S.

But Obama was cautious: a U.S. administration official said after the release of a statement by incoming President-elect Trump, “We have no comment at this time.”

Hours after Israel’s prime minister had raised the alarm, Trump issued a statement on social media, posting on Twitter and Facebook, bluntly saying that America should use its veto to kill the initiative.

“The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed,” said Trump in a statement issued to media.

“As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations.

“This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis,” he added.

Netanyahu launched a Twitter campaign as soon as the resolution came out, urging the U.S. to veto the proposal.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu to Obama: Veto Anti-Israel UNSC Resolution Thursday

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday night twitted: “The US should veto the anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council on Thursday.” The vote has been the focal point of the Israeli PM’s thinking and anxiety since the Nov. 8 elections in the US, guiding his moves and statements, especially concerning the crisis he’s faced at home regarding the approaching eviction date for the Amona community in Samaria.

As of Wednesday night, the UNSC resolution draft text says Israel’s establishment of Jewish towns and villages in the liberated areas of Judea and Samaria bears “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.” It suggests that the fact that there are Jews living in those areas “dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-state solution,” because, naturally, while Arabs can live freely alongside Jews in 1949-borders Israel, having Jews anywhere inside the envisioned Palestinian state would be unthinkable.

The text decrees that freezing the Jewish settlement enterprise is “essential for salvaging the two-state solution,” calling for “affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground (See Israe’s Supreme Court ruling on the expulsion of the Jews of Amona).”

According to Al Jazeera, UN diplomats see Thursday’s vote as the final chance for council action on getting the Jews out of the liberated territories before President-elect Donald Trump takes over from President Barack Obama on January 20. Hence the Netanyahu twit, advising the US to veto, as it has done over the past eight years under the same president.

Last July, the UN and its diplomatic partners, the so-called Middle East Quartet – comprising the UN, Russia, the United States and the European Union – submitted a report that essentially calls for the strictest implementation of the Oslo accords, spelling an eventual end to the Jewish presence in the 1967 liberated territories. The Diplomatic Quartet’s recommendations, which are the basis for Thursday’s vote were:

1. Both sides should work to de-escalate tensions by exercising restraint and refraining from provocative actions and rhetoric.

2. The Palestinian Authority should act decisively and take all steps within its capacity to cease incitement to violence and strengthen ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, including by clearly condemning all acts of terrorism.

With that lip service to the need to curb daily, ongoing Arab violence, the document gets to the real meat of the recommendations, namely, eliminating Israel’s right to rule over Area C:

3. Israel should cease the policy of settlement construction and expansion, designating land for exclusive Israeli use, and denying Palestinian development.

4. Israel should implement positive and significant policy shifts, including transferring powers and responsibilities in Area C, consistent with the transition to greater Palestinian civil authority contemplated by prior agreements. Progress in the areas of housing, water, energy, communications, agriculture, and natural resources, along with significantly easing Palestinian movement restrictions, can be made while respecting Israel’s legitimate security needs.

And, having stated the essence of their demands, the Quarter returned to empty recommendations:

5. The Palestinian leadership should continue their efforts to strengthen institutions, improve governance, and develop a sustainable economy. Israel should take all necessary steps to enable this process, in line with the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee recommendations.

6. All sides must continue to respect the ceasefire in Gaza, and the illicit arms buildup and militant activities must be terminated.

The Thursday UNSC vote is the moment of truth between Obama and Netanyahu. A US abstention would not suffice in this case. The US has to actually vote against the resolution in order to kill it. A US vote in favor would give the resolution a powerful – albeit symbolic – stand. In reality, Netanyahu can defy it and, at least for the next four years under President Trump, suffer no real consequences. But once the resolution is on the books, it would take a unanimous vote of the five senior members to remove it – and that would be a rare thing indeed.

David Israel

Defending The ‘Fourth Front’

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

A year and a half ago his appointment as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations made headlines around the world. This week Danny Danon sat down with The Jewish Press to talk about his experiences on the job.

The Jewish Press: What does a UN ambassador do all day?

Danon: Coming from Israeli politics, I thought it would be more relaxed here in the UN but actually that’s not the  case. There are so many initiatives and resolutions regarding Israel we are constantly busy blocking, but at the same time we must promote our agenda.

Almost every week we have a positive event about Israel – like last night’s Chanukah party, or taking delegations of ambassadors to Israel, or the innovation event the prime minister attended. I call it soft diplomacy.

What’s it like carrying the responsibility of representing your country in what is often a hostile environment?

Well, it’s not easy. I came back from Israel last week. We visited the borders of Syria and Lebanon. Every morning the commander there has to wake up and make sure everything is OK, the fence is fine, etc. Same here; you wake up and you have the responsibility to make sure everything is OK.

People in Israel know about the fronts in Lebanon, Syria, Gaza. But there is another front – a “fourth front” – right here, in New York, at the UN.

You had several diplomats accompany you to Israel last week, as you did last summer. What do these visits accomplish?

We took a helicopter trip. In the morning we flew to the Gaza border. Then we flew to the Golan Heights. I told them “That’s Netanya on the left, and here’s the ‘green line’ on the right, and that’s my house here in the middle.” They look down at the narrow waist of Israel and can’t believe it. That’s something you can’t explain from a podium at the UN.

I wish I could take every ambassador and every UN official to Israel because it’s so effective. It doesn’t mean they’d all vote with us, but at least they would know the issues.

I’ll give you an example. At the Security Council, I bring up Hizbullah at almost every meeting and the fact that they are ignoring resolution 1701 by building bases and bringing missiles to the border. Now, the next time one of those ambassadors who went on our trip and actually saw Hizbullah across the border hears me speak in the Security Council, he’ll know what I’m talking about.

In your 2012 book Israel: The Will to Prevail,  you describe how your father, who sustained life-changing injuries during the Yom Kippur War, instilled in you two qualities: a deep connection to the Land of Israel and a willingness to speak out.

I was never exposed to another reality so for me it was normal to live with a father who was wounded and deaf. He taught me to speak up and not to be afraid to make bold decisions.

As Israel’s UN ambassador you constantly deal with conflict. Does it ever get you down on a personal level?

It can get exhausting sometimes when you sit in the Security Council for eight hours and one after another the other representatives get up and speak against us. But it’s like army service: you just have to keep blocking attempts to hurt Israel.

What are the chances Israel will get elected to a seat on the Security Council?

The prime minister’s recent declaration that we are running for a seat on the Council is a game-changer for Israel at the UN. It will obviously be a difficult campaign, but we proved when I ran for the chair of the Legal Committee that when it comes to a secret ballot at the UN, quiet diplomacy can lead to surprising results.

Your election to chair the Sixth Committee – the primary forum for the consideration of legal questions in the General Assembly – in the face of a strong opposition campaign mounted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was viewed as near miraculous.  What factors do you think contributed to your victory?

We had a lot of opposition but we also had friends. For example, Iran, which is chair of the Non-Alliance Movement [NAM], circulated a letter saying that all member states should oppose my nomination. If no one opposes within 24 hours, it becomes the official position of NAM. Usually people are afraid to go against the chairman but we saw friends of Israel standing up. I think Singapore was first. Then India, Rwanda, Panama. For me it was amazing, because they sent a letter saying, Listen, you should not circulate that letter because it does not represent us; we support Danny Danon…

It was a remarkable experience, real proof of the relations we have been building with countries like India. The vote at the General Assembly was a secret ballot. Some 109 member states wrote my name on the ballot, while 44 countries opposed my nomination. But since there are 56 voting members of the OIC, it shows that maybe some of the Muslim countries are not really against us, and maybe some of that private diplomacy is paying off.

How are the Islamic Coalition states behaving? Do they accept your authority?

The first day they made a lot of comments against me. But I said, So what? I’ve heard worse in my life. I did not respond. And the next day, they came. They participated. They were part of the process, and that was it.

How does chairing a major UN committee compare to chairing a Knesset committee?

I was chairman of two committees in the Knesset and it’s different because here you have 193 members on the committee. There are long meetings; each one has a statement to make. It’s challenging but for me it’s a great experience, the fact that I’m sitting at the head of the table with a gavel in my hand. At the Chanukah party last night one of the members came up and told me, “I wanted to say thank you, the way you run the committee is so professional.”

Does the UN ever remind you of the Knesset?

Well, really it’s quite different. In the Knesset you have more energy, people don’t read their statements. Here in the UN, people come to the meeting and read a prepared speech. In the Knesset you have more of a dialogue, you can argue, you can try to convince.

You’ve spoken of a “private UN” that exists alongside the public one – backroom meetings where appreciation for Israel is expressed by representatives of countries formally recognized as opponents. Do you find this to be a source of frustration or of hope?

It depends. When I deal with the Arab countries it’s a different ballgame because the leadership understands the importance of  Israel, that Israel is a solution and not the problem, but they have a problem with their constituencies. So you have this phenomenon where publicly they speak against Israel but privately they will tell me what they really think.

I don’t like it, but I can understand it. One of them told me, “If we will be seen together I will have a problem flying to my capital tomorrow.” And that’s true.

On the other hand, with Europeans and other countries, I don’t accept it.

We all remember the Security Council meeting last April attended by the family of Dafna Meir, who two months earlier had been stabbed to death in her kitchen by a Palestinian terrorist. You abruptly stopped your speech to demand answers from Palestinian Authority Permanent Representative Riyadh Mansour. What was going through your mind in that moment?

Actually that’s the only time it looked like the Knesset. One of the UN photographers who has been in the Security Council for many years said he never saw anything like it.

Was it planned it ahead of time?

No. I was furious. It was such an emotional moment, visiting with Dafna’s daughter Renana, who witnessed her mother’s murder and was now addressing the Council. And then we got the message about a terror attack in Jerusalem. It just ignited everything. I thought it was an appropriate moment for both of us to condemn terrorism.

Did any personal experiences during your time as a student at Florida International University come into play with the anti-BDS initiative you organized?

Absolutely. I vividly remember standing behind a table with an Israeli flag and people were cursing at me. It’s not easy to face this on campus. I think anyone who was at the UN for the anti-BDS event and saw 2, 000 people in the General Assembly hall waving Israeli flags and singing “Hatikvah” will never forget it.

My approach is that we must keep denouncing resolutions against Israel even though we cannot get rid of them. But we must also continue to build achievements and victories, big and small. The Sixth Committee was a big victory. Getting Yom Kippur recognized as an official holiday was a victory, and so was getting kosher food in the cafeteria.

How does the Jewish community here in the U.S. fit into all this?

The involvement of the Jewish community is crucial. When the Venezuelan ambassador compared IDF soldiers to Nazis, the Jewish organizations joined me in condemning it. By putting pressure on him, we got him to apologize. I’m grateful for that. We need the Jewish community to be aware of what’s happening at the UN; we need their support.

 

 

Stephanie Granot

Top Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander Violates International Travel Ban

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Exactly as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned, Iranian leaders are ignoring the “red lines” drawn around the JCPOA nuclear deal with the six world leaders, signed in Vienna in July 2015.

The latest violation involves a travel ban imposed on top Iranian Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, who was photographed while touring Aleppo in Syria this past weekend.

He’s the general who leads Iranian operatives around the world, and according to the Washington Free Beacon, is also “directly responsible for the deaths of … many hundreds of Americans.”

Soleimani heads the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, which has provided major military guidance, backup and support to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in addition to directly intervening in Iraq — and in Yemen.

Congressional and foreign policy sources told the Free Beacon that Obama Administration officials are working the back channels to prevent any new sanctions against Iran, “because they know that would force them to take action against Iran, and then Iran would walk away from the [nuclear] deal.

“Now they’re ignoring even old sanctions against the Iranians. They’ll do anything to keep the Iranians in the deal for just a couple more weeks, so they can blame the inevitable collapse on Trump,” the Free Beacon was told, according to a report posted Monday, Dec. 19.

At a briefing with journalists also Monday, State Department spokesperson John Kirby acknowledged Soleimani’s visit to Syria was a violation of the United Nations Security Council resolution that governs the nuclear deal. But he took refuge in simply reflecting the question, and thereby ducking the need to give any answer.

“We do intend to consult with our partners on the Security Council about how to address our concerns with this,” he said.

“We’ve long said that Iran needs to choose whether it’s going to play a positive role in helping peacefully resolve conflicts, such as in Syria, or whether it will choose to prolong them.

“And you’re absolutely right, his travel was a violation.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/top-iranian-revolutionary-guard-corps-commander-violates-international-travel-ban/2016/12/19/

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