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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘veto’

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

Supreme Court President Pulls Gun on Justice Minister over Appointments Veto

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Supreme Court President Justice Miriam Naor on Thursday sent a harsh letter to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi), informing her that she and her colleagues on the bench will no longer discuss with her their proposals for new judicial nominees as long as Shaked persists in promoting a law that deprives the Court of the right to veto those appointments.

Justice Naor was referring to a bill proposed by three Yisrael Beiteinu MKs — Robert Ilatov, Oded Forer, and Sofa Landver — which she attributed to Shaked, based on media reports, and based on the fact that the Justice Minister had not rejected the bill nor its timing.

The bill proposes changing the voting requirement of the nine-member Judicial Appointments Committee to what it had been before 2008, when a Likud minister, Gideon Sa’ar, instituted the need for a special majority to decide a Supreme Court appointment: 7 out of 9 committee members, or 2 less than the number of members in attendance (6 out of 8, 5 out of 7). The Supreme Court is represented by three committee members, which gives it enormous leverage in deciding appointments by special majority, but not so much if the committee reverts to the simple majority requirement.

The bill comes just ahead of the parliamentary year of 2017, when as many as four out of the 15 Supreme Court justices will be retiring, to be replaced by the Shaked-chaired appointments committee.

Justice Na’or’s rage was outright Chekhovian: “Submitting the bill at this time is tantamount to putting a gun on the table,” she wrote the Justice Minister (who represents the will of millions of Israeli voters). “It means that should some committee members not agree with the appointment of certain candidates in a manner that would not facilitate their appointment by a special majority, the constitutional rules of the game would be changed so that they may be appointed by a simple majority.”

Meaning, the Supreme court could be forced by the sovereign, the Israeli public, to accept among its numbers justices with whom they may disagree ideologically. Imagine the scandal…

Na’or added that under such circumstances she and the rest of the high court members of the committee will cease all communications with the Justice Minister over future appointments.

Na’or’s imagery of putting a gun on the table likely referenced Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s famous quote: “If you say in the first chapter that there is a gun hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off.” In other words, it’s a warning to the pesky Shaked that she may have started something she’d regret.

It could also be a reference to Eli Wallach’s character Tuco in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966), who said: “When you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk. Don’t stand around trying to talk him to death.”

Or it could be a reference to Russian roulette, a lethal game of chance in which a player places a single round in a revolver, spins the cylinder, places the muzzle against their head, and pulls the trigger.

The Justice Minister’s office issued a response statement saying, “Judicial Selection Committee meeting will continue as scheduled. In the coming days we will publish the list of Supreme Court candidates.”

Advantage Shaked.

JNi.Media

Obama Unites Congressional Democrats, Republicans, in Overriding Veto Damaging 9/11 Families

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

State Dept. Spokesperson John Kirby was in the middle of his daily press briefing Wednesday when a reporter informed him that the House had just joined the Senate in overriding the presidential veto on a law permitting the families of 9/11 attacks victims to sue Saudi Arabia should it turn out that the Kingdom was involved in carrying out those attacks. The reporter wanted to know if the Obama Administration, as it had warned would happen, had been approached by any foreign government threatening to “pass legislation that could affect the sovereign immunity of the United States and U.S. officials abroad?”

As expected, Kirby admitted he was not aware “that any government has expressed an intention to do so since the President’s veto. Before the President’s veto, though,” he noted, “some of our European friends — who are less likely to have been affected by the intent of the law itself — have expressed concerns about the issue of sovereign immunity surrounding the law. … France being one of them.” But no country like, say, Saudi Arabia, has so far stated its intent to seek anti-American retribution.

Possibly because Saudi Arabia is not interested in alienating the American public even more at this stage of the game, when the Iranians are running roughshod along its borders and the only reliable protection for the Saudis comes from the US.

However, as Kirby pointed out, the new law, now officially on the books, is forcing the US’ European allies “to rethink the whole issue of sovereign immunity. We didn’t make that up. That was communicated to us by other countries.”

Is the State Dept. expecting diplomatic difficulty with Saudi Arabia as a result of the veto? In Kirby’s view, “it goes beyond just Saudi Arabia. It goes to a larger concern that we have had about this idea of sovereign immunity — not just for diplomats but for our troops, for US companies that operate overseas.”

Possibly. What was most poignant about this vote was the fact that Congressional Democrats clamored to support the veto override, signaling to their voters that they are not captives of an irrational White House on this and other issues. Congressman Jerry Nadler, a Manhattan Democrat whose 10th Congressional District actually includes Ground Zero, was adamant in attacking the president’s arguments.

“Despite the overblown rhetoric of some critics of this bill, JASTA (Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act) will not pose a threat to American military personnel or diplomats,” Nadler told the house. Debunking Kirby’s fretting, he added, “They would be absolutely protected if another country passed legislation mirroring this bill because JASTA applies only to governments. To the extent that a foreign government might pass broader legislation that would make American personnel subject to liability, that country would not be reciprocating. It would be engaging in a transparent and unjustifiable act of aggression.”

Nadler also noted that, despite Obama’s exaggerated fears, “the economic, diplomatic, and military strength of the United States makes such action unlikely, and any rogue state inclined to target US interests can already do so. We must not hold justice for the 9/11 families hostage to imagined fears.”

Over at the Senate, Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) cast the only vote in favor of Obama’s veto. No Democrat argued in favor of Obama’s version of reality before the vote. The Senate voted 97-1 Wednesday to override the veto.

The White House was irate, obviously, and spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One following the Senate override, “I would venture to say that this is the single most embarrassing thing that the United States Senate has done, possibly, since 1983.”

For speculations as to what act of the Senate Earnest was referring to, check out this website, which tried to figure it out (White House Is Profoundly Wrong About the Most Embarrassing Thing Senate Has Done). We went to Wikipedia (so you won’t have to) and dug up possible embarrassing things Joe may have been thinking about, although, to be fair, most of them were attributed to the president, not the Senate:

On February 24, 1983, a special Congressional commission released a report critical of the practice of Japanese internment during World War II. That sure was embarrassing, but the shameful stuff didn’t happen in 1983, obviously.

On April 18, 1983, the US Embassy was bombed in Beirut, resulting in 63 dead. Then, on October 23, 1983, simultaneous suicide truck-bombings destroyed both the French and the US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, killing 241 US servicemen, 58 French paratroopers and 6 Lebanese civilians. That was horrifying and embarrassing, especially since at that point President Ronald Reagan decided to cut and run — a point not mentioned often enough in those stories glorifying him as a brave commander-in-chief.

Finally, on October 25, 1983, American troops invaded Grenada, possibly to show the US could still defeat somebody. Yes, that was pretty embarrassing.

Of course, Earnest was not referring to any of the above. He was merely responding to a reporter who had told him that Wednesday’s veto was the most overwhelming since a 1983 95-0 veto override. President Reagan vetoed a land bill that gave a few acres to six retired couples who had paid good money for it only to find out later that, due to a surveying error, it was still government property.

No Saudis were harmed in the commission of that other veto.

JNi.Media

Obama Vetoes Bill Letting 9/11 Families Sue Saudi Arabia

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

President Obama on Friday vetoed the “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act,” which was passed unanimously by both the House and Senate, helping families of 9/11 victims sue Saudi Arabia. The bill enables the families to sue the Kingdom should it be shown to be legally liable, having supported the attack. Out of the 19 Sept. 11 terrorists, 15 were Saudi nationals.

Obama released a statement Friday, saying he bears “deep sympathy for the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, who have suffered grievously. I also have a deep appreciation of these families’ desire to pursue justice and am strongly committed to assisting them in their efforts.”

However, the president explained, the 9/11 bill is sure to “invite consequential decisions to be made based upon incomplete information and risk having different courts reaching different conclusions about the culpability of individual foreign governments and their role in terrorist activities directed against the United States — which is neither an effective nor a coordinated way for us to respond to indications that a foreign government might have been behind a terrorist attack.”

Yes, he actually used that as his argument: it’s going to cause a mess in the courts system.

A group named 9/11 Families & Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism released a statement Friday saying it is “outraged and dismayed” over the president’s veto, arguing that his reasoning is “unconvincing and unsupportable.”

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she supports the bill. Her spokesman said in a statement that “Clinton continues to support the efforts by Senator Schumer and his colleagues in Congress to secure the ability of 9/11 families and other victims of terror to hold accountable those responsible. She would sign this legislation if it came to her desk.”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Obama’s veto was “shameful,” adding in a statement: “That President Obama would deny the parents, spouses and children of those we lost on that horrific day the chance to close this painful chapter in their lives is a disgrace.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) said earlier last week that he believes ” the votes are there for the override.” Sen. Chuck Schumer, (D-NY), who co-sponsored the bill, is on the record as promising to help override a veto.

This is the 12th veto by President Obama in his eight years in the White House, and none of his first 11 have been overturned. His predecessor, President GW Bush, used his veto power 12 times and was overturned four times. Out of President Bill Clinton’s 36 vetoes, two were overridden; President GHW Bush had 29 vetoes (in one term) and lost only one.

JNi.Media

White House: Obama to Veto Bill Empowering 9/11 Families to Sue the Saudis

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

President Obama intends to veto a bill which allows families of 9/11 victims to sue the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in US courts, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Monday.

“The president does plan to veto this legislation,” Earnest said, reiterating, “I do anticipate the president will veto the legislation when it is presented to him. It hasn’t been presented to him yet.”

According to The Hill, this could be the first time Congress would be able to override an Obama veto. Democratic lawmakers have been pressuring the Administration to leave the bill alone for the sake of the 9/11 victims’ families, and for the sake of their reelection come November. Democratic lawmakers are concerned the veto would ignite a showdown between the White House and Congress that would damage the president and make him less effective on the serious issues, namely the fight over the budget in the lame-duck session of Congress. The bill passed unanimously by a voice vote in both the House and Senate.

Earnest cautioned that “this law actually opens up the United States to the risk of being hauled into court in countries around the world,” and added that “the president will continue to explain his opposition to this legislation … up until Congress decides whether to override his veto.”

The Saudi dominated, six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), announced on Monday that the proposed law “contravenes the foundations and principles of relations between states and the principle of sovereign immunity enjoyed by states,” possibly assuming this sovereign immunity includes the right to plot an attack on major civilian centers of the host country.

GCC Secretary General Abdullatif al-Zayani also said in an unveiled threat that “such laws will negatively affect the international efforts and international cooperation to combat terrorism.”

JNi.Media

Menendez Dismembers Iran Deal, Suggests More Robust Deal

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) doubled down on his position that the Nuclear Iran deal negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and his American team of negotiators, along with the U.S. partners in the P5+1, is a bad one that should not go into effect.

Menendez did that by holding a highly-publicized address at 1:00 p.m. E.T., on Thursday, Aug. 18, from the Seton Hall School of Diplomacy and International Relations in South Orange, New Jersey.

During this address, Menendez meticulously explained why he will not vote for the Agreement and why he will vote to override the President’s veto.

When he completed his analysis, it was hard to understand how anyone could say the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is something any country except Iran would support.

AN OIL-RICH NATION DOES NOT NEED NUCLEAR ENERGY

The over-arching question, as Menendez put it, is why Iran, which has one of the world’s largest reserves of oil reserves, needs nuclear power for domestic energy. Given this vast reserve, there is no peaceful use of nuclear energy at all, and therefore no legitimate reason for Iran to have any right to enrichment.

Given Iran’s lack of a peaceful need for nuclear energy coupled with that nation’s repeated acts of “deceit, deception and delay” to evade United Nations Security Council Resolutions and thereby approach being a nuclear weapon state, it is indeed hard to make the argument for this Agreement.

Menendez spoke for nearly a full hour. He explained why Iran does not need nuclear energy and he reminded his audience of Iran’s repeated evasions of inspections.

EVERY RED LINE WAS ERASED

The New Jersey Senator also described the many ways in which the JCPOA falls far short of so many absolute red lines and guarantees made by the U.S. administration during the course of the negotiations.

♦  The original goal was to “fully dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons capability,” a “roll-back your infrastructure and we’ll roll-back our sanctions.”

Instead, Menendez explained, the JCPOA is the equivalent of “an alarm bell should they decide to violate their commitments, and a system for inspections to verify their compliance.”

♦ When Menendez asked Secretary of State Kerry about dismantling Arak, Iran’s plutonium reactor, Kerry said: “They will either dismantle it or we will destroy it.”

Arak will not be dismantled, merely “redesigned.”

♦ The original position was that Iran’s underground Fordow facility would be closed because a peaceful civilian nuclear program would not need to be underground.

Fordow will not be dismantled, merely “repurposed.”

♦ Iran was supposed to “come absolutely clean about their weaponization activities at Parchin and agree to promise anytime anywhere inspections.”

Iran will not be required to disclose the possible military dimensions of their nuclear program at Parchin.

Menendez said that over the course of the negotiations, the original goal of preventing nuclear proliferation instead become merely one of “managing or containing” nuclear proliferation.

Just as alarming is that during the course of the deal under its current terms, Iran is allowed to continue its research and development. By the end of the term of the Agreement, Iran will be in a better position – meaning further along on its path to nuclear weapons capability – than it was before the deal was adopted.

“The deal enshrines for Iran, and in fact commits the international community to assisting Iran in developing an industrial-scale nuclear power program, complete with industrial scale enrichment,” Menendez explained.

In addition, the terms of the JCPOA ensure that the EU and the U.S. will not reintroduce or reimpose the sanctions lifted under this deal. That’s because, if sanctions are reintroduced or reimposed, that will “relieve Iran from its commitments in part or in whole.” There will be no incentive for any party to this agreement to find any violations, as that would erase any progress that was made.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/menendez-dismembers-iran-deal-suggests-more-robust-deal/2015/08/18/

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