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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘vote’

Obama Administration’s Dishonest/Cynical Defense of Anti-Israel UN Vote

Sunday, December 25th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, The Lid}

At 2:20PM Friday afternoon, the anti-Israel team of Barack Obama & John Kerry directed UN Ambassador Samantha Power to abstain rather than veto an anti-Israel resolution in the UN Security Council. Since the abstention allowed the resolution to pass, the Obama action had the same effect as an anti-Israel UN Vote.

Not only did the Obama directed action in the anti-Israel UN vote give the Palestinians a free pass to continue to avoid negotiations, and it locks Israel into the 1948 Armistice line and declares Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem occupied Palestinian land. As Security Council resolutions create international law, this means that the Jewish State’s presence in East Jerusalem, commonly known as the “Jewish Quarter” is illegal. This absurd action ignores the fact Jews have been living in the “Jewish Quarter” since the time of King David, except for the period of 1948-1967 when Jordan kicked out the Jews and destroyed many of the Jewish holy sites in the “Jewish Quarter.”

The resolution that passed thanks to Obama’s anti-Israel UN Vote also asks UN member states not to use Israeli products that were created in the disputed territories.

New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal were co-sponsors of the draft resolution despite the fact that the original sponsor, Egypt requested the anti-Israel UN vote be delayed indefinitely.

Barack Obama who has proven to be the most anti-Israel president in American history allowed resolution to pass, rather than casting its veto. Then in a cynical move, UN Ambassador Samantha Power who once called for the militarily imposing a peace solution on Israel followed her abstention vote by railing against the United Nations for its anti-Israel bias. She also contended that opposition to the settlements was a bi-partisan position of American Presidents which is not really true.

After the vote, I participated in a conference call that included Ned Price the Spokesperson for the National Security Council, who was joined by Ben Rhodes (who made the claim that he fooled the press to sell-in the Iran deal, and Robert Malley who was made a career of trashing Israel and who’s dad was a close friend to Yasser Arafat.

Mr. Price said the contention in the press, made by an unnamed Israel source that Obama administration was “abandoning Israel” and that the United States was really behind the resolution was totally untrue. He added that no administration has been as supportive of Israel as the Obama administration (that statement was also not true).

Price reiterated Samantha Powers contention about the bi-partisan objection to any settlement building, including those in existing communities. He added that there was a significant up-tic in new housing units in existing and new communities.

The truth is objections to settlement activity has not always been bi-partisan as Mr. Price claims. In a 2009 Wall Street Journal commentary, written Elliot Abrams who served in the Bush #43 administration as deputy national security adviser for Global Democracy Strategy, Mr. Abrams said he negotiated a deal between the U.S. and Israel in which the Jewish State agreed not build any housing units outside the existing communities (no new settlement communities), and the U.S. would not object to the construction in existing communities.

Interestingly, it was only after the Obama administration refused to acknowledge agreement, that the up-tic in housing units began.

In August 2009 Prime Minister Netanyahu announced a ten-month “settlement” freeze. It was approved by the cabinet and implemented on November 25, 2009 and was to run till September 25, 2010. Despite pressure from the United States, the Palestinians refused to join any talks the first 9+ months of the freeze; they did not come to the negotiation table till September 2010, three weeks before the freeze ended.

As the end of the construction halt approached, the US began to negotiate with the Israel to extend the freeze. Based on their experience with Clinton denying the deal negotiated by Elliot Abrams during the Bush Administration, Israel demanded that any proposal be presented in writing, as any they considered any oral deal with Clinton and the Obama administration was worth the paper on which is was printed on.

That written version of the offer never came because Clinton, the Secretary of State wasn’t negotiating in good faith. Instead Ms. Clinton working in conjunction with President Obama was playing “Bait and Switch.”

An Al-Jazeera report on Oct. 11, 2010 revealed that Netanyahu was willing to extend the ten-month settlement freeze he unilaterally implemented, if the Palestinian Authority would recognize Israel as the Jewish State. Netanyahu made a similar offer in May 2011, when he spoke before congress (Israel as the Jewish State was part of the original UN Partition resolution (UN Resolution 181) Both times Palestinian President Abbas rejected the offer outright.

Despite what seemed to be an opening to Obama’s goal of stopping construction, there did not seem to be an administration follow-up to either of Netanyahu offers. But if settlements were such an important issue to President Obama, why was there no follow-up?  And why were settlements such a big issue for this Administration anyway? During the Bush 43 reign there was construction and negotiation at the same time. Only after Obama made it an issue did it become an issue for the Palestinians.

It seems as if the Obama Administration has been trying to delegitimize the Jewish State for as long as it’s been in power; ignoring previous US/Israel deals,  publicly berating Israel at every opportunity,  leaving Israel’s Premier to sit and stew with the Israeli delegation in a White House conference room for an hour because they wouldn’t capitulate to the President’s demands, and even blaming Israel and American Jews for pushing the U.S. into the Iraq war while he was trying to sell-in the disastrous Iran Deal. While this president has criticized Russia for (in his opinion) trying to skew the American election toward Donald Trump, he sent some of his political advisers to Israel and allowed the State Department to spend money, all in an attempt to defeat Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Israel’s most recent election.

With all that in mind, why is anybody surprised that Obama who has proven to be anti-Semitic as well as anti-Israel during his White House tenure, abstained in this UN vote?

Certainly, not Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), he strongly objected to Obama’s anti-Israel UN Vote:

“This is absolutely shameful. Today’s vote is a blow to peace that sets a dangerous precedent for further diplomatic efforts to isolate and demonize Israel. Our unified Republican government will work to reverse the damage done by this administration, and rebuild our alliance with Israel.”

In a very rare move, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who will be the senate minority leader in January, making him the most powerful Democrat in the federal government voiced his displeasure of the action by the president of his own party, abstaining in the anti-Israel UN Vote

“It is extremely frustrating, disappointing and confounding that the Administration has failed to veto this resolution. Whatever one’s views are on settlements; the U.N. is the wrong forum to settle these issues. The U.N. has been a fervently anti-Israel body since the days of ‘Zionism is racism’ and, unfortunately, that fervor has never diminished. Knowing this, past Administrations – both Democrat and Republican have protected Israel from the vagaries of this biased institution. Unfortunately, this Administration has not followed in that path and its actions will move us further from peace in the Middle East.”

It is no surprise that this president abstained in this anti-Israel vote, allowing it to to be passed by the UN Security Council with less than a month left in his administration.  Like the Arctic Drilling ban announced earlier this week, Friday’s UN action is not easily un-done by the Trump administration. The only way to overturn a UN Security Council resolution is another UN Security Council resolution. Since Russia and China each have a veto, it is very unlikely that will happen.

Obama vetoed a similar Security Council resolution about a year ago. But there is a major difference between the two votes. This vote occurred after the Presidential election and almost two years before the mid-term elections.  Obama is cynically counting on the fact that the major Jewish donors to the Democratic Party, as well as the traditional Democratic voting bloc of Jewish voters will forget this action before the next election.

Sadly he is probably correct.


Jeff Dunetz

Israel’s Biometric Database Law Passes Preliminary Vote

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

The Knesset plenum passed in a preliminary vote a bill to include biometric verification methods and biometric verification data in ID documents and in the national database. 41 MK supported the bill, 25 opposed, and the bill was forwarded to the House Committee to decide which Knesset Committees will ready it for the next vote.

The bill includes several stipulations: citizens must give their approval to the inclusion of their fingerprints in the national database; the database will contain biometric facial images only; Citizens who participated in the pilot program can request that their data be deleted within a period to be determined; and, most important, the bill stresses the need to provide state-of-the-art technology to guarantee the prevention of identity theft.

Incidentally, during the pilot program, more than one million Israeli citizens, or close to a third of those requesting ID documents agreed to participate in the biometric verification program.

Deputy Interior Minister Meshulam Nahari (Shas), who introduced the bill at the plenum, assured the Knesset that all the national security agencies have tested the issue in depth and most experts have recommended the establishment of a biometric verification data center.

MK Dov Khenin (Joint Arab List) objected to the new bill on the grounds that it ushers in a Big Brother society. He argued that there shouldn’t be a connection between smart ID documents, which are a good idea, to prevent identity theft, and the inclusion of the collected data in a center that’s available to the state at will. “Like every other database, the biometric verification center is bound to be broken into, sooner or later,” Khenin notes.

All the objections at the plenum debate, including from MKs Haim Jelin (Yesh Atid) and Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) had to do with the fear of government abusing the collected data.


Israel’s ‘Muezzin Law’ with Tougher Fines Submitted for Preliminary Knesset Vote

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

A bill prohibiting the use of public address systems outside houses of prayer, a.k.a. “Muezzin Law,” was submitted a second time for a preliminary plenum vote and is expected to receive an expedited procedure, Walla reported Monday. According to the revised version of the bill, houses of prayer will be prohibited to use their exterior PA systems from 11 PM to 7 AM. This both reserves Israeli mosques’ right to use their exterior loudspeakers to call Muslims to prayer five times a day, and no longer threatens the use of Jewish pre-Shabbat alerts. The bill, which also limits the decibel levels of those exterior PA systems when they are being used, was submitted by MK Mordhay Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi) and Coalition Chairman MK David Bitan (Likud).

The bill calls for a fine of between $1,300 and $2,600.

It is expected that the Muezzin Law, which initially got a hostile reception from most Arabs – although some revealed secretly the law would bring much needed relief to their families – will be expedited through the plenum and in committee, so that it can be presented next Sunday at the Ministerial legislative committee. The bill’s language prohibits nighttime use of the exterior PA systems of all houses of worship, although in practice this only means mosques and their practice of calling on the believers to dig out their prayer rugs and start prostrating.

“Hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens in the Galilee, Negev, Jerusalem and other locations in central Israel suffer routinely and daily from the noise caused by the PA systems of houses of worship,” goes the “Muezzin Law” introductory segment. “The proposed law introduces a worldview according to which freedom of religion need not be a source of interruption of citizens’ sleep, suggesting houses of worship limit the use of their PA systems overnight.”


Electoral College Vote Confirms Donald J. Trump is US President-Elect

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Six weeks after the American people voted Republican Donald J. Trump into the White House, the country’s Electoral College on Monday confirmed the decision in a formal ballot.

Along with that, Vice President Mike Pence was confirmed in his position as well.

The 538 members of the Electoral College are really the ones who count when the decision is made on who enters the White House.

During the November 8 election, at the end of the day Trump won 306 of those votes – considerably more than the 270 he needed to beat his Democratic contender, Hillary Clinton.

This time around, for the final call, some of the GOP defected, and so did some of the Democrats.

According to the New York Times, two Republicans voted for someone other than Trump.

But they were neutralized by their Democratic opponents, who elected to cast their ballots for someone other than Clinton.

Some of the electors were “faithless” – that is, voted for someone other than the chosen nominees, and therefore their votes were discounted altogether and they had to be replaced.

Of the 306 electors pledged to Trump, 304 voted for him this time around. And of the 232 electors who had voted for Clinton on November 8, only 224 voted for her on during Monday’s ballot.

The figures echo an election in 1808, when six electors also voted for someone other than their party’s nominee.

Hana Levi Julian

Amona Residents Receive Full Relocation Outline, Will Vote

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

The residents of Amona, which is slated for demolition by court order Dec. 25, last night received the final outline regarding their future location, care of Habayit Hayehudi. The full text, twitted by Channel 2 News’ Ofer Hadad, is a “dream package” in his opinion. However, Hadad notes in a separate tweet, the outline reveals the state’s sense of uncertainty about its ability to carry out the promised relocation on the same mountain, facing potential hurdles from the Supreme Court. On the other hand, Hadad points out, the choice is between an eviction in a few days without any promises, and this statement of intent to help from the coalition government.

The outline, which the Amona residents are expected to sign in short order, possibly on Wednesday, acknowledges that the court order will be carried out either on Dc. 25, or a month later, if the court will agree to a one-month extension.

The state will immediately provide 11 mobile homes on the 1.5 acre absentee landlord’s area 38, to be assigned to Mateh Binyamin regional council for construction.

In addition, the state will provide some 40 mobile homes in lots near Amona, in the same manner as area 38. The lots in question are abandoned lots 28, 29, 30, and 54. These will be appropriated by the state.

Over the next two years, the government will examine the possibility of a long-term settlement in the appropriated areas. The state will meanwhile appeal to Jerusalem magistrate court to excise claimed land plots from the abandoned ones, to form a legally contiguous area for settlement that will nor be vulnerable to future claims.

Should court delays not allow for the above plans to swing into motion, the state will prepare temporary housing solutions for the evacuees in nearby Ofra, at the foot of the Amona mountain.


BDS Jackal Eran Cohen Gets Rolled Up Newspaper Smacking from UK Jewish Students

Monday, December 12th, 2016

The Union of Jewish Students, comprised of 64 Jewish Societies on UK campuses “from Exeter to Edinburgh, London to Liverpool and many more in-between,” and representing more than 8,500 Jewish students in the UK and Ireland, on Sunday gave their vote to Josh Holt to become their next president. Holt received 682 of 1049 votes cast for a field of four candidates (one of whom was dubiously named “Re-open nominations” and received 20 votes).

In third place, with 89 votes, came Israeli-born Eran Cohen, a fellow celebrated by Israel’s Ha’aretz in its late Sunday night story headlined “Israeli-born BDS backer loses U.K. student union bid.” But he did defeat “Re-open nominations” by a whopping 69 votes.

Among the UJS core values is the belief that “Jewish students should have the support and space to explore their connection and relationship with Israel.” This explains why Eran Cohen attracted so much attention despite his miserable loss: because in a near-meaningless organization, where only about an eighth of the members bothered to vote for president, a full 89 of those picked a guy who advocates a boycott of Israel. This, apparently, was the outcome of their exploration of their relationship with Israel.

Eran Cohen was described by Ha’aretz as member of the UK’s Jewish anarchist collective Jewdas and a committed “diasporist.” It’s tough walking into two previously unknown concepts in one story, right? Well, imagine my surprise… OK, let’s deal with them, one at a time.

Jewdas, “Radical voice for the alternative diaspora,” is reminiscent of the 1960s’ Youth International Party, a.k.a. the Yippies, who fought the Johnson and Nixon tyrannies with humor and, occasionally, rage. They were often referred to as the  “Groucho Marxists.” They were almost exclusively Jewish: Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Lee Weiner, Stew Albert, Wolfe Lowenthal, Brad Fox. Ah, the days when Jewish leftists still had a sense of humor…

In Jewdas you’ll find promising articles, such as “BREAKING: Discovery of 1939 message of ‘congratulations’ from Board of Deputies to General Francisco Franco,” and “Exclusive: New Testament chapter reveals Jesus became a Tory.” But much of it is raw, nasty anti-Zionist and especially anti-settlements inyourfacials.

“Diasporist,” to my shame, is a very old concept, established by Ronald Brooks Kitaj (1932-2007), an American artist “with Jewish roots” (he was totally Jewish, btw), who spent much of his life in England. In 1989, Kitaj published his “First Diasporist Manifesto,” a short book analyzing his own alienation and its contribution to his art. In it, he stated: “The Diasporist lives and paints in two or more societies at once,” and, “You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Diasporist.”

What did we learn in this strange report today?

1. Almost nobody gives a flying hoot about the UJS, especially not UK Jewish students.

2. Out of that miniscule, itsybitsy minority, a negligible number cares a hoot about BDS.

3. Jewdas is mostly unfunny, especially compared with master shenaniganers like Abbie Hoffman.

4. Jews become restless in captivity and start gnawing on their own flesh, which totally explains BDS.

5. “Inyourfacial” is totally yes a word.

We now return to our regularly scheduled reports.

David Israel

Senate to Vote on Holocaust Restitution as Vienna Philharmonic Returns Looted Painting

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

The US Congress is about to pass the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act of 2016, enabling heirs of Holocaust victims to recover art that was looted by the Nazis, The Art Newspaper reported. the House of Representatives approved the bill unanimously Dec. 7. Now the Senate needs to vote on it before the end of the last 2016 legislative session. It is expected the Senate be near-unanimously in favor of the new law.

The law allows the heirs six years to sue in US court from the day they become aware of the existence and location of the looted object. It will standardize the statutes of limitations on claims in all states.

Actress Helen Mirren testified before the US Senate Judiciary Committee in June in favor of the bill, having starred in the film Woman in Gold, in the role of Maria Altmann, the heir of wealthy Austrian Jews whose property was stolen by the Nazis, including the famous Gustav Klimt painting of her aunt Adele Bloch-Bauer, Woman in Gold. Altman sued in the US and eventually recovered the work from the Vienna Belvedere Museum in 2006.

Meanwhile, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra will return Port en Bessin (1883), a painting by French neo-impressionist Paul Signac, valued at half a million dollars, to the heirs of the former owner Marcel Koch. According to Österreichischer Rundfunk, the Austrian national public service broadcaster, the work was gifted to the orchestra in 1940 by the head of the secret police Roman Loos, in exchange for requested performances.

“The restitution of the picture is a great concern to us,” director of the Vienna Philharmonic Clemens Hellsberg told ORF. “For years we have strived to examine the past of the Vienna Philharmonic, and we are taking responsibility to make up for historical injustice.”


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/senate-to-vote-on-holocaust-restitution-as-vienna-philharmonic-returns-looted-painting/2016/12/10/

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