Alan M. Dershowitz: UN Resolution Lets Palestinians Think They Can Bypass Israel Talks
The Palestinian leadership has refused to accept Prime Minister Netanyahu's offer to negotiate without preconditions, and this refusal has now been rewarded. The resolution neglects to mention that Israel offered the Palestinians a state, an end to the occupation and settlements, and peace in 2000 - 2001 as well as in 2008, but the Palestinian leadership did not accept either of these offers. They will continue in this rejectionist mode, fortified by this one sided resolution.Netanyahu's Chanukah Speech Blasts Obama, Salutes Soldiers
Why then did President Obama, in his parting days, tie the hands of his successor? He was certainly not reflecting the will of the people or of congress. Both the Senate and the House are strongly opposed to this resolution, as are many people within the Obama administration.
Nor is this an issue on which Israelis are divided. There is no Israeli leader who supports this resolution.
President Obama would never have allowed it to go forward before the recent presidential election, but now that he has nothing at stake he can place his personal interests above those of the country, his party and peace. He may believe that this action (or inaction) will burnish his legacy, but he is wrong. It will only solidify his reputation as one of the worst foreign policy presidents in modern history. A president who bears significant responsibility for the tragedy of Syria, the empowerment of Russia and Iran, and the weakening of America's standing in the world.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks on the first night of Chanukah this evening (Saturday, 24 December 2016) at an event in salute of wounded IDF and security forces veterans and victims of terrorism:
“Citizens of Israel, I would like to reassure you. The resolution that was adopted yesterday at the United Nations is distorted and shameful but we will overcome it. The resolution determines that the Jewish Quarter [in the Old City of Jerusalem] is ‘occupied territory’. This is delusional. The resolution determines that the Western Wall is ‘occupied territory’. This too is delusional. There is nothing more absurd than calling the Western Wall and the Jewish Quarter occupied territory. There is also an attempt here, which will not succeed, to impose permanent settlement terms on Israel. You might recall that the last one who tried to do this was Carter, an extremely hostile president to Israel, and who just recently said that Hamas is not a terrorist organization. Carter passed sweeping decisions against us at the UN of a similar kind, and this was also unsuccessful. We opposed this and nothing happened.
“All American presidents since Carter upheld the American commitment not to try to dictate permanent settlement terms to Israel at the Security Council. And yesterday, in complete contradiction of this commitment, including an explicit commitment by President Obama himself in 2011, the Obama administration carried out a shameful anti-Israel ploy at the UN. I would like to tell you that the resolution that was adopted, not only doesn’t bring peace closer, it drives it further away. It hurts justice; it hurts the truth. Think about this absurdity, half a million human beings are being slaughtered in Syria. Tens of thousands are being butchered in Sudan. The entire Middle East is going up in flames and the Obama administration and the Security Council choose to gang up on the only democracy in the Middle East – the State of Israel. What a disgrace.
My friends, I would like to tell you on the first night of Chanukah that this will not avail them. We reject this resolution outright, just as we rejected the UN resolution that determined that Zionism was racism. It took time but that resolution was rescinded; it will take time but this one will also be rescinded. Now I will tell you how it will be rescinded. It will be rescinded not because of our retreats but because of our steadfastness and that of our allies. I remind you that we withdrew from Gaza, uprooted communities and took people out of their graves. Did this help us at all at the UN? Did this improve our relations at the UN? We were hit with thousands of rockets and at the UN we were hit with the Goldstone report!
PMW: Fatah: UN vote means Fatah will kill Israelis
Three days ago Fatah’s official Facebook page posted a drawing of its map of “Palestine,” which includes all of Israel and painted like the Palestinian flag, being used to stab the word “settlement.” The text above the image: “#Palestine will defeat the settlement ” (Above left)After UN vote, Kerry suggests Israel's West Bank foray spawning 'terrorism'
Yesterday in response to the UN Security Council resolution declaring Israeli settlements illegal, Fatah republished the identical image but added a pool of blood at the bottom, and the words “Thank You” above the image, and the names of the 14 countries that voted in favor of the UN resolution. (Above right)
Is Fatah thanking the 14 countries for their UN vote because they interpret the UN as granting Fatah permission to kill Israelis? Or is Fatah thanking them because now that the UN declared settlements “illegal” it sees itself free to kill more Israelis?
Either way Fatah is saying more Israelis will pay with their lives as a result of the UN vote.
The 14 countries thanked by Fatah are:
Russia, Angola, Ukraine, Japan, Spain, Egypt, Malaysia, Venezuela, New Zealand, Senegal, Uruguay, France, China, and Britain.
The United States, whose abstention actually enabled the resolution to pass, is not mentioned.
Kerry said Israel’s continued and stepped-up attempts to build more settlements, or communities, in the region, which includes East Jerusalem, risks the so-called “two-state” solution between Israelis and the Palestinians, who also lay claim to the region.
“The United States acted with one primary objective in mind: to preserve the possibility of the two state solution, which every U.S. administration for decades has agreed is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians," Kerry said Friday. “Two states is the only way to ensure Israel's future as a Jewish and democratic state, living in peace and security with its neighbors, and freedom and dignity for the Palestinian people.”
He also said the administration does not agree with “every aspect” of the resolution but that it “rightly condemns violence” and calls on both sides to take constructive steps to reverse current trends and advance the prospects for a two-state solution.
The resolution was put forward by four nations a day after Egypt withdrew it Thursday under pressure from Israel and Trump.
The U.S. not vetoing the measure is being considered a snub to the country’s key Middle East ally and attributed to outgoing Democratic President Obama, who has had chilly relations with Israel throughout his eight-year tenure.
Reaction from U.S. Republicans and Jewish leaders around the world was swift and sharp.
Melanie Phillips: Obama’s malice, May’s shame. Drain the UN swamp
Since she came to power last July the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has gone out off her way to express her warm affection for the Jewish people and her strong support for the State of Israel.Michael Lumish: Caroline Glick on Obama's Stab in the Back
Her words now stick in the throat. If Obama has committed a foul and final act of malice towards Israel, Mrs May has done something just as bad, if not worse: presented herself as the friend upon whom the Jewish people can rely while her government stuck the knife not into Israel’s back, as did Obama, but its front.
Two weeks ago, Mrs May told the Conservative Friends of Israel that the 1917 Balfour Declaration, in which the British government committed itself to the re-establishment of the Jewish homeland in Palestine, was “one of the most important letters in history” and that next year’s anniversary of the Declaration was one that Britain would be “marking with pride”.
There is no reason to doubt that she is personally warmly disposed towards the Jews and Israel. But her understanding seems terribly limited. The reality, of which she seems to be genuinely unaware, is that for three decades after the Balfour Declaration the British did everything they could to undo it.
They turned a blind eye to Arab pogroms against the Jews of Palestine. They tore up Britain’s internationally binding obligation to settle the Jews throughout that land, making Britain an accessory to the Holocaust by refusing Jewish refugees entry to Palestine during the Nazi period. And they offered the Arabs, as a response to their murderous violence against both the Jews and the British, part of the Jews’ own entitlement to the land.
Britain’s wholesale disregard of international law, its craven appeasement of the Arabs’ violence and its further punishment of their Jewish victims cemented permanent Arab aggression and rejectionism towards Israel. Yesterday at the UN, making common cause with ideologues, appeasers and tyrants, perfidious Albion continued its betrayal of the Jewish people.
The scene is now set for the US to tackle the reservoir of evil that the UN has become. Not before time. This is one swamp that most urgently needs to be drained.
First, there is the obvious silver lining which is that we don't need to lie about Obama anymore. He revealed himself in his final month as the Jew hating, Israel hating bastard we have always known him to be but our leaders, out of fear that he would act as he did on Friday felt compelled to pretend that the man who gave the bomb to Iran is a friend of ours.Obama Administration Fires a Dangerous Parting Shot
Second, and more importantly, there is the irony of the consequences of the resolution.
By joining the UN gang rape of Israel in an act of diplomatic terrorism against the Jewish people and the Jewish state, Obama destroyed not only all prospects for peace. He destroyed all prospects for Palestinian state.
He destroyed all prospects for Israeli withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines. He destroyed all prospect of any Israeli withdrawal at all.
And he even managed to weaken the UN which now faces a massive cut in funding from the Trump White House and the Republican controlled Congress.
The news of this resolution hit us like a brick wall. It hurts to see a room full of well dressed, well schooled, supposedly cultured and caring people acting like a lynch mob of Cossacks setting fire to synagogues and attacking Jewish villagers with pitchforks. It is nauseating beyond measure to watch Samantha Power, who branded herself as "Miss Genocide," as in, the redhead who fights for the powerless, standing with murderers against innocent, law abiding, human rights respecting, good Jews.
But we've been through much worse and survived and prospered. Samantha Power won't even merit a footnote in history, except in the section on the greatest hypocrites in the early 21st century.
Obama will go on to become Jimmy Carter on steroids. He will be relentless, and powerful. But we will survive him as well.
And John Kerry will remembered first and foremost for betraying the men that served with him in Vietnam. All the treacheries he committed since, including this one, were preordained the moment he stepped out of the crowd and libeled his brothers in arms.
With G-d's help, we Jews will survive and thrive and move on from strength to strength, as our forefathers did, as we have always done.
A lame-duck White House may feel a radical change in policy is justified by Israel’s shift to the right under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Israel’s governing coalition is supporting legislation that would legalize dozens of settlements that Israel itself defines as illegal, because they were constructed on private Palestinian property. Mr. Netanyahu supported a partial settlement freeze for 10 months in 2009 and 2010 at Mr. Obama’s behest, but has since allowed construction, including in some areas deep in the West Bank.Elliott Abrams: The United States Just Made Middle East Peace Harder
Nevertheless, settlements do not explain the administration’s repeated failures to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace. The Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas proved unwilling to negotiate seriously even during the settlement freeze, and it refused to accept a framework for negotiations painstakingly drawn up by Secretary of State John F. Kerry in 2014. In past negotiations, both sides have acknowledged that any deal will involve the annexation by Israel of settlements near its borders, where most of the current construction takes place — something the U.N. resolution, which was pressed by the Palestinians, did not acknowledge or take into account.
Israeli officials charged that the abstention represented a vindictive parting shot by Mr. Obama at Mr. Netanyahu, with whom he has feuded more bitterly than he did with most U.S. adversaries. The vote could also be seen as an attempt to preempt Mr. Trump, who appears ready to shift U.S. policy to the opposite extreme after naming a militant advocate of the settlements as his ambassador to Israel. Whatever the motivation, Mr. Obama’s gesture is likely to do more harm than good.
First, the resolution fails to distinguish between construction in the so-called blocs — that is, settlements west of Israel’s security barrier in which about 80 percent of settlers live — and construction east of the barrier. Building in the major blocs is relatively uncontroversial in Israel and rarely the subject of Palestinian protests.Raphael Ahren: UN punctures Netanyahu’s theory that settlements are a non-issue
President George W. Bush sought to move peace talks forward in 2004 by asserting what all sides had already tacitly acknowledged — that there could be no return to the 1967 lines in light of the blocs’ existence, and that any negotiated border would have to reflect this reality. By refusing to confirm Bush’s position, Obama dragged the process backward and harmfully reopened old debates.
This regression is enshrined in the resolution, which “underlines that it will not recognize any changes” to the armistice lines, and demands the cessation of all settlement activities everywhere. This is unnecessary and unrealistic — Israelis will not bring life to a halt in towns that no one disputes they will keep — and is more likely to obstruct than facilitate the revival of peace talks.
Second, the resolution rewards those who argue for “internationalization” of the conflict — that is, for using international forums such as the U.N., European Union or International Criminal Court to impose terms on Israel, rather than resorting to negotiations.
For the resolution does indeed dictate terms to Israel, not merely condemn settlement activity. It adopts, as noted above, the position that the 1967 lines, rather than today’s realities, should form the basis of talks — despite the fact that many Israeli communities east of those lines are decades old and that Jews have had a near-continuous presence in the West Bank for thousands of years.
Three months ago, during his annual address to the United Nations in New York, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said something he predicted would “shock” his listeners: “Israel,” he declared, “has a bright future at the UN.”Netanyahu: UN Resolution Claims Western Wall Is 'Occupied Territory'
He acknowledged that there “might be a storm before the calm,” noting rumors that some countries planned on “ganging up on Israel at the UN later this year.” Asserting that he would “not accept any attempt by the UN to dictate terms to Israel,” he reiterated his absolute conviction that “the revolution in Israel’s standing among the nations” will penetrate even the UN. “I have so much confidence, in fact, that I predict that a decade from now an Israeli prime minister will stand right here where I am standing and actually applaud the UN.”
In recent weeks, he has updated his assessment, saying that change at the UN will come “even sooner.” The nations of the world are eager for Israeli high-tech and anti-terror expertise, he now argues, and no longer believe that the settlements are the source of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — or that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in turn, is the source of Middle East instability.
On Saturday night — in his first public appearance after the 15-member UN Security Council passed a resolution condemning Israeli settlements, with 14 yes votes and an American abstention — Netanyahu did not back down from his ambitious goal. “The UN resolution adopted yesterday is merely part of the swan song of the old world that is biased against Israel. But, my friends, we are entering a new era,” he proclaimed.
Rather than admit that Friday’s crushing diplomatic defeat showed that the desired revolution in Israel’s foreign relations might, to put it mildly, be advancing slower than projected, he doubled down on the timetable he had set: “Contrary to what you might expect, it is very likely that last night’s scandalous resolution will accelerate this process. It is the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed President Barack Obama for allowing the UN to “gang up” on Israel by passing a “disgraceful” UN resolution that labels the Western Wall and Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem’s Old City occupied territory.Netanyahu says Obama ‘ambushed’ Israel at UN, likens him to ‘hostile’ Carter
“The resolution determines that the Jewish Quarter is occupied territory. It determines that the Western Wall, the Kotel, is occupied territory. There is no greater absurdity than that,” Netanyahu said Saturday evening at a Hannukah lighting ceremony for IDF soldiers and veterans and victims of terror.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) also attacked the Obama administration, saying, “The UN, whose chief [outgoing Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon] only recently admitted is an organization biased against Israel, made an absurd decision because of the lack of leadership the U.S. has demonstrated over the last few years.”
Edelstein added, “If the Western Wall and Ramot [in Jerusalem] are occupied territories, then the UN must determine that New York should be immediately returned to the Indians.”
Netanyahu said that the “distorted and disgraceful” resolution was “the last straw,” but vowed that Israel would “overcome” it and “reevaluate all of our ties to the UN within a month.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday accused President Barack Obama of breaching a specific commitment to Israel by allowing through Friday’s UN Security Council anti-settlements resolution, and compared the outgoing president’s behavior to that of predecessor Jimmy Carter, “a president who was hostile to Israel.”IsraellyCool:On Obama’s Parting Shot At Israel
Vowing not to be forced by international pressure into withdrawing from disputed territory, he said the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump had indicated that it would join an all-out war against what he called a “shameful” and “scandalous” decision.
He described the 14-0 vote in the Security Council, with the US abstaining, as “the swan song of the old world that is anti-Israel.” Now, he said, “we are entering a new era. And as President-elect Trump said, it’s going to happen a lot faster than people think.”
In this new era, it will a lot more costly for those who seek to harm Israel, he warned.
Practically speaking, Netanyahu also announced that Israel was re-evaluating all of its dealings with the United Nations, and that he had already instructed officials to cut off “30 million shekels ($7.8 million) of funding for five UN bodies that are particularly hostile to Israel.” More such action will follow, he promised.
I have come back online after observing the Jewish Sabbath to read about the Obama administration’s shameful parting shot at Israel: the abstention on the U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in “Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967”, including East Jerusalem. In doing so, they broke with almost 50 years of US abstentions from such anti-Israel resolutions, and forever cemented this administration as the most hostile towards the Jewish state.CAMERA: Res. 2334: Game Changer or Not?
Going into Shabbat, I thought the resolution had been dead and buried after Egypt, the original sponsor, withdrew it, in a sure sign that 1) we may be nearing the end of days (I mean, who would have thought Egypt would ever do something like that?!) and 2) soon-to-be President Donald Trump is going to do things differently (and I mean that in a good way, especially coming off this disaster of an administration). But apparently, New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela, and Senegal – clearly countries with a huge stake in the Middle East and affected significantly by Jews building more houses in their ancestral homeland (yes, I am being sarcastic) – revived it to force a vote. And the rest is history. Shameful history.
Much has already been said about it, and it will be discussed for days, months, years and even generations to come. Many people have noted that the timing of this almost coincides with Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, which, according to the Obama administration, is illegally occupied by Israel.
First, the new resolution is not really new – it is in many ways a repeat of Resolution 465 (1980), in which the Security Council:LawFareBlog: UNSCR 2334 on Israeli Settlements
5. Determines that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel's policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;
6. Strongly deplores the continuation and persistence of Israel in pursuing those policies and practices and calls upon the Government and people of Israel to rescind those measures, to dismantle the existing settlements and in particular to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem;
7. Calls upon all States not to provide Israel with any assistance to be used specifically in connexion with settlements in the occupied territories;
The Carter administration voted for the resolution, though a few days later President Carter claimed that this was due to a communications error, and that he had wanted his ambassador to abstain (meaning the resolution would have still passed). See also here for Secretary of State Cyrus Vance's explanation.
Some have expressed the view that Res. 2334 may turn Israeli "settlers and ... officials into criminals in some countries, subject to prosecution there or in the International Criminal Court."
But Res. 2334 does not add very much to Res. 465 in this regard, and does not change the legal landscape. In other words, if a country wants to indict Israeli settlers or officials based on a Security Council Resolution, Res. 2334 was not necessary – Res. 465, which has not been amended or superceded by the Security Council, would have sufficed.
In any event, both resolutions were passed under Chapter 6 of the UN Charter, and so are advisory and do not create binding obligations or international law.
Second, the resolution does not invoke Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, which governs the Security Council’s authority to take enforcement measures in response to a “threat to the peace, breach of the peace or acts of aggression.” Its operative paragraphs do not include binding language, for the most part using the non-binding “calls upon” formulation. Resolution 2334 therefore does not have immediate and direct implications in the form of sanctions or other measures with practical significance.Dennis Ross: President Obama has been against Israel settlements since taking office
That said, the resolution provides a legal basis for possible concrete action on settlements in the future. Op. para. 5 calls on all States to distinguish between Israel proper and the territories. This new provision might legitimize and intensify existing efforts to promote sanctions against Israeli products originating in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, or boycott companies and institutions operating in those areas. But the extent to which op. para. 5 would translate into actual measures against Israel depends on political will. In addition, op. para. 12 of the resolution requests the U.N. Secretary General to periodically report on its implementation, creating a mechanism for keeping the issue alive at the Council, which might lead to further action. Finally, the resolution might encourage the ICC prosecutor, currently conducting a preliminary examination of Israel’s actions in the territories that encompasses settlements, to open a full fledged investigation (see here and here). The resolution does not provide the prosecutor with new legal arguments, but it might affect her decision-making.
In sum, while the resolution’s immediate practical significance is limited, it revitalizes the legal case against settlements under international law and provides a basis for states and organizations to act against Israeli settlements in the future—with or without U.S. participation. President-elect Trump’s objections to the resolution and threats by members of congress to defund the U.N. not withstanding, chances are that the resolution is here to stay. To reverse it, the Trump administration would need to push through a new resolution, which requires the support of the other members of the Security Council. That is not going to be easy.
The Obama Administration's abstention on the UN Security Council resolution probably should not come as a surprise.'Israel to stop funding UN institutions'
If there is one issue on which the President has been consistent vis-à-vis Israel, it has been settlement construction in the territories that Israel occupied after the 1967 war. From the outset of his administration, he called for a freeze on the building of Israeli settlements to include natural growth. Even when he vetoed a settlements resolution in 2011, he had his then UN ambassador, Susan Rice, make a tough statement about our opposition to settlements even as she explained that the one-sided nature of the resolution left us little choice but to veto.
Perhaps, President Obama felt this resolution was more balanced. Truth be told, resolutions in international forum about Israel are rarely, if ever, balanced.
This one creates the veneer of balance by referring to the need to stop terror and incitement, but of course it never names the Palestinians so this effectively refers to stopping all such actions by both sides. Moreover, the resolution is criticizing only Israel and calling on it to cease all its activity beyond the June 4, 1967, lines — which is defined as a violation of international law. Nothing is asked of the Palestinians.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his first comments since Friday's UN Security Council vote, Saturday night at a ceremony celebrating the first night of Hanukkah.PM calls in US envoy for ‘clarifications’ after US failed to veto anti-settlement UN vote
Netanyahu told the crowd that he was there to comfort everyone following the UN's decision.
The decision was "shameful," the Prime Minister repeated multiple times.
"The Security Council decision calls Israeli land occupied and that is just shameful, the decision calls the Western Wall occupied land, it is shameful," Netanyahu said.
Speaking of US President Barak Obama's choice to abstain from voting, Netanyahu said that Obama went against Israel, backing out of the commitment it had made to stand for Israel.
"The decision not only does not help us make peace, it stands in the way of peace," stated Netanyahu.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday summoned US Ambassador Dan Shapiro and met with him for “clarifications,” after the US abstained in Friday’s United Nations Security Council vote on a resolution demanding a halt to all Israeli settlement activity, enabling its passage.Gingrich Calls Out Russia For Hypocrisy On Israel
Netanyahu, who has publicly accused US President Barack Obama of “ambushing” Israel at the UN with the “shameful” resolution, reportedly told colleagues earlier Sunday that the diplomatic tussle was not yet over. “The issue is still hot, and we haven’t heard the end of this yet,” Haaretz reported him telling Likud ministers at a closed-door meeting.
Secretary of State Kerry said after the vote on Friday that he would shortly deliver a speech laying out his vision for a Middle East peace agreement and how future administrations may be able to take the issue forward, featuring “more detailed thoughts, drawn from the experience of the last several years, on the way ahead.” Netanyahu now fears that the US will seek another vote at the UN to enshrine some of Kerry’s suggested parameters for an accord, Israel’s Channel 2 news reported on Sunday evening. There was no confirmation of this report.
Earlier Sunday, Netanyahu ordered the Foreign Ministry to summon the ambassadors of the states that supported the anti-settlement resolution for a dressing-down. Ten envoys were called in on Christmas morning for scoldings from directors of the Foreign Ministry’s respective regional departments, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon said.
Newt Gingrich mocked what he sees as Russia’s hypocrisy over its anti-Israel vote at the United Nations Friday.UNSC Resolution 2334: Why I Am Glad The US Abstained
The former House speaker tweeted Saturday morning, “So Russia having illegally occupied Crimea and eastern Ukraine votes to condemn Israel for ‘occupied lands.’ We are supposed to be impressed.”
The Obama administration did not join with 14 other countries in the Security Council’s condemnation of Israel, abstaining the vote.
President-elect Donald Trump encouraged the U.S. to use its veto power – which it possesses as a permanent member of the security council – to block the motion. After Friday’s vote, he tweeted “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th,” referring to his inauguration day.
The US has served as a fig leaf for the UN Security Council (UNSC) for far too long. When the US would veto resolutions, the names of all those countries who voted in favour of the resolution would fade into the dungeons of unnecessary details that need not be filed or remembered.If You’re Surprised By US Abstention, You Don’t Understand the Left
Not so now!
We will remember that Egypt obliged US President-Elect Donald Trump and Israel (most likely the former rather than the latter) by backing down from raising the resolution proposal to the UNSC floor. Kudos to Egypt!
We will remember that Senegal, Malaysia, New Zealand and Venezuela placed the resolution back on the agenda the very next day, the last working day before Christmas and probably the last working day of 2016.
Malaysia and Venezuela are no big surprise – we have no diplomatic relations with either country. But Senegal, with whom there have been warming relations and who have benefited from Israeli expertise in agriculture to name one area of cooperation? New Zealand, with whom, in spite of some rocky diplomatic snafus over the years, has largely had a positive relationship with Israel?
Had the USA vetoed the resolution, Netanyahu would not have come down hard on Senegal and New Zealand for having put it up for the vote. In my opinion, it should not have needed to pass for him to recall our ambassadors from these two countries and cease development aid to Senegal. But the veto would have made the resolution slide into oblivion with no accountability on the part of those who proposed it. I hope this changes the game. I hope from now on, an ally or beneficiary who proposes such shameful resolutions will find themselves banished from our sight. (I know, realpolitik does not allow for such righteousness.)
The schism between the left and the right has grown massive, exemplified by the recent presidential election, possibly the most contentious in US history. In fact, both candidates rubbed me the wrong way to such an extent that I couldn’t feel comfortable voting for either of them. I later realized that my distaste for both candidates reflects my resentment for the growing political schism I feel as a centrist, and the lack of a political home I feel as even supposedly nonpartisan groups like ADL become political to the point where I no longer feel comfortable supporting them (though I still support a lot of their activities).Roseanne Barr: Obama’s Anti-Israel UN Action Like ‘Nazis Who Enacted Anti-Jewish Laws on the Eve of Jewish Holidays’
In this crazy political climate, right before Shabbat fell in houses across the United States, the UN launched a sneak attack on Israel’s settlement policy, and the legitimacy of Judea, Samaria, and even the Western Wall in Jerusalem, as part of the Jewish homeland.
This resolution passed almost unanimously, with 14 votes for and one abstention.
Not only was there the shock of a few of our purported allies co-sponsoring the resolution, such as New Zealand, and Israel aid recipient Senegal, there was the even greater shock at the US – our sworn, long-time ally, our best friend – abstaining.
To everyone but me, anyway. I totally saw that abstention coming, and the fact that most of my Facebook friends did not highlights just how wide the schism between the right and the left has gotten.
Actress and comedian Roseanne Barr excoriated President Obama on Twitter for abstaining from a UN Security Council vote that passed on Friday demanding a halt in Israeli construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem and referring to those lands as “Palestinian territories.”PreOccupiedTerritory: Flowers From Meretz To UN Stymied By BDS (satire)
Barr compared Obama’s abstention, which allowed the anti-Israel resolution to pass, with “Nazis” who “enacted anti-Jewish laws on the eve of Jewish holidays-exactly as @POTUS has done on eve of Hanukkah.”
She sent out the following tweets:
Barr visited the Jewish state last March to keynote a Jerusalem conference exposing the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
Officials in the Meretz Party sought to send bouquets to the United Nations Security Council today, following the body’s decision to declare Israeli Jewish communities beyond the 1949 armistice line illegal, but were unable to complete the action after emboldened anti-Israel activists persuaded New York City florists not to accept orders from the Jewish State.Ted Cruz: Cut US funding to UN until reversal of Israel vote
Meretz Chairwoman Zehava Gal-On, MKs Ilan Gilon and Tamar Zandberg, and five other functionaries of the party wished to celebrate the Council’s decision as a political victory for the Left, and placed an order online with a flower shop on the Eat Side of Manhattan for delivery to the UN building at Turtle Bay. However, a group of Boycott, Divest, Sanctions activists had already taken advantage of the morale boost the vote provided, and began campaigning noisily across New York for businesses and organizations to adopt the spirit of the resolution by imposing a boycott of Israel. Area florists cast their lot with the activists, and one by one declined to take Meretz’s order.
“We’re still looking for an enterprise, and I’m sure we’ll find one eventually,” predicted Gal-On. “Afer all, this is as much our celebration as it is BDS’s. We’re all working toward the same goal, if by slightly different means. I’m sure we’ll soon reach a florist who will accommodate us.”
In Manhattan, business owners were less certain. “Theses activists can male our lives miserable,” warned a Second Avenue proprietor who declined to be identified. “I can’t explain to them that the order I’m accepting is from allies in Israel, because they don’t see Israelis as allies. For them, the whole country has to be undermined, and there’s no nuance about it. I have my family to worry about – I can’t have these loudmouths threatening them also.”
Texas Senator Ted Cruz called on the US to stymie funding to the United Nations until Friday's vote at the UN Security Council to end Israeli settlement building is reversed.PM cancels visit of Ukrainian PM after Kiev supports anti-settlements resolution
The Republican politician took to Twitter, saying he had spoken to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to send him Hanukka greetings along with the assurance of "strong support in Congress."
"No US $ for UN until reversed," Cruz wrote in the post.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday decided to cancel the upcoming visit of the Ukrainian prime minister as a consequence of Kiev voting in a favor of an anti-settlements resolution at the United Nations Security Council.David Singer: UN Security Council and Obama revive Palestine Mandate Solution
Volodymyr Groysman, who became Ukraine’s first Jewish prime minister earlier this year, was scheduled to arrive in Israel on Tuesday for a two-day visit that included meetings with Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and other top officials.
The Foreign Ministry on Saturday confirmed the cancellation, but declined to elaborate.
Ukraine was among the 14 Security Council members who voted on Friday for Resolution 2334, which declared that Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem have “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”
United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 passed on 23 December 2016 has buried any lingering hopes for the creation of a second Arab State in former Palestine in addition to Jordan (”the two-state solution”).CNN Falsely Claims US Ambassdor to UN Says Zionism=Racism
America’s decision to not veto Resolution 2334 – taken in the dying days of President Obama’s eight years term of office – revives the solution first envisaged in 1922 by the League of Nations.
Pursuant to Article 25A of the Mandate for Palestine - the territory covered by the Mandate was to be divided between the Jewish people and the Arab inhabitants of Palestine – restricting the Jews to reconstituting the Jewish National home in just 22 per cent of the territory whilst the remaining 78 per cent was reserved for the Palestinian Arabs.
The Jews reluctantly accepted that solution even though it contradicted promises made to them in 1920 at the San Remo Conference and in the Treaty of Sevres.
The Arabs however rejected the Mandate solution.
Notwithstanding such rejection – the two successor States to the Mandate – Israel and Jordan – have achieved the Mandate solution in 95 per cent of the territory covered by the Mandate.
The passing of a United Nations Security Council resolution against Israel on Friday left a particularly nasty taste in the mouth, both due to the one-sided nature of the resolution itself and the US decision not to exercise its veto.“Settlements Built on Land Seized From Palestine in ’67”: Metro Rewrites History
US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, explained why the US abstained and failed to back Israel. While there was plenty of criticism aimed at Israeli policies, Power certainly did not claim what CNN’s YouTube channel has titled its video of her speech: “Zionism is form of racism.”
Samantha Power never made such an appalling claim, which harks back to the UN’s lowest point in 1975 with the passing of the Resolution 3379 – Zionism=Racism libel, since repealed.
This inaccuracy cannot be allowed to stand. We’ve sent a complaint to CNN. Watch this space.
Metro, London’s free newspaper, covers the UN settlement resolution by including what the journalist thought would be a useful piece of background information.Reuters Reduces Israeli Ties to West Bank to Biblical Claim Only
Not so useful after all.
Israel did not seize anything from “Palestine” in 1967. The territory known as Judea and Samaria or the West Bank was won in a defensive war from Jordan, which was occupying the land at the time.
It’s precisely this sort of historical revisionism that has contributed to a false narrative of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that so favors the Palestinians today.
We’ve contacted Metro to ask for a correction. Watch this space.
In an article yesterday ("Israel to re-assess U.N. ties after settlement resolution, says Netanyahu"), Reuters reduces Israel's claim to the West Bank to biblical only. Ignoring Israel's legal claim along with a very long historical record spanning thousands of years after the biblical period, the article misleads:PreOccupiedTerritory: Ayatollahs Realize US Would, By Contrast, Veto Any UN Resolution Against Iran (satire)
Most countries view Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as illegal and an obstacle to peace. Israel disagrees, citing a biblical connection to the land.
Israel's claim to the West Bank rests on international law, cultural and religious ties, and post-biblical history, including the long-term presence of Jews for thousands of years, the Balfour Declaration, the San Remo Conference, and the League of Nations decision which was never repealed.
Indeed, the November 2015 Ministry of Foreign Affairs document "Israeli Settlements and International Law" goes into great detail about Israeli claims to the territory grounded in international law. The document notes that the Jewish presence in the territory was:
Leaders of the Islamic Republic if Iran expressed confidence today that as opposed to the Obama administration’s treatment of its ally Israel, no United Nations Security Council resolution against Iran would withstand an American veto, local sources report.A Hanukkah Message to the UN Security Council
Newspapers in the Persian capital carried word of increasing confidence in the offices of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hasan Rouhani that while Obama and his diplomatic advisers are set on humiliating Israel and weakening her, in departure from decades of explicit US policy, there is next to nothing Iran can do that would spark the same hostility from the White House or State Department under the 45th president.
“Obama’s reported hostility to Netanyahu is really only a pretext,” noted Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. “He’s been angling to abandon Israel since before he took office, and his Cairo speech made that clear – remember when he refused to address the Knesset, instead opting for a convention center on the outskirts of Jerusalem? The bad blood with Bibi was just a convenient way of pinning blame for the whole dynamic on Netanyahu, and trying to weaken him politically.”
“But if you look at Obama’s tolerance for our shenanigans, it’s a completely different story,” he continued. “We’ve been violating the nuclear deal right and left, flouting restrictions that are supposed to keep us from developing ballistic missile technology and exporting violence – not to mention taking hostages and holding them for diplomatic and economic ransom. And what does the administration do? Gives us more money, looks the other way on violations, grants secret dispensations to the terms of the deal, and tries to portray every Iranian violation as acceptable, part of the deal, or unimportant. Just so the deal, now meaningless, could be preserved. So do you think he’d let the UN Security Council treat the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism get treated as it treat’s the region’s only democracy? No, I don’t either.”
And what about us, the Jewish people — what does this vote mean for us? Ben-Gurion once said that our future does not depend on what other nations say, but what Jews do, and what better time to be reminded of that than now, in this holiday season? They do not attack our state with their bills, proposals and outrageous resolutions. They attack our Jewishness, and it is with Jewishness we need to respond. Rather than focus outward, with our anger at the obvious, we should focus inward at the core of what they hate and the heart of what we could be.
I light my candles and say the blessing, I pray in the words of my forefathers and I keep the codes and laws given to us, through the original deed to our land. While they may choose to cry out for delegitimization, my very actions and choices award me legitimacy, and as they try to make me less of me I am more, I am louder and stronger than they ever expected.
This resolution was put forth to delegitimize the state of Israel, but chances are it will lead to the delegitimization of the UN. They overplayed their hand, and will ultimately end up losing, now the only question is what we as Jews choose to do, and what choices matter when it comes to our survival.
It’s not about Obama, or even Netanyahu or the President-elect; and this vote — while brazen and untrue — was neither more nor less important than any of the others before it. The more we shout and cry about resolution 2334, the more we give Obama exactly what he wants, making him feel like a trailblazer when he is little more than a petulant child, wanting to be the best at being the worst. It’s about us, and we should keep it about us, thereby honoring the message of the Maccabees and the struggle that brought us here, and kept us here, until this very day.
Obama has cemented his legacy, and now we can focus on our own. What do we choose to do today, what act of Jewish defiance will we partake in, to show the world what’s what? They can write words on papers while we settle our land, they can shake their fists in chambers while we say our ancient blessings. One of these things will stick, the other is soon out of office; one a paper dragon, the other a lion, which roars.