UN, OBAMA, KERRY & OTHER “PEACE PROCESSORS” VILIFY ISRAEL BUT IGNORE ARAB COLONIALISM Posted on January 13, 2017 NB: PLEASE WATCH THE EXCELLENT VIDEO BY RABBI ASHER JACOBSON, CONGREGATION CHEVRA KADISHA, MONTREAL—Ed: Stab In The Heart (Video): Rabbi Asher Jacobson, Youtube, Jan. 11, 2017 Dear French Foreign Minister Ayrault: David Harris, Huffington Post, Jan. 9, 2017— I take the liberty of writing this open letter in the wake of the latest Palestinian terror attack… Real Liberals Must Shun Palestinian Colonialism: Melanie Phillips, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 5, 2017— With Israel still looking down the barrel of a diplomatic gun as the Obama presidency approaches its final days, it’s high time to change the narrative. Defund the United Nations: Rich Lowry, National Review, Dec. 30, 2016— We’ve come a long way from Daniel Patrick Moynihan excoriating the U.N.’s 1975 “Zionism is racism” resolution in one of the finer exhibits of righteous indignation in the history of American speechifying. So Now All of a Sudden I’m a Jewish ‘Settler’ According to Obama?: Oren Safdie, National Post, Jan. 9, 2017— I never considered myself a Jewish Settler. On Topic Links Stab In The Heart (Video): Rabbi Asher Jacobson, Youtube, Jan. 11, 2017 Netanyahu Dismisses 'Rigged' Paris Peace Conference: Mike Smith, AFP, Jan. 12, 2017 Debunking 11 More False Assumptions Regarding Israel: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Jan. 10, 2017 DEAR FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER AYRAULT David Harris Huffington Post, Jan. 9, 2017 I take the liberty of writing this open letter in the wake of the latest Palestinian terror attack, which killed four young Israelis and wounded many others in an assault eerily similar to the one in Nice in July, and days ahead of the “Middle East peace conference” in Paris you will be hosting. I do so with respect, coming from a Francophone home and with deep roots in France and French culture. I do so representing an organization, AJC, that has engaged with France at the highest levels for decades, and that, even when we have disagreed vigorously, has rejected those in the Jewish community who have called for boycotts and spread “fake news” about the situation in your country. And I do so, if I may say, no less eager than you to find a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ideally based on a two-state agreement. For me, the issue is not another geopolitical quagmire in need of resolution. As a Jew, there is also a metaphysical link to an ancestral land in an age-old search for peace, not to mention the contemporary home of many of my closest relatives and friends. Mr. Minister, please understand the reasons why we have voiced the hope that the Paris gathering would be canceled. As the one-and-only La Rochefoucauld said, “It is easier to be wise for others than for ourselves.” With everything happening in Europe today, is this the one issue that deserves such an investment of effort and energy? The European Union, soon to mark 60 years since the ground-breaking Treaty of Rome, is at risk, especially after the Brexit vote in June. Terrorists are exposing the weakness of the Schengen agreement. Disaffected parallel societies have emerged in the cities and suburbs of France, Belgium, and elsewhere. Populist parties opposed to the EU and the Eurozone, and promoting xenophobia and anti-Semitism, are threatening the established order. Ukraine, on the EU’s eastern border, remains a partially occupied land, as does Cyprus, an EU member state. Turkey, so key to the European migration challenge, is hurtling towards authoritarianism. Greece and Spain, among other EU countries, have alarmingly high youth unemployment rates. But instead of focusing on any or all of these issues, the Quai d’Orsay is organizing yet another international effort to address a conflict that everyone knows, a priori, can only be resolved by the parties themselves, no matter how many nations travel to Paris for the conference you are hosting. I’d add that, if France nonetheless has decided on the need for an international conference of some sort at this time, how about one on Syria, the greatest human tragedy of this century and a country that France has claimed, since the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement carved up the Middle East, to know better than others? Or how about on Libya, where a French decision in 2011 to help topple Muammar Gaddafi achieved its immediate goal, but left the country in tatters, a breeding ground for jihadism, and a grave danger to European interests? Or how about on the Kurds, a people in the Middle East with all the elements of nationhood – and among our most reliable allies – but denied any chance for sovereignty because of superseding geopolitical interests among the great powers? Or how about a summit on Russian meddling in the European Union, including financial support for extremist, anti-EU political parties, creation of faux environmental groups to oppose any energy projects without Russian involvement, and malicious manipulation of the media? No, the conference to begin on January 15th in Paris is about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, even though one of the two main parties, Israel, has opposed the idea; even though the United States, key to any progress on this front, will have a change of administrations (and policies) exactly five days later; and even though France, it must be said, cannot be viewed as an honest broker. Why? Well, despite strong bilateral ties between Paris and Jerusalem in some spheres, when it comes to the international arena, France is too often on the other side. This occurred in the recent vote at the UN Security Council on Resolution 2334, just as it did at the World Health Organization General Assembly in May, when France voted in favor of a measure that bizarrely singled out Israel by name as the only country in the world accused of undermining “mental, physical and environmental health,” and when France could do no more than abstain at UNESCO in April on a resolution that denied any Jewish (and Christian) link to the holy sites in Jerusalem. If the aim is to advance a two-state accord, then it’s high time to face facts. Fact #1: From the Peel Commission report of 1937 until today, the Palestinians and their supporters have, in the end, rejected every compromise put on the table to find a viable solution. Fact #2: Every effort that circumvents the face-to-face negotiating table only emboldens the Palestinians to believe they can get all they want without the need for direct talks with Israel, and the inevitable compromises that would result from any agreement. Fact #3: Palestinian incitement is not just a minor issue, to be thrown into UN resolutions and diplomatic speeches as an afterthought or footnote, but the heart of the problem. As long as Palestinians glorify suicide bombings and “martyrdom,” and deny the Jewish people’s legitimacy in Israel, there will be no solution. Fact #4: The role of nations of good will should be to send a clear message to the Palestinians that their every whim, no matter how counter-productive to the cause of peace, will no longer be indulged. Israel has certainly gotten its share of clear messages from the international community, but, alas, not the other side. Talleyrand, the legendary French foreign minister who once occupied your post, said: “The art of statesmanship is to foresee the inevitable and to expedite its occurrence.” The inevitable should not be more dead-end international gatherings, but rather face-to-face Israeli-Palestinian talks. When everyone wakes up to that stark reality, perhaps a two-state accord can be expedited. Contents REAL LIBERALS MUST SHUN PALESTINIAN COLONIALISM Melanie Phillips Jerusalem Post, Jan. 5, 2017 With Israel still looking down the barrel of a diplomatic gun as the Obama presidency approaches its final days, it’s high time to change the narrative. Western progressives define themselves through various fixed positions. They are against racism. They are against colonialism. They are against ethnic cleansing. They are against police states. And they are against antisemitism. So there is a political agenda that is surely tailor-made for Western liberals and left-wingers to shun and condemn as an utter negation of all they hold dear. The goal of the Palestinians is the colonial conquest of another people’s country. That country is the State of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people whose unique connection goes back to antiquity. In the 7th century the Arab world conquered Judea, as the ancient kingdom of the Jewish people had been known. The Jews had previously been driven out of this land by the Romans, who renamed it Palestine in order to conceal its Jewish antecedents. The Jews are the only people for whom this was ever their national kingdom. Now the Arabs want again to conquer and colonize the same land, which since 1948 has been restored to the Jewish people. They make this abundantly clear. Mahmoud Abbas has explicitly rejected Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. The Palestinian Authority indoctrinates its children to conquer Israeli cities. You’ve only got to look at the insignia and maps, not just of Hamas but also Abbas’s “moderate” Fatah, to see that the land they demand for a state of Palestine includes the whole of Israel. Palestinian identity was invented purely to negate the Jews’ unique rights to the Land of Israel. The very idea of a Palestine state was adopted solely as a strategic platform to bring about Israel’s destruction. Leading Palestinians have said so, in so many words. All progressives should therefore condemn this colonialist, exterminatory Palestinian agenda. The Palestine Mandate of 1922 prescribed the “close settlement” by Jews throughout the whole of Palestine, which then consisted of what is now Israel, the territories known as the West Bank, and Gaza. That Jewish right to settle all the land has never been abrogated. That means it remains unaltered in international law. The term “occupied territories” is legally illiterate, since the “West Bank” never belonged to any sovereign state and only sovereign land can be occupied as defined by international law. The Palestinian Arabs have no collective rights in Judea and Samaria. Only the Jews were given the legal right to settle there. This has never been taken away from them. The Jews are therefore not only entitled to live in these disputed territories, but they are the only people who have any legal, moral or historical right to be there. Yet the Palestinians want to rip up this unique Jewish right to the land. All progressives should therefore condemn this denial of international law. The Palestinians claim there can’t be a state of Palestine while Israelis are living in the disputed territories. Well, why not? Arabs make up some 20% of Israel’s population. Why couldn’t there be a Jewish minority in a future state of Palestine? No reason apart from sheer racism and antisemitism. In other words, the cause of a state of Palestine and “settlers out” inescapably involves racist ethnic cleansing. The Palestinian Authority pumps out deranged, Nazistyle antisemitism. It locks up journalists and other dissidents who dare oppose its policies. Obviously, all progressives should condemn such an agenda. Yet for liberals and left-wingers in the West, Palestine is the cause of causes – while they falsely and outrageously ascribe the offenses of colonialist conquest, ethnic cleansing and racism to the Jews of Israel instead. This is because Western progressives inhabit a grotesque universe of mirrors, created by viewing the world through an ideological prism which casts the West as inescapably oppressive and the developing world as its blameless victims. Crucially, they also see themselves as innately virtuous while everyone who does not view the world through this distorting prism is damned as irredeemably hateful, bigoted and evil. This, however, is the progressives’ Achilles’ heel. For if they themselves are shown to be supporting actual racism and colonialism, their supposed place on the moral high ground crumbles into dust and they are left with nowhere else to go. Publicly calling them out in this way for betraying their supposed ideals would bring further benefits. For others would be listening whose minds are not hermetically sealed through ideology or malice. Those people have no knowledge of the Middle East or Jewish history. They have no idea that the Jews are the only indigenous people of the Land of Israel who are still around; no idea that the Arabs are the historic occupiers; no idea that Israel’s “occupation” is nothing of the kind and that the “settlements” are lawful. They have no idea because no one has ever told them. The delegitimization of Israel rests on the hijacking of the language so that victims are turned into oppressors and vice versa. We must now reclaim the language for truth and justice. Palestinian colonialism means the Palestine cause is one that liberals must condemn and shun. Conversely, “progressives” who support Palestinian colonial conquest and the ethnic cleansing of the Jews from their historic homeland are nothing of the kind. It’s time to start letting them know. Contents DEFUND THE UNITED NATIONS Rich Lowry National Review, Dec. 30, 2016 We’ve come a long way from Daniel Patrick Moynihan excoriating the U.N.’s 1975 “Zionism is racism” resolution in one of the finer exhibits of righteous indignation in the history of American speechifying. The Obama administration acceded to — and, reportedly, assisted behind the scenes — a less notorious but still noxious Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements. By the administration’s lights, the action is clever — it will be extremely difficult to reverse and will increase Israel’s international isolation. But the bipartisan outrage over a resolution that, once again, demonstrates the U.N.’s hostility to our closest ally in the Middle East affords an opportunity to force an overdue crisis in the U.S.–U.N. relationship. We are the chief funder of a swollen, unaccountable U.N. apparatus that has been a gross disappointment for more than 70 years now. Proving that no country is perfect, we came up with the idea for the United Nations in the first place. Franklin Roosevelt thought that the Four Policemen of Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union, and China (with France eventually added as well) would keep the peace in the post–World War II world. Spot the flaw in this plan. This vision immediately foundered on the reality of power politics. The first major event in the U.N.’s life after the Security Council began meeting in New York City was a threatened Soviet walkout. The Soviets used their Security Council veto about 50 times in the U.N.’s first years of existence. It turned out that states with different interests and values weren’t going to act as a band of righteous international enforcers. In fact, as demonstrated in Rwanda and the Balkans, when confronted by hideously predatory forces bent on mayhem and murder, U.N. peacekeepers would simply stand aside. In the decades after the U.N.’s founding, the influence of Third World dictatorships grew, and so did the institution’s anti-Western and anti-Israel orientation, culminating in the Zionism resolution that U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Moynihan so memorably inveighed against. That vote was finally reversed in 1991, but prejudice against Israel has become one of the U.N.’s core competencies — as well as impenetrable bureaucracy. As early as 1947, a U.S. Senate committee flagged “serious problems of overlap, duplication of effort, weak coordination, proliferating mandates and programs, and overly generous compensation of staff within the infant, but rapidly growing, UN system.” And those were the early, lean years. We pay more than anyone else to keep the U.N. in business, about 22 percent of the U.N.’s regular budget. As Brett Schaefer of the Heritage Foundation notes, “the U.S. is assessed more than 176 other U.N. member states combined.” Because nothing involving the U.N. is clean or straightforward, it’s hard to even know how much the U.S. pays in total into the U.N. system. But it’s probably around $8 billion a year. We should withhold some significant portion of it, and demand an end to the U.N.’s institutional hostility to Israel and the implementation of reforms to increase the organization’s accountability. There are individual U.N. agencies that do good work, and we can continue to support those. Realistically, though, the U.N. will always be a disappointment. The fact is that the closest thing to what FDR envisioned in the U.N. is NATO, a like-minded group of nations that has been a force for peace, order, and freedom. This is why President-elect Donald Trump should embrace NATO and turn his critical eye to the U.N., where there is the genuine opportunity to, if nothing else, save the U.S. some money and rattle the cages of people taking advantage of our beneficence. Charles de Gaulle dismissively called the U.N. “the thing.” The thing will always stumble on, but maybe Donald Trump can teach it a lesson or two about how we truly value our ally and its nemesis, Israel. Contents SO NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN I’M A JEWISH ‘SETTLER’ ACCORDING TO OBAMA? Oren Safdie National Post, Jan. 9, 2017 I never considered myself a Jewish Settler. Growing up, spending my summers in our family home in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem, it was always considered different than living in the settlements of the West Bank or Gaza. Perhaps this had to do with the name — Jewish Quarter — or that it was understood by everyone that the Western Wall and surrounding neighbourhood would always remain part of Israel in any final peace settlement. Then again, this is the same argument many of the Jewish settlements along the Green Line have made when building within their given city limits. But to the eyes of the Palestinians — and since the passing of UN Resolution 2334, also to Barack Obama and his UN ambassador, Samantha Power — there’s absolutely no difference. From the time we moved into the house, many Israeli, Jewish and non-Jewish artists, journalists, politicians and other dignitaries have passed through the doors. I remember poet Yehuda Amichai coming over for lunch and giving me advice about becoming a writer. I once ran into Peter Jennings in the street and showed him to our rooftop where he filmed a final scene of his ABC special on the Middle East, showing just how close the Western Wall was to the Dome of the Rock and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. One thing almost every visitor shared in common was their staunch opposition to the “settler” movement, as did my parents. West Bank and Gaza “settlers” were seen as radical messianic religious zealots, responsible for wrecking the peace process, much in the way John Kerry recently characterized present Israeli government policy. And yet with the passing of Resolution 2334, it now stands that anyone who stepped foot in the Jewish Quarter or had gone to pray at the Wailing Wall were playing an equal part in condoning the occupation. Even the many Israeli performing artists who recently signed a petition refusing to perform in Ariel in the West Bank will now have to contend with the prospect of adding the Old City to the list. Of course, what makes this so complicated is that the American players who are rumoured to have played an active role bringing the resolution forth, exhibited inconsistent behaviour themselves in the lead-up to the resolution vote. Nobody thought twice when President Barack Obama visited Israel, and to the delight of Israelis and Jews, deposited a note in the cracks of the “occupied” Wailing Wall. And Ambassador Samantha Power must not have thought of the Jewish Quarter as too occupied since she was known to stay in the Jewish Quarter when she came to Jerusalem prior to becoming an ambassador. In reality, this convenient double standard has not only served Obama and Power, but almost all Israelis, as well as many visiting Jews and non-Jews with strong feelings against the settler movement. The question is, now what? Will Israelis who supported Obama refuse to attend their sons’ and daughters’ army graduation ceremonies at the Kotel? Will the progressive Jewish movement “Women of the Wall” cease their campaign to find a spot along the last remnants of Herod’s Second Temple — which, incidentally, UNESCO recently rejected any historical connection to Jewish history? Where will presidents and foreign ministers like John Kerry go to pay their respects to Israeli and Jewish people when they come to visit Israel? Will they now feel obliged to go to Tel Aviv and slip a note into the cracks of the cement wall off Dizengoff Square? Or will everyone simply reject the United Nations resolution and go about their business, even as new International legal sanctions are bound to grow? Resolution 2334 may have blurred the line on one double standard, but it also has highlighted a triple standard. Even though there are over two dozen countries that have border disputes with neighbouring countries, Israel is the one that the Security Council and Barack Obama have chosen to single out for condemnation. I say triple standard because if Israel is to be singled out for anything, it should be for its repeated efforts to return land for peace, even taking the unprecedented step of abandoning land without getting anything in return … except Hamas rockets. Perhaps President Obama and Ambassador Power should sponsor a new UN resolution before they leave office. Not one that imposes a basic outline to a final peace agreement, but one that celebrates Israel’s herculean efforts in striving for peace. It might help enforce their own double standards on the Jewish Quarter and Wailing Wall before they abstained on Resolution 2334. CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom! Contents On Topic Links Stab In The Heart (Video): Rabbi Asher Jacobson, Youtube, Jan. 11, 2017—“Is it possible that Israel is right and the whole world is wrong?” Netanyahu Dismisses 'Rigged' Paris Peace Conference: Mike Smith, AFP, Jan. 12, 2017—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday dismissed as "rigged" this weekend's Middle East peace conference in Paris, with his government refusing to play any role in the meeting. Debunking 11 More False Assumptions Regarding Israel: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Jan. 10, 2017—Further to the recent publication of “Ten False Assumptions Regarding Israel,” which addressed many of the widely-held and universally-disseminated false and mistaken assumptions regarding Israel, a number of additional false assumptions – some even more willful and malicious – are addressed.