Tag: Jewish Settlements

ISRAEL IS “GLOBALIZED, OPEN AND DEMOCRATIC”, DESPITE WARNINGS FROM THE LEFT, HA’ARETZ, & NYT

Israeli Democracy is Not at Risk: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, Feb. 3, 2017— The Economist last week released its annual global democracy index. Not surprisingly, Israel scored high.

How Israelis See the Settlements: Yossi Klein Halevi, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 5, 2017— A billboard near the highway entering Jerusalem proclaims in Hebrew: “The Time for Sovereignty Has Come.”

A Leader in Waiting, Lapid Slowly Builds a Doctrine for the Trump Era: Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel, Feb. 6, 2017 — Squandering the political capital created by the arrival of US President Donald Trump at the White House on settlement building would be a historic mistake, according to former minister Yair Lapid…

Netanyahu Messed Up But it is Time to Move Forward: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 16, 2017— Enough is enough.

 

On Topic Links

 

Amid UN Warning, Israel Set to Pass Historic Settlements Bill: Gil Hoffman, Udi Shaham, Tovah Lazaroff, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 6, 2017

It’s Time Canada Ended its Double Standard that Considers Israeli Settlements ‘Illegal’: Jason Reiskind, National Post, Jan. 31, 2017

Could Submarine Scandal Blow up in Netanyahu’s Face?: Ben Caspit, Al-Monitor, Feb. 1, 2017

No Victory: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 2, 2017

 

 

 

ISRAELI DEMOCRACY IS NOT AT RISK

David M. Weinberg

Israel Hayom, Feb. 3, 2017

 

The Economist last week released its annual global democracy index. Not surprisingly, Israel scored high. The highbrow magazine ranked Israel very high for pluralism and political culture. It ranked Israel a bit lower for civil liberties, mainly because of the rabbinate's ultra-rigid control over Jewish marriage, divorce and conversion. Indeed, Israel is more globalized, open and democratic than at any time in its history. Over the past decade, Israel's "democracy" scores have risen from 7.28 to 7.85 on a scale of 1 to 10, according to The Economist.

 

In comparison, Belgium this year rated a score of 7.77, France 7.92, the U.S. 7.98, Britain 8.36, and Canada 9.15. Greece was downgraded to the status of a "flawed democracy" at 7.23. Turkey is no longer rated a democracy, but a "hybrid regime." And yet, there is a steady drumbeat of warning about "dangers to Israeli democracy" being propagated these days.

 

You read it on the front pages of the left-leaning Yedioth Ahronoth and Haaretz newspapers. You get it from progressive academics in Israeli political science and sociology departments, and you are confronted with it by politicians seeking to unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The discourse goes like this: Israeli democracy is under attack by dark forces of ultra-nationalism, racism, fascism and religious radicalism. An ugly wave of hatred is washing across Israel, with fundamentalists leading a surging tide of extremism.

 

The purported evidence for this are the youths who gathered this week to prevent Amona from destruction, and hooligans who threatened army leaders and judges after Elor Azaria's conviction for killing an immobilized terrorist. Adding to the list of alleged "dangers to democracy" is a series of nationalist legislative initiatives in Knesset. These range from cultural and educational issues (spending more shekels on arts communities in the periphery, high school curriculum changes in civics and Jewish-Zionist heritage studies, and keeping the Breaking the Silence organization out of the school system) to constitutional matters (the nation state law, reform of the judicial appointments process) to political initiatives (crackdown on illegal Bedouin and Arab building, tougher prosecution of terrorist family members), and so on.

 

But none of the above actually proves the charges of fascism or undermining of Israeli democracy. Not at all. The noisy demonstrations and bullying of a few hundred radicals prove nothing, except that there are fringe elements in our society that need to be kept in check, on the extreme Left and Right alike. This holds equally true for radicals who threaten to upend Israel on behalf of the terrorist-abetting Israeli Arab MK Basel Ghattas, and for those who threaten military judges on behalf of Azaria. All zealots must be marginalized. But note: The right-wingers in Amona don't come close to falling into this category. They were mainly passive protesters, expressing outrage at flawed policy in legitimate fashion.

 

It is critically important how we approach the public policy debate. It is wrong to portray Israeli society as bisected by two enemy narratives: that of a moral, liberal, democratic, universalist Israeli Left, versus an immoral, illiberal, isolationist, nationalist Israeli Right. This is a false dichotomy, and it's an untrue picture of Israeli society. Like Britain, France, Germany and the U.S. these days, there is a real and worthy debate in Israel over important public policy matters, and there is a continuum of respectable views that defy simplistic categorization as democratic or anti-democratic.

 

It's important to acknowledge this, and to abjure accusations that every controversial policy innovation is motivated by hatred, moral insensitivity or authoritarianism. Taking up one side of the debate, I will argue that neither hawkish Israeli foreign policies, nor conservative Israeli socio-economic and cultural policies, automatically make this country less free, enlightened, noble, creative or exciting. Let's say, for example, that the NGO funding transparency law is passed by the Knesset, or that the judicial appointments process is altered to deny Supreme Court judges a veto over selection of their successors. Is that the "end of democratic Israel"? Of course not!

 

Let's say that the Knesset breaks up the Labor party's kibbutz-controlled food cartels, or that it passes a law mandating compensation for absentee Palestinian landlords for land on which Israelis have been living for 40 years (instead of expelling such Israelis from their homes). Is that the "end of democratic Israel"? Of course not! When the High Court of Justice ruled in favor of Netanyahu government policies on natural gas exploitation and on expulsion of illegal African migrant workers (while circumscribing some aspects of the attendant legislation) — policies that were strenuously opposed by the Left — was that the end of Israeli democracy? Or let's imagine that Azaria receives a light sentence for his manslaughter. Would that be fascist and undemocratic?

 

My point is that opposition to public policy should be debated on its merits — without semiautomatic screeching about intolerance, repression, dictatorship, thought police and the crushing of democratic norms. Over-the-top attacks make the political opposition sound just as crude and intolerant as the caricature of the government they are communicating.

 

Of course, no one should pooh-pooh civic challenges that do stand before Israeli society. The Israel Democracy Institute's 2016 democracy index found a significant drop in public trust of government institutions and politicians; and an increasing willingness to marginalize minorities, such as Israeli Arabs, ultra-Orthodox Jews and settlers. But we must beware of a doomsday discourse about depredations in Israel's democratic moorings. Israel is far more hale and hearty than some of its detractors would have us believe.                                                             

 

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HOW ISRAELIS SEE THE SETTLEMENTS

Yossi Klein Halevi

Wall Street Journal, Feb. 5, 2017

                       

A billboard near the highway entering Jerusalem proclaims in Hebrew: “The Time for Sovereignty Has Come.” It is part of a new campaign for the formal incorporation into Israel of Ma’ale Adumim, one of the largest settlements in the West Bank and barely a 10-minute drive east of Israel’s capital. The campaign’s sponsors, backed by several ministers in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ’s coalition, see annexing Ma’ale Adumim as the first step to annexing the entire West Bank and preventing the creation of a Palestinian state.

 

Israelis have been arguing about settlements ever since the Six Day War of June 1967, when the Israeli army captured the West Bank—the biblical regions of Judea and Samaria—and small groups of Israelis began establishing enclaves there. Annexation, long the goal of the settlement movement, has always been more aspiration than possibility, thwarted by opposition within Israel and from the international community. But with the rise of Donald Trump, settlement leaders have sensed an opening. Mr. Trump’s nominee as U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, is a longtime pro-settlement activist. And in a marked break with American policy, the Trump administration refused to condemn Israel’s announcement that it intends to build some 5,000 housing units in settlements, the largest expansion project in recent years.

 

The collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the chaos of the Arab world in recent years have reinforced the settlers’ sense of opportunity. So too has the imminent approach of a date fraught with symbolic significance: the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War. According to Jewish tradition, 50 years—a jubilee—is the time for a reset. For those who believe that Israel needs to overcome its hesitancy and claim its rightful borders, it is a moment of high expectation.

 

Unlike critics abroad, including the U.N. Security Council, who denounce settlements as illegal under international law, mainstream Israeli discourse takes for granted the legitimacy of Israel’s claims to the West Bank—lands where the Jewish people find their deepest historical roots, won in a war of self-defense against the Arab world’s attempt to destroy the Jewish state. The debate, instead, is over the wisdom of implementing these claims to the “territories” (the more politically neutral term preferred by many in Israel). Permanently absorbing the West Bank would mean adding more than two million Palestinians to Israel’s population, forcing it to choose eventually between the two essential elements of its national identity as both a Jewish state and a democracy.

 

That is precisely the point of another new campaign, from the opposite side of the political spectrum, urging withdrawal from the territories. “We’re Not Annexing—We’re Separating,” reads one billboard near the highway in Tel Aviv. A second billboard warns of what will happen if Israel doesn’t separate from the Palestinians: “The One-State Solution. Palestine.” That warning reveals a profound shift in Israeli discourse. The mainstream Israeli left no longer promises “land for peace” but instead offers a more modest formula: withdrawal as the best way to ensure that Israel remains both Jewish and democratic. This shift recognizes that, after years of terrorism and Palestinian rejection of past Israeli peace offers (the last offer was in 2008), the Israeli public has become deeply skeptical of Palestinian intentions.

 

Polls consistently show that a majority of Israelis support a two-state solution, while doubting the possibility of peace. According to an October 2016 poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute’s Peace Index, nearly 65% of Israelis backed peace talks—but only 26% thought they would succeed. Israelis worry that a Palestinian state would be overtaken by the radical Islamist movement Hamas and would threaten their population centers with rocket attacks—precisely what happened in 2005 when Israel uprooted its 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip and withdrew. For supporters, settlements are crucial to security—preventing Israel’s contraction to its pre-1967 borders, barely 9 miles wide at their narrowest point. For opponents, settlements are a mortal threat to the Jewish state. The Israeli dilemma: Which alternative is the greater existential danger?

 

Some 430,000 Israelis live in 131 officially sanctioned settlements spread throughout the West Bank (not including East Jerusalem). In addition, dozens of small settlement outposts have been established without Israeli government approval. Meanwhile, a bill is advancing in the Knesset to legalize some 4,000 housing units built on private Palestinian land in the West Bank, while offering compensation to the owners. The bill has been widely denounced abroad and by Israel’s opposition Labor Party. For their part, the Palestinians regard all settlement building, especially since the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993, as intended to deny them national sovereignty and basic dignity—proof that Israel has no intention of ever withdrawing.

 

For both sides, settlements can assume mythic symbolism. Palestinians often refer to them as “colonies,” reflecting the supposedly colonialist nature of Israel itself. Indeed, Palestinian media regularly ignore any distinction between Israel’s boundaries before and after the 1967 war, labeling coastal cities such as Tel Aviv and Ashkelon as settlements too. For Israelis, the refusal of many Palestinians to come to terms with Israel’s legitimacy is proof that the conflict isn’t about settlements but about the very existence of a Jewish state.

 

Although the settlements tend to be regarded by the international community as an undifferentiated entity, the discourse about them in Israel is very different. For Israelis who support a two-state solution, settlements fall into two broad categories: those within so-called settlement blocs, close to the pre-1967 border and likely to remain a part of Israel in a final agreement, and those outside the blocs, which Israel would probably evacuate as part of a peace deal. Israel’s retention of the blocs near the border would still allow territorial contiguity for a Palestinian state—though at least one settlement, Ariel, which Israel regards as a future bloc, is deep enough inside the West Bank to threaten that contiguity. Under various proposed plans, a Palestinian state would be compensated for lost land with territory from within pre-1967 Israel.

 

Depending on how one draws the map, more than three-quarters of the settler population lives in blocs likely to be kept by Israel under an agreement. The blocs plan gives hope to supporters of a two-state solution that settlement-building hasn’t yet reached the point of no return. Though Israel is hardly likely to evacuate 430,000 settlers, it could, with enormous strain to its social fabric, evacuate the 80,000 or so settlers living outside the blocs. (How traumatic would a forcible evacuation be? This past week, it took some 3,000 police and soldiers to remove a few dozen settlers from Amona, an illegal hilltop outpost.)…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

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                                 A LEADER IN WAITING,

LAPID SLOWLY BUILDS A DOCTRINE FOR THE TRUMP ERA

          Avi Issacharoff

  Times of Israel, Feb. 6, 2017

 

Squandering the political capital created by the arrival of US President Donald Trump at the White House on settlement building would be a historic mistake, according to former minister Yair Lapid, a centrist politician who some see as a possible successor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In an interview, Lapid, the head of the opposition Yesh Atid party, took a less bullish view of the new president than Netanyahu, who has openly feted Trump’s election as a welcome change after years of strained ties with Obama, but expressed cautious optimism over the new United States leader.

 

“While it is important and good that there is a friendly president in the White House. We don’t know how this will look in the long term,” Lapid told The Times of Israel last week. In the telling of Lapid, who has called for “separation” from the Palestinians, Trump’s heavy slant toward Israel regarding the conflict with the Palestinians will help dismantle some of the international pressure on Israel to accede to Palestinian statehood demands. However, Israel must use that breathing space wisely, said Lapid, and not as Netanyahu has done, announcing some 6,000 new homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as plans for the first officially sanctioned new settlement in 25 years.

 

“The Palestinian Authority’s strategy of putting heavy international political pressure on us has collapsed. We have freedom of action,” Lapid said. “But this is also our chance to dictate, from a position of strength, what we want. If it’s squandered on building another four outposts, that will be a mistake that will be mourned for generations.” Instead, Lapid called for the convening of an international conference to try to resolve the situation with Gaza and seek progress with the Palestinian Authority, an idea he has pushed for the last year, though one which has made little headway in diplomatic circles.

 

Despite saying he wants to make peace with the Palestinians, Lapid drew the line at speaking to Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian terrorist serving five life sentences in Israeli prison but also a popular politician. And he said he would not negotiate directly with terror group Hamas, which rules Gaza, though he does support giving the Strip a seaport in exchange for a long-term truce, including a cessation of tunnel-digging and rocket fire. “It’s a win-win situation. You’re starting a kind of disarmament, preventing rocket fire, and preventing a humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” he said. He also expressed full support for moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and warned against being intimidated by threats from the Arab world opposing such a move.

 

For now, this is just the talk of a politician with little say on whom Israel does and doesn’t talk to. But that could change. Recent polls have shown Lapid’s party surpassing Netanyahu’s Likud, making him a potential prime minister or at least a kingmaker. Elections are theoretically years away, but with Netanyahu under investigation for a raft of scandals, some analysts believe they may be in the offing sooner than planned. A former journalist and son of late minister Tommy Lapid, Lapid rode to power in 2013 as a freshman politician on an anti-corruption platform.

 

On the topic of suspicions that Netanyahu took hundreds of thousands of shekels worth of gifts from wealthy businessmen, Lapid was unequivocal. “Did the prime minister say it was permissible to accept gifts? I’m telling you it is not. Absolutely not. Anyone in the political world knows that accepting gifts is not allowed, so they don’t accept them. It’s against the law,” he said. Despite his party’s initial focus on domestic concerns, Lapid has used his time as a lawmaker to fashion himself as something of a shadow foreign minister, with the role of top diplomat currently held by Netanyahu himself…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                

 

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NETANYAHU MESSED UP BUT IT IS TIME TO MOVE FORWARD

Isi Leibler

Jerusalem Post, Jan. 16, 2017

 

Enough is enough. Since the beginning of his public life, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been subject to the most ferocious ongoing campaign of vilification endured by any politician in the democratic world. For two decades, Noni Mozes, the publisher of the daily Yediot Aharonot, which until recently had the highest circulation and was most influential newspaper in Israel, waged an ongoing campaign employing the worst form of character assassination, defamation and double standards aimed at achieving the downfall of Israel’s prime minister. There were even unsuccessful efforts to introduce Bolshevik- style legislation into the Knesset making it illegal to provide the public with a free newspaper (Israel Hayom) because of its support for Netanyahu and popularity among Israeli readers. The promoters of this reprehensible legislation – political opponents and the hostile media – had the chutzpah to initiate it in the name of democracy.

 

Over the past few weeks, the public was shocked to learn that in the very midst of this battle with his greatest enemy, Mozes, their prime minister had actually been indulging in crude horse trading with him. The disclosure of contents of extensive taped telephone conversations between Netanyahu and Mozes prior to the last elections stunned Israelis. Israel Hayom, the free daily newspaper whose primary shareholders are Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, had emerged as the largest Israeli daily, overtaking the giant Yediot Aharonot in circulation, and many argue it was a crucial contributor to Netanyahu’s electoral success. The tapes disclose bizarre offers from Netanyahu to Mozes to allow passage of legislation which would limit the expansion of Israel Hayom and eliminate the weekend supplement – in return for political support and a guarantee that Mozes would promote him as prime minister indefinitely.

 

The fact is that Netanyahu has no control whatsoever over Israel Hayom and, not surprisingly, the deal was never consummated. In his defense, Netanyahu pathetically claims that the recordings were made to protect himself from extortion by Mozes. This deplorable demonstration of amorality by both parties nauseated Israelis of all political persuasions and reflects badly on Netanyahu’s lack of trust even in those who have been his strongest allies and supporters.

 

Although there is no justification for Netanyahu’s behavior, he has been treated outrageously by the media. Since the 1990s and his first term as prime minister, Netanyahu has been confronted by a barrage of unsubstantiated, politically motivated allegations in unsuccessful efforts to discredit him. The most virulent defamation was the despicable personal attacks on his family. The ad hominem, front-page screaming headlines day after day attacking Netanyahu, his wife and even his children go beyond what is considered “yellow press.” They reflect a total absence of moral compass and represent a disgrace to the nation. His son was accused of being invited to fly on private jets by and receiving guest accommodation from Netanyahu admirers – hardly corruption. His wife was headlined as augmenting her income with NIS 20 weekly by “stealing” 1,000 bottle refunds for her own credit. At one stage, the prime minister’s household expenses were headlined as extravagant because of Netanyahu’s penchant for quality ice cream.

 

In recent weeks, there were front-page headlines about Netanyahu and his wife receiving gifts of luxurious Cuban cigars and expensive wines from well-wishers amounting to “hundreds of thousands of shekels.” The consumption of a bottle of wine per day either from “gifts” or from the household budget was considered extravagant “while poor Israelis suffered.” Ronald Lauder, a multi-billionaire and one of world Jewry’s most generous philanthropists, is reprimanded for giving gifts that go back nearly 20 years. The hint that in return he was obtaining benefits from Netanyahu in Israel where he has invested millions of dollars in projects that were valuable contributions to the state is absurd. Moreover, Lauder is a shareholder in Channel 10, which has been at the vanguard of defaming Netanyahu and his family…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

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On Topic Links

 

Amid UN Warning, Israel Set to Pass Historic Settlements Bill: Gil Hoffman, Udi Shaham, Tovah Lazaroff, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 6, 2017—The Knesset late Monday night is set to pass historic legislation hailed by the Right wing for salvaging 4,000 settler homes and attacked by the Left as the first step toward de-facto annexation.

It’s Time Canada Ended its Double Standard that Considers Israeli Settlements ‘Illegal’: Jason Reiskind, National Post, Jan. 31, 2017—Canada’s current position on Israeli “settlements” is that they are illegal because they violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, specifically Paragraph 6 which states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” The time has come for Canada to change our position to align with Canadian basic values and, equally important, with international law.

Could Submarine Scandal Blow up in Netanyahu’s Face?: Ben Caspit, Al-Monitor, Feb. 1, 2017—The media may be focused on the pricey cigars and bottles of champagne that the Netanyahu family allegedly amassed from its benefactors over the years, but the police investigation into the submarine procurement scandal is gaining momentum. The scandal, which Al-Monitor reported on at the end of October, is about to become a huge international imbroglio.

No Victory: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 2, 2017— There were no winners in the Amona evacuation. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett – heads of what has been billed as the most right-wing government in the state’s history – all were hurt politically by allowing Jewish settlers in the West Bank to be evacuated from their homes on their watch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRUMP IS NO “FASCIST”, THOUGH “BDS” TYPES MAY BE — & WHITE HOUSE ON “SETTLEMENTS” BREAKS NEW GROUND

Fascism in America? Sure, But Not Because of You Know Who: Barbara Kay, National Post, Jan. 31, 2017— NDP leader Thomas Mulcair says Trump is a “fascist.” And so do countless others. Fair comment?

Pseudo-Liberal Jews Are Causing Unspeakable Damage: Isi Leibler, Algemeiner, Jan. 30, 2017— Chaos is the order of the day throughout the entire democratic world.

Anthropologists Adopt National Socialist BDS Policy: Philip Carl Salzman, CIJR, Feb. 2, 2017 — For anthropologists, it is 1935 all over again…

Trump Changes US Policy on Settlements, But Will Netanyahu Pick Up the Ball?: Stephen Leavitt, Jewish Press, Feb. 3, 2017— For the first time in many years, the White House on Thursday released a statement regarding Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria without the adjectives “illegal” or “illegitimate” next to the word “settlements.”

 

On Topic Links

 

Outrage at Trump's 'Muslim Ban' Yet Silence Over the Middle Eastern 'Ban on Jews': Gaurav Sharma, IBT, Jan. 30, 2017

Anti-Semitism Only On Our Terms: Asaf Romirowsky, Ynet, Jan. 10, 2017

The Left Lost Its Logic On Israel: Noah Beck, IPT, Jan. 24, 2017

Welcome to the "Social Justice" University: Philip Carl Salzman, Gatestone Institute, Feb. 1, 2017

 

 

FASCISM IN AMERICA? SURE, BUT NOT BECAUSE OF YOU KNOW WHO

Barbara Kay

National Post, Jan. 31, 2017

 

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair says Trump is a “fascist.” And so do countless others. Fair comment? No. It’s fair to say that all fascists are populists, but not all populists are fascists. When leftists say “fascist,” it often means “right-wing people or opinions that offend me.” In fact fascism can arise on the left or the right. I’ve seen several tweets linking Trump with the protagonist of Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel, It Can’t Happen Here, the story of an Illinois senator who parlays extreme nativism to the White House. But they fail to mention the novel’s protagonist was a socialist.

 

What exactly does fascism mean? In his bestselling 2007 book, Liberal Fascism (with an afterword on Obama in the 2009 edition), conservative pundit Jonah Goldberg offers this working definition: “Fascism is a religion of the state. It assumes the organic unity of the body politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people. It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or by regulation and social pressure. Everything, including the economy and religion, must be aligned with its objectives. Any rival ‘identity’ is part of the ‘problem’ and therefore defined as the enemy.”

 

Sounds about right for Mussolini, but also for conservative-shunning American campuses and the velvet totalitarianism of their gender relations and speech codes. Fascism, according to Goldberg, can present as heavy or light, depending on cultural provenance. Under Hitler, Germany produced a war-mongering, racially “hygienic” fascism. Mussolini, an avowed socialist his entire life and without expansionist ambition, bore no special animus toward Jews. In America, influential progressives shared with fascists the burning desire to transcend class (and later racial) differences within the national community by creating a “new order,” always couched in ringing tropes of hope, change and a unifying “war” (against poverty, racism, climate change, etc). This, Goldberg, argues, is “nice” fascism, symbolized by the book’s cover image of a smiley-face emoji sporting a familiar little mustache.

 

Goldberg traces the “totalitarian temptation” of the progressives through the entire 20th century, demolishing the received wisdom that McCarthyism and Charles Lindbergh are American history’s most notable fascist moments. His chapter on progressive nonpareil Woodrow Wilson, who admired Mussolini, for example, is illuminating. Under Wilson, more dissidents were arrested or jailed in a few years than under Mussolini during the entire 1920s. In making the controversial case that Wilson was “the twentieth century’s first fascist dictator,” Goldberg builds his case with brick upon brick of facts and self-condemning words.

 

Wilson was America’s first academic in the White House (he swept the electoral college, won 42 per cent of the popular vote). A devotee of science and the cult of expertise, he thought society could be engineered according to a eugenics theory rooted in social Darwinism, which permitted Wilson to conclude without guilt that giving the vote to blacks was “the foundation of every evil in this country.” Wilson also had an autocratic bent, subscribing to the “Big Man” theory of governance. He believed a “true leader” uses the masses like “tools,” stirring up passions, and deliberately not appealing to their reason, on the grounds that citizens are “much readier to receive a half truth which they can promptly understand than a whole truth which has too many sides to be seen all at once.”

 

Wilson introduced the Sedition Act to suppress criticism of America’s war policies, which banned “writing, printing, writing, or publishing any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the United States government or the military.” So much for free speech. Postal privileges could be revoked; over 400 publications were denied privileges by May 1918. One man was brought to trial for explaining in his own home why he didn’t want to buy Liberty Bonds. Goldberg estimates that “some 175,000 Americans were arrested for failing to demonstrate their patriotism in one way or another.” McCarthy’s overreach pales to insignificance by comparison. So you see, “it” can and did happen in the U.S. and it happened on the watch of a former president of Princeton University, a leftist intellectual, an idealist and, as is all too often the case with progressives, an evolutionary utopian quite willing to break a few democratic eggs to make his “transformative” omelette…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Barbara Kay is a CIJR Academic Fellow

 

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PSEUDO-LIBERAL JEWS ARE CAUSING UNSPEAKABLE DAMAGE

Isi Leibler

Algemeiner, Jan. 30, 2017

                       

Chaos is the order of the day throughout the entire democratic world. This has been accelerated by the hypocrisy and intolerance of the vindictive Left, aided and abetted by foolish bleeding-heart pseudo-liberals who have become accomplices in the undermining of democracy. One can understand that many Democrats were incredulous and devastated that Hillary Clinton could be defeated by Donald Trump, whose lack of civility, absence of political experience and coarse language even offended conservatives.

 

But the outpouring of rage, the histrionic protest marches throughout the world, the establishment of committees to impeach Trump — even prior to the traditional 100-day honeymoon period — is unprecedented. Contrary to all the claptrap about democracy that they sanctimoniously preached while in office, leftists are unwilling to accept the fact that their candidate was defeated by a parvenu.

 

The same chaos has swept through Europe, many of whose citizens are revolting against the failure of the Brussels-based European Union bureaucrats to address their needs and above all the collapse in the quality of their lives resulting from millions of so-called refugees flooding their countries. This has led to a rise in global populism, a revival of conservative and right-wing political parties and rejection of the “politically correct” way of life imposed by sanctimonious liberal ideologues.

 

What impact has this chaos had on Diaspora Jews? As history has testified, during periods of stress and anxiety, Diaspora Jews face grave threats. Antisemitism, already having reached record levels since the Nazi era, is poised to become even more vicious. That situation has been temporarily muted because the prevailing threat of Islamic fundamentalist terror attacks in many Western nations has directed public anger toward Muslims rather than Jews. This does not apply to Hungary, Greece and Germany.

 

The Jews, as a minority that has suffered tyranny and persecution, would be expected under current circumstances to concentrate primarily on their own security. Ethics of the Fathers quotes Hillel the Elder, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I?” Liberal-inclined Diaspora Jews — especially those lacking an authentic Jewish education — appear to have reversed this dictum. They consider that the well-being of the world and politically correct standards of social values must be their priority — with disregard to the harm this inflicts on them as a community…

 

The same bleeding hearts in the US as well as those in Europe were at the forefront of calls to open the gates to Muslim “refugees” steeped in anti-democratic behavior and nourished on diets of undiluted, visceral antisemitism. Setting aside the question of ISIS terrorist sleeper cells, there is little doubt that these elements will strengthen existing antisemitism in the older immigrant Muslim communities that failed to integrate. Yet many Jews are so dismally ignorant and oblivious that they even compare these immigrants to Jews facing annihilation during the Holocaust who were denied haven by other democratic countries.

 

This behavior is even more disturbing at a time of historic opportunities with the election of President Trump. Although by no means yet assured, the US, still the only true global superpower, may truly treat Israel as a genuine ally, a move that would be reinforced by an overwhelmingly pro-Israel Congress. Trump has repeatedly proclaimed his determination to reverse former President Barack Obama’s hostile anti-Israeli policy and create a new alliance between the US and Israel that would be sensitive to the security needs of the Jewish state.

 

His commitment to recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would have more than symbolic value. It would have a major impact in reversing the odious definition of the settlement blocs and even the Western Wall and Temple Mount as “occupied territory.” Israel could proceed to build homes and the Jewish neighborhoods over the Green Line would prosper. Furthermore, the US will hopefully no longer acquiesce to the UN persecution of Israel and will reject calls to return to the indefensible 1949 armistice lines. Trump is also likely to bring an end to the US component of the scandalous $300 million per annum provided to the Palestinian Authority, much of which is doled out to murderers. Israel will also have a powerful ally that recognizes Iran as a rogue state and would substantially reduce the genocidal threat from the Iranian Muslim fundamentalists.

 

All this has yet to be delivered, but there is no doubt that there is now a window of opportunity that Israel should exploit to dramatically minimize the security challenges and separate from the Palestinians with defensible borders. This can be achieved if Israel now has the support of a US that can be counted on as a true ally. Over the past eight years under Obama, the US dramatically eroded Israel’s diplomatic standing, treated the Jewish state as a pariah and provided incentives to the Palestinians to stall negotiations and engage in terror. With renewed American support, Israel could at long last stabilize itself…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

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ANTHROPOLOGISTS ADOPT NATIONAL SOCIALIST BDS POLICY

Philip Carl Salzman

CIJR, Feb. 2, 2017

 

For anthropologists, it is 1935 all over again, and the Nuremberg laws, apparently an inspiration for boycotting, divesting, and sanctioning Jews, just as when Germans, under Hitler’s National Socialists boycotted Jews, refused to patronize Jewish stores, and punished wholesalers who supplied Jewish stores.

 

When early in 2016 the Parliament of Canada voted to condemn BDS, and the Principal of McGill declared that McGill opposed BDS, five anthropology professors, along with more than a dozen others from the social sciences and humanities, signed a letter saying that these anti-BDS policies were “not in my name,” and that these luminaries would commit to BDS. On 28 November 2016, the McGill Anthropology Graduate Students Association, future professors of anthropology, announced their commitment to boycott, divest, and sanction Jews.

 

Anthropologists’ rationale for scapegoating Jews is no longer the religious deviation that justified pogroms over the centuries in Christian and Muslim countries, or the racial theories that divided peoples into pure European folk and racially corrupt Jews, Gypsies, and Poles. No, today Jews are guilty of inhabiting their ancient homeland, Israel, and running their own lives, successfully. For anthropologists, that is unforgivable.

 

These National Socialist BDS anthropologists trot out the usual anti-Israel excuses, such as that, according to the AGSA statement, Israeli “anthropologists have been implicated in colonial projects in unacceptable ways, and anthropological methodologies have been used ‘by the Israeli state to further occupation and colonization’ both in theory and in ethnographic or archaeological work.” More generally, the AGSA says that “we see the Israeli state’s treatment of its Palestinian citizens as fundamentally impinging upon the right of people and peoples everywhere to the realization of their full humanity.” Yet Palestinian citizens of Israel have the same rights as Jews, Christians, Druze, Bahais, and others, full rights as citizens to gain education, vote and run for office, to serve in the government, military, and professions, including the Supreme Court of Israel. Along with the students’ unfounded concern about Palestinian Israelis, no concern is expressed about the rights of Jews to live in their homeland in peace.

 

To hear yet again these absurd accusations against Israel makes you wonder if gross historical ignorance, a lack of reason, or malicious antisemitism lies behind them. Is Israel a colony, or a “settler colony,” as some have it? Syracusa was a colony of Athens, and Canada and America were colonies of Britain. What home state is Israel a colony of? Israel is not a colony because it is the homeland of the Jews. Similarly, Israel cannot be an occupation, because it is the homeland of the Jews. When the Romans invaded the Holy Land in the century before Christ, they found only Jews, who they fought and later dispersed. The Jews’ historical claim to Israel was recognized officially by the San Remo Conference, the League of Nations, and the United Nations. Are supporters of BDS totally ignorant of this? Jews’ historical claim to Israel is so profound and decisive, that Palestinians attempt to deny Jewish history, in the hopes of claiming rights to the area.

 

Supporters of BDS are not simply speaking up on behalf of the rights of Palestinians, but are taking sides in a shooting war that has been going on for 100 years. Of course Islam declared war against Jews fourteen centuries ago, and oppressed and exploited Middle Eastern Jews off and on during that long darkness. But with first European Jews returning at the end of the 19th century to the Holy Land to join the modest number of Jews who had never left, the Arab terrorist war began in earnest. In mid-20th century, the eight hundred thousand Jews in Middle Eastern countries chased out of the lands where their ancestors had lived for centuries, all of their property stolen, made their way to Israel. The Arab terrorist war against the Jews ramped up, and continues unabated today due to constant incitement by Palestinian authorities, religious and secular.

 

Supporters of BDS have purposefully or inadvertently, directly or indirectly allied with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, and other Palestinian terrorist organizations. They have allied with the Palestinian who this year stabbed to death 13 year old Hallel Ariel in her bed, with the Palestinian who this year stabbed to death Dafna Meir, mother of six, in front of her teenage daughter, and with the Palestinian who earlier stabbed to death five members of the Fogel family, not to mention all of the bombings of buses and restaurants, and the mowing down of Jewish pedestrians with cars. Supporters of BDS have allied with Hamas who shot twelve thousand rockets at Israeli civilians. Supporters of BDS have encouraged terrorism and war by convincing the Palestinians that they are winning.

 

Supporters of BDS side with the Palestinians when they say “Palestine from the river to the sea,” for the real goal of the Palestinians is to destroy and replace Israel. This is already accomplished on Palestinian Authority maps. The Palestinians and Arabs more generally cannot accept Israel because according to Islamic law the Holy Land, having long been under Islamic control, is an Islamic wakf or endowment, and must never be alienated from Islamic governance. That alone would be enough for the existence of Israel to be rejected. But there is another powerful reason. During the second half of the 20th century, the Jews, despised as inferior by the Arabs for 1300 years, defeated the Arabs decisively in three wars, causing the Arabs to lose their honor. The Arabs can only regain their honor by conquering the Israel and the Jews. For these reasons, the Palestinians desire not peace, but triumph, and through it regaining honor and the Islamic wakf.

 

The McGill Anthropology Graduate Student Association most generously says “ AGSA opposes all forms of discrimination, including anti-Semitism.” The only problem with this is that BDS itself is antisemitic. Using the U. S. Department of State Fact Sheet “Defining Anti-Semitism,” we find that BDS is antisemitic for “blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions.” Given the constant incitement to violence by the Palestinian authority, Hamas, and other Palestinian nationalist groups, and the continual terrorism against Israeli civilians, the idea that the conflict is all Israel’s fault is absurd. Note also that Israel has been invaded by Arab armies three times, hardly an initiative of Israel. And while some “experts” say that the recent Arab-Israel conflict is the cause of all conflicts in the Middle East, the Shia-Sunni conflict has been going on for 1400 years, and the Arab-Iranian conflict not less, so too the Iranian Turkish conflict.

 

Among the multitude of ethnic and religious conflicts around the world, only Israel is selected for boycott, divestment, and sanctions. Not the Turks vs. the Kurds, not the Turks vs. the Greeks in Cyprus, not the Shiites vs. Sunnites in Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Pakistan, among many others around the world. Especially galling is the condemnation of Israel at the very moment that a half million people have been slaughtered next door to Israel in Syria thanks to the combined efforts of Arabs, Russians, and Persians…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

                                                           

Contents

 

                  

TRUMP CHANGES US POLICY ON SETTLEMENTS,

BUT WILL NETANYAHU PICK UP THE BALL?                                                                                    

Stephen Leavitt

Jewish Press, Feb. 3, 2017

 

For the first time in many years, the White House on Thursday released a statement regarding Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria without the adjectives “illegal” or “illegitimate” next to the word “settlements.” While not 100 percent perfect — a policy of benign neglect would be best — it is clearly a complete turnaround from previous administration positions, particularly former-President Obama’s “not one brick anywhere” policy, including Jerusalem…

 

Statement by the Press Secretary (Sean Spicer): “The American desire for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians has remained unchanged for 50 years. While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal. As the President has expressed many times, he hopes to achieve peace throughout the Middle East region. The Trump administration has not taken an official position on settlement activity and looks forward to continuing discussions, including with Prime Minister Netanyahu when he visits with President Trump later this month.”

 

In other words, what began a few months ago as a video of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asking why should having Jews living in Judea and Samaria be considered an impediment to peace – is now US foreign policy. In addition to the biggest item of recognizing the legitimacy of the settlements, by omitting the words “illegal” and “illegitimate,” the statement actually declares, for all the world to see: “We don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace.” It should be noted that even that one seemingly negative-note in the Trump statement against new settlements or expansion isn’t exactly that: “the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal.”

 

First of all, the statement gives implicit approval to construction within existing settlements, and not just to communities within the settlement blocs (i.e. Gush Etzion, Ariel, etc), but rather to all settlements. This is a much wider definition, and includes many smaller Jewish communities that exist outside of the blocs, representing some 80,000 Jews. Not to name names, but that’s more settlement legitimacy than what even some members of Netanyahu’s cabinet recognize. Furthermore, it doesn’t actually forbid or rebuke Israel if it does build a new settlement or expand beyond the borders of an existing one. The White House statement merely questions if it is helpful to achieving peace, and leaves that question open for further discussion.

 

The other glaring omission in the Trump White House statement is the term “two-state solution,” so beloved by every Administration since the 1993 Oslo Accords. Why, only last Wednesday, the new, relatively pro-Israel UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, had his spokesperson release a statement saying that, “the recent announcement by the Israeli Government to advance 5,000 settlement units in the occupied West Bank could […] threaten to unravel plans for a two-State solution between Israelis and Palestinians. […] We once again warn against any unilateral actions that can be an obstacle to a negotiated two-state solution.”…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

Contents    

       

On Topic Links

 

Outrage at Trump's 'Muslim Ban' Yet Silence Over the Middle Eastern 'Ban on Jews': Gaurav Sharma, IBT, Jan. 30, 2017—US President Donald Trump has delivered on his campaign promise of restricting entry into the US for people from a selection of Muslim-majority countries, with the customary aplomb and organised chaos the wider world has come to expect of him.

Anti-Semitism Only On Our Terms: Asaf Romirowsky, Ynet, Jan. 10, 2017 —The US Senate has unanimously passed the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, introduced by US Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Casey (D-PA). If approved by the House, the bill will give the US Department of Education the statutory tools to examine anti-Semitic incidents in the broadest and effective way possible.

The Left Lost Its Logic On Israel: Noah Beck, IPT, Jan. 24, 2017—Support for Israel among Democrats has plummeted in recent years, a new Pew poll shows, with about as many – 31 percent – saying they sympathize more with the Palestinians than with Israel, which garnered 33 percent support.

Welcome to the "Social Justice" University: Philip Carl Salzman, Gatestone Institute, Feb. 1, 2017—Universities used to be fonts of knowledge, charged with disseminating the known and seeking new knowledge. But progressives have brought great progress to the university: progressives know all the answers, and that the problem is not to understand the world, but to change it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ISRAEL RESILIENT, BUT ENEMIES EMBOLDENED BY OBAMA’S BETRAYAL

 

Obama’s Final, Most Shameful, Legacy Moment: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, Dec. 29, 2016— “When the chips are down, I have Israel’s back.”

Obama’s Last-Minute Backstab Against Israel: Clifford D. May, Washington Times, Dec. 28, 2016 — Palestinian Islamic Jihad is, as its name suggests, an organization committed to jihad — against Israel most urgently, though not exclusively.

UN, Obama Further Radicalize Palestinians: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 29, 2016— Buoyed by the latest United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements as illegal…

The Resilience of Israel: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, Dec. 29, 2016— Israel would seem to be in a disastrous position, given the inevitable nuclear capabilities of Iran and the recent deterioration of its relationship with the United States…

 

On Topic Links

 

Obama and Trump are Engaged in a $3 Billion Game of Chicken Over Israel: Jake Novak, CNBC, Dec. 27, 2016

Can Trump Construct a New World Order?: Prof. Efraim Inbar, BESA, Dec. 18, 2016

A New Approach to Israeli-Palestinian Peacemaking: Arik Elman, Algemeiner, Jan. 2, 2016

How Obama Cracked Jewish Solidarity: Michael Lumish, Jewish Press, Jan. 3, 2017

 

                     

 

OBAMA’S FINAL, MOST SHAMEFUL, LEGACY MOMENT          

                                                Charles Krauthammer

                                                   Washington Post, Dec. 29, 2016

 

“When the chips are down, I have Israel’s back.” — Barack Obama, AIPAC conference, March 4, 2012.

 

The audience — overwhelmingly Jewish, passionately pro-Israel and supremely gullible — applauded wildly. Four years later — his last election behind him, with a month to go in office and with no need to fool Jew or gentile again — Obama took the measure of Israel’s back and slid a knife into it. People don’t quite understand the damage done to Israel by the U.S. abstention that permitted passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel over settlements. The administration pretends this is nothing but a restatement of long-standing U.S. opposition to settlements.

 

Nonsense. For the past 35 years, every administration, including a reelection-seeking Obama himself in 2011, has protected Israel with the U.S. veto because such a Security Council resolution gives immense legal ammunition to every boycotter, anti-Semite and zealous European prosecutor to penalize and punish Israelis. An ordinary Israeli who lives or works in the Old City of Jerusalem becomes an international pariah, a potential outlaw. To say nothing of the soldiers of Israel’s citizen army. “Every pilot and every officer and every soldier,” said a confidant of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, “we are waiting for him at The Hague,” i.e. the International Criminal Court.

 

Moreover, the resolution undermines the very foundation of a half-century of American Middle East policy. What becomes of “land for peace” if the territories that Israel was to have traded for peace are, in advance, declared to be Palestinian land to which Israel has no claim? The peace parameters enunciated so ostentatiously by Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday are nearly identical to the Clinton parameters that Yasser Arafat was offered and rejected in 2000 and that Abbas was offered by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008. Abbas, too, walked away.

 

Kerry mentioned none of this because it undermines his blame-Israel narrative. Yet Palestinian rejectionism works. The Security Council just declared the territories legally Palestinian — without the Palestinians having to concede anything, let alone peace. What incentive do the Palestinians have to negotiate when they can get the terms — and territory — they seek handed to them for free if they hold out long enough? The administration claims a kind of passive innocence on the text of the resolution, as if it had come upon it at the last moment. We are to believe that the ostensible sponsors — New Zealand, Senegal, Malaysia and a Venezuela that cannot provide its own people with toilet paper, let alone food — had for months been sweating the details of Jewish housing in East Jerusalem.

 

Nothing new here, protests deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes: “When we see the facts on the ground, again, deep into the West Bank beyond the separation barrier, we feel compelled to speak up against those actions.” This is a deception. Everyone knows that remote outposts are not the issue. Under any peace, they will be swept away. Even right-wing Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who lives in one of these West Bank settlements, has stated publicly that “I even agree to vacate my settlement if there really will be a two-state solution.” Where’s the obstacle to peace?

 

A second category of settlement is the close-in blocs that border 1967 Israel. Here, too, we know in advance how these will be disposed of: They’ll become Israeli territory and, in exchange, Israel will swap over some of its land to a Palestinian state. Where’s the obstacle to peace here?

 

It’s the third category of “settlement” that is the most contentious and that Security Council Resolution 2334 explicitly condemns: East Jerusalem. This is not just scandalous; it’s absurd. America acquiesces to a declaration that, as a matter of international law, the Jewish state has no claim on the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, indeed the entire Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. They belong to Palestine. The Temple Mount is the most sacred site in all of Judaism. That it should be declared foreign to the Jewish people is as if the Security Council declared Mecca and Medina to be territory to which Islam has no claim. Such is the Orwellian universe Israel inhabits.

 

At the very least, Obama should have insisted that any reference to East Jerusalem be dropped from the resolution or face a U.S. veto. Why did he not? It’s incomprehensible — except as a parting shot of personal revenge on Benjamin Netanyahu. Or perhaps as a revelation of a deep-seated antipathy to Israel that simply awaited a safe political interval for public expression. Another legacy moment for Barack Obama. And his most shameful.           

                                                           

Contents                                                                                                                                                                     

OBAMA’S LAST-MINUTE BACKSTAB AGAINST ISRAEL

Clifford D. May                                                                                                     

Washington Times, Dec. 28, 2016

 

Palestinian Islamic Jihad is, as its name suggests, an organization committed to jihad — against Israel most urgently, though not exclusively. So when the UN Security Council on Friday passed a resolution condemning Israel, P.I.J. spokesman Dawood Shihab was pleased. He called it a “victory.” He wasn’t wrong. Nor was Fawzy Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas, another organization openly committed to Israel’s extermination, as well as to “a jihadi revolution” that will be a “prelude to the establishment of the future Islamic caliphate.” He called the resolution an “important evolution in international positions.” He expressed Hamas’ “appreciation.”

 

Most deserving of their gratitude is Barack Obama, who decided to spend his last days in office playing golf in Hawaii and throwing America’s most reliable ally to the wolves at the UN, an organization that exhibits passivity when it comes to the ongoing carnage in Syria, the genocide of Christians, Yazidis and other minorities in the broader Middle East, the conflict in Yemen, failing states — the list goes on and on.

 

The UN does, however, expend considerable energy railing against the world’s only Jewish state, a tiny democratic nation on the front lines of the war against radical Islam, a war the West is fighting in only the most desultory fashion. This year alone, the UN General Assembly passed 20 resolutions censuring Israel, compared to one against Iran and none against Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Venezuela and China. With assistance from President Obama, who instructed his ambassador not to veto Resolution 2334, the Security Council has now piled on as well.

 

For decades, Democrats and Republicans have agreed that it would be “unwise” to give the Security Council the responsibility “to attempt to resolve the core issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians.” Those words were spoken by Susan Rice, Obama’s first ambassador to the UN when, following his instructions in 2011, she blocked a similar resolution. But back then Obama still had one more presidential election to win so antagonizing Israel’s supporters may have seemed ill-advised. Perhaps that’s unfair. Perhaps Obama sincerely believes that a two-state solution could be achieved if only Israel would withdraw from the “occupied territories.” If so, he’s ignoring both history and experience. Start with the fact that Arab, Muslim and Palestinian leaders first rejected a two-state solution back in 1948 — almost a generation before Israelis took possession of the West Bank and Gaza.

 

Those lands fell to Israel as a consequence of the 1967 war, one of several attempts by Israel’s neighbours to drive the despised Jews into the sea. It was from Jordan and Egypt respectively that Israel took those territories. Palestinians had never governed them. But that led to a bright idea: Why not trade land for peace with the Palestinians? With President Bill Clinton serving as honest broker, specific offers were put on the table in 2000 and then again in 2001. Another offer was proffered in 2008. Palestinian leaders turned them down. They made no counteroffers.

 

In 2005, an experiment was conducted: Israelis withdrew from one of the occupied territories. Within two years, Hamas was firmly in charge of Gaza, from which it began launching missiles at Israeli villages. Israelis learned a lesson. The “international community” did not. On the contrary, President Obama and the UN Security Council have just told the Israelis that they envision a land-for-peace deal that omits the peace part. Meanwhile, on the West Bank, only thanks to Israel’s military and intelligence presence (read: occupation) does Fatah maintain its hold on power. Mahmoud Abbas, who leads both Fatah and the Palestinian Authority, is no wild-eyed jihadi. But, he, too, refuses to acknowledge the right of Jews to self-determination in any part of their ancient homeland.

 

Resolution 2334 demands nothing of Palestinians. Its definition of “occupied territory” is extreme, including even the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. Conquered in 1949 by Jordan’s Arab Legion, it was then “cleansed” of Jews. Synagogues and cemeteries were destroyed. Jewish holy places were desecrated. The UN, of course, did nothing. Look at the map: across North Africa and the Middle East, from Morocco to Pakistan, there is only one state not ruled by Muslims, only one in which minorities — ethnic, religious, sexual — are guaranteed basic human rights. The dream of P.I.J, Hamas, the Islamic State, the Islamic Republic of Iran and other Islamic revolutionaries is to destroy that exceptional state, to incorporate it into a new empire — an empire that, over time, is to expand well beyond the region.

 

Obama has now encouraged that dream. That will be his legacy. And he still has a few weeks left to do more damage. I wouldn’t put it past him. The day before the UN vote, President-elect Trump stated what President Obama once claimed to believe, that “peace 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.” After the vote, he added: “As to the UN, things will be different after Jan. 20th.”

 

His nominee for ambassador, David Friedman, has proposed moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. That would be an appropriate response to this latest provocation. Among the additional measures Mr. Trump will consider: dramatically reducing American funding for the UN. Like other transnational progressives, Obama regards the UN as a proto-global government. Mr. Trump, an anti-globalist, does not. It will be useful for him to emphasize that so long as he’s in the White House, America’s sovereignty will not be surrendered to transnational organizations, America’s tax dollars will not be squandered on transnational organizations, America’s enemies will not be rewarded and America’s allies will be abused no longer.   

                                                              

Contents

 

 

UN, OBAMA FURTHER RADICALIZE PALESTINIANS

Khaled Abu Toameh

Gatestone Institute, Dec. 29, 2016

 

Buoyed by the latest United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements as illegal, Palestinian leaders are now threatening to step up their diplomatic warfare against Israel — a move that is sure to sabotage any future effort to revive the moribund peace process. Other Palestinians, meanwhile, view the resolution as license to escalate "resistance" attacks on Israel. By "resistance," of course, they mean terror attacks against Israel. The UNSC resolution sent the following message to the Palestinians: Forget about negotiating with Israel. Just pressure the international community to force Israel to comply with the resolution and surrender up all that you demand.

 

Meanwhile, the Palestinians are not wasting any time by waiting for the international community to act against Israel on their behalf. Rather, they are thinking of ways of taking advantage of the UNSC vote to promote their campaign to isolate and delegitimize Israel, especially in the international arena. One thing is certain: Abbas and his Palestinian Authority cronies are not planning to return to the negotiating table with Israel. In fact, they are more belligerent, confrontational and defiant than ever.

 

In the days following the UNSC vote, the voices emerging from Ramallah and the Gaza Strip clearly indicate that Palestinians have put themselves on a collision course with Israel. This bodes badly for any peace process. Earlier this week, Abbas convened the PLO Executive Committee — a decision-making body dominated by his loyalists — to discuss the implications of the new resolution. The declared purpose of the meeting: to discuss the decisions and strategy that the Palestinian leadership needs to take in the aftermath of the resolution.

 

The decisions announced following the PLO meeting are a clear sign of the new approach that Abbas and the Palestinian leadership have endorsed. The Palestinian leaders have chosen the path of confrontation, and not direct negotiations, with Israel. They see the UNSC resolution, particularly the US abstention, as a charge sheet against Israel that is to be leveraged in their diplomatic effort to force Israel to its knees.

 

The PLO decisions include, among other things, an appeal to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch an "immediate judicial investigation into Israeli colonial settlements on the land of the independent State of Palestine." Another decision envisages asking Switzerland to convene a meeting to look into ways of forcing Israel to apply the Fourth Geneva Convention to the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. The Geneva Convention, adopted in 1949, defines "humanitarian protections for civilians in a war zone."

 

The appeal to the ICC and Switzerland is part of Abbas's strategy to "internationalize" the conflict with Israel, by involving as many parties as possible. In this context, Abbas is hoping that the UNSC resolution will ensure the "success" of the upcoming French-initiated Middle East peace conference, which is slated to convene in Paris next month. For Abbas, the conference is another tool to isolate Israel in the international community, and depict it as a country that rejects peace with its Arab neighbors.

 

In addition, Abbas and his lieutenants in Ramallah are now seeking to exploit the UNSC resolution to promote boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel: "The PLO Executive Committee renews its call to the world countries for a comprehensive and full boycott of Israeli colonialist settlements in all fields, as well as all companies working in or dealing with these settlements." One of Abbas's close associates, Mohamed Shtayyeh, hinted that the UNSC resolution should be regarded as a green light not only to boycott Israel, but also to use violence against it. He said that this is the time to "bolster the popular resistance" against Israel. "Popular resistance" is code for throwing stones and petrol bombs and carrying out stabbing and car-ramming attacks against Israelis.

 

The UNSC resolution has also encouraged the Palestinians to pursue their narrative that Jews have no historical, religious or emotional attachment to Jerusalem, or any other part of Israel. Sheikh Ekrimah Sabri, a leading Palestinian Islamic cleric and preacher at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, was quick to declare that the Western Wall, the holiest Jewish site in Jerusalem, belongs only to Muslims. Referring to the wall by its Islamic name, Sheikh Sabri announced: "The Al-Buraq Wall is the western wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Muslims cannot give it up."

 

While Abbas and his Palestinian Authority consider the UNSC resolution a license to proceed with their diplomatic warfare to delegitimize and isolate Israel, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the two groups that seek the elimination of Israel, are also celebrating. The two Gaza-based groups see the resolution as another step toward achieving their goal of replacing Israel with an Islamic empire. Leaders and spokesmen of Hamas and Islamic Jihad were among the first Palestinians to heap praise on the UNSC members who voted in favor of the resolution. They are also openly stating that the resolution authorizes them to step up the "resistance" against Israel in order to "liberate all of Palestine."…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]    

 

Contents

THE RESILIENCE OF ISRAEL

                                                Victor Davis Hanson                                                                                           

National Review, Dec. 29, 2016

 

Israel would seem to be in a disastrous position, given the inevitable nuclear capabilities of Iran and the recent deterioration of its relationship with the United States, its former patron and continued financial benefactor. Immediately upon entering office, President Obama hectored Israel on so-called settlements. Obama promised to put “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel — and delivered on that promise…

 

Obama has long been at odds with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Over objections from the Obama administration, Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress last year about the existential dangers of the Obama-brokered Iran deal and the likelihood of a new Middle East nuclear-proliferation race. Obama then doubled down on his irritation with Netanyahu through petty slights, such as making him wait during White House visits. In 2014, an official in the Obama administration anonymously said Netanyahu, a combat veteran, was a “coward” on Iran.

 

At a G-20 summit in Cannes, France, in 2011, Obama, in a hot-mic slip, trashed Netanyahu. He whined to French president Nicolas Sarkozy: “You’re tired of him? What about me? I have to deal with him every day.” In contrast, Obama bragged about his “special” relationship with autocratic Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Never mind that Erdogan seems to want to reconstruct Turkey as a modern Islamist version of the Ottoman Empire, or that he is anti-democratic while Israel is a consensual society of laws. The Middle East surrounding democratic Israel is a nightmare.

 

The Middle East surrounding democratic Israel is a nightmare. Half a million have died amid the moonscape ruins of Syria. A once-stable Iraq was overrun by the Islamic State. The Arab Spring, U.S. support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the coup of General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to regain control of Egypt, and the bombing of Libya all have left North Africa in turmoil. Iran has been empowered by the U.S.-brokered deal and will still become nuclear…

 

Yet in all this mess, somehow Israel is in its best geostrategic position in decades. How? The answer is a combination of unintended consequences, deft diplomacy, political upheavals in Europe and the United States, and Israel’s own democratic traditions. Huge natural gas and oil finds off Israel’s Mediterranean coast and in the Golan Heights have radically changed Israel’s energy and financial positions. Israel no longer needs to import costly fossil fuels and may soon be an exporter of gas and oil to needy customers in Europe and the Middle East. (America recently became the world’s greatest producer of carbon energy and also no longer is dependent on Middle Eastern oil imports, resulting in less political influence by Arab nations.) Israel is creating its own version of Silicon Valley at Beersheba, which is now a global hub of cybersecurity research.

 

The Obama administration’s estrangement from Israel has had the odd effect of empowering Israel. Rich Persian Gulf states see Obama as hostile both to Israel and to themselves, while he appeases the common enemy of majority-Shiite Iran.

Democratic, free-market Israel is the sole safe port amid a rising Middle East tsunami. After a “leading from behind” U.S withdrawal from the Middle East, many Arab nations now see Israel more as a powerful ally against Iran than as an old existential enemy. They also see Israel as a country that has likewise been snubbed by America.

 

The idea of an Arab-Israeli understanding is surreal, but it is developing from shared fears of being targets of Iranian bombing and American indifference. Many of Israel’s neighbors are threatened by either ISIS or al-Qaeda nihilists. Those deadly dangers remind the world that democratic, free-market Israel is the sole safe port amid a rising Middle East tsunami.

 

Changing Western politics are empowering Israel as well. More than 2 million migrants — for the most part, young males from the war-torn Middle East — have terrified Europe, especially after a series of radical Islamic-terrorist killings. Suddenly, Europe is far more worried about Israel’s neighbors than about lecturing Israel itself.

 

Pushback against the Obama administration extends to its foreign policy. President-elect Donald Trump may be more pro-Israel than any recent U.S. president. And he may be the first U.S. leader to move the American embassy to Israel’s capital in West Jerusalem. For all the chaos and dangers abroad, the map of global energy, Western politics, and Middle Eastern alliances has been radically redrawn. At the center is a far stronger Israel that has more opportunities than at any other time in its history. It will have an even brighter future after Obama has left office.

 

Contents           

On Topic Links

 

Obama and Trump are Engaged in a $3 Billion Game of Chicken Over Israel: Jake Novak, CNBC, Dec. 27, 2016—President Obama and President-elect Donald Trump are engaged in a $3 billion game of chicken. It started last week when the United Nations began considering a deeply one-sided resolution calling on Israel to end all Jewish settlement building in disputed areas of the West Bank and even East Jerusalem without a single word calling on Palestinians to end violent attacks on civilians or do anything else.

Can Trump Construct a New World Order?: Prof. Efraim Inbar, BESA, Dec. 18, 2016—US President-Elect Donald Trump lacks foreign policy experience, and during the election campaign did not proffer any comprehensive outlook on global affairs. He offered bits and pieces of ideas (building a wall along the Mexican border, moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, disparaging NATO, and demanding that allies raise their defense expenditures). Overall, he expressed isolationist sentiments alongside inconsistent and unpredictable thoughts. In any case, his focus is likely to be on domestic affairs.

A New Approach to Israeli-Palestinian Peacemaking: Arik Elman, Algemeiner, Jan. 2, 2016—Some of my friends — even intelligent friends — say that, however unpleasant, a Borat-esque “running of the Jew” must now be enacted, because we need a reminder that the two-state solution is the only way to be rid of the Palestinian problem, as we can’t absorb Palestinians into our state, can’t rule them and can’t deport them.

How Obama Cracked Jewish Solidarity: Michael Lumish, Jewish Press, Jan. 3, 2017—Fifty years from now Barack Obama will be known to most Americans as, quite simply, the first African-American president of the United States. Aside from this he will have precious little to distinguish himself other than in the notable electoral deterioration of the Democratic Party under his tenure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REMEMBERING 2016 & PROGNOSTICATING THE NEW YEAR AND NEW PRO-ISRAEL WHITE HOUSE

 

A Crystal Ball on 2017: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, Dec. 30, 2016— Alas, my crystal ball has been working well in recent years, accurately anticipating the troubles before Israel.

Responding to Obama’s Malicious Betrayal of Israel: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, Dec. 29, 2016— As predicted, on the eve of his retirement President Barack Obama betrayed Israel.

The Main Antisemitic Incidents of 2016: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 13, 2016 — It has become a tradition that at year’s end the Simon Wiesenthal Center publishes a selection of the year’s major antisemitic incidents.

Hanukkah: The Festival of Religious Freedom: Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Religion and Ethics, Dec. 19, 2016— Hanukkah is the festival on which Jews celebrate their victory in the fight for religious freedom more than two thousand years ago.

 

On Topic Links

 

12 Reasons the US Should Never Have allowed UN Resolution 2334: Hillel Neuer, Times of Israel, Dec. 29, 2016

Israel Sees 27,000 New Immigrants in 2016, Slight Dip From Previous Year: JNS, Dec. 29, 2016

Meet The Winners: Our Pick For 2016’s Coolest Israeli Startups: Einat Paz-Frankel, No Camels, Dec. 29, 2016

Campus Antisemitism: The Year in Review: Kenneth L Marcus, Algemeiner, Dec. 26, 2016

 

                                  

 A CRYSTAL BALL ON 2017              

David M. Weinberg                       

Israel Hayom, Dec. 30, 2016

 

Alas, my crystal ball has been working well in recent years, accurately anticipating the troubles before Israel. Outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama: Two years ago, I impeccably predicted in these pages that Obama would cut a grand nuclear deal with the Iranians at Israel's expense. One year ago, I forecast that Obama would sandbag Israel with a "December surprise" — a hostile U.N. Security Council resolution in the seam zone between the Nov. 8 presidential election and the Jan. 20 inauguration of a new president. I also guessed correctly that Obama would never mention the words Islam and terrorism in the same sentence; not even once, right down to the dying days of his sad eight-year tenure.

 

Looking ahead, I sense that Obama will continue to ride on Israel's case. He is young, angry, petulant and unrepentant, and a true believer in Palestinian and Iranian rights and in his own prodigious powers. The presidency of the United States was just a stepping stone, in his view, toward real global clout. Obama will remain a thorn in Israel's behind, and surely in the side of his successor too. Watch for a series of revelatory Obama interviews with Jeffrey Goldberg, in which Obama will undiplomatically pour out his wrath on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and further delegitimize Israel, while repeatedly referencing the "legacy of Shimon Peres" as cover for his contempt.

 

Incoming President Donald Trump: I was wrong to dismiss Trump's candidacy for president as hopeless, but right to suggest that moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem was a realistic possibility. Now it will happen. I don't think that the Trump administration will sanction Israeli annexations in Judea and Samaria, but it can quietly green-light renewed Israeli building in the greater Jerusalem envelope, including E1, along the lines of the "Bush letter" understandings of 2004.

 

Equally important, Trump will reject the Obama administration's obsessive and false narratives about Israeli settlement construction being illegal, massive, and the main obstacle to peace. And he will acknowledge the plain reality that the status quo in Judea and Samaria is the least-worst option in the medium term. On another front, I doubt that Trump will throw the U.N. out of New York or cut its funding, despite Republican threats to do so. As the late, great Ed Koch once said of the U.N.: Every city needs a cesspool.

 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas: I was wrong in predicting last year that Abbas would finally resign from his dictatorial perch in the Palestinian Authority. But I am confident in calculating that even if he does so this coming year, the Palestinian Authority won't collapse. That's because there is no precedent in business or international affairs of anybody just walking away from a $3 billion enterprise. More than 200,000 Palestinian families in the West Bank — a million people — are dependent on PA salaries and pension plans, paid by the international community and essentially buttressed by Israeli bayonets.

 

The PA's autocratic rule is the default and preferred paradigm for much of the Palestinian political elite (and for Israel). This gives the lie to the PA's threats to dissolve itself. Such threats are simply not credible. One more thing should be kept in mind: It is only ongoing invasive and pervasive security activity by the IDF that keeps the Palestinian Authority alive. Without this, there isn't a shred of a doubt that the PA would fall to Hamas rule within a matter of weeks. And then Jerusalem and Israel's Gush Dan heartland would be under assault from the strategic heights of Judea and Samaria. This is a reality that all those who still hanker for rapid establishment of a full-fledged Palestinian state prefer to ignore.

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin: My analysis of the situation in Syria going back two years remains prescient. While Russia and Iran share an interest in stabilizing the Assad regime, Putin has no reason to provide cover for Iranian and Hezbollah operations against Israel. Thus careful Israeli maneuvering, for which Netanyahu deserves credit, has driven enough of a wedge between Russia and Iran to preserve Israel's freedom to operate against terrorist operations over our northern border.

 

The big question ahead is this: As Trump moves towards a strategic entente with Putin (with China as their common adversary), can Trump peel the Russians away from Iran, and secure Putin's cooperation in checking Iran's hegemonic troublemaking across the Middle East? I'm betting on this. Perhaps Putin will win the Nobel Peace Prize for bringing "stability" to Syria. After all, Obama won the prize for doing nothing at all.

 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: He will overcome all the pesky, petty investigations into his finances. Challenges to his Likud leadership by Gideon Sa'ar and Moshe Ya'alon will come to naught. His governing coalition will hold firm too. However, Netanyahu will find it increasingly difficult to square the circle diplomatically, even with Trump in the White House. It will be hard to strengthen Israel's hold on Jerusalem and the settlement blocs, and assert Israel's rights on the Temple Mount while fending off lawfare in the International Criminal Court and other forums. Unless and until Netanyahu adopts a real discourse of Israeli rights in Judea and Samaria (historic, religious and national), and doesn't just talk about its security needs, Israel will continue to lose ground internationally…

 [To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

                                                           

Contents                                                                                                                                                           

RESPONDING TO OBAMA’S MALICIOUS BETRAYAL OF ISRAEL

Isi Leibler                                                                                                   

Candidly Speaking, Dec. 29, 2016

 

As predicted, on the eve of his retirement President Barack Obama betrayed Israel. The former long-standing congregant of the paranoid anti-Semitic pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright who has a penchant for supporting to the Moslem Brotherhood, broke with forty years of U.S. bipartisan policy of protecting the Jewish state from the wolves at the United Nations.

 

His action as a lame duck president was a last ditch effort aimed at undermining his successor’s intended policies, realizing that it is virtually impossible to rescind a Security Council resolution. At the end of his eight years in office he exhibited an unprecedented abuse of power knowing that in his last month he would be unaccountable, despite the fact that his vindictive initiative was totally opposed by Congress, the American people and even by many members of his own party.

 

European countries represented on the Security Council voted in favor of this abominable resolution 2334 which was essentially drafted and orchestrated by the US and ultimately initiated by New Zealand, a Western country whose foreign policy is largely determined by the extent that it promotes export of lamb. Its co-sponsors were the rogue state of Venezuela, as well as Malaysia and Senegal.

 

The resolution, passed during the week that Aleppo was conquered by President Assad in the midst of brutal torture and massacres of thousands of innocent civilians, highlights the duplicity and hypocrisy of the United Nations, a body dominated by anti-Israeli and rogue states with democracies groveling in an effort to appease the dominant Muslim nations. It will serve as an instrument for Israel’s adversaries to further promote boycott, divestment and sanctions and the International Criminal Court will be encouraged to define Israel as a criminal state.

 

It officially nullifies the disastrous Oslo Accords, negates UN Resolution 242 and repudiates the concept of defensible borders. It paves the way for criminalizing all settlers, including those in the major blocs that will always remain part of Israel and even Jews resident in Jewish neighborhoods of east Jerusalem. It actually defines the Old City of Jerusalem and the Kotel (Western Wall) as occupied Palestinian territory.

 

In this context the Palestinians will demand that any future negotiations accept these bizarre territorial definitions as opening benchmarks – a status that no Israeli government would ever contemplate accepting. The UN Resolution has effectively negated the concept of direct negotiations, thus ensuring that a peaceful solution to the conflict is more remote than ever.

 

In this poisonous anti-Israeli international climate, we should not be influenced by the pessimistic prophets of doom in our midst. We are more powerful today than ever before and in the course of our history we have successfully overcome far greater threats to our existence than the United Nations. Now is a time for us to display unity and strength. Despite the many initial concerns, we should thank the Almighty that the American people elected Donald Trump as president. Were we now faced with a Clinton Democratic Administration, which in all likelihood would retain Obama’s policies, we would be confronting a real nightmare.

 

In this context, if the proclaimed decision to move the U.S Embassy to Jerusalem is implemented it will send the world a powerful message. To his credit, Trump used all his weight as an incoming president in efforts to ward off the UN resolution, albeit unsuccessfully. He described the UN “just as a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time” and stressed that after January 20th “things at the UN will be different”. In the wake of his selection of pro-Israeli David Friedman as ambassador to Israel he appointed another pro-Israeli from his team, Jason Greenblatt as his point man for Middle East negotiations. He also demonstratively refused to grant an audience to retiring UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.

 

In light of these developments most of the mainstream Jewish leadership who were in denial for over eight years should share a deep sense of guilt and shame. They remained silent as Obama treated Israel diplomatically as a rogue state whilst he groveled to the Ayatollah. They continued voting for him and we now see how he repaid them. The only consistent critic was indefatigable Morton Klein, head of the Zionist Organization of America who has now been more than vindicated.

 

Individual American Jews are free to express their personal political opinions in any manner they deem fit, but mainstream Jewish organizations are obliged to avoid activity which reflects political bias. The disgusting behavior of liberal mainstream leaders exploiting their positions to promote a partisan bias against Trump, including accusations of anti-Semitism against him and his co-workers before and during the elections, now stands out as being utterly unethical and outrageous.

 

After the elections the Anti-Defamation League, the religious Conservative and Reform leaders all issued statements conveying their anguish and even mourning the results. Some of these publicly supported the election to the Democratic Party leadership of the Muslim extreme left-wing anti-Israeli congressman Keith Ellison whilst bitterly protesting Trump’s appointment of a pro-Israeli ambassador. Others even protested that moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem would harm the peace process. The climax was the almost comic but bizarre boycott by major liberal mainstream Jewish organizations of a Hanukah celebration hosted by the Presidents’ Conference at the Azerbaijani Embassy in Washington because it was being held in a Trump-owned hotel.

 

But now is the time for us to look forward and unite. This U.N. resolution was not just about settlements. It was to undermine the security of the state and pave the way for anti-Semitic boycotts and sanctions by those seeking Israel’s demise. The resolution employing Obama’s malevolent views made no distinction between isolated outposts and settlements in outlying regions and Jewish suburbs of Jerusalem including the Western Wall…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                

                                                                       

Contents

 

THE MAIN ANTISEMITIC INCIDENTS OF 2016

Manfred Gerstenfeld

Jerusalem Post, Dec. 13, 2016

 

It has become a tradition that at year’s end the Simon Wiesenthal Center publishes a selection of the year’s major antisemitic incidents. When the list was started in 2010 it was two pages long. By last year it had tripled to six pages. Concerning 2016 there are two new aspects. The first is that a widely accepted definition of antisemitism has been in existence since May, namely that of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

 

Its acceptance required the approval of its 31 democratic member countries. The second aspect is that the perhaps largest antisemitic incident this year did not even mention Jews: in 2016, UNESCO accepted a resolution which refers to the Temple Mount exclusively as Al-Haram Al-Sharif/Al-Aksa Mosque. In so doing, it dissociated Jews (and Christians) from Jerusalem. This year it will be difficult for the SWC executives to do their work in view of the many major antisemitic incidents to choose from. A few suggestions thus may be helpful. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) coalition should be high on the list. Its platform falsely claims that Israel is an “apartheid state” which perpetrates genocide against the Palestinians.

 

Another prime candidate for the SWC list is Jeremy Corbyn, the extreme left-wing leader of the British Labour Party. Under his leadership antisemitism in the party has greatly expanded. Corbyn has called Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends” and for so many months refused to distance himself from that statement that when he finally did, it was meaningless. Corbyn promoted his strategy adviser Seumas Milne, who is a Hamas proponent. He also gave notorious antisemitic slur producer Ken Livingstone an important position in the party. The latter was later suspended because of antisemitic remarks about Hitler supporting Zionism. When the antisemitism in the party became clear, he chose an unqualified investigator who produced a highly unprofessional report on the issue. Corbyn’s acts do not fit the IHRA definition. This shows that the definition in relation to anti-Israel antisemitism is far too concise and should be complemented by a more detailed definition of this type of antisemitism…

 

The Muslim world is a prime supplier of antisemitic recidivists. One of these is the Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan. One statement from 2016 which qualifies him is “I don’t approve of what Hitler did, and neither do I approve of what Israel has done,” according to a translation by AFP. “When it’s a question of so many people dying, it’s inappropriate to ask who was the more barbarous.” In view of Hungarian antisemitism at least one candidate from that country should make the list. Perhaps it should be the Hungarian government for awarding antisemitic Magyar Hirlap columnist and conservative party Fidesz publicist Zsolt Bayer the “Hungarian Middle Cross,” the third highest decoration of achievement the government bestows.

 

No annual list of antisemitic slurs can be complete without including candidates from the Scandinavian hotbeds of hypocrisy and antisemitism, Norway and Sweden. The third largest Norwegian town, Trondheim, is now in the running as candidate for Europe’s capital of the anti-Israeli version of antisemitism for deciding to boycott products from the settlements. SWC circles informed me that Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallström barely escaped the list of major antisemitic incidents last year. This year she should definitely be on the list for her comments calling for an investigation into whether Israel is guilty of extrajudicial killings of Palestinians during the most recent wave of terrorism. The leader of the Yesh Atid Party, Yair Lapid, explicitly called her an antisemite during a rally in Stockholm.

 

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is also an annually returning antisemitic phenomenon. Seventy Jews wrote a letter to The New York Review of Books supporting only a targeted boycott of all goods and services from all Israeli settlements as well as investments there. They would be a representative candidate of the BDS list because of their double standards, which are a core element of antisemitism. The above selection may be somewhat helpful to the SWC executives. The problem is that it only contains a small part of the many candidates for this year’s list.                                

 

Contents

                  HANUKKAH: THE FESTIVAL OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM                                                 

                                            Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Religion and Ethics, Dec. 19, 2016

 

Hanukkah is the festival on which Jews celebrate their victory in the fight for religious freedom more than two thousand years ago. Tragically that fight is no less important today – and not only for Jews, but for people of all faiths. The Jewish story is simple enough. In around 165 BCE Antiochus IV, ruler of the Syrian branch of the Alexandrian empire, began to impose Greek culture on the Jews of the land of Israel. Funds were diverted from the Temple to public games and drama competitions.

 

A statue of Zeus was erected in Jerusalem. Jewish religious rituals such as circumcision and the observance of the Sabbath were banned. Those who kept them were persecuted. It was one of the great crises in Jewish history. There was a real possibility that Judaism, the world's first monotheism, would be eclipsed. A group of Jewish pietists rose in rebellion. Led by a priest, Mattathias of Modi'in, and his son, Judah the Maccabee, they began the fight for liberty. Outnumbered, they suffered heavy initial casualties, but within three years they had secured a momentous victory. Jerusalem was restored to Jewish hands. The Temple was rededicated. The celebrations lasted for eight days.

 

Hanukkah – which means "rededication" – was established as a festival to perpetuate the memory of those days. Almost twenty-two centuries have passed since then, yet today religious liberty, enshrined as article 18 in the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is at risk in many parts of the world. Christians are being persecuted throughout the Middle East and parts of Asia. In Mosul, Iraq's second city, Christians have been kidnapped, tortured, crucified and beheaded. Over the last two years, the Christian community, one of the oldest in the world, has been driven out, and the Yazidis, members of an ancient religious sect, have been threatened with genocide.

 

Over the past year in Nigeria, Boko Haram has captured Christian children and sold them as slaves. In Madagali, Christian men have been taken and beheaded, and the women forcibly converted to Islam and taken by the terrorists as wives. Nor has Boko Haram limited itself to persecuting Christians; it has targeted the Muslim establishment as well. Sectarian religious violence in the Central African Republic has led to the destruction of almost all of its mosques. In Burma, more than 140,000 Rohingya Muslims and 100,000 Kachin Christians have been forced to flee.

 

The 2016 report of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom speaks concludes that "serious and sustained assault" on religious freedom is a major factor behind the rolling series of worldwide "humanitarian crises." Countries where this crisis is acute include Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Vietnam. In Syria alone, where some of the worst crimes against humanity are taking place, 6.6 million people are internally displaced while 4.8 million have become refugees elsewhere…

Is there a way forward? More than half a century ago the Oxford philosopher John Plamenatz noted that religious freedom was born in Europe in the seventeenth century after a devastating series of religious wars. All it took was a single shift, from the belief that, "Faith is the most important thing; therefore everyone should honour the one true faith," to the belief that, "Faith is the most important thing; therefore everyone should be free to honour his or her own faith."

 

This meant that people of all faiths were guaranteed that whichever religion was dominant, he or she would still be free to obey their own call of conscience. Hence Plamenatz's striking conclusion: "Liberty of conscience was born, not of indifference, not of scepticism, not of mere open-mindedness, but of faith." The very fact that my religion is important to me allows me to understand that your quite different religion is no less important to you. It took much bloodshed before people were prepared to acknowledge this simple truth, which is why we must never forget the lessons of the past if we are to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. Hanukkah reminds us that people will fight for religious freedom, and the attempt to deprive them of it will always end in failure.

 

The symbol of Hanukkah is the menorah we light for eight days in memory of the Temple candelabrum, purified and rededicated by the Maccabees all those centuries ago. Faith is like a flame. Properly tended, it gives light and warmth, but let loose, it can burn and destroy. We need, in the twenty-first century, a global Hanukkah: a festival of freedom for all the world's faiths. For though my faith is not yours and your faith is not mine, if we are each free to light our own flame, together we can banish some of the darkness of the world.

 

                     CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters:

 

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Urim Sameach!

Contents  

         

On Topic Links

 

12 Reasons the US Should Never Have allowed UN Resolution 2334: Hillel Neuer, Times of Israel, Dec. 29, 2016—What follows is part of an open letter I sent to U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power following the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2334:

Israel Sees 27,000 New Immigrants in 2016, Slight Dip From Previous Year: JNS, Dec. 29, 2016— Israel saw approximately 27,000 new immigrants arrive this year, with newcomers from Russia and Brazil rising significantly but overall immigrations down from 31,000 in 2015, according to newly released year-end figures from the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Israeli Ministry of Aliyah and Immigration Absorption.

Meet The Winners: Our Pick For 2016’s Coolest Israeli Startups: Einat Paz-Frankel, No Camels, Dec. 29, 2016—2016 was another remarkable year for Israeli innovation, with the Startup Nation showing no signs of slowing its breakneck pace. The startup ecosystem has made global headlines with a host of new cutting-edge technologies that have the potential to better our lives, and even change them for good.

Campus Antisemitism: The Year in Review: Kenneth L Marcus, Algemeiner, Dec. 26, 2016—This has been an extraordinarily eventful year in the campaign against campus antisemitism, especially from our perspective at the Louis D. Brandeis Center. On the one hand, Jewish students face a worsening climate. This year, an AMCHA Initiative study showed a 45% increase in campus antisemitism during the first half of 2016 as compared with the first half of 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OBAMA & KERRY JOIN THE ANTI-ISRAEL JACKALS WITH PARTING SHOT AT JERUSALEM

 

PM Netanyahu's Statement in Response to US Secretary of State Kerry's Speech: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dec. 28, 2016 — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening (Wednesday, 28 December 2016), issued the following statement in response to US Secretary of State John Kerry's speech:

John Kerry's Meaningless Speech and Tragic Missed Opportunity: Alan Dershowitz, Fox News, Dec. 28, 2016 — What if the Secretary of State gave a policy speech and no one listened?

Joining the Jackals: The Case Against U.N. Resolution 2334 – Open Letter to Amb. Samantha Power: Hillel C.  Neuer, UNWatch, Dec. 29, 2016— Dear Ambassador Power…

The Obama Administration Fires a Dangerous Parting Shot: Editorial, Washington Post, Dec. 23, 2016 — President Obama’s decision to abstain on a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements reverses decades of practice by both Democratic and Republican presidents.

 

On Topic Links

 

Full Text of John Kerry’s Speech on Middle East Peace, December 28, 2016: Times of Israel, Dec. 28, 2016

Donald Trump Tweets Support for Israel Ahead of Kerry Speech on Middle East: Ruth Eglash & Carol Morello, Washington Post, Dec. 28, 2016

Israeli Ambassador: We’ll Give Trump Proof Obama Drove UN Vote (Video): Times of Israel, Dec. 26, 2016

Obama Despises Israel Because He Despises the West: Ben Shapiro, National Review, Dec. 28, 2016

 

PM NETANYAHU'S STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO US SECRETARY OF STATE KERRY'S SPEECH

                                        Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dec. 28, 2016  

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening (Wednesday, 28 December 2016), issued the following statement in response to US Secretary of State John Kerry's speech:

 

"Before why I explain why this speech was so disappointing to millions of Israelis, I want to say that Israel is deeply grateful to the United States of America, to successive American administrations, to the American Congress, to the American people. We're grateful for the support Israel has received over many, many decades. Our alliance is based on shared values, shared interests, a sense of shared destiny and a partnership that has endured differences of opinions between our two governments over the best way to advance peace and stability in the Middle East. I have no doubt that our alliance will endure the profound disagreement we have had with the Obama Administration and will become even stronger in the future.

 

But now I must express my deep disappointment with the speech today of John Kerry – a speech that was almost as unbalanced as the anti-Israel resolution passed at the UN last week. In a speech ostensibly about peace between Israelis and Palestinians, Secretary Kerry paid lip service to the unremitting campaign of terrorism that has been waged by the Palestinians against the Jewish state for nearly a century. What he did was to spend most of his speech blaming Israel for the lack of peace by passionately condemning a policy of enabling Jews to live in their historic homeland and in their eternal capital, Jerusalem.

 

Hundreds of suicide bombings…tens of thousands of rockets, millions of Israelis in bomb shelters are not throwaway lines in a speech; they're the realities that the people of Israel had to endure because of mistaken policies, policies that at the time won the thunderous applause of the world. I don't seek applause; I seek the security, and peace, and prosperity and the future of the Jewish state. The Jewish people have sought their place under the sun for 3,000 years, and we're not about to be swayed by mistaken policies that have caused great, great damage.

 

Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders. Israel's hand has been extended in peace to its neighbors from day one, from its very first day. We've prayed for peace, we've worked for it every day since then. And thousands of Israeli families have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country and advance peace. My family has been one of them; there are many, many others.

 

No one wants peace more than the people of Israel. Israel remains committed to resolving the outstanding differences between us and the Palestinians through direct negotiations. This is how we made peace with Egypt; this is how we made peace with Jordan; it's the only way we'll make peace with the Palestinians. That has always been Israel's policy; that has always been America's policy. Here's what President Obama himself said at the UN in 2011. He said: 'Peace is hard work. Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations. If it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.'

 

That's what President Obama said, and he was right. And until last week this was repeated over and over again as American policy. Secretary Kerry said that the United States cannot vote against its own policy. But that's exactly what it did at the UN, and that's why Israel opposed last week's Security Council resolution, because it effectively calls the Western Wall 'occupied Palestinian Territory,' because it encourages boycotts and sanctions against Israel – that's what it effectively does, and because it reflects a radical shift in US policy towards the Palestinians on final status issues – those issues that we always agreed, the US and Israel, have to be negotiated directly, face to face without preconditions.

 

That shift happened despite the Palestinians walking away from peace and from peace offers time and time again, despite their refusal to even negotiate peace for the past eight years, and despite the Palestinian Authority inculcating a culture of hatred towards Israel in an entire generation of young Palestinians. Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and with the American Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, to mitigate the damage that this resolution has done and ultimately, to repeal it.

 

Israel hopes that the outgoing Obama Administration will prevent any more damage being done to Israel at the UN in its waning days. I wish I could be comforted by the promise that the US says we will not bring any more resolutions to the UN. That's what they said about the previous resolution. We have it on absolutely incontestable evidence that the United States organized, advanced and brought this resolution to the United Nations Security Council. We'll share that information with the incoming administration. Some of it is sensitive, it's all true. You saw some of it in the protocol released in an Egyptian paper. There's plenty more; it's the tip of the iceberg…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

                                                           

Contents                                                                                                                                                                               

                    JOHN KERRY'S MEANINGLESS SPEECH

AND TRAGIC MISSED OPPORTUNITY

                       Alan Dershowitz                                                                                                    

                  Fox News, Dec. 28, 2016

 

What if the Secretary of State gave a policy speech and no one listened? Because Secretary Kerry’s speech Wednesday came after the U.S.'s abstention on the Security Council vote, nobody in Israel will pay any attention to anything he said. Had the speech come before the abstention, there would have been some possibility of it influencing the debate within Israel. But following the U.S. abstention, Kerry has lost all credibility with Israelis across the political spectrum. This is why his speech wasn’t even aired live on Israeli TV.

 

The speech itself was as one-sided as the abstention. It failed to mention the repeated offers from Israel to end the occupation and settlements, and to create a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza: Arafat’s rejection of the Clinton-Barak proposals in 2000-2001: and Abbas’ failure to respond to the Olmert offer in 2008. To fail to mention these important points is to demonstrate the bias of the speaker. Kerry also discussed the Palestinian refugee, without even mentioning the equal member of Jewish refugees from Arab and Muslim countries.

 

Finally Kerry, seemed to confirm that in his view any changes from the pre-1967 lines would not be recognized without mutual agreement. This means that the prayer plaza at the Western Wall, the access roads to Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus and the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem are now all illegally occupied. This is, of course, a non-starter for Israelis. It is also wrong as a matter of history and law. Jordan captured these historically Jewish areas in 1948 when all the surrounding Arab countries attacked the new Jewish nation in an attempt to destroy it. When Jordan attacked Israel again in 1967, Israel recaptured these Jewish areas and allowed Jews to return to them. That is not an illegal occupation. It is a liberation.

 

By failing to distinguish between settlement expansion deep into the West Bank and reclaiming historical Jewish areas in the heart of Jerusalem, Kerry made the same fundamental error that the Security Council resolution made. His one-sidedness was also evident in his failure to press the Palestinian leadership to accept Netanyahu’s open offer to begin negotiations immediately with no pre-conditions. Instead, he seemed to justify the Palestinian unwillingness to enter into negotiations now.

 

Kerry’s pessimism about the two-state solution poses the danger of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The existing settlements — even if expanded — do not pose any danger to the two-state solution, if the Palestinians really want their own state more than they want there not to be a Jewish state. A contiguous Palestinian state is certainly possible even if all the existing settlements were to remain. Israel proved that in Gaza when it dismantled every single Jewish settlement and evacuated every single Jew from the Gaza strip.

 

It is simply a historical geographical and logical error to assume that continuing settlement building — whether one agrees with it or not, and I do not — dooms the two-state solution. To the contrary, settlement expansion is the consequence of Palestinian refusal to accept repeated offers from Israeli governments to end the occupation and settlements in exchange for peace. The primary barrier to the two-state solution remains the Palestinian unwillingness to accept the U.N. resolution of 1947 calling for two states for two peoples — the Jewish people and the Arab people. Kerry did not sufficiently address this issue. This means explicit recognition by Palestinians to accept Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

 

The most important point Kerry made on Wednesday is that the Obama administration will not unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state, without an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. He also implied that U.S. will not push for any additional Security Council resolutions. Kerry’s speech is therefore just that: a speech with little substance and no importance. It will be quickly forgotten along with the many other one-sided condemnations of Israel that litter the historical record.

 

Kerry could have done a real service to peace if he had pressed the Palestinian leadership to come to the negotiation table as hard as he pressed the Israeli leadership to end settlement expansions. But his one-sided presentation did not move the peace process forward. Let us hope it does not set us back too far. What a missed opportunity and a tragedy that could have been easily avoided by a more balanced approach both at the Security Council and in the Kerry speech.                                  

                                                                       

Contents

 

 

JOINING THE JACKALS: THE CASE AGAINST U.N. RESOLUTION 2334 –

OPEN LETTER TO AMB. SAMANTHA POWER

Hillel C.  Neuer

UNWatch, Dec. 29, 2016

 

Dear Ambassador Power, I write in response to your abstention on Friday which allowed a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel, and in response to the substantial explanation of vote that you delivered. With even further U.N. measures still possible before President Obama leaves office on January 20th, I urge you and the Administration—where you play an influential role as a member of the President’s Cabinet, and as one of President Obama’s most trusted advisors—to reconsider your approach.

 

Your speech on Friday had much to applaud. As you have vigorously done for three years, your remarks exposed in compelling detail the U.N. double standard applied to the Jewish state, which, you rightly said, “not only hurts Israel, it undermines the legitimacy of the United Nations itself.” As you noted last year on the 40th anniversary of the infamous Zionism is Racism resolution, at the U.N. “rarely a day goes by without some effort to delegitimize Israel.” On that occasion, you called for everyone to “relentlessly fight back” against this “ignorance and hatred.”

 

Your vote on Friday, however, makes a dramatic break with all of this. While it is perfectly legitimate to disagree with Israel about settlements, allowing Resolution 2334 to pass was morally wrong and strategically damaging. As set forth below, we believe the U.S. decision to acquiesce in the adoption of this lopsided resolution reverses decades of past practice, sets back the cause of peace, and harms the interests of Israelis, Palestinians, and Americans…

 

Immediate and compelling evidence demonstrates that the Administration has failed to achieve its objective, which you articulated as promoting the two-state solution. Secretary Kerry’s speech yesterday failed to acknowledge the telling fact that Israel’s mainstream society, including leading supporters of the two-state solution, have sharply rejected the U.N. resolution, and criticized the U.S. role in its advancement and adoption.

 

Consider: Isaac Herzog, leader of the opposition and chairman of the Labor Party—whom you recently recognized for being “so principled on behalf of peace”—called for Resolution 2334 to be annulled, saying it caused “severe damage.” Similarly, his colleague, former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, who led efforts to achieve a two-state solution at the Annapolis Conference, and who welcomed the 2008 Security Council resolution endorsing that summit, said by contrast that Friday’s U.S.-backed resolution “harms the interests of Israel,” “harms Jerusalem,” and threatens to haul Israeli officers to the International Criminal Court.

 

Yair Lapid, chair of the Yesh Atid opposition party, who has endorsed the Saudi-Arab Peace Initiative as a basis for peace talks, and who opposes the proposed Knesset bill to legalize outposts which you cited on Friday, called the U.N. resolution “dangerous”, “unfair, and “an act of hypocrisy.” Ehud Barak, who as prime minister went to Camp David in 2000 and extended an unprecedented and far-reaching peace offer to the Palestinians, called this resolution a “humiliating blow to Israel.” Amos Yadlin, head of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, the country’s most influential think tank, and another prominent supporter of the two-state solution, said that the resolution was “extremely problematic for Israel and the peace process alike,” and he accused President Obama of committing “a severe anti-Israeli move” which “harmed the United States’ staunchest ally in the Middle East.”

 

To be sure, all of these left-leaning figures faulted or admonished Prime Minister Netanyahu for failing to head off the blow. Yet neither President Obama, Secretary Kerry or anyone else in your Administration has yet addressed the astonishing fact that their closest Israeli political allies and interlocutors in promoting the peace process have uniformly denounced an action which you claim will advance their position…

 

By contrast, are you not troubled that among the first to endorse the resolution were the terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad? “Hamas commends the countries that voiced their opposition to the Israeli occupation’s aggressive settlement policy aimed against the Palestinian people,” said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum. Hamas praised “the important about-face in the international position in favor of the Palestinian people.” Iran-backed Islamic Jihad welcomed the U.S.-backed resolution, saying, “It’s plain to see the world opinion is against Israel and its policies,” and “now Israel can be isolated and boycotted, as well as prosecuted in the international arena for all its crimes.”

 

12 Reasons Why the U.S. Should Have Vetoed U.N. Resolution 2334: To understand why, by contrast, so many supporters of Israeli-Palestinian peace oppose what you did on Friday, I urge you and the Administration to consider the following 12 points.

 

1. Resolution 2334 Encourages Palestinian Rejectionism, Undermines Negotiations: The resolution dangerously disincentivizes Palestinians to come to the negotiating table. Instead, Resolution 2334 will for the foreseeable future encourage them to await being handed the same or more by international fiat. This will feed into the Palestinian strategy of preferring to deal with international institutions over bilateral talks with Israel. Contrary to its stated objective, therefore, the resolution will only push negotiations further away.

 

In this regard, we recall that in 2011, your predecessor Susan Rice vetoed a similar resolution on the grounds that it risked “hardening the positions of both sides,” and “could encourage the parties to stay out of negotiations.” She said it was “unwise for this Council to attempt to resolve the core issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians.” Though your speech claims that circumstances have now changed, many will see the only meaningful difference as the fact that the current transition period allows a president to make unpopular decisions at no political cost.

 

2. Resolution Fuels Palestinian Targeting of Israelis with BDS & International Prosecutions

Secretary of State John Kerry pledged this month to oppose any “biased, unfair resolution calculated to delegitimize Israel.” And though he likewise said on Friday after the vote that he is proud of “defending Israel against any efforts to undermine its security or legitimacy in international fora,” and “steadfastly opposing boycotts, divestment campaigns and sanctions targeting the State of Israel,” the fact is that these are precisely the efforts empowered by Resolution 2334.

 

Friday’s text not only provides the first Security Council endorsement of the scandalous 2004 ICJ advisory opinion, which denied Israel’s right to defend itself from Gaza rockets, but it implicitly encourages the International Criminal Court (ICC) to move forward in its preliminary examination of whether Israeli officials have engaged in the “war crime” of settlement building, and provides the same impetus to prosecutions in national courts that claim universal jurisdiction. If Tzipi Livni was already being served with UK arrest warrants before, Resolution 2334 will only aggravate anti-Israel lawfare. The U.S. should never have lent its hand to a campaign designed to delegitimize Israeli civil and military leaders as criminals…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                                        

 

Contents

         THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION FIRES A DANGEROUS PARTING SHOT                                                         

                                                           Editorial      

Washington Post, Dec. 23, 2016

 

President Obama’s decision to abstain on a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements reverses decades of practice by both Democratic and Republican presidents. The United States vetoed past resolutions on the grounds that they unreasonably singled out Jewish communities in occupied territories as an obstacle to Middle East peace, and that U.N. action was more likely to impede than advance negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

 

The measure, approved 14 to 0 by the Security Council Friday, is subject to the same criticism: It will encourage Palestinians to pursue more international sanctions against Israel rather than seriously consider the concessions necessary for statehood, and it will give a boost to the international boycott and divestment movement against the Jewish state, which has become a rallying cause for anti-Zionists. At the same time, it will almost certainly not stop Israeli construction in the West Bank, much less in East Jerusalem, where Jewish housing was also deemed by the resolution to be “a flagrant violation under international law.”

 

By abstaining, the administration did not explicitly support that position, which has not been U.S. policy since the Carter administration. In explaining the vote, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power pointed out that the council was sanctioning Israel even while failing to take action to stop a potential genocide in South Sudan or the slaughter in Aleppo, Syria. Yet in failing to veto the measure, the Obama administration set itself apart both from previous administrations and from the incoming presidency of Donald Trump, who spoke out strongly against the resolution.

 

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.

 

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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Chag Urim Sameach!

 

Contents      

     

On Topic Links

 

Full Text of John Kerry’s Speech on Middle East Peace, December 28, 2016: Times of Israel, Dec. 28, 2016 — In address as he nears end of term, secretary of state says Washington ‘cannot, in good conscience, do nothing and say nothing, when we see the hope of peace slipping away’

Donald Trump Tweets Support for Israel Ahead of Kerry Speech on Middle East: Ruth Eglash & Carol Morello, Washington Post, Dec. 28, 2016 —President-elect Donald Trump tweeted messages Wednesday showing his support for Israel and accusing President Obama of making inflammatory statements and damaging relations between Israel and the United States.

Israeli Ambassador: We’ll Give Trump Proof Obama Drove UN Vote (Video): Times of Israel, Dec. 26, 2016—Israel’s ambassador to the United States said Tuesday that the country will present President-elect Donald Trump with “evidence” that the Obama administration orchestrated an anti-settlement resolution at the United Nations Security Council on Friday.

Obama Despises Israel Because He Despises the West: Ben Shapiro, National Review, Dec. 28, 2016—Barack Obama has done his best for nearly eight years to undermine the state of Israel. He’s signed a treaty that enshrines an Iranian path to a nuclear weapon while funding their global terrorist activities to the tune of tens of billions of dollars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OBAMA’S “PARTING BETRAYAL” OF ISRAEL AT UN: AN ENDORSEMENT OF PALESTINIAN NARRATIVE

 

Obama’s Parting Betrayal of Israel: John Bolton, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 26, 2016 — Last Friday, on the eve of Hanukkah and Christmas, Barack Obama stabbed Israel in the front.

Obama’s War Against America: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 26, 2016 — In 1989, following her tenure as President Ronald Reagan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick described how the Palestinians have used the UN to destroy Israel.

We Are Not Occupiers in Our Own Land: Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom, Dec. 25, 2016 — We can continue the argument over the settlements with the world of U.S. President Barack Obama and his supporters in legal and diplomatic language, rightfully protesting his hypocrisy and hoping for better under incoming President Donald Trump.

Obama’s Fitting Finish: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 26, 2016 — Barack Obama’s decision to abstain from, and therefore allow, last week’s vote to censure Israel at the U.N…

 

On Topic Links

 

The Dangers of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016): Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Dec. 26, 2016

Blame the New York Times for the Disgraceful Anti-Israel UN Security Council Vote: Ira Stoll, Algemeiner, Dec. 25, 2016

Rejecting the False Notion that Israel is Occupier: Alan Clemmons, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 26, 2016

Dershowitz: Obama Will Go Down In History As One Of The Worst Foreign Policy Presidents Ever: Huffington Post, Dec. 26, 2016

 

 

OBAMA’S PARTING BETRAYAL OF ISRAEL

John Bolton

Wall Street Journal, Dec. 26, 2016

 

Last Friday, on the eve of Hanukkah and Christmas, Barack Obama stabbed Israel in the front. The departing president refused to veto United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334—a measure ostensibly about Israeli settlement policy, but clearly intended to tip the peace process toward the Palestinians. Its adoption wasn’t pretty. But, sadly, it was predictable.

 

Mr. Obama’s refusal to use Washington’s veto was more than a graceless parting gesture. Its consequences pose major challenges for American interests. President-elect Donald Trump should echo Ambassador Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s defiant and ringing 1975 response to the U.N.’s “Zionism is racism” resolution: that America “does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act.”

 

Mr. Obama argues that Resolution 2334 continues a bipartisan American policy toward the Middle East. It does precisely the opposite. The White House has abandoned any pretense that the actual parties to the conflict must resolve their differences. Instead, the president has essentially endorsed the Palestinian politico-legal narrative about territory formerly under League of Nations’ mandate, but not already under Israeli control after the 1948-49 war of independence.

 

Resolution 2334 implicitly repeals the iconic Resolution 242, which affirmed, in the wake of the 1967 Six-Day War, that all affected nations, obviously including Israel, had a “right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” It provided further that Israel should withdraw “from territories occupied in the recent conflict”—but did not require withdrawal from “the” or “all” territories, thereby countenancing less-than-total withdrawal. In this way Resolution 242 embodied the “land for peace” theory central to America’s policy in the Middle East ever since.

 

By contrast, Resolution 2334 refuses to “recognize any changes to the [1967] lines, including those with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.” This language effectively defines Israel’s borders, even while superficially affirming direct talks. Chatter about Israeli-Palestinian negotiations is nothing but a truism, equally applicable to the U.S. and Canada, or to any nations resolving trivial border disputes. There can be no “land for peace”—with Israel retroceding territory in exchange for peace, as in the 1979 Camp David agreement with Egypt—if the land is not legitimately Israel’s to give up in the first place. Anti-Israel imagineers have used this linguistic jujitsu as their central tactic since 1967, trying to create “facts on the ground” in the U.N.’s corridors rather than by actually negotiating with Israel. Mr. Obama has given them an indefinite hall pass.

 

The Trump administration could veto future Security Council measures that extend Resolution 2334 (e.g., purportedly recognizing a Palestinian state). Mr. Trump could also veto efforts to implement Resolution 2334 (e.g., the sanctions for what it calls Israel’s “blatant violation under international law”). Still, there are significant dangers. Other U.N. bodies, such as the General Assembly and the numerous specialized agencies where America has no veto, can carry Resolution 2334 forward. Even more perilous is that individual nations or the European Union can legislate their own sanctions under Resolution 2334’s provision that “all States” should “distinguish in their relevant dealings” between Israel’s territory “and the territories occupied since 1967.” This is a hunting license to ostracize Israel from the international economic system, exposing it and its citizens to incalculable personal and financial risk.

 

Once in office, President Trump should act urgently to mitigate or reverse Resolution 2334’s consequences. Mr. Obama has made this significantly harder by rendering America complicit in assaulting Israel. Nonetheless, handled properly, there is an escape from both the current danger zone and the wasteland in which the search for Middle East peace has long wandered. First, there must be consequences for the adoption of Resolution 2334. The Trump administration should move to repeal the resolution, giving the 14 countries that supported it a chance to correct their error. Nations that affirm their votes should have their relations with Washington adjusted accordingly. In some cases this might involve vigorous diplomatic protests. But the main perpetrators in particular should face more tangible consequences.

 

As for the United Nations itself, if this mistake is not fixed the U.S. should withhold at least its assessed contributions to the U.N.—which amount to about $3 billion annually or 22%-25% of its total regular and peacekeeping budgets. Meanwhile, Washington should continue funding specialized agencies such as the World Health Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency, if only to dissuade them from entering the Resolution 2334 swamp. Second, Mr. Trump should unambiguously reject Mr. Obama’s view that Resolution 2334 is justified to save the “two-state solution.” That goal, at best, has been on life-support for years. After Mr. Obama’s provocation, its life expectancy might now be only until Jan. 20. And good riddance. This dead-end vision, by conjuring an imaginary state with zero economic viability, has harmed not only Israel but also the Palestinians, the principal intended beneficiaries.

 

Far better to essay a “three-state solution,” returning Gaza to Egypt and giving those parts of the West Bank that Israel is prepared to cede to Jordan. By attaching Palestinian lands to real economies (not a make-believe one), average Palestinians (not their political elite), will have a true chance for a better future. Other alternatives to the two-state approach should also be considered. Mr. Obama loves using the word “pivot” for his ever-changing priorities. It is now up to Mr. Trump to pivot away from his predecessor’s disastrous policies on Israel. Taking up the challenge will be difficult, but well worth the effort for America and its friends world-wide.   

                                                           

Contents                                                                                                                                                                                         

OBAMA’S WAR AGAINST AMERICA

Caroline B. Glick                                                                                        

Jerusalem Post, Dec. 26, 2016

 

In 1989, following her tenure as President Ronald Reagan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick described how the Palestinians have used the UN to destroy Israel. Following outgoing US President Barack Obama’s assault on Israel at the UN Security Council last Friday, longtime UN observer Claudia Rossett wrote an important article at PJMedia where she recalled Kirkpatrick’s words. In “How the PLO was legitimized,” published in Commentary, Kirkpatrick said that Yasser Arafat and the PLO worked “to come to power through international diplomacy – reinforced by murder.”

 

Kirkpatrick explained, “The long march through the UN has produced many benefits for the PLO. It has created a people where there was none; a claim where there was none. Now the PLO is seeking to create a state where there already is one. That will take more than resolutions and more than an ‘international peace conference.’ But having succeeded so well over the years in its campaign to delegitimize Israel, the PLO might yet also succeed in bringing the campaign to a triumphant conclusion, with consequences for the Jewish state that would be nothing short of catastrophic.”

 

As Rossett noted, in falsely arguing that Obama’s support for Friday’s UN Security Council Resolution 2334 is in line with Reagan’s policies, Obama’s UN Ambassador Samantha Power deliberately distorted the historical record of US policy toward Israel and the PLO-led UN onslaught against the Jewish state. As Rosett noted, in stark contrast to Power’s self-serving lie, neither Reagan nor George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton nor George W. Bush would have ever countenanced a resolution like 2334.

 

Obama’s predecessors’ opposition to the war against Israel at the UN was not merely an expression of their support for Israel. They acted also out of a fealty to US power, which is directly targeted by that war.

It is critical that we understand how this is the case, and why the implications of Resolution 2334 are disastrous to the US itself. Resolution 2334 is being presented as an “anti-settlement” resolution. But it is not an anti-settlement resolution.

 

Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and neighborhoods in Jerusalem are being used – as they always have been used – as a means of delegitimizing the Jewish state as a whole, and legitimizing Palestinian terrorists and Islamic terrorists more generally. Resolution 2334 serves to criminalize Israel and its people and to undermine Israel’s right to exist, while embracing Palestinian terrorists and empowering them in their war to annihilate Israel. America’s historic refusal to countenance such actions at the UN Security was never a purely altruistic position. It was also a stand for American power and the inherent justice of American superpower status and global leadership.

 

Throughout most of its history, the UN has served as a proxy battlefield first of the Cold War, and since the destruction of the Soviet Union, for the war against the US-led free world. Beginning in the early 1960s, the Soviets viewed the political war against Israel at the UN as a means to undermine the moral basis for the US-led West. If Israel, the only human rights defending state in the Middle East, and the US’s only stable ally in the region could be delegitimized, then the very coherence of the US-led Western claim to moral superiority against the totalitarian Soviet empire would be undone.

 

Hence, the first Soviet attempt at the UN to castigate Zionism, the Jewish national liberation movement, as a form of racism was made in 1965, two years before Israel took control of Judea and Samaria and united Jerusalem in the Six Day War. That attempt failed. But nine years later the wording first raised in 1965 was adopted by the UN General Assembly which passed resolution 3379 slandering libeled Zionism as “a form of racism.”

 

With their automatic majority in the General Assembly and all other UN organs, the Soviets used the Palestinian war against Israel as a proxy for their war against America. After the demise of the Soviet Union, the Islamic bloc, backed by members of the former Soviet bloc, the non-aligned bloc and the Europeans continued their campaign. The only thing that kept them from winning was the US and its Security Council veto. When Obama chose to lead the anti-Israel lynch mob at the Security Council last week, he did more than deliver the PLO terrorist organization its greatest victory to date against Israel. He delivered a strategic victory to the anti-American forces that seek to destroy the coherence of American superpower status. That is, he carried out a strategic strike on American power.

 

By leading the gang rape of Israel on Friday, Obama undermined the rationale for American power. Why should the US assert a sovereign right to stand against the radical forces that control the UN? If US agrees that Israel is committing a crime by respecting the civil and human rights of its citizens to live in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, then how can America claim that it has the right to defend its own rights and interests, when those clash with the views of the vast majority of state members of the UN? Following Obama’s assault on Israel Friday, Senators Lindsay Graham and Ted Cruz called for the US to end its financial support for the UN at least until the Security Council abrogates Resolution 2334. They are correct.

 

But it isn’t anger at how Obama has and is expected to continue to use the Security Council to imperil Israel that should inform the incoming Trump administration’s actions. Rather a determination to maintain US power and secure its national security requires that the UN be permanently defunded and defanged. For eight years, through his embrace and empowerment of US enemies, betrayal and weakening of US allies, emaciation of the US armed forces and repeated apologies for America’s past assertions of global leadership, Obama has waged a determined war against US superpower status. The last vestige of the strategic and moral rationale for US power was the protection America afforded Israel at the Security Council.

 

Now with that gone, it has become a strategic imperative for the US to render the UN irrelevant. This can only be undertaken by permanently defunding this corrupt institution and using the US’s Security Council veto to end the UN’s role as the arbiter of international peace and security, by among other things, ending the deployment of UN forces to battle zones. Only by stripping the UN of its financial wherewithal to assault US allies and American interests and by denying it the institutional and operational capacity to serve as an arbiter of disputes morally and legally superior to the US can America protect its sovereignty and advance its interests…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

                                   

                                                                       

Contents

 

WE ARE NOT OCCUPIERS IN OUR OWN LAND

Nadav Shragai

Israel Hayom, Dec. 25, 2016

 

We can continue the argument over the settlements with the world of U.S. President Barack Obama and his supporters in legal and diplomatic language, rightfully protesting his hypocrisy and hoping for better under incoming President Donald Trump. But all this cannot be done without screaming in the ears of the world — especially during Hanukkah — a single basic truth, as Simon the Hasmonean put it some 2,200 years ago: "We have not taken foreign territory or any alien property, but have occupied our ancestral heritage, for some time unjustly wrested from us by our enemies; now that we have a favorable opportunity, we are merely recovering our ancestral heritage" (Maccabees 1, 15:33-34).

 

Our real and imagined friends in the United States and all over the world must finally hear that the historical, religious, legal and emotional links the nation of Israel has to Hebron, Beit-el, Shiloh and of course, Jerusalem, is no less than that of the Palestinians. They must hear that we are not occupiers in our own land, and that we are connected to it with bonds of love, the Bible, heritage and nature; that the settlements in Judea and Samaria, as elsewhere in the Land of Israel, are the realization of justice and natural rights.

 

This basic truth relating to the Land of Israel in its entirety will not change due to a U.N. resolution made on the Sabbath. Morally speaking, there is no difference between settlement in the Land of Israel, where Arabs lived at the beginning of the last century, and settlement in the Land of Israel, where Arabs live in the current century. There is no difference between settling Petach Tikva, which Zionist leader Moshe Smilansky described a few generations ago as a "small Arab settlement between Arab villages," and large settlements in Judea and Samaria.

 

Our justice and our natural rights are not based on security needs, nor on international law. They may not be considered to be "realpolitik" today, but they are explicitly a part of the discourse on rights, whose content, essence and language must once again be laid on the table. What Simon the Hasmonean understood more than 2,000 years ago, and what our sage Rashi understood in his interpretation of the first verse in Genesis some 1,000 years ago, followed by Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and later Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and certainly Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is that we exist here by way of force and of diplomacy, but, above all, we exist here by right.      

                                               

Contents

                         OBAMA’S FITTING FINISH                                               

                                    Bret Stephens        

Wall Street Journal, Dec. 26, 2016

 

Barack Obama’s decision to abstain from, and therefore allow, last week’s vote to censure Israel at the U.N. Security Council is a fitting capstone for what’s left of his foreign policy. Strategic half-measures, underhanded tactics and moralizing gestures have been the president’s style from the beginning. Israelis aren’t the only people to feel betrayed by the results.

Also betrayed: Iranians, whose 2009 Green Revolution in heroic protest of a stolen election Mr. Obama conspicuously failed to endorse for fear of offending the ruling theocracy. Iraqis, who were assured of a diplomatic surge to consolidate the gains of the military surge, but who ceased to be of any interest to Mr. Obama the moment U.S. troops were withdrawn, and only concerned him again when ISIS neared the gates of Baghdad.

 

Syrians, whose initially peaceful uprising against anti-American dictator Bashar Assad Mr. Obama refused to embrace, and whose initially moderate-led uprising Mr. Obama failed to support, and whose sarin- and chlorine-gassed children Mr. Obama refused to rescue, his own red lines notwithstanding. Ukrainians, who gave up their nuclear weapons in 1994 with formal U.S. assurances that their “existing borders” would be guaranteed, only to see Mr. Obama refuse to supply them with defensive weapons when Vladimir Putin invaded their territory 20 years later.

 

Pro-American Arab leaders, who expected better than to be given ultimatums from Washington to step down, and who didn’t anticipate the administration’s tilt toward the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate political opposition, and toward Tehran as a responsible negotiating partner.

 

Most betrayed: Americans. Mr. Obama promised a responsible end to the war in Iraq. We are again fighting in Iraq. He promised victory in Afghanistan. The Taliban are winning. He promised a reset with Russia. We are enemies again. He promised the containment of Iran. We are witnessing its ascendancy in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. He promised a world free of nuclear weapons. We are stumbling into another age of nuclear proliferation. He promised al Qaeda on a path to defeat. Jihad has never been so rampant and deadly. These are the results. They would be easier to forgive if they hadn’t so often been reached by disingenuous and dishonorable means.

 

The administration was deceptive about the motives for the 2012 Benghazi attack. It was deceptive about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s service record, and the considerations that led it to exchange five Taliban leaders for his freedom. It was deceptive about when it began nuclear negotiations with Iran. It was deceptive about the terms of the deal. It continues to be deceptive about the fundamental aim of the agreement, which has less to do with curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions than with aligning Washington’s interests with Tehran’s. Now the administration is likely being deceptive about last week’s U.N. vote, claiming it did not promote, craft or orchestrate a resolution that treats the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City as a settlement in illegally occupied territory. Yet in November, John Kerry had a long talk on the subject with the foreign minister of New Zealand, one of the resolution’s sponsors.

 

“One of the closed-door discussions between United States Secretary of State John Kerry and the New Zealand government today was a potential resolution by the United Nations Security Council on a two-state solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict,” the New Zealand Herald reported last month. “‘It is a conversation we are engaged in deeply and we’ve spent some time talking to Secretary Kerry about where the U.S. might go on this,’” the paper added, quoting Foreign Minister Murray McCully. The Israelis claim to have more evidence along these lines. If so, it means the administration no longer bothers to lie convincingly.

 

Even this might be excusable, if Mr. Obama at least had the courage of his mistaken convictions, or if his deception were in the service of a worthier end. Instead, we have the spectacle of the U.S. government hiding behind the skirts of the foreign minister of New Zealand—along with eminent co-sponsors, Venezuela, Malaysia and Senegal—in order to embarrass and endanger a democratic ally in a forum where that ally is already isolated and bullied. In the catalog of low points in American diplomacy, this one ranks high.

 

After the Carter administration pulled a similar stunt against Israel at the Security Council in December 1980, the Washington Post published an editorial that does the paper honor today. “It cannot be denied,” the editors wrote, “that there is a pack and that it hounds Israel shamelessly and that this makes it very serious when the United States joins it.” The editorial was titled “Joining the Jackals.” Unlike Mr. Carter, Mr. Obama hasn’t joined the jackals. He has merely opened the door wide to them, whether at the U.N. or in the skies over Syria or in the killing fields in Ukraine. The United States abstains: What a fitting finish to this ruinous presidency.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Chag Urim Sameach!

 

Contents          

 

On Topic Links

 

The Dangers of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016): Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Dec. 26, 2016—The December 23, 2016, resolution adopted by the UN Security Council regarding Israel’s settlement policy has been received with mixed and even extreme reactions.  [Click to read the text of UN Security Council Resolution 2334]

Blame the New York Times for the Disgraceful Anti-Israel UN Security Council Vote: Ira Stoll, Algemeiner, Dec. 25, 2016— In the aftermath of Friday’s disastrous and disgraceful UN Security Council vote condemning Israel, a competition has emerged over who deserves the blame. In the aftermath of Friday’s disastrous and disgraceful UN Security Council vote condemning Israel, a competition has emerged over who deserves the blame.

Rejecting the False Notion that Israel is Occupier: Alan Clemmons, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 26, 2016—President Obama against the State of Israel, has rightly evoked great anger across all parts of the American political spectrum.

Dershowitz: Obama Will Go Down In History As One Of The Worst Foreign Policy Presidents Ever: Huffington Post, Dec. 26, 2016—Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz slammed President Obama for "stabbing Israel in the back" on Monday morning's edition of 'Fox & Friends.' "[History will see President Obama] as one of the worst foreign policy presidents ever," Dershowitz said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hannukah, 5773/2012: As Israel’s “Stalingrad” approaches, Where are the Allies? And What if, 65 Years Ago, the Arabs Had Accepted Israel?

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Contents:                          

 

 

 

I Stand Ashamed That My Country Voted for the New Nazis: Giulio Meotti, Israel National News, Dec. 2, 2012At the United Nations we are witnessing the creation ex nihilo of a foreign country, which never existed, and accepting the claims of the “Palestinian Arabs,” by giving them the land whose memory kept the Jews together as a people and brought them back to Jerusalem after the Holocaust.

 

Building in Jerusalem: A Strategic Imperative: Prof. Efraim Inbar, BESA Center, December 5, 2012 Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu must ignore the Pavlovian response of the international community against building in Jerusalem, particularly in Area E1.

 

What If the Arabs Had Accepted the Creation Of Israel?: Allan Levine, National Post, Dec 6, 2012Nov. 29, the date of Mahmoud Abbas’ speech to the United Nations last week, has always had special historical significance in the thorny annals of the Middle East.

 

 

On Topic Links

 

 

A Search for God Through Bluegrass and Klezmer: Samuel G. Freedman, The New York Times, Nov. 30, 2012

Pillar of Defense: An Initial Strategic and Military Assessment: Dr. Eitan Shamir, BESA Center, Dec. 4, 2012

A Woman Who Cared: Greer Fay Cashman, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 29, 2012

Bond in Bankruptcy: Mark Steyn, National Review, Dec. 3, 2012

 

 

 

 

ISRAEL, LIGHT UNTO THE NATIONS

HANNUKAH, 5773/2012

Baruch Cohen

 

In Memory of Beloved Malca z”l

 

As we celebrate Hannukah today, heavy dark clouds of global racism, anti-Zionism, and anti-Semitism loom over Israel. As we, the Jewish People, welcome the holiday of joy and light, new Hamans rise up against us.

“Hannukah” means, literally, “dedication”. It tells the story of Jewish commitment, bravery and unflinching devotion to the high humanistic values embodied in our Torah, and of the unquenchable flame of Jewish heroism, embodied in the Hannukah story itself.

 

The first Hannukah flame was lit in Jerusalem on the 25th day of Kislev, 164 BCE, elebrating victory by our Maccabee heroes over the Hellenistic oppressors, led by the brutal King Antiochus IV.

 

Eternal Israel, as always, prevailed, and Jerusalem, timeless, endures as our capital, to this day!

 

Parallels to the past are evident today. Once again we encounter hate and incitement against our brave People and State; and once again, despite the dark forces ranged against us, Eternal Israel will prevail!

 

To all CIJR supporters and all people of goodwill, Hag Hannukah Sameach! Hag-HaUrim! Happy Hannukah, Festival of Lights!
 

(Baruch Cohen is CIJR`s Research Chairman)!

 

 

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I STAND ASHAMED THAT MY COUNTRY

VOTED FOR THE NEW NAZIS

Giulio Meotti, Israel National News, November 30, 2012

 

At the United Nations we are witnessing the creation ex nihilo of a foreign country, which never existed, and accepting the claims of the “Palestinian Arabs,” by giving them the land whose memory kept the Jews together as a people and brought them back to Jerusalem after the Holocaust.

 

The Western community at the United Nations, including my miserable Italy, just adopted the Nazis’ strategy. Cunning in wickedness, the Germans dangled before their victims the possibility of saving themselves at the expense of other Jews.

 

In this case, the Jews to be sacrified are all of those living in Judea and Samaria, but ultimately it is the entire State of Israel, since a Palestinian State would only arise upon the fall of Israel. I am ashamed that my country voted for the first step towards officially prohibiting Jews or any other faith from living in a certain area, the first since Nazi Germany, which sought a country that was jüdenrein, cleansed of Jews. I am ashamed that my country voted for the PLO, an organization of murderers and Holocaust deniers now officially dedicated to the mass deportation of Israel’s Jews.

 

I am ashamed that my country voted for a state that tortures inmates in prisons, that throws political dissidents from the roofs of public buildings, that puts to death human beings simply because they are guilty of apostasy and that will be a combination of corruption, dictatorship, Islamic theology and “Bin-Ladenism.”

 

On September 29, 1938, the Czechoslovak state was truncated and deprived of defensible borders by the “Munich agreement.” Six months later, abandoned by its allies England and France, and bullied by Hitler, Czechoslovakia lay down and died. Like Israel today, the Czechs were accused of “intransigence” and of being “disturbers of the peace.” They were so disheartened that in the end they chose not to fight, but to surrender.

 

“Peace” meant capitulation. Czechoslovakia’s situation in 1938 is in fact similar to Israel’s in 2012. Like Israel’s IDF, the Czechs had one of the strongest armies in Europe. Like Israel, Czechoslovakia was a very young and vibrant state. And like the West pressing Israel to give up its land to the Arabs, the Nazis demanded the annexation of the Sudeten, settled by three million Germans. And the Sudeten mountains, like Israel’s “occupied territories,” were the only position from which the Bohemian plain and the capital Prague was defensible. And does anyone remember how Lord Trenchard got up in the British parliament after Munich and declared that the Czechs didn’t need the Sudeten territories for security? “The best security border,” Trenchard said, “is peace.” Sound familiar?

 

A Palestinian state, to not mention Hamas, is a mortal danger to Israel because it will immediately absorb 700,000 Palestinians who are living in Syria, another 750,000 Palestinians who live in Lebanon and hundreds of thousands of others who will flock to the new state from all over the world. They will settle in villages that overlook Jaffa, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport, Kfar Saba and Jerusalem.

 

I am ashamed that my country adopted the same method used by the Sudeten Nazis in Czekoslovakia in the late ’30s, destroying the country from within. Yesterday it was then the SS, today it’s the PLO, which murdered at least 1,500 Jews (comparable to 82,000 American fatalities).

 

Who will guarantee that the moment a Palestinian state is declared, the rifles won’t start shooting again? The Italian police? Will bloody attacks be planned against Jews at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem? Will the Jewish holy sites – Rachel’s tomb in Bethlehem, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron and Joseph’s tomb in Nablus – be destroyed by local mobs? Will Jewish areas in eastern Jerusalem be subjected to Arab sniper fire? Will Katyusha rockets start falling on runways at Ben-Gurion Airport or on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway, so that Israel’s economy would simply cease to exist? Will the Hebron Jews be the victims of a new Jihadist pogrom like in 1929?

 

I am ashamed that my country would vote for a state that will conclude treaties with Arab countries and with Iran serving as a tripwire for a pan-Islamic attack to exterminate Israel. I am ashamed that my country would vote for a state where the “Mein Kampf” is a best seller. I am ashamed that my country will be remembered among those who legitimized Palestinian terrorists as “victims,” that tacitly maligned Israel as the villains, letting off the true villains with a single objective: The “final solution” of the Jewish problem. Seventy years ago, in what had become one of the opening acts of the greatest tragedy in European history, Italy betrayed its own Jews. Very few came back from Birkenau.

 

Today, Italy capitulated again in the battle against those who seek to finish the job started by the Nazis. Now that we are approaching Israel’s Stalingrad, where have all the “allies” gone?

 

Giulio Meotti is an Italian journalist with Il Foglio and the author of the acclaimed book, A New Shoah, that researched the personal stories of Israel’s terror victims (published by Encounter).

 

 

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BUILDING IN JERUSALEM: A STRATEGIC IMPERATIVE

Prof. Efraim Inbar

BESA Center, December 5, 2012

 

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu must ignore the Pavlovian response of the international community against building in Jerusalem, particularly in Area E1. The fate of the Jewish State depends largely upon the government’s ability to take immediate action to populate the area that links Jerusalem to Maaleh Adumim with thousands of Jews.

 

Maaleh Adumim, a settlement of over 40,000 Jews east of Jerusalem, serves as the linchpin in establishing an effective line of defense along the Jordan Valley against aggression from the east. Building a Jewish-populated corridor to Maaleh Adumim will prevent the division of Jerusalem and secure the only safe route via which Israel can mobilize troops from the coast to the Jordan Valley if necessary. Jerusalem’s importance to the Jews is not only historical and religious. Rather, Jerusalem also holds strategic importance in controlling the only highway from the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan Valley, along which Jews are able to travel with little interference from concentrations of Arab population.

 

Those who object to Jewish presence in Area E1 express concern for Palestinian contiguity, which is a deceptive argument. Free travel between Samaria and Judea can be arranged quite easily by constructing overpasses or tunnels. (Ironically, the Palestinians suggest these arrangements in response to Israeli concerns regarding the Palestinian demand for a corridor between Gaza and Judea that would divide Israel in two.)

 

The main issue, however, is Jerusalem. The Palestinians plan to populate Area E1 with Arabs in order to create demographic contiguity between Samaria and East Jerusalem, thereby facilitating the division of the city. Such a development would also isolate Maaleh Adumim and undermine Israeli claims to the Jordan Valley. The only way to prevent the realization of these Palestinian plans is to settle Jews in Area E1.

 

Many pundits claim that Israel no longer needs the Jordan Valley as a shield against aggression from the east. They argue that the peace treaty with Jordan renders the dangerous threat of the eastern front’s proximity to Israel’s population centers and economic infrastructure a thing of the past. Yet this is a very short-term perspective, motivated by a desire to convince the Israeli public that the Jordan Valley is militarily dispensable. Such a view ignores the immense potential for political upheaval in the Middle East, perceived American weakness, the greater political role of radical Islamists, and the growing pressures upon the Hashemite regime.

 

The destabilization of Hashemite Jordan and Saudi Arabia, an emboldened and more radical Syria, and the re-emergence of the eastern front as a credible threat are not far-fetched scenarios….[And] these armchair strategists overlook the history of military technology, which shows a clear oscillation between the dominance of offensive and defensive measures over the centuries. The belief that the technology of today – which temporarily reduces the importance of topography – will remain unchallenged constitutes a dangerous strategic fallacy. Designing stable defensible borders in accordance with the current, yet transient, state-of-the-art technology and political circumstances is strategically foolish. Therefore, if Israel wants to maintain a defensible border along the Jordan Valley it needs to secure the road that leads there from the coast, via an undivided Jerusalem and via Maaleh Adumim.

 

Netanyahu will be put to the test to prove that his rhetoric about a united Jerusalem and the incorporation of settlement blocs – such as Maaleh Adumim – into Israel has substance. Former American President George W. Bush’s promise to allow the incorporation of settlement blocs is to be capitalized upon in this context. We should also remember that the US has opposed Israeli settlement efforts since 1967 and only rarely did American objections have an impact on Israeli decisions on this issue. Moreover, the Americans can be persuaded to tacitly go along with linking Maaleh Adumim to Jerusalem if a clear strategic vision based upon the principle of territorial compromise is presented.

 

While the strategic wisdom of indiscriminately settling the Land of Israel is not compelling, a selective settlement policy focusing on areas within the Israeli consensus, including Maaleh Adumim and the Jordan Valley, can be pursued with little foreign interference. Such a policy should be complemented with the removal of illegal posts located outside the areas of consensus, and even with a gradual freeze in allocations to isolated settlements. Such a policy reflects the preference of a large majority of the Israelis.

 

Area E1 is of vital importance for the political future of Jerusalem and for Israel’s chances to establish a defensible line along its eastern border. It is imperative to build homes for Jews there. Hopefully, Netanyahu will soon send the bulldozers to create vital irreversible facts on the ground.

 

Prof. Efraim Inbar is a professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.

 

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WHAT IF THE ARABS HAD ACCEPTED THE CREATION OF ISRAEL?

Allan Levine

National Post, Dec 6, 2012

 

Nov. 29, the date of Mahmoud Abbas’ speech to the United Nations last week, has always had special historical significance in the thorny annals of the Middle East. On that day in 1947, the United Nations voted in favour of the partition of the British Mandate for Palestine in two — one independent state for the approximately 500,000 Jews, but with a sizable Arab population of 400,000, and one for the 725,000 Arabs and the 10,000 Jews residing in that territory. Jerusalem was to be maintained as an international area.

 

The Jews accepted the partition, while the Arabs did not. Before the UN vote, Jamal al-Husseni, vice-president of the Arab Higher Committee, the Palestinian Arab political organization, had declared to the UN General Assembly: “We are solidly and permanently determined to fight to the last man against the existence in our country of any Jewish state, no matter how small it is. We will drench the soil of our beloved country with the last drop of our blood.” He was true to his word.

 

Now, 65 years later, Mr. Abbas, the president of the Palestinian authority, asked the same august international body, which the Palestinians once rejected, to promote them from their status as observers to a non-member state. The vast majority of UN members were happy to comply. Just as there was dancing in the streets of Tel Aviv in 1947 and months later on May 14, 1948, when the state of Israel declared its independence, there was also dancing on the streets of Ramallah at last week’s diplomatic victory, as hollow as it likely will prove to be….

 

In the long struggle waged between Israelis and Palestinians, history frequently has been manipulated, and no more so than around the pivotal events that took place six and a half decades ago. A case in point: Palestinian insistence on the “right of return” to Israel of Palestinian refugees and their millions of their descendants.

 

The stalemate over this issue comes down to what happened in 1948. In the widely accepted Israeli narrative, the estimated 700,000 Arabs who left the Yishuv (or Jewish settlement and adjacent territories) during the Israeli War of Independence mainly did so of their own volition.

 

In the Palestinian historical narrative, on the other hand, the 1948 war is known as Al-Nakbah — the catastrophe. This alternative view argues that Palestinians were victims of a ruthless Zionist policy of ethnic cleansing, terror and worse….

 

In 1998, a kibbutznik and peace activist by the name of Teddy Katz received his master’s degree from Haifa University for a thesis entitled The Exodus of Arabs from Villages at the Foot of Southern Mount Carmel in 1948. The focal point of the study was the Arab village of Tantura, today the site of one of the best Mediterranean beaches in Israel. The incident in question took place on May 23, 1948, about six weeks after another notorious confrontation between Jewish fighters and Arabs at Deir Yassin, in which a hundred Arabs, some armed, were killed and for which Jewish officials later apologized….

 

Following interviews with Israeli Haganah veterans as well as former Arab villagers (some of whom were young children at the time), Katz concluded that approximately 200 to 250 unarmed Arab men had been murdered, women had been raped, the village looted and the rest of its small population expelled.

 

Once Katz’s controversial findings were published in a newspaper story, the former head of the Haganah unit involved launched a libel suit against Katz. During the proceedings, it was determined that Katz had fabricated evidence to fit his thesis about an Israeli-led massacre. He was forced to write a public apology. (The university revoked his degree; he resubmitted a revised version, however only got a “second class” master’s.) As might be accepted, thereafter, the story of Tantura was regarded as a big lie by Israelis and a true massacre by Palestinians.

 

Who to believe? Ben-Gurion University historian Benny Morris is probably the best authority on the 1948 war….he has aggravated both Israelis and Palestinians with his dogged search for the truth.

 

After considering the Tantura case, he is skeptical that a mass atrocity occurred, though he suspects that Haganah fighters likely did kill as many as 70 unarmed civilians. On the 1948 war overall, he has concluded that there was no general Zionist plan to cleanse the Jewish state of Arabs, though many were expelled. And, when the Arabs left, Israelis made it difficult or impossible for them to return. At the same time, tens of thousands of Palestinians also left before the main hostilities began.

 

As he writes in his 2004 book, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited : “In the following months, hundreds of thousands [of Palestinian Arabs] fled not under Jewish orders or direct coercion though, to be sure, most sought to move out of harm’s way as Zionist troops conquered town after town. … And most probably believed that they would be returning home in a matter of months if not weeks, perhaps after the Arab armies had crushed Israel.” That miscalculation, as we now fully understand, was to have enormous ramifications….

 

The great “what if” of Middle East history in the 20th century is how events would have unfolded if Arab leaders had not rejected the partition of Palestine, but instead accepted establishment of the state of Israel. There would have been no Six Day-War in 1967, no occupation and settlements, no suicide bombings, no wall, no rockets and no bloodshed. Who knows how many Palestinians would still be living in their ancestral homes? “It was our mistake. It was an Arab mistake as a whole,” Mahmoud Abbas said about the 1947-1948 decision in a rare interview with an Israeli television network he granted last year…..

 

Winnipeg historian Allan Levine’s most recent book, King: William Lyon Mackenzie King: A Life Guide by the Hand of Destiny is now available in paperback.

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A Search for God Through Bluegrass and Klezmer: Samuel G. Freedman, The New York Times, Nov. 30, 2012—Andy Statman stood in the narrow basement of an Orthodox synagogue improbably wedged among the boîtes and boutiques of Greenwich Village. He wore a plain blue suit and white shirt, and from his waist hung tzitzit, the fringes meant to remind an observant Jew of the 613 commandments.

 

Operation Pillar of Defense: An Initial Strategic and Military Assessment: Dr. Eitan Shamir,

BESA Center, Dec. 4, 2012—Israel’s declared objectives in Operation Pillar of Defense were limited: to cripple Hamas’ military capabilities, restore its deterrence, and return quiet to the communities of the South.

 

A Woman Who Cared: Greer Fay Cashman, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 29, 2012—Founder of the ‘Jerusalem Post’ Funds and a distinguished citizen of Jerusalem, Helen Rossi could get things done, no matter how challenging the situation.

 

Bond in Bankruptcy: Mark Steyn, National Review, Dec. 3, 2012—For some reason, the quadrennial humiliation of the Republican presidential candidate now coincides with the release of the new Bond movie.

 

 

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