Source: Alex Durig
Buckle up. Netanyahu just announced Israel is beginning to defund the United Nations. Something big is getting ready to happen, and the back story dates to December 23, when the United Nations passed that resolution against Israel – the resolution that will live in infamy. The basis of this international incident was not merely the act of declaring the Western Wall as Palestinian territory, and undermining the most basic spiritual tenets of Jerusalem as the holy site the Israelis want to be the capital of Israel. It was the way it transpired.
The U.S. seemed oblivious when the vote came before the U.N., and it abstained. However, that was a dirty trick – everyone knew that the U.S. in all likelihood facilitated the appearance of the resolution. Yet, so many countries piled on, and all to give the impression that they had nothing better to do. It was if the entire United Nations body of global governance had agreed that, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the world’s most pressing security issue moving into 2017 is Israel and its quest for a nation-state with Jerusalem as its capitol.
So, there are two dimensions to what Netanyahu is escalating now. The first aspect is the Israeli holy sites and the settlement spaces at stake in the negotiations, and the second issue is the manner in which the entire United Nations is bringing its weight to bear on this issue as a major global priority among the community of nations.
The United Nations has essentially declared that, in its estimation, Israel represents a threat to world peace, international security, and goodwill among humans.
This invites a question of perspective and judgment on the part of the United Nations. For the sake of perspective, let’s consider a few simple facts.
If Israel were a state in the USA, it would be the 5th smallest state in the union, ranking just above New Jersey.
Put another way, you could put the country of Israel, inside the state of Florida almost 8 times.
The following illustration shows the state of Israel in comparison to the Middle East, and also in comparison to the USA.
The following illustrate the size of Israel in relation to some familiar areas.
Now, we have a clear concept of what is going on: the United Nations is stepping on a country not much larger than South Florida or New Jersey, and demanding that it give up more of its territory and more of its identity in the name of world peace.
Ironically, the United Nations seems to have forgotten that it was formed about the same time as Israel. The United Nations seems to think that it is somehow superior to Israel, more important. However, the sanctity of the United Nations is no more guaranteed than that of the state of Israel. Both the United Nations and the state of Israel emerged in the aftermath of WWII, when superior forces of power had granted each of them a chance to exist. It seems somehow disingenuous of the United Nations to forget all of this, and to lose perspective.
There are dozens and dozens of countries committing human rights violations, human trafficking violations, and labor law violations, every day, all over the world. For the United Nations to presume it is on a moral mission to sanctimoniously free the world from Israel’s oppression is almost laughable.
Here is what Netanyahu has unleashed. First, Israel currently gives the United Nations about $40 million annually. Of that funding, Israel has just voted to defund the first $6 million. In equivalence, this is the same amount of money required by the United Nations to fund four committees that it currently finances and supports in order to facilitate the resolution of important Palestinian issues.
This is precisely how the withdrawal of funds was framed by Netanyahu as he announced the first stage of defunding. According to the The Times of Israel: “The cut to Israel’s $40 million annual contribution to the United Nations represented the portion of the UN budget allocated to four committees on Palestinian issues…”
The significance is virtually unparalleled in contemporary history. Israel is standing up to the United Nations. That tiny, little country that is smaller than 45 states of the USA, is essentially cutting off the United Nations.
The argument is simple: why should an organization that denies our validity and seeks to destroy us be graced with our money?
Furthermore, Israel is taking steps to cut diplomatic relationships with the countries who supported the resolution. Along these lines, New Zealand and Senegal have already received notice, and Israel’s ambassadors to those two countries have been recalled.
The strategy is to equate Israeli funds with Palestinian and international benefits, and to send a message: it’s time to stop the madness, and when Trump takes over, a new day will dawn for the state of Israel, the USA, and the United Nations, as well nations that think their top priority should be the annihilation of Israel.
The question is, how could a small country, a dot on the world map, mean so much to so many people all over the planet? Do people on the other side of the globe from Israel believe they are somehow being thwarted by Israel’s existence? As if Senegal feels the effects of Israel choking its very existence, halfway around the world, every day, and needs to find a way out. It is all quite preposterous, and it is all thankfully about to change as we arrive at a historic fork in the road – this week in fact.
This week marks the end of eight long, nauseating years of putting up with Obama’s wimpy, liberal denial of American exceptionalism. It also signals the end of Israel’s snubbing by the Obama administration. Political African Americans love to blame Jews for running the slave business. In retrospect, Obama spent a lot of time allowing many different light-skinned people to receive the retribution he thought they just deserved.
The problem with Obama is that he was a college professor, and today’s affirmative action professorial believes the Jews were the slave traders who brought Africans to America, and they deserve to get taken down for that – so he allowed the sanctity of Israel to dissipate internationally.
Similarly, Obama probably felt that the KKK had terrorized black people in days gone by, so when we complained about ISIS, he lectured us about being Islamophobic, and that was because he thought we deserved to know what it is like to be hunted down, marked for death, and terrorized, with no help on the way from the government, just like the black people who had been persecuted by the KKK in this country.
It is perhaps the ultimate irony, that none of Obama’s ancestors were slaves in America, and no white people alive today were slave masters in America. Yet, somehow, Obama has orchestrated and presided over the demoralization of our economy and our politics for eight long, nauseating years as punishment for white people enslaving Africans in this country. His unkind rebuke of Israel is merely grist for the same mill.
Now light skinned people in America and Israel are supposed to wonder, have the sins of the fathers been paid for yet?
This week, America and Israel finally get to breathe again. Now the next question to be asked is, have all the bills of the United Nations been paid yet? Breath deep …
TEL AVIV – In a shameful display of rogue diplomacy, 72 countries – minus Israel – are set to attend a Middle East “peace” conference in Paris on Sunday widely expected to set the parameters for a future Palestinian state.
Fresh from his 70-minute speech two weeks ago largely singling out Israel for condemnation, lame-duck Secretary of State John Kerry will represent the U.S. at the Mideast confab. There, Kerry is slated to represent the Obama administration in crafting a “consensus” document on an Israeli-Palestinian deal.
This after a U.S. abstention last month allowed the passage of a United Nations Security Council Resolution calling the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem “occupied Palestinian territories,” and demanding a halt to Israeli construction in those areas.
Some of the holiest sites in Judaism are located in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank, including the Western Wall and Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City; the Cave of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron, which was home to the oldest continuous Jewish community in the world until the Jews of Hebron were massacred and expelled; the Tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem; and Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus – biblical Shechem.
The Associated Press on Friday reported on what it said was a draft statement that may be presented at the conference calling on Israel and the Palestinian Authority “to officially restate their commitment to the two-state solution.”
Continued the AP on the draft statement:
It also will affirm that the international community “will not recognize” changes to Israel’s pre-1967 lines without agreement by both sides.
The draft says that participants will affirm “that a negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, is the only way to achieve enduring peace.”
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rightly described the Paris summit as a “rigged” effort aimed at inflicting damage on Israel.
The Paris onslaught may not be the end of it. Two weeks ago, Breitbart Jerusalem cited a senior PA official saying the PA has been in contact with the Obama administration and European countries about the possibility of taking more UN action based on the outcome of the Paris conference.
Citing the official, Breitbart Jerusalem reported:
The official said the UN action could come in the form of declarations by UN bodies, including the General Assembly; UN sessions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; or even another United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution. He said any further UNSC resolution would depend on the support of the U.S. and European countries after the upcoming Paris Mideast summit slated for January 15.
He said the UN action would seek to set the parameters of a future Palestinian state with a clear timeline for negotiations. If the action comes in the form of a resolution at a UN body, it could call for an infrastructure to establish mechanisms to enforce last month’s UNSC resolution.
The PA official said the proposals set forth at the Paris Mideast conference will likely serve as the basis for upcoming UN action.
An Israeli official told Breitbart Jerusalem that the Israeli government is aware of the possibility of more UN action in the coming weeks, although the official did not have information about a new UNSC resolution.
Instead, a spokesperson for the State Department pointed to Tuesday’s press briefing with Deputy Spokesperson Mark C. Toner at which Toner was asked about future action on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and replied that the Obama administration will continue to “work until January 20th.”
The process of using international mechanisms to pressure Israel can only be viewed through the lens of a diplomatic assault on the Jewish state.
If the Palestinians wanted a state, they would not have to resort to introducing anti-Israel resolutions at the UN. Israel has offered the Palestinians a state in much of the West Bank and Gaza Strip with a shared capital in Jerusalem numerous times. These offers were made at Camp David in 2000, Taba in 2001, the Annapolis Conference in 2007, and more offers were made in 2008. In each of these cases, the PA refused generous Israeli offers of statehood and bolted negotiations without counteroffers.
The PA has failed to respond to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s unprecedented attempts to jump-start negotiations aimed at creating a Palestinian state, including freezing Jewish construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem and releasing Palestinian prisoners.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.
Source: Middle East Monitor
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is preparing a blacklist of Israeli companies working in the illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, an Israeli newspaper reported on Tuesday. According to Israel Hayom, the list is an initiative “prompted” by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and is scheduled to be released later this year.
Former UN Special Rapporteur in the occupied Palestinian territories, Richard Falk, is said to have come up with this idea six years ago when he was in office. Describing him as a “known BDS activist”, the newspaper said that Falk now has the support of a number of Arab states.
Pro-settlement group NGO Monitor has written to the UN claiming that such a list “would be a violation of international law” as it would target “Jewish-owned” companies. This, it argues, violates the UNHRC’s own guidelines against discrimination based on national origin.
BDS is an international initiative of Palestinians living under Israel’s brutal military occupation. It is an entirely peaceful movement which has spread across the world and discourages commercial and cultural trade with Israel and those companies which benefit from the occupation.
Interestingly, the Israel Hayom article does not mention the word “occupation” at all. It refers instead to companies “operating beyond the Green [1949 Armistice] Line” in “Judea and Samaria”, the Zionist term for the occupied West Bank.
A truck driving in east Jerusalem deliberately plowed into a group of Israelis, killing four people and wounding 15, police said. The driver was neutralized, police said, meaning he was either killed or injured.
The vehicle accelerated and headed toward a group of passengers that had stepped off a bus in the Armon Hanatziv section, said Luba Samri, a police spokeswoman. The area is part of the city that was captured and annexed by Israel after the 1967 war.
More than 40 Israelis and four Palestinians have been killed in attacks by Arabs over the past 15 months, according to the Foreign Ministry’s website. More than 200 Palestinians, most of them attackers, have been killed in the same period.
(CNSNews.com) – Moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem could endanger U.S. diplomats and Marine guards there and elsewhere in the region – “and needlessly so” – State Department spokesman John Kirby warned Wednesday.
He said the Obama administration, like previous ones, believes relocating the embassy “is not a good idea.”
“It’s not constructive to the overall peace process. It could actually put some of our people, some of our troops, those that work at the embassy, in harm’s way, and needlessly so.”
“It could exacerbate tensions not just there but elsewhere in the region too,” Kirby added, “because it could exacerbate the tensions that already exist between Israelis and Palestinians. There and elsewhere in the region.”
Less than three weeks before the inauguration of a president-elect who has pledged to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv, Republican senators have introduced legislation aimed at ensuring that happens.
Legislation enacted in 1995 recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and required the embassy to be moved there by May 1999 at the latest – but contained “national security” waiver provisions that have been invoked by presidents at six-monthly intervals ever since to delay compliance.
Crucially, the bill introduced by Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) amends the 1995 legislation by removing the waiver provisions.
“It’s time for Congress and the president-elect to eliminate the loophole that has allowed presidents in both parties to ignore U.S. law and delay our embassy’s rightful relocation to Jerusalem for over two decades,” said Rubio.
Cruz said it was “time to cut through the double-speak and broken promises and do what Congress said we should do in 1995.”
President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to move the embassy, backed up last month by his nominee for U.S. ambassador to Israel, has put the issue of the city’s status back in the spotlight
The development also comes against the backdrop of the U.N. Security Council resolution adopted last month – after the Obama administration chose to abstain – which effectively declares eastern Jerusalem, including Judaism’s most sacred site, to be “Palestinian territory.”
Israel and its supporters said this amounts to prejudging, in the Palestinians’ favor, an issue which according to the Oslo interim peace accords is meant to be negotiated directly between the parties themselves.
Interestingly, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has also complained about the Jerusalem issue being prejudged – although in his case, in response to Trump’s pledge to move the embassy.
Noting that the question of Jerusalem was among “issues for negotiations” under Oslo, Erekat said at a press conference last month that “no one should preempt or prejudge, because this will be a destruction of the peace process as a whole.”
Moving the embassy to Israel’s capital would be a powerful signal of support for one of America’s closest allies.
But the Palestinian leadership, which questions 3,000-year-old Jewish claims to Jerusalem, demands the city as capital of a future independent state.
The U.N. in its 1947 “partition plan” for the area decreed that Jerusalem, which is important to Jews, Muslims and Christians, should be placed under special U.N. administration. Jewish leaders accepted the U.N. proposals but the Arab world violently rejected them, and launched a war with the declared aim of annihilating the newly-declared State of Israel.
The war ended with Israel in control of western Jerusalem and Jordan occupying eastern portions. Divided for 19 years, it was reunited during the 1967 Six Day War and has remained under Israeli administration ever since.
The international community does not recognize Israeli control over eastern parts of the city. But although Israeli control of western Jerusalem is supposedly uncontested, even that area is considered too controversial for any country to locate its embassy there.
(The last handful of countries to have embassies in Jerusalem withdrew after Israel’s parliament in 1980 declared the city to be Israel’s eternal and indivisible capital, with holdouts Costa Rica and El Salvador the last to leave, 11 years ago.)
Pledging to move the embassy to Jerusalem has been a staple in party platforms and presidential election campaigns since the 1990s, with pledges to do so made by Republican nominees George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney, and by Democrats Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton.
Once in office, however, Presidents Clinton and Bush invoked the waiver to stall the move. So too did Obama, who while not having made the pledge while campaigning, did voice support in 2008 for Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital.
But some observers believe Trump may be different.
“[W]hat makes Trump’s threat serious this time around is his extreme support for Israel. He is madly in love with it and especially with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” Palestinian Center for Policy Research and Strategic Studies director Hani Al-Masri warned in an op-ed Wednesday.
“We stand on the threshold of a new era that may witness a shift in American policy, which is already bad, to the worst it has been on the Palestinian issue,” he wrote. “Trump’s pledge should not be underestimated.”
In a Gallup poll last March, 24 percent of American respondents said they support moving the embassy to Jerusalem, 20 percent said they oppose it, and 56 percent said they do not know enough about the issue to offer an opinion.
‘Middle East’s only liberal, pluralist democracy’
Meanwhile the Australian and British governments have both dismissed calls by some politicians for those countries’ embassies to move to Jerusalem.
In Australia, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott suggested that one way the country could “demonstrate its unswerving support for Israel, as the Middle East’s only liberal, pluralist democracy, might be to join any move by the Trump administration to move its embassy to Jerusalem.”
Another conservative politician, Sen. Malcolm Roberts said Australia should move its embassy, “with or without America’s lead.”
Last month Britain’s former Justice Secretary Michael Gove, a member of the ruling Conservative Party, wrote in an op-ed that Britain should celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Balfour Declaration by moving its embassy to Jerusalem and inviting Queen Elizabeth to open it.
But the governments of Australia – arguably one of Israel’s strongest allies in the international community – and Britain both said they have no plans to move their embassies.
Israeli police are interrogating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over suspicions that he systematically received favors and gifts worth tens of thousands of dollars from a number of wealthy Israeli and foreign businessmen.
Netanyahu, the 67 year old chairman of the Likud party will be questioned under caution at his official residence in occupied Jerusalem al-Quds on Monday evening.
Reports say the interview could last for several hours and there may be another meeting later in the week.
Press TV reports:
Photographers have camped outside his heavily guarded residence, hoping to get pictures of the investigators’ arrival. Meanwhile, screens have been mounted at the entrance to the property to block the view.
Israel Radio said Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit had authorized the move after he decided to upgrade a preliminary probe into a criminal one in the wake of sufficient evidence for such an investigation.
US billionaire and the president of World Jewish Congress, Ronald Lauder, is among those questioned in the probe over illegal gifts.
Netanyahu dismissed all allegations against him in a Facebook post at the weekend, arguing that some of the tycoons in question are his close friends.
The Israeli prime minister is currently under investigation for having accepted 1 million euros (about $1.1 million) from accused French fraudster Arnaud Mimran in the form of donations during his 2009 campaign.
Netanyahu has also come under scrutiny over a billion-dollar deal with Germany for the acquisition of three submarines. He faces allegations of a possible conflict of interest within his inner circle in making the deal.
Reports emerged last November that Netanyahu’s personal lawyer and one of his closest confidants, David Shimron, was representing the German arms manufacturer ThyssenKrupp, which is building the submarines.
Israel’s Channel 10 television network later disclosed an email it claimed was proof that Shimron had used his close relationship with Netanyahu to lobby for the deal.
A separate probe is also underway in Israel into accusations that Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, misused public funds for private expenses, ranging from laundry to ice cream.