The UN Security Council last week was one vote short of “rendering” all Israeli settlements illegal. The US stood in the way and vetoed the resolution, opting however to agree to the settlement’s “illegitimacy.” Ynet news stated:
US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told council members that the veto “should not be misunderstood to mean we support settlement activity.” She added that the US view is that Israeli settlements lack legitimacy.
The Ambassador continued on to indicate that settlements and other issues ought to be resolved through negotiations. The Jerusalem Post added that:
The resolution risks “undermining US-led efforts to pursue a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.” Rice said that the settlements have, for “four decades” undermined Israel’s security situation and hindered the peace process in the Middle East.
At the same time the Palestinian official said this veto actually threatens the peace process. Again from Ynet:
The Americans have very clearly demonstrated to Palestinians, to Arab public opinion, and to world public opinion that they are biased to the point of destruction.
If they keep trying to manipulate and water down a resolution to become a statement, and they start selling us used goods again it’s not going to work
Israel’s position on this is that settlements and for that matter the entire peace process is to be through negotiations and not via UN resolutions. A statement from Benjamin Netanyahu’s Office reads:
“We seek a solution that will integrate the legitimate Palestinian aspirations with Israeli requirement of security and recognition,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “The US decision makes it clear that the only way to peace is through negotiations. We are ready to vigorously advance negotiations and are interested in beginning the process of achieving secure peace and hope that the Palestinians will join the process.”
Was the US Administration trying to play both sides of the aisle? The settlements were always part of the peace negotiations going all the way back to President Carter’s Camp David Accord. For some reason, a non-issue became an ISSUE. I am not willing to speculate here on why this seems to be the case, but the settlements are not only legitimate, they are in fact legal. This can be traced all the way back to the League of Nations’ partitioning of Palestine and the British Mandate. To make the settlements illegal, one would have to make the judgments of The League of Nations in 1922 and the UN in 1947 in establishing a home land for Jews void. For a primer on the settlement issue please see Jewish Virtual Library, Myths and Facts, Settlements.
John Paul is is an Associate Editor for Voice of Revolution, overseeing Jewish Issues.
Posted in Israel & The Jewish People, News Tagged with: ambassador to the united nations, America, David, Jerusalem, jerusalem post, Middle East, Netanyahu, palestinians, President Carter, public opinion, un security council, ynet news
Editor’s Note: A guest article from N. Scott Rabinowitz.
On May 14 the nation of Israel celebrates its sixty-second birthday. Despite insurmountable odds, Israel has not only survived, it has prospered.
The United States has played an enormous part in that prosperity—at least until now. President Obama has demanded that Israel reset the Middle East history button.
On March 10, Obama dispatched Vice President Joe Biden to demand that Israel halt renewed building in East Jerusalem. The trip resulted in what Israeli ambassador Michael Oren called the “most serious crisis since 1975″ for U.S. and Israel relations.
That assertion was dramatically confirmed on March 23 when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Washington to meet with the President. Failing to acquire concessions from the Prime Minister, Obama – in a breach of protocol, left Netanyahu to dine alone.
Despite extraordinary pressure from the White House, Netanyahu remains resolute regarding Israel’s right to build in East Jerusalem.
There are two reasons for this. First, Israel has a historical claim to the territory, a fact recognized by the international community. Second, Israel fought a series of defensive wars over the territory and the current borders are legitimate under the rules of international law.
Obama and other opponents of Israel’s sovereignty need to acquaint themselves with the history of Jerusalem and international law regarding the annexation of territory captured during a defensive war. If they did, they would discover the following:
The League of Nations Mandate for Palestine recognized Jewish national rights to the entire territory in 1922. While recognizing the need to protect the rights of the territories’ Arab inhabitants, the Mandate declared that “recognition has been to the historical connection of the Jewish People with Palestine and to reconstituting their Jewish national home in that country.” When the UN replaced the League of Nations in 1946, its charter specifically stated that the UN must uphold the terms of all existing international instruments ratified by the League of Nations. In other words, the UN—and President Obama—are obligated to recognize Israel’s legitimate claims on Jerusalem.
That obligation would be less clear, however, had the Palestinians agreed to UN Resolution 181—the Partition Plan of 1947. Conceding that the creation of a single Jewish state was impossible, the resolution was a non-binding recommendation that called for the partition of “Palestine” into two separate states, with Jerusalem existing temporarily under the administration of the UN.
For over half a century, the Palestinians rejected a two-state solution. They did so because they were confident that their Arab neighbors would intervene and destroy Israel militarily. That never occurred and Palestinian dreams of statehood never materialized.
Resolution 181 was a non-binding resolution and more importantly, it was one that the Palestinians rejected. Moreover, the Arab aggression that ignited the 1967 war irreversibly changed the territorial landscape and made a return to borders that existed nineteen year earlier impossible. In 2004 President George W. Bush acknowledged this fact in a letter to Prime Minister Arial Sharon. “In light of new realities on the ground,” Bush wrote, a return to the armistice lines of 1949 is “unrealistic.”
The Palestinians discarded UN Resolution 181 more than sixty years ago but they now wish to resurrect it to legitimatize their claim to Jerusalem.
President Obama also wishes to hit the reset button. He chooses to ignore Israel’s legal claim to Jerusalem, the fact that the Palestinians rejected UN Resolution 181, and that the U.S. has acknowledged current geo-political realties make a return to previous borders impossible.
Despite adamant claims to the contrary, East Jerusalem does not meet the criteria of an occupied territory. Following the 1948 war, Jordan occupied East Jerusalem and expelled its Jewish community. By the standards of international law, Jordan’s nineteen year occupation of Jerusalem — not Israel’s — was illegal.
Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem in a war of self-defense makes it the legitimate claimant to the territory. Former Chief Judge of the International Court of Justice of the United Nations, Stephen Schwebel wrote in 1970 regarding the matter: “Where the prior holder of the territory had seized the territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense, has against the prior holder, better claim.”
Why has the President turned on America’s staunchest ally in the Middle East and embraced the revisionist history of Israel’s enemies? As long as the U.S supports Israel’s claim to Jerusalem, Israel’s enemies will remain our enemies. President Obama has chosen to appease our enemies rather than stand by our ally.
About the Author: Noel Rabinowitz is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at The King’s College in New York City. You can contact Noel via his faculty profile located here.
Posted in Featured Articles, Israel & The Jewish People, News Tagged with: Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Guest Writer: Noel Rabinowitz, israel, jews, Middle East, Netanyahu, palestinians
The following is an article from Joel Rosenberg called War is the Likely Outcome of the Iranian Elections reprinted in its entirety:
UPDATED MONDAY MORNING: The Supreme Leader of Iran has spoken. It’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by a “landslide.” This means a major, cataclysmic war is the most likely outcome of the Iranian “elections.” And the battle lines are clear. It’s Netanyahu vs. Ahmadinejad — Bibi vs. Mahmoud — and the big question is: Who will strike first?
This weekend’s events in Iran tell us a lot.
First, the results prove that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei firmly, completely and whole-heartedly supports Ahmadinejad’s End Times beliefs. Khamenei also fully supports Ahmadinejad’s commitment to build nuclear weapons and long-range, high-speed ballistic missiles. What’s more, the Supreme Leader supports Ahmadinejad’s public commitment to destroy Israel and the U.S. to hasten the coming of the Mahdi. There is no daylight between Khamenei and Ahmadinejad on this Radical “eschatology,” or End Times theology, as some analysts and commentators have suggested. These two men are who I have said all along they are – members of an apocalyptic, genocidal death cult. They are kindred spirits. They are two peas in a pod. They are absolutely committed to their cause. They believe the wind is at their backs, that Allah is on their side, and they believe they will soon see complete victory. That’s what makes them so dangerous.
Second, the results prove that the people of Iran never had a real choice. This wasn’t a real election. It was totally and completely rigged by a Radical Muslim mafia, a police state without justice or compassion for those enslaved. The aftermath became, as one Iranian noted over the weekend, a Tehran Tiananmen. Protesters and dissidents were beaten, arrested and tortured. Text messaging was turned off. Facebook was shut down. The internet was down or slowed for vast stretches. All this prevents ordinary citizens from mobilizing their opposition to the government. That said, however, the massive turnout at the polls – and the street demonstrations and violence in Iran over the weekend — showed that even though Iranians didn’t have real Reformer candidates to choose from, the vast Iranians are deeply disgusted with the current regime. They long for true freedom and true democracy. They desperately wanted the elections to be real. They are ABA — anybody but Ahmadinejad. They don’t buy into the regime’s End Times theology. They desperately want someone to liberate them. I feel for them. I want them to be free. Now more than ever. [MOST BIZARRE HEADLINE OF THE DAY: Iran’s supreme leader orders probe of vote fraud]
Third, the results prove that the Obama administration’s belief that you can sit down and have a rational discussion with such Radicals — or trust an agreement even if one could be negotiated with them – is absolutely nonsensical. How could we possibly trust the Iranian leadership to keep a promise to stop building nuclear weapons (if such a promise were made), when they steal elections and beat and torture dissidents in front of the whole world? The Obama administration should treat Khamenei and Ahmadinejad as pariahs now. The White House should praise the young people of Iran, the pro-democracy forces in Iran, the forces of freedom in Iran. And the President should condemn the Iranian government has totalitarian theocratic thugs, not offer to engage them. Not offer them concessions. Not reward such evil behavior. Why has the President been silent? Vice President Biden on Meet the Press yesterday at least challenged the legitimacy of the elections. That’s something. But why didn’t he say the weekend’s events in Iran just prove the leadership in Tehran are part of the axis of evil?
Fourth, as for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech, he is right: Iran is the real threat to the region and the world, not Israel’s refusal to make more land for missiles concessions to the Palestinian leadership. Bibi’s assessment of the current Iranian regime is spot on, while the White House’s assessment has been exactly wrong. The real, existential threat to peace in the epicenter is Iran’s death cult leadership and their feverish pursuit of nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them, not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Netanyahu was right to smoke out the real intentions of the Palestinian leadership and the Muslim leadership as a whole in the region. By agreeing that there could be a Palestinian state and then defining one that would truly be peaceful, Netanyahu shrewdly shifted the terms of the debate. He provoked a firestorm of criticism from the Arab and Muslim world, who are denouncing the speech in the harshest of terms. Which makes things crystal clear: Israel’s enemies don’t really want peace with Israel at this time. They don’t really want to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Thus they don’t really believe in “two states for two peoples.” What’s more, they don’t believe the putative Palestinian state should be demilitarized. Thus, they believe in a Palestinian state that would threaten the very existence of Israel. Why should Israel say “yes” to that? Israel gave land for peace in 2000 — withdrawing from southern Lebanon. What did it get? More than 4,000 rockets and missiles from the Iran-backed Hezbollah. Israel gave land for peace in 2005 — withdrawing from all of Gaza. What did it get? More than 10,000 rockets, missiles and mortars from the Iran-backed Hamas. Israel even offered in 2000 to divide Jerusalem and give the Palestinians about 93% of the West Bank and all of Gaza. What did Israel get in exchange? Arafat’s utter rejection of the offer and a wave of suicide bombers and other terrorist attacks. Upon what basis, then, would Israel be able to trust another land for peace deal in the near future?
Fifth, we need to pray for peace, but prepare for war. Our Joshua Fund board met over the weekend for several days of strategic prayer and planning meetings. At this point, we see our mandate clearly: Do everything we can to educate, awaken and mobilize the followers of Jesus Christ to pray for peace, and do everything we can prepare for war in case the Lord allows a cataclysmic battle ensue between Israel and Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah. We are working on building the organizational and financial infrastructure to eventually provide $100 million worth of food, clothing, medical supplies and other relief aid to Israel, and another $20 million to Israel’s immediate neighbors. This will take time and much effort. It’s not clear how quickly we can achieve this goal, but I believe we are moving in the right direction. We’ve expanded our budget this year (In 2006, TJF’s budget was $160,000. This year, it is about $5.7 million.) We’ve increased the size of our staff (from 1 in 2006 to 4 full time employees today). We are actively recruiting several new staff positions. We’re working with our financial services provider to expand their capacity for receiving and processing donations. We’re working to improve our communications to our donors so we can do a still-better job at briefing them on the projects we’re doing and how we’re investing the resources they’ve entrusted to us. We’re recruiting more prayer partners. We’re building more government and civilian allies in Israel and the region. We’re working to build more allies among evangelical pastors and ministry leaders in North America and beyond. We’re also taking up to 300 evangelical leaders and lay people to Israel in November for a “prayer & vision trip.” And, as the Lord gives us grace, strength and resources, we will do more to help followers of Christ “learn, pray, give and go.” This is a critical moment. The threat is real. The time is short. We would be grateful for your continued prayers and support in the weeks and months ahead. God bless you.
We are living in a critical time in Israel’s history.
Posted in Israel & The Jewish People, News Tagged with: Ahmadinejad, Iran, Islam, israel, Joel Rosenberg, Madhi, Middle East, Muslims, Netanyahu