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Bipartisan resolution condemning UN vote overwhelmingly passes House

Posted by Tip Staff - January 05, 2017


 

Lawmakers from both parties overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan House measure Thursday evening condemning the United Nations’ recent anti-Israel resolution. The House resolution passed 342 to 80, with four representatives voting present. 
The resolution was introduced by House Foreign Affairs Committee leaders Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and had 105 co-sponsors, including more than 30 Democrats. It condemned UN Security Council Resolution 2334 for “effectively lend[ing] legitimacy to efforts by the Palestinian Authority to impose its own solution through international organizations and through unjustified boycotts or divestment campaigns against Israel,” and for “effectively stat[ing] that the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem and the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site, are ‘occupied territory’.”

Many Democrats were harshly critical of the Obama administration’s decision. After the UN vote, Engel blasted the resolution, saying that it “places the blame for the current impasse in negotiations entirely on Israel, asking nothing of the Palestinians. This offends me as someone who has been a firm believer in the two-state solution. I hope that in my lifetime, we will come to see two states for two peoples. However, this resolution sets back this dream. A sustainable solution to the conflict will only come from direct negotiations between the two parties.”
Other top Democratic lawmakers to critique the resolution included House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D – Calif.), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D – Md.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Sen. Ben Cardin (D – Md.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The Senate’s parallel motion was introduced Wednesday by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and committee member Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). It calls for the UN resolution “to be repealed or fundamentally altered so that it is no longer one-sided and allows all final status issues toward a two-state solution to be resolved through direct bilateral negotiations between the parties.”

 

Bernard-Henri Lévy, France’s leading public intellectual, strongly condemned the recent anti-Israel resolution passed at the United Nations Security Council in an op-ed appearing Thursday in The Algemeiner. Levy wrote that he was “deeply shocked” by the vote on the resolution, which states that the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem and the Western Wall are “occupied Palestinian territory.” He referred to the UN as “an organization that for decades has not ceased to condemn, vilify, and ostracize Israel.” The resolution was one-sided and “assigned responsibility for blocking the peace process primarily, if not solely, to Israel. What about Palestinian obstinacy? What about the double-speak of the Ramallah government [the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas]?” Lévy also wondered why the resolution did not emphasize the Palestinian glorification of terrorists, including “Christmas trees on which, in some quarters of Arab Jerusalem, people hung, in place of garlands, photos of ‘martyrs’ killed in ‘combat’ – killed, that is, while trying to stab Israeli civilians.”
The resolution completely ignored Israel’s history of making overtures for peace with the Palestinians, only to receive terrorism in response. Israel has explicitly offered the Palestinians a chance at statehood twice since 2000.
In that year, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians 92% of the West Bank, all of the Gaza Strip, and eastern Jerusalem as its capital. Israel even proposed that a maximum of 100,000 refugees would be allowed to return to Israel on the basis of humanitarian considerations or family reunification, and an international fund to compensate the Palestinians. Then-PLO chairman Yasser Arafat rejected the offer. Sweetening the deal, the Clinton administration suggested that the Palestinians control 97% of the West Bank and the entirety of the Gaza strip, with a land-link between the two, as well as a capital in eastern Jerusalem. Barak endorsed the Clinton Parameters; again, Arafat rejected them, offering no counter-offers of his own. Instead, he chose to launch the murderous Second Intifada, which killed over 1,000 Israelis.
Eight years later, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians 93.7% of the West Bank; the remaining 6.3% would be made up with land swaps. He also offered to take in 5,000 refugees over five years; an international committee to oversee Jerusalem’s holy sites; and an international fund consisting of billions of dollars, administered by the Norwegians, to compensate Palestinian refugees. In a May 2009 interview with The Washington Post, Abbas admitted that he had turned down this offer.
The Palestinians have instead preferred a strategy of skirting direct negotiations with Israel and internationalizing the conflict via the United Nations and other international fora.

 

The former head of Israel’s military intelligence on Monday presented the country’s president with an annual security assessment, which highlights Hezbollah as the country’s most potent threat.
Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin presented President Reuven Rivlin with the strategic assessment for 2016 – 2017 on behalf of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), which he now leads.
The report argues that Hezbollah still represents the most serious conventional threat to Israel’s security. It details Hezbollah’s long-range missiles, precision missiles, attack and suicide drones, advanced sea-to-air missiles, Russian-manufactured air defenses, and infantry units training to capture Israeli territory in a future conflict.
Other assessments have estimated that Hezbollah has an arsenal of around 100,000 rockets with a range covering all of Israel. Israeli military officials also recently estimated that there are 10,000 Hezbollah positions, including infrastructure and armaments, placed within 200 villages and towns close to the Israeli-Lebanese border.
The INSS report also says that Iran poses the second most serious security threat to Israel. Although the 2015 nuclear deal has given Israel short-term respite, the report says the deal gives Iran time to develop its conventional weapons arsenal which will make Iran a stronger adversary in the mid to long-term.
Hamas is ranked as the third most potent threat to Israel. Although conflict with Hamas has been minimal since Operation Protective Edge in 2014, the report says that Hamas is rebuilding its weapons arsenal and that violent incidents or a socio-economic crisis in Gaza could lead to future conflict with Israel. (via BICOM)

 
Or (“Ori”) Sasson won a bronze medal for Israel at last summer’s Rio Olympics. The 25-year-old national judo hero then donated his Olympic jacket to Shalva, the Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities. At Shalva’s gala dinner on December 18, 2016, the coveted jacket was auctioned for $100,000 to benefit the range of free services offered by the award-winning association for hundreds of individuals from infancy to adulthood. “A minute before I handed over the jacket, when it was still in my hand, I thought about whether I would miss having it,” relayed Sasson in a meeting with Shalva’s administration. “But then I thought about all the good it would do and realized that it has reached its ultimate purpose.” The big-hearted judoka didn’t stop there. He also pledged to spearhead a therapeutic judo class for the approximately 250 children in Shalva’s afternoon program. (via Israel21c)


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