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The Daily TIP: Haley Calls Emergency Sessions at Security Council, Human Rights Council to Discuss Iran

Posted by Tip Staff - January 04, 2018

Haley Calls Emergency Sessions at Security Council, Human Rights Council to Discuss Iran
U.S. Mission to UN Hosts Reception for Diplomats That Backed U.S. on Jerusalem
Rare, 2700 Year-Old Seal Impression Made in First Temple Era Found in Western Wall Plaza
Israel’s Tourism Hit an All-Time High in 2017

Haley Calls Emergency Sessions at Security Council, Human Rights Council to Discuss Iran

United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, on Tuesday said the U.S. would be seeking emergency sessions at the UN Security Council and the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Commission in the coming days to speak out on the unfolding protests in Iran.

The people of Iran are crying out for freedom," Haley said at a news conference. "All freedom-loving people must stand with their cause."

Reading the slogans of protesters, Haley rejected as "complete nonsense" charges by Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that the unrest was being orchestrated by the Islamic Republic’s "foreign enemies.”

Haley observed that “The demonstrations are completely spontaneous. They are virtually in every city in Iran.”

She continued: "The freedoms that are enshrined in the United Nations charter are under attack in Iran. Dozens have already been killed. Hundreds have been arrested”, adding that "If the Iranian dictatorship's history is any guide, we can expect more outrageous abuses in the days to come.”

Speaking at the UN, Haley also called on Iran to unblock social media sites used by anti-government protesters to organize their demonstrations and on “freedom-loving” nations to throw their support behind the people of Iran.

While European governments have largely responded to the crisis with great caution, the U.S. firmly aligned itself with the protesters.

“By the thousands, Iranian citizens are taking to the streets to protest the oppression of their own government,” Haley said. “It takes great bravery for the Iranian people to use the power of their voice against their government, especially when their government has a long history of murdering its own people who dare to speak the truth.”

The seeds of protest were sown months after sanctions were lifted by the Obama administration as part of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), when many Iranians felt that they had not benefitted from the fiscal boost of the nuclear accord.

At least 21 Iranians have been reported killed in the protests, with hundreds more arrested.

U.S. Mission to UN Hosts Reception for Diplomats That Backed U.S. on Jerusalem

United States ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, on Wednesday hosted 64 representatives of nations who abstained, voted 'no' or remained absent in a December UN General Assembly vote condemning President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The Jerusalem Post reported that, under the title “A great evening of friends,” the U.S. mission to the UN in New York hosted a reception that included wine and live music, and was attended by Danny Danon, Israel's ambassador to the UN.

Guests also were greeted by President Trump, who pre-taped a video for the occasion. "I want to thank all the nations represented here tonight for standing with the United States during the recent United Nations General Assembly vote on the status of Jerusalem," Trump said.

"The United States remains committed to achieving lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians – there's no reason that peace should not be entered into," he added.

On December 21, 128 countries voted at the U.N. against the U.S.'s recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and the decision to relocate its embassy to the city. Nine countries — the U.S., Israel, Togo, Micronesia, Guatemala, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands and Honduras — voted against it. There were 35 abstentions, including a number of countries that had been widely expected to support the move, such as Colombia, Mexico, Malawi and Rwanda. A further 21 countries did not vote at all.

“It’s easy for friends to be with you in the good times, but it’s the friends who are with you during the challenging times that will never be forgotten. Thank you to the 64,” Haley’s Twitter page said, sharing photos of the event.

After the reception, Danon told The Jerusalem Post that the U.S. decision has "unveiled the hypocrisy of the Palestinians, who speak of peace while doing all they can to avoid negotiations."

Danon continued: "Israel has no better friend than the United States, and the US has no more steadfast ally than Israel. We thank Ambassador Haley and the American people for their strong stance on behalf of truth and historical justice."

Rare, 2700 Year-Old Seal Impression Made in First Temple Era Found in Western Wall Plaza

A stamped piece of clay from the First Temple period, which belonged to the “governor of the city” of Jerusalem – the most prominent local position to be held in Jerusalem of 2700 years ago – was discovered during archaeological works in the Western Wall Plaza, The Times of Israel reported on Monday.

This historical find is a lump of clay, stamped and pre-fired. It measures 13 X 15 mm and is 2–3 mm thick. The upper part of the sealing depicts two figures facing each other, and the lower part holds an inscription in ancient Hebrew script, saying “Belonging to the governor [sar] of the city.” The role is referenced in the Hebrew Bible: in 2 Kings, Joshua is listed as the governor of the city in the days of Hezekiah, and in 2 Chronicles, Maaseiah is noted as governor of the city in the days of Josiah.

According to site excavator Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, “This is the first time that such an impression was found in an authorized excavation. It supports the biblical rendering of the existence of a governor of the city in Jerusalem 2,700 years ago.”

The sealing was presented to the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and in association with the Western Wall Heritage Foundation. When the find was presented to him, Barkat related that "it is very overwhelming to receive greetings from First Temple-period Jerusalem. This shows that already 2700 years ago, Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, was a strong and central city.”

He added: “Jerusalem is one of the most ancient capitals of the world, continually populated by the Jewish people for more than 3000 years. Today we have the privilege to encounter another one of the long chain of persons and leaders that built and developed the city.”

The discovery comes at the time that Israel increasingly finds itself confronted with efforts in international forums that seek to deny Judaism’s historic ties to the city of Jerusalem. Over the past years, UNESCO has been making headlines due to their continuous anti-Israel bias. In October 2016, Israel suspended ties with the organization following a resolution that criticized Israel’s actions in and around Jerusalem’s holiest site and denied Jewish ties to the region’s holy sites. The U.S. and Israel recently announced that they would withdraw from the UN’s cultural agency.

Israel’s Tourism Hit an All-Time High in 2017

Israeli tourism hit an all-time high in 2017, earning $5.8 billion (₪20 billion) in revenue from incoming tourism alone thanks to new flight routes and marketing efforts led by the Ministry of Tourism. A total of 3.6 million tourists were recorded, a 25 percent increase over 2016.

“The all-time record number of tourists visiting Israel this year is no accident; it is the result of a clear policy,” said Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin. “We have implemented several significant initiatives including reaching out to new and focused markets, building sub-brands and launching new campaigns, collaborations with large online travel agents, giving financial incentives to airline companies that open new routes to Israel and continued marketing throughout the world.”

As part of these efforts, 18 new air routes to Ben-Gurion International Airport were opened this year including direct flights from Europe, Miami and Iceland via airlines LOT, Ryanair, Wizz Air and WOW.

As in previous years, the majority of incoming tourism was from the United States, with 716,000 visitors arriving between January and November 2017, 21% more than the previous year. Russian visitors took second place with 307,000 visitors, and tourism from France was third, with about 284,000 visitors.

Jerusalem remains the city most visited by incoming tourists (78% of all tourists) followed by Tel Aviv-Jaffa (67%) and the Dead Sea area (49%). The Galilee, including Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee, receives 35% of all tourists.

With a new focus on the digital space, the ministry hosted nearly 3,000 opinion leaders, celebrities, bloggers, actors, sports stars, producers and journalists from around the world. Notable celebrity visitors in 2017 included Latin heartthrob William Levy, American fashion model Ashley Graham, and performers Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey.

“The additional half million tourists who came to Israel this year are half a million more ambassadors of Israel around the world and our loyal representatives on social media, and this is also a decisive contribution to Israel’s image,” said Levin.

(via Israel21c)

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