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The Daily TIP: U.S.-Sponsored UN Resolution Condemning Hamas Gets Unprecedented Level of Support

Posted by Tip Staff - December 07, 2018

U.S.-Sponsored UN Resolution Condemning Hamas Gets Unprecedented Level of Support
Ohio State's Student Government Overwhelmingly Rejects anti-Israel Boycott Resolution
FM of Bahrain Defends Israeli Campaign to Eliminate Hezbollah Terror Tunnels
Band of Disabled Musicians Competing to Represent Israel in Next Year's Eurovision

U.S.-Sponsored UN Resolution Condemning Hamas Gets Unprecedented Level of Support

A resolution introduced by outgoing United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley condemning Hamas garnered an unprecedented level of support — it was supported by 87 countries — in the General Assembly, The Times of Israel reported Thursday.

However, due to a last-minute maneuver, the threshold for passage was changed to two-thirds of the votes rather than a simple majority, and the measure was not adopted. Haley blasted the maneuver, noting that the procedure lacked "fairness" given that every other resolution in the agenda only required a simple majority.

In the end, the resolution was supported by 87 nations and opposed by 57, with 33 abstaining. Singapore, Japan, and Brazil, countries which had generally not supported Israel at the UN in the past, surprisingly backed the American initiative.

Though the resolution fell short of the arbitrarily decided margin for adoption it does mark progress. In June, an attempt to pass an amendment condemning Hamas achieved a plurality of just 62 to 58. It was the first time any measure condemning Hamas achieved a majority.

"Ladies and gentlemen, last Friday the General Assembly approved six resolutions condemning Israel in a single day. Six. In an average year, the UN votes against Israel 20 times. Over the years, the UN has voted to condemn Israel over 500 times," Haley said in a speech advocating for the resolution, noting that the UN "has never once passed a resolution condemning Hamas."

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zahri celebrated the vote, writing on Twitter, “The failure of the American venture at the United Nations represents a slap to the US administration and confirmation of the legitimacy of the resistance." The term "resistance," when used by anti-Israel terrorist groups, is a euphemism for terrorism.

In the wake of the vote, Israeli officials looked at its positive implications.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his appreciation to the nations who supported the resolution, "I commend each of the 87 countries that took a principled stand against Hamas. This is a very important achievement for the US and Israel. I thank the American administration and US Ambassador to the UN for the initiative.

Ohio State's Student Government Overwhelmingly Rejects anti-Israel Boycott Resolution

Student leaders at Ohio State University on Wednesday took a clear stance against the anti-Semitic boycott movement and overwhelmingly rejected a pro-BDS resolution against Israel, Shiri Moshe reported for The Algemeiner.

OSU’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) voted down the anti-Israel legislation with a vote of 30 against, seven in favour, and three abstentions — marking the fifth time a pro-boycotts resolution was defeated at Ohio State University in recent years.

The measure had been brought forward last month by the OSU Coalition for BDS and called for the university to divest from companies accused of benefiting “from the Israeli occupation of Palestine,” and to boycott Israeli universities and academics, including “currently invited speakers and visiting professors.”

The boycott campaign, however, faced strong opposition from Protect OSU, a coalition of students who argued that the resolution engaged in “hate speech against Israel,” would “divide our community,” and “could keep jobs, internships, and investments from OSU.”

“Anti-Zionism is antisemitism,” said Dani Zborovsky, a Jewish OSU junior. “Zionism is the Jewish people’s right to self-determination … that’s not something that can be taken from me, and how dare you try and do that.”

Zborovsky added that, “No other group of people have other individuals defining hate for them,” asking, “Why are the Jewish people any different with antisemitism?”

Many university administrations across the United States have rejected anti-Israel legislation brought forward by the boycott campaign, arguing that it restricts academic freedom and encourages a hostile climate for Jewish students on campus. Supporters of the movement claim it seeks to pressure Israel to respect Palestinian human rights, however, critics warn that the ultimate goal of the boycott campaign is the destruction of the sole Jewish State.

In unguarded moments, leaders of the BDS are explicit that this is their goal.

Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of BDS, said in 2004, “We are witnessing the rapid demise of Zionism, and nothing can be done to save it … I, for one, support euthanasia.” He also said in 2014 that Palestinians have a right to “resistance by any means, including armed resistance.”

FM of Bahrain Defends Israeli Campaign to Eliminate Hezbollah Terror Tunnels

In a surprising public defense of Israel, the foreign minister of Bahrain said on Thursday that the Gulf state supported the Jewish State’s operation to expose and destroy Hezbollah’s cross-border tunnels, The Times of Israel reported.

“Is Terrorist Hezbollah’s digging of the tunnels under Lebanon’s border not a flagrant threat to Lebanon’s stability, which it shares responsibility for?” Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa wrote on his Twitter account, in Arabic. “Who bears responsibility when neighboring countries take upon themselves to eliminate the threat they face?”

Shiite-majority Bahrain and Israel both fear Iran's growing influence in the region and oppose Tehran’s military expansionism in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

In a second tweet, Al Khalifa wrote: “International powers see it as a dangerous threat and the Lebanese state doesn’t comment,” sharing a link to an article in a Lebanese newspaper about Israel’s operation.

Al Khalifa’s statement echoes views expressed by representatives of the United States, European Union, Canada, Austria and Germany, who all expressed support for Operation Northern Shield, which Israel launched Tuesday. So far, the Israeli military has detected two terror tunnels that stretched from Lebanon into Israeli territory.

In 2016, Bahrain and several other Gulf states declared Hezbollah a terrorist organization and ordered their nationals to leave Lebanon immediately, after determining that the Iranian-backed group controls Lebanon's political leadership. Earlier this year, Bahrain officially supported Israel’s right to defend itself against Iranian aggression in Syria.

Band of Disabled Musicians Competing to Represent Israel in Next Year's Eurovision

Thanks to Netta “Toy” Barzilai winning the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, Israel gets to host the 2019 contest. But can an Israeli singer earn the trophy again?

The process of choosing Israel’s representative from a field of 60 hopefuls began the night of November 24 with the first group of auditions on “The Next Star for Eurovision.”

One of the most poignant moments in the highly-rated TV show was the performance of The Shalva Band, comprised of young musicians with physical and intellectual disabilities.

The band was formed by in 2005 as a professional outlet for talented clients of Jerusalem-based Shalva, the Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities.

Current lead singers Dina Samte and Anael Khalifa are blind.

Khalifa’s rendition of The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” knocked the socks off the audience and an all-star panel of judges: Eurovision 2005 contestant Shiri Maimon, fresh from her Broadway gig in “Chicago”; Harel Skaat, Israel’s 2010 Eurovision representative; singer-songwriters Keren Peles and Asaf Amdurski; and pop duo Static & Ben-El.

Below is an English-subtitled clip of the band’s heartwarming pre-show interview with “Next Star” hosts Assi Azar and Rotem Sella, and their stellar performance that advanced them to the next round of auditions.

A back-to-back Eurovision win for Israel has actually happened before: Izhar Cohen and Alphabeta for “A-ba-ni-bi” in 1978 and Milk and Honey for “Hallelujah” in 1979.

These are the other Israeli Eurovision contenders who qualified in the first audition show, and the songs they sang:

Danielle Mazuz, 27, a backup singer and dancer for Netta Barzilai (Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”)

Ofri Kalfon, 16 (“Le’esof” by Yuval Dayan)

Shachar Edwi, 20 (“Wikipedia” by Hanan Ben-Ari and Keren Peles)

Nadav Phillips, 18 (Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” by D. Foster and L. Jenner)

Daniel Barzilai (no relation to Netta), 26 (“Osher Le-Daka” by Uri Ben-Ari and Eitan Darmon)

(via Israel21c)

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