The United Nations Must Take Its Own Medicine Re the Palestinian Authority

On July 10, 2019, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivered a speech regarding the horrible situation of terrorism in Africa which outlined a multi-step approach to tackling the growing problem.

Should he truly believe that those are the best methods for combating terrorism globally, he must begin to implement them in the region where the U.N. has tens of thousands of employees working for decades in an area where terrorism reigns under its blind eyes: among the Palestinian Arabs in the Arab-Israel Conflict.

Secretary General Antonio Guterres talks about fighting terrorism in Africa, July 2019
(photo: UNEP, Duncan Moore)

Below are Guterres’s main points on combating terrorism, and the situation in Gaza, West Bank and other areas where the United Nations cares for Palestinian Arabs:

  1. Working Together and Information Sharing. Guterres said that the global community should be “working together to share counter-terrorism information.” He noted that terrorism in Africa, such as the Kenya-Ethiopian border, could be best fought by sharing “information, expertise and good practices.”The U.N. agency for Palestinian Arab “refugees,” UNRWA has nearly 32,000 employees in Gaza, the “West Bank,” Lebanon, Syria and Jordan (a figure which grows even faster than the number of registered persons). Yet the UN limits its activities to education and healthcare, and does not provide any information to Israel about terrorists from Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah or other known terrorist groups in the effort “to detect, identify and disrupt violent extremism and to bring terrorist to justice.” Regrettably, over the past several decades, the U.N. has never acted to stop terrorism – even with basic information sharing which Guterres called for in Africa. The UN has actually done the opposite, leaving its schools open to store weapons and as launching sites for missiles against Israel.
  2. Halting the Narrative of Grievance and Promoting Good Governance and Good Jobs. Guterres outlined some of the underlying causes which allow terrorism to thrive, saying that it is important to stop the  “narratives of grievance, actual or perceived injustice, and promised empowerment” as well as changing the dynamics “wherever human rights are being violated, good governance is being ignored and aspirations are being crushed.”Yet the U.N. has actively promoted the narrative of “grievance and injustice” in telling the Palestinians that they have a right to move to a house where a grandparent once lived, regardless as to whether they had actually owned any property and for how long. As such, the U.N. has fueled the Gaza riots for the past years with the promise that through the United Nations, the Arabs will get to move into Israel.Regarding “good governance,” the U.N. operates in Gaza in concert with Hamas, just as it operates in Syria with mass murder Bashar al-Assad and coordinates in Lebanon with operatives of Hezbollah. Rather than make any attempt at fostering human rights and good governance, UNRWA turns a blind eye as it hands out jobs and benefits to the stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs).Further, rather than heed Guterres’ comments regarding terrorism in Africa of “strengthening State institutions and civil society, building durable peace and promoting sustainable development to tackle the poverty, inequality and lack of opportunity that feed despair,” the U.N. has been active in promoting the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) of Israel movement, pulling good jobs out of the West Bank. It has similarly made light of the Trump administrations efforts to invest billions of dollars into the Palestinian economy, thereby helping fuel poverty and lack of opportunities.
  3. Engaging Women in the Fight Against Terrorism. Guterres sees a particular role for women to play in fighting hatred and violence, saying “We must fully engage women, who play multiple roles in relation to violent extremism and its prevention — as victims, as those recruited and radicalized, but most importantly as influencers and leaders in prevention and agents of peace.”But the U.N. has stood by while women are championed as murderers, not as “agents of peace.” All one has to do is look at schools and squares named after female terrorists. The U.N. stands by while official Palestinian Authority TV broadcasts mothers who say they are proud of their terrorist children. It is not as though the U.N. offers no opinions; it complains bitterly when the U.S. and Israel try to stop the pay-to-slay program which encourages terrorism.And as a simple matter of decency which must start on the local level, how has the U.N. said or done nothing while Gaza leads the world in honor killings of women on a per capita basis? Instead the U.N. produces long papers describing the plight of Palestinian women are solely because of Israel.The U.N. hasn’t enlisted Palestinian women to combat terror; it has promoted them to be part of the terror. It is well past time for this to change.
  4. Stop the Online Provocations and Hate Speech and Promote Jobs. It many ways, this point is similar to halting the narrative of grievance Guterres mentioned above. He said “youth unemployment not only limits personal fulfilment and drains away hope, it also undermines social cohesion and could threaten security.” Further, “With the rise of misinformation on social media and the Internet, young people also need education and empowerment to denounce manipulative narratives, xenophobia and hate speech, which can all lead to online radicalization.”As described above, the U.N. has effectively worked in concert with the BDS movement to kill good jobs for Palestinians in the West Bank fueling unemployment. It also makes little or no effort to stop or condemn the incitement on Palestinian TV and Facebook pages. In fact, it does the opposite, as many UNRWA officials use Facebook to post calls for terrorism against “Zionist dogs”.In regards to the swelling ranks of young people, the United Nations has actively been involved with “creating” the youth, by not advancing the U.N.’s own stated goals of birth control, even though UNRWA touches 99.4% of all Arab women. The U.N. gives Palestinians first world medical treatment while they have children at the rate of third world countries, which has inflated the Palestinian Arab refugee population by 1 million people – under the care of the United Nations.
  5. The Victims of Terrorism as Advocates for Peace. Guterres continued that the UN must “support the victims and survivors of terrorism, including victims of sexual violence and children exploited by terrorist groups,” who must be central to the fight against terror.So the United Nations builds a portal on the victims of terrorism. It writes about victims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia and Syria, places of horrible terrorist attacks (each almost 100% Muslim, except for Nigeria which is about 50/50 Christian/Muslim). Israel doesn’t get a mention.
  6. Stopping the Flow of Money to Terrorists. Guterres said “mitigating the threat of foreign terrorist fighters, empowering and engaging youth, countering terrorist financing and improving aviation security” are critical in the efforts to combat terrorism.An interesting read on the subject of halting the flow of money to terrorist is “Harpoon” by Nitsana Darshan-Leitner. Israel actively is involved in the fight to stop the flow of funds to terrorists, but it is done despite the United Nations. The circus of the UN has countries including Kuwait and Indonesia (both almost completely Muslim) condemning Israel for withholding monies which the Palestinian Authority pays to terrorists’ families.

If the UN Secretary-General really believes in his formula for stopping terrorism, and desires peace in the Middle East, he should begin using his 32,000-person force on the ground servicing Palestinian “refugees” and the global forum to follow his principles including: sharing information on Palestinian terrorist groups with Israel; stopping the narrative that descendants of people who once live in Israel have any ‘right of return’; not facilitating or participating in any manner with the BDS movement; refusing to provide any services in Gaza as long as Hamas is in power and there are schools named after terrorists; having Israeli victims of terror address the United Nations; and backing Israel in suspending payments to the Palestinian Authority as long as it continues its pay-to-slay activities.

Guterres laid out his plan to stem terrorism around the world. As the Palestinians are his adopted wards, he can actively stop the terrorism in Israel. If he only showed the will to follow his own advice.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The UN Fails on its Own Measures to address the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism

The United Nations Once Again “Encourages” Hamas

Stopping the Purveyors of Hateful Propaganda

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

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UN Secretary General Guterres is Losing the Confidence of Decent People

The last UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon was an Israel hater. As detailed in many articles in FirstOneThrough, he sided with the Palestinian cause and castigated Israel at every turn. In particular:

And now the new UNSG Antonio Guterres is taking that same course.


UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

On August 30, 2017, Guterres visited Gaza. His remarks were a disappointment:

  • He said “I am very proud of the work that the UN staff,” even though it was recently exposed that Hamas builds terror tunnels at UNRWA schools and Hamas stored weapons and fired missiles at attack Israel in UNRWA schools;
  • Guterres made “an appeal for unity. Yesterday, I was in Ramallah. Today, I am in Gaza. They are both parts of the same Palestine. So, I appeal for the unity, in line with the principles of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. The division only undermines the cause of the Palestinian people.” What about Israelis? When will Guterres loudly condemn Hamas and say that it cannot exist in any political fashion until it explicitly recognizes Israel’s right to exist and renounces any and all forms of violence?
  • The best that Guterres could muster was “It is important to avoid the buildup of the militantism that can undermine the confidence between the two people.” Does the leader of the United Nations think that the Hamas military is merely a matter of “confidence?” Israelis are being murdered by Hamas. Hamas is engaged in war to destroy the Jewish State. Guterres saying that Hamas’s militantism is simply a problem of confidence is willful ignorance of the essence of the organization which is an anti-Semitic terror group that seeks to destroy Israel.

Similarly, Guterres has refused to stand by Israel when it faced terror at the hands of Palestinian Arabs. Consider that on September 12, 2017, Guterres said the following about an attack on policemen in Egypt:

“The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack yesterday on a police convoy near el-Arish in northern Sinai in Egypt. He conveys his condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Egypt.  He also wishes a swift recovery to the injured. 

The Secretary-General hopes those responsible for this act will be quickly brought to justice.”

But when an Israeli policewoman was stabbed to death in Jerusalem on June 16, 2017, the UN Secretary General issued no statement.

When three Israeli policemen were killed by Israeli Arabs in July 2014, Guterres neither condemned the attack nor offered condolences to Israelis. He told the Israelis to show “restraint” in their response.

A few days later, when a Palestinian Arab stabbed to death members of an Israeli family in their home, Guterres wouldn’t even call the attack “terrorism,” even though he did so when terrorists killed members of the Egyptian army. Gutteres would not demand that the Palestinian terrorist “be quickly brought to justice,” as he did for the attack in Sinai.

There was hope that Antonio Guterres would be different from Ban Ki Moon and treat Israel differently. When he took over in January 2017, he condemned Palestinian Arab terrorist attacks against Israeli soldiers and called for the terrorists to be brought to justice.

Alas, the United Nations is pit of vileness and anti-Israel bias that swallows all.

The latest statements of Guterres are “undermining the confidence” that decent people have for his leadership and the United Nations overall.


Related First.One.Through articles:

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The United Nations’ Ban Ki Moon Exposes Israeli Civilians

The UN Can’t Support Israel’s Fight on Terrorism since it Considers Israel the Terrorists

Ban Ki Moon Defecates on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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The UN Declares that Palestinian Arabs Should Not Show “Restraint”

The United Nations has long showed that it has a disproportionate concern about the Holy Land. In July 2017, the new Secretary General opted to give its blessing to Palestinian violence in that simmering dispute.

After two Israeli Arabs shot and killed two Israeli police officers on the Temple Mount prompting Israel to install security cameras and metal detectors at the site, Palestinian Arabs rioted and killed several Israelis including Jewish civilians sitting in their homes. After a few days, Israel removed the metal detectors to try to calm the calls for violence from Palestinian Authority leaders and Arab leaders from around the region. The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appreciated the Israeli action, but revealed his bias as he continued:

“I am particularly concerned about the potential risk of escalating violence; urge all political, religious and community leaders to refrain from provocative action and rhetoric; and call on Israel to demonstrate restraint.”

In Guterres’ call to minimize violence he asked that:

  • ALL PARTIES: refrain from provocative action and rhetoric
  • ISRAEL: demonstrate restraint

Why not simply ask all parties to show restraint as he did regarding provocative action and rhetoric? Why specifically highlight that only Israel should show restraint? Is it part-and-parcel of the UN’s determination that every country in the world should fight terrorism except for Israel? That Palestinian Arabs are naturally “resorting to violence?”

The UN has declared that Palestinians cannot and should not be restrained in their reaction to Israel’s actions and existence. It is a tacit call for war.


Arabs shoot Israeli police officers on Temple Mount, July 2017


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The United Nations’ Ban Ki Moon Exposes Israeli Civilians

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The Hollowness of the United Nations’ “All”

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The UN Does Not Want Palestinian Terrorists to be Held Accountable

The former Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon had a terrible history regarding his treatment of Israel. He vilified the country and absolved Palestinian Arab terrorists repeatedly. Unfortunately the new UNSG Antonio Guterres is following in those footsteps.

On July 21, 2017, a Palestinian Arab terrorist entered the home of a Jewish family in the town of Halamish and murdered three people having a Sabbath dinner. The murder was celebrated by the leader of Hamas, the main party of the Palestinian Authority parliament.

Guterres issued a statement about the horrific murders shortly afterwards:

“The Secretary-General strongly condemns this evening’s stabbing attack by a Palestinian perpetrator, which resulted in the death of three members of an Israeli family in the Halamish settlement in the occupied West Bank.

He conveys his condolences to the bereaved and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured.

The Secretary-General again calls on all to refrain from any actions or words that could further escalate an already volatile situation.”

While it was nice to hear that the leader of the United Nations “strongly condemns” murder, the words ring hollow when compared to recent statements by the same man regarding the killing of civilians elsewhere.

  • On July 24 Guterres issued a statement regarding the killing of civilians in Afghanistan stating “the deliberate targeting of civilians constitutes a grave violation of human rights and international humanitarian law and may constitute a war crime.” An important sentiment not issued for Israeli civilians.
  • His July 24 statement regarding attacks in Pakistan said he “strongly condemns the terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan, today and calls for those responsible to be brought to justice. The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the families of the victims and wishes full recovery to those injured. He supports the efforts of the Government of Pakistan to fight terrorism and violent extremism with full respect for international human rights norms and obligations.” He was clear in his support of the government and that the terrorists should be brought to justice.
  • In July 25 on a statement about attacks against civilians in Nigeria, he issued a statement “These terrorist acts are targeting people who had already fled their homes as a result of Boko Haram violence. The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the people and Government of Nigeria for the loss of life. He wishes a quick recovery to those injured and calls for those responsible for this heinous act to be swiftly brought to justice. He reiterates the United Nations support to the Government of Nigeria in its fight against terrorism and violent extremism in full observance of international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law.” Other important statement not issued regarding Israel.

The difference in treatment of Israeli victims to other countries is outrageous.

  • Why was the Palestinian attacker only called a “perpetrator” and not a “terrorist” by the UNSG as he did regarding Pakistan and Nigeria?
  • Why did the deliberate targeting of civilians in Afghanistan get a call about “war crimes,” while the Palestinian murderer and support by Palestinian elected leaders was greeted with silence?
  • Why did the UNSG call for terrorists in Nigeria and Pakistan to be “brought to justice,” but he made no comment regarding justice for Israel?
  • Why did the UNSG say that he supported the governments of Nigeria and Pakistan in their fight against “terrorism and violent extremism,” but asked Israel to refrain from action which “could further escalate an already volatile situation?”

The United Nations adopted the Palestinian Arabs as it wards long ago. The UN is loathe to rebuke those it feels its duty to protect, even when they are terrorists.

The new UN Secretary General has seemingly become part of the evil machinery that cannot see the Israeli-Arab conflict from a position of clarity and fairness. It bodes badly for prospects for peace.


UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres


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Ban Ki Moon Has No Solidarity with Israel

The United Nations’ Ban Ki Moon Exposes Israeli Civilians

The United Nation’s Ban Ki Moon is Unqualified to Discuss the Question of Palestine

What’s “Outrageous” for the United Nations

UN Comments on the Murder of Innocents: Henkins

The UN Fails on its Own Measures to address the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism

The UN is Watering the Seeds of Anti-Jewish Hate Speech for Future Massacres

The Only Religious Extremists for the United Nations are “Jewish Extremists”

The UN Can’t Support Israel’s Fight on Terrorism since it Considers Israel the Terrorists

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The United Nations “Provocation”

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Regime Reactions to Israel’s “Apartheid” and “Genocide”

Summary: The new leaderships at the UN and US have joined to take a forceful approach to anti-Israel rhetoric, in a sharp break from the prior regimes. Alas, the New York Times still does little to report on it and educate its remaining readership.

“Apartheid”

On March 14, 2017, a United Nations commission issued a report that called Israel’s treatment of Palestinian Arabs equivalent to “apartheid.” It’s findings came as a result of a study

“whether Israel has established an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.”

The new Trump administration’s ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, pounced on the report and pressured the new UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to have it withdrawn. Not only did he have the report removed from the UN website, one of the authors of the report resigned.

US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley

This is in sharp contrast to the reactions of the prior regimes of US President Barack Obama and UNSG Ban Ki Moon who applied no such pressure to even worse false accusations.

“Genocide”

One of the authors of the March 2017 UN report, Richard Falk, is a notorious anti-Semite. In December 2013, he said that Israel’s “criminal intention [toward Palestinians] is genocidal.” Canada quickly called on the UN to fire Falk. The US and UN distanced themselves from Falk’s comments but would take no aggressive action for his removal.

The tolerance for anti-Semitism from the Obama and Ban regimes was neither new nor surprising. It was pervasive.

Obama was reluctant to use US pressure on the world body. He believed that everybody was entitled to a point of view and that he would rather sit at a table and listen to the anti-Semitism than take aggressive action to stop it.

Consequently, people like Mahmoud Abbas felt no compunction in taking the podium at the UN General Assembly to make absurd comments that Israel was carrying out a “genocide.

Under-Reporting Anti-Semitism

The New York Times wrote about the latest brouhaha at the UN in an article “Tempest at U.N. Over Report Saying Israel Practices Apartheid.” In a story without any depth, the article noted that one of the authors of the UN report had been accused of being anti-Israel.

“One of the authors of the report was Richard Falk, an American law professor and former United Nations human rights investigator whom critics regard as an anti-Israel extremist. He has been refused entry to Israel for what Israeli leaders have described as his hostile point of view.”

This was the first mention of Falk in the NYT for almost a decade. As detailed in FirstOneThrough’s article “The New York Times and Richard Falk,” the paper never discussed this “human rights investigator” who touted conspiracy theories about the attacks on 9/11, and that the US deserved the Boston Marathon bombing because of its foreign policy. It also never mentioned Falk’s outrageous claim that Israel carries out a genocide against Arabs.

Further, the paper has never opted to give a basic education to its readers:

The paper’s choice of giving color and context to certain items is conspicuously selective. It would rather constantly pepper its articles that “most of the world considers the West Bank to be occupied territory,” but will never add the clause “most Palestinian Arabs harbor anti-Semitic attitudes,” when it writes about the absurd accusations of “genocide” and “apartheid” coming from Palestinian Arabs.


In 1991, New York City Mayor David Dinkins let anti-Semitic riots run rampant in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. His successor, Rudy Giuliani, opted to take a tough stand on crime and was able to transform New York City into the safe city that people recognize today.

The civilized world can only hope to see a similar outcome in the transition from Obama/Power to Trump/Haley and from Ban to Guterres: that the mayhem and hatred that has been tolerated for way too long will be aggressively combatted.


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The UN is Watering the Seeds of Anti-Jewish Hate Speech for Future Massacres

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The Palestinian’s Three Denials

In September 1967, the Arab States put forward the Khartoum Resolution in the wake of their defeat in the June 1967 Six Day War with Israel. The resolution set down their intransigence in accepting the nation of Israel with a call of “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it,” in a policy that would stymie any chance of peace in the region for decades. It became known as “the Three No’s.”

Today, the Palestinian Arabs have adopted their own version of the policy which can be called “The Three Denials”: deny the history of the Jews; deny the rights of the Jews; deny the acceptance of the Jews.

It will similarly block any chance for peace in the region.

Deny the History of the Jews

There was once a time when the Arab world accepted the basic history of the Jews in the holy land. In 1925, the Supreme Muslim Council published a guidebook for the Temple Mount which clearly identified the place as the location of the Jewish Temples.

“The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times.

Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.”

al-haramal-sharif-cover150best

However, the acting president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas somehow came to the conclusion that acknowledging Jewish history in Jerusalem would undermine the claim that the site is purely a Muslim holy site. As such, he repeatedly charged that Israel is trying to “Judaize” Jerusalem. He asserted that Israel is getting rid of “the Arab character of the city.” He was recently successful in putting forward resolutions before the United Nations that referred to the Temple Mount in Islamic terms that denied any connection of Jews. So when the new UN Security General Antonio Guterres clearly stated that “it is completely clear that the Temple that the Romans destroyed in Jerusalem was a Jewish temple,” the Palestinians went crazy and demanded an apology.

Perhaps revisionist history should not come as a surprise, as Abbas wrote his doctoral thesis on Holocaust denial.

Deny the Rights of the Jews

The follow up to the denial of Jewish history in their holy land is to deny Jews the rights to live there.

Abbas stood at the UN General Assembly and claimed that Israel is “colonizing” Arab land. He claimed that Jews first began to colonize Palestine with the British declaration of the Balfour Declaration in 1917. He has now demanded an apology from the United Kingdom and for it to “bear its historic, legal, political, material and moral responsibility for the consequences of this declaration, including an apology to the Palestinian people.” Abbas has stated that the colonization continues post-1967, as Israel seized additional Palestinian land in the 1967 war.

To Abbas, it has always been Palestinian land, so Jews have no rights to any part of it.

As such, Abbas has called for a new Palestinian country to be free of any Jews. He has retained a Jordanian law that condemned to death any person selling land to Jews, and was able to get former US President Barack Obama to agree that Jews should not be allowed to live in “Palestinian Land.” A sorry note in US-Israel relations.

Beyond the rights of living in the land, Arabs have denied the basic rights of Jewish access to their holy places.

The Jordanians evicted all Jews from the West Bank and Jerusalem after they illegally annexed the land in 1950 in a move that was not recognized by the world. They denied Jews any visitation rights into Jerusalem, just as they denied Jewish rights to visit the Cave of the Jewish Patriarchs in Hebron. Abbas has similarly called for Jews to be expelled from the Jewish Temple Mount and Jerusalem today.

Deny the Acceptance of Jews

Abbas has stated that he will never recognize Israel as a Jewish State. The declaration received support from the Arab States:

“The council of the Arab League confirms its support for the Palestinian leadership in its effort to end the Israeli occupation over Palestinian lands, and emphasizes its rejection of recognizing Israel as a ‘Jewish state’.”

Foreign ministers of the Arab League countries meet in Cairo March, 9, 2014. The Arab League on Sunday endorsed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's rejection of Israel's demand for recognition as a Jewish state, as U.S.-backed peace talks approach a deadline next month. The United States want Abbas to make the concession as part of efforts to reach a "framework agreement" and extend the talks aimed at settling the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. REUTERS/Stringer (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS)

Foreign ministers of the Arab League countries meet in Cairo March, 9, 2014. The Arab League on Sunday endorsed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s rejection of Israel’s demand for recognition as a Jewish state, as U.S.-backed peace talks approach a deadline next month. The United States want Abbas to make the concession as part of efforts to reach a “framework agreement” and extend the talks aimed at settling the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. REUTERS/Stringer (EGYPT – Tags: POLITICS)

So much for the principle of two states for two people. The Palestinians – at best – are seeking one state that is 100% Arab and second state that is a mix Arab and Jewish, with no preferences for Jews at all.

The Global Response

The world seemed to understand the Arab States “3 No’s” in 1967, and would soon push forward a “Zionism is racism” resolution at the United Nations. It would take many years for that resolution to be rescinded, and for some Arab states to begin to make peace with Israel.

For many years the United States under Obama and the United Nations under UNSG Ban Ki Moon also seemed to endorse the “3 Denials” of the Palestinian Arabs. The UN routinely passed resolutions which inverted facts regarding rights and access to holy places and disregarded the history of Jews in the holy land. Obama endorsed the #AlternativeFacts as well.

Not surprisingly, the region went backwards. Three wars against Israel from Gaza and wars spreading throughout the region under the watch of inept leadership. The responses from Ban Ki Moon and Obama? That they stood with Gaza and sought the inclusion of the terrorist group Hamas into a joint Palestinian leadership.

However, there is now a new president in the United States, and a new Secretary General at the United Nations. Antonio Guterres showed that he will not deny the history of Jews in Israel in an attempt to appease the anti-Semitic Palestinian Arabs. Hopefully, but he and President Trump will break “The 3 Denials” of the Palestinians and advance peace in the region.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Cancer in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Israel was never a British Colony; Judea and Samaria are not Israeli Colonies

Real and Imagined Laws of Living in Silwan

Video of UNSG Guterres on Holocaust Remembrance Day

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How the US and UN can Restart Relations with Israel

On December 23, 2016, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution condemning Israeli settlements east of the Green Line as “illegal” and called for the removal of all of them, including those in Jerusalem.  It passed because the US decided to abstain, rather than veto such resolutions as it typically does.

There is a pathway to right this wrong, as a new US administration and head of the United Nations will soon take over.

On December 12, 2016, former Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Guterres was sworn in as the new United Nations Secretary General, and on December 19, Republican Donald Trump secured the electoral college to become the next president of the United States. Both men can restart positive relations with the State of Israel. The recommendations listed below are just a few positive actions that can promote peace in the Middle East.

Positive Actions for the United States

President Barack Obama had a very rocky relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It was not simply a matter of personal chemistry; Obama took various steps to create significant “daylight” between the US and Israel. Trump can fix those Obama missteps.

1. Recommit to the 2004 Bush Letter.

On April 14, 2004, US President George W Bush wrote a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, giving Israel assurances of US support in conjunction with Sharon’s planned withdrawal of Israeli presence from Gaza. The language in the letter had bipartisan support, and the 2008 Democratic Platform used key clauses from the letter as its official policy regarding Israel.

However, Obama opted to ignore the letter and all of the US commitments. He gutted key components of US assurances, and had the 2012 Democratic platform remove all of the Israeli-oriented positions completely.

Those commitments from President Bush included:

  • United States will do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan.”
  • “Palestinians must undertake an immediate cessation of armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere, and all official Palestinian institutions must end incitement against Israel. The Palestinian leadership must act decisively against terror, including sustained, targeted, and effective operations to stop terrorism and dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure.”
  • “Palestinians must undertake a comprehensive and fundamental political reform that includes a strong parliamentary democracy and an empowered prime minister.”
  • “The United States reiterates its steadfast commitment to Israel’s security, including secure, defensible borders, and to preserve and strengthen Israel’s capability to deter and defend itself, by itself, against any threat or possible combination of threats.”
  • “Israel will retain its right to defend itself against terrorism, including to take actions against terrorist organizations.”
  • “The United States will lead efforts, working together with Jordan, Egypt, and others in the international community, to build the capacity and will of Palestinian institutions to fight terrorism, dismantle terrorist organizations, and prevent the areas from which Israel has withdrawn from posing a threat that would have to be addressed by any other means.”
  • “It seems clear that an agreed, just, fair, and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement will need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel.”
  • “In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion.”
  • “the barrier being erected by Israel should be a security rather than political barrier, should be temporary rather than permanent, and therefore not prejudice any final status issues including final borders”
  • “the United States supports the establishment of a Palestinian state that is viable, contiguous, sovereign, and independent”
  • “the United States believes that all states in the region have special responsibilities: to support the building of the institutions of a Palestinian state; to fight terrorism, and cut off all forms of assistance to individuals and groups engaged in terrorism; and to begin now to move toward more normal relations with the State of Israel.”

The Trump administration should recommit to these principles that were abandoned under Obama.

2. Clearly Define that the Obstacle to Peace is anti-normalization, not settlements.

The goal of two-states living in peace starts with the desire to live in peace, not the desire for two states. A Palestinian Authority leadership that incites violence cannot be rewarded with a state. Parties that engage in BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) of Israel or Israeli territories are anti-Semitic and work against a two state solution.

Obama inverted this formulation, and pushed for two states before pushing for peace.  He fought Israeli settlements, including asking Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to freeze settlements in 2009, shortly after assuming office. No movement was made by the Palestinian Authority to advance peace. No matter, Obama took a parting shot at Israel by allowing the UN Security Council resolution labeling the settlements as illegal, as if that would advance peace.

Trump should focus on stopping the Arab incitement to violence and glorification of murderers. Penalties should be assessed including withholding US financial assistance and meeting with American leaders should the Palestinian Authority not reform.

3. Terror must be stopped and fought completely.

As the world has started to confront terror in recent years, much the way Israel has since being reestablished, it has fought the terrorism with absolute clarity and global support. Not so for Israel.

Obama asked Israel to confront terrorism with “reasonableness and restraint,” something that the US hasn’t done in its ongoing war against terrorism since September 11, 2001.

Donald Trump should give Israel the same complete support in combatting evil, as every other country in the world is offered when it confronts terrorism.

4. Recognize Anti-Semitism

For a reason only known to him, President Obama was loathe to call out anti-Semitism.

When Islamic terrorists killed people in Paris, France, including in a kosher supermarket, Obama called that attack “random,” and his administration twisted itself to refrain from stating the obvious – that the killers went to kill Jews.

When Obama gave his final State of the Union address, he once again decided to call out “Islamophobia” in the United States, as he did often in his presidency. He did this even though an average Jew is two times more likely to be targeted by hate crimes than an average Muslim. But there was no mention of anti-Semitism.

The Jewish State is not oblivious to the treatment of Jews in America and France, home to the largest concentration of Jews outside of Israel. By recognizing anti-Semitism with a fraction of the concern that Obama showed for Islamophobia, would be a very positive step for US-Israel relations.

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Donald Trump addressing the Republican Jewish Coalition, December 2015
(photo: FirstOneThrough)

5. Clarity: Settlements are not illegal; no Hamas in a Palestinian Unity Government

In taking the four actions noted above, the United States government will once again underscore its long-held bipartisan approaches to Israel. Repeating the assurance that Israel must have “defensible borders” that will not “return to the Armistice lines of 1949,” recognizes that many Israeli settlements over the Green Line will be incorporated into Israel. This is a sharp reversal from the anti-Semitic comments of the Obama administration that felt that any Jew living over the Green Line – even in existing apartments in Jerusalem – are anti-peace, and now, with a wink to the UNSC resolution, illegal.

Further, understanding that Israel must “take actions against terrorist organizations” like Hamas, offers more support to banning the organization from any Palestinian unity government.

The Trump administration should underscore these two points clearly, as it can have a positive impact in how other allies and the United Nations treat Israel.

 

Positive Actions for the United Nations

The United Nations is a cesspool of autocrats and dictators.

The UN is the poster child of a “bucket of deplorables” of homophobes, anti-Semites, misogynists, xenophobes and racists. As such, the UN Secretary General is often viewed as the deplorable mascot.

It is difficult – ney, impossible – to get many of these countries to be civil, and the UNSG cannot enforce peaceful interactions in the world. However, he can make changes to how the institution itself runs, and his own comments as they relate to Israel.

1. Fold UNRWA into the UNHCR

The United Nations created an organization for Palestinian Arab refugees on December 8, 1949. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) was created as a temporary agency to help Arabs that lost their homes after five neighboring Arab countries invaded Israel after it declared statehood in May 1948. Today, UNRWA has morphed into something unrecognizable, giving “refugee” status to millions of descendants of refugees and perpetuating a conflict.

As the incoming UNSG knows, having served as the High Commissioner of Refugees from 2005 to 2015, there is another UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, which works with ACTUAL refugees that are fleeing war zones. It provides real relief for families in transition. It works with millions of refugees from around the world with a fraction of the budget of UNRWA.

More significantly, the UNHCR focuses on providing services for civilians without taking sides in a conflict. Not so UNRWA, which consistently attacks Israel and tells grandchildren of refugees that – with UNRWA’s help – they will return to homes and villages that no longer exist in Israel.

UNRWA perpetuates the suffering of the stateless Arabs from Palestine, and the ongoing conflict with Israel. Over the course of five years, UNRWA should be closed and services should be transitioned to the same relief agency that the rest of the world uses, UNHCR.  The descendants of refugees from the 1948-9 Israeli-Arab war should have their ability to obtain services gradually withdrawn.

2. Isolate Iran

Any United Nations member state that threatens to destroy another member state should be completely isolated. Such a state should no longer be allowed to chair any committee. It should no longer be allowed to vote on any resolution. Its flag should be removed from the hall and from the exterior of the all United Nations buildings.

The inspections of the nuclear facilities should not just be rigorous in ensuring that Iran is in compliance. It should be reinforced without any rights or approvals by Iran.

Such treatment should remain in place until such state clearly rescinds such threats.

3. Remove the Standing Measure Against Israel

The UN Human Rights Council has a standing agenda item to criticize only one country in the world – Israel. It must stop the practice immediately.

4. Clean House in the UN Media Centre

The UN has a press group that summarizes the many sessions that happen at the sprawling UN and its many agencies. It selects what items to cover, which people to highlight and the quotes to cover in the stories.

In an organization which is littered with Israel-bashers, the UN Media Centre takes the hate to yet another level. It edits quotes from people that appear sympathetic to Israel and magnifies injuries by Palestinian Arabs. That is not a recipe for fairness or to advance peace. It is a form of incitement itself.

5. Clarity: No Hamas in the Palestinian Government; Stand with Israel

In addition to fixing the anti-Israel bias that is structurally part of the UN, Antonio Guterres should make his own opinions about the Israeli-Arab relationship known.

Outgoing UNSG Ban Ki Moon often stated that he stood with Gaza, and encouraged Hamas to become part of a Palestinian Authority unity government. It was disgusting and disgraceful to every Israeli and civilized person to watch the head of the UN promote a vile anti-Semitic terrorist group that openly calls for killing Jews and destroying Israel. The sentiment was aggravated by Ban Ki Moon’s never stating that he stood with Israel in its fight against terrorism.

Mr. Guterres should be clear that he supports Israel and every country’s fight against terror. He must be clear that there is no room for Hamas in any conversation whatsoever, until it replaces its charter and states that it seeks peace with Israel.

 

The United States had historically been the best and biggest ally of Israel, while the United Nations abused the Jewish State as if the organization was the reincarnation of the Spanish Inquisition. Obama left his legacy as a horrific foreign policy president, as he threw his lot in with the real bucket of deplorables.

With the five steps outlined above for both the US and UN, the relationship with Israel can be reset, and the cause of peace in the region advanced.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Legal Israeli Settlements

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy on Israel is like the United Nations

The Israeli Peace Process versus the Palestinian Divorce Proceedings

The Cancer in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

The Only Precondition for MidEast Peace Talks

J Street: Going Bigger and Bolder than BDS

Failures of the Obama Doctrine and the Obama Rationale

My Terrorism

The United Nations Audit of Israel

The United Nations “Provocation”

Obama’s “Palestinian Land”

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