The UN’s #Alternative Facts about the 1967 Six Day War

On June 5, 2017, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres made a statement about the 1967 Six Day War. His opinion piece laid out a distinct narrative, or in common parlance, #AlternativeFacts. Below is a review of his actual remarks with a First.One.Through review of the same facts.


UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

UN Secretary General, UNSG:Today marks 50 years since the start of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, which resulted in Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Syrian Golan and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and Syrians.”

First.One.Through, FOT:Today marks 50 years since a miracle thwarted Arab countries’ stated goal of annihilating the only Jewish State and millions of Jews.”

UNSG:This occupation has imposed a heavy humanitarian and development burden on the Palestinian people. Among them are generation after generation of Palestinians who have been compelled to grow-up and live in ever more crowded refugee camps, many in abject poverty, and with little or no prospect of a better life for their children.

FOT: Israel has built an amazing thriving democracy among its Jewish and non-Jewish populations since its brush with annihilation in 1967. Regrettably, the UN has continued to make the Arab population in Gaza and elsewhere its wards, pretending that descendants of internally displaced people have any rights as refugees. Worse, the SAPs continue to deny the basic history and rights of Jews to live in their holy land, offering little hope for living together in peace.

UNSG:The occupation has shaped the lives of both Palestinians and Israelis. It has fuelled recurring cycles of violence and retribution. Its perpetuation is sending an unmistakable message to generations of Palestinians that their dream of statehood is destined to remain just that, a dream; and to Israelis that their desire for peace, security and regional recognition remains unattainable.”

FOT: The denial of Jewish history, rights and dignity, and the Palestinian Authority leadership’s incitement to violence have continued a poisonous venom that has permeated the local Arab population since 1920. Until the Palestinian Arabs recognize the Jewish State’s rights in the land, the desire of both people for peace and security is just a dream. Recognition of the Jewish homeland is a means, not an ends to peace and security for all parties.”

UNSG:Ending the occupation that began in 1967 and achieving a negotiated two-state outcome is the only way to lay the foundations for enduring peace that meets Israeli security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty. It is the only way to achieve the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.”

FOT:The path of the Palestinian Arabs’ quest for legitimacy on the world stage is disappointing. Since Israel gave the local Arabs in Gaza the first taste of sovereignty by leaving the coastal strip in 2005, the local Arab population has squandered every opportunity. They elected a terrorist group, Hamas, to a majority of parliament. They spent most of their global aid building attack tunnels into Israel rather than developing their economy. They launched three wars against Israel, in 2008, 2012 and 2014. Their actions make this global body question the basic logic of statehood and sovereignty for the local Arabs, rather than having portions of the disputed land be incorporated into Egypt, Jordan and Israel.

UNSG:Now is not the time to give up on this goal. Continued settlement construction and expansion; violence and incitement; and the illicit arms build-up and militant activity in Gaza risk creating a one-state reality that is incompatible with realizing the legitimate national and historic aspirations of both peoples. Now is the time to return to direct negotiations to resolve all final status issues on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, agreements and international law. Now is the time to end the conflict by establishing an independent Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security with the State of Israel. 

FOT:Based on past actions, it is time to reconsider the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority – which hasn’t held elections in years and cannot control its own people and territory – and to bring in Egypt and Jordan into the process now. Those two countries have made peace with Israel, and those two countries had administered the two areas in question.

UNSG: Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will remove a driver of violent extremism and terrorism in the Middle East and open the doors to cooperation, security, prosperity and human rights for all.

FOT:The turmoil in the Middle East including in: Syria; Iraq; Yemen; Sudan; and Libya have finally put an end to the argument that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the driver of violent extremism. It proves conclusively that radical Islamic ideology and the goal for a pure Muslim caliphate drives terrorism. Combatting radical Islamic teachings will stop terrorism in Israel and the world, and help bring peace everywhere.”

UNSG:In 1947, on the basis of UN General Assembly Resolution 181, the world recognized the two-state solution and called for the emergence of “independent Arab and Jewish states”. On 14 May 1948, the State of Israel was born. 
Almost seven decades later, the world still awaits the birth of an independent Palestinian state. The Secretary-General reiterates his offer to work with all relevant stakeholders to support a genuine peace process.”

FOT:In 1947, the Arab world flatly rejected UNGA Resolution 181 and made clear that it rejected an independent Jewish State anywhere in the region. When Israel declared statehood, the Arab countries fought a war to destroy the Jewish State completely. In 1967, the Arabs again threatened to annihilate every Jew in the land. Even today, the Arabs state that they want a Jew-free state, have laws that call for the capital punishment for any Arab selling land to a Jew and refuse to recognize Israel as the Jewish State. The Secretary-General reiterates that human rights, decency and dignity demand that Arabs recognize the Jewish State and Jewish rights, and thereby put the region on a pathway to long-term peace and prosperity.”

Just saying.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Cancer in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

Considering a Failed Palestinian State

Nikki Haley Will Not Equivocate on the Ecosystem of Violence

The Palestinian’s Three Denials

The Israeli Peace Process versus the Palestinian Divorce Proceedings

Opinion: Remove the Causefire before a Ceasefire

Mutual Disagreement of Mediators and Judges in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

The United Nations’ Adoption of Palestinians, Enables It to Only Find Fault With Israel

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The New Salman Abedi High School for Boys in England and the Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel Soccer Tournament in France

Summary: The western world will really have to worry about home-grown terrorism when the local community proudly honors the terrorists.

The Terrorists

On May 22, 2017, Salman Abedi detonated a bomb that killed 22 people attending an Ariana Grande concert in Machester England. The dead included children who went out for a fun evening to enjoy some live music.

On July 14, 2016, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove a truck through a crowd in Nice, France, killing 84 people. The dead included children and families out enjoying fireworks on Bastille Day.

On March 27, 2002, Abdel-Basset Odeh detonated a bomb in the middle of a Passover seder in Netanya, Israel, killing 30 people. The victims included Holocaust survivors enjoying a festive Passover dinner.

On March 11, 1978, Dalal Mughrabi shot and killed an American photographer taking nature pictures on a beach; then fired on a taxi killing all of the passengers; and then ultimately blew up a school bus full of kids on the way to school along a coastal road in Israel.

The Celebrants

The Islamic State claimed credit for the Manchester England bombing saying that “a soldier of the caliphate planted bombs in the middle of Crusaders gatherings.” ISIS made a clear reference to “Crusaders,” non-Muslims who came to the Middle East to block the establishment of a Muslim “caliphate.”

ISIS also claimed credit for the attack in Nice, stating that “one of the soldiers of the Islamic State,” carried out the attack.

The 2002 Passover seder massacre was celebrated by Palestinian Arabs broadly. “Everyone’s proud of him,” said his older brother, Issam Odeh. Palestinians later named a soccer tournament after him in his hometown of Tulkarem.

Dalal Mughrabi led a squad of Fatah fighters in her attack, the same political party as Yasser Arafat (fungus be upon him) and Mahmoud Abbas. She was celebrated at the time by Palestinian leadership and continues to be venerated by Palestinian Arab society today which names public squares and schools in her memory.


Palestinian students honoring Dalal Mughrabi
(Photo:
Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times)

One would imagine that ISIS is naming public squares and buildings after Salman Abedi and Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel in Syria and Iraq in a similar fashion.

The Reaction to the Attacks and Backers

The Prime Minister of England, Theresa May said “the spirit of Britain is far mightier than the sick plots of terrorists — and that is why the terrorist will never prevail.” She is pushing NATO to join the fight against ISIS that backed the terrorist attack. The United Nations Security Council held a moment of silence for the victims of the attack.

The UN Security Council also held a moment of silence for the victims in France a year earlier.

Many countries are fighting against ISIS, the backers of global terrorism. It is quite a different story for the backers of terrorists against Israel.

The UN did not hold moments of silence for Israeli victims. The global community did not seek to isolate Fatah or condemn its celebration of terrorists. Quite to the contrary. The UN Secretary General said that it stood with the Palestinians and not with Israel.

In 2002, the UN launched an investigation into BOTH sides of the conflict. That’s quite a process considering it is an active protector of the Palestinians and therefore has inherent bias. Consider that the UN does not investigate how France and the UK fight against terrorists at all.

Foreign or Domestic

The UK, France and other western countries look at terrorism as a foreign transplant. It emerges from the Middle East as a distorted form of Islam that lands on their shores.

Investigators of attacks quickly delve into whether the terrorist was an immigrant or native. Something foreign may seem distant. The chance of another attack is remote. However, a locally born radical might portend a future full of terrorism.

It is an understandable fear, but one still in the distant future.

When the local Muslim community of Manchester creates the Salman Abedi High School for Boys, or the city of Marseille, France names a large public square or soccer tournament after Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the period of daily terrorism will be at hand. That is the present day in Israel that deals with an anti-Semitic Arab population that seeks a land free of Jews.

Will the UN and global community stand in solidarity with the innocent victims of terrorism then?


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Media Splits on Showing “Islamic Terrorism” and its Presence in Israel

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

Car Ramming from Islamic Terrorism Explodes as it Approaches its Second Anniversary

The US State Department Does Not Want Israel to Fight Terrorism

The Big, Bad Lone Wolves of Terrorism

Select Support in Fighting Terrorism from the US State Department

Double Standards: Assassinations

Eyal Gilad Naftali Klinghoffer. The new Blood Libel.

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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.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Nikki Haley Will Not Equivocate on the Ecosystem of Violence

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

Arabs in Jerusalem

Palestinian Jews and a Judenrein Palestine

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

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The UN Wants “Real Stories on REAL Refugees”

On January 26, 2017, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) co-sponsored an event with the EU on the impact of the media in telling the stories of refugees. The High Representative of UNAOC Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser noted that while there was “solidarity towards refugees, we also witnessed a surge of xenophobic hate speech.” The symposium sought ways to change the negative perception that many people have about immigrants to combat growing xenophobia and distrust of “the other.”

01-26-2017abdulaziz

High Representative of UNAOC Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser

Al Nasser said:

“Social media provides a wide and open platform for hate speech, facilitating the rapid spread of negative narratives and ideas online.

“But we will do our utmost to tell the real stories of refugees, in order to protect communities’ interests and safeguard the rights of each individual. I think a balance must be found that protects the freedom of expression as well as the rights of migrants as human beings with human rights,”

What an interesting turn of events for the United Nations. The UN wanted to combat hate speech on social media from the people that did not want refugees, by sharing real stories of the refugees, in the hope that the humanity of the people and situation would cause the populace to not fear the stranger and incorporate them into society.

This is the exact OPPOSITE of what the United Nations has done for decades regarding Palestinian Arabs.

  1. The count of millions of Palestinian “refugees” that the UN touts is fiction. There are only about 30,000 Palestinian Arab refugees alive from the 1948 war. The millions of descendants from the 700,000 Palestinians that left Israel are not real refugees at all. Refugee status cannot be handed down like inheritance. The UN has perpetuated this myth just for Palestinian Arabs as if they were doing them a favor.
  2. Many of these fake UN refugees are taken care of by a dedicated UN agency called UNRWA. UNRWA does not try to settle people into their surroundings as the UN does with refugees everywhere else. Instead, it tells the fake refugees that -with UNRWA’s help – they will leave their current location and move into Israel.
  3.  UNRWA doesn’t try to calm the situation by telling “real stories.” It allows negative propaganda about Israel and Jews to permeate UNRWA classrooms and textbooks that deny Israel’s existence and legitimacy.
  4. Beyond the UNRWA textbooks, many UNRWA staffers called out on social media to “stab Zionist dogs.” Social media hate speech by the UN itself.
  5. Just to clarify that last point again, the UN staffers called Jews “dogs” that should be killed. Quite a far cry from the current UNAOC plan to treat “human beings with human rights.”

The United Nations AOC is moving in a positive direction in calling for peace and co-existence. The action further highlights the illegitimacy of the stale evil farse that is UNRWA that spreads “negative narratives” about Israel.

UN: Don’t just tell real stories about refugees. Tell stories about “REAL refugees.”


Related First.One.Through articles:

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants September 2016

The New York Times Thinks that the Jews from Arab Countries Simply “Immigrated”

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Rep. Keith Ellison Refuses to Condemn UN Resolution Aganist Israel

The Obama Administration let a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israel (Res 2334) pass in December 2016 to the anger of many Americans.  The US Congress took it upon itself on January 5, 2017, to condemn the UN action as a bipartisan effort, voting to condemn it by a margin of 342 to 80 (with 4 people voting Present and 7 abstentions). A total of 233 Republicans and 109 Democrats stood by the US’s ally in a bill entitled “Objecting to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 as an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace, and for other purposes.” Of the 80 people voting against the measure, 76 were Democrats to only 4 Republicans.

Before the vote, two leading Republicans, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) and House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce (CA-39) released the following statement:

“This Administration has lost all credibility when it comes to Israel. The Administration’s stunt at the UN hurt our ally Israel and made peace in the region even more difficult to achieve. This Thursday, the House will not abstain from its responsibility and will vote on a bipartisan resolution reaffirming our longstanding policy in the region and support of Israel.

While Republicans voted to condemn the UN vote by a margin of 233-to-4, the Democrats barely achieved a majority of consensus, voting 109-to-76, with 8 others not voting at all.

Rep. Keith Ellison, who is running to be the new chair of the Democratic National Committee (with the support of Sen. Bernie Sanders) was one of those Democrats that decided to vote against the effort to condemn the UN censure of Israel.

keith-ellison-end-the-occupation-podium

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)

Ellison’s action was not a surprise to many.

Ellison was one of the 50 House Democrats to boycott Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress in 2015. A big Democratic supporter, Haim Saban said recently that Ellison “is clearly an anti-Semite and anti-Israel individual.” But leading Jewish Democrats in the Senate like Charles Schumer and Bernie Sanders have still rallied to Ellison’s defense and continue to support his candidacy.

If this is how Ellison votes when Americans are focused on him and his bona fides, how will he treat Israel in the future? Will he continue to turn Democrats against Israel? Will he support more actions at the United Nations to condemn the leading democracy of the entire Middle East?

If Ellison becomes the new chair of the DNC, it will be the final straw for this lifelong Democrat.


Related First.One.Through articles:

International-Domestic Abuse: Obama and Netanyahu

The Invisible Anti-Semitism in Obama’s 2016 State of the Union

Bernie Sanders is the Worst U.S. Presidential Candidate for Israel Ever

Sanders Accuses Israel of Deliberately Killing Palestinians

Missing Netanyahu’s Speech: Those not Listening and Those Not Speaking

The Democrats’ Slide on Israel

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Samantha Power Breakthrough: Violence Erodes the Prospects for Peace

“1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;”

US Security Council Resolution 2334

On December 23, 2016, the United States opted to abstain from a UN Security Council resolution that allowed the body to condemn all Israeli “settlements” living east of the 1949 Armistice Lines/ the Green Line as illegal.  Samantha Power, the US Ambassador to the United Nations addressed the council after the vote to explain her reasons.

power-vote-un
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power
December 23, 2016

Ms. Power began her speech by underscoring “the United States’ deep and long-standing commitment to achieving a comprehensive and lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.”  But her rationale really took aim with the goal of two states, not a comprehensive peace.

The Israeli Actions

She claimed that the “United States’ long-standing position that Israeli settlement activity in territories occupied in 1967:

  • undermines Israel’s security,
  • harms the viability of a negotiated two-state outcome, and
  • erodes prospects for peace and stability in the region.”

Each point is deeply flawed.

Israel is the tiniest and most isolated country in the Middle East and much of the world. It is only 15km across (without the West Bank) around its most densely populated areas.  The capital sits on the border of the West Bank, a situation that is impossible from a security perspective, especially considering the country has been in a state of war with its neighbors for virtually the entirety of its existence. To state that enlarging its narrow borders undermines its security is obviously false.

The second comment that the settlements harm the viability of a Palestinian State is ridiculous. Annexing portions of Area C of the West Bank such as E1 and Maale Adumim would make a Palestinian State in the West Bank 15km across at a single narrow place- not for many kilometers as is the case for Israel. The argument that a Palestinian state cannot be viable if it is 15km narrow at a single point underscores that Israel should annex the entire middle of the land.

Ms. Power reserved her comment about peace – theoretically what most concerned her – for the very end.  Because the connection to settlements it is nonsensical.  How can Jews in a new Palestinian State undermine peace? Doesn’t peace mean getting along?

Not for the Obama administration.

Power clarified that: “One cannot simultaneously champion expanding Israeli settlements and champion a viable two-state solution that would end the conflict. One has to make a choice between settlements and separation.

If that is indeed the US position that peace can only be achieved by completely separating the parties, ensuring that no Jews be allowed to live east of the Green Line, then it would stand to reason that the US must be promoting the notion that all Arabs be expelled from Israel. How can Israel incorporate over 1 million Arabs if separation is the key to peace?

The essence of Power’s comments is that Israel thinks about peace the wrong way. It isn’t about coexistence, trade and commerce. It’s about distinct existences. Israel is looking for normalization while the Arabs are in divorce proceedings.

Palestinian Actions

The Obama administration pulled their world-view together when Power addressed the problems stemming from the actions of Palestinian Arabs:

“For Palestinian leaders, that means recognizing the obvious: that in addition to taking innocent lives – the incitement to violence, the glorification of terrorists, and the growth of violent extremism erodes prospects for peace, as this resolution makes crystal clear.

The comment that violent extremism and the murder of innocents “erodes the prospects for peace,” is not stating the obvious; it NEGATES the obvious by destroying its very definition. Killing someone doesn’t undermine the prospects for living, it ENDS living.

  • When acting-President of the Palestinian Authority names schools, squares and soccer tournaments after terrorists who killed civilians, it CONTRADICTS peace.
  • When Abbas takes to the loudspeakers asking for martyrs to converge on Jerusalem, he NEGATES peace.
  • When Palestinian Arabs vote the terrorist group Hamas – which has the most anti-Semitic charter in the world which calls for the complete destruction of Israel and murder of Jews – to a whopping 58% of the parliament, they DESTROY peace.
  • When 93% of Palestinian Arabs are anti-Semites, they NULLIFY peace.
  • When the UN Secretary General says that he supports the integration of Hamas into a Palestinian unity government, the global body UNDERMINES peace.

Power conflated the “prospects for peace” and a new Palestinian state.  She essentially argued that Palestinian Arabs are only killing now to get a new state, and will stop when they get independence.  Such approach willfully ignored the inconvenient fact that Hamas launched three wars from Gaza since Israel withdrew from the region.

Power recognized the threat of violence; she just felt that enough military hardware would make the inconvenient violence manageable:

“Israelis are rightfully concerned about making sure there is not a new terrorist haven next door. President Obama and this administration have shown an unprecedented commitment to Israel’s security because that is what we believe in.”

While Power argued that the United States would supply enough military equipment to ensure a viable and secure Israel, even in narrow borders, she stated the armament was intended to combat “a new terrorist haven.”  She seemed to have missed the point that the terrorists are not new. They are part of the established elected Palestinian government itself, and supported by the world body that just condemned Israel.

lose-hope


When Power opened her remarks at the UNSC discussing a “comprehensive and lasting peace,” she was only addressing the Israelis.  Only the Israelis are seeking peace; the Palestinian Arabs are seeking a state.

The notion that Palestinian Arab violence undermines the “prospects for peace” is wishful thinking that the violence will stop once a Palestinian State is created. The violence that is incited and celebrated by Palestinian leadership is pure evil, and undermines the rationale of allowing such a state to come into being at all. While all people deserve freedom and self-determination, should the United Nations actively endorse the creation of a violent and anti-Semitic regime as a pathway towards peace and stability?


Related First.One.Through articles:

Stopping the Purveyors of Hateful Propaganda

An Inconvenient Truth: Palestinian Polls

Stabbing the Palestinian “Right of Return”

“Peace” According to Palestinian “Moderates”

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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:

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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”

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Ban Ki Moon Understands Why People Kill Israelis

On December 19, 2016, a Turkish policeman assassinated the Russian Ambassador to Turkey. The killer loudly proclaimed in front of rolling cameras that he did so because of the killings happening in Syria in the civil war that has claimed 500,000 lives. He called out the city of Aleppo, which was under siege by the Syrian Assad regime with the assistance of Russia.

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The murder of Russian diplomat Andrey Karlov in Ankara.
(Photo: REUTERS)

The United Nations outgoing Secretary General Ban Ki Moon condemned the assassination.  His comment implied that there was no basis for the attack.

“The Secretary-General is appalled by this senseless act of terror and emphasizes that there can be no justification for the targeting of diplomatic personnel and civilians.”

Did Ban Ki Moon not watch the video or read the transcript of why the murderer committed the act? Did he not appreciate Russia’s role in the massacre in Aleppo? Or did he feel that the murder of a Russian diplomat had nothing to do with alleviating the suffering of the Syrian people?

By way of comparison, consider how Ban Ki Moon discussed the Palestinian Arab terrorism against Israelis in 2014.  He said:

“We must address these underlying issues – including mutual recognition, occupation, despair and the denial of dignity — so people do not feel they have to resort to violence as a means of expressing their grievances.”

When it came to the murder of Israeli civilians, the UNSG seemed to sympathize with the Palestinian Arab murderers. He did not speak of “senseless acts of terror,” but of the “underlying issues” behind the attacks.  He did not say that there was “no justification” for the murder of innocents, but that the killings were a natural means of “expressing their grievances.”

As discussed in “The United Nations’ Adoption of Palestinians, Enables It to Only Find Fault With Israel,” the United Nations was established as a forum for countries to engage with each other. However, the UN actively advocates for the Palestinian Arabs, as it considers that the UN itself as the guardians of these stateless wards. As such, it views all attacks against Israeli civilians – including children – through a unique lens of empathy and support for the Palestinian Arab narrative.

While more Syrians have been killed in the year 2016 than the combined total of all Palestinian Arabs, Egyptians, Jordanians, Lebanese and Syrians in every war with Israel since 1948, the UN cannot comprehend the grievances of Syrians or why they might “resort to violence.”

While at the same time, no murder of Israelis can ever be “senseless” for the United Nations.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Palestinians aren’t “Resorting to Violence”; They are Murdering and Waging War

Ban Ki Moon Has No Solidarity with Israel

Ban Ki Moon Stands with Gaza

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

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Ban Ki Moon Defecates on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

One of the basic laws established on December 10, 1948 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was the ability to change one’s religion. Yet apostasy – converting from Islam – remains a capital offense in various countries including: Afghanistan; Brunei; Mauritania; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Sudan; United Arab Emirates; and Yemen.

So how did the outgoing Secretary General of the United Nations choose to recognize the basic rights of people? He rewarded one of those countries with a “humanitarian” post.

On December 8, 2016 – two days before the anniversary of the UDHR – Ban Ki Moon announced that Ahmed Al Meraikhi of Qatar would be his Humanitarian Envoy.  The press release included the role of that position:

“The Humanitarian Envoy will ensure stronger linkages between the United Nations and decision makers in Qatar and the broader region.  His overall objective will focus on supporting multilateral humanitarian response efforts by raising the profile of humanitarian crises with Governments and non-governmental organizations and increasing their engagement with the international humanitarian community.”

Imagine that a country that flagrantly defies the basic premise of human rights is awarded with a position by the same United Nations.

It underscores the current farce of the United Nations and its embarrassment to humanity.

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UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon


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Al Jazeera (Qatar) Evicts Jews and Judaism from Jerusalem. Time to Return the Favor

The Holocaust and the Nakba

Goodbye Moon

The Termination Shock of Survivors

Elie Wiesel on Words

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The United Nations Once Again “Encourages” Hamas

“I stand with the people in Gaza who have suffered through conflicts, closures and continue to face unimaginable suffering….

I encourage Hamas to pursue reconciliation with Fatah in line with the PLO principles and to consider redefining its political stance.”

Nickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process
19 October 2016

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Nickolay Mladenov addressing the UN via satellite

Nickolay Mladenov is one of the more balanced people working at the United Nations commenting about Israel. The Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process typically goes through the efforts of pointing out the good and bad of both Israelis and Palestinian Arabs as he tries to advance Middle East Peace, an atypical practice among UN personnel.

Consider his remarkable statement on October 19, 2016 of the plain fact that “Fueling Israeli fears [of Palestinian Arab terrorism] is that Gaza is controlled by a de facto authority whose overtly anti- Semitic Charter equates resistance with violence, rejects peaceful solutions and aspires to the obliteration of Israel.” No one at the United Nations ever bothers to discuss the Hamas Charter which lays out it’s thoughts about Jews around the world in language seemingly lifted from Nazi propaganda.

Unfortunately, Mladenov’s understanding of the genocidal aspirations of Hamas only took his thought process so far.

Mladenov spoke of “Hamas’ takeover of Gaza in 2007,” but failed to note that Palestinian Arabs VOTED Hamas to 58% of the Parliament the year before, in 2006. In doing so, Mladenov made Hamas appear as simply a military force with de facto control of Hamas, rather than a political party with tremendous support of the Palestinian Arabs who endorsed the terrorist group’s anti-Semitic charter.

Failing to point out the Palestinian Arabs’s deep hatred of Jews (93% were found to be antisemiitc by an ADL poll), made it comfortable for Mladenov to repeat UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s call of “stand[ing] with the people in Gaza.” Would the UN proclaim that it stands with the people of Nazi Germany during World War II?

Further, how could Mladenov – knowing that Hamas seeks the complete destruction of Israel, is opposed to any peace process, and is virulently anti-Semitic – then go on to “encourage Hamas to pursue reconciliation with Fatah in line with the PLO principles and to consider redefining its political stance.”  This is a group that should be banned completely, and not invited into any government.

Historically, the United Nations chose to ignore uncomfortable facts like the deeply anti-Semitic and nihilistic views of Hamas, as the UN promoted Palestinian Arab interests.  So while at first it seemed encouraging that the Mladenov acknowledged those facts, it is arguably more depressing that the UN would nevertheless still use words of encouragement for such entity.

Mladenov may state that “if Palestinians genuinely hope to reach the long-overdue goal of statehood and an end to the occupation, this will not be achieved through violence, but must be reached through negotiations,” but his efforts at promoting Hamas fly in the face of such efforts.


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UN Breakthrough? “Hamas continues to directly threaten the security of Israel”

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

Goodbye Moon

The Cancer in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Ban Ki Moon Has No Solidarity with Israel

An Inconvenient Truth: Palestinian Polls

Stopping the Purveyors of Hateful Propaganda

Extreme and Mainstream. Germany 1933; West Bank & Gaza Today

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