New York Times to Obama: Hit Israel Hard
(Arutz Sheva) The New York Times has demanded President Barack Obama use his last months in office to hit Israel hard diplomatically.
Apparently, this is in response to the fact that the Israeli government “approved the construction of a new Jewish settlement in the West Bank,” which is simply “another step in the steady march under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to build on land needed to create a Palestinian state.”
Last week, the Israeli government approved a plan allowing Amona residents to move to the neighboring town of Shilo, where they would be housed in a new neighborhood on government land planned specially for them.
Shilo is a town in the Biblical “hills of Ephraim,” and is now under the jurisdiction of the Binyamin Regional Council.
In an article written by their “Editorial Board,” the NY Times writes that, “The best idea under discussion now would be to have the United Nations Security Council, in an official resolution, lay down guidelines for a peace agreement covering such issues as Israel’s security, the future of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees and borders for both states.”
The article continues to say that this neighborhood “is designed to house settlers from a nearby illegal outpost, called Amona, which an Israeli court has ordered demolished because it is built on private, Palestinian-owned land.”
No one has yet come forward claiming ownership of the land Amona is built on. Instead, left-wing organizations have found property deeds given out by King Hussein of Jordan. No taxes were paid on the land, no one did anything to it, no one knows who the owners are, and the founders of Amona built in good faith on land they were told was unowned.
Though there has been a de-facto building freeze in Judea and Samaria for several years, the NY Times insists that, “A failure to freeze settlements has long been at the center of tensions between successive American administrations and Israel. This latest decision was especially insulting…If the new settlement was known earlier, it might have affected those [military aid package] negotiations.”
The article continues, “The most plausible pressure would come from Mr. Obama’s leading the Security Council to put its authority behind a resolution to support a two-state solution and offer the outlines of what that could be…it is the kind of political pressure Mr. Netanyahu abhors and has been working assiduously to prevent.”
The New York Times ran its editorial just one week before the United Nations Security Council is set to hold a public debate on Israeli “settlement activity” in Judea and Samaria, as well as Jewish building in greater Jerusalem.
This meeting is known as an Arria Formula meeting, and was set in response to the Palestinian Authority’s request. The Palestinian Authority, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, has tried several times to pressure the UN Security Council members to issue a resolution, such as the one described above. The PA also hopes that the Arria Formula meeting will spur UNSC action against Israel.
For years, the Palestinian Arabs have insisted that “settlement activity” is the obstacle to peace and the creation of a two-state solution.
Preferring instead a directly negotiated agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, both Israel and the US have opposed any UNSC efforts to dictate the terms of a two-state solution.
US State Department spokesman Mark Toner emphasized the US’s long-standing position to oppose biased and one-sided UN resolutions against Israel.
“With regard to the UN Security Council and any action at the UN, our position hasn’t changed. We’re always concerned, frankly, about one-sided resolutions or other actions that could be taken within the UN, and we’re always going to oppose those kinds of resolutions that we believe delegitimize Israel and undermine its security,” said Toner.
Toner explained, “We’re going to carefully consider our future engagement, if and when we reach that point, and determine how to most effectively pursue and advance the objective that we all at least claim to share, which is that of achieving a negotiated two-state solution.”
PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly stated that “all of Israel is the occupation,” even cities like Tel Aviv and Haifa, which are within the “Green Line.”
Though the US has historically blocked Palestinian-led attempts by the UN to issue condemnations or resolutions against Israel, particularly with regard to the settlements, there is speculation that Obama might utilize his lame-duck last two months in office to pressure Israel and aid the “Palestinian” cause.
The Palestinian Authority has consistently refused to conduct direct talks with Israel until a list of pre-conditions are met, though Israel has repeatedly called on the Palestinians to hold such talks without preconditions.
Israel's Gilad Erdan Rejects Criticism After Latest Attack
(Arutz Sheva) Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan rejected allegations of police negligence in the lead-up to Sunday’s deadly terrorist attack in Jerusalem.
“There was no failure and there was no screw-up (on the police’s part),” Erdan said in an interview with Army Radio.
“People need to look at the bigger picture,” Erdan explained in response to those who say that yesterday’s attack marks a new escalation in the terrorist war against Israel. “We may quickly forget, but last year there were a number of similar incidents.
“If you look at it realistically, there has been a decline in the number of terrorist attacks in the past year.”
Erdan had harsh words for the Arabs in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria who praised the murders. “We live here with hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs who sanctify death and celebrate the murder of an elderly woman.”
Yesterday, Erdan instructed police to take action against any act or demonstration of support for the terrorist attack. In the hours immediately following the attack, police stopped Arabs from giving out candy to celebrate the attack, prevented the erection of a tent of mourning in honor of the terrorist in the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood, stopped Arab store owners from closing their stores in solidarity with the terrorist, and arrested an Arab who shouted “Allahu Akbar!” while filming the attack.
Erdan said that the solution to terrorism and incitement is for Israel to assert its sovereignty in East Jerusalem more strongly.
Decorated Police Officer, Former Knesset Worker Murdered in Jerusalem Attack
(Ynetnews) First Sergeant Yossi Kirma, a 29-year-old police officer from the town of Mevaseret Zion, is the Special Patrol Unit officer killed in Sunday morning’s terrorist shooting attack in Jerusalem. He is survived by his wife, his parents and two siblings. He received decorations for his work in preventing a stabbing attack.
The other victim of the attack is Levana Malihi, 60, a grandmother and former longtime employee of the Knesset who retired in 2010. She is survived by her husband, three children and six grandchildren.
In December 2015, Kirma was patrolling the Jerusalem area when he noticed a suspicious man walking next to a preschool. Kirma and his partner decided to check the man and found a knife on his person. The suspect admitted to planning a stabbing attack when later questioned. Kirma was given a commendation from the Jerusalem District police commander for his actions.
Malihi worked at the Knesset for over 30 years, first at the cafeteria and then in the housekeeping department. The Knesset Spokesperson’s Office stated that “veteran Knesset workers remember a very warm woman, beloved by all, dedicated, caring and humble. Even after her retirement in 2010, Levana stayed in touch with the Knesset and kept participating in various Knesset events.”
The attacker who killed Malihi and Kirma was driving a vehicle and started his shooting spree near the Israel Police headquarters at Ammunition Hill. In addition to Kirma and Malihi, five people were wounded in the attack–three moderately and two lightly. In addition, three people were treated for anxiety. The terrorist was shot and killed by Border Police forces.
The terrorist, who had served five months in an Israel prison in the past, was supposed to start another prison sentence Sunday. His identity is under gag order at the time of this writing, but it can be revealed that he had shown allegiance to Hamas in social media posts.
‘UN High Commissioner Pushing Peace Farther Away’
(Arutz Sheva) Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi slammed United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein for a blacklist of companies that do business with Israelis in Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem.
“Time after time, the people who think they run the world are wrong,” Revivi said. “In fact, not only are they not bringing peace between Palestinians and Israelis closer, they are pushing it farther apart.”
According to Revivi, Al Hussein doesn’t understand the consequences of his words.
“I invite him here to visit Judea and Samaria so he can see that hundred of thousands of Palestinians work in Israeli businesses where they enjoy full benefits and good salaries.”
“Then Al Hussein should visit Aleppo in Syria, where he could write a serious report on the human-rights violations that take place there hour after hour.”
Al Hussein made his request for the blacklist so that the UN could boycott any business that appears on the list.
The UN Human Rights Council devotes more time and energy to Israel than to any other country in the world. Item 7 of the council’s agenda mandates that the UNHCR discuss alleged Israeli human rights violations at every session, and since its founding the council has issued more condemnations of Israel than for the rest of the world combined.