Archive for the ‘Israel – America relations’ category

The UN has its own day of rage over Trump’s Jerusalem declaration

December 24, 2017

The UN has its own day of rage over Trump’s Jerusalem declaration | Anne’s Opinions, 21st December 2017

The UN continued its shameful tradition vis-à-vis Israel with an emergency session held yesterday in order to denounce Trump’s declaration of recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and demanding that the US rescind the President’s decree.

Outrageously and absurdly, it was Yemen who called for the debate on the grounds that the declarations “threatens peace”. This is Yemen which is embroiled in a civil war with tens of thousands of casualties, not to mention massive human rights violations. I guess they would know what peace looks like?

Ahead of the debate US Ambassador Nikki Haley responded to the UN in kind, issuing threats of “taking names” of those who will vote against the US, in order to reconsider the aid that the US gives them:

She was given full support by Donald Trump:

“I like the message that Nikki sent yesterday at the United Nations, for all those nations that take our money and then they vote against us at the Security Council, or they vote against us potentially at the assembly,” Trump said, commenting on US Ambassador Nikki Haley’s statement to UN member states in which she warned of possible retaliation should they support a resolution criticizing Washington’s decision.

And then the debate and the vote took place – and it was more shameful and outrageous (there’s that word again. I just can’t help it when it comes to the UN) than I expected. Here is the final tally:

Final tally of votes at UN debate on Trump’s Jerusalem declaration

I am disgusted at the United Kingdom, but despite Theresa May’s pro-Israel reputation the Foreign Office does not fully represent her views. And maybe her reputation is not as well-deserved as we think. I expected no better from Germany and France, but it was interesting that the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary chose to abstain rather than vote with the EU block, as well as Latvia and Romania.

Australia and Canada, traditionally two of Israel’s strongest Western allies, hardly covered themselves in glory when they abstained – which is almost as bad as a vote in favour of the resolution.

As to the action on the floor itself, here are some of the speeches against the resolution.

Here is Israel’s Ambassador Danny Danon, and I am pleased that he mentioned the outrageous (again) UN Security council Resolution 2334, which was NOT vetoed at the behest of former President Barack Obama, which denounced all Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria and denied any Jewish connection to those areas and to Jerusalem. Here are some highlights:

Addressing the General Assembly, Ambassador Danny Danon harshly criticized the countries supporting the resolution at the urging of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

“Those who support today’s resolution are like puppets pulled by the strings of the Palestinian puppet masters,” said Ambassador Danon. “You are like marionettes forced to dance while the Palestinian leadership looks on with glee.”

Danon noted the recent rocket attacks from Gaza and went on to say that “violence and terror must never be tolerated.” He pointed out that “if this body were really united for peace, it would pass a resolution condemning Palestinian violence.”

Earlier in his address, Ambassador Danon displayed a coin from the year 67 CE that was minted during the Jewish revolt against the Romans. Replicas of the coin had been distributed to the UN ambassadors before the vote.

“On this coin is written ‘Freedom of Zion,’ Danon said. “It proves the ancient connection of Jews to Jerusalem. No UNESCO declaration, no empty speeches, no General Assembly resolution will ever drive us from Jerusalem.”

But the star of the show was no doubt the US’s intrepid Ambassador Nikki Haley. here is the full text of her speech before the vote:

Thank you, Mr. President. In this meeting, I will not use Council’s time to address where a sovereign nation might decide to put its embassy, and why we have every right to do so. I will address a more appropriate and urgent concern.

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the passage of Resolution 2334. On that day, in this Council, in December 2016, the United States elected to abstain, allowing the measure to pass. Now it’s one year and a new administration later. Given the chance to vote again on Resolution 2334, I can say with complete confidence that the United States would vote “no.” We would exercise our veto power. The reasons why are very relevant to the cause of peace in the Middle East.

On the surface, Resolution 2334 described Israeli settlements as impediments to peace. Reasonable people can disagree about that, and in fact, over the years the United States has expressed criticism of Israeli settlement policies many times.

But in truth, it was Resolution 2334 itself that was an impediment to peace. This Security Council put the negotiations between Israelis and the Palestinians further out of reach by injecting itself, yet again, in between the two parties to the conflict.

By misplacing the blame for the failure of peace efforts squarely on the Israeli settlements, the resolution gave a pass to Palestinian leaders who for many years rejected one peace proposal after another. It also gave them encouragement to avoid negotiations in the future. It refused to acknowledge the legacy of failed negotiations unrelated to settlements. And the Council passed judgment on issues that must be decided in direct negotiations between the parties.

If the United Nations’ history in the peace efforts proves anything, it is that talking in New York cannot take the place of face-to-face negotiations between the regional parties. It only sets back the cause of peace, not advance it.

As if to make this very point, Resolution 2334 demanded a halt to all Israeli settlement activity in East Jerusalem – even in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. This is something that no responsible person or country would ever expect Israel would do. And in this way, Resolution 2334 did what President Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem as the capital of Israel did not do: It prejudged issues that should be left in final status negotiations.

Given the chance today, the United States would veto Resolution 2334 for another reason. It gave new life to an ugly creation of the Human Rights Council: the database of companies operating in Jewish communities. This is an effort to create a blacklist, plain and simple. It is yet another obstacle to a negotiated peace. It is a stain on America’s conscience that we gave the so-called BDS movement momentum by allowing the passage of Resolution 2334.

To the United Nations’ shame, this has been a disproportionately hostile place for the Middle East’s most enduring democracy.

The United States refuses to accept the double standard that says we are not impartial when we stand by the will of the American people by moving our US embassy, but somehow the United Nations is a neutral party when it consistently singles out Israel for condemnation.

For decades, Israel has withstood wave after wave of bias in the UN and its agencies. The United States has often stood beside Israel. We did not on December 23, 2016. We will not make that mistake again.

This week marks the one year anniversary of a significant setback for Middle East peace. But the United States has an undiminished commitment to helping bring about final status negotiations that will lead to lasting peace.

Our hand remains extended to both parties. We call on all countries that share this commitment to learn the hard lessons of the past and work to bring Israel and the Palestinian people in good faith to the peace table.

Thank you, very much.

The United States exercised its veto (which it refused to do with Resolution 2334) in order to defeat the resolution. Ms. Haley explained the reason for the veto (at the same link above, scroll down the page):

Here is the full text of her speech: (scroll down the page to the second half):

Thank you, Mr. President.

I have been the proud Representative of the United States at the United Nations for nearly a year now. This is the first time I have exercised the American right to veto a resolution in the Security Council. The exercise of the veto is not something the United States does often. We have not done it in more than six years. We do it with no joy, but we do it with no reluctance.

The fact that this veto is being done in defense of American sovereignty and in defense of America’s role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the Security Council.

As I pointed out when we discussed this topic 10 days ago, I will once again note the features of the President’s announcement on Jerusalem that are most relevant here. The President took great care not to prejudge final status negotiations in any way, including the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem. That remains a subject to be negotiated only by the parties. That position is fully in line with the previous Security Council resolutions.

The President was also careful to state that we support the status quo regarding Jerusalem’s holy sites, and we support a two-state solution if that’s what the parties agree to. Again, these positions are fully consistent with the previous Security Council resolutions.

It is highly regrettable that some are trying to distort the President’s position to serve their own agendas.

What is troublesome to some people is not that the United States has harmed the peace process – we have, in fact, done no such thing. Rather, what is troublesome to some people is that the United States had the courage and honesty to recognize a fundamental reality. Jerusalem has been the political, cultural, and spiritual homeland of the Jewish people for thousands of years. They have had no other capital city. But the United States’ recognition of the obvious – that Jerusalem is the capital and seat of the modern Israeli government – is too much for some.

First, some have threatened violence on the street, as if violence would somehow improve the prospects of peace.

Now today, buried in diplomatic jargon, some presume to tell America where to put our embassy. The United States’ has a sovereign right to determine where and whether we establish an embassy. I suspect very few Member States would welcome Security Council pronouncements about their sovereign decisions. And I think of some who should fear it.

It’s worth noting that this is not a new American position. Back in 1980, when Jimmy Carter was the American President, the Security Council voted on Resolution 478, which called upon diplomatic missions to relocate from Jerusalem. The United States did not support Resolution 478.

In his remarks, then-Secretary of State Ed Muskie said the following: “The draft resolution before us today is illustrative of a preoccupation which has produced this series of unbalanced and unrealistic texts on Middle East issues.”

Specifically, regarding the provision on diplomatic missions in Jerusalem, Secretary Muskie said this: “In our judgment, this provision is not binding. It is without force. And we reject it as a disruptive attempt to dictate to other nations. It does nothing to promote a resolution of the difficult problems facing Israel and its neighbors. It does nothing to advance the cause of peace.”

That was in 1980. It is equally true today. The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy.

Buried even deeper in the jargon of this resolution is the accusation that the United States is setting back the prospects of peace in the Middle East. That is a scandalous charge. Those who are making it should consider that it only harms the very Palestinian people they claim to speak for. What does it gain the Palestinian people for their leaders to throw up roadblocks to negotiations?

A “peace process” that is damaged by the simple recognition that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel is not a peace process; it is a justification for an endless stalemate. What does it gain the Palestinian people for some of their leaders to accuse the United States of being hostile to the cause of peace? It gains them nothing, but it risks costing them a great deal.

The United States has done more than any other country to assist the Palestinian people. By far. Since 1994, we have given over $5 billion to the Palestinians in bilateral economic assistance, security assistance, and humanitarian assistance.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees operates schools and medical facilities throughout the region. It is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions. Last year, the United States voluntarily funded almost 30 percent of UNRWA’s budget. That’s more than the next two largest donors combined. And it’s vastly more than some of the members of this Council that have considerable financial resources of their own.

I’ll be blunt: When the American people see a group of countries whose total contributions to the Palestinian people is less than one percent of UNRWA’s budget – when they see these countries accuse the United States of being insufficiently committed to peace – the American people lose their patience.

I have been to the Palestinian refugee camps the United States supports with their contributions. I have met with men, women, and children. I have advocated on their behalf. I can tell you that their leaders do them no favors by being more open to abandoning peace negotiations than to doing the hard work of seeing them to completion.

The United States has never been more committed to peace in the Middle East. We were committed to it before the President announced our recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and we’re committed to it today.

What we witnessed here today in the Security Council is an insult. It won’t be forgotten. It’s one more example of the United Nations doing more harm than good in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Today, for the simple act of deciding where to put our embassy, the United States was forced to defend its sovereignty. The record will reflect that we did so proudly. Today, for acknowledging a basic truth about the capital city of Israel, we are accused of harming peace. The record will reflect that we reject that outrageous claim.

For these reasons, and with the best interests of both the Israeli and the Palestinian people firmly in mind, the United States votes no on this resolution.

Thank you.

Israel will remain eternally grateful to the United States, led by President Donald Trump and so excellently represented by Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Here is Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu thanking the US for its support:

And Danny Danon reminded us of another shameful and outrageous resolution 42 years ago: the equating of Zionism with racism. Just as that resolution was rescinded 16 years later, so too will all these other shameful debates and resolutions end up in the trash can.

US in agreement with Israel on PA-Hamas reconciliation

October 19, 2017

US in agreement with Israel on PA-Hamas reconciliation, Israel National News, Uzi Baruch, October 19, 2017

Netanyahu and GreenblattMati Shtern, US Embassy, Tel Aviv

US Special Envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt on Wednesday issued a statement regarding the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) recent reconciliation agreement with the Hamas terror group.

“All parties agree that it is essential that the Palestinian Authority be able to assume full, genuine, and unhindered civil and security responsibilities in Gaza and that we work together to improve the humanitarian situation for Palestinians living there,” Greenblatt said.

“The United States reiterates the importance of adherence to the Quartet principles: any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognize the State of Israel, accept previous agreements and obligations between the parties – including to disarm terrorists – and commit to peaceful negotiations.

“If Hamas is to play any role in a Palestinian government, it must accept these basic requirements.”

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) said, “I thank Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt and the US government for their clear message: A Palestinian government must disarm all terror organizations and recognize the State of Israel.”

“I emphasize our government’s stance: The State of Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government dependent on the Hamas terror organization, until Hamas disarms, recognizes Israel, and returns to Israel captured citizens and the bodies of fallen Israeli soldiers.”

Israel’s Diplomatic-Security Cabinet on Tuesday decided that it will not negotiate with a PA-Hamas unity government should it be established, and will not maintain contact with a PA government which rests on Hamas support.

In an announcement released by the Prime Minister’s Office, a number of Israeli conditions necessary for negotiations with a PA resting on Hamas were outlined, including adherence to the Quartet conditions.

Additional conditions included the return of soldiers’ bodies and civilians being held in Gaza to Israel, complete security control of the PA over Gaza, and the prevention of smuggling and Hamas terror infrastructure in Judea and Samaria.

The cabinet also demanded that Hamas cut ties with Iran, and announced that it will allow the flow of humanitarian aid and supplies to Gaza only through the PA and the bodies established for this purpose.

Crossing the Rubicon

August 27, 2017

Crossing the Rubicon, Israel Hayom, Sarah N. Stern, August 27, 2017

On Wednesday, at a U.S. State Department press briefing, the Rubicon was finally crossed. Responding to a question regarding Israeli-Palestinian ‎peace, spokeswoman Heather Nauert said, “We want to work toward a peace that both sides can agree to and both sides find ‎sustainable. … We believe that both parties should be able to find a workable solution that works for ‎both of them. We are not going to state what the outcome has to be. … It’s been many, many decades, ‎as you well know, that the parties have not been able to come to any kind of good agreement and ‎sustainable solution to this. So we leave it up to them to be able to work through that.”‎

This is the most constructive statement I have heard about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in decades. ‎For the last several years, the “experts” have been saying, “We all know what a solution to the ‎Palestinian-Israeli conflict looks like.”

If anyone ever took the time to listen to the parties themselves, and examine the cultural context in ‎which these words are spoken, they would immediately understand that the single most critical litmus ‎test for determining a negotiating partner’s real intentions is not what they say to visiting diplomats ‎and journalists in English, but what they say among themselves in their own language, and in particular, what they ‎teach their children. ‎

According to John Calvin (formerly “Jonaid Salameh,” before his conversion to Christianity), an EMET fellow who was born in Nablus, from the very earliest age, he ‎was taught there would not be two states, but one state called Palestine. An important slogan on everyone’s tongue in the disputed territories is “Lama neharherah,” meaning “When we free ‎it” — and “it” is all of Israel.

Calvin told me ‎that this belief is a certainty, that the average Palestinian feels it is destiny that eventually all of the ‎land will be free of Jews.‎

Surah 8, verse 38 of the Quran says, “Tell the unbelievers that if they desist from evil, their past shall be forgiven and if they revert to their past ways, then it is well known what happened with the people of the past.” According to Calvin, the interpretation is clear: There should ‎be conflict until all worship is only to Allah.

Part of this cultural context implies a different meaning of the word “peace.” Accepting the existence ‎of the other on their own terms is incompatible with true Islamic thought. Islam is a religion of ‎conquest.‎

Says Calvin, “The conception of peace, as we know it in the West, simply does not exist within Islam. ‎There can be a “hudna,” a temporary cessation of war, but only to regroup. Islam means total ‎submission, or surrender, and a permanent peace can only happen when the entire world surrenders ‎to Islamic rule. There is that sort of messianic concept of peace, but only after the entire world submits ‎to Islamic rule.”‎

Many individual Muslims, particularly in places like Indonesia, Pakistan and India, where Arabic is not the ‎native tongue, may not understand the Quran in a literal sense, and thus, may not hold these sort of ‎hegemonic beliefs.‎

Most Americans, including many so-called “experts” in the field, have no idea of the cultural context with which ‎they are dealing when they set out to solve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.‎

In former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s autobiography, “My Life,” he describes how profoundly disappointed he had been with then-PLO Chairman ‎Yasser Arafat after generous offers were made to the Palestinian leader by Prime ‎Minister Ehud Barak in the Camp David negotiations. Arafat did not respond in the affirmative or the ‎negative, but simply walked away from the table. His response came several months later, in the ‎form of the Second Intifada.

In a moving chapter, Clinton describes how, just as he was about to leave office, ‎Arafat called him up and told him he was a great man.‎

“Mr. Chairman,” Clinton replied, “I am not a great man. I am a failure, and you have made me one.”

It obviously has been more important for Arafat, as well as his successor, Mahmoud Abbas, who turned down an ‎even more generous offer from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, to continue the struggle then to arrive at a permanent ‎peace.‎

For decades, too many Western leaders and diplomats have tried to impose a solution that ‎looks ideal when viewed through Western lenses. ‎

These statesmen, however, do not have to be there on the ground when the maximalist offers are ‎walked away from, and the inevitable violence ensues. ‎

Thank you, Heather Nauert, for taking us a bit closer to reality.‎

Sarah N. Stern is founder and president of EMET, the Endowment for Middle East Truth, a pro-Israel think tank and policy shop in Washington, D.C.‎

‘Israel, US are bastions of liberty defending our civilization’

July 4, 2017

‘Israel, US are bastions of liberty defending our civilization’, Israel Hayom, July 4, 2017

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks at the Independence Day event, Monday | Photo credit: Reuters

Netanyahu called the festivities “a celebration of freedom and independence. It’s a celebration of this most remarkable country, the United States of America. … Israel and America are two bastions of liberty defending our common civilization.”

Rivlin also spoke at the event and said that “for many of us in Israel, this is the holiday of democracy.”

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Rivlin attended Fourth of July celebrations at the residence of U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman in Herzliya on Monday. IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot and a number of lawmakers were also in attendance at the festivities.

Speaking at the event, Friedman said the spirit of the festivities was the spirit of “patriotic Americans committed to increasing the ties and enhancing the relationship between the United States and the State of Israel.”

“Our collective core, what fundamentally unites us, is that we are the two shining cities on a hill drawn together by a shared history, shared values, and I believe a shared destiny of continued greatness,” he said.

“On behalf of all of us here, we pray that God should bless the United States of America on its 241st birthday, that God should bless the State of Israel and that God should bless the unbreakable bond between the two countries.”

Netanyahu called the festivities “a celebration of freedom and independence. It’s a celebration of this most remarkable country, the United States of America. … Israel and America are two bastions of liberty defending our common civilization.”

Netanyahu also took the opportunity to voice his commitment “to making every Jew feel at home at Israel, including at the Kotel [the Western Wall]. … All we need is patience and perseverance. Patience, perseverance and courage is what the founders of America had in abundance.”

Rivlin also spoke at the event and said that “for many of us in Israel, this is the holiday of democracy.”

The Limits of Israeli Power

June 2, 2017

The Limits of Israeli Power, Front Page MagazineCaroline Glick, June 2, 2017

(As to Jerusalem, please see Turkish takeover in Jerusalem. — DM)

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

Washington and the rest of the governments of the world know that their refusal to recognize Israel’s capital does not endanger Israel or its control of Jerusalem. They are free to bow to Arab pressure, safe in the knowledge that Israel will continue to protect the unified city.

The time has come, at the outset of the second 50 years of Israeli control over Judea and Samaria, for Israel to take matters into its own hands. Our leaders must stop beating around the bush. They need to use the powers they have to secure Israel’s military and civilian interests in Judea and Samaria for the next 50 years as best they can. And they need to stop waiting for someone else to solve our problems for us.

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On Thursday, US President Donald Trump bowed to the foreign policy establishment and betrayed his voters. He signed a presidential waiver postponing the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem for yet another six months.

Ahead of Trump’s move, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a last-ditch bid to convince Trump to move the embassy to Jerusalem. But it was not to be.

Israel’s failure to convince Trump to do what he repeatedly promised US voters he would do during his presidential campaign shows the disparity in power between Israel and the US.

Israel lacks the power to convince foreign nations to recognize its capital – much less to locate their embassies there. The US, on the other hand, not only has the power to recognize Jerusalem and transfer its embassy to Israel’s capital whenever it wishes to do so, it also has the ability to convince dozens of other countries to immediately follow its lead.

The disparity between what the Americans can do and what Israel can do was on display on Monday evening in a glittering hall at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. There, Bar-Ilan University conferred its Guardian of Zion award on former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton. In his acceptance speech, Bolton presented his vision for the resolution of the Palestinian conflict with Israel.

Bolton’s views are important not merely because his past work at the State Department and the UN brought the US some of its only diplomatic victories in recent decades. His views are important as well because of his close relationship with Trump.

Bolton began his discussion Monday evening by rejecting the “two-state solution.” The two-state model, he noted, has been tried and has failed repeatedly for the past 70 years. There is no reason to believe that it will succeed now. This is particularly true, he said, given the lack of Palestinian social cohesion.

Hamas controls Gaza. The PLO, which is supposed to be Israel’s peace partner, barely controls parts of Judea and Samaria. At a time when more cohesive Arab societies are unraveling, the notion that a Palestinian state would survive and advance regional peace and stability is laughable, Bolton argued.

Bolton then turned to his preferred policy for resolving the Palestinian conflict with Israel, which he dubbed “the three-state solution.” Under his plan, Egypt and Jordan would work with Israel to solve the Palestinian conflict. Egypt would take over the Gaza Strip and Jordan would negotiate the status of Judea and Samaria with Israel.

The crowd at the King David responded enthusiastically to Bolton’s proposal. This is not surprising.

Since 1967, Israelis have hoped for Jordan and Egypt to work with them to solve the problem of the Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza who lived under Jordanian and Egyptian occupation from 1949-1967.

Unfortunately, Israel’s support for Bolton’s plan is irrelevant. Israel is powerless to advance it. Israel cannot convince Arab nations to help it resolve the Palestinian conflict any more than it can convince the PLO to cut a peace deal with it.

Like PLO leaders, the leaders of the Arab world know that they cannot help Israel with the Palestinians.

Doing so would involve disowning the Palestinian narrative.

The Palestinian narrative claims that the Jews of Israel are colonialist interlopers who stole the land from the Palestinians, its rightful owners. The narrative makes no distinction between Tel Aviv and Hebron. All of Israel is a crime against the Arab world. All of Israel is illegitimate.

The overwhelming majority of the Arab world believes the Palestinian narrative. For an Arab leader to walk away from it or even to signal an attenuation of his fealty to it in the interest of regional peace would be the riskiest of moves.

Israel has nothing to offer Arab leaders that could induce them to take that risk.

Although it is far from certain, the US may very well have the ability to convince Arab leaders to do so. If Trump decided that this is the way to advance peace in the Arab world, chances are he would make some headway. In other words, Bolton’s three-state plan is a plan that only America can adopt. It cannot be an Israeli plan no matter how enthusiastically the public supports involving Jordan and Egypt in solving the conflict.

Given Israel’s inability to offer the Arabs anything valuable enough for Arab leaders to risk life and limb to accept in exchange for helping to solve the Palestinian conflict, as Israel considers its own options in relation to the Palestinians, it needs to limit its goals to things that it can achieve without them. In other words, the only steps that Israel can take in relation to the Palestinians are unilateral steps.

For the past 50 years, hoping that the Arabs – and since 1993, the PLO – would finally make peace with it and so settle the permanent status of Judea and Samaria, Israel refused to take any unilateral actions in relation to its permanent interests in Judea and Samaria. Rather than apply its legal code to Judea and Samaria, it opted for the stop-gap measure of installing a military government to run the areas on the basis of Jordanian law.

Between 1994 and 1996, Israel canceled the military government in the Palestinian population centers in Judea and Samaria and Gaza. In 2005, when it withdrew, it canceled the residual military government in the rest of Gaza. Since then, the only area that remains under the Israeli military government is Area C in Judea and Samaria. Area C includes all of the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, and strategically critical areas including the Jordan Valley, the Samaria mountain range and the south Hebron Hills.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Netanyahu gave an interview with Army Radio where he set out part of his vision for the permanent status of Judea and Samaria. He limited his statement to the military status of the areas. He said that under any possible future scenario, Israel must retain full security control of the areas. This, he said, is the lesson of Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

That pullout led to the transformation of Gaza into a Hamas-controlled hub of global jihad. Moreover, under Hamas, the Palestinians turned Gaza into one big, densely populated missile-launching pad against Israel.

While justified, Netanyahu’s position obscures more than it illuminates about his long-term vision for Judea and Samaria.

What does he mean by security control? Would the IDF remain in sole control over Israel’s eastern boundaries or would it serve as an overall coordinator of foreign forces operating along the border? Would IDF forces be confined to fortified positions while the Palestinians reign free in the open areas, as was the case in southern Lebanon in the years leading up to Israel’s disastrous withdrawal in 2000? Or would the IDF have freedom of action and maintain the initiative throughout Judea and Samaria? Moreover, does Netanyahu envision the IDF remaining the only military organization operating in Judea and Samaria in the long term? Beyond the security issues that require clarification, Netanyahu’s statements make no mention of the rights of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria.

Does he believe that Jews should be permitted to live permanently in the areas that Israel controls? If so, why are they subjected to the Jordanian legal code used by the military government and which proscribes their right to purchase land and register land sales? This brings us to the issue of governance. What does Netanyahu think about the military government in Area C? Does he believe that the 50-year reign of generals should continue until the Arabs choose to resolve the Palestinian conflict with Israel? What if this means that the generals will continue to rule over hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens for another 50 or 100 or 150 years? Does he, on the other hand, prefer to transfer governance responsibility in Area C to the Palestinians and place the nearly 500,000 Israelis in the area under Palestinian control? In the course of his remarks, Bolton noted that if Jordan is responsible for the Palestinians of Judea and Samaria, the issue of Jerusalem will be removed from the equation. After all, if their capital is Amman, Israel has no reason to divide its capital city.

And this brings us back to Jerusalem, which Trump spurned on Thursday.

As is the case today, 50 years ago, Israel had no power to influence the positions of foreign governments regarding its capital city. But in contrast to its decision to establish a military government in Judea and Samaria, Israel didn’t wait for foreigners to give it permission to act where it had the power to act in order to change the status of the city and ensure its ability to govern and control its capital for generations to come.

In 1967, the government voted to expand the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem to include the eastern, northern and southern quarters that had been under Jordanian occupation since 1949.

Everyone benefited from the move – including the foreign powers that still refuse to recognize the simple fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

Washington and the rest of the governments of the world know that their refusal to recognize Israel’s capital does not endanger Israel or its control of Jerusalem. They are free to bow to Arab pressure, safe in the knowledge that Israel will continue to protect the unified city.

Trump’s decision to sign the waiver delaying the embassy move is a betrayal of his campaign promise, but it doesn’t change the situation in Jerusalem. Last week, Israel celebrated 50 years of sovereignty over its united capital. Jerusalem will be neither more nor less united if and when the US moves its embassy to the capital.

Perhaps Trump will eventually keep his word and move the embassy. Perhaps he will continue to breach his promise. And as far as the Palestinians are concerned, perhaps Trump adopts Bolton’s three-state plan in relation to Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Perhaps he will maintain his predecessors’ slavish devotion to the establishment of a PLO state.

Israel can’t control what Trump will do any more than it can influence what the Arabs will do. And so it needs to take a lesson not only from its bitter experience of withdrawing from Gaza, but from its positive experience of taking matters into its own hands in Jerusalem.

The time has come, at the outset of the second 50 years of Israeli control over Judea and Samaria, for Israel to take matters into its own hands. Our leaders must stop beating around the bush. They need to use the powers they have to secure Israel’s military and civilian interests in Judea and Samaria for the next 50 years as best they can. And they need to stop waiting for someone else to solve our problems for us.

In Clear Attempt to Sabotage U.S. Relations, Intel-Leakers Tell Media What Trump Did NOT Tell the Russians

May 18, 2017

In Clear Attempt to Sabotage U.S. Relations, Intel-Leakers Tell Media What Trump Did NOT Tell the Russians, The Jewish PressJ. E. Dyer, May 18, 2017

The way to get ahead of this severe problem for the rule of law and the proper functioning of government is for Trump to have the leakers identified, and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.  It’s obvious that Congress is paralyzed by sheer sclerosis, starting with terror of the media.  It’s also obvious that there are so many Obama holdovers left in the federal bureaucracy, it will be hard for the Trump administration to find people who can be trusted.

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{Originally posted to the author’s website, Liberty Unyielding}

It’s time to call a halt to the leak problem from the U.S. intelligence community.  This is beyond a “leak problem.”  It is spilling over into outright sabotage of America’s national interests, all in the quest to bring President Trump down.

After yesterday’s story by the Washington Post was repudiated by H.R. McMaster, Rex Tillerson, and Dina Powell, McMaster made additional comments Tuesday morning to clarify exactly how false the story was.

The gist of the original story was that President Trump, in speaking to the visiting Russians last week about an ISIS “laptop plot,” revealed highly classified details that would have allowed the Russians to determine what the source of some of the intelligence was.  The WaPo article made reference to the sensitive intelligence of a foreign ally, and to Trump disclosing the city in which the intel was gained. (N.B. — WaPo could only have gained this impression from people who weren’t there, but who are bound by oath to not reveal exactly the sort of intelligence they allege Trump revealed.)

This morning, McMaster stated in no uncertain terms that not only did Trump not make these disclosures — Trump didn’t even know the source of the intelligence, or the city it was obtained in.  Thus, the president could not possibly have exposed the information as alleged in the WaPo piece.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster on Tuesday said President Trump did not jeopardize intelligence assets by revealing highly sensitive information to Russian officials, adding that Trump did not know where the intel came from. …

McMaster said Trump could not have endangered national security because he did not even know the source of the information he discussed.

“The president wasn’t even aware of where this information came from,” he said. “He wasn’t briefed on the source.”

There is nothing unusual about this latter point.  Presidents are selective about when and why the source of intelligence matters to them.  Most of the time, they have too many other things to think about to probe the matter.  They understand the scope and general nature of national capabilities, but it’s only in very specific cases that they care about sources — or that their officials highlight sources to them, for some reason.

In this case, General McMaster made clear that Trump didn’t know the details WaPo‘s source alleges he exposed, and therefore, he couldn’t have exposed them.

This is good news.  Bottom line:  Trump didn’t expose sensitive information about intelligence sources and methods.  (Keep that in mind.  Trump has not exposed anything.)

But the leakers who ply the mainstream media with sensitive national intelligence in order to defame Trump have now come out to expose that information themselves.

In the New York Times this morning, an article alleged that Israeli intelligence was the source, citing “a current and a former American official familiar with how the United States obtained the information.”  The NYT article then went on to blithely speculate about how that disclosure could damage U.S. relations with Israel — and, my goodness, just before Trump’s first visit there as president, to boot.

Hard on the heels of the NYT piece, the Wall Street Journal came out with one stating even more categorically that the source was Israel.  Just so you won’t miss it, apparently, the authors made “Israel” the very first word of the story:

Israel provided the U.S. with the classified information that President Donald Trump shared last week with Russian officials, according to officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

The intelligence came from a particularly valuable source of information about the Islamic State terrorist group’s ability to build sophisticated explosives that could evade aviation-security measures and be placed on aircraft, these officials said. The source of the information was developed before Mr. Trump’s election in November, they said.

And, of course, the WSJ piece goes on to speculate about how this will damage U.S.-Israeli relations.  Both pieces (NYT and WSJ) also allude to the damage it will do to America’s intelligence partnerships with all our allies.

Apparently, the news choreographers behind this orchestrated leak campaign think we’re stupid.  Trump didn’t cause this damage.

They did.

If you don’t think at this point that there’s a “deep state” or “shadow government” trying to sabotage Trump, well, bless your heart.  The actors in the deep state — if it’s actually true that Israel is the source of the intelligence about the “laptop plot,” and that they had direct knowledge of that — have just committed an indisputable felony by telling that to the media.

If America’s relations with Israel, and with our intelligence partners in general, are damaged out of this, it’s the leakers who are at fault.  That could not be established more clearly.

I don’t want you to forget that it’s the responsible officials in the government who are at fault here.  The media complicity is disgusting, but the clear felony is what the government officials did.

It’s the same felony they committed, in fact, by revealing national intelligence information about monitoring the Russian ambassador’s phone calls, and unmasking Michael Flynn.  But in this case, the sanctimonious chatter about “damage to national interests” is on a larger scale.  And the potential for such damage is indeed great.  The leakers have created that potential.

The way to get ahead of this severe problem for the rule of law and the proper functioning of government is for Trump to have the leakers identified, and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.  It’s obvious that Congress is paralyzed by sheer sclerosis, starting with terror of the media.  It’s also obvious that there are so many Obama holdovers left in the federal bureaucracy, it will be hard for the Trump administration to find people who can be trusted.

Adam Kredo had a must-read post on that at the Washington Free Beacon on Monday.

Trump administration insiders likened the problem to a game of whack-a-mole, a children’s game in which players must hit a group of moles as they pop out of their holes.

“The problem is that the Obama administration left holdovers all over the government, so you get rid of one Obama loyalist and the replacement is another Obama loyalist,” said one national security insider close to the Trump administration.

But there appear to be trustworthy officials still in DOJ and the FBI.  Fear of how the media and Democratic leaders will spin it must not stop Trump from identifying the leakers and prosecuting them.  I think Trump will have to reach past the major MSM outlets to make his case to the people.  But there is a legitimate, law-based case to be made, and a path of law to follow.  Revealing national secrets and imperiling national interests is what the leakers have done — not the president.

Pretending that going after those leakers might be illegitimate, as Trump’s opponents are likely to do, would be a supreme exercise in self-deceit, at best.  At worst, it would clearly be the argument of a faction with only evil intentions, determined to destroy the rule of law and thwart the legitimate operation of government.