Why the U.S. Embassy is in Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem – The Washington Post

US Embassy in Tel Aviv

US Embassy in Tel Aviv. Photo: David Jones, via Flickr

Letter to the Editor of the Washington Post, published December 24, 2016.

Regarding the Dec. 14 World article “Moving embassy to Jerusalem is a ‘very big priority’ for Trump“:

Consistently overlooked is the reason the United States did not move our embassy to West Jerusalem after the government of Israel had established itself there. The United States recognized the 1949 Israeli-Jordanian armistice lines as the new borders of Israel outside Jerusalem, but as for Jerusalem the U.S. position was to support the provision of the 1947 U.N. Partition Resolution, which called for Jerusalem to be a “corpus separatum under a special international regime … administered by the United Nations.” Thus, the U.S. position was not to recognize West Jerusalem as part of Israel nor East Jerusalem as part of Jordan because of the plans for a U.N. administration of all of Jerusalem. That is why the U.S. Embassy was not moved to West Jerusalem, the location of the government of Israel, including its foreign ministry.

By 1953, the United Nations had shelved plans for a “corpus separatum,” and West Jerusalem was de facto understood to be part of Israel. Keeping the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv had no relationship to the status of East Jerusalem. Not moving the U.S. Embassy to West Jerusalem in 1953 or thereafter was essentially a bureaucratic decision, devoid of any legal justification.

Richard Schifter, Bethesda
The writer is chairman of the board of directors of the American Jewish International Relations Institute.

Source: Why the U.S. Embassy is in Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem – The Washington Post

AJIRI #56: Fatah’s Reliance on the UN to Deliver an Arab State “from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea”

December 23, 2016

Refusal to accept the Existence of a Majority Jewish State

On November 30, 2016, Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Fatah party, delivered a three-hour speech to the Seventh Congress of Fatah, the party that controls the Palestinian Authority. He made it quite clear that Fatah is not prepared to accept the existence of Israel, as a majority Jewish state. “Moderate” Fatah thus joins extremist Hamas in refusing to enter into an agreement with Israel on a lasting two-state solution. While Hamas is committed to the use of force to end Israel’s existence, Fatah seeks to attain that result through action by the United Nations. It is prepared to agree to a temporary two-state solution, but one that reserves the claim of a so-called “right of return”, the mass migration to Israel of 5,300,000 persons of Palestinian descent living in the Middle East. It expects to realize that claim through a UN directive to Israel to allow these “refugees”, more than 99% of which are not refugees but are their descendants, to settle in Israel and thus end the existence of Israel as a majority Jewish state.Continue Reading …

AJIRI #54: The UN General Assembly as Sponsor of the One-State Solution

February 2, 2016

The United States is committed to a two-state solution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. It is clear that a majority of Israelis would agree to such a solution if they can be assured of provisions for security in keeping with UN Security Council Resolution 242.

What is not well known is that Fatah, which leads the Palestinian Authority (PA), has the same ultimate objective: the liquidation of Israel and creation of an Arab State “from the River to the Sea.”

That Hamas rejects that solution and seeks to destroy the State of Israel is well known. What is not well known is that Fatah, which leads the Palestinian Authority (PA), has the same ultimate objective: the liquidation of Israel and creation of an Arab State “from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea.” Rather than engaging in warfare against Israel to attain that result, Fatah is engaged in major efforts to maintain the support of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for its claim. As UNGA resolutions are advisory only, the PA expects ultimately to succeed with the next step: having the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) order Israel to recognize the “right of return”, with the United States not exercising its veto power to prevent this destructive action.Continue Reading …

Kerry Speaks on the Battle for Zionism at the UN

Photo of John Kerry at the UN

Secretary Kerry Delivers Remarks at U.N. Herzog Commemoration in New York

The Battle for Zionism at the UN: Marking 40 Years Since the Historic Speech of the Honorable Chaim Herzog

Remarks
John Kerry
Secretary of State
United Nations
New York City
November 11, 2015

SECRETARY KERRY: Moran, thank you very, very much. Thank you for being here, and for lending your success and persona to this event. Mr. Secretary General, it is a privilege to be here with you always, and we thank you for your great work. Ambassador Danon, thank you for helping to sponsor this night. David Harris, good to see you, thank you for your leadership. Ambassador Power, always wonderful to be with you. I love your energy, enthusiasm, and your action. And I think everybody appreciates what you are doing here at the United Nations. (Applause.)

And it is a great privilege for me to be able to be here with all of you. I see many good friends out there, and many who have been laboring so hard in the vineyards. Particularly, I cite Stu Eizenstat over here, whose work I admire. And I thank him for his efforts. (Applause.) And most especially, I want to thank Bougie and Mike Herzog, and the entire Herzog family, for the chance to come here and share some thoughts. And I appreciate the special friendship with Bougie. I appreciate his leadership. I know what it’s like to run for leader of your country and actually come short. (Laughter.) He’s actually born a little shorter than me in that effort, but – and Mike and I have worked very closely together in our efforts the last few years. And all I can say is he is a great intellect, a patriot, and far too young looking to be a retired general, folks. I admire his work. (Applause.)Continue Reading …

A “Heads Up” for the Pro-Israel Community: Our Next Major Challenge after the Pending Nuclear Agreement

Dear Friends:

We all are aware of the grave dangers to the security of Israel and the world inherent in the ongoing negotiations toward a nuclear agreement with Iran.

However, there is another major challenge looming on the horizon which is not yet fully  understood by the pro-Israel community, but to which we must respond.

The use of the United Nations to damage Israel on the international scene is longstanding and well-known. However, there is a new undertaking that can do far more damage than has been done before, unless we take action to stop it.

…a proposal to engage the U.N. Security Council in an effort to impose a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

It is a proposal to engage the U.N. Security Council in an effort to impose a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. This agreement would be heavily slanted against Israel.

Moreover, it would be expressly designed to replace the United States as the principal mediator between the parties. In other words, the U.N. would be in charge of the peace process, minimizing the protection that the U.S. can offer Israel in the international arena.Continue Reading …

Remarks by Ambassador Samantha Power at a Press Conference on the September Program of Work for the UN Security Council

09/03/2014 08:07 PM EDT

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power

Samantha Power, photo by United States State Department

AMBASSADOR POWER: Hello, everybody. Okay, sorry to keep you waiting. Forgive, and thank you again for coming.

QUESTION: Thank you very much. Edith Lederer from the Associated Press. Madam Ambassador, we understand that negotiations are going on right now on a resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire to try and ensure that it becomes permanent with some kind of monitoring, verification, and some other measures. Could you tell us whether the United States supports this and whether you expect Council action on this in the coming weeks before the GA starts?

AMBASSADOR POWER: Thank you, Edie. I’d say a few things. First, there is now a ceasefire in place that has held in recent days, and our first point of reference here would be to make sure that nothing we do be unhelpful as it relates to current talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians, which are meant to resume, as you know, in Cairo. So that’s a do-no-harm proposition that I think we should always keep in mind here in New York.

The second point I’d make though is that, yes, we have been engaging – we, the United States; I’m speaking in my national capacity – we’ve been engaged for some time within the Council on a number of ideas about how the Council might potentially contribute to the effort to secure a sustainable ceasefire. Those discussions are continuing, and the United States is of the view that a Council product could conceivably play a positive role in supporting a durable solution. And as you indicated, those discussions are underway. But again, our emphasis is going to be on what the Council can do that will be additive and seen as additive by the parties on the ground, given that there is a calm of sorts that we very much seek to preserve.

MODERATOR: In the back. Lou from Reuters.Continue Reading …

Letter: Parents of Israeli Child Daniel Tregerman to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon

Text of a letter sent by Gila and Doron Tregerman, parents of 4 year-old Daniel, who was murdered during a mortar attack on his home, to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

By Israel News Agency Staff

For UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon

Dear Sir,

My name is Gila, I am an Israeli citizen, and I am a resident of Kibbutz Nahal Oz, near the border with Gaza.A week ago, we lost our eldest son, Daniel 4.5 years old, when he was killed by a mortar shell fired from Gaza into Israel.I address you after your announcement to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to establish an international investigation Committee to investigate “Israel’s crime” in the recent fighting in Gaza.

About us: Doron and I were married five years ago and we have three amazing kids: Daniel 4.5 yrs, Yoval 3.5 yrs and Uri 4 months old. We were a happy family. We lived in Kibbutz Nahal Oz near Gaza, and found ourselves constantly debating whether not to abandon Nahal Oz and move to another location, quieter, safer, far from rocket fire from Gaza, and far away from the alarms.

Then came the threat of terrorist tunnels, which Hamas members dug from Gaza to Israel under our home to hurt us. At night we heard noises and voices digging beneath us. Thus, in the last six months our children slept with the window closed and locked. We were afraid that they will be kidnapped from us.

Can you imagine our life, Mr. Secretary-General? How do you live in constant fear of mortar shell and terrorists emerging from tunnels?

US State Dept: August 19 Cease Fire Rockets Came From Gaza

US State Department confirms that the rocket fire that broke the cease fire on August 19, 2014 came from Gaza.  At the press briefing on 8/19/2014 the State Department Spokesperson stated: 
    
“[I]t is our understanding that an extension[of the cease fire] was agreed to, but that since has been broken. We are very concerned about today’s developments, condemn the renewed rocket fire, and as we have said, Israel has a right to defend itself against such attacks. We call for an immediate end to rocket fire and hostilities and a return to cease-fire talks. It [the rocket fire] came from Gaza. And the – and Hamas has security responsibility for Gaza. So it did come from Gaza.”

AJIRI #50: The UN’s latest Anti-Israel Project: The War Crimes Charge

After ignoring the continuing Hamas attacks against Israel for years, the UN Human Rights Council convened 15 days after the start of the most recent military activities between Israel and Gaza. It spent a few hours listening to speeches attacking Israel and, without further investigation, adopted a pre-cooked resolution that found Israel guilty of a series of war crimes. The Council then arranged for the creation of a commission that was assigned the task of collecting the evidence that would retroactively prove that the Council was right in issuing its guilty verdict against Israel. The Council also called upon the Commission to come up with the names of Israeli officials against whom war crimes charges are to be brought.

Lessons of the War in Gaza

by Daniel Pipes
National Review Online
August 9, 2014

As Israeli operations against Hamas wind down, here are seven insights into the month-long conflict:

Missile shield: The superb performance of Iron Dome, the protective system that shot down nearly every Hamas rocket threatening life or property, has major military implications for Israel and the world. Its success signals that “Star Wars” (as opponents maliciously dubbed it upon introduction in 1983) can indeed provide protection from short-range and also presumably from long-range rockets and missiles, potentially changing the future of warfare.

Tunnels: Tunneling behind enemy lines is hardly a new tactic; historically, it has had success, such as the 1917 Battle of Messines, when British mines killed 10,000 German soldiers. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) knew of Hamas’ tunnels before hostilities began on July 8 but failed to appreciate their numbers, length, depth, quality of construction, and electronic sophistication. Jerusalem quickly realized, as the Times of Israel wrote, that “Israel’s air, sea and land supremacy is not mirrored underground.” The IDF thus requires additional time to achieve subterranean dominance.