From: "Arlene Kushner" <email@example.com>
Date: Dec 29, 2016 7:37 AM
Subject: From Israel: A Saga of Bitterness and Hope
To: "A Kushner" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
But I also highly recommend an analysis that has just come out from Alan Baker, Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center and the head of the Global Law Forum. I think you will find this article highly informative and considerably reassuring.
The bitterness? It's palpable. There's a sense of betrayal, of being knifed from multiple directions.
That is because of Obama's stance, which is a reversal of US policy and former commitments. In his 2011 address to the UN he said repeatedly that a genuine peace can be achieved only via direct negotiations between Israel and the PA. "Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations," he declared. This rather confirms that his motivation for his current stance is not "peace" at all, but sticking it to Israel. Not that this comes as a surprise.
And because no other nation on the Council stood with Israel (I'll come back to this).
And because the resolution itself is so shockingly one-sided – lacking perspective and anything resembling justice, relying instead on a gross distortion of historical reality:
 It refers to all Israeli presence beyond the Green Line as "a flagrant violation of international law." This means the Kotel and Har HaBayit and much, much more, including the Mount of Olives, where Jews have been buried for 3,000 years.
 It refers to all territory beyond the Green Line as "occupied Palestinian territory" and demands that Israel cease "all settlement activity" – which is Israel's "legal obligation."
These are facts that refute the position of this resolution:
 The British Mandate for Palestine of 1922, passed unanimously by the League of Nations, was an article of international law. It recognized the Jewish historical connection to the land, and conferred upon Britain responsibility for establishing a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Britain was to "encourage...close settlement by Jews on the land." (This was in ALL of Palestine.)
 The partition plan of 1947, which proposed dividing Palestine into two states carried no weight legally because it was merely a recommendation by the UN General Assembly. In any event, the Arabs rejected it. The Mandate stood.
 Israel declared independence on a portion of Palestine in 1948. The remainder remained unclaimed Mandate land. There is a principle in customary international law that when a new state is founded, its borders follow the borders of the administrative entity that existed prior.
 As soon as (actually, even before) independence was declared, the Arab states declared war.
When the War of Independence was over in 1949, armistice lines were drawn. THIS was the Green Line. To Israel's east, the armistice line was between Israel and Jordan. There was no mention of "Palestinians." The armistice agreement signed between Israel and Jordan stated specifically that the armistice line (i.e. the Green Line) was only a temporary line that would not prejudice a permanent border, to be determined via negotiations. At that point, Jordan occupied Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem illegally – it acquired the area in an offensive war and its occupation of the area was recognized by only two states in the world.
 During the Six Day War of 1967, Jordan broke its armistice with Israel by joining in attack. By the end of the war, Israel had liberated Judea and Samaria, and east Jerusalem. This was Mandate land. What is more, Israel's right to it was strengthened by the fact that it was secured in an defensive war.
 Within months, the Security Council had passed Resolution 242. It did NOT call for Israel to return to the Green Line. It recognized that this line did not constitute a secure border for Israel, something to which all nations are entitled. It said that the final border would be determined via negotiations. Again: the negotiations were to be with Jordan; there was no mention of "Palestinians."
 In 1994, Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty. The border determined by this treaty followed the border of the Mandate. In the area of Judea and Samaria, this is the Jordan River.
 In 1995, the Interim Accord of Oslo was signed (and was witnessed by US President Bill Clinton). It divided Judea and Samaria into three administrative areas. Area C is under full Israeli civil and military control. There is NOTHING in Oslo that prohibits Israel from building in C.
Under Oslo – which actually does not speak specifically of a Palestinian "state" – a final status resolution was to be determined by negotiations between Israel and the PA.
As Dore Gold, President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs notes, The Palestinians themselves agreed in the 1995 Interim Agreement that the issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank should be addressed as an item for negotiation between the parties.
Please note that in none of the above is there a legal prohibition on Israeli building in Judea and Samaria, or now, at a minimum, in Area C.
There is absolutely no indication in "international law" that Israel belongs only behind the 1947 armistice line. Be aware that the Palestinian Arabs and their supporters invoke "international law" as it suits them.
There is no international law that prohibits an Israeli presence in any part of Judea and Samaria, that is, that determines that it is all "occupied Palestinian land."
The Palestinian Arabs have done a superb job of promoting falsehoods that are now adopted by a bulk of the world's nations, without regard for justice or historical reality.
A quick word about Israel's alleged "occupation" of Judea and Samaria. First, a nation cannot "occupy" its own land, and this is Israeli land according to the international law of the Mandate.
Occupation occurs only when the army of one sovereign state moves into the territory of another sovereign state. But Judea and Samaria was not the territory of any other sovereign state: Jordan was there illegally.
The Geneva Convention does not apply to this situation, although is sometimes claimed.
I spoke above about Obama's reversal of US policy, and his decision to abstain. But, as has now been revealed, he actually helped to craft the resolution and pushed it vigorously behind the scenes.
Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer has told CNN that there is solid evidence of Obama's orchestration of the resolution.
"We will present this evidence to the new administration through the appropriate channels. If they want to share it with the American people they are welcome to do it." As Dermer put it, Obama was behind the "ganging up" on Israel at the Security Council.
According to Netanyahu spokesman David Keyes, the solid information comes from Arab countries and others in the international community.
On Sunday night, Netanyahu went to the Kotel to light the second Chanukah candle. Standing there, he declared:
"I ask those same countries that wish us a Happy Chanukah how they could vote for a U.N. resolution which says that this place, in which we are now celebrating Chanukah, is occupied territory.
"The Western Wall is not occupied. The Jewish Quarter is not occupied." (Emphasis added)
Credit: prime minister's office
Our prime minister is very very angry, and with excellent reason. Yesterday, he declared that Israel will not "turn the other cheek."
US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro was called in for a 45 minute dressing down by Prime Minister Netanyahu. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall for that meeting. Other ambassadors were also called in, but Netanyahu met only with Shapiro, because of the expectations of US friendship that had been so severely dashed.
As to the other nations on the Security Council: five permanent members, China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly: Angola, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, Spain, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Venezuela...
The four that sponsored the resolution after Egypt withdrew were Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela. Israel does not have diplomatic ties with Venezuela or Malaysia. The ambassadors to New Zealand and Senegal were recalled for consultations.
The situation with Senegal was particularly disappointing. Israel has been providing agricultural technology to small farmers, and through Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation 4,000 farms were being supported.
Netanyahu has now ordered a cut-off of all assistance to Senegal, as well as the cancellation of the upcoming visit of the Senegalese foreign minister. The message: you cannot accept Israel's outstretched hand, gladly taking the assistance offered, and then actively promote a resolution that is destructive to Israel.
Similarly, has assistance to Angola been terminated.
As to the other nations, some were a lost cause, of course. But in other instances, a different response might have been expected.
Theresa May, new prime minister of the UK, speaks in very pro-Israel terms, at least part of the time. The UK, as a permanent member of the Council, could have cast the necessary veto, but voted for the resolution. Netanyahu has now cancelled a planned meeting with May at the sidelines of the Davos World Economic Forum. May declares herself "disappointed."
And the Ukraine, which is traditionally considered a friend of Israel, voted for the resolution anyway. Netanyahu has now cancelled the visit of Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, who was due here next week. Ukrainians at first were miffed about this cancellation, and expressed surprise at Netanyahu's anger. "The text of the resolution is balanced," said the Ukrainian foreign ministry, which subsequently spoke about expectation that warm ties would endure.
(It is being charged, by the way, that V.P. Biden placed a call to the Ukraine that "encouraged" support on the resolution.)
Netanyahu has been criticized in some quarters for what is seen as an over-reaction. I see it otherwise. Time to hold our heads up in an attitude of self-respect: Don't claim friendship with us and knife us in the back when it suits. Some of Netanyahu's positions will undoubtedly mellow over time, but it's not bad to deliver a new message now.
Look at this: Ukrainian MP Alexander Feldman, who is Jewish, has announced on his Facebook page that he intends to submit a bill for moving the Ukrainian embassy to Jerusalem. He hopes this will bring the Ukrainian-Israeli relationship to a whole new level.
Doesn't mean this proposal will succeed – it flies directly in the face of the resolution. But would Feldman even have suggested this if not for Netanyahu's anger?
Netanyahu is also evaluating Israel's relationship with the UN.
Defense Minister Lieberman has instructed COGAT [Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories] to have no interaction with the PA except on security matters. See more on what this entails here:
The simple fact of the matter is that the PA is behind this resolution. Their current gloating is obscene. This has been their intention all along: to achieve ends without negotiations and without compromise.
This is a cartoon that Fatah put on its Facebook page after the resolution passed. The Arabic is the list of nations that supported the vote. It suggests an international endorsement of terrorism.
Lieberman also had something to say about France: The French, ludicrously, are planning a "peace conference" on January 15, five days before Obama leaves office. He has called it a "modern day Dreyfus trial. There's only one difference, this time, instead of the defendant being one Jew, it will be the entire nation of Israel and the State of Israel.
"This summit's entire purpose is to undermine the State of Israel's security and tarnish its good name." (Emphasis added)
(The Dreyfus affair, at the end of the 19th century, was a French scandal during which an innocent Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jew, was convicted of treason. Anti-Semitism was at work in France then, and now.)
My readers can rest assured that Israel has no intention whatsoever of halting building in Judea and Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem. Quite the contrary.
As I complete this and prepare for transmission, I am aware that Secretary of State Kerry is scheduled to give a speech outlining his vision of a "comprehensive peace" between Israel and the PA. I'm sure it will be chock full of untenable ideas and outright lies that seek to further the damage to Israel. There is nothing but nothing he could say that would be constructive or original. How much damage this will do remains to be seen. I must deal with this in my next posting.
Recently, Kerry sent out a "Happy Chanukah" message.
One blogger replied, "Go choke on a latke." On that note, I close.
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.