Tag Archives: Palestine

Blast In Gaza Targets Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah

On March 13th the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah survived an assassination attempt. His convoy was just outside of the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun when a roadside explosive was detonated. Hamdallah was not hurt, but 6 security guards were wounded. Three vehicles were damaged due to the explosion while debris scattered dozens of yards away and left a crater by the road.

President Abbas’s office held Hamas responsible for the attack and said that it targeted Hamdallah and head of intelligence Majed Faraj, both of whom are members of Fatah. Hamdallah spoke after the incident from his Ramallah-based office saying that, “It was a well-planned attempt. They planted explosive devices two meters deep.”

Hamas said in a statement that the targeting of the motorcade was “part of attempts to damage the security of Gaza and deal a blow to efforts to finalize reconciliation.” Shortly after the explosion, Hamdallah gave a speech at an internationally-funded wastewater treatment plant and ensured that he would continue to pursue Palestinian unity.

Fatah and Hamas have been at odds since 2006 when Hamas had defeated the Fatah party during the Palestinian elections in the Gaza strip. Since then, Hamas has controlled the Gaza strip while the PA control parts of the West Bank.

The two sides have fundamentally different views regarding Israel: Hamas doesn’t believe the state should exist while Fatah believes it should and attempts political solutions with it instead.

The Fatah and Hamas have gone through several attempts to reconcile in the last decade. In 2011 both sides agreed to an Egyptian brokered peace deal but could not agree on who to make the interim prime minister of the unity government. Again, in 2012, both sides had agreed to a reconciliation deal but did not follow through on plans to end hostilities.

In November of 2017, for the first time in a decade, Hamas handed over control of 5 Gaza border crossings to the Fatah. Fatah spokesperson Osama Qawasmeh said this move would make the lives of the Palestinians in Gaza “much easier”. He noted that products would move much faster across the border which would make import and export trade much easier. This is positive news for the residents of Gaza who have seen their economy deteriorate over the last decade and whose health system is facing an imminent collapse.

This latest assassination attempt against Rami Hamdallah will only slow down the chance of a reconciliations deal being made anytime in the near future between Hamas and the Fatah.

Hamas Continues Attacks on Israeli Citizens, US Places Sanctions

On February 6th, in the village of Yamun near Jenin, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the Israeli Security Forces (ISA) killed Hamas commander Ahmed Nasser Jarrar in a raid in the early morning. Ahmed Jarrar was a leader of Hamas’s Izz al-Din al Qassam Brigades. Hamas praised Jarrar following the announcement of his death.

According to the IDF, the building Jarrar was found inside was surrounded by security forces. Jarrar armed with an M-16 rifle emerged from the building and was shot dead.

Following the raid, Israeli security forces clashed with dozens of Palestinians. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent two Palestinians were wounded by rubber bullets and 7 Palestinians were hurt from inhaling tear gas. No Israeli forces were reported injured.

Israeli security officials held Ahmed Jarrar responsible for the January 9th drive by shooting which killed Rabbi Raziel Shevach on the road near his home. Shevach was in his car when men opened fire on him.

Ahmed Nassar Jarrar is the son of Nassar Jarrar, Nassar was a senior Hamas commander and was the leader of Hamas’s forces in Jenin, playing a significant role in the 2nd Intifada until he was killed by Israeli troops in 2002.

This is not the only incident of a Rabbi being murdered this year in Israel. On February 5th a Rabbi named Itamar Ben-Gal was violently stabbed to death at a bus stop outside of the city of Ariel. Israeli security forces believe a man named Abed al-Karim Adel Assi who is linked with the Palestinian Authority (PA) carried out the murder.

President Netanyahu referenced the successful Israeli operation “determined and complex” in a statement, highlighting the raid as an example of Israeli justice.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh vowed that attacks would continue, referencing the “liberation of Jerusalem” Jerusalem has been front and center of Hamas’ calls for action following an operation on the Temple Mount killed two Israeli police officers in July of last year; and has remained a propaganda focus following the announcement of the U.S. decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

Over the last month the US has laid out new sanctions that target individuals and entities connected to Hamas, including Haniyeh. The designations are at least partially in response to news that Haniyeh was the preferred Hamas leader of the Iranians, who have renewed financial support of the Palestinian terror group.

The US Treasury Department placed Haniyeh on a sanctions blacklist that will freeze any US based asset he may have and prohibit any individual or company from doing business with him.

Haniyeh has said that these sanctions delegitimatize the US as a peace broker between Israel and Palestine. Hamas reacted to the sanctions by saying it shows the “depth” of US bias toward Israel.

It seems likely that continued low level terror attacks by Hamas will continue against Israeli targets, as part of a long running campaign that has sometimes been called the “knife intifada” due to the relatively unsophisticated attack methods that have been prevalent. Still it seems unlikely that Hamas would choose to substantially escalate this low intensity conflict with Israel in the short term, as it continues to reestablish ties to its Iranian backers.

Israel Closes Border Crossings Into Gaza

On December 14th, the Israeli military carried out strikes in Gaza targeting Hamas facilities and announced it will close border crossings into Gaza until further notice in response to rockets fired from Gaza towards Israel.

This decision comes just over a week after President Trump announced, on December 6th, that the U.S. will officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the U.S. embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. After Trump’s announcement, protests were organized in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem, and the decision drew criticism from during an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Turkey on December 13th, and several U.S. allies have come out against the decision.

The two crossings, Kerem Shalom and Erez are the only two crossings left on the Israeli border with Gaza. Kerem Shalom is the main crossing point used to move supplies and goods in and out of Gaza and Erez is a pedestrian crossing. Closing these border crossings will tighten the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

The only other crossing into Gaza is on the Egyptian border. The border crossing was most recently scheduled to be reopened by Egypt on November 25th, but has remained closed following an attack on a mosque in Sinai that killed at least 300 civilians. Egypt has previously canceled planned openings of the border crossing, citing an unstable security situation in the country. Egypt blames Hamas for providing fighters and training to jihadist groups targeting Egyptian security forces and civilians. Egypt has rarely opened the crossing since the 2013 removal of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, a prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and close ally of Hamas.

About 15 rockets have been fired towards Israel since Trump’s announcement. While Israeli defense forces believe that Islamic Jihad fighters are responsible for the rocket fire, they hold Hamas solely responsible for the strikes because Hamas’ forces control the territory.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has called for a new intifada against Israel in the wake of the Embassy decision. The terrorist organization urged Palestinians to protest at the border fence. Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli riot police resulted in at least 2 Palestinians dead and dozens injured. Additionally an Israeli border guard was injured in a stabbing attack by a Palestinian wearing what appeared to be a suicide bomb vest, which did not detonate.

During these tensions, Hamas is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the group’s founding. The organization was created by the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in order to participate in attacks on Israel, and to provide an Islamist alternative to the Palestinian nationalist PLO. Efforts by the Muslim Brotherhood to establish an armed group culminated with Hamas’ participation in the 1st Intifada in 1987. The group continues to deny the existence of a state of Israel, oppose the peace process, and to promote attacks against Israelis. Hamas swears to force the U.S. to reverse its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Haniyeh also called on all Arab and Muslim nations to set aside every Friday for days of rage until the U.S. reverses its decision.

Despite Hamas’ rhetoric, it is uncertain if another intifada is likely, since Hamas suffered severe setbacks following the 2014 Israeli-Gaza conflict, after Israeli forces retaliated for a Hamas operation which kidnapped and killed 3 Israeli teenagers. Hamas is facing strained relations with other Arab states, due to wider regional tensions between an Arab coalition of states led by Saudi Arabia, and Hamas’ patrons, which include Iran, Turkey and Qatar.

Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital is Good Policy

President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and begin the process to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — has prompted warnings of Arab violence. The concern is that the move may undermine the chances to advancing peace efforts.

King Abdullah of Jordan warned of the “dangerous repercussions” of such move and Mahmoud Abbas warned of the consequences that such step may have on the peace process and the stability of the region.

These arguments were echoed by several countries including Turkey, Egypt, and Syria. France stated that such issue should be resolved in a final status negotiation between both sides. Some Democrats and media analysts in the U.S expressed similar concern. Yet, the United Kingdom and the Vatican wisely avoided strong judgements on the subject-matter.

Those arguments that have expressed fear of Arab rage, fail to see the entire picture.

Israel offered a solution on Jerusalem during negotiations with the Palestinians. In the year 2000 during the Camp David Conference, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered sovereignty over Arab Jerusalem and Palestinian custodianship over the Muslim Holy Sites. That offer was far-reaching and unprecedented, where Israel broke the dogma of one unified Jerusalem, a gesture President Clinton fully acknowledged and admired. Likewise, he agreed to concede territories in East Jerusalem, in the Old City and the Temple Mount. Then Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat demanded sovereignty over all of East Jerusalem and over the holy sites. In order to defend his position on Jerusalem, Arafat was even willing to shame himself with absurd arguments and distorted facts such as “the ruins of the old Jewish temple were not in Jerusalem but in Nablus.”

That negotiation ended in a 5-year violence also called the “Second Intifada.”

Still, less than half a year after the collapse of Camp David, Israel accepted the “Clinton Parameters”, a proposal for final peace between the parties that included again recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state, including the Arab suburbs and the Arab quarters of the old city.  However, Arafat responded again by demanding control over the Al Aksa Mosque and the entire Temple Mount. In other words, Arafat demanded control over all the holy sites, Muslim, Christian and Jewish (including the Western wall, the holiest site to the Jewish people). The reality is that such attitude of insisting in retaining 100 percent of Jerusalem does not sound like an appropriate negotiating strategy. It is true that the negotiating process may start from the unreasonable and sometimes from the absurd. But the unreasonable cannot be proposed this late in the process or in any realistic negotiation where the parties seek a successful outcome.

But this is not the end. In 2008 Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made another offer to Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat’s successor. According to this offer, the Palestinian capital would be in East Jerusalem and Israel, the Palestinians, Jordan and the United States would govern the Old City jointly. The Saudis could be part of it, provided that they recognize the State of Israel. The Arab neighborhoods would be part of the Palestinian state and the Jewish neighborhoods part of Israel. This offer received no response from Abbas.

Can we really say that reasonable solutions have not been tried? A U.S Embassy in West Jerusalem is going to change a Palestinian attitude that has been negative all along? What gesture or step would bring about a positive Palestinian attitude?

Egypt refused to respond to president Bill Clinton’s call to give support to Arafat to make concessions during the Camp David negotiations., Egypt walked away from the entire peace process except for introducing negative resolutions on Israel in the United Nations on behalf of the Palestinians.  France and a few other European countries supported a UNESCO resolution denying the special connection between the Western Wall and the Jewish people. Why did France do it? To appease and please the Arab and Palestinian street? To avoid terrorist attacks on its soil? It certainly wasn’t to advance peace.

The real problem of the peace process does not lie in a U.S decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Furthermore, such move does not preclude the possibility of a compromise on East Jerusalem. The question is: Will the Palestinians come forward? The answer is “no.” The Palestinian Authority is too weak and illegitimate to make compromises. For their part, Arab countries have not done much to support such compromises.

President Trump’s move on Jerusalem sends a clear message to the Palestinians and Arab countries that they no longer can have “veto powers” on Jerusalem and that they should play once and for all a positive role in promoting peace and reconciliation with Israel. A policy guided by fear of Arab rage would have been be a sign of weakness and a perilous flawed foreign policy. Trump made the right decision.

Palestinian Gunman Praised After Killing Three Israelis

Three Israelis were killed and another injured by a Palestinian gunman in Har Adar, a Jerusalem suburb which straddles the 1949 armistice line, on September 26th. The attack occurred when security guards opened a gate to admit Palestinian laborers with permits into the settlement in the morning.  The attacker who was shot dead, Nimr Mahmoud Ahmed Jamal, held a work permit. Jamal regularly worked in Har Adar cleaning houses.

The Har Adar is an upscale community west of Jerusalem and known for its good relations with its Palestinian neighbors. Typically, 150 Palestinian laborers enter the community every day for work.

Hamas, the terrorist group that controls the Gaza strip welcomed the attack. Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem  said “Once again Jerusalem proves that it is at the heart of the conflict with the occupation, and that there is no way to get it out of the equation of the conflict.”

Fatah, led by Palestinian Authority  President Mahmoud Abbas, also officially designated Jamal a “martyr.” The Palestinian Authority pays annual financial compensation  to terrorists and their family members who conduct terror attacks against Israelis. The continued payment of terrorist salaries has been a sore point between the Palestinian Authority and the U.S. Congress.

The attack took place while the United States Envoy Jason Greenblatt  was in the Jerusalem discussing the relaunch of the Arab-Israeli peace process. Greenblatt issued a statement saying he was horrified and calling for unity against terror.

Since October of 2015, Palestinians have killed 51 Israelis, two Americans and a British tourist in stabbing, shootings and car-ramming attacks. Israeli forces have killed over 255 Palestinians, most of who most were killed during an attack of terror, or during clashes with Israeli forces.

At the peak of violence in September 2016, there were 480 attacks total, which included stabbings, shootings, car ramming, roadside bombings, stone throwing, and Molotov cocktails.

This attack has been one of the deadliest in the past two-year spate of violence and comes at a tense period during an important Jewish holiday.

In July of 2017 there was a spark of terrorist attacks and violent protests which occurred in Jerusalem’s old city at the Temple Mount/ Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. On July 14th  two Israeli police officers were killed by three Palestinians which Hamas claimed as a “heroic act”, and on July 21st  three Palestinians were killed by Israeli police and injured close to 400 others Palestinian protesters at the holy site.

The frequency of these attacks have lessened, however, with the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur nearing, could spark a new wave of violence, or lead to more attacks at the holy sites in Jerusalem.

Iran’s growing involvement in Palestinian incitement

The Islamic Republic of Iran is providing aid to violent protesters in Jerusalem. The Times of Israel reports:

The aid reportedly included boxes of food and drink, which came with a flyer attached depicting the Dome of the Rock and a quote attributed to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei reading, “With the help of God, Palestine will be freed. Jerusalem is ours.”

While Palestinian media reported that an Iranian youth movement provided the food packages, PA intelligence officials said it was clear that the Iranian regime was behind the aid.

Photos of the care packages have emerged on social media.

Palestinian media is claiming Iranian youth movements are distributing the care packages. However, sources within Palestinian security forces told Israel HaYom that “such a large logistical effort could not have been single-handedly managed and funded by a youth movement” and that  “It is plainly obvious that the government in Tehran, by way of its long tentacles, was behind these efforts.”

Palestinian leadership has pushed violent incitement for years.  The claim that Israel is trying to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque is a regular falsehood.  This incitement has already lead to several deaths including three members of the Solomon family, who were brutally murdered by a 19-year-old jihadist who claimed in a Facebook post that he was “going to die for Al-Aqsa.”

Last year, the Obama Administration transferred $1.7 billion dollars to the largest state sponsor of terrorism, including a $400 million payout via an unmarked cargo plane, filled with pallets of shrink-wrapped European currency, in the middle of the night.  Obama administration officials even admitted that these funds could be used to fund terrorism.

Iran has been ramping up its anti-Israel rhetoric and foothold in the region. In addition to the care packages, Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah, has ramped up its aggressions towards Israel.  Recently, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is building underground facilities for Hezbollah in Lebanon.  

The Trump administration recently recertified the Iranian nuclear deal (the JCPOA).  However, new sanctions are being levied against Iran over its ballistic missile development, financing of terrorist groups, and its involvement in conflicts around the region.

The Iranian regime’s continued involvement in promoting violent incitement against Israel is a further ramping up of its long-term goal of becoming the region’s hegemonic power. While the US can’t rescind the pallets of cash already sent to Iran, the Trump administration can do more to ensure that the Palestinians are not the beneficiaries of additional funds to incite violence, including defunding the Palestinian Authority for subsidizing terrorism.

Pay for Slay Must End

The family of Omar al-Abed will receive $3,120 per month because he murdered the Solomon family in cold blood.

Leil Leibowitz of Tablet Magazine expounds on Abed’s financial reward:

Because the payment is commensurate with the length of the terrorist’s jail sentence, and because the sentence grows heftier the more Jews the terrorist kills, the al-Abeds will be richly rewarded for Omar’s murderous spree: the monthly salary paid to the families of those sentenced to 30 years or more in prison is $3,120. Just for comparison, an average Palestinian engineer earns about $1,300 per month.

The Palestinian Authorities (PA) payouts to the families of murderers, which is commonly referred to as “Pay for Slay,” only serves to incentivize more violence against Jews.

Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a watchdog group monitoring the PA’s incitement of violence, reports that the PA’s “total expenditure for directly funding terror is 1.237 billion shekels or $355 million” for 2017.

Palestinians receive approximately $500 million annually from the United States. How much of this money specifically is being used as a reward for murdering the Solomon family?

Recently, Israel capitulated to the demands of a violent mob by removing metal detectors placed at the base of the Al-Aqsa mosque, in response to the murder of two Israeli police officers, following riots.  However, the violence will not stop so long as the PA continues to provide financial incentives for murdering Jews.

Right now there are bills going through congress, such as the No Bonuses for Terrorists Act and the Taylor Force Act, which would end US taxpayer subsidizes for Palestinian terrorism. A clear message needs to be sent to the Palestinians that the US will no longer subsidize their violence and murder.

Palestinian Incitement is The Problem – Not Israeli Security Measures

Palestinians murdered 2 Israeli Druze police officers on the Temple Mount. In response, Israel temporarily closed the Al-Aqsa mosque to Friday prayers and then installed metal detectors to protect civilians. Palestinian officials claimed these security actions were a defilement of the Al-Aqsa mosque and used this as an opportunity to call for violent Intifada. Palestinians rioted and threw firebombs at Israeli security forces. These violent clashes resulted in the deaths of three Palestinians.

On Friday night, the Solomon family was murdered in cold blood as they celebrated Shabbat. A 19-year-old jihadist who claimed in a Facebook post that he was “going to die for Al-Aqsa” massacred them.

The metal detectors also led to heightened tensions between Israel and Jordan.  On Sunday, an Israeli guard was stabbed at the Israeli Embassy in Amman.  These metal detectors are no more invasive than the explosive detectors placed at the gates of the Masjid al Haram, which surrounds the Ka’aba.

Instead of blaming the violence on incitement from Palestinian leaders, Israel is being blamed.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of using the violence to take over Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.  Organizations such as the Middle East Institute blamed Prime Minister Netanyahu for the violence, noting his decision for additional security was a “hasty decision” made “without due consideration to Jordanian, Palestinian or Arab-Muslim sensitivities.”

Just the other week the U.S. State Department published a report claiming Israel is to blame for terrorism attacks committed by Palestinians and accusing the Jewish state of being largely responsible for an impasse in peace negotiations.

Now, Israel has made the mistake of capitulating to the whims of a violent mob.  Israel has decided to replace the metal detectors with security cameras.  There is no way Israel can spin this that doesn’t reek of surrender.  Now, Israel’s sovereignty over the Old City of Jerusalem will be challenged with violence.

These acts of violence were not committed because of the instillation of metal detectors. They were committed because of Palestinian leadership such as Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, who says Jews pollute the Temple Mount with their “filthy feet.”

For years, Palestinians have pushed a false idea that Israel is trying to destroy Al-Aqsa mosque and that every action committed by Israel to ensure its security is a nefarious attempt at destroying Islamic holy sites. The P.A. uses more than $300 million every year to pay salaries and pensions to individuals like the one who butchered the Solomon family.

The blame for violence needs to be placed on those responsible.  Jewish life is not worthless, and we have to stop treating Palestinians with the bigotry of low expectations and hold them accountable for their violent incitement.  U.S. policy needs to reflect both of these facts.

Secretary Tillerson’s State Department opposes bills such as the Taylor Force Act, which would end U.S. taxpayer subsidization of Palestinian terrorism.  It is time for the U.S. to stop supporting people committed to the annihilation of the Jewish people in the name of fake peace, and it’s time for the U.S. State Department to get on board.  If we don’t, Palestinians will continue to see violence as a way to get what they want.

Infamous United Nations Security Council Resolution on Israel is a Symptom of a Deeper Foreign Policy Crisis That Requires Change

The recent resolution of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) condemning Israel over settlements represents another foreign policy blow for the United States.

It is consistent with this administration’s policy to appease enemies that do not deserve it (e,g Iran and Cuba) , spit in the face of allies, and thus weakening the image of the United States worldwide.

What is the meaning of this security council resolution for Israel and the settlements?

Let us start with the basics. The resolution fails to distinguish between ‘settlements blocs’ and settlements in areas where a Palestinian state is supposed to be created. Former U.S President George W. Bush accepted construction in a set of Jewish settlements next to the 1967 border as long as the scope of settlements does not expand well into the West Bank.

However, the UNSC resolution, supported and initiated by Obama, defines settlements as every piece of territory that was taken by Israel in the war of June 1967. This includes the Western Wall (the holiest site in Judaism), neighborhoods that have been in existence for decades and had no previous Arab presence, and even the Golan Heights. The latter, having nothing to do with the future of a Palestinian state, was taken from Syria during June 1967, and was used by the Syrians before that date to bomb Israeli civilian targets. Nowadays, if Israel withdraws from the Golan, the territory is likely to fall in the hands of the Iran-backed murderous Bashar Al Assad, or worse, in the hands of the radical Islamist group Al Nusra (now controlling Syrian territory next to the Golan).

On the other hand, the resolution demands nothing from the Palestinians. In the past, peace agreements between Israel and the Palestinians failed not because of settlements but because the Palestinian leadership refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state by requiring the so –called “right of return” of three million Palestinians to Israel proper. That proposal is not a formula for peace but a formula for the continuation of war.

Very much in contrast to the Palestinians, Israel offered solutions in the past by offering generous concessions that included withdrawal from most of the West Bank, the creation of a Palestinian state, and agreement to share Jerusalem with the Palestinians. Israel also unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip and dismantled the Jewish settlements in the area.

This unbalanced resolution ignores these past painful and risky Israeli concessions, contemptuously rejected by the Palestinian leadership. Furthermore, the resolution failed to include the demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state and abandon the “right of return.”

After Egypt backed off from introducing the resolution at the request of the U.S, Vice-President Joe Biden proceeded to recruit other sponsors. He called the Ukraine first, a country that still has serious problems recognizing its population’s collaboration with the anti-Semitic Nazi murderous machine and has even honored a Ukrainian militia that murdered Jews during WWII. The other three were New Zealand, Malaysia, and Venezuela. Malaysia is a country that has refused to recognize Israel and whose former president made statements supporting theories of a Jewish conspiracy. Venezuela has adopted an open anti-American ideology, has cooperated with Iran and Hezbollah and its political and military elite are heavily involved in drug trafficking. Moreover, Venezuela is a massive violator of human rights whose policies have led to the starvation of its population

What kind of message is the United States sending to its enemies when we it makes alliances against its own ally?

This kind of resolution has been long supported by France. France’s foreign policy towards the Middle East is mainly motivated by the desire to diminish the status and influence of the United States and increase its own. Israel is considered to be a U.S ally and an easy political target.

As an example, for France, that resolution constitutes a tremendous political victory from their narrow point of view. However, as they face serious terrorist attacks in their own soil, the French have weakened themselves by voting against the country that is at the forefront of the fight against the kind of terrorism that now they themselves are facing.

However, despite the stupidity displayed by the French, their weakness is our problem too. A defenseless West also exposes America and its citizens to danger and risk. If our western allies are not strong enough, we will collapse and be hung with them.

The Russians and the Chinese provide political backing to their allies such as Syria, Iran or even North Korea. The West does not.

What is now needed is a strong American leadership that can provide a sense of common purpose to the West as a whole. The U.S needs to set the tone as well as take the initiative and leadership in the West, in order to defeat ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Hamas and reduce the power of rogue states such as Iran, North Korea, or Venezuela. Such leadership needs to be expanded to other countries including Latin American countries with significant potential such as Brazil and Argentina.

The anti-Israel UNSC resolution is a problem that transcends Israel. The challenge ahead for President–elect Donald Trump is huge, but the opportunity to make substantial change happen is there too.

A Final Insult to Israel

Many Americans and Israelis are outraged at President Obama for betraying the state of Israel yesterday by refusing to veto a Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and calling Israel’s settlements and continuing construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem a “flagrant violation of international law.”

By allowing this resolution to pass, Obama broke with a long tradition of the United States standing with Israel on council resolutions concerning the Israel–Palestinian conflict and ignored a plea by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to veto the resolution.

What is the significance of this resolution for Middle East security and U.S.–Israel relations?  Absolutely nothing.

The world knows this resolution was approved because a U.S. president with just a few weeks left in office chose to abandon Israel. They know this president’s positions — especially his hostility to Israel — are not shared by a majority of Americans and will be quickly reversed by President Trump.

Israelis and the American people know what a cowardly act this Security Council vote was by President Obama since it was deliberately delayed until after the presidential election to ensure Hillary Clinton and congressional Democrats would not pay a political price. The vote also took place on Friday afternoon two days before Christmas to limit negative press coverage.

President-elect Trump called on the Obama administration to veto the resolution and indicated he will ignore it when he tweeted: “Things Will Be Different After Jan. 20.”  Democratic and Republican congressmen are already siding with Trump on the vote.

In an unprecedented statement, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office directly condemned the Obama administration in response to the passage of the anti-Israel resolution and expressed its eagerness to work with President Trump:

The Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it colluded with it behind the scenes. Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and with all our friends in Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution.

With one of the worst relationships with Israel of any U.S. president in history, and after ramming through a disastrous nuclear agreement with Iran over Israel’s strong objections, President Obama dealt a final insult to Israel today.

This is an insult that will be soon forgotten: This anti-Israel resolution will be reversed like the Iran deal, the Paris environmental agreement, Obamacare, and other radical and unpopular initiatives foisted on the American people by President Obama. Obama’s refusal to block this resolution only succeeded in reiterating his hostility to the state of Israeli and reaffirmed that his foreign policy will go down in the history books as an aberration.