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Facts and Logic About
the Middle East
P.O. Box 590359
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As the U.N. again attacks Israel's legitimacy, how should the U.S., how should Israel . . . and how should you and I respond?
Dear Friend of FLAME:
As we and others predicted, the U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to confirm the Palestinians' bid to raise their status to that of "observer state." While this doesn't make "Palestine" a state, it's one step closer, and it's a slap in the face to Israel and the United States, who believe the only path to Palestinian statehood is bilateral negotiations.
Reasons for the lopsided vote---138 to 9, with 41 abstentions---ranged from those countries that outright oppose Israel's right to exist to those that believe this gesture will give peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians a well-needed kickstart.
No matter what the perverse or misguided motivations for the vote, it represents another U.N. attack on the Jewish state, and ultimately it will not help Palestinians who sincerely want to live in their own legitimate state, in peace, next to Israel.
For reasons outlined in last week's FLAME Hotline, the Palestinian's simply do not have the raw materials---defined population, defined territory, stable government, self-sufficient economy, and the ability to make international agreements---required under any reasonable standard for statehood. In fact, the Palestinians fail miserably in all five categories.
The U.S., which steadfastly opposed the Palestinians' U.N. gambit, now must decide how to respond. Unfortunately, according to a speech made last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton indicated that the Obama administration itself would not be sanctioning the Palestinians for their defiance, but rather would leave it to the U.S. Congress to levy punishment---presumably by withholding some of the hundreds of millions of dollars given annually by the U.S. to the Palestinians.
Israel has reportedly decided to stop collecting taxes on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, and on Friday announced plans to formalize development of a large tract of land on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem, which has raised a hue and cry from both the U.S. administration and the Palestinians.
We at FLAME believe the United States should respond firmly and definitively to the Palestinians' "go-it-alone" strategy---by cutting off funding. In the Senate, an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), sponsored by Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), would cut aid to the Palestinians only if they use their new status to bring charges against Israel in the International Criminal Court, and it would shut down offices of the PLO in Washington, DC, if the Palestinians do not engage in "meaningful negotiations" with Israel. A similar bill in the House is likely. Such actions should be the absolute minimum U.S. response.
For this reason, I urge you to do two things this week:
First, write to your Senators and urge them to support the Schumer-Menendez-Graham amendment to the NDAA. Just a few lines will suffice. To reach your Senator, go to email U.S. Senators.
Second, read the hard-hitting article below---on the why the U.N. vote represents a new level of genocidal attack on Israel---and send it to friends, colleagues, and fellow congregants using the "send to a friend" button at the bottom of this email, or using the buttons above to share it via social media.
Facts and Logic About the Middle East—FLAME
Since the Palestinians have refused to come to the negotiating table for so long now, especially in light of their recent move at the U.N., we at FLAME have made a "modest proposal" that I think you'll appreciate. It's called "The Most Practical Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Can the two current proposed solutions bring peace to the region?" This position paper suggests that since peace negotiations---based on the tired "one-state" and "two-state" solutions---are going nowhere, it would be more productive for Israel and the Palestinians to give up for now and make the best of the current impasse, in fact to embrace it. We've just begun publishing this bold position paper in media reaching more than 10 million people and delivered it to all U.S. Senators and Representatives. Ask yourself: If FLAME doesn't keep telling the truth about the intransigence of the Palestinians and the current futility of the "peace process," who else will tell this story in mainstream media? If you agree that these kinds of forceful advocacy efforts on behalf of Israel and the United States are essential, I urge you to support us. Remember: FLAME's ability to influence public opinion comes from individuals like you, one by one. I hope you'll consider giving a donation now, as you're able---with $500, $250, $100, or even $18. (Remember, your donation to FLAME is tax deductible.) To donate online, just go to http://www.factsandlogic.org/make_a_donation.html. Now more than ever we need your support to ensure that Israel gets the support it needs---from the U.S. Congress, from President Obama, and from the American people.
As of today, nearly 10,000 Israel supporters receive the FLAME Hotline at no charge every week. It keeps them up to date on the top news of the week and gives them greater confidence in discussing Middle East issues with friends and colleagues. Won't you join us to start receiving these timely updates: Just go to free subscription.
Accomplices in a campaign to annihilate a UN member
By Shlomo Slonim, Jerusalem Post, November 28, 2012
Any state supporting the Palestinian application in the General Assembly before a peace settlement has been attained between the parties violates the principles of the UN Charter and, wittingly or not, effectively supports a genocidal design for the destruction of a member state.
Israelis are frequently asked: Why is Israel opposed to recognizing a Palestinian state? Detach yourselves from the Palestinians like the French detached themselves from Algeria and the two states will live in peace with each other as was originally envisaged under the 1947 Partition Resolution. In response, the Israelis ask two questions, one of which answers the other: 1) Why have the Palestinians waited for 65 years to establish an independent state? 2) In the Algerian struggle for independence, were the Algerians proclaiming that they were bent on occupying and destroying France?
For over 60 years, the leaders of the Arab population of Mandatory Palestine rejected every suggestion that they proclaim an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel as envisaged under the 1947 General Assembly Partition Resolution. Instead, the Palestinian Arab leaders committed themselves to destroying the Jewish state and invited neighboring Arab states to join them in the act of annihilation.
Well before Israel came into control of the remaining territory of the Mandate, the PLO, a terrorist organization, was created in 1964 with the goal of wiping Israel off the map. Hamas, of course, still proclaims this aim openly. The question therefore arises—what has prompted Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority, to take a step the Palestinians have spurned for over six decades? Why is he now pushing to have the General Assembly accord the Palestinians the status of non-member observer state?
Abbas, it is clear, has simply shifted gears and has adopted a strategy different from that of Hamas to achieve the same goal. The diplomatic route is, for him, simply a case of war by other means. It is a two-step strategy: The first diplomatic warfare target is Israel's presence in the territories that came under Israeli rule in 1967 and whose final status and borders are legally still to be determined. Contrary to some unfounded popular assumptions, Security Council Resolution 242—and even the Oslo accords—left the matter to future determination, and Israeli settlements are premised on strong legal, historic and strategic grounds.
Nevertheless, over the years, and in various forums and the media, the "colonial" nature of Israel's presence in the territories is taken as a given. Since many of Israel's supporters inside and outside Israel are critical of the "settlements," this theme can evoke more support than an immediate frontal attack on Israel's existence as the homeland of the Jewish people.
Once a Palestinian state with pre-1967 borders—including part of Jerusalem—is not only proclaimed, but endorsed by international bodies dominated by automatic majorities, Israel's presence in the territories is further delegitimized and its self-defensive measures can be discredited. Israel could then be charged with occupying the territory of a foreign state.
Lawfare, involving the hijacking of the international human rights apparatus, could proceed apace, with Israel being targeted for war crimes and sundry human rights abuses. Attempts to apply boycotts and sanctions would then presumably multiply exponentially. The aim would be to galvanize as many international institutions as possible to stamp Israel as an illegal entity.
Abbas' goal, it seems clear, is not to create a Palestinian state living peacefully side by side with Israel, but to replace Israel. The problematic nature of his present démarches can be readily seen if one takes into account the following:
1) Abbas refuses to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state, since that would be to recognize Israel's rights in the Land of Israel. He is prepared to accept the presence of two states in Mandatory Palestine, but both would be Palestinian. So long as he refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, his intentions are blatantly directed to replacing that state with some other entity.
2) Jewish links to the Land of Israel are consistently and unabashedly denied. Most blatantly, he asserts for example that Israel has no historical attachment to Jerusalem and the Western Wall as the remnants of the Temple. It is all but a figment of the imagination.
3) In his New York Times op-ed last year, he explained candidly that his quest for UN membership for Palestine was linked to lawfare.
"Palestine's admission to the United Nations," he said, "would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, not only as a political one. It would also pave the way for us to pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Criminal Court."
4) Despite recent murmurings, later denied, Abbas has not disassociated himself from insistence on the "right of return" for Palestinian refugees (claimed by now to be some seven million people). This "right" is a euphemism for annihilating the Jewish state. As Nasser acknowledged in 1961: "If the refugees return to Israel, Israel will cease to exist."
5) He continues to complain that Palestinians have suffered "under occupation for 63 years"—since Israel's creation, not since 1967—confirming that he is not content with a Palestinian state alongside Israel, but that the very existence of Israel represents "occupation" of Palestinian land. This credo lies at the root of Abbas' strategy.
6) Abbas' lack of integrity is reflected in his failure to retract his doctoral dissertation, completed at Moscow University, that is devoted to denying that the Holocaust ever occurred. He has never apologized to the Jewish people for such a gross distortion of the historical record.
7) Abbas and the PA that he heads have regularly glorified terrorists, including suicide bombers, who have ruthlessly murdered and maimed countless Israeli men, women and children.
In sum, the present Palestinian bid for General Assembly acceptance of Palestine as a nonmember observer state in the UN is part of a process of bringing about the replacement of Israel with a Palestinian state extending from the coast to the Jordan River. This maneuver patently violates United Nations law and international law.
According to Article 2(1) of the UN Charter: "the Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members."
Under Article 2(4), all UN members have pledged to refrain from the threat or use of force "against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state."
A scheme to replace Israel with a Palestinian state from the coast to the Jordan is a clear violation of the Charter. Any state supporting the Palestinian application in the General Assembly before a peace settlement has been attained between the parties violates the principles of the UN Charter and, wittingly or not, effectively supports a genocidal design for the destruction of a member state.
The writer is a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the author of "Jerusalem in America's Foreign Policy."
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