WASHINGTON - The United Nations General Assembly
adopted an Israeli-led resolution this week.
Some 147 countries voted in favor. Arab League
countries, who usually automatically vote against Israeli-led resolutions,
decided to abstain.
The Israeli resolution, titled "Agricultural
Technologies for Development," is intended to help improve access to
agricultural technology capabilities for developing countries, helping fulfill
the secretary-general's goal of promoting sustainable development, the Israeli
Mission to the UN said in a statement.
"The resolution speaks to Israel's strong
capabilities in agriculture, irrigation and water management practices [and in]
youth job creation in agriculture, and is consistent with Israel's longstanding
cooperation with other countries, especially in Africa," the statement
reads. "The overwhelming support the resolution received indicates its
importance for many nations around the world, especially developing
Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Danny
Danon, said he is satisfied with the passage of the Israeli initiative.
"Israeli technologies have made the State of
Israel a global power of knowledge and innovation that contributes to the
global development effort," he said. "The countries that chose not to
support us are the very ones that need to implement this resolution the most. Their
decision to stick to their political biases only ends up harming their
citizens, who are thirsty for the technology and advancement opportunities
outlined in the resolution."
The subject of “settlements”
has been made a top factor in the Palestinian fight to discredit and eventually
overcome Israel. It is discussed constantly in the media, and has been made
into a big political issue in Europe, America, generally. You’d think the
matter concerned at least China or Russia and was of world-wide importance. But
it does concern the Jews, so the facts are that it concerns only one out of about
200 cases of building in “occupied” land by other nations worldwide, and then it is only on a dot on the map.
I'd class the supporters of
the Palestinian narrative - that the "settlements" are illegal and
are preventing peace in the M.E. - including representatives of many countries,
large numbers of students and others – into two categories:
a) those who are
influenced by antisemitism and
b) those who are ignorant of the facts and have
accepted blindly what they’ve heard from spokesmen or the media.
I'm sure that 95% of
them haven’t the time or the interest, so haven’t checked the true legal
situation via reliable sources. This probably applies to Jewish people as well,
since most people can’t start reading legal opinions about everything that’s
going on. I have made the effort, however, as it’s so important to us living
I came across a fairly short article in the papers today. It gives, what I think is a
very good summary of the important facts of the matter, and so a basic
understanding of what we Israelis see as the true situation, and the flaws in
the situation as it is broadcast and accepted by a huge majority world wide
(for the two reasons mentioned above).
There is one more relatively
minor factor, regularly used in discussions on the matter, which is not
mentioned in the article. So just to add this to your ammunition if needed:
Another clause in the Geneva
Convention (after WWII) on which most arguments are based, states that one
state can’t occupy land captured from another state in a war. The
Israeli (and now apparently also American) position is that the so-called West
Bank was taken back from Jordan in the war they started in order to destroy the
new Israeli state, but was never recognized as part of Jordan i.e. it was never
part of another state. All the opposition choose to ignore that small
problem, while accepting and relying absolutely on another clause !!
Last note before you read the short article: Just to remind, once again, that the whole subject is a total red
herring, since the one and only factor actually preventing any progress in the
non-existent “peace process” is the absolute refusal of the Palestinians
to EVER consider acceptance of any Jewish independent state in the M.E. All the
rest could be settled in no time if they dropped that eternal brick wall.
The Foreign Ministry hosted a delegation of Arab
journalists last week – including from countries with which Israel has no
diplomatic relations – in an attempt to chip away at Israel-hatred in the
“My goal is to bring people here to get to know the
real Israel, to see it first hand, and not through television or social media,
and see how Israel is unjustly slandered,” said Hassan Kaabia, the Foreign
Ministry’s spokesman for the Arabic media who organized and accompanied the
This is the second such delegation in four months.
The delegation, which toured the country for five
days, included senior journalists from Saud Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and Egypt, as
well as two musicians from Iraq.
Israel has no ties with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or Iraq,
and Kaabia said he did not know whether the governments of those countries knew
about the visits.
“I deal with people, not governments,” he said,
adding that he knows the members of the delegation from interactions he has had
with them on social media. The Foreign Ministry has an active Arabic Facebook
and Twitter pages.
Unlike the six person delegation that came in July,
where one member – Saudi blogger Mahmoud Saud – was willing to be identified
and go public, none of the members of the current delegation would identify
themselves. Saud was cursed, jeered and spat upon by Palestinians when he
visited the Muslim shrines on the Temple Mount during his visit here. He
frequently posts pro-Netanyahu items on social media.
The Saudi journalist in the most recent group, whom
Kaabia said was very well known in his home country, said in reference to the
Palestinians in an interview with Army Radio’s Jacky Hugi that he did not
understand why there had to be problems with Israel because of a “small
minority” who had refused the opportunity to create a state in 1947 because
they were busy asking why Jews should have an independent state.
Faced with a sea of hatred toward Israel in the Arab
world, Kaabia said that these delegations – though small – can have a major
impact. He said that the members of the current delegation are well known in
their countries – with a YouTube release of one of the Iraqi musicians songs
garnering 24 million views – and that they will all write about their visit, as
well as talk about it with their family and friends.
The delegation met for two hours with Foreign
Minister Israel Katz, as well as other Foreign Ministry officials and Knesset
members from across the political spectrum. They also toured Jerusalem, Tel
Aviv and other parts of the country.
As to why they were not willing to go public, Kaabia
said that their reply was that the Arab street is not yet ready for open ties
with Israel, “So let’s do it slowly.”
The delegation’s visit came the same week that an
organization called the Arab Council for Regional Integration held an inaugural
meeting in London and supported engagement with Israel.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday posted a
link to a New York Times story on the conference, and wrote: “It’s time for
Arab countries to abandon boycotts and engage #Israel.” Pompeo added that “Arab
thinkers who risk their lives to bravely advocate a regional vision of peace
and coexistence shouldn’t face retribution. We need dialogue.”
Israel struck tens of Iranian targets in Syria
following rocket attacks on the Jewish state earlier the day.
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) on Tuesday night carried
out a series of strikes against tens of Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria in
response to a rocket attack by
Iranian-backed militia on Israel earlier in the day.
The IDF stated that it carried out “wide-scale strikes
on Iranian Quds Force and Syrian Armed Forces targets in Syria in response to
the rockets fired at Israel by an Iranian force in Syria” early Tuesday
The targets included surface-to-air missiles,
headquarters, weapons caches and military bases in Syria, the IDF stated, while
providing a detailed map of the locations of the attacks.
During the IAF’s strike, the Syrian air defense fired missiles
at the IAF fighters, despite “clear warnings” by Israel to Syria to refrain
from such fire. The IAF responded by destroying a number of Syrian aerial
defense batteries, the IDF said.
While Syria’s official SANA news reported that two
people were killed in the attack and another two were injured, a Britain-based
war monitoring group reported that 11 people were killed, with seven of the
casualties assumed to be Iranians, according to the Associated
The Israeli attack was conducted from the Golan Heights
and from Lebanese airspace, and the “majority” of the Israeli missiles were
intercepted by Syria’s air defense system, the report claimed.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which
has assets on the ground in Syria, reported that the Israeli strike generated
explosions that were heard in the capital Damascus and its vicinity.
The SOHR noted that the Israeli attacks were conducted
in areas “where the Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranian militias are active,” and
that the strike targeted “sites from which the four missiles were
launched from inside the Syrian territory” on the Golan Heights earlier in the
Let’s be clear where we stand vis
a vis International Law
"The most important
distinction in international law and specifically about the rules of war is
that here is a dividing line. On one side are combatants; on the other side are
non-combatants. He added that one "cannot fight people who are innocent
civilians. You can cross that line accidentally, but you can’t cross it
deliberately. If you deliberately target civilians, that’s a war crime." –
stated the Prime Minister
However, he continued,
"Terrorists, including the terrorists in Gaza do something entirely
different. They target civilians deliberately. They target our cities; they
target Ashkelon, as they did today. They target the communities around Gaza.
They target Tel Aviv. They target Jerusalem. They deliberately target
civilians. That’s a war crime. Now, they commit a second war crime. They not
only target civilians, they hide behind civilians in civilian areas, so that
they know that we, who are trying to avoid hitting civilians, will not hit them
in their places of hiding. So they’re committing a double war crime. They’re
targeting civilians and they’re hiding behind civilians, trying to basically
receive a safe situation where they can keep on doing this."
Meanwhile, the ruling of the European Union court against
Israel re labelling of products that while the EU chooses not to join the
sanctions on Iran, it imposes economic-diplomatic restrictions on Israel . The hypocrisy
The European Court of
Justice has just published its interpretation of “the underlying rules
concerning indication of origin in connection to the matter of labeling
agricultural products” in response to the case brought by the Psagot Winery (a
case that former Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has now termed
The main thrust of the judgment—despite all the denials and obfuscation by the
European Union—is to enable a boycott of those wines as well as other grown,
produced and manufactured foodstuffs and items in the Jewish communities of
Judea and Samaria, the Jordan Valley and parts of Jerusalem:
Point 1 -“Foodstuffs originating in the territories occupied by the State of
Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin, accompanied,
where those foodstuffs come from an Israeli settlement within that territory.”
Veiled by a humanitarian concern for freedom of information and in taking a
stand that there is illegality in the existence of the “settlements,” the
European Union has now redoubled its political efforts to ethnically cleanse
the heart of the Jewish homeland of Jews.
In claiming that there is a failure to indicate the country of origin which
then “might mislead consumers into believing that that foodstuff has a country
of origin or a place of provenance different from its true country of origin”
is itself a misleading claim.
After all, foodstuffs produced by Arabs in the same area, if labeled as
“Palestine” (as, for example, the Taybeh Brewing Company does) would be quite
misleading as there is no country or state by that name. It is a geographical
name of a region. In fact, it became “Palestine” in the modern era, sanctioned
by international law, only because of Zionism and the just goal to
reconstituting in that area the Jewish national home.
Moreover, Israel legally maintains a belligerent occupation—that is, one whose
origin is as a result of hostilities. The hostilities themselves—namely, the
1967 Six-Day War—were of a self-defense nature against aggression. As the court
notes, the relevant regulation refers equally to a “territory” and a “state.”
To label the wine as made in “Judea” or “Binyamin” or “Samaria” should suffice.
Israel surely exercises its “full range of powers recognized by international
law” in those territories.
Moreover, as the court notes:
Point 2 - it follows from the very wording of the Union Customs Code that that
term [the concept of ‘country of origin’] refers to entities other than
‘countries’ and, therefore, other than ‘States.’ ”
It would logically follow from all that verbiage that labeling a bottle of
Psagot wine or dates from the Jordan Valley as “Binyamin, State of Israel” or
“Jordan Valley, State of Israel” is not misleading and falls within the
geographic definition required. After all, the court, as I understand, agrees
with this as so:
Point 3 - “the indication that a foodstuff comes from an ‘Israeli settlement’
located in one of the ‘territories occupied by the State of Israel’ may be
regarded as an indication of the ‘place of provenance,’ provided that the term
‘settlement’ refers to a specific geographical area.”
But no, the court insists that its judgment is intended “to prevent consumers
from being misled as to the fact that the State of Israel is present in the
territories concerned as an occupying power and not as a sovereign entity.” But
Israel does exercise its legal sovereign power in being the legitimate occupier
of those areas in accordance with international law. Occupation per se is not
Point 4 - “first of all underlined that the settlements established in some of
the territories occupied by the State of Israel are characterised by the fact
that they give concrete expression to a policy of population transfer conducted
by that State outside its territory, in violation of the rules of general
international humanitarian law.”
That “characterization” ensues from the label and an “omission of that
indication … might mislead consumers. Consumers have no way of knowing, in the
absence of any information capable of enlightening them in that respect.”
But why should consumers need to know about a supposed “violation” of
humanitarian law”? I can only guess, despite E.U. protestations otherwise, that
it wishes to point the consumers in the direction of boycott. There can be no
other reason. As the court makes explicit:
the provision of information to consumers must enable them to make informed
choices, with regard not only to health, economic, environmental and social
considerations, but also to ethical considerations and considerations relating
to the observance of international law. The Court underlined in that respect
that such considerations could influence consumers’ purchasing decisions.
Quite clearly, they intend to educate consumers to take “ethical
considerations” that can only lead to conclusions for the practice of boycott.
Moreover, the court’s reasoning is quite shakey.
The official response from the E.U. Spokesperson’s Office in Tel Aviv states : The
E.U. does not support any form of boycott or sanctions against Israel. The E.U.
rejects attempts by the campaigns of the so-called “Boycott, Divestment,
Sanctions” (BDS) movement to isolate Israel.
I beg to differ with that assertion.
NGO-Monitor detailed on Tuesday the corrosive financial and political backdrop
to the decision, which includes that fact that NGOs, as a stepping-stone to
boycotts, pushed for labeling and, ironically, receive large funds from these
same E.U. governments. There is a lot more.
Of course, there is another way out.
Why not initiate direct marketing to Europe, which, I think, is already done on
a small scale? Internet sales. It could be, facetiously but advantageously,
marketed as “The Wine Banned By Brussels.” It would tell the consumer that the
E.U. bureaucracy wants to prevent him from making quality purchases based on a
political outlook. As a friend suggested, for Judea and Samaria-friendly
people, “the E.U. wants you not to purchase this wine because they are made by
Jews in places the E.U. forbids Jews to live.”
Jews are by right in Judea and Samaria. The League of Nations confirmed our
historical connection to these territories. In the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan,
the terms “Judea” and “Samaria” are employed. Jews were not in Judea and
Samaria between 1948-1967 due to an inhumanitarian and illegal ethnic-cleansing
operation conducted by Arabs between 1920 and 1948. Our presence there
post-1967 is a result of Arab terror and aggression.