Standing With Israel

Standing With Israel

Peggy Shapiro

“Where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall
be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be
buried.”  This famous pledge by Ruth, a young Moabite widow, to her Israelite
mother-in-law Naomi is such a moving declaration of loyalty that it is
frequently cited in marriage ceremonies.

It was also frequently repeated at the three-day (July 18-20) Christians
United for Israel (CUFI) Summit in Washington D.C. When Glenn Beck, the keynote
speaker at the culminating Summit banquet, quoted that biblical pledge of
friendship, five thousand Christians leapt to their feet in praise and
affirmation, and I, a Jew, a child of Holocaust survivors, was moved to tears by
this army of unshakeable friends.

It was my third CUFI Summit and there were many changes in an organization
which has grown to over 700,000 in its short six years of existence. In addition
to the larger halls, greater number of students (over 500), and more lobbying
appointments with Congress, there was a deepened message of commitment to
Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people. The other Summits also had biblical
themes including “And I will bless those that bless you [Israel] and curse the
one who curses you. “Book of Genesis, Chapter 12, Verse 1-3. The passage
challenges individual Christians and the nation as a whole to be a blessing to
Israel if the United States is to continue as the most blessed country for
another 200 years and warns that the day America abandons Israel, America will
begin its descent. There are clear rewards for supporting Israel.

There is no reward, in this life or the next, expected in Ruth’s pledge to
her mother-in-law. In fact, Ruth knew full well that what she was doing posed
risks, yet she was firm in her determination to follow her mother-in-law and
cling to the faith she had adopted.  The Christians who assembled at the Summit
and made their heartfelt pledge to protect and stand with Israel did so out of
unconditional love and with no expectations of rewards.

They acknowledge what so many refuse to see: Jews and Christians face the
same enemies and their destinies are bound today as never before.  What begins
with the Jews doesn’t end with the Jews. Today I read
about Yousef Nadarkhani, a 32 year-old Iranian evangelical pastor, who had been
commanded by the Iranian regime to renounce his Christian faith or face
execution. Nadarkhani’s dooming sentencing is only the latest occurrence in the
Islamic Republic’s aggressive and heightened attack on the Christian
population.  It is not just Iran.  USA
Today
reports that “The single most dangerous thing in the world to be,
right now, is a Christian in a Muslim country.”

Those who are attempting to erase Jewish history from the land of Israel are
also bent on eliminating the Christian presence.  In1995. Bethlehem, the most
identifiably Christian town, had a Christian population of 80 percent.  Today
with a population of under 30 percent Christians, Bethlehem has, for the first
time in over two thousand years, lost its Christian majority. The same changes
have taken place in two other famously Christian towns, Nazareth and
Jerusalem.

The story’s the same in Egypt, Iraq and elsewhere in the Mideast. The only
place in the region where the Christian population is growing is in
Israel
.

Just as Ruth, Christians United for Israel pledge their loyalty clear-eyed
about the realities of the hostilities they can encounter and expecti no rewards
for their act of love. However, the story of Ruth and Naomi does not end with a
declaration of loyalty. With Naomi’s guidance, Ruth remarries and has a son.
Naomi goes from feeling isolated to the joy of holding a grandchild in her arms.
And Ruth’s son Oved becomes the father of Jesse, whose youngest son is David,
the beloved king of all the Jewish people. Years later Jesus, a descendant of
David, is born in Bethlehem.

Without Ruth, Jewish history could not continue. And Christian history could
not begin.  CUFI stands with Israel in an ultimate pledge of loyalty, and
without that pledge, Jewish and Christian destinies would be more
vulnerable.

Peggy Shapiro is Chicago Community Coordinator for
StandWithUs

Betraying Israel

 

Posted By Joseph  Klein On February 22, 2011 @ 12:30 am In Daily Mailer, FrontPage | 12 Comments

On February 18, 2011, the Obama administration vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution sought by the Palestinian Authority and introduced by Lebanon, declaring Israeli settlements to be “illegal.” In fact, the U.S. was the only Security Council member to vote against the measure. Countries supporting the resolution in a 14-1 vote, rather than at least abstaining, included the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

However, the Obama administration wasted no time in trying to have it both ways. It piled on Israel with denunciations of its settlement policies in as strident a manner as the Palestinians and the terrorist-ruled state of Lebanon.

In her formal statement to the Security Council explaining the United States’ decision to veto this particular Security Council resolution, Ambassador Susan Rice told the council that it “risks hardening the positions of both sides. It could encourage the parties to stay out of negotiations and, if and when they did resume, to return to the Security Council whenever they reach an impasse.”

But Rice also told the council not to interpret America’s opposition to the resolution as support for Israel’s settlement activities. America rejects “in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity,” she said. “Continued settlement activity violates Israel’s international commitments, devastates trust between the parties, and threatens the prospects for peace…[W]e agree with our fellow Council members – and indeed, with the wider world – about the folly and illegitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity.”

In other words, Rice is signaling to Israel’s enemies: don’t worry about the fate of this particular piece of paper in the Security Council. The United States still backs Israel’s enemies in blaming the impasse in peace negotiations on Israeli settlements. Rice was merely continuing along the lines of President Obama’s decision early in his term to come down hard on Israel by demanding a complete freeze on settlements – including on any growth in existing settlements – without requiring any meaningful concessions in return from the Palestinian side.

Rice also referred in her statement to the idea of a “contiguous” state of Palestine, essentially repeating what President Obama had said in 2009 to the United Nations General Assembly in support of “a viable, independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory that ends the occupation.” Neither President Obama nor Ambassador Rice bothered to explain how this would be possible without cutting Israel in half. Moreover, there is still that pesky problem of the rift within the Palestinian community itself between the terrorist Hamas organization that controls Gaza and the more “moderate” Palestinian Authority that controls the West Bank.

For days before the Security Council vote on the anti-Israel resolution, the Obama administration had tried to find ways to lend its support to a censure of Israel, short of a one-sided resolution that explicitly declared the settlements “illegal” and which the council’s members would have been legally obligated to enforce. For example, the U.S. negotiators had informed Arab governments that it would support a Security Council Presidential Statement stating that the Security Council “does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, which is a serious obstacle to the peace process.” The statement would also have included a condemnation of “all forms of violence, including rocket fire from Gaza.”

How such a statement would not have hardened the positions of both sides as much as Rice had claimed the resolution would do is anyone’s guess. But it became moot after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rebuffed President Obama’s personal efforts to reach a compromise during a lengthy telephone call between Obama and Abbas the day before the Security Council vote.

Despite the U.S. veto, the Palestinian Permanent Observer Riyad Mansour boasted to reporters at the press stakeout outside the UN Security Council chamber about all of the support shown by the resolution’s sponsors. Israel was alone in the world in supporting its own settlements, he said.

Lebanon’s ambassador, Nawaf Salam, told reporters that his country’s main reason, as a current member of the Security Council, for introducing the resolution was because the “main objective of this institution is to uphold international law. That is why we came to the Security Council, and that is why we will continue to come back to the Security Council.”

 


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Rather than appear in person at the UN press stakeout to answer questions about the U.S. veto, Ambassador Rice scheduled a conference call with some reporters. Responding to a question why the Obama administration was willing to support a Security Council Presidential Statement condemning Israel’s settlements but not a Security Council resolution saying much the same thing, Rice said that the United States had supported what it thought was a more constructive 3-part alternative. She described the 3-part alternative as including a Russian proposal for a trip by the Security Council representatives to the region, “a very strong Presidential Statement from the Security Council which would have gone further than we have gone of late on the issue of settlements and other important issues,” and using the “upcoming Quartet [on the Middle East] statement for making some new and important statements on core issues including territory, as well as settlements.”

Now that the Security Council resolution failed to pass because of the U.S. veto, will the Palestinians and Arab countries call Rice’s bluff and press to go ahead with the 3-part alternative proposal? It looks like the answer could well be yes. When Inner City Press asked Palestinian Permanent Observer Mansour at the press stakeout if the Security Council trip to the Middle East proposed by Russia and initially endorsed by the United States was still a good idea, he answered yes. But it seems that the U.S. may now be backing away from the trip idea. As transcribed by Inner City Press, Rice said during her conference call with reporters after the veto that “the proposal of the trip to the region seems even more complicated today than it was yesterday and I think its viability is quite questionable at this point.”

One such complication may be the realization that the trip would most likely entail awkward meetings with representatives of two terrorist organizations in the region that control Gaza and Lebanon – Hamas and Hezbollah respectively.

When Lebanon’s UN Ambassador was asked by reporters, after the vote on the anti-Israel Security Council resolution his country had introduced, to comment on the increasing tensions between Hezbollah and Israel, he refused to answer. He said that the question had nothing to do with why the Security Council was meeting to condemn Israel on this particular day.

In other words, although Lebanon took the lead at the Security Council in accusing Israel of building settlements in violation of international law, it was ducking accountability for enabling the terrorist group Hezbollah to unlawfully rearm itself with rockets aimed at Israel’s civilian population in violation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1701 that had ended the 2006 conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. What’s more, speaking in the Lebanese capital Beirut, Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah just recently threatened to take over northern Israel in case of war with the Jewish state.

The Obama administration did the right thing in vetoing the latest one-sided Security Council resolution against Israel. But it quickly muddled this decision by lending full rhetorical support to the intentions of the resolution’s sponsors – to isolate Israel further in the international community by declaring all of its settlements to be illegitimate and the cause of the breakdown in negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel. The truth is that Israeli settlements are but one of a number of issues that must be resolved before there can be a truly lasting, peaceful settlement.  Israel’s 30 year peace treaty with Egypt (now itself in jeopardy) proves the risks that  Israel is willing to take to secure real peace.

Moreover, there were no Israeli settlements or security fences in the West Bank for twenty years after the Palestinians and the surrounding Arab nations rejected the original two-state solution under the United Nations’ partition plan. An independent Palestinian state could have been created in those twenty years, but it was the Palestinians themselves and their patrons in the Arab world who failed to seize the opportunity. Since Israel took over the West Bank following its victory in the 1967 Six-Day War when Jordan decided to join the attack on Israel despite being warned that it would lose the West Bank territory if it did so, Israel has continued to take risks for peace.

The Obama administration refuses to acknowledge the fact that Israel has already made painful sacrifices for peace with the Palestinians, including unilaterally withdrawing from Gaza, even though it has led to greater violence from Islamic terrorists north and south of its borders and within Israel itself.

Even more fundamentally, this administration turns a blind eye to the reality that Israelis face every day of their lives – powerful forces surrounding them that do not accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. It is time to stop engaging in the dangerous game of blaming Israel for not reaching a peaceful resolution of its conflict with the Palestinians and come down firmly on the side of the one country in the Middle East that truly shares our Western democratic values.


Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com

At UN, US sides with Israel’s enemies on settlement issue

At UN, US sides with Israel’s enemies on settlement issue

Rick Moran

 

It’s being billed by the administration as a
“compromise” – a move to forestall a Palestinian motion that would almost
certainly force the US to use a veto to block it.

In reality, it is just
another demonstration of the Obama administration’s hostility to
Israel.

Foreign
Policy:

Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, outlined
the new U.S. offer in a closed door meeting on Tuesday with the Arab Group, a
bloc of Arab countries from North Africa and the Middle East. In exchange for
scuttling the Palestinian resolution, the United States would support the
council statement, consider supporting a U.N. Security Council visit to the
Middle East, the first since 1979, and commit to supporting strong language
criticizing Israel’s settlement policies in a future statement by the Middle
East Quartet.
The U.S.-backed draft statement — which was first reported by Al Hurra —
was obtained by Turtle Bay. In it, the Security Council “expresses its strong
opposition to any unilateral actions by any party, which cannot prejudge the
outcome of negotiations and will not be recognized by the international
community, and reaffirms, that it does not accept the legitimacy of continued
Israeli settlement activity, which is a serious obstacle to the peace process.”
The statement also condemns “all forms of violence, including rocket fire from
Gaza, and stresses the need for calm and security for both peoples.”
U.S. officials argue that the only way to resolve the Middle East conflict is
through direct negotiations involving Israel and the Palestinians. For weeks,
the Obama administration has refused to negotiate with the Palestinians on a
resolution condemning the settlements as illegal, signaling that they would
likely veto it if it were put to a vote. The Palestinians were planning to put
the resolution to a vote later this week. But Security Council statements of the
sort currently under consideration are voted on the bases of consensus in the
15-nation council.

Why seek a compromise in the first place? Either Israel is within its rights
to build settlements in some areas of their territory or we oppose them. This
“middle ground” baloney is being considered only to appease the Arabs who know
full well that Israel’s settlement policy is legal, but choose to make an issue
of it because the Palestinians are.
If the compromise fails, will the Obama administration use a veto at the UN?
Given their attitude toward our ally to date, anything is possible but it would
be political suicide not to stand by Israel on such a sensitive issue.
That may be the only thing that Obama considers more important than
supporting the Palestinians in their efforts to stop Israel from building
legitimate settlements.

Milestone: Rocket 200 of the year hits Israel

Milestone: Rocket 200 of the year hits Israel

Ethel C. Fenig

 

While the American, European and American peace
processors huff and puff about the absolute need for Israel–and Israel only–to
freeze construction on homes and infrastructure in the disputed areas for its
growing population they are absolutely silent, implying consent, of Arab
construction not only in these areas but illegal Arab construction in Israel
itself; complaining when Israel tears down buildings thrown up without permits,
without permission.

The deafening silence continues as deadly rockets
from Gaza rain on civilian areas in Israel. Just the other day the 200th rocket
hit Israel; happily there were no physical injuries this time.

An interactive
map
from The Israel Project provides vivid information on the real threats
on Israel’s southern border.

The silence speaks volumes.

Page Printed from:
http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/12/milestone_rocket_200_of_the_ye.html

at December 20, 2010 – 11:21:50 AM CST

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Hamas says asked by US to keep silent on talks

Hamas says asked by US to keep silent on talks

Islamist group source says senior American officials request contacts remain secret ‘so as not to rouse Jewish lobby’
Roee Nahmias

 A senior Hamas figure said Friday that official and unofficial US sources have asked the Islamist group to refrain from making any statements regarding contacts with Washington, this following reports that a senior American official is due to arrive in an Arab country in the coming days to relay a telegram from the Obama Administration.

 The Hamas figure told the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper that the Americans fear discussing the talks publicly would “rouse the Jewish lobby and other pressure groups in the US and cause them to pressure the administration to suspend all talks with Hamas.”

 The Hamas figure, who is close to Ismail Haniyeh, the prime minister of the government in Gaza, added, “This is a sensitive subject. The Americans don’t want anyone to comment on it because this would catch the attention of pressure groups (in the US) and cause problems.”

 He said Hamas’ exiled leadership in Damascus is overseeing the contacts behind closed doors.

 On Wednesday a Washington-based Arabic newspaper quoted a senior official as saying that an American envoy is scheduled to meet with Hamas representatives in an Arab country and hand them a letter from the Obama Administration.

 According to the report, the official said Washington has no choice but to work with Hamas due to its influence in the Arab and Islamic world.

US-Israeli Relations Suffer “Tectonic Rift”

US-Israeli Relations Suffer “Tectonic Rift”

June 28th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

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The Telegraph:

A senior Israeli diplomat has warned that the Jewish state’s relationship with the United States has suffered a “tectonic rift”.

The sobering assessment comes a week before Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, meets President Barack Obama at the White House.

There had been hope the two could lay to rest a row that erupted between the two allies in March but the new comments have raised fears of long-term damage.

Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, told foreign ministry colleagues at a private briefing in Jerusalem that they were facing a long and potentially irrevocable estrangement.

Sources said Mr Oren told the meeting: “There is no crisis in Israel-US relations because in a crisis there are ups and downs. [Instead] relations are in a state of tectonic rift in which continents are drifting apart.”

Mr Oren’s privately-voiced pessimism stands in stark contrast to public declarations in both Jerusalem and Washington that differences between the two states amount to nothing more than “disagreements” between allies.

The ambassador told the Jerusalem Post newspaper last week that US-Israel ties were stronger than many observers believed.

Unlike his previous encounter with Mr Obama in March, when he was given a stern dressing-down and denied permission to hold a joint press conference, Mr Netanyahu’s visit to the White House next Tuesday is likely to be cloaked in civility.

The Israeli prime minister is being promised photo opportunities with his host in the White House Rose Garden and perhaps even an invitation to Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.

But the show of unity is being seen as a sop to members of Mr Obama’s party who afraid of angering Jewish American voters ahead of November’s midterm elections than as a sign of genuine rapprochement.

Israeli officials have been quoted as saying that they expect a sterner private reception for their prime minister, who is yet to be fully forgiven for the perceived humiliation of Joe Biden, the US vice president, during a visit to Israel in March.

Mr Biden had come to Holy Land to launch indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinian leadership. But negotiations collapsed before they started after Mr Netanyahu’s government announced plans to expand a Jewish settlement in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem.

According to Mr Oren, attempts to gain leverage over President Obama through some of his “pro-Israel” aides – believed to be a reference to Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief-of-staff, and Dennis Ross, a senior State Department official – had failed.

Instead Mr Obama had shown determination to take personal charge of the faltering Israeli-Palestinian peace process and is understood to hold Mr Netanyahu at least partly responsible for the lack of progress.

“It’s a one man show,” Mr Oren reportedly told his colleagues.

During the briefing, Mr Oren insisted that Mr Emanuel, despite some doubts in Israel, remained a friend of the Jewish state.

On a recent visit to Israel for his son’s bar mitzvah, Mr Emanuel, who is Jewish, telephoned him in tears because of the warm reception he had received from ordinary Israelis during a jog in Tel Aviv, Mr Oren said.

Mr Oren denied the comments attributed to him during the briefing. It is the second time pessimistic comments made by the ambassador during private briefings have been made in the past four months.