Israel Political Brief September 8, 2013: EU sending diplomats to Israel to talk about new settlement guidelines



EU sending diplomats to Israel to talk about new settlement guidelines

Source: JTA, 9-8-13

The European Union will send to Israel a diplomatic team to talk to Israeli officials about implementing the EU’s new settlement guidelines….READ MORE

Israel Musings August 9, 2013: Israel decides to refuse any EU agreements with settlement guidelines



Israel decides to refuse any EU agreements with settlement guidelines

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Israel decided on August 8, 2013 that it will boycott any agreement with the European Union (EU) unless they drop major stipulations of the guidelines they published last month which cuts off funding and projects to any area beyond Israel….READ MORE

Israel Musings July 30, 2013: EU faces backlash from Israel for sanction guidelines beyond 1967 borders



EU faces backlash from Israel for sanction guidelines beyond 1967 borders

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Israel is retaliating back at the European Union for issuing guidelines against the areas beyond the 1967 borders. On Friday, July 26, 2013 Israel prevented European Union workers from entering the West Bank for projects to aid Palestinians. Israel…READ MORE

Israel Political Brief May 3, 2013: Israel rejects 1967 borders ‘precondition’



Israel rejects 1967 borders ‘precondition’

Source: JTA, 5-3-13

Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni reportedly refused to accept the 1967 border as the basis for a final Israeli-Palestinian border prior to negotiations….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief May 23, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Orders Two-Week Delay on ‘Ulpana Law’ to Postpone Expulsion Plans to Beit El’s Ulpana Neighborhood



Netanyahu Orders Two-Week Delay on ‘Ulpana Law’

Netanyahu orders the coalition to shelve Ketzaleh’s bill to legalize the Ulpana neighborhood and tells Barak to postpone expulsion plans.
A boy walks near Israeli flags in Ulpana

A boy walks near Israeli flags in Ulpana

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has ordered the coalition to block National Union Knesset Member Yaakov (Ketzaleh) Katz’s bill to compensate potential expulsion victims at Beit El’s Ulpana neighborhood and also told Defense Minister Ehud Barak to postpone demolition plans. The Prime Minister wants two weeks to solve the dilemma.

A court order for expulsions and demolitions of the five Ulpana apartment buildings is hanging over the heads of approximately two dozen families, some of whom have been living in the neighborhood for 10 years. There was no question of their legal presence until the High Court agreed with a left-wing organization petition that the land is owned by a Palestinian Authority Arab different from his cousin of the same name who sold the property – claiming ownership – to Beit El.

The government authorized the residents to move into their homes, which they argue were legally bought in good faith, but the High Court rejected their claim.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told coalition leader Ze’ev Elkin to work against advancing the bill proposed by MK Katz – whose party does not sit in the coalition – so that the government can find an alternative solution in two weeks.

Barak has said he opposes the proposed law because it would scuttle a standing court order and would give ammunition to the international anti-Israel movement. “In an advanced democratic country, there is no possibility of passing legislation that cancels a standing court order. Beit El is a large and important community that in the future will remain a part of the State of Israel in any future arrangement [with the Palestinian Authority). We must find a solution to carry out the court order while strengthening Beit El,” he said.

The implication is that Barak would agree to additional housing units in Beit El in exchange for carrying out the demolitions and expulsions. He has blocked thousands of homes from being built for Jews in Judea and Samaria by not signing authorization forms. As Defense Minister, he must sign each building permit for the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as they are subject to the  IDF civil administration.

Irwin Cotler: Eight principles for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations

Source: National Post, 7-5-11

In the wake of the meetings of the G8 in Deauville, France, Prime Minister Stephen Harper continues to be criticized for objecting to the inclusion of United States President Barack Obama’s alleged reference to “1967 borders” in the final G8 communiqué. However, a clear reading of the principles set forth in President Obama’s speeches on May 19 and 22 demonstrates that Prime Minister Harper was correct to protest the “cherry-picking” of the President’s principles, and the inclusion of a selective — and misleading — reference to the ’67 borders. President Obama’s vision for an Israeli-Palestinian peace is far more complex, and on closer examination reveals eight guiding principles for future negotiations….READ MORE

Newt Gingrich Says Obama’s Policies ‘Suicidal’ for Israel


Source: Israel National News, 6-13-11

Newt Gingrich told Republican party Jews Sunday night that if he becomes the next U.S. president, he will cut off funds to the United Nations if it recognizes the Palestinian Authority and will move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

U.S. President Barack Obama was the first presidential candidate in more than two decades who did not promise in his campaign to relocate the embassy. Two weeks ago, he again exercised a presidential waiver, citing ”national security” to exempt him from fulfilling the Congressional law requiring the move.

Gingrich, a former history professor, told the Republican Jewish Coalition in California, “An Israeli peace with Hamas is impossible. Twenty years of hopes for the peace process cannot change this fundamental reality.”

He added that accepting President Obama’s position regarding the Palestinian Authority and Israel would be “suicidal” for Israel….

Although the economy may be the main issue in the 2012 presidential race, Gingrich chose Sunday night to hammer against President Obama’s international views, accusing him of pursuing “dangerous policies of incoherence and confusion.”

Gingrich said, “Both Israel and America are at a dangerous crossroads at which the survival of Israel and the safety of the United States both hang in the balance.”

Senators Hatch & Lieberman Introduce Resolution Supporting Israel’s Post-1967 Borders

Source: RTT News, 6-4-11

In an effort to counter recent remarks from President Barack Obama, Senators Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., introduced a congressional resolution Thursday reaffirming U.S. support for allowing Israel to maintain control of territory gained during the Six-Day War in 1967.

The resolution states, “It is the policy of the United States to support and facilitate Israel in maintaining, secure, recognized and defensible borders and that it is contrary to United States policy and our national security to have the borders of Israel return to the armistice lines that existed on June 4, 1967.”

The introduction of the resolution comes after Obama delivered a speech last month calling for the borders of Israel and a future Palestinian state to be based on the pre-1967 boundaries with mutually agreed land swaps.

Obama’s initial remarks attracted considerable criticism, including from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the president clarified in later remarks that the mutually agreed-upon swaps mean that the border would be different than the one that existed before the war.

As a result of the 1967 war, Israel took effective control of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights. Control of the Sinai Peninsula has since been returned to Egypt.

Lieberman said, “Israel’s borders as they existed on June 4, 1967 are not an acceptable endpoint for negotiations because they do not allow Israel to defend itself or respect the reality that hundreds of thousands of Israelis now live east of the 1967 borders.”

“This bipartisan resolution reaffirms that simple but important reality, along with the commitment of the United States to the security of our ally Israel,” he added.

Along with Hatch and Lieberman, 29 other Senators cosponsored the resolution, including Democratic Sens. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

Canadian Reversal: Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird backs Obama’s 1967-border proposal for Israel

In apparent reversal, Baird backs Obama’s 1967-border proposal

Source: Globe & Mail, 6-2-11

Canada wants Israel to use its 1967 borders as the starting point for negotiations with Palestinians seeking independence, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Wednesday, just days after Prime Minister Stephen Harper is said to have prevented such language from being included in a G8 statement on the matter.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, right, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper are seen at the G8 summit in Deauville, France, May 26, 2011. - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, right, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper are seen at the G8 summit in Deauville, France, May 26, 2011. | Andrew Winning/ReutersSpeaking to reporters on Parliament Hill, Mr. Baird backed U.S. President Barack Obama’s call for Israel to either return East Jerusalem to the Palestinians and dismantle settlements in the West Bank or hand over other territory in compensation as part of the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

“We support, obviously, that that solution has to be based on the ’67 border, with mutually agreed upon swaps, as President Obama said,” Mr. Baird said.

Although such a solution is widely accepted among the international community and the United Nations, the Israeli government has no desire to share Jerusalem with an independent Palestine. It has continued a process of moving Israeli settlers into Palestinian territory. When Mr. Obama affirmed his support for the 1967 border, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu roundly rejected it.

Politicians in North America have also steered clear of references to the 1967 borders, wary of upsetting the Israeli community. Mr. Harper, a staunch supporter of Israel, refused to support Mr. Obama’s words previously, even though they reflected Canada’s official position. As recently as last week, he stuck to the position at the G8 summit, diplomats said….

Mr. Baird said his statement was not an about-face in Tory policy, but he appeared not to be familiar with Resolution 242, the 1967 UN declaration calling on Israel to pull its troops back.

Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae, who has an interest in foreign affairs, demonstrated his knowledge of the issue with a casual reference to 242.

“Go back to President Nixon, Mr. Kissinger, all that, all the efforts, the Madrid process, the Oslo process, all the events, the Annapolis process, more recently the effort that President Obama began. All these efforts since what, 40 years, are based on 242.”

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Baird backs Obama approach to Mideast, Israel’s Borders

Is Canada jumping ship and abandoning its pro-Israel policy, the lone supporter among the G8 nations?

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird on Wednesday backed U.S. President Barack Obama's Mideast approach. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird on Wednesday backed U.S. President Barack Obama’s Mideast approach. (The Canadian Press)

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says Canada does support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – based on pre-1967 borders.

It’s a statement which goes further than Prime Minister Stephen Harper has so far been willing to say publicly.

“We support a two-state solution, we support, obviously – that solution has got to be based on the ’67 borders. With the mutually agreed upon swaps, as President Obama said,” Baird said today in response to reporters’ questions after a Conservative caucus in Ottawa.

When asked to clarify if he meant the pre-1967 borders, Baird was unequivocal: “We’ve said that’s Canadian foreign policy, yes.”

Ahead of last week’s G8 Summit in France, U.S. President Barack Obama said the “starting point” of a new round of Middle East peace talks should be the establishment of separate Israeli and Palestinian states based on the borders as they existed before the war of 1967, with negotiated land swaps.

However, no reference to that specific point was included in the G8’s final declaration. Several international news agencies reported that a mention of the 1967 borders was removed at the insistence of Harper.

At the conclusion of the summit, Harper was asked if he did, in fact, insist the language be changed.

Harper would only say: “We are pleased the statement coming out of the G8 is a balanced statement.”

When asked if he supported Obama’s approach, Harper replied: “I am comfortable with, very comfortable, we’re very much at ease with President Obama’s speech, but you can’t cherry pick elements of that speech.”

Republicans Introduce “Unrealistic” ’67 Lines Resolution Supporting Israel

Source: JTA, 6-1-11

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representative introduced a bill reaffirming Bush administration principles on an Israeli-Palestinian of representatives 67 lines unrealistic

The non-binding resolution, initiated May 23 by Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.) and so far sponsored by another 36 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, reaffirms congressional resolutions in 2004 that backed up President Bush’s letter to Israel’s government that year that it was “unrealistic” that Israel return to 1967 lines.

Those resolutions were approved overwhelmingly in both the House and the U.S. Senate.

Dold’s initiative comes in the wake of disagreements between the Obama administration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over President Obama’s policy of basing negotiations on the 1967 lines, with land swaps.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) is contemplating a similar Senate resolution. According to The Hill, a daily covering Congress, Lieberman may garner the backing of some Democrats, as well as broad Republican backing.

Israel Maps: Pre-1967 & Present Borders

Baltimore Sun: Obama Mideast plan betrays Israel

Source: Baltimore Sun, 5-26-11

True to form, President Obama began backpedaling from his statement to Prime Minister Netanyahu that Israel needs to return to her 1967 borders when he later explained to AIPAC( American Israeli Public Affairs Committee) that his statement was “mischaracterized.” It’s hard to know if he is arrogant or just naïve concerning the underlying conflict, or if he is actually less than genuine toward Israel and its fight to survive as the only true democracy in the Middle East and America’s staunchest ally. It is incomprehensible to think Israel could defend herself against the onslaught of terrorism that would surely ensue, and it is idealistic to believe that this would bring peace to the region. Israel pulled out of Lebanon and Hezbollah took over. She pulled out of Gaza, and Hamas, which exists only to destroy Israel, has taken over. Does anyone believe that turning over the West Bank would be any different? The more concessions she makes, the greater the violence she faces from Islamic terrorism because Israel’s very existence is anathema to them and is seen as an affront to their god.

Israel, the size of New Jersey, is surrounded by 17 Islamic nations with 640 times more land, and many with exorbitant wealth from oil. Surely there is enough room and wealth amongst them to absorb and settle their Muslim brothers. On June 7, 1967 six Arab nations coordinated an attack against her declaring, “We will stop when we have pushed you into the sea!” It was David versus Goliath all over again when 650,000 Jews were surrounded by 40 million Arabs, and 1.5 million were armed against 80,000 Jews in Jerusalem who were cut off from the rest of Israel. In a stunning, epic reversal, Israel not only survived but regained her biblical lands of Samaria and Judea (renamed West Bank by Jordan to reduce Jewish claims to the area), the Golan, Gaza, and Sinai desert.

Giving up land for peace does not work, and to give up more would be to commit national suicide. Not only did President Obama warrant the lecture Mr. Netanyahu gave him, but he should investigate both the ancient and recent history of the Palestinian conflict: The first “refugees” who fled Israel in 1948 did so at the command of the Arab armies so that the Jews could be more easily destroyed. They were told, “Once we push the Jews into the sea, you can return and have your land back and theirs too.” But when it didn’t happen that way, instead of making room for them in their nations where they share the same culture and religion, they have used them as a lightning rod to garner support for their hateful cause. They sow the seeds of anti-Semitism into the hearts of their school children and reap suicide bombers.

They refuse to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist. If they weren’t happy with Israel’s 1967 borders, and attacked her then, why would they be now? In America our government is in a perpetual state of vigilance to keep the terrorists from gaining access at our borders. For our president to prescribe Israel to expose herself to such peril is rash at best, and at worst, a betrayal. I hope Jews in America will continue to let their voices be heard, with all who support a democratic Israel.

Canada’s PM Stephen Harper Lone Israel Supporter at G8 Summit

On Israel, Harper stands alone at G8 summit

Source: Globe & Mail, 5-25-11

Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrives in Deauville, France on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 to attend the G8 Summit. - Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrives in Deauville, France on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 to attend the G8 Summit. | Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

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