Category: Israel

Netanyahu Under Attack In Last Ditch Effort To Undermine Israel at U.N.

Benjamin_Netanyahu_Official_portraitTVCELI has been warning legislators in Washington for months as to the potential dangers of an 11th hour stab in the back from the Obama administration.

After altering several NGOs the response was almost universal — nothing to see here.

…until something did happen.

Last week’s debacle at the United Nations was Israel’s 62nd condemnation at the hands of an organization that has failed to condemn pariah states such as North Korea, Iran, or even ISIL as many times.

After learning that the refusal to exercise the U.S. veto was intentional according to Reuters, the reaction from the American press was visceral — and nearly united in defense of Israel and shock at the actions of its outgoing president.  From National Review:

As an initial matter, it is important to state that there is one — and only one — true obstacle to peace in the Middle East: the persistent failure of Israel’s enemies to accept that it has a right to exist, as a Jewish state and within defensible borders. Israel’s enemies sought to exterminate it on the very day of its declaration of independence (when there were no settlements, and the West Bank and Gaza were in Arab hands), and they seek to exterminate it still today.

Obama’s 11th hour move came at a time when many Christian families in the United States were preparing to celebrate the Christmas season, and in a not-so-ironic twist, at the very moment when millions of Jews worldwide were preparing to celebrate Hanukkah.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who has to date held the title “Leader of the Free World” in the total absence of American leadership — was quick to hold the contrast up in stark relief:

“Whole countries in the Middle East are collapsing, terror is everywhere and for an entire hour the Secretary of State of the United States talks only about the only democracy in the Middle East, a democracy that is one of the only stable places in the entire Middle East,” Netanyahu said.

“We are now celebrating Christmas,” the Israeli PM said. “Maybe Secretary of State John Kerry didn’t see that Israel is the only place in the Middle East where Christians can celebrate Christmas in security and peace and happiness.”

Meanwhile, the Israeli press is warning of worse to come, according to the Times of Israel:

Kerry is quoted as saying that he could present his ideas for a final status solution if the Palestinians pledge they will support the proposed framework. The US officials advised the Palestinians to travel to Riyadh to present the plan to Saudi leaders.

Israel fears that Kerry, who is slated to give a speech Wednesday on the subject, will then lay out his comprehensive vision for two-state solution at a Paris peace conference planned for January. Israel has refused to attend. Israel further fears that this Kerry framework could be enshrined in another UN Security Council resolution.

What has the Israeli government so concerned?  Rumors of an American-brokered but UN enforced peace deal are emerging, one that has Israels neighbors working in concert to impose an Arab “peace” on the Jewish State:

The Egyptian report fits with Israeli claims that it had received “ironclad” information from Arab sources that Washington actively helped craft last week’s UN resolution declaring Israeli settlements illegal.

“We have ironclad information that emanates from sources in the Arab world and that shows the Obama administration helped craft this resolution and pushed hard for its eventual passage,” said David Keyes, spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli government has been alarmed at such reports for months.  The U.S. State Department and Secretary John Kerry have adamantly denied there to be any truth to these allegations… that is, right up until the first extension of “good faith” — the condemnation of Israeli settlements in the West Bank — had mystically manifested itself to be ironclad fact.

TVCELI will be monitoring these developments over the course of the next few weeks.



Fierce Criticism of the Iran Deal at UN by Netanyahu

More than 150 world leaders are gathered in New York this week at a meeting of the United Nations. Most of the press attention went to Vladimir Putin attending the meeting for the first time in a decade – until today, when Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu called out the array of presidents and prime ministers for accepting an Iran deal which is woefully insufficient to guarantee the safety of his country or the world at large.  It was a remarkable display of leadership, and one our current administration could learn a lot from.

Prime Minister Netanyahu

On a day where two Israelis were murdered while driving their family through the West Bank, Netanyahu addressed the existential threat that Iran poses both as a nation chasing nuclear weapons and as a sponsor of organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah.

Netanyahu specifically noted the financial windfall Iran will receive from the deal and the inevitable home for that money – terrorism.  The total monetary benefit for the Iranian regime is unknown, but as the Israeli leader noted, it will be more than enough to continue undermining the stability in the world’s most volatile region:

This deal doesn’t make peace more likely. By fueling Iran’s aggressions with billions of dollars in sanctions relief, it makes war likely.

Unleashed and unmuzzled, Iran will go on the prowl, devouring more and more prey… You think hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief and fat contracts will turn this rapacious tiger into a kitten?”

For all its passion, though, the speech was careful in its approach to America.  After weeks of strong disagreement with the Obama administration, Netanyahu was careful to keep disagreeing without risking the relationship, lauding America as a long-standing Israeli ally and saying any differences were “within the family.”

Netanyahu’s speech to the United Nations can be watched below:

Recognizing Our Jewish Friends and Allies On Yom Kippur

This evening marks the start of Yom Kippur, the final and most important of the Jewish High Holy Days.  The observance this year is particularly poignant given the efforts of Iran – a nation which continues to deny Israel’s right to exist – to acquire nuclear weapons.  This holy day represents an excellent time to reflect on the bravery required of Israel to stand as the only true Democracy in the Middle East in addition to being the homeland for the Jewish people.

So it was a welcome to see the United Nations recognize Israel in some small manner with its first ever traditional Tashlich ceremony, a part of Yom Kippur:

Tashlich, which means “to cast,” is an ancient Jewish ritual in which participants throw breadcrumbs into a body of water symbolically tossing away their sins. The ceremony usually takes place on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, but for the United Nations’s first-ever participation, the day before Yom Kippur worked just as well.

Unfortunately, the U.N. has yet to recognize Yom Kippur or any other Jewish holiday as part of its list of official holidays despite the inclusion of Christmas and both Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.  Hopefully this official recognition, like much else owed to those Israelis who stand in the face of terrorism every day, will arrive in the year to come.


Why The Iran Deal Is A Bad Deal

TVCELI’s new white paper on the Iranian nuclear weapons agreement is finally out.  Our conclusions are straightforward:

Much has been said about the alternative to a deal being war, but the true alternative is a better deal — one that is enforceable and with serious consequences — if the Islamic Republic is unfaithful to the agreement. The crippling sanctions bringing Iran to the bargaining table must remain in place. Such a course of action would bolster the confidence of our allies in the region. Iran must recognize further its commitment to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Moreover, a clear policy stance indicating that the United States and NATO are both unwilling to tolerate a mass race for nuclear arms in the region will show Western unwillingness to fight a series of proxy wars under the threat of an Iranian nuclear umbrella. Such a line will be a critical first step in restoring confidence in America’s resolve in the region while offering a free hand in dealing with ISIL, permitting avenues for a UN-brokered peace in Syria while assuring our Turkish allies of America’s commitment to preserving stability in the region and denying Iranians the leverage they have used to force the issue this far.

Feel free to read the rest and share with friends.

The alternative to the Obama-Kerry brokered deal with Iran isn’t war — it’s a better deal, one with teeth that reinforces the realities of nuclear non-proliferation and emphasizes the need for stability in the region.

Russia Invades Ukraine, Obama Draws Red Line… On Israel?

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu — a gentleman we here at TVCELI are quite fond of calling “the leader of the free world” — is visiting the United States this week ahead of a visit to the White House and the AIPAC.

Of course, with current events, one would think that the Obama administration would be focused like a laser on events unfolding in Ukraine.  Drawing red lines and such to demonstrate to our enemies America’s seriousness of purpose.

…but you would be wrong.  Red lines are for America’s friends:

In an hourlong interview Thursday in the Oval Office, Obama, borrowing from the Jewish sage Rabbi Hillel, told me that his message to Netanyahu will be this: “If not now, when? And if not you, Mr. Prime Minister, then who?” He then took a sharper tone, saying that if Netanyahu “does not believe that a peace deal with the Palestinians is the right thing to do for Israel, then he needs to articulate an alternative approach.” He added, “It’s hard to come up with one that’s plausible.”

Peace on whose terms, Mr. President?  Will it be a peace arrived or a peace imposed?  Moreover, what security guarantees is the world giving to Israel in terms of Iranian disarmament, reducing Hezbollah’s influence in Syria and Lebanon, and finding a willing partner for peace on the Arab and Palestinian street?

“There comes a point where you can’t manage this anymore, and then you start having to make very difficult choices,” Obama said. “Do you resign yourself to what amounts to a permanent occupation of the West Bank? Is that the character of Israel as a state for a long period of time? Do you perpetuate, over the course of a decade or two decades, more and more restrictive policies in terms of Palestinian movement? Do you place restrictions on Arab-Israelis in ways that run counter to Israel’s traditions?”

Fact check.  Who started the 1967 Yom Kippur War, again?  What sort of “restrictions” should Israel accept so that Obama and Kerry can have a second-term legacy?

Netanyahu will have some tough questions thrown at him by the liberal media.  Yet the Israelis know that freedom has a friend in the United States.  Hopefully, Netanyahu’s reception will be a warm one despite the snow blanketing the Washington D.C. area this week.