Anthony Hardy Williams – a state senator, civil-rights activist, and leader in the African-American community – takes the BDS movement to task. While BDS would like to see itself as progressive, it too often resorts to prejudice, as in its recent attacks on Chloé Simone Valdary, an African-American undergraduate student who is also the founder of a pro-Israel organization:
Just as Jews stood with African-Americans during the fight for civil rights in the 1960s, so too must we as leaders of the Black community stand together today with Chloé Simone Valdary, on the one hand, and the Jewish community, on the other hand.
Don’t dismiss this incident as a one-off. It represents a deeply troubling trend in an anti-Israel movement that goes way beyond honest criticism of Israeli policy to dehumanize and vilify Israel, Israelis and anyone who supports the Jewish state.
We applaud Ms. Valdary on her stand for Israel, and Mr. Williams on his stances, as well, for Israel and against unjust and racist ideologies.Comments (1) »
Elliott Abrams, writing at the Council on Foreign Relations, dissects an open letter to Secretary of State John Kerry from a handful of American foreign policy elites including former Carter National Security Advisor (and frequent critic of Israel) Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Congressman Lee Hamilton, and others. The letter, predictably, gets a lot of the facts and recommendations wrong:
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There is no “enlargement” of Israeli settlements. There is population growth, especially in the major blocs that Israeli will obviously keep in any final agreement. But enlargement, which logically means physical expansion, is not the problem and is rare in the West Bank settlements. The authors don’t seem to know this.
On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testified before Congress that Israel was the cause of the breakdown in peace talks. Secretary Kerry’s unfair characterization reminded us of a truism that gets scant attention in the Israeli-Arab conflict. That is: if any Western country were in Israel’s position, the only possible difference in their reaction would be to move faster and more stridently.
In other words, put your country in Israel’s shoes. What would you suggest be done differently? It’s a simple test.
Let’s say that you’ve engaged in nine months of negotiations. The opposing partner involved in the talks only agreed to come to the table if you met one of two possible demands: stop building in your own capital city, or release a lot of murderers.
First, think about what that says about who you’re negotiating with! They want murderers out of jail! Now, you have, essentially, one demand of the opposing party: they have to say something you want to hear. They don’t have to do anything about it, but they have to say it, and others have to hear it. Imagine that they won’t do it.
Now imagine that, as talks are stuck in neutral and the deadline is approaching, the opposing side begins talking about another release of murderers or a building freeze to get them to stay at the table. No such thing was ever in the original agreement. With the final round of the original murderer release coming up, it becomes clear to you that the opposition is merely using these talks as a pretext to extract further unilateral concessions from you and that they have no intention of ever resolving core issues.
And here it is. Here’s the kicker that Western leaders and diplomats never seem to ask themselves: what would you do? What would your citizens demand of you?
The breakdown in these talks is not Israel’s fault. For Secretary Kerry to go before our elected representatives and say otherwise is a failure to recognize what’s going…Read More » Comments (31) »
The Israeli Air Force gained a major advantage today with the arrival of its new “Samson” Squadron, equipped with Lockheed C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the U.S. The IDF’s blog details the C-130J’s capabilities — including a tour of the cockpit — and how it will help protect the Holy Land:
With its great holding capacity and technological innovation, this new giant of the skies will bring a major strategic advantage, which will strengthen the IDF’s ability to carry out its mission of protecting Israel’s borders and citizens.
Yet another instance of American and Israeli cooperation being used to defend freedom!Comments (32) »
Jennifer Rubin, writing at The Washington Post, cites Sen. Bob Menendez and two former Defense Department officials in telling us that time and options are running out on Iran. Is it time for the U.S. to, at least, give Israel the means with which to succeed at doing what we refuse to do?
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We are quickly running out of options to halt Iran’s attainment of a nuclear weapons capability. In wasting years trying to “engage” Iran, then attempting to stall sanctions and recently rolling them back for virtually no tangible gain — all the while continually talking down the military threat — the president and his secretaries of state have systematically foiled our best options for peacefully dismantling Iran’s nuclear weapons threat
Israeli journalist Ben-Dror Yemini claims in this article that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were much closer to a deal than is publicly known, but that John Kerry made the mistake of pressuring Israel and not the Palestinians. What followed, predictably, were more demands and a walk away from the table:
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Just as great progress was being achieved, Kerry made a series of statements about the boycott that Israel would be facing if negotiations fail. Even the Palestinians couldn’t believe that this man, the insistent broker, was saying these things. He started a campaign of accusations against Israel – just as Netanyahu was ready to make huge compromises. Kerry didn’t mean to – but he signaled the way for the Palestinians to once again raise the bar on their demands. Once again, they could refuse. Kerry made it clear to them that Israel would be paying the price alone. Nothing would happen to them.
Authoring the effective obituary of the latest round of negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin faults U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for creating a false sense of urgency which, along with his overwrought rhetoric, will have a long-term harmful impact on prospects for peace:
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But the real problem here isn’t the unbalanced nature of such a deal that is not likely to be carried out anyway. Rather, it is the sense of hysteria that has been invested in the latest iteration of the Middle East peace process. Having decided to try to succeed where all of his predecessors have failed, Kerry did so by claiming that it was the region’s last chance for peace even though there was no reason to believe the conflict was in danger of re-igniting or there were reasonable prospects for success.
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Last week we told you about two American universities’ recent battles with the BDS movement. One of these, the University of Michigan, struck down a proposed divestment resolution. This short video shows a young woman share her own thoughts and experiences on Israel.
Former Israeli Ambassador to Canada, Alan Baker, shares a letter he wrote to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry following Kerry’s disastrous testimony before Congress in which he characterized the Israeli negotiating position that the Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish state as “a mistake”:
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Mr. Secretary, one might have expected, in light your position and function as convenor and mediator in the present Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, that you would refrain from making more public value judgments as to whether Israel’s position is, or is not “a mistake.” While clearly you are entitled to maintain your own opinion, you have no right to express this in such one-sided and prejudicial terms, thereby undermining the very integrity of the negotiating table and selectively prejudging a substantive issue.