Moshe Dann was an Assisant Professor of History at CUNY and other institutions in the NYC area before moving to Israel 30 years ago. Moshe is a writer and journalist living in Jerusalem. Moshe can be reached at: [[email protected][email protected]][email protected][/email]
The Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement has two aspects. One applies to Israel and Israelis; the elimination of the state and genocide. The other applies to Jews who live in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”), eastern Jerusalem and Golan – “the settlements.” The first calls for ending the “occupation” that began when Israel was established (the “Nakba”); the second calls for ending the “occupation” that began in 1967.
The first type is prohibited by law in a number of US states, and now in Israel, which recently passed a law banning entry to supporters of BDS. The second, however, is not prohibited and in fact is supported by many “progressive” Jews and Israelis.
The destruction of fifty-one Jewish homes in Ofra and Amona in February by order of the High Court raises questions about Israel’s claim to be “the nation-state of the Jewish people.” The evictions made no sense, and, although Prime Minister Netanyahu signed an agreement on behalf of the government with the residents of Amona to provide alternative housing in a new community, he has failed to honor his commitment. The families remain in distress, helpless and homeless.
Absurdly, this destruction and others served no one. Jews were traumatized; Arabs can’t use the land for security reasons and because they cannot prove ownership; most Israelis perceived it as a national disgrace; it alienated many and undermined trust in the High Court and the government; and it wasted money and resources. No one benefited!
The most difficult accusation against Israel is that it is “occupying Palestinian territory,” thereby preventing “Palestinian self-determination” and violating humanitarian rights. It’s the ‘elephant in the room,’ the core of anti-Israel BDS campaigns, fueling anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hatred and violence and promotes opposition to settlements. It challenges the legitimacy of Israeli sovereignty and the rights of the Jewish people in Eretz Yisrael.
Containing Iran is no longer practical or possible. Obama has fulfilled his promise to change the world. The State of Israel has been abandoned and whatever regional stability undermined. That is Obama’s legacy.
The danger of Obama’s deal with Iran is not only that it enables Iran to become a nuclear power, but that it empowers Iranian proxies, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Alawite regime in Syria led by Assad, Shiites in Iraq, Houthis in Yemen and terrorist organizations everywhere. Given access to the international banking system, moreover, the deal also allows Iran to transfer funds directly into bank accounts; no more need to smuggle suitcases full of cash. This will provide Hamas and other terrorist groups in the Palestinian Authority (PA) with resources to overthrow the current ruling clique, led by Pres Mahmud Abbas.
Who was the first Christian? What are the origins of Christianity? Most people would say, “Jesus.” What if that were not true? What if Jesus and at least some of his disciples had been influenced by or were followers of the Essenes—the people who copied, collected and wrote the scrolls at the beginning of the 2nd century BCE?
Since the mid-19th century, acquisition and distribution of land and property rights throughout the Ottoman Empire were organized in Law Codes which were continued under British-mandate rule and were recognized and incorporated into Israeli administrative practice in Judea and Samaria.
US Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent comment that Israeli settlements are “illegitimate” (a form of illegality) is not new; it is the position of the State Department and the international community. Kerry’s remark is based on United Nations General Assembly resolutions, which in turn are based on decisions of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the official “guardian” of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) (FGC).
Opponents of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (“settlements”) charge that they drain our economy, diverting funds that should be spent within the 1949 Armistice (“Green”) Lines. They accuse the government of giving settlers unwarranted discounts and subsidies in the form of building schools and clinics, infrastructure, such as roads, and providing security.
Announcing an agreement to release 104 of the most blood-thirsty Arab prisoners in Israeli jails in return for Palestinian Authority promises to show up at the latest merry-go-round negotiations, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu bemoaned the “agonizing difficulty” of making such a decision.
The State of Israel has many achievements to its credit. It has provided a refuge for persecuted Jews, has proverbially “made the desert bloom” and has contributed many scientific and medical breakthroughs. As authors Saul Singer and Dan Senor highlight in their best-seller, Start-up Nation, Israel is famous for its phenomenal incubation of innovative industry.
The reported presence of thousands of Hezbollah fighters and Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Syria to protect President Assad and his regime means Iran has made a strategic commitment not to lose Syria. That in turn means Syria will not follow the example of Libya.
The presence of a reported 50,000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Syria to support President Bashar Assad is an indication of what Iran and Hezbollah have in mind – the preservation of Syria as a strategic asset in the regional power struggle. Losing Syria would leave Hezbollah isolated in Lebanon; a Syrian-Lebanese alliance, on the other hand, would allow Hezbollah to fortify Iranian interests in both countries.
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