Ted Belman

Ted Belman is a retired lawyer and Editor of Israpundit.org. He made aliyah from Canada in 2009 and now lives in Jerusalem.

Most Recent Articles by Ted Belman:

International law and the State of Israel

Apr 22, 2018 — Ted Belman

International law and the State of Israel
For thousands of years, nations came and went, pursuant to the rule, to the victor go the spoils. This included the right to rape the women, enslave the men, confiscate their wealth and rule the country as they saw fit.

By the beginning of the nineteenth century, this rule had changed considerably but the right of the victor to change borders and transfer populations of conquered countries was enshrined in international law.

What is needed is a new Sykes-Picot Agreement

Apr 15, 2018 — Ted Belman

What is needed is a new Sykes-Picot Agreement
During World War I, (May 1916), Britain and France entered the Sykes-Picot Agreement which was a secret convention, with the assent of imperial Russia, for the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire.

They agreed that

  1. Russia would acquire Armenian provinces and some Kurdish territory,
  2. France would acquire Lebanon and much of present day Syria and
  3. Great Britain would get southern Mesopotamia, including Bagdad and the Mediterranean ports of Haifa and Akko (Acre)
  4. Between the French and British acquisitions there would be a confederation of Arab states or a single independent Arab state divided into British and French spheres of influence,
  5. Alexandretta should be a free port and
  6. Palestine, because of its holy places, should be under an international regime.

Israel’s public diplomacy would be greatly served by the production of historical movies

Mar 17, 2018 — Ted Belman

Israel's public diplomacy would be greatly served by the production of historical movies
PM Netanyahu recently said:

“We are in the midst of a great struggle being waged against the State of Israel, an international campaign to blacken its name. It is not connected to our actions; it is connected to our very existence,”

He is referring, of course, to the propaganda war being waged against the existence of the State of Israel by the Palestinian Authority. It seeks to supplant the historical Jewish narrative with the fictitious Palestinian narrative. And it has succeeded to a significant extent.

Trump may succeed where all others have failed

May 29, 2017 — Ted Belman

The NYT published a major report yesterday on President Trump’s Mid East trip which it titled “Trump Leaves Middle East With Hope for Peace, but No Plan for It”. This title didn’t reflect the article which went no farther than to say, “What Mr. Trump did not do was reveal the least hint of what, if anything, was behind it”, referring to his hope. The article later acknowledged that “strict secrecy” was a good thing.

A close scrutiny of the statements made in the last few days and the events leading up to this trip would strongly suggest that President Trump is right to be cautiously optimistic because he has a plan.

After relentless pressure from former President Barack Obama and Secretary John Kerry, PM Benjamin Netanyahu came close to accepting the Kerry framework based on the ‘67 ceasefire lines with swaps as borders and a divided Jerusalem.

The deal Trump is cooking

May 25, 2017 — Ted Belman

Secretary Tillerson said yesterday that Trump put enormous pressure on Abbas and Netanyahu. So where is Trump going? For the answer, look at the concessions he got from them.

Abbas agreed that Israel could keep Maaleh Adumin, Ariel and Gush Etzion. The Israel Cabinet agreed to allow some Arab building in area C and to not demolish illegal Arab construction. The Gulf states said they would normalize with Israel if Israel froze construction outside of the settlements.

I see a direction here as to where this is going.

Trump’s plan to defeat Radical Islam

May 18, 2017 — Ted Belman

In Feb 2016, Lt Gen. Mike Flynn became an advisor to candidate Donald Trump. Trump was interested in his views of how to defeat radical Islam.

In the summer of that year, Flynn published his book “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win The Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies.”  

In it he wrote, ““The political and theological underpinnings of their immoral actions have to be demolished.””

The Deal of the Century: Redrawing the Map of the Middle East

Apr 17, 2017 — Ted Belman

There is no end in sight for the Syrian War because both sides have a lot of fight left in them. This is due in part to the fact that losing is not an option for either and both sides are being financed by oil money.

What started as a civil war in 2011 quickly escalated in a sectarian war between Shiites, (Iran, Alawite Syria and Hezbollah) and local Sunnis aided and abetted by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states and from time to time Turkey. Almost from the start, President Obama backed the ouster of Assad by Turkey and some Gulf states with the intention of installing the Muslim Brotherhood to run it just as he installed the Muslim Brotherhood to run Egypt.

The 100 year betrayal of Israel by the West

Mar 11, 2017 — Ted Belman

On hundred years ago the British government published the Balfour Declaration which stipulated,

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

Since when did the Palestinians become entitled to a state?

Jan 2, 2017 — Ted Belman

In 2011, Newt Gingrich said “The Palestinians are an invented people.” He was right. So why are they entitled to a state?

In 1964, the Palestine Liberation Organization was formed to liberate Palestine through armed struggle. But it took years for the notion of a Palestinian people to crystalize. In 1967, they were not recognized as such, nor were they considered a party to the conflict. Security Council Resolution 242 passed after the ‘67 war, made no mention of them.

Trump’s New World Order

Dec 18, 2016 — Ted Belman


The first hint of Donald Trump’s vision of a New World Order came when he said in a speech during the primaries that NATO was “obsolete.” The UK Independent wrote about that speech,

As currently constituted, he says, NATO is ill-suited to combating international terrorism, which is for him the world’s “single biggest threat”. He especially objects to the US footing so much of the bill, saying that other allies should “pay up or get out”, and refuses to see the US as the “world’s policeman”. As he told a town hall meeting in Wisconsin: “Maybe NATO will dissolve and that’s OK, not the worst thing in the world.”

Trump: Muslim migration is “the all-time biggest Trojan Horse”

Sep 25, 2016 — Ted Belman

Ever wonder why there are so many Muslims and Muslim countries in the world? Over the millennia many countries were conquered, but didn’t remain Persian or Greek or Roman as the case may be. You see, the countries conquered in the name of Islam, became and remained Islamic. For example Pakistan, part of India, and Malaysia were Hindu; Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and N. Africa were Christian; Afghanistan was Buddhist. They are all Islamic now.

This transformation was not by chance but by design. All these countries were conquered by force then shorn of their wealth and many of their women. Then the Muslim conquerors introduced Sharia and continued fighting the local inhabitants. The inhabitants were either forced to convert or accorded Dhimmi status. As time went on all cultures submitted and eventually became Islamic.

Transitioning to a new Middle East

Jul 10, 2016 — Ted Belman

The Obama era opened with his Cairo speech, in which he embraced Muslims in general and the Muslim Brotherhood in particular. He planned to depose the secular dictators and replace them with the Muslim Brotherhood. Thus Gadhafi, Mubarak and Assad were marked for removal in that order. The EU was on board.

After supporting the takeover of Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood headed by Mohamed Morsi, he backed the takeover of Syria by the Muslim Brotherhood in collaboration with the newly Islamist Turkey, headed by Recep Tayyid Erdogan, extolling him as his best friend.

Can the UN legally impose a solution on Israel’

Mar 9, 2016 — Ted Belman

A movement is afoot to get the UN to predetermine borders between Israel and the future 23rd Arab state and to recognize “East Jerusalem” as its capital. Such predetermination would be in violation of the Roadmap which calls for a negotiated solution where “negotiated” implies freedom to say “no”. And such predetermination would prejudge the outcome which the world never tires of telling Israel, no one can do.

I began doing research on the powers of the UN and on whether such UN predetermination would be ultra-vires its Charter. In other words, would it be legal by international law for the UN to dictate a solution’. I wanted to know what the consequences might be for Israel. I have not yet gotten a good enough fix on these questions to give an opinion. Regardless of the true meaning of the Charter, I fear that the UN would give the same answer that the Queen gave to Alice in Wonderland, It means what I say it means.

Israel’s so-called ‘right-wing’ government

Mar 7, 2016 — Ted Belman

The Netanyahu-led Government of Israel is often labeled “right wing.” But is it, really?

The right in Israel rejects the creation of a Palestinian state, whether or not demilitarized, and supports settlement construction in Area C of Judea and Samaria as defined by the Oslo Accords. Israel’s current government does neither.

Contemplating a US/Russia Alliance

Feb 15, 2016 — Ted Belman

Before Donald Trump’s blowout win in New Hampshire he shocked the world by saying he would allow the Russians to do the “dirty work” and would “Let them beat the xxxx out of ISIS also.” Trump went further, “I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other towards defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect,” Putin, responded by saying: “He (Trump) says that he wants to move to another level of relations, to a deeper level of relations with Russia. How can we not welcome that? Of course we welcome it.”

The State of the Two-State Solution

Jan 10, 2016 — Ted Belman

The Two State solution (TSS) is dead but rather than bury it, the US and the EU want to embalm it, in the off chance that it can be brought to life in a decade or two. In the meantime they are doing their utmost to prevent Israel from building Jewish homes east of the armistice lines, including in Jerusalem. They do this in knowing violation of Israel’s rights.

Post 9-11, America jumped from the Middle East frying pan into the fire

Dec 27, 2015 — Ted Belman

In the wake of 9/11, the Bush administration struggled to define the enemy and to decide how to defeat it. Even though 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis and the Saudis were involved in the planning and financing of the attack, President Bush allowed the Saudis to fly out of the country in the next 24 hours when all other air traffic had been shut down.

No doubt that Bush had decided to maintain good relations with the Arabs, and Saudi Arabia particularly, just as the US had done for half a century. This policy led Bush to say on Sept 17, 2011 to the Islamic world, “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don’t represent peace. They represent evil and war,” in a speech as sycophantic as any President Obama has ever delivered.

All parties want to retain the Oslo Accords but for different reasons

Oct 6, 2015 — Ted Belman

Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas’s bombshell speech to the United Nations General Assembly this week proved to be a dud. He repeated the same old lies about Israel’s alleged default on the Oslo Accords and merely threatened to abandon the agreements.

The Iran Deal is bad for America, very bad

Aug 8, 2015 — Ted Belman

(This post made use of the work of MILG-OPS.)

In discussing the Iran Deal, most people are focused on the trees rather than the forest.

Obama believed that any deal is better than no deal

Jul 16, 2015 — Ted Belman

Some suggest that Obama was naive or misguided or a poor negotiator to end up with such a bad deal. Normally this would be true if one believed that Obama really wanted what he said he wanted. But I don’t believe that anyone could be so inept. I must conclude that he has lied all along about what he wanted and was merely saying so as a cover for his true goals.

At one point in negotiations, Iran was down for the count. Rather than delivering a coup de grâce by tightening sanctions, Obama released sanctions and money thereby resuscitating Iran.  Who does that? Certainly not someone who wanted to win.