Fox News Channel Airs Geraldo Rivera’s Anti-Israel Disinformation

Camera, by Myron Kaplan, April 21, 2018:

When Fox News Channel’s Geraldo Rivera (the G is pronounced like H) discusses Israel, typically he poses as a friend of Israel while adhering to his long-time theme that Israel is at fault in the conflict, victimizing the Palestinians. This is what happened March 30/31, 2018 on the network. Geraldo’s perception of the conflict may have been influenced by his long-time friend, Hanan Ashrawi, an articulate, persuasive Palestinian propagandist (more below).

The Five indulge Geraldo
On The Five broadcast of Friday March 30, Geraldo was provided a platform for an unchallenged, uninterrupted diatribe prompted by Greg Gutfeld’s question: “Did you ever regret a story that you did?” Geraldo replied, “… I regret in 2002 backing down from backing the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel, the Second Intifada …” Thus, he sides with murderous terrorists who committed numerous bombings and shooting attacks killing more than 1000 Israeli civilians and maiming thousands more. Furthermore, as has been documented, Yasser Arafat and his Palestinian Authority led the planning, funding and execution of that Intifada. None of this seems to concern Geraldo or any of his Five broadcast colleagues – Gutfeld, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Juan Williams, Jesse Watters or Dana Perino.
Geraldo continued, “I saw first hand what an awful life that they live under – constant occupation and oppression. And people keep saying, ‘Oh! they are terrorists’ and oh! this and oh! that… and we just had 14, 15 Palestinians killed in Gaza by the Israeli forces – [the people of the Gaza Strip are an] occupied people …”
 Occupied
However, Geraldo ignores the fact that Israel has not had any occupation personnel in the Strip since September, 2005 when shortly thereafter it came under frequent and continuous attack by Hamas by mortars and rockets and more recently, also by attempted infiltration by way of numerous terror tunnels. Meanwhile, Israel has continued to allow large quantities of food, medicine and other humanitarian aid into Gaza despite Hamas’ aggression. The Palestinian leadership of the Strip, however, has refused to abide by the first requirement of international law – non-aggression against neighbors.

Likewise, Geraldo ignores evidence that the “protest” was organized by Hamas in cooperation with other terror groups. Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Yehya Sinwar announced that this operation was a step in “liberating all of Palestine, from the river to the sea” meaning the elimination of the Jewish state.

Geraldo’s portrayal of an oppressive Israeli army mowing down peaceful civilian demonstrators at Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip – is at odds with the evidence. He failed to mention that it seems that at least 10 of the persons killed have been identified as known Islamist terrorists. He also ignored evidence that some protesters fired on troops and attempted to break through the border fence, This is further corroborated. Geraldo avoided such possibilities, preferring instead to vilify Israel.

The “occupation” and “oppression” myths

Geraldo’s phrasing, “constant occupation and oppression,” is disinformation. The “occupation” is a myth. Communities of Jews have continuously lived in their ancestral home in the Holy Land including the entirety of Jerusalem and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). Furthermore, scholars (Joan Peters in “From Time Immemorial,” among others) have shown that most of those who today identify as “Palestinians” descend from relatively recent migrations from surrounding territories. In fact, it’s likely that the Arab population began to blossom only well after the beginning of substantial Jewish immigration in the 19th century.

In 1948, the Jewish nation of Israel, as authorized by the United Nations in 1947 and by previous international rulings, was re-established with the capacity of caring for Jewish refugees form Nazi horrors. Israel had sought to accommodate the Arabs but was immediately rebuffed by Arab Armies that attempted to annihilate the Jewish state. And thereafter Arab forces attacked, or gathered to attack, Israel several times in order to destroy it.

The West Bank is disputed land. Israel is the obligatory and legal military authority of the West Bank, having taken the territory from Jordanian occupation in self-defense in the 1967 Six-Day War. The land is not “Palestinian.” It is disputed. Hence the need for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations according to U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian interim agreement.

But the Palestinian Authority insists on various conditions unlikely to be accepted by any Israeli government before peace negotiations can take place, including Israel abiding by Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state (evidently 22 Arab Muslim states is fine but one Jewish state is one too many) and Israel’s acceptance of a “right of return” (that does not exist in international law) for millions of Arabs (nearly all of whom have never lived in Israel), which would inevitably result in the Jewish state becoming unviable.

As to the alleged “oppression,” the Palestinian Authority (PA) governs the daily lives of the Palestinian population in the West Bank, while Israel controls the borders and polices the settlements, only entering Palestinian communities to pursue terrorists. Apparently this alleged “constant occupation and oppression” is unable to prevent PA encouragement of murderous attacks on Israeli citizens by generously rewarding the Palestinian terrorist perpetrators and their families. The United States has been providing financial aid to the PA but Congress passed legislation on March 23, 2018 (The Taylor Force Act) to prevent American tax dollars from being used to encourage Palestinian terrorism.

Meanwhile, while it’s true that the residents of the Gaza Strip are “oppressed,” that oppression is perpetrated by its Hamas dictatorial rulers who allow no opposition to their Islamist rule.
Fox & Friends

Geraldo’s next vilification of Israel occurred the next day, March 31, on Fox & Friends at 9:24 a.m. (Eastern) when he joined Abby Huntsman, Pete Hegseth, and Ed Henry. Only Hegseth challenged Geraldo. Hegseth responded appropriately, “The keepers of the concentration camp are Hamas not Israel,” to Geraldo’s description of the Gaza Strip as “the world’s largest concentration camp,” implying Israel was responsible for hardships suffered by residents of the Gaza Strip. Hegseth responded, “You can’t negotiate with Hamas. They’re a terrorist organization that says they want to wipe Israel off the map,” to Geraldo’s allegation that due to Israel, for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, “Their lives have been controlled since the 1967 war.”

Here, Geraldo repeats erroneous assertions, again ignoring the fact that Israel pulled all its troops and all Israeli residents out of the Gaza Strip in September 2005 while continuing since then to allow large quantities of food, medicine and other humanitarian aid into Gaza while blocking various dangerous incoming materials that could be used to attack Israel.

Hanan and Geraldo 

In his March 30/31 castigation of Israel, Geraldo revisited a familiar role. Among previous such Geraldo propaganda bursts are these: In 2012, he fawned over West Bank Palestinian Hanan Ashrawi in a “Geraldo at Large” Fox News Channel special, “Israel Caught in the Crossfire,” filmed in Israel and the Palestinian territories, that aired July 8, 2012 (10 PM Eastern). The hour-long documentary – with Geraldo reporting mainly from Israel and his brother Craig reporting from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank – dealt with several issues including the chances for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs leading to a “two-state solution.” Describing Ashrawi as “a friend I have known for decades,” Geraldo indulged her anti-Israel disinformation. This long-time Geraldo friend has been a long-time anti-Israel propagandist and continues as such.

Ashrawi has discredited herself a number of times – for example, as the only known professing Christian in the otherwise Muslim leadership of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, Ashrawi gave a press conference in 1991 in which she replied to a question in self-righteous indignation, “I find your reference to ‘Judea and Samaria’ a statement of extreme bias, and rather offensive. I am a Palestinian Christian, and I know what Christianity is. I am a descendant of the first Christians in the world, and Jesus Christ was born in my country, in my land. Bethlehem is a Palestinian town. So I will not accept this one-upmanship on Christianity. Nobody has the monopoly.” (Washington Post, “The Practiced Palestinian,” Caryle Murphy, Nov. 4, 1991)

But if Ashrawi is in fact a “descendant of the first Christians in the world,” as she describes herself, she would be a descendant of ancient Israeli Jews not the descendant of Arabs as she is presumably. Furthermore, although Ashrawi denies the existence of Judea and Samaria, Israel’s names for the West Bank, the names are mentioned in the Christian New Testament in well known passages Matt. 2:1 and Acts 1:8 in the context of land resided in by Israeli Jews (this was perhaps a thousand years before the establishment of the first Arab communities in the Holy Land which happened well after conquering Muslim Arab armies had swept across the continent from the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century C.E.). Evidently, Ashrawi is either ignorant or deceitful about all this. This is Geraldo’s long-time friend whose influence is likely to have led to his misperception of the conflict with the Palestinians.
Interestingly, Geraldo is not the only highly visible American newsman who was likely to have been influenced by Ashrawi  to mislead viewers about Israel. Former ABC News anchor Peter Jennings, when he was head of the ABC bureau in Beirut in the 1970s, had a serious relationship with Ashrawi in Beirut, Lebanon where she was a graduate student in literature at the American University. This relationship was reported by U.S. News & World Report in 1991, Washington Post of Sept. 17, 2001 and Daily Mail (London) of Sept. 20, 2001. Jennings frequently misreported and fabricated information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict beginning in the 1970s and continuing through his career as an anchor for ABC’s World News Tonight.
In March 26, 2010, Geraldo launched verbal assaults on Israel in an appearance on Fox and Friends in which he accused an allegedly anti-peace, obstructionist Israel of focusing on the Iranian threat in order to divert attention from its own supposed intransigence. His tirade also included the baseless allegation that Israel is responsible for American difficulties vis-a-vis the entire Middle East and the Muslim world.

Conclusion

Geraldo Rivera is a persuasive speaker on issues he is passionate about and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is one of those issues. Therefore, in accord with the network’s mottos of “fair and balanced news” and “most watched, most trusted,” Geraldo’s on air statements about the issue should immediately be balanced on air with factual information. This is necessary because even one instance of his unchallenged disinformation is one too many in terms of planting seeds of antipathy toward Israel in the minds of vulnerable individuals among the potentially millions of FNC viewers.

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See also:

Allen West: If Israel goes, Western civilization goes

Israel National News, by David Rosenberg, July 18, 2017:

Former Congressman (Florida-R) Col. Allen West addressed the 2017 Christians United for Israel (CUFI) summit in Washington DC on Monday, warning that pro-Arab activists in the US and abroad were working to erase Jewish history, and thus undermine the State of Israel.

West, who represented Florida’s 22nd congressional district in the US House of Representatives and is a combat veteran from both Iraq wars, argued that the fate of Western civilization was tied to the future of the Jewish state.

As goes Israel – so goes the United States of America and so goes Western civilization. And so many of our adversaries and enemies know that. That’s what we’re facing all across the Middle East and, truthfully, all across the world.”

Aside from the obvious military threats from Iran and other adversaries, as well as the ubiquitous danger of terror attacks, West argued that Israel faced another, more subtle threat – the rewriting of history to erase the Jewish past, and ultimately undermine the Jewish state’s legitimacy.

To illustrate his point, West noted how the term “Palestinian” has entered the political lexicon of the Middle East conflict almost unquestioned, along with the historical links it implies to the ancient Philistines – despite the fact that modern day “Palestinians” are relative newcomers to the country, with no ties to the people of Greek origin called “invaders” (Plishtim in Hebrew) by the Jews.

“During the Simeon Bar Kochba revolt, it was Emperor Hadrian, Roman Emperor Hadrian who decided to punish the Jewish people,” said West.

“After he defeated the insurrection of the Simeon Bar Kochba revolt, he said that the name of this region shall be changed from Judea to Palaestinia. Palaestinia is a derivative from the root word ‘Philistia’. And if you know something about the ancient Philistines, you know they had nothing to do with Arabs. The ancient Philistines were descendants of the Greeks. So when we have people today that are saying this is ‘Palestine, and I’m a Palestinian,’ we need to understand that the whole reason this word was introduced was as [Rome’s] punishment for the Jewish people.”

“So if we’re going to return Palestine to the rightful owners, then we’re talking about returning it to the Jewish people, who were punished in the first place.”

“But because we allow people to hijack history – and that’s even happening here in the United States of America, where people are trying to destroy history. Think about the recent UNESCO decision on Hevron, when all of a sudden they’re saying that it’s the Palestinians that have a right to the Tomb of the Patriarchs. This goes along with a lot of this false narrative, this propaganda out there, where people are saying that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, even Jesus, are prophets of the religion of Islam.”

The Jewish Bar Kochba Revolt against the Romans took place in Judea from 132-136 C.E. while Islam originated in the 7th century C.E. in the Arabian Peninsula.

Linda Sarsour Calls for ‘Jihad’ Against Trump Administration

Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty

Breitbart, by Joel B. Pollak, July 6, 2017:

Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American anti-Israel activist who helped organize the nationwide Women’s March the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, called for “jihad,” or holy war, against the Trump administration last weekend.

Sarsour was speaking in Chicago at the annual conference of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a group that the Investigative Project on Terrorism notes was an “unindicted co-conspirator” in a terror-funding prosecution, and was allegedly “created by members of the Muslim Brotherhood” in the United States in the early 1980s. (However, the group itself traces its origins to the formation of the Muslim Student Association in 1963.)

ISNA has been described as “the largest umbrella group of Muslims in North America.” President Barack Obama met with ISNA’s president in 2015, despite the group’s controversial views and alleged ties to radical movements.

Quoting the Prophet Muhammad, Sarsour said: “A word of truth in front of a tyrant ruler or leader, that is the best form of jihad.” She then added:

And I hope that we, when we stand up to those who oppress our communities, that Allah accepts us from us that as a form of jihad, that we are struggling against tyrants and rulers, not only abroad in the Middle East or on the other side of the world, but here, in these United States of America, where you have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House.

The audience applauded.

Video below, via Conservative Review (6:56 – 7:44):

The context of Sarsour’s remarks indicate that she meant a jihad using words. However, the term has also been used to describe violent struggle, including terrorism, against non-Muslims or against governments described as enemies.

In her speech, Sarsour also spoke about the importance of Muslims supporting other “oppressed” groups in the U.S. in their struggles — and talked about her experience representing Palestinians in those movements. “I don’t have to choose do I not be too Palestinian this day … I have been a living example of what it means to be whole-heartedly all of me, in whatever space that I am in,” she said.

She added: “I will not be in a space where any group or any organization or any individual tells me that there’s a part of my identity that is not welcomed,” a privilege not accorded to liberal Jews or Zionists who march for the “oppressed,” as excluded Jewish lesbians recently found out (also in Chicago).

Sarsour also urged those present to divert donations away from building mosques and towards “investing in leadership, our next generation.” She said donors within the community should split their donations between assistance to Muslims abroad and support for local organizations — and “not just building masaajid [mosques].”

She also urged them to donate to Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, a Democrat who is running for governor in Michigan, and would be that state’s first Muslim governor. She attacked “establishment Democrats” who, she said, had blocked Muslims from succeeding within the Democratic Party in the past, and said that El-Sayed would change that.

Sarsour concluded by warning ISNA not to stop being outraged, and not to “normalize” the Trump administration.

Update: New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a Democrat who has often criticized Sarsour in the past, warned in a statement Thursday that Sarsour’s words should be taken “very seriously”: “Words matter. Attacks on the police, like the one New York suffered yesterday, are precipitated by violent slogans. Sarsour is very dangerous.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

New Hamas Charter: No Destruction of Israel, Just Seizing All Israeli Lands

Members of the Hamas security forces take part in a graduation ceremony in Gaza City on March 30, 2017. (Momen Faiz/NurPhoto/Sipa via AP Images)

PJ Media, by Bridget Johnson, March 2, 2017:

Hamas unveiled at a press conference Monday an updated charter that dropped their Muslims Brotherhood ties and call for Israel’s destruction — while still refusing to recognize Israel or the Jewish state’s right to exist, and advocating the duty of jihad against it.

The Gaza rulers, who are designated a foreign terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, first tried to hold their presser at the Intercontinental hotel in Doha, Qatar, but the venue called off the event after warnings that they could be found in violation of sanctions for hosting Hamas. The terror group then found a home for their news conference at the U.S.-owned Sheraton hotel chain.

Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashal claimed to reporters that “Hamas’ struggle is not with Jews or their faith, but is a struggle against Zionism and its aggressions,” and that the group would not “recognize the Zionist entity,” meaning Israel.

Hamas, Mashal said, “will not give up any parcel of Palestinian land and strives to liberate all of the Palestinian lands,” which they consider to include all of Israel, and they are “willing to negotiate a sovereign and independent state with Jerusalem as its capital” while demanding full right of return for Palestinians.

“Opposition to the occupation through any means is a basic right that includes an armed struggle,” he said, sanctioning and encouraging continued attacks on Israel.

Hamas timed the announcement to coincide with Israel’s independence day, Yom Ha’atzmaut.

And Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas will be welcomed to the White House by President Trump on Wednesday as the latter is eager to forge a Mideast peace deal.

“Hamas is attempting to fool the world but it will not succeed,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement. “Daily, Hamas leaders call for genocide of all Jews and the destruction of Israel. They dig terror tunnels and have launched thousands upon thousands of missiles at Israeli civilians. Schools and mosques run by Hamas teach children that Jews are apes and pigs. This is the real Hamas.”

The new Hamas charter says “Palestine is a land whose status has been elevated by Islam” that “was seized by a racist, anti-human and colonial Zionist project” and carries “the sublime objective of liberation.”

The goal of Hamas “is to liberate Palestine and confront the Zionist project. Its frame of reference is Islam, which determines its principles, objectives and means.”

“By virtue of its justly balanced middle way and moderate spirit, Islam – for Hamas – provides a comprehensive way of life and an order that is fit for purpose at all times and in all places. Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. It provides an umbrella for the followers of other creeds and religions who can practice their beliefs in security and safety. Hamas also believes that Palestine has always been and will always be a model of coexistence, tolerance and civilizational innovation,” the terror group continues.

They make clear that they will not accept a divided Jerusalem in a two-state solution, emphasizing the city “is the capital of Palestine.”

“Its religious, historic and civilizational status is fundamental to the Arabs, Muslims and the world at large. Its Islamic and Christian holy places belong exclusively to the Palestinian people and to the Arab and Islamic Ummah. Not one stone of Jerusalem can be surrendered or relinquished. The measures undertaken by the occupiers in Jerusalem, such as Judaization, settlement building, and establishing facts on the ground are fundamentally null and void,” the charter states.

Israel, they claim, “poses a danger to international security and peace and to mankind and its interests and stability.”

“Hamas is of the view that the Jewish problem, anti-Semitism and the persecution of the Jews are phenomena fundamentally linked to European history and not to the history of the Arabs and the Muslims.”

The document asserts “there shall be no recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist entity,” a non-negotiable condition for Netanyahu.

“Whatever has befallen the land of Palestine in terms of occupation, settlement building, Judaization or changes to its features or falsification of facts is illegitimate. Rights never lapse,” Hamas states. “…Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea. However, without compromising its rejection of the Zionist entity and without relinquishing any Palestinian rights, Hamas considers the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital along the lines of the 4th of June 1967, with the return of the refugees and the displaced to their homes from which they were expelled, to be a formula of national consensus.”

Any settlement that doesn’t give Palestinians full control of all the land considered the Palestinian homeland, they added, “will not lead to peace.”

“Resistance and jihad for the liberation of Palestine will remain a legitimate right, a duty and an honour for all the sons and daughters of our people and our Ummah [Muslim community].”

Hamas then claimed attacks on Israel are within international law. “Resisting the occupation with all means and methods is a legitimate right guaranteed by divine laws and by international norms and laws. At the heart of these lies armed resistance, which is regarded as the strategic choice for protecting the principles and the rights of the Palestinian people,” the charter says. “Hamas rejects any attempt to undermine the resistance and its arms. It also affirms the right of our people to develop the means and mechanisms of resistance.”

“…From a legal and humanitarian perspective, the liberation of Palestine is a legitimate activity, it is an act of self-defence, and it is the expression of the natural right of all peoples to self-determination.”

Also see:

Report: Obama Gave $221 Million to Palestinians in Last Hours

Getty

Getty

Breitbart, by Joel B. Pollack, January 23, 2017:

The Associated Press reported Monday that former President Barack Obama released $221 million in U.S. funding for the Palestinian Authority on the morning of Friday, January 20 — just hours before he was to leave office.

The AP details:

A State Department official and several congressional aides say the outgoing administration formally notified Congress it would spend the money Friday morning, just before Donald Trump became president.

More than $227 million in foreign affairs funding was released at the time, including $4 million for climate change programs and $1.25 million for U.N. organizations.

At least two GOP lawmakers had placed holds on the Palestinian funds. Congressional holds are generally respected by the executive branch but are not legally binding.

This was not the first time Obama had granted funding to the Palestinian Authority despite Congress’s wishes. In 2012, for example, he unblocked nearly $200 million that had been frozen in response to Palestinians’ unilateral actions at the United Nations, using a legal waiver included in the Palestinian Accountability Act.

Republicans have increasingly called for blocking or canceling funding to the Palestinian Authority, not only because of unilateral diplomatic moves toward statehood, but also because of increasing evidence that funds are used to incite violence and provide financial rewards to terrorists.

The Palestinian Authority reportedly provides compensation to the families of terrorist prisoners incarcerated in Israeli prisons, as well as to those who have killed themselves in attacks on Israeli civilians. The total amount allocated by the Palestinian Authority budget for “the Care for the Families of the Martyrs” was reportedly about $175 million in 2016, and an additional $140 million was reportedly allocated for payments to prisoners and former prisoners.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was also among the first world leaders that President Obama called after taking office in January 2009.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Report: Trump to Announce U.S. Embassy Move to Jerusalem Monday

THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images

THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images

Breitbart, byJoel B. Pollak, Jnuary 22, 2017:

Numerous unconfirmed reports are circulating in the international media that President Donald Trump intends announcing Monday that he will relocate the U.S. embassy to Israel from the coastal city of Tel Aviv to the capital city of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital city since its founding in 1948, but most countries have deferred moving the embassy there because the original UN partition plan for the British Mandate proposed Jerusalem as a city under international sovereignty.

Jordan, the Palestinians, and all surrounding Arab nations rejected the UN plan, and the Jordanian army took over the eastern half of Jerusalem in 1948, expelling the Jewish inhabitants of the Old City, where Jews had lived for several millennia.

With that part of the UN plan effectively rejected by Jordan and the Arab world, Israel established its capital in western Jerusalem. Though Palestinians, in theory, claim all of Jerusalem for themselves, the part of Jerusalem west of the 1949 armistice line (the “1967 lines,” or the “Green Line”) will unquestionably remain part of Israel in any peace agreement.

The core of the Arab and Muslim rejection of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a rejection of Jewish claims to religious and historical connection to the city itself. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat once turned down an offer of shared sovereignty over the Temple Mount because, as he told then-President Bill Clinton, he saw the Jewish claim to the holy site as fictitious.

In 1995, Congress mandated that the U.S. move the embassy to Israel through the Jerusalem Embassy Act. The law, however, contained a waiver that allowed the president to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv, acknowledging the supremacy of the executive in determining the foreign policy of the U.S. Trump’s pledge on Monday — if it comes to fruition — would decline that waiver.

Opponents of the decision to move the embassy have warned that it would set off violence in the Arab world. But it would also inspire joyful celebrations in Israel and around the world, as the U.S. would likely inspire other countries to follow its example, and would help Israel cement its national vision of “a free nation in our land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem.”

At the inaugural ceremony itself, Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles stressed the themes of Zion and Jerusalem, quoting from Psalm 137:5: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill.”

President Trump was scheduled to speak to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayhu by telephone on Sunday afternoon.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

UN Ambassador Invokes Reagan While Failing to Protect Israel with Veto

Members of the United Nations Security council vote Dec. 23, 2016, in favor of condemning Israel for West Bank and east Jerusalem settlements. (Manuel Elias/The United Nations via AP)

Members of the United Nations Security council vote Dec. 23, 2016, in favor of condemning Israel for West Bank and east Jerusalem settlements. (Manuel Elias/The United Nations via AP)

PJ Media, by Bridget Johnson, December 23, 2016:

WASHINGTON — The United States turned its back on Israel during a United Nations Security Council vote on settlements in what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a “shameful” vote.

“The Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against the UN’s obsession with Israel, it collaborated with the UN behind Israel’s back,” the statement continued.

The vote on the resolution drafted by Egypt, which demands Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the ‘occupied’ Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem,” was 14 in favor and the U.S. abstention.

Netanyahu immediately began taking countermeasures, canceling foreign aid to Senegal as well as nixing a planned visit to the Security Council member. He also recalled Israeli ambassadors from Senegal and New Zealand for consultations.

During the Friday meeting, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power quoted President Reagan from 1982 saying settlements were “in no way necessary for the security of Israel”; she added that “a routine vote for the U.S. to allow the passage of a resolution with the elements in this one” would be consistent with “familiar, well-articulated components of U.S. policy.”

“It is because this resolution reflects the facts on the ground – and is consistent with U.S. policy across Republican and Democratic administration throughout the history of the State of Israel – that the United States did not veto it,” Power said, even though the administration used its veto power in 2011 to kill a similarly worded resolution.

“The United States has consistently said we would block any resolution that we thought would undermine Israel’s security or seek to impose a resolution to the conflict,” she said. “We would not have let this resolution pass had it not also addressed counterproductive actions by the Palestinians such as terrorism and incitement to violence, which we’ve repeatedly condemned and repeatedly raised with the Palestinian leadership, and which, of course, must be stopped.”

Power added that despite refusing to veto the resolution “Obama and this administration have shown an unprecedented commitment to Israel’s security because that is what we believe in.”

Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters on a conference call today that the administration decided to take the course it did because “one of our grave concerns is that the continued pace of settlement activity, which has accelerated in recent years.”

“We therefore thought that we could not in good conscience veto a resolution that expressed concerns about the very trends that are eroding the foundation for a two-state solution,” Rhodes said. “…For us, the question here has always been about what is the best way to pursue the security that the Israeli people deserve.  And we cannot simply have a two-state solution be a slogan while the trend lines on the ground are such that a two-state solution is becoming less and less viable.”

“…But, in fact, I’d take umbrage at language that suggests that this was our preferred course of action and that we initiated it.  The fact of the matter is, we’d been warning — President Obama and Secretary Kerry publicly and privately for years — that the trend line of settlement construction and settlement activity was just increasing Israel’s international isolation.”

The administration’s action drew scorn from the soon-to-be highest-ranking Democrat in Congress. “Extremely frustrating, disappointing & confounding that the Administration has failed to veto the UN resolution,” tweeted Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Schumer was on the phone as recently as this morning trying to persuade the White House to use America’s veto power.

“Since the days of ‘Zionism is racism,’ the UN has long shown its anti-Israel bias, and the U.S. government — both Democrats and Republicans — have admirably kept the UN out when it comes to negotiations. That tradition should continue,” Schumer said before the vote. “…An abstention is not good enough.”

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who has been at odds with the administration on Iran and Cuba policy, said he was “disappointed but not surprised that the administration chose to go along with this maneuver, walking away from longstanding principles and practices that advance the goal of peace and stability.”

“The United States must use its influence and posture at the United Nations to promote our values and support our allies,” Menendez said. “It has long been a bipartisan sensible policy of the United States to support direct bilateral negotiations between the parties to find an agreement. We have long stood beside Israel in the face of these kind of politicized resolutions whose only goal is to undermine confidence in a negotiated peace process.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) noted that “Israel can’t get a fair shake at the UN, and that is why Israel has relied on the United States to protect it from the anti-Israel tendencies of some UN Security Council members.”

“This abstention represents a clear departure from convention, and I consider this a break in the Obama administration’s word that they would veto biased or one-sided anti-Israel resolutions,” Engel said.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations said this morning that the Jewish State knew the resolution condemning settlement construction was coming because the Palestinians “want to take advantage of the transition period” in the United States.

“Instead of negotiating with us, it’s easier for them to come to New York, to come to the Security Council,” Ambassador Danny Danon told MSNBC a day after an expected vote on the resolution was tabled.

Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement calling himself “a lifelong friend of Israel” and said the U.S. “acted with one primary objective in mind: to preserve the possibility of the two state solution, which every U.S. administration for decades has agreed is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”

“That future is now in jeopardy, with terrorism, violence and incitement continuing and unprecedented steps to expand settlements being advanced by avowed opponents of the two state solution,” Kerry said. “That is why we cannot in good conscience stand in the way of a resolution at the United Nations that makes clear that both sides must act now to preserve the possibility of peace.”

StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein said that “while both sides in this conflict are subject to criticism, placing most of the blame on Israel while shielding Palestinian leaders from accountability is not a path to peace or justice for either side.”

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee called it “particularly regrettable, in his last month in office, that the president has taken an action at odds with the bipartisan consensus in Congress and America’s long history of standing with Israel at the United Nations.”

“Unfortunately, the UNSC today irresponsibly adopted a ruinous resolution that can only make the goal of peace even more elusive,” the AIPAC statement added.

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