State Department denies threatening Israel over 'settlement' construction
The State Department has denied reports that it has threatened Israel with non-use of its UN veto if Israel pursues 'settlement' construction.
Deputy State Department Spokesman Mark Toner said that while his office was aware of such reports in the press, they were “false.”
“Our position on settlements is well known and hasn’t changed,” he said. “We convey it regularly to the Israeli Government. I know we don’t generally comment on private conversations, but I’d like to nip that story in the bud. We haven’t issued any kind of ultimatum on this.”
Toner emphasized that far from issuing any such ultimatum regarding a UN resolution, “there’s not even a resolution out there right now.”
At a meeting of Israel’s security cabinet on Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected calls by senior ministers for construction in Jewish settlements in the West Bank in response to an increase in Palestinian terrorism.
According to Channel 2, Netanyahu refusal to authorize new construction was due to a purported Obama administration warning that the US wouldn’t necessarily veto a French-sponsored resolution at the United Nations Security Council.
Washington’s reported threat to not veto the motion at the UN came shortly after a Politico report which said US President Barack Obama had rejected multiple calls by a top Democratic senator that he speak out publicly against a Palestinian statehood resolution at the United Nations.
Obama’s refusal, the report said, “highlights how wide the gulf between the Obama administration and Israeli government has become.” The rebuff “unfolded in the context of a personal relationship between Obama and Netanyahu that’s become highly toxic, poisoning US-Israeli relations more widely.”
In March, the administration signaled that it would reevaluate its automatic-veto policy at the UN, after Netanyahu asserted in a pre-election interview that there would be no Palestinian state during his tenure.
Let's just say that I would not put it past this administration to withhold the veto - certainly on a resolution condemning 'settlement' construction, and even on a resolution calling for a 'Palestinian state' and holding out the threat of sanctions under Article VII of the United Nations charter.
Oh my: Large amounts of oil discovered on Golan Heights
Well, this ought to excite the 'international community.'
After more than a year of round-the-clock drilling, large amounts of oil have been found on the Golan Heights. Estimates are that the amount of oil discovered will make Israel self sufficient for very many years to come.
Afek Oil and Gas chief geologist Dr. Yuval Bartov told Channel 2 News, "We are talking about a strata which is 350 meters thick and what is important is the thickness and the porosity. On average in the world strata are 20-30 meters thick, so this is ten times as large as that, so we are talking about significant quantities. The important thing is to know the oil is in the rock and that's what we now know."
Three drillings have so far taken place in the southern Golan Heights which have found large reserves of oil. Potential production is dramatic - billions of barrels, which will easily provide all Israel's oil needs. Israel consumes 270,000 barrels of oil per day.
Although the existence of the oil in the ground is a fact, the critical phase now is to check how easily it can be extracted and whether it involves high production costs. In a period of very low oil prices, extraction will have to be relatively cheap to make exploitation of the field profitable.
Once again, the Golda Meir quip about Moses taking us to the one place in the Middle East that doesn't have oil is proven wrong. Yet another reason to be glad that Rabin, Barak and Netanyahu (all of whom tried) did not give the Golan back to Syria.
I wonder if there's any on the Syrian side. They'd have to stop shooting to find out....
It seems non-stop although this is the first recent one outside Jerusalem. This morning, a 'Palestinian' woman stabbed an Israeli man in the back near the Western Wall plaza. He too was shot, and both were taken to Hadassah Ein Karem hospital (only in Israel). Here's my critique of how Maan reported that story (I can tweet from my phone, hence there are a lot more tweets than posts):
The computer is once again on the fritz. It's with the technician who will hopefully wipe it out, reformat it and reinstall Windows. In the meantime, I am using Mrs. Carl's computer today (she's working outside the house today), but I have three days' worth of work to make up....
And yes, I plan to buy a new computer on my next trip to the US, whenever that might be (yes, of course I know when the next scheduled trip is....).
And by the way, I don't think I have a worm but one never knows.
Former NSA official joins chorus accusing Obama of ordering Kerry and Power to miss Netanyahu speech
As those who follow me on Twitter know, I've been trying to get AP's Matt Lee to question the State Department on Secretary Kerry's and Ambassador Power's absences from Prime Minister Netanyahu's UN speech on Thursday.
Rick Grenell was for years the spokesman at the US Mission to the UN and is a very well-informed observer according to former National Security official Elliott Abrams (Hat Tip: Abu Yehuda).
Think of how petty that instruction, which can only have come from
the White House, really is. To sit in the seat and listen to Netanyahu
isn’t endorsing his remarks, it is the politeness we owe an ally.
Deliberate absence recalls the years in which dozens of delegations,
Arab and “Third World,” would leave the chamber when any Israeli rose to
speak. This administration is still griping about diplomatic errors
Netanyahu has made, but a refusal to have the US ambassador listen to
his speech is petty and damaging, hinting to anti-Israel delegations
that the United States may be willing to let all sorts of anti-Israel
measures go without opposition or criticism.
This is a low point for seven years of Obama diplomacy. I’ll admit to
surprise that Kerry, who appears to value diplomatic niceties greatly
(and arguably too much) let this happen. But perhaps he knew nothing
about it or was overruled by the White House.
As for Samantha Power, one has to wonder what was running through her
mind when she was instructed to stay away. Is this really why she left
the academic and intellectual life– to be used by the Obama
administration to insult and damage Israel?
Abrams gives Power too much credit - she's an Israel hater too. But his criticism of Obama's pettiness (which we've seen many times before) is spot-on.
You might all want to retweet the tweet below (and this post) to see if we can get Matt to hit the State Department on Power's (and Kerry's) absence.
Security cabinet likely to adopt these proposed actions from Netanyahu on 'Palestinian' terrorism
Israel's security cabinet is meeting tonight and the Prime Minister's Office has released a list of proposed measures it is likely to adopt (via Chico Menashe):
Terrorists' homes will be destroyed. The Prime Minister has charged the Attorney General to find a way to shorten the legal procedures for doing so.
Increased forces in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem as necessary. Thousands of police have already been added in Jerusalem and hundreds more will be added. The police will enter deeply into 'east' Jerusalem neighborhoods and no one will be exempt because of his location.
The status quo on the Temple Mount will be maintained.
No Israeli citizens will be allowed to take the law into their own hands.
Advancing the paving of bypass roads.
Use of administrative detention against rioters.
The Prime Minister demanded forceful action against inciters, including those on social media.
The Prime Minister demanded the prosecution of bystanders and shopkeepers who did not help the terror victims in the Old City of Jerusalem on Saturday night and even injured them (see the video two posts down).
Netanyahu: "We will not tolerate a situation where a Jewish woman has been stabbed and not only do bystanders not help her, they curse and even kick her. Those people will be brought to justice."
Expediting the adoption of laws that will hold minors and their parents criminally liable for throwing stones, Molotov cocktails and fireworks.
Rah, rah etc.
Sorry, but I don't see much new here. What's missing is IDF activity against the root causes of the terror - the terror organizations. Many organizations have rushed to take credit for the attacks over the last few days. The leadership of those organizations should be meeting up with hellfire missiles. The sooner the better.
MUST SEE: @APDiplowriter schools the State Department on hypocrisy
Shana Tova, a good year to all of you. While the holiday has not yet ended in much of the world, here in Israel it is over.
And now, for your entertainment pleasure, the AP's Matt Lee schools the State Department spokesperson on the hypocrisy of last summer's criticism of Israeli operations in Gaza v. the excuses for the US bombing a civilian hospital in Afghanistan last week.
After days of silence amid a string of terror attacks and skyrocketing
tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority on
Sunday condemned Israel for its “policy of escalation,” after two
Palestinian assailants were killed as they carried out terror attacks.
In a written communique published on the
official news agency Wafa, PA government spokesman Ihab Bseiso called on
the international community to intervene following “the killing of two
young men in occupied Jerusalem and the series of incursions into cities
and villages in the West Bank.”
The statement made no mention of the fact that
the two dead Palestinians had been killed while carrying out stabbing
attacks against Israeli civilians.
On Saturday night Palestinian Mohammad Halabi
carried out a stabbing spree in Jerusalem’s Old City, killing Nehemia
Lavi, 41, and Aharon Banito, 21, and wounding Banito’s wife and
2-year-old baby, police said.
Hours later, Palestinian Fadi Aloon stabbed an Israeli teen near the Old City’ Damascus gate.
Both Halabi and Aloon were shot and killed at the scene.
“The only solution is the end of the Israeli
occupation of our occupied Palestinian land and the establishment of our
independent state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital,”
The statement did not condemn or mention the killings of Naama and Eitam
Henkin, who were shot to death in a Palestinian terror attack on
Thursday in the West Bank.
'Palestinian' gall knows no limits.
The police have restricted access to Jerusalem's Old City.
The Israel Police announced Sunday it would
limit access to Jerusalem’s Old City and the Temple Mount compound,
known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, over the next two days.
Only Israeli citizens, local residents,
students, employees who work in the area and tourists will be allowed
entry into the Old City through Tuesday, police said.
On the Temple Mount compound, “Muslim prayer
will be limited to males aged 50 and above while there will be no age
limitation on female Muslim worshipers,” police said in a statement.
The Muslim worshipers will only be allowed in through the Old City’s Lions Gate.
For some reason, much of the media is making it sound like police have banned all access to the 'Palestinians' to the Old City. If only... In fact, if only we had expelled them in 1967 when we had the chance.
Chag Sameyach, a happy holiday to all of you. Because the holiday is only one day in Israel, I hope to be back online Monday night.
Breaking: Facebook page opened in memory of 'Palestinian' terrorist, over 2000 follow within an hour
A Facebook page has been opened in memory of Mohammed Halabi, the terrorist who murdered two Jews in Jerusalem's Old City this evening. More than 2,000 people have already followed this page (Hat Tip: NR (daughter # 2, child #4)).
Shavua tov u'moadim l'simcha, a happy holiday to all of you. Yes, that screen cap really was the BBC's headline of a terror attack in Jerusalem's Old City this evening in which two Israelis were murdered, and two other Israelis - one of them a toddler - were wounded.
And the Beeb wasn't the only one as some of the tweets below will show you. They were just the most blatant non-Arab example.
The biased headlines have almost caused social media to ignore the event itself.
Rabbi Nehemia Lavi, 41, and Aharon Banita Bennett, 21, have been named as the two Israelis murdered in a stabbing attack on Saturday night, which took place in Jerusalem's Old City and left two others wounded.
Bennett, along with his wife and two-year-old son, were attacked by
the terrorist; his wife was seriously wounded and the child lightly
Rabbi Lavi, a father of seven, is originally from Beit El in Binyamin
north of Jerusalem, but has lived in the Old City for the past 23
years. He is a rabbi at Yeshivat Ateret Kohanim.
According to the rabbi's friends, he went down with his gun to try
and save those wounded by the Arab terrorist in the attack, but the
terrorist stabbed him and took his weapon.
The rabbi's funeral will take place on Sunday at 12 p.m., at the Har Hamenuchot Cemetery in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Lavi volunteered last summer to take an officer's course as
part of his IDF reserve duty, so as to become an officer in the army and
stay on longer.
May God Have mercy on and console the families and may they know of no more sorrow. And may God Avenge their blood.
I am an Orthodox Jew - some would even call me 'ultra-Orthodox.' Born in Boston, I was a corporate and securities attorney in New York City for seven years before making aliya to Israel in 1991 (I don't look it but I really am that old :-). I have been happily married to the same woman for thirty-four years, and we have eight children (bli ayin hara) ranging in age from 11 to 31 years and seven grandchildren. Three of our children are married! Before I started blogging I was a heavy contributor on a number of email lists and ran an email list called the Matzav from 2000-2004. You can contact me at: IsraelMatzav at gmail dot com