Israel backs off

Israel has wound back their rhetoric after condemning New Zealand’s involvement in the UN vote against Israeli settlements, which included publicising a phone call in which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully that a vote against Israel would be a declaration of war.

Following the Security Council vote, in which no country supported Israel (it passed 14-0, with the United States abstaining), the Israeli government withdrew its ambassador and barred New Zealand’s ambassador from Israel.

Israel also threatened sanctions against countries including New Zealand who had sanctioned the UN resolution. But they are now saying no sanctions will be imposed “until further notice”.

Stuff: Israel pauses further sanctions on New Zealand ‘until further notice’

Israel’s ambassador to New Zealand Itzhak Gerberg will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday to discuss whether further sanctions against NZ are appropriate.

“My ambassador has just arrived in Israel today. He will have a meeting with the Prime Minister tomorrow, so until further notice there are no further sanctions,” said Patricia Deen, spokeswoman for the Israeli embassy in Wellington.

This appears to be a winding back of posturing by Israel. Yesterday:

Netanyahu personally phoned Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully before the vote, his office has confirmed.

Israeli publication Haaretzciting unnamed western diplomats, described a “harsh” phone call between the pair.

“This is a scandalous decision. I’m asking that you not support it and not promote it,” Netanyahu reportedly told McCully.

“If you continue to promote this resolution from our point of view it will be a declaration of war. It will rupture the relations and there will be consequences.”

This was an own goal by Israel. It may have been aimed at appearing to be tough in Israel, but it was always likely to lose rather than gain support internationally, and certainly in New Zealand.

Israel’s arguments in New Zealand were further damaged by being promoted by Whale Oil, not a good way to win popular support here.

Deen said the phone call had been “blown out of proportion” but didn’t want to comment on it in detail.

If Netenyahu hadn’t  leaked the details of the phone call the adverse reaction wouldn’t have happened.

Netanyahu is furious with the decision. He has halted aid to Senegal and said “friends don’t take friends to the Security Council”.

The US were fed up with Israel’s continued flaunting of attempts to dampen disquiet over the settlements and refused to veto the vote.

Will Netenyahu halt US aid to Israel?

Reuters: U.S., Israel sign $38 billion military aid package

The United States will give Israel $38 billion in military assistance over the next decade, the largest such aid package in U.S. history, under a landmark agreement signed on Wednesday.

Nearly 10 months of drawn-out aid negotiations underscored continuing friction between President Barack Obama and Netanyahu over last year’s U.S.-led nuclear deal with Israel’s arch-foe Iran, an accord the Israeli leader opposed. The United States and Israel have also been at odds over the Palestinians.

The settlements have been one point of contention there.

But the right-wing Netanyahu decided it would be best to forge a new arrangement with Obama, who leaves office in January, rather than hoping for better terms from the next U.S. administration, according to officials on both sides.

So it looks like Netanyahu gambled on Clinton winning the election.

Israel won’t win international support if they publicise threats against smaller countries, and threaten and impose sanctions, while they accept huge amounts of aid from the US who also enabled the UN resolution to pass.

I can imagine the US won’t have been impressed with Israel’s publicising of Netenyahu’s ‘declaration of war’ phone call.

 

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26 Comments

  1. Conspiratoor

     /  29th December 2016

    Meanwhile over on the whale SB brings a commenter back to earth with a well-reasoned response to the old ‘settlements as an impediment’ argument…

    “There is only ONE impediment to a two state solution and that is the Hamas Charter which makes it clear that they do not want a Two State solution, they want the TOTAL destruction of Israel. It is a red herring to call the settlements a provocation and an impediment.It doesn’t matter how much Israel wants peace Hamas do not. Where is all the outrage and UN resolutions putting pressure on Hamas to change their charter? Total destruction is quite a provocation and impediment don’t you think?”

    Reply
    • Klik Bate

       /  29th December 2016

      Reply
      • Conspiratoor

         /  29th December 2016

        Well as odd as it sounds kb they sort of do expect the Israelis to cooperate. You see it depends who you talk to, Hamas or the PLO. The dumb fucks can’t even govern themselves so any peace talks with a third party are doomed from the outset. By the way the Hamas charter gives a good insight into the mindset of the would-be obliterators. Well worth a read. Link below…
        https://fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/880818a.htm

        Reply
  2. Meanwhile back in Israel an editorial in Haaretz brings Netanyahu and SB back to earth:

    As Israel’s diplomatic defeat at the UN Security Council becomes clearer, it’s equally clear why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stubbornly insists on being foreign minister as well. Netanyahu doesn’t want anyone interfering as he destroys diplomatic relations with the countries, some friendly to Israel, that “dared” to vote for the resolution declaring the settlements illegal. The burial of the Foreign Ministry and the abandonment of diplomacy turns out to be part of a broad and dangerous plan to disengage from international law and stop playing by its rules.

    This destruction campaign has gone global. Netanyahu ordered the Foreign Ministry to almost totally halt work relations with 12 of the countries that voted for the resolution. As part of these “sanctions,” ministers will reduce travel to these countries to a minimum and Netanyahu will not receive their foreign ministers. He has already turned down meetings with his British and Chinese counterparts.

    Netanyahu is shutting down channels for dialogue with countries that Israel needs now and in the future.

    This catastrophe is taking place while there is no full-time foreign minister to explain to Netanyahu the enormous damage he’s doing, and while to his left stands a defense minister who calls the Paris peace conference “a modern-day Dreyfus trial against the entire Jewish people” and calls on French Jews to move to Israel. To his right stands an education minister who’s urging him to annex Area C of the West Bank.

    Netanyahu is trying to cover up his defeat with arrogant and hollow rhetoric and by lighting Hanukkah candles at the Western Wall. It’s one thing that he can’t look reality in the eye and refuses to understand that an agreement with the Palestinians is a paramount Israeli interest. What’s worse is that the prime minister is dragging his country into the abyss.

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/1.761523

    Reply
  3. Blazer

     /  29th December 2016

    well at least Golda understood the Palestinians had reasons to want to!

    Reply
  4. Klik Bate

     /  29th December 2016

    My niece in the US tweets

    Why the ‘2-state solution’ is a farce…..

    Reply
    • Conspiratoor

       /  29th December 2016

      It just gets better when …those pesky jews start hiding behind trees and the trees turn traitor. Except the gharkard tree of course … that’s a damn jew tree!

      “The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, ‘O Muslim, O servant of God, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’ Only the Gharkad tree would not do that, because it is one of the trees of the Jews.”

      Reply
      • Klik Bate

         /  29th December 2016

        There’s even a movie – ‘The Jew Behind the Tree’

        Reply
        • Conspiratoor

           /  29th December 2016

          Well I’ll be buggered, you couldn’t make this stuff up. I’m beginning to agree with pg. The western world has nothing to fear from islam. Cheers,c

          Reply
  5. Martin Indyk at Politico: “Israel’s deep settler state has frustrated American presidents for decades. Trump is about to learn some harsh lessons.”

    This is not where Barack Obama intended to be at the end of his presidency — wrapped around the settlements axle again. That’s how the president’s first term began; he had been determined to avoid it in his second. It seems there’s no escaping it: For decades, the issue has been a constant source of tension between right-wing Israeli governments and American presidents, Democrat and Republican alike. And just as settlement activity has now dragged Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into a momentous donnybrook, it could well do the same with Donald Trump, even though some of his aides want to embrace rather than oppose settlement building.

    The issue is complicated, but the source of tension is not. In the real-estate terms that Trump and his lawyers know best, there is a land dispute over territory Israel occupied in the West Bank as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War. Palestinians claim it for their state; the Israeli settlement movement claims the same land they believe God gave to the Jewish people in biblical days, and they will not allow it to be forsaken.

    The matter has become urgent because the settler movement, in a determined effort to ignore Obama and the international community, has been advancing its ambitions in a way that would make the ceding of any more territory to the Palestinians virtually impossible.

    Now the settler movement, encouraged by the prospect of a Trump administration they believe will be sympathetic to their aspirations, is pushing the current Netanyahu government to pass legislation that will legalize all these outposts. The Knesset has already passed the first reading of the bill and Netanyahu has pledged to support it.

    This, not the false charge of hostility to Israel, is why the Obama administration abstained on United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which challenged the legal validity of all the settlements. For the past year, the Obama administration has warned the Israeli government, and criticized and condemned new settlement activity, including a new settlement established in the northern West Bank the day after Obama attended the funeral of Shimon Peres, a towering statesman and peacemaker. Those objections were systematically ignored.

    Palestinians were also to blame for the failure to make progress toward peace in the eight years of Obama’s presidency. Violence, incitement and Hamas’ sponsorship of terrorist and rocket attacks on Israeli civilians all played a vicious part in the denouement of the two-state solution that has occurred on Obama’s watch. But the settlers contributed their portion, taking advantage of Palestinian political fecklessness and Israeli coalition politics to advance their cause to the point at which they have all but succeeded in taking effective control of what’s left of the territory on which a peace deal could be made.

    It’s so complicated that one can imagine Trump throwing up his hands and just letting the settlers have their way. But he should then know that he will have no opportunity to make “the ultimate deal,” as he calls it, because the Palestinians will be pursuing Israel in the International Criminal Court or other international forums instead of seeking a peace agreement. And Israel and the United States will be taking punitive action against the Palestinians.

    Unfortunately for Trump, it is all likely to come to a bad end on his watch. He’ll be inclined to blame Obama and the Palestinians, but the unrequited appetite of Israel’s deep settler state is a big part of the problem — and all the deal-making skills in the world can’t wish that away.

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/obama-trump-and-the-settlers-214556

    Reply
    • Klik Bate

       /  29th December 2016

      The Most Important Video about Israel ever made…..

      Reply
    • Conspiratoor

       /  29th December 2016

      A large majority of Israelis would be happy to withdraw from the West Bank if they could be assured of a peaceful coexistence. However without an enduring peace agreement, nor any likelihood of one, they want a military presence in the West Bank retained in order to reduce Palestinian terrorism. This is a view I have some sympathy with

      Reply
  6. There is no diplomatic solution to this conflict as long as Palestinians and Arabs do not acknowledge the right of Israel to exist. A solution has to be imposed on the Palestinians and Arabs. The solution is in the hands of the US, China and importantly Russia. They have to demand that the Palestinians and Arab nations acknowledge the right of Israel to exist as the legitimate home of Jews or else. The “or else” should consist of the destruction of the regular armed forces of all Arab nations and the annihilation of the Governments of all Arab State. Might is right, and the 3 Global powers should take charge and impose a solution. The UN is ineffectual as the recent vote shows. If you have a workable solution that does not include an imposed settlement, then lets hear it.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  29th December 2016

      It’s pretty much like the flag debate. Everyone knew that the country needed a new flag but there was too much political advantage for the opposition in being destructive to let it happen. Russia and China know Israel needs the right to exist but there is too much political advantage in leaving the US out on a limb as its sole supporter.

      Reply
    • Blazer

       /  29th December 2016

      just set aside an area in the U.S where all the Jews can go and have a new state.

      Reply
      • lucher1948

         /  29th December 2016

        Its there already,its called ISRAEL…

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  29th December 2016

          I think it’s there already but it’s called New York, Lurch.

          Reply
          • Kimbo

             /  29th December 2016

            …and Florida in the winter 😉

            Reply
          • Patzcuaro

             /  30th December 2016

            As Europeans, especially Nazi Germany, persecuted Jews for centuries I think that the Jews should have been given part of Germany after WW2 as a homeland instead of Palestine. Too late now but we won’t be in this mess.

            Reply
  7. lucher1948

     /  29th December 2016

    The english who ruled the country loved the arabs in Palestine as it was a gay thing, the queers in power were not turned on by jews with their funny hats but those arabs knew a thing or two about butt sex and it has continued on to today, english fathers telling their sons arabs are better than sliced bread if you like fudge…

    Reply

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