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Text of  the  December  23, 2016 UN Resolution Condemning  Settlements

The Security Council reaffirmed this afternoon that Israel’s establishment of settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, had no legal validity, constituting a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the vision of two States living side-by-side in peace and security, within internationally recognized borders.

Adopting resolution 2334 (2016) by 14 votes, with the United States abstaining, the Council reiterated its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.  It underlined that it would not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the two sides through negotiations.

The Council called for immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation and destruction.  It further called for the strengthening of ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, including through existing security coordination, and to clearly condemn all acts of terrorism.  The Council called on both sides to observe calm and restraint, and to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric in order to de-escalate the situation on the ground and rebuild trust and confidence.

Source: United Nations Press Release, to read full text, click here

Speech by US Ambassador Samantha Powers  in Abstaining  (and thus allowing  the resolution to pass)

Power stressed that refraining from exercising its veto was far from simple for the US, largely because of the discrimination that Israel has faced at the UN. "The simple truth is that for as long as Israel has been a member of this institution, Israel has been treated differently from other nations at the United Nations. And not only in decades past—such as in the infamous resolution that the General Assembly adopted in 1975, with the support of the majority of Member States, officially determining that, 'Zionism is a form of racism'—but also in 2016, this year. One need only look at the 18 resolutions against Israel adopted during the UN General Assembly in September; or the 12 Israel-specific resolutions adopted this year in the Human Rights Council—more than those focused on Syria, North Korea, Iran, and South Sudan put together—to see that in 2016 Israel continues to be treated differently from other Member States." 

Source: Ynet News. For full text, click here

Netanyahu says Obama 'ambushed' Israel at the  UN, likens  him to 'deeply hostile' Carter

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday accused President Barack Obama of breaching a specific commitment to Israel by allowing through Friday’s UN Security Council anti-settlements resolution, and compared the outgoing president’s behavior to that of predecessor Jimmy Carter, “a president who was hostile to Israel.”

Netanyahu compared the resolution to the UN’s equation of Zionism with racism, and said that just as that decision was eventually overturned, so too would this one be. “It took time,” he said, “but it was cancelled.”

Speaking at a Hanukkah event for wounded soldiers and victims of terrorism, Netanyahu said the UNSC decision was “biased and shameful, but we’ll get over it.” Israel, he stressed, “rejects it utterly.”

Source: The TImes of Israel. For full text of the article and clip (in Hebrew) of the article, click here

Ramifications of UNSC resolution: Sanctions, boycotts and ICC lawsuits

While the anti-settlement resolution adopted by the UN Security Council has no immediate practical ramifications, it could open the door to lawsuits against Israel at the ICC, sanctions imposed for any Israeli move seen as violating resolution, and boycotts on settlement products.

The resolution makes Israeli citizens that are involved in the settlement enterprise in the West Bank vulnerable to lawsuits in courts all over the world. Jerusalem is also worried that the resolution opens the door for lawsuits against Israeli officials at the ICC: government ministers and senior IDF officers who make decisions about construction in the settlements, the demolition of Palestinian homes, or the expropriation of lands could be accused of war crimes under the Geneva Convention.  


The resolution can also lead to the creation of mechanisms to monitor and report Israeli actions, which could lead to sanctions being imposed against it. 

The resolution's wording can also be seen as a victory to the BDS Movement, as it opens the door for boycotts of goods produced in the Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The resolution includes an article requiring the UN secretary-general to report to the Security Council every three months regarding its implementation. This will lead to continued pressure on Israel, putting it in a constant defensive position, similar to South Africa during the apartheid regime. 

Article 5 of the resolution calls to create a distinction between the State of Israel and the settlements built on lands captured in the West Bank and in east Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War. This article calls on the international community not to aid those settlements and allows for countries and organizations to boycott the settlement enterprise—either directly or indirectly.Such a move would lead banks, gas stations, HMOs, retailers, high-tech companies and others to close their branches beyond Green Line to avoid being included in the "blacklist" of companies doing business in the settlements and consequently being boycotted as a result.

Source: Ynet News. To read full text, click here



Responses by Members of Congress

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

“Today the United States carried the responsibility to veto any resolution before the United Nations that sought to isolate Israel within the international community, or to illogically destroy any semblance of a peace process by encouraging the Palestinians to forego direct negotiations.

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY)

“It is extremely frustrating, disappointing and confounding that the Administration has failed to veto this resolution. Whatever one’s views are on settlements, the U.N. is the wrong forum to settle these issues. The U.N. has been a fervently anti-Israel body since the days of ‘Zionism is racism’ and, unfortunately, that fervor has never diminished. Knowing this, past Administrations - both Democrat and Republican- have protected Israel from the vagaries of this biased institution. Unfortunately, this Administration has not followed in that path and its actions will move us further from peace in the Middle East.”

Congressman Jerry Nadler

“Rather than bringing a peaceful accord nearer, the United Nations Security Council’s approval of today's one-sided resolution pushes both sides further apart.  The resolution seeks to create an irresponsible and inaccurate narrative, making no mention of Palestinian responsibility, either for their incitement of violence or their refusal to return to talks with the Israelis, and only serves the purpose of seeking to delegitimize Israel on the world stage.  



To read more responses, click here

U.S. Senate Authorizes $600 Million in Defense Spending

Thanks to the overwhelming support of Congress and the leadership of Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) and Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI), and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) and Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA), this measure will ensure that Israel maintains a military edge over potential aggressors and strengthens America's anti-missile capabilities.

This funding in the National Defense Appropriations Act (NDAA) for Fiscal year 2017 (FY2017) will go toward US-Israel joint developed anti-missile programs such as Iron Dome ($62m), David's Sling ($150m) and Arrow 3 ($120m). It will also provide funds for research and development of new counter-terrorist measures, and additional funding for anti-tunneling technology. The funding in this bill is above and beyond the $3.1 billion military aid package already allocated as part of the outgoing Memorandum of Understanding. [Source: Norpac, December 2016].

AIPAC Commends Congress for Enhancing U.S. -Israel Strategic Cooperation

December 8, 2016: AIPAC commends Congress for strongly bolstering U.S.-Israel defense cooperation by authorizing a total of $600.7 million for U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation in the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). These funds will help Israel defend its citizens against rocket and missile threats, and will further America’s own missile defense programs. To read more, click here

UNESCO adopts another resolution  ignoring Jewish link to the Temple Mount

The United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) on Wednesday morning approved a controversial resolution that ignores Jewish and Christian ties to the Temple Mount. The decision came a week after a similar resolution was approved by the body and elicited angry responses from Israel, several world leaders and even the body’s own director-general. [Source: Times of Israel, October 26, 2016]

UN Group Recognizes IDF Field Hospital as World's Best

Seventeen countries around the world are recognized by WHO as qualified foreign medical teams that can deploy to other countries and aid in medical disaster relief. They are all currently Type 1 teams, which provide emergency outpatient care, and Type 2 teams, which provide operating rooms, surgical teams, and ICUs. The IDF’s field hospital is the only Type 3 team, which provides inpatient referral surgical care.

The IDF field hospital’s specialized teams – including OB/GYN teams – are also recognized by the WHO. The IDF field hospital began applying for Type 3 recognition in January 2016, and this week, the field hospital was visited by a WHO delegation of international experts, who after overseeing the hospital’s capacities and activities, declared it a Type 3 Foreign Medical Team.

According to Col. (Res) Ofer Merin, commander of the IDF Medical Corps field hospital, the process of gaining WHO recognition was a valuable experience in and of itself, even for a team with decades of experience in treating patients in disaster areas. “There’s no question that all of us will be able to deploy better to each one of our missions in the future,” he says. “It’s not just that we got the stamp that says ‘we’re the best team.’ We gained a lot from this process, which means our future patients will gain a lot.”

Source: IDF November 13, 2016

Sun, September 24 2023 9 Tishrei 5784