America Recognizes the Legality of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, Countering Obama and the UN
Dov Fischer
by
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday (YouTube screenshot)

As they prepared finally to exit the national scene, Obama and John Kerry thought they were sticking it to Israel one last time when they supported the despicable UN Security Council resolution that declared all “Jewish settlements” in the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem, and the rest of the “West Bank” illegal. It never was a surprise that China and Russia would vote that way, and the fickle West Europeans, epitomized in the Security Council by France and the United Kingdom, now all have such a heavy Arab Muslim swing-vote demographic influencing their respective domestic elections that they also are led by the nose and by their dependency on Arab oil to toe the OPEC line.

But America historically had been great enough that it singlehandedly would wield its Security Council veto whenever the UN would gang up on Israel — until Obama. On his way out the White House door for the last time, Obama ordered his UN ambassador, Samantha Power, to abstain on the vote, not to veto it. Without that always theretofore dependable American veto, Resolution 2334 passed. The nations who ganged up on Israel actually rose to cheer in the Security Council chamber as they proclaimed that Jews and Israel have no right to live even in East Jerusalem. This not only comprised a final mold spore attached to Obama’s legacy, but the Simon Wiesenthal Center also ranked Obama’s decision the most anti-Semitic incident of 2016. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the UN,

Israel rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the UN and will not abide by its terms. At a time when the Security Council does nothing to stop the slaughter of half a million people in Syria, it disgracefully gangs up on the one true democracy in the Middle East, Israel, and calls the Western Wall “occupied territory.”

Meanwhile, President-elect Trump tweeted ominously, “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.” Promise made. Promise kept.

Under the despicable Resolution 2334, Israel suddenly was told that it has no right to be in the Golan Heights or at Rachel’s Tomb or at the Western Wall of the Holy Temple compound in Jerusalem. Suddenly, the 800,000 Jews living in Jerusalem’s communities of Gilo, French Hill, Har Homa, Neve Yaakov, Pisgat Ze’ev, Ramat Eshkol, the City of David, the Old City’s Jewish Quarter, Ramot — in all, 23 communities in Greater Jerusalem — and those living throughout Judea and Samaria and the Golan were being declared “illegal.” What exactly did such a resolution mean — that the United Nations is going to uproot and relocate 800,000 Jews from their homes? Really?

Think about it: Who exactly is going to implement ethnic cleansing of Judea and Samaria to make it Judenrein — devoid of any Jews? And where will they relocate those 800,000? And how will they move them? With cattle cars?

Is China going to uproot nearly a million Jews from their homes? And relocate them to where? To Hong Kong? To the concentration camps where they now torture their Uighur Muslims?

Will Russia? And relocate them to where? To the gulag? To Crimea? To the sites of the past century’s top 10 pogroms?

As for France and the UK, they would do well to start contemplating their own demographics and the future of their own civilizations. England, whose brazen imperialism once ruled the world, where the sun never set on British soil, now lectures Jews on their right to live in the land of their ancestors? France, whose people collapsed before Hitler and were ruled by a French Vichy government during the Holocaust, and whose own Vichy government assisted Hitler and the Nazis in mass-murdering Jews, now lectures Israel? Two countries who divided up Europe and the Middle East after World War I, and whose imperialism saw them seizing territories from Algeria to Syria, from India to the Ottoman Empire, all over the world’s continents — lands foreign to them, peoples with cultures and civilizations alien to them — now would ban Jews from living where Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Rachel and Leah, David and Solomon lived?

Obama and John Kerry — and Obama’s prior Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — represented a different kettle of fish. Beholden to the Left, ever obsequious to European and Arab nations with interests inimical to those of America, despising the Jewish right to return to lands from which Jews had been exiled for 2,000 years, they continually called the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria “illegal Jewish settlements.” They refused to recognize Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem and would not even move America’s Israel embassy to West Jerusalem, which Israel always held from its inception.

Obama and John Kerry no longer matter. Hillary does not either. In recent days, the European Union, with no other problems to address, voted to prohibit Jewish products manufactured in Judea and Samaria from being labeled as “Made in Israel.” Meanwhile, the student council of the University of Toronto voted not to allow a kosher food program on campus because kosher food is “Zionist,” and they want to boycott Israel — proving once again that “anti-Zionism” is a code word for anti-Semitism. In the UK, the Labour Party is now led by such a debased anti-Semite, Jeremy Corbyn, that even non-Jews there who are leftists are recoiling and ashamed at what their party has become.

There never has been a basis for questioning the legality of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. England took control of the entire region as part of its spoils for being on the winning side in World War I. But the UK left in 1947. Jordan then grabbed the so-called “West Bank,” but that land grab across the Jordan River never was recognized as legal. Indeed, Jordan never even gave the lands of Judea and Samaria a name. And so it remained until June 1967, when three Arab armies — Egypt, Syria, and Jordan — coalesced to wipe Israel off the map, just as Iran’s government aspires to do now, as do Hezbollah in South Lebanon and Hamas and Islamic jihad in Gaza. There was a war, and the three Arab armies lost. As a result, natural boundaries emerged with the Jordan River separating Israel from Jordan on the east and with the Golan Heights securing Israel’s northeastern border with Syria. The Golan lands always had been part of historical Israel. In the past half century, Mideast archaeologists have unearthed 34 synagogues there from the past. Until that time, Syria had used their occupied Golan mountain range to rain down an interminable storm of rockets onto Jewish kibbutz communities in Israel’s Galilee region, including the Hula Valley and Rosh Pina communities, even shooting regularly at fishermen in the Sea of Galilee, killing 140 civilians during that period. The Jews there were sitting ducks for two decades until, with the invaluable intelligence obtained from Eli Cohen, Israel secured the Golan when it fought off the Syrians in 1967.

It is instructive that Israel has tried repeatedly to initiate peace efforts, even unilaterally departing from South Lebanon under its Prime Minister Ehud Barak and later from Gaza under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Both regions had been taken defensively to root out Arab Muslim terror, and Israel departed each time after quieting them. History rapidly has demonstrated the ramifications of Israeli retreat. In South Lebanon, the Iran-backed Shiite Hezbollah now have entered to create an independent terror country within Lebanon that even the Lebanese military cannot dare challenge, and Hezbollah has amassed over 100,000 rockets aimed across the border at Israel. In Gaza, the vicious Hamas terror group arose to expel the terrorist party Al Fatah and has started three wars with Israel by raining down their thousands of rockets on Israeli communities from Sderot to Ashkelon to Ashdod. They embed their rockets in civilian residential apartment buildings, in schools, in hospitals — all in brazen violation of international law and basic human decency — so that, if Israel responds to rocket shelling by defensively knocking out Hamas terror missile sites, the world will condemn Israel for bombing a hospital, a schoolyard, or an apartment complex. Just this past week Islamic jihad rained over 400 rockets all across southern Israel, reaching even into Gush Dan and Tel Aviv.

There has never been a coherent consistent American policy towards Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria until now, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement that the United States State Department has just concluded a year-long legal study and thoughtful legal analysis, researching international law and consulting worldwide with legal experts. America has concluded that the Ronald Reagan administration’s policy towards Judea and Samaria remains fundamentally legally sound. To wit, the legality of any Jewish community in Judea and Samaria may be challenged in Israel’s courts by litigants, and the Israeli judicial system has proven itself amply qualified to evaluate each claim on its merits. Where a particular community has been established in contravention of applicable law, that community has been closed. By contrast, the overwhelming majority of those communities has been established properly and legally. In announcing American policy, Secretary Pompeo made clear that America is not changing facts on the ground and continues to encourage all interested parties in the region to negotiate and agree on whatever long-term arrangements serve their respective interests.

This is a proper, thoughtful, sensible policy that reflects reality. Israel has every right to be in Judea and Samaria, and those 800,000 Jews are not going anywhere else. America, unlike the West Europeans, is great enough today that it does not need to fear any other country on earth. Arab Muslim petrodollars do not control America, and we no longer are dependent on their oil as we were when they knocked us down during their 1973 oil embargo. Now we are energy independent, a net exporter of energy, with even more oil and natural gas on the way as new technologies have unlocked so much more of America’s energy potential. We do not need Saudi Arabia; they desperately need us. When they and their oil fields get bombed by Iran-supplied confederates, Europeans may shudder, but it does not shake us. Because we are powerful and unafraid of OPEC, America does not have to make our policy based on whether others will fret or whether or not they will give our president a Nobel Peace Prize. Rather, we expect them to pay their fair share of NATO’s costs, provide their fair share towards Ukraine’s defense from Putin, and otherwise accept that Charlemagne, Napoleon, and the various conquering kings who dominate Shakespeare’s dramas are in the past.

China, Russia, the European Union, and Arab oil will not dictate foreign policy to America, and Israel can ignore them as she has learned that she must blow off the anti-Semitic United Nations and the murderers who comprise the UN Human Rights Council, from which America long ago pulled out. With Secretary Pompeo’s announcement recognizing the right of Israel’s Jews to establish communities in Judea and Samaria and the authority of Israel’s courts to adjudicate their legality, yet another Obama travesty now disappears, dust in the wind. And another Trump promise has been kept.

Dov Fischer
Dov Fischer
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Rabbi Dov Fischer, Esq., a high-stakes litigation attorney of more than twenty-five years and an adjunct professor of law of more than fifteen years, is rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California. His legal career has included serving as Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review, clerking for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and then litigating at three of America’s most prominent law firms: JonesDay, Akin Gump, and Baker & Hostetler. In his rabbinical career, Rabbi Fischer has served several terms on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America, is Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Coalition for Jewish Values, has been Vice President of Zionist Organization of America, and has served on regional boards of the American Jewish Committee, B’nai Brith Hillel, and several others. His writings on contemporary political issues have appeared over the years in the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Jerusalem Post, National Review, American Greatness, The Weekly Standard, and in Jewish media in American and in Israel. A winner of an American Jurisprudence Award in Professional Legal Ethics, Rabbi Fischer also is the author of two books, including General Sharon’s War Against Time Magazine, which covered the Israeli General’s 1980s landmark libel suit.
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