Misplaced Concern For Human Rights

CBN News is reporting today that the United Nations has released a list of companies that have businesses in areas Israel captured as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War.

The article reports:

The list was designed to punish more than a hundred companies doing business in east Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights. Israel froze ties with the council’s leader, accusing the office of serving the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanction) campaign.

Reaction came quickly after the report’s release and US Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) accused the council of persecuting Israel while protecting the world’s worst tyrants. He called on the body to “investigate the crimes of its own members instead of obsessing over the Jewish state.”

The UN has a history of actions against Israel. The United Nations Human Rights Council was created in 2006. Since then, it has issued 45 resolutions against Israel, about 45% of all country-specific resolutions issued. The United Nations Human Rights Council includes Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, Venezuela, and Libya. None of these countries are stellar examples of human rights.

The article notes:

After the release of the database Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to boycott those who boycott Israel, calling the Human Rights Council a “biased body that is devoid of influence.” His political rival, Benny Gantz, also condemned the publication, calling it a “dark day” for human rights.

Jason Greenblatt, one of the architects of President Trump’s Middle East peace plan, told CBN News the public should be pro-active against the boycott movement.

“First of all, shame on them. You know, they were working on this, they held it back and now after a peace plan is launched they go ahead and do that, shame on the Human Rights Council. The UN is a terrible place for Israel. I would actually encourage all of your viewers to write letters to [UN Secretary-General António Guterres] and protest that,” said Greenblatt.

…Ironically, any resulting boycotts would likely hurt Palestinians the most. For example, CBN News has reported how international pressure forced the SodaStream company to leave Mishor Adumim and move to Israel costing many of the 500 Palestinian employees their jobs.

“The Palestinians certainly stand to suffer if these types of measures are put in place. It will harm companies that employ Palestinians; it will harm companies that provide goods and services to Palestinians,” NGO Monitor’s Yona Schiffmiller told CBN News.

He also said the majority of the list’s information came from BDS linked groups.

“I think it’s also important to note that the activities these companies are being targeted for are completely legitimate. There is no international standard that bars business activity in occupied territories or in settlements,” Schiffmiller explained.

“Many of the companies that we’re talking about are conducting activities that are outlined in the Oslo Accords. So, these are internationally recognized agreements between Israel and the Palestinians that the UN is now completely disregarding by putting out this list,” he concluded.

The article concludes with actions that anyone can take to fight this:

Just last year, 600 businessmen and women from more than 50 countries will come to Israel to connect with and invest in Israeli business leaders for the second-annual ARISE conference.

“We’re really tackling some of the greatest crises around the world. And so, we’ve invited them to connect with Israeli businesses and meet face to face and create those connections and transactions that will help bring Israeli innovation to the world,” ARISE Founder and President Adv. Calev Myers told CBN News.

Over the last few years, various states in the US have passed laws against boycotting Israel. Schiffmiller said the international community is within its rights to stop supporting a UN body that’s potentially harming these companies.

STOP THE BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL! 
Sign the Petition
Text “STOPBDS” to 41-444
VISIT: CBN.COM/STOPBDS

Please do.

A Move In The Right Direction

CNS News posted an article yesterday about President Trump’s proposal to bring peace to the Middle East. The proposed plan allows Jerusalem to remain the undivided capital of Israel and offers financial incentives to Hamas and Hezbollah to end their reign of terror.

The article reports:

“Palestinians have been trapped in a cycle of terrorism, poverty, and violence, exploited by those seeking to use them as pawns to advance terrorism and extremism,” Trump said, adding that he returned from his visit “determined to find a constructive path, and it’s got to be a very powerful path forward in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

“To further this effort, I also met with President Abbas at the White House. Forging peace between Israelis and Palestinians may be the most difficult challenge of all. All prior administrations from President Lyndon Johnson have tried and bitterly failed, but I was not elected to do small things or shy away big problems,” he said.

The president said he delivered his “vision for peace, prosperity, and a brighter future for Israelis and Palestinians” to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was on hand for the joint White House press conference.

The article concludes:

“As I have seen throughout my long career as a dealmaker, complex problems require nuanced, fact-based remedies. That is why our proposal provides precise, technical solutions to make Israelis, Palestinians, and the region safer and much more prosperous,” he said. “My vision presents a win-win opportunity for both sides, a realistic two state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel’s security.”

Netanyahu has agreed to “endorse the vision as the basis for direct negotiations,” Trump said, calling it a “giant step toward peace.“

“This is the first time Israel has authorized the release of a conceptual map illustrating the territorial compromises it is willing to make for the cause of peace, and they’ve gone a long way,” Trump added.

I am never optimistic about peace in the Middle East, but this is an interesting proposal.

This Is A Form Of Antisemitism

The Federalist posted an article today about a recent decision by the EU’s Court of Justice (ECJ), the highest court in the EU. The court ruled that Jewish products made in contested areas of Israel must bear consumer warning labels.

The article notes:

Prior to the ruling, U.S. lawmakers in Congress fired warning shots, cautioning the EU that such a move would prompt the enforcement of American anti-boycott laws, thus endangering the EU’s trade with the United States.

Now, according to reporting by Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon, the Trump administration is ready to go to battle over the ruling. Currently, the United States is the EU’s largest trading partner.

The origins of the legal dispute stretch back several years to when the EU issued a mandate in 2015 declaring that products produced in the West Bank and Golan Heights be labeled as coming from an Israeli settlement, facially for the purpose of promoting “consumer protection,” although it’s unclear if that is actually achieved here. In late 2016, France became the first EU member state to attempt to enforce the mandate, resulting in the Israeli winery Psagot filing a lawsuit claiming that such a mandate violated the EU’s anti-discrimination laws.

Under the new rule, goods produced by Jews will be labeled as having been produced in an Israeli settlement, while goods produced by Muslims may be labeled as made in “Palestine,” indicating blatant discriminatory treatment. Unsurprisingly, Israel’s presence in the West Bank and the Golan Heights are the only contested areas in the world to be the focus of the labeling ire of the EU.

The article notes that Israel is the only country singled out for this treatment:

“No other territory, occupied, disputed, or otherwise is subject to such requirements,” noted Eugene Kontorovich, director of the Center for International Law in the Middle East at George Mason University. Kontorovich emphasized the peculiarity of the ruling. “In no other case does any ‘origin labeling’ require any kind of statement about the political circumstances in the area. This is a special Yellow Star for Jewish products only.”

Indeed, there are a multitude of contested areas throughout the world that produce goods for which the EU has deemed politicized labeling requirements unnecessary. Despite Russia’s occupation of parts of Georgia or Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara, nothing in EU law or greater international law requires labeling goods produced by Russia in occupied parts of Georgia as “Made in Georgia” or goods produced by Morocco in Western Sahara as “Made in Western Sahara.”

Just a side note about the concept of contested territories. If you look at a map of the land originally given to form a Jewish state, it not only includes the ‘contested territories,’ it includes Jordan. The country of Jordan was originally intended to be the Palestinian state (as there had never been a Palestinian state), but was turned over to the Hashemites. For pictures illustrating the history of Israeli territory, go here.

This Doesn’t Sound Like The Sort Of State We Should Promote

The Independent Journal Review is reporting today that the Palestinian Authority has handed over to U.S. authorities an American-Palestinian it had sentenced to life imprisonment for violating a ban on selling land to Israelis.

The article reports:

“Issam Akel holds an American passport and he was handed over to the U.S. authorities upon their request,” one senior security official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

A second official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed Akel’s release.

Both declined to give any more details. Akel’s family was not available for comment. U.S. officials did not comment when asked about Akel’s release.

Akel was convicted by a West Bank court in December of attempting to sell a property in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem without the permission of his business partners or the Palestinian authorities.

Akel’s family has denied the allegations against him.

The U.S. ambassador to Israel called in November for Akel to be released, after he was first detained.

The Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and is a rival to the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, said releasing Akel was a “grave crime”.

The so-called West Bank is a terrorist state. East Jerusalem is not ‘Israeli-occupied’–it is part of the country of Israel. Arabs who live in Israel have full rights. There are no Jews allowed to live in the territories controlled by either the Palestinian Authority or Hamas. That tells you all you need to know about the prospects for a two-state solution.

Watch Out For The Bright, Shiny Object

Rightwinggranny is a little more than ten years old. I have learned a few things along the way. One of those things is that when the media is screaming headlines in unison, there is probably something going on behind the scenes that I need to be aware of. This article is an example of that.

On January 16th, Breitbart reported that New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be serving on the House Financial Services Committee. The Committee is led by Representative Maxine Waters, a Democrat from California.

Representative Ocasio-Cortez has made some remarks that indicate she may not totally understand exactly how America’s Representative Republic works, but that’s okay–she still got elected. So let’s look at who supported her election. Opensecrets.org is a website that tracks political campaign donations, The link I highlighted leads to information on the funding of Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign for the House of Representatives. There is nothing illegal here, but it is always interesting to see where a candidate gets their funding.

The campaign funding information on Representative Ocasio-Cortez shows that during her primary campaign, two-thirds of the donations came from small donors. She may not fully understand how our government works, but she did a very good job or organizing a campaign. Eighty-eight percent of the large donations to her campaign (over $200) came from outside her district. From the time she won the primary election until the end of June, she received $70,000 from out-of-state donors. How does a newcomer to politics build that kind of a political machine? Who were the people who helped her organize her campaign? I don’t have answers to those questions.

So why is it significant that Representative Ocasio-Cortez has been appointed to the House Financial Services Committee? That is the committee that oversees big banking, lending, and the financial sector. Representative Ocasio-Cortez has already expressed an interest in looking into the student loan crisis (a crisis created when the government took over student loans). It is quite possible that the committee will attempt to undo the deregulation President Trump has done that has led to the economic growth we are experiencing. Hopefully the Senate can protect our booming economy.

The other significant appointment you might not have heard about is the appointment of Representative Ilhan Omar from Minnesota to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. (You can read more about Ilhan Omar at Power Line Blog.) 

Breitbart posted an article about the appointment yesterday.

The article reports:

Omar supports the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, which has been called antisemitic because it singles out the Jewish state for isolation and ignores the Palestinian side.

…House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) issued a statement in which he reminded Pelosi that she said Congress “must” oppose BDS, and that Schumer had called BDS “anti-Semitism.”

“I would love to know what changed, because Democratic leaders just promoted a pro-BDS Democrat to a key committee that deals with the State of Israel.”

McCarthy continued: “Anti-Semitism has no place in Congress and certainly not on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) blasted Pelosi for appointing Omar to the committee, saying she had a “documented history of making anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks.”

He added: “House Democrats have now just endorsed that ideology.”

This appointment may simply be a reflection of the ongoing battle between Nancy Pelosi and President Trump as to who is going to lead the country. However, both of these appointments represent a very severe left turn on the part of the Democrats in the House of Representatives. It remains to be seen if Americans will support this extreme left turn.

It Might Be Time To Take Another Look At This

I realize Wikipedia is not the best source on most things, but based on what I heard in an interview with Caroline Glick about her new book, “The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East,” this is something Wikipedia got right.

In an interview, she casually mentioned that the United States is funding Palestinian security forces. Wikipedia confirms this.

Wikipedia states:

Since 2005 the U.S. State Department has provided direct financial and personnel assistance to Palestinian security organizations when they established the office of the United States Security Coordinator (USSC) for Israel and the Palestinian territories through their Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). In 2007 the USSC team began training certain Palestinian Authority Security Forces (PASF) including the Palestinian National Security Forces (NSF) and the Presidential Guard with the intent to train, equip, and garrison 10 NSF battalions by the end of 2010. U.S. security assistance to the Palestinian Authority has expanded over the years and has received praise as well as criticism from American, Palestinian, and Israeli groups.

Let’s look at this for a minute. The only security need the Palestinians have is to protect themselves from Israel. The only time Israel has ever attacked the Palestinians is after major rocket attacks on Israel from the Palestinians. We are funding the purchase of rockets that are being used on Israel, a country we claim as an ally. How insane is this? It’s time to cut the spending on Palestinian security forces. That’s one budget cut I think most of us could agree on!

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