November 20, 2018

In News Surrounding Israel by The Friends of Israel

U.S. Changes Vote On Anti-Israel UN Resolution On Golan Heights From Abstain To “NO”

The annual UN resolution entitled “The Occupied Syrian Golan” was scheduled for a vote on Friday (16th).  In previous years, the U.S. abstained on this resolution. However, given the resolution’s anti-Israel bias, as well as the militarization of the Syrian Golan border, and a worsening humanitarian crisis, this year the U.S. voted “no” on the resolution.

Ambassador Nikki Haley said: “The United States will no longer abstain when the United Nations engages in its useless annual vote on the Golan Heights.  If this resolution ever made sense, it surely does not today. The resolution is plainly biased against Israel. Further, the atrocities the Syrian regime continues to commit proves it lacks the fitness to govern anyone.”

“The destructive influence of the Iranian regime inside Syria presents major threats to international security.  ISIS and other terrorist groups remain in Syria. And this resolution does nothing to bring any parties closer to a peace agreement.  So the United States voted “no.”

Meanwhile, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon welcomed the U.S. decision to vote against the UN resolution that condemns Israel’s presence on the Golan Heights.  “I thank Ambassador Nikki Haley for her continued steadfastness with Israel and the truth,” Danon said. “It is time to distinguish between those who stabilize the region and those who sow terror.”



Netanyahu: Golan Will Stay Forever A Part Of Israel

“The Golan Heights is part of Israel and will remain under its sovereignty forever,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday (18th).

Netanyahu’s comments came at the weekly cabinet meeting, where he thanked the U.S. for voting for the first time against an annual UN resolution calling for Israel to return the Golan Heights to Syria.  In the past, the U.S. abstained.

“We have for some time been speaking with our friends the Americans on the present administration’s policies at the UN,” he said.  “On Thursday (15th), U.S. Ambassador David Friedman updated me that the U.S. decided to vote against the traditional resolution that condemns us for our presence on the Golan Heights, and that is what happened.”

Netanyahu thanked Trump and outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley for this “important and just” vote which is “completely in line with our policies–Israel will remain forever on the Golan Heights, and the Golan Heights will forever remain in our hands.”

The vote passed 151-2 with 14 abstentions.  Last year the resolution passed 151-2, with 20 abstentions.  The country that voted with Israel against the resolution last year was Paulu, which this year abstained.



Palestinian Shunned For Selling Land To Jews To Be Buried In Jewish Cemetery

A chief rabbi of Jerusalem is allowing a Palestinian man to be buried in a Jewish cemetery following his body’s exclusion by imams over his sale of real estate to Jews.

Aryeh Stern the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel’s capital, ruled this week as a rabbinical judge that Alah Kirsh may be buried at a Jewish cemetery as an exception because he was a “righteous gentile,” Ynet reported. Friday (16th).

Kirsh and five others were killed in a traffic accident on November 4.  His family sought to bury his body at their Muslim cemetery in eastern Jerusalem, but the imams turned them away because he had been accused of selling real estate in that part of the capital to Jews several years ago.  The family was not allowed to bring Kirsh’s body to the Al Aqsa mosque and was forbidden to pitch a mourner’s tent and receive guests there, as is the Muslim custom.

Ekrima Said Sabri, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, cited a 1935 fatwa, or religious Muslim edict, issued by his predecessor, Amin al-Husseini.

A publicly anti-semitic leader of Arab Israelis and an ally of Nazi Germany, al-Husseini wrote that “anyone who sells a home or land to Jews will not receive a Muslim burial.”  Basing a new fatwa on the old one, Sabri wrote: “Whoever sells to the Jews in Jerusalem is not a member of the Muslim nation, we will not accept his repentance and he will not be buried in the Muslim’s cemetery.

Kirsh’s body was placed temporarily outside a Muslim cemetery near Ramallah.  Stern ruled that he may be buried at a section of the Jewish cemetery at Har Hamenuchot.

“Since the Muslims will not bury him, we must correct the distortion of justice that results in unjust humiliation of a man whose only sin was selling land to Jews,” Stern wrote.  “It is incumbent on us to honor a righteous gentile, and in this case a person who showed good will and was willing to take risks for the Jewish people.”



Iranian Official: Hamas’ Rockets Foiled Israel’s Dreams

Hamas’ recent rocket barrages foiled Israeli dreams for normalized ties with Arab states, the adviser to the Iranian Speaker of parliament said on Saturday (17th), according to i24news.

“These Hamas missile strikes show that normalization of Arab-Israeli relations, declarations of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the US-led ‘Deal of the Century’ are dreams that will not come true and the Zionist regime will not attain them,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan for mideast peace “only seems practical on paper,” Abdollahian argued.

Gaza terrorists fired nearly 500 rockets and mortars toward southern israel starting on Sunday night (11th) until Tuesday afternoon (13th).  One person was killed and many injured from rocket and mortar strikes that struck a number of homes during the onslaught.

The IDF retaliated by attacking multi-story buildings used for Hamas’ terror activities in Gaza.

Abdollahian has threatened Israel in the past, including last month when he threatened that Iran would raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground if Israel “carries out even the smallest mistake” against the Islamic republic.

Earlier this year, Abdollahian organized a festival, called the “International Hourglass Festival,” celebrating what he called the “imminent collapse” of the “Zionist regime of Israel.”



Kentucky Becomes 26th State To Enact Anti-BDS Measure

Kentucky became the 26th state on Thursday (15th) to enact an anti-BDS measure.

Republican Governor Matt Bevin signed the executive order during a ceremony at the state’s capital with Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer and Consul General of Israel to the Southeast United States Judith Varnai Shorer.

The State of Israel is an important friend and trading partner to the Commonwealth,” said Bevin.  “We will not allow state resources to benefit entities that intentionally engage in discriminatory practices to harm the sovereignty and economic prosperity of any ally nation.  Today’s executive order makes it clear that Kentucky condemns the BDS movement and that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our friend Israel.”

Jewish and pro-Israel groups applauded the move.

Matthew Goldberg, Director of Community Relations for the Jewish Federation of Louisville, remarked: “Boycotting Israel is immoral, as it specifically targets the only democracy in the Middle East, a staunch ally of the United States for decades.  Everyone in the Commonwealth of Kentucky should be proud that we are now on record as officially opposing the demonization of Israel.”