Netanyahu tasked to form new Israeli government
After tense discussions, Benjamin Netanyahu has been asked to form the country’s next government by President Reuven Rivlin, according to The Times of Israel.
December 6 marked the two-year anniversary of a proclamation made by United States President Donald Trump, stating that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and instructed for the American embassy in Tel Aviv to be relocated to Jerusalem.
To the worldwide Jewish community, prayer is always pointed towards Jerusalem. The concept of Zionism comes from the yearning for a return for Zion, a hill in the city limits of Jerusalem, and the idea to ensure that there is a Jewish state that has the right to exist.
Historical and political evidence overwhelmingly proves that Jerusalem is the rightful capital of Israel.
Jerusalem is the holiest city in Judaism, it is the location of the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. The holiest site that Jews can pray at, the Western Wall, is in the Old City of Jerusalem. It was in Jerusalem where the sacrificial binding of Isaac took place.
Jerusalem has always been the eternal capital of Israel for over 3000 years, well into the time of King David. There simply is a double standard set by the world at large that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
On May 14, 2018, the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel, Trump’s embassy promise was realized upon the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem. An important proclamation was quickly delivered to Israel and to the Jewish people around the world.
Unfortunately, Canada has not followed the lead of the United States. It still does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, even though its parliament, supreme court and residences of both the President and Prime Minister are located in the city.
Instead, Canada houses its embassy in Tel Aviv, where the majority of the world also houses their embassies.
For the most part, in the past decade, Canada has had a very good record of supporting Israel (besides a very disappointing anti-Israel vote last month), has a vibrant pro-Israel community in the country and even hosted the President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin this past spring.
The world knows that after the United States, it usually Canada that comes to mind of being the strongest ally to Israel. Furthermore, the important alliance that Canada and Israel share is well known and documented, from coast to coast to coast.
The Jewish community is united regarding this very issue and has frequently called on the federal government to finally follow on the lead President Trump has set, and move the embassy to Jerusalem.
At last year’s Conservative Party of Canada convention, the membership voted to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. During the election, the Tories promoted that they would recognize Jerusalem.
Yet the federal government, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has failed to recognize Jerusalem or move the embassy from Tel Aviv. Refusing to do this action will continue to leave a stain on Trudeau’s legacy in dealing with Israel and the Jewish community at large.
Trudeau continuously portrays the image of Canada and Israel being such strong allies, even though he and his government do not recognize the capital of their closest ally in one of the most hostile regions in the world.
The longer the Canadian embassy is in Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem is not recognized, the longer a continued strain grows. In a time when anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are on the rise, the federal government must realize that now is the time act on a foreign policy matter that is long overdue that would be celebrated around the world.
As the United States and Guatemala have done, Canada does not need to move the embassy into East Jerusalem, rather into West Jerusalem, an urban area within the city limits of Jerusalem.
At this point, a good start would be the opening of diplomatic offices in Jerusalem as many other countries, such as Brazil and Hungary have done. Opening a diplomatic office, such as a trade office would provide concrete evidence of the federal government taking an active role in further recognizing that Jerusalem is the de facto capital of Israel.
Canada is far behind the United States in real initiatives that have supported Israel. Moving the embassy is indeed a major initiative that needs to be carried out, and there are still other matters in which Canada lacks the United States with regards to support for Israel.
Canada has not frozen any funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), an organization that in part, funds terrorism and promotes anti-Semitism. The federal government has neither recognized the Golan Heights as sovereign Israeli territory or stated that the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria (commonly known as the West Bank) are legal.
Under Stephen Harper, Canada froze funds to UNRWA and after Trump’s lead, the recognition of Jerusalem would have been proclaimed and plans certainly would have been underway to move the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
In an interview with Israel’s largest newspaper, Israel Hayom, Harper said that “now that the U.S. has done it, there is really every reason for the government of Canada to do it, and certainly my successor as leader of the Canadian parliament.”
Joe Clark, the short-lived Prime Minister of Canada from 1979-1980 had also promised to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, however, due to security risks, the plan did not go through.
Jerusalem is the heart and soul of the Jewish people and of the world’s only Jewish state, Israel. Ensuring that this special city, which is also heavily documented capital of the Holy Land, must finally be recognized.
Trudeau and his Liberal government need to finally act on what is right and ultimately, recognize Jerusalem and commence plans to move the Canadian embassy to the eternal capital of Israel.
It may not be a decision that the international community may condemn, but to Jewish Canadians, and the worldwide Jewish community, this is a moment that is worth rejoicing over.
The time is now for Canada to rightfully proclaim that Jerusalem, the golden jewel of the Middle East, is the true capital of Canada’s closest friend in the region, Israel.
At a gala hosted by UN Watch, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley called out Canada’s recent vote on a North Korea-led resolution against Israel.
She said that Canada has struck “a deal with the devil” to presumably gain support within the UN for a seat at the Security Council.
Canada had recently broken a long-standing record for over a decade of supporting Israel in the UN, and not voting “yes” in anti-Israel resolutions. This resolution considers Israel’s existence in Jerusalem as “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”
There was no acknowledgement in the resolution regarding the recent rocket attacks by Palestinian terrorist organizations.
The recent resolution delegitimizes Israel’s existence and was condemned by many Canadian Jewish organizations for Canada’s poor stance on this matter at the UN.
UN Watch is an NGO that monitors the UN’s human rights activities and particularly emphasizes anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activity at the UN towards Israel.
The Post Millennial previously covered the notion that it was not worth Canada voting against Israel simply to attempt to gain a seat at the Security Council.
From the Six-Day War to Canada backing North Korea's anti-Israel UN resolution: A look back at the past 50 years
In 1967 Israel quickly defeated the fused military forces of Egypt, Jordan and Syria in what’s known as the Six Day War, and in the process captured Jerusalem and Samaria and the Judea highlands, or in United Nations parlance the “Occupied Palestinian Territory (of West Bank), including East Jerusalem.”
After a half-century’s worth of conflict that has marred the region–punctuated by “two-state solution” peace accords and roadmaps that achieved little–enter North Korea’s UN Resolution that demands Israel return to a time before the Six Day War, and end its “occupation” forthwith.
This ahistorical insult over territory Israel considers disputed, and tabled by one of the worst regimes on Earth, still earned Canada’s vote, along with nearly every single UN member apart from Australia which abstained.
Newly minted Minister of Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne said Canada’s support “was clearly explained to our allies” and “was a principled position.”
No further explanation was provided to the public–nevertheless, Canadian Jews still see Canada as an ally, claims Champagne.
“I think people in the Jewish community in Canada and around the world can see Canada as an ally. We will continue to do so, but there are times like those where I think we must express Canada’s position as we did at the United Nations yesterday.”
Suffice it to say, condemnation of Canada’s decision was as fulsome as it was incredulous. Hillel Neuer, human rights lawyer and executive director of UN Human Rights Watch, called it a “Faustian bargain”.
Conservatives ethics critic Peter Kent, former foreign correspondent and television journalist, accused Canada of ulterior motives with its UN decision:
And United States was pretty much alone in its opposition to Kim Jong Un’s winning UN resolution gambit, backed by Egypt, Nicaragua and the “State of Palestine”.
“Stressing the urgency of achieving without delay an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, based on the relevant resolutions of the United Nations, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” reads the resolution.
North Korea’s “joint” UN resolution also describes construction of a border wall along the flanks of the so-called occupied territory, as “severely imped(ing) the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination”.
Israel has several, similar border walls that the UN doesn’t abide, such as the one running the eastern flank of Gaza; a barrier that has done remarkably well in mitigating Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli citizens.
But back in May of 1967, long before Palestinian Liberation Organization hijackings and bombings exacted against Israel, United Nations simply acquiesced to Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s request to pull peacekeepers from the Sinai peninsula to make a land assault against Israel easier.
Sinai was already “disputed territory” back then, after France and the UK helped Israel push all the way to the Suez Canal in 1956.
While France might have abandoned Israel in 1967, it didn’t really matter much anymore for an emboldened and better trained Israeli military, even if Nasser closed the Strait of Tiran, cutting off the Israeli port of Eilat.
And as history would have it, Nasser’s Sinai strategy and its UN backing was rendered moot after Israel destroyed the Egyptian airforce in a June 5 surprise attack. The brief, springtime war is said to have displaced some 300,000 Palestinians.
But in this never-ending Arab-Israeli saga, Arabs would get their revenge in the Yom Kippur War of 1973, when Egypt vanquished their Israeli foes in Sinai.
As the late Times of London war correspondent Patrick Brogran describes it in his book “The Fighting Never Stopped”, the 1973 conflict “demonstrated that Israel was not invincible, and it restored Arab pride.”
And lest we forget, this conflict continues to be a Cold War leftover since the U.S. Administration of John F. Kennedy formed the US-Israeli military alliance in 1961.
Previous to that, American support for Israel was first political in nature; the U.S. was the first to acknowledge Israel’s provisional government back in 1948, six months after United Nations “partition of the British-ruled Palestine Mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab state.”
The British barely had time to vacate the region when Arabs attacked the nascent Jewish state later that same year, kicking off the first Arab-Israeli war.
And U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower would side with Egypt during the Suez Canal crisis, and along with the Soviet Union would force the withdrawal of British, French and Israeli forces who occupied western Sinai.
The turning point for unwavering American support for Israel would come with the advent of the Six Day War. The Cold War implications that have continued ever since are that United States and then-Soviet Union were always at risk of being drawn into an expanding conflict.
As the United States continues to back Israel and Saudi Arabia in the region, the Russians have not tired of their alliances with Baathists in Syria or the mullahs in Iran; either Islamic country still openly hostile towards Israel.
That significant amounts of proverbial water have passed under the bridge in the interim would be an understatement.
While the United States has attempted to broker peace between Palestinians and Israelis, perhaps most notably President Bill Clinton’s failed Camp David summit in 2000 between Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli president Ehud Barak, a “two state solution” remains elusive.
Keep in mind that barely six years before Camp David, Arafat, PLO’s leader and terrorist mastermind, was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for quitting his habit of orchestrating hijackings and terror bombings against Israel.
Returning to the here and now, this latest bit of anti-Israel politicking at the United Nations comes after current U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that America would cease to consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal.
The decision is a significant break from U.S. policy on the region–going forward Pompeo said America would defer to Israeli courts rather than international tribunals.
“Calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law has not advanced the cause of peace… and arguments about who is right and who is wrong as a matter of international law will not bring peace,” Pompeo said.
Two years ago in 2017, United States President Donald Trump caused similar UN consternation with his decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem–Israel’s state capital–riling enough nations for the tabling of a UN resolution rejecting it.
At the time Canada was neck-deep in free trade renegotiations with the United States and then-Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada would abstain from that vote.
Canada’s UN ambassador Marc-Andre Blanchard said he was “disappointed” in the UN resolution rejecting the U.S. embassy”s move to Jerusalem, describing it as “one sided” because it “did not advance to prospects for peace.”
On Saturday, Blanchard appears to have made a complete reversal, re-Tweeting a La Press op-ed titled “Canada regains its voice at the UN”, which suggested the previous Canadian abstention on the embassy vote lacked courage.
Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been the Prime Minister of Israel for the last 10 years has been charged by the Israeli Justice Ministry with corruption. This marks the first time in Israel’s 70-year-history that a prime minister is under indictment.
This development threatens to end the 70-year-old prime minister’s career (which was already in a precarious position due to the failure of Netanyahu’s Likud party to create a coalition government in the Israeli parliament). The corruption charges were levelled against Netanyahu by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who told reporters that it was a “heavy-hearted decision” according to the Associated Press.
Among the charges is one in which he allegedly implemented regulation for a telecom company in exchange for favourable coverage of himself on popular Israeli news site Walla! News.
Other fraud and breach of trust charges deal with Netanyahu allegedly introducing legislation that would damage one of a newspaper’s major rivals in exchange for the paper giving friendly coverage to Netanyahu. Both the prime minister and the newspaper publisher deny the charges.
The prime minister is also facing bribery charges related to receiving approximately $300,000 U.S. from an Australian billionaire and a Hollywood producer. The gifts include jewellery cigars and champagne, which Netanyahu claims were just gifts between friends.
In response to the indictments, Netanyahu said that he would “continue to lead the country.” He claimed during a televised address that “the tainted investigation didn’t pursue the truth. It pursued me,” and “It’s a case of selective enforcement on steroids.”