Israel Celebrates Its 70th Anniversary of Independence

Debkafioles – April 18, 2018

Independence Day in Israel beginning Wednesday night is traditionally celebrated with music and bright lights across the country’s towns and villages at the end of Memorial Day. Quadcopters with LED bulbs create multicolored Star of David images on the walls of Jerusalem. The air force stages a spectacular fly-past Thursday. Many people will visit the army and police sites which are opened to the public, along with outdoor picnics and family gatherings. Forty ambassadors to the United Nations have arrived to take part in Israel’s 70th anniversary celebrations. They hail from Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America. Accompanying the diplomats is Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the UN.

In Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry contest, the public ranked as the greatest Israeli inventions of all time, the Iron Dome missile-defense system, followed by Waze international navigation, drip irrigation and Disk On Key data storage (Memory Stick.)

Russia demands UN Security Council condemn Syria missile attack but fails

DW – April 14, 2018

The United Nations Security Council on Saturday rejected a Russian resolution to condemn Western strikes on Syria.

Moscow called the emergency Council meeting after the US, France and the UK fired scores of cruise missiles at what they said were chemical weapons facilities in Syria in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack by Damascus last week.

How the meeting went

  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged restraint and asked states to avoid any escalation.
  • Guterres renewed his call for an investigation to identify the perpetrators of the chemical attack.
  • Russia filed a draft resolution condemning the missile attack as a violation of international law and the UN Charter, and demanding the US and its allies cease aggression against Syria.
  • Only Russia, China and Bolivia voted in favor. Eight countries voted against the draft. Four abstained.

UN Security Council holds emergency summit over alleged Syria chemical attack

DW – April 9, 2018

The UN Security Council on Monday opened an emergency session following Saturday’s alleged poison gas attack on the Syrian rebel-held town of Douma, which killed at least 49 people and injured hundreds more.

The EU and Western countries on the Security Council blamed the attack on the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which is backed by Russia and Iran.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, told the session that “the United States will respond” to the use of chemical weapons against civilians in Syria.

“We have reached the moment when the world must see justice done,” said Haley. “History will record this as the moment when the Security Council either discharged its duty or demonstrated its utter and complete failure to protect the people of Syria.”

After the meeting, US President Donald Trump vowed to “forcefully” respond to the attack.

Nikki Haley: US Joins 8 Other Countries In Calling For Emergency Security Council Meeting On Syria

Virginia Kruta – April 8, 2018

U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley announced on Sunday that the U.S. had joined with eight other nations to call for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

The purpose of that meeting, which will take place on Monday, is to address the chemical attack that has been reported in Douma, Syria.

Haley’s statement included in the press release was unequivocal.

Yet again, there are reports of what appears to be a chemical weapons attack in Syria. Unfortunately, chemical weapons use to injure and kill innocent Syrian civilians has become all too common. The Security Council has to come together and demand immediate access for first responders, support an independent investigation into what happened, and hold accountable those responsible for this atrocious act.

Clouds form over Iran deal as Trump deadline nears

Rebecca Kheel – April 3, 2018

Dark clouds are forming over the Iran nuclear deal as the calendar marches toward a May 12 deadline set by President Trump to improve the accord or see the United States effectively withdraw from it.

When Trump extended Iran’s sanctions relief in January, he pledged it would be the last time unless European allies agree to a supplemental deal to fix what the president sees as the fundamental problems with the nuclear pact negotiated by the Obama administration.

And while negotiations with the Europeans are ongoing, hopes for a solution are increasingly fading.

Russia announces tit-for-tat expulsions of Western diplomats, will close US consulate in St. Petersburg

DW – March 29, 2018

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday that Russia would retaliate in kind to countries that expelled Russian diplomats over the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK.

The decision is the latest move in the diplomatic fallout that began after Britain accused Russia of responsibility for the nerve agent attack in early March.

How the White House reacted: Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the move by Moscow marked a “further deterioriation in the United States-Russia relationship,” but that it “was not unanticipated.”

“The expulsion of undeclared Russian intelligence officers by the United States and more than two dozen partner nations and NATO allies earlier this week was an appropriate response to the Russian attack on the soil of the United Kingdom,”  Sanders said.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at UN to lobby for Security Council seat

DW – March 27, 2018

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas will try to convince UN member states of Germany’s credentials for a seat at the UN Security Council when he arrives in New York.

Maas is making his inaugural visit to the UN in New York and will be joining discussions on peacekeeping as well as meeting with Secretary General Antonio Guterres and UN ambassadors from several countries on Wednesday to highlight Germany’s qualification for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council.

“We want to be involved in tackling the biggest challenges to peace and security,” Maas said before departing Berlin, adding he wanted to speak to representatives from other countries to hear “what they expect from us.”

U.N. council adopts 5 more anti-Israel resolutions

WND – March 22, 2018

The United Nations, through its much-criticized Human Rights Council, has moved further out on the anti-Israel limb, adopting five more anti-Israel resolutions to finish up its current meeting in Geneva.

The resolutions drew a response from U.S. U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley that may not bode well for the international organization.

She pointed out, according to the Jerusalem Post, that the same national representatives passed only one resolution against North Korea, one against Iran and one against Syria, arguably among the world’s worst human rights violators.

“When the Human Rights Council treats Israel worse than North Korea, Iran, and Syria, it is the council itself that is foolish and unworthy of its name,” Haley said in the statement. “It is time for the countries who know better to demand changes. Many countries agree that the council’s agenda is grossly biased against Israel, but too few are willing to fight it.”

She explained that results such as these show the council failing “to fulfill its duty to uphold human rights around the world.”

U.N. to U.S.: You need to write check for Palestinians

Bob Unruh – March 15, 2018

United Nations officials are publicly berating the United States for not paying more than its fair share of costs for a refugee program after President Trump curbed support to motivate Palestinians to be serious about negotiating for peace with Israel.

WND reported the president hasn’t been pleased with the Palestinians’ refusal to consider compromises to achieve Middle East peace, so he’s withholding tens of millions of dollars from funds that support Palestinians.

His efforts were met days ago with the threat of terrorism from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Bloomberg reported.

Abbas told the U.N. Security Council he will not meet with U.S. officials until Trump reverses his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

He went far beyond that, though.

“He finished his address with a warning – which others may read as a threat – of violence unless the U.S. restores funds that were cut to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, which administers to millions of Palestinian refugees,” the report said.

EU Sides with Arab League Against Israel and Trump in Jerusalem Dispute

Breitbart London – February 26, 2018

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union and Arab League countries insist that Jerusalem must be the joint capital of Israel and a future Palestinian state, as the U.S. prepares to move its embassy there in a step angering the Arab world.

Speaking after talks Monday between EU and Arab League foreign ministers, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that the “special status and character of the city must be preserved.”

She said the two blocs also “see eye to eye” that there can only be a two-state solution to the conflict, with Israel and the Palestinians living side by side in peace.

The talks come as Washington prepares to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to a scaled-down, temporary facility that will open in Jerusalem in May.