Follow Focus on Jerusalem on 'Twitter'
(FOJ note) You can actively follow hourly news, comments and articles on the Twitter link posted above.The Newsroom will continue as always, but the Twitter link provides quick hot-button alerts.
WEEK OF DECEMBER 25 THROUGH DECEMBER 31
Obama’s War Against America
Dec. 29….(Jerusalem Post) In 1989, following her tenure as President Ronald Reagan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick described how the Palestinians have used the UN to destroy Israel.
Following outgoing US President Barack Obama’s assault on Israel at the UN Security Council last Friday, longtime UN observer Claudia Rossett wrote an important article at PJMedia where she recalled Kirkpatrick’s words.
In “How the PLO was legitimized,” published in Commentary, Kirkpatrick said
that Yasser Arafat and the PLO worked “to come to power through international
diplomacy – reinforced by murder.” Kirkpatrick explained, “The long march
through the UN has produced many benefits for the PLO. It has created a people
where there was none; a claim where there was none. Now the PLO is seeking to
create a state where there already is one. That will take more than resolutions
and more than an ‘international peace conference.’ But having succeeded so well
over the years in its campaign to delegitimize Israel, the PLO might yet also
succeed in bringing the campaign to a triumphant conclusion, with consequences
for the Jewish state that would be nothing short of catastrophic.”
Obama’s predecessors’ opposition to the war against Israel at the UN was not
merely an expression of their support for Israel. They acted also out of a
fealty to US power, which is directly targeted by that war. It is critical that
we understand how this is the case, and why the implications of Resolution 2334
are disastrous to the US itself.
America’s historic refusal to countenance such actions at the UN Security was never a purely altruistic position. It was also a stand for American power and the inherent justice of American superpower status and global leadership. Throughout most of its history, the UN has served as a proxy battlefield first of the Cold War, and since the destruction of the Soviet Union, for the war against the US-led free world.
Beginning in the early 1960s, the Soviets viewed the political war against Israel at the UN as a means to undermine the moral basis for the US-led West. If Israel, the only human rights defending state in the Middle East, and the US’s only stable ally in the region could be delegitimized, then the very coherence of the US-led Western claim to moral superiority against the totalitarian Soviet empire would be undone. Hence, the first Soviet attempt at the UN to castigate Zionism, the Jewish national liberation movement, as a form of racism was made in 1965, two years before Israel took control of Judea and Samaria and united Jerusalem in the Six Day War. That attempt failed. But nine years later the wording first raised in 1965 was adopted by the UN General Assembly which passed resolution 3379 slandering libeled Zionism as “a form of racism.”
With their automatic majority in the General Assembly and all other UN organs, the Soviets used the Palestinian war against Israel as a proxy for their war against America. After the demise of the Soviet Union, the Islamic bloc, backed by members of the former Soviet bloc, the non-aligned bloc and the Europeans continued their campaign. The only thing that kept them from winning was the US and its Security Council veto.
When Obama chose to lead the anti-Israel lynch mob at the Security Council last week, he did more than deliver the PLO terrorist organization its greatest victory to date against Israel. He delivered a strategic victory to the anti-American forces that seek to destroy the coherence of American superpower status. That is, he carried out a strategic strike on American power.
By leading the gang rape of Israel on Friday, Obama undermined the rationale for American power. Why should the US assert a sovereign right to stand against the radical forces that control the UN? If the US agrees that Israel is committing a crime by respecting the civil and human rights of its citizens to live in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, then how can America claim that it has the right to defend its own rights and interests, when those clash with the views of the vast majority of state members of the UN?
Following Obama’s assault on Israel Friday, Senators Lindsay Graham and Ted Cruz called for the US to end its financial support for the UN at least until the Security Council abrogates Resolution 2334. They are correct. But it isn’t anger at how Obama has and is expected to continue to use the Security Council to imperil Israel that should inform the incoming Trump administration’s actions. Rather a determination to maintain US power and secure its national security requires that the UN be permanently defunded and defanged.
For eight years, through his embrace and empowerment of US enemies, betrayal and weakening of US allies, emaciation of the US armed forces and repeated apologies for America’s past assertions of global leadership, Obama has waged a determined war against US superpower status. The last vestige of the strategic and moral rationale for US power was the protection America afforded Israel at the Security Council.
Now with that gone, it has become a strategic imperative for the US to render the UN irrelevant. This can only be undertaken by permanently defunding this corrupt institution and using the US’s Security Council veto to end the UN’s role as the arbiter of international peace and security, by among other things, ending the deployment of UN forces to battle zones.
Only by stripping the UN of its financial wherewithal to assault US allies and American interests and by denying it the institutional and operational capacity to serve as an arbiter of disputes morally and legally superior to the US can America protect its sovereignty and advance its interests. Only by denying those associated with the UN the prestige that confers to an institution legitimized by democrat and autocrat alike can the incoming Trump administration rebuild America’s reputation and power.
It is not surprising that Obama is carrying out the final act of his presidency at the UN. Obama has made no attempt to hide his desire to eliminate America’s independence of action. By elevating the post of UN ambassador to a cabinet level position at the outset of his presidency, Obama signaled his conviction that this corrupt institution is the equal of the US government. This early signal was transformed into an open policy when Obama used the Security Council as a means to bypass the US Senate in implementing his nuclear deal with Iran.
Now, by ignoring the near consensus position of both parties that the US should block anti-Israel resolutions from being adopted at the Security Council and plotting further action against Israel at the Security Council in his final weeks in office, Obama has made clear his position and his aim.
Obama is not leading the war against
Israel at the Security Council simply to advance the PLO’s war for the
annihilation of Israel. He is acting in this manner to undermine the legitimacy
of American power. Obama’s strategic campaign against his country can
only be defeated by a counter campaign by his successor.
WEEK OF DECEMBER 18 THROUGH DECEMBER 24
Franklin Graham Joins Donald Trump on Election Victory 'Thank You Tour'
Evangelical leader Franklin Graham joined President-elect Donald Trump at the Republican's last "Thank You Tour" stop in Alabama, where Graham prayed alongside thousands for Trump and America's future. "Yesterday I had the privilege of joining with thousands of people in Alabama to pray for President-elect Donald J. Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, and to thank God for His hand of blessing on this nation. I was invited to lead in prayer at the final stop of their Thank You Tour," Graham wrote in a Facebook message on Sunday. "Donald Trump will become our president in just over a month, and he needs our prayers for wisdom as he puts together his administration. I encourage everyone, whether you voted for President-elect Trump or not, to come together and pray for him. God hears and works through the prayers of His people," he added.
Graham, who leads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, further wrote that he hopes the Electoral College ballot vote on Monday, which is set to finalize Trump's win in November, goes well. Graham led a Decision America Tour from coast to coast this past year, encouraging Christians to get out and vote, though he did not endorse a specific candidate. The evangelical leader called Trump's victory on Nov. 8 the "biggest political upset of our lifetime." "This election has been long, it's been tough, and it's been divisive. It's time to put that behind us. Now is the time to come together in unity and work together. Our nation has so many problems that need fixing. Even more important are the spiritual needs of our country," Graham wrote in his response to the election results back in November. "Whether we are rich or poor, without Jesus Christ we are the most desperately in need, the poorest of the poor. We cannot ignore His hand and His supreme authority," he added.
WEEK OF DECEMBER 4 THROUGH DECEMBER 10
High-Stakes Game over Syria As Khamenei-Putin Axis Advances
(How long can Israel defend itself as the Khamenei-Putin axis advances?)
Dec. 7….(Rapture Forumns / By P. David Hornik) The news out of Syria this week is, as usual, complex—and seemingly contradictory. On the one hand, the Russian-Syrian-Iranian-
On the other hand, Arab and other media reported that on Wednesday the Israeli air force struck a Syrian weapons depot west of Damascus and a weapons convoy headed for Hizballah in Lebanon. As of Thursday evening there had been no retaliation against Israel, and Israeli analysts generally saw a retaliation as unlikely. Media outside of Israel have, of course, often reported in the past on Israeli airstrikes, usually against Hizballah-bound weaponry—in Syria.
Israel’s policy has been to keep mum, neither denying nor confirming the reports. Last April, though, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged that Israel had carried out “dozens” of strikes in Syria against “game-changing weaponry” for Hizballah. It’s no secret that, since the 2006 war between Israel and Hizballah in Lebanon, Hizballah has massively rearmed and now harbors tens of thousands of missiles. But Israel regards some kinds of weapons, precision rockets, advanced antiship and antiaircraft systems, as out of bounds for the terror group.
What has changed in the Syrian arena, though, is that late last year Russia deployed its powerful S-400 radar and antiaircraft system there. It covers Syria, Lebanon, and much of Israel and can track Israel’s northern airspace. Since then there have been far fewer reported Israeli airstrikes in Syria. In one of them, last September, the outcome seemed ominous when Syria, not a military match for Israel by itself, but backed by Russia and Iran—fired missiles at two Israeli aircraft. Why, then, the Israeli strike this week? Why no military response this time?
One conjecture: the weapons Israel struck in the Syrian depot and in the convoy would have been particularly unacceptable weapons in Hizballah’s hands.
Another conjecture: the much-touted Israeli-Russian coordination, whereby Netanyahu and Russian president Vladimir Putin are said to have worked out arrangements to avoid clashes, is still operative.
Other possible mitigating factors are that Israel reportedly hit the targets from Lebanese, not Syrian, airspace, and that no Syrian or Hizballah fighters appear to have been killed.
The larger question: what happens if Syria’s Assad and his backers have indeed turned the tide and will be looking to keep extending their control over Syrian territory? Of interest here are remarks to the Algemeiner website by Yossi Kuperwasser, who has held major positions in Israel’s Military Intelligence. Kuperwasser, as the site paraphrases it, says that Iran is stepping up the speed at which it is arming its proxies in the region due to its fear that after Donald Trump assumes the US presidency in January, its room to maneuver in Syria will be greatly hampered….And regarding Israel and Russia, in Kuperwasser’s own words: There is a mutual understanding of each other’s interests. Though Russia and Iran are backing Hezbollah combat rebel forces fighting against the Assad regime, Russia understands that Israel cannot allow weapons from Hezbollah in Syria to be moved to Lebanon, where they will be aimed at the Jewish state.
How long can this relatively tolerable—for Israel—situation continue? Indications are that its days may be numbered. Even if Putin’s strategic goals are not identical to those of his allies—he is clearly not a Shiite ideologue like the Iranians and Hizballah or a Shiite-aligned Arab like Assad—his steps have been increasingly brazen.
Along with the transfer of major weapon systems to Syria, and an aircraft carrier to its coast, they include major weapons sales to Iran, joint provision with Iran of weapons to Iran’s Houthi proxies in Yemen, and reports of Russian aid to Iranian-backed Shiite militias in Iraq.
As Kuperwasser puts it, Israel’s most serious concern is “Iran’s increasing territorial contiguity—crossing Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.” For the incoming Trump administration, stemming this tide should be an urgent priority. Whatever Putin’s real motive, he is helping create a situation of unacceptable danger to Israel and a Middle East bifurcated between Shiite and Sunni blocs—a recipe for ongoing war and explosive instability.