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Germany’s Bid to Keep Israel off the UN Security Council

March 21 2018

The Jewish state has never held a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council. For the first 50 years of its existence, it was denied membership in any of the UN’s regional groups, which control candidacies for these rotating seats. Then it was finally admitted to the Western European and Others Group, which promptly agreed to wait another twenty years before approving Jerusalem for a Security Council candidacy. Now, Benny Avni notes, Germany is poised to block action:

As a good-faith gesture, the Western European and Others Group promised Israel that it and Belgium would run uncontested for the two open 2019-20 [Security Council] seats. Then, in 2016, Germany announced it would also run—even though it already served as a council member [multiple times, including] as recently as 2011-12. . . . [U]nless Belgium yields, Israel’s hopes for UN respect seem doomed for now—and maybe for the foreseeable future.

Why? Diplomats have been telling me Israel violates too many Security Council resolutions to be a member—as in the one passed during the last weeks of Barack Obama’s presidency, which marked Jewish holy sites as occupied Palestinian territory. But is building a porch in [the West Bank town of] Ma’ale Adumim really such a huge threat to world peace?

How about, then, a report released last week by UN experts on the Security Council’s North Korea sanctions? It found Germany violated a council ban on sparkling wines, exporting $151,840 worth of bubbly and other luxury goods to Kim Jong Un’s cronies. Or how about, as the Jerusalem Post’s Benjamin Weinthal reports, German companies exporting to Iran banned materials that were later used in chemical attacks in Syria?

Never mind. Germany (and Belgium) will surely benefit from the UN’s habit of magnifying Israel’s violations beyond all proportion. Thus, Israel’s petition to join the most prestigious UN club will likely be rejected, thanks to a late entry by a shameless [and] cynical German power play against the Jewish state.

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More about: Germany, Israel & Zionism, Israeli-German relations, United Nations

Israel’s New Strategy for Keeping Hamas on the Defensive

March 21 2018

For the past several years, the IDF’s approach to Gaza has primarily been reactive: it has responded to occasional rocket fire and other attacks with limited, precision strikes aimed at deterring Hamas from going any farther. But Israel’s response last weekend to the targeting of its border patrol by means of an explosive device speaks to a new strategy. Ron Ben-Yishai explains:

Now, the IDF [uses] every event and incident on the Gaza border to destroy Hamas’s most important military abilities, primarily the tunnels. These are no longer acts of retaliation, punishment, and deterrence, but real warfare against Hamas, which will make it easier for the IDF to manage the next round of fighting in the Strip and protect the Israeli communities in the Gaza vicinity.

This is a new type of “war between wars” [as the IDF terms this low-intensity conflict]. Whereas the war between wars in the north is aimed at preventing the delivery of high-quality, precision-guided weapons to Hizballah and the Iranian entrenchment in Syria, the new southern war between wars is aimed at thwarting the ability of Hamas and Islamic Jihad both to infiltrate Israel through underground tunnels and to fight IDF forces within the Strip by transferring fighters, weapons, and rockets through tunnels excavated in Gaza. . . .

This has all been made possible thanks to the quick development and use of new technologies [for the] discovery, detection, and location of tunnels both in the area close to the Israel-Gaza border and deep within the Strip, [along with the] modern technologies for close and remote neutralization of tunnels, both from the air and from the ground. . . . Furthermore, these technological abilities, whose nature has been kept strictly confidential, make it possible to destroy tunnels and target Hamas and Islamic Jihad’s most important military assets without killing Islamic Jihad or Hamas members, based on the calculation that these organizations won’t embark on a major escalation if none of their members have been killed.

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More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, IDF, Islamic Jihad, Israel & Zionism