Monday, December 26, 2016

Response to the Illegal UN Declaration


In the waning days of the Obama Administration, the UN Security Council preposterously declared that settlements, if they are Jewish and in historic Jewish lands, are illegal. This distortion of truth is not in sync with International Law, nor with the UN's own charter. Some on the right have called for an escalation of building activity to answer this UN declaration. But the best response is simply to realize that the answers to peace in Israel have always been within.


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International Law

In chapter 1, article 2:4 of the UN charter, states are not supposed to be bullied.
"All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations."

A reminder that Israel is a state, and the Palestinian Authority is not.  Only Israel can compel itself to potentially give up any part of their land for it to be considered Arabic, it cannot be forced or threatened to be forced from them. Unless such a complete transfer via treaty is enacted by Israel, there is no legal recourse under International Law for such pressure.

Unlike principle 2:7 of chapter 1 of the charter, this is not subject to security council review and is binding upon the United Nations members even if a rogue security council should vote foolishly one day. There is no clear and present danger to Palestinian Arabs that would justify security council involvement, on the contrary, Israel has been attacked tens of thousands of times.

All this, even as the Palestinian Authority continues to defy the very intentions of the UN as mentioned in chapter 1 article 1 of the UN charter by refusing to recognize a Jewish state of Israel.

It is not logical to argue that the framers of the United Nations intended to create institutionalized chaos in contradiction to half of the principles the entire organization is predicated upon. That a security council can be justified to practice xenophobic policy about any race or ethnicity as this decree and too many similar general assembly resolutions can only be described as an assault against the Jews of the State of Israel. This decree therefore is not a law.

Though the decree is not a law, the concept of security council decrees being view as automatic declarations of International Law is a reality. So out of context, we should be wary to not allow enemies to use it as a potential justification for escalation of violence against Israel. We must confront the perception of this decree being viewed as legal, even though it clearly is not.


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A Torah Based Response

Applying the wisdom of Rashi on Proverbs chapter 26: "Do not answer a fool according to his folly lest even you become like him. Answer a fool according to his folly lest he be wise in his sight."
   Rashi: Do not answer a fool: with words of quarrel and contention lest you become like him. Do not answer: in a matter in which you will become like him if you answer him. Answer a fool: in a matter in which he will be wise in his sight if you do not answer him.

This means, answering the fool must 1) not make you act foolish, and 2) lead to him thinking he is right.

So as a policy 1) In other words, we do not do a tit for tat reaction in the very area they are most aggravated in,

2) The UN is no longer a body that can offer sound advice on how to fix the situation, so bilateral or unilateral options from now on, but no longer multilateral.

If the fool decides to preemptively decide that he is wise in his own sight no matter what you do, then there is no point to answer him.

In other words, we do not become involved in a tit for tat retaliation, but a realization that attempting to please the UN has been the single greatest delay to peacemaking in the Middle East. It's not about 242 any longer or 338 or any other number they pull out of their hats, it is the question of how to bring peace when the leaders on the other side prefer bloodshed. In other words, a withdrawal of sharing responsibility for peacemaking with them. They went too far from logic and justice, we just can't keep involving them if there is ever to be peace.

YET, we should not go wildly unilateral at this time, We should find independence from UN interference, but not seek chaotic moves that could provoke more and more attention than necessary.

Whether Israel annexes some or all of Judea and Samaria down the road, that is not the question for today. The question is, what justification is there to support a terrorist regime as the governors of the Palestinian Arabs? Candidates for a new Palestinian Arabic political leadership council can be collected from among the non violent mayors and lay leaders in Arab towns and a new election can be held. whether they are the next leaders of a potential country or the leaders of a naturalization movement into the State of Israel can be answered another day.

We must not make the foolish side seem right in their own eyes, and merely because a more normal President is in office, start making unilateral moves. Rather we must de-escalate the blood-lust this evil decree has stirred in the Arab world and first ensure that no nation is on the brink of attack because they feel they are justified by this decree. First disprove the bad decree by making peace without UN interference, and then do what you wish in your land, this way or that, it is your choice, even according to the UN's own charter.

Trying to seek revenge against the United Nations, is foolish. We need to have more wisdom reach practical peacemaking efforts in the Middle East, if there is to be peace in the region. May it soon be so, by the grace of God.

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