Obama’s parting shot to Israel comes as no surprise to those who have followed his actions the last 8 years, including his closeness to the Muslim Brotherhood and those of the Alt Left with an animus towards Israel.
However, for others who assumed a US President would support democracy and oppose terrorism, it came as a shock that he would sink so low.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to “overcome” the UN Security Council’s resolution against the settlements, saying Israel was “reevaluating its ties with the UN.”
He vows to ‘overcome’ the ‘disgraceful’ resolution against the settlements, which ‘determines Western Wall is occupied territory’; also vows to ‘cancel’ decision, ‘not by concessions from us, but by us and our allies standing firm.’
“The resolution passed in the UN is distorted and disgraceful, but we will overcome it,” Netanyahu said during a lighting ceremony for the first candle of Hanukkah in front of wounded IDF soldiers, disabled veterans and terror victims.
“The resolution determines that the Jewish Quarter (in Jerusalem) is occupied territory. It determines that the Western Wall, the Kotel, is occupied territory. There is no greater absurd (sic) than that.”
He criticized the attempt to force conditions on Israel vis-à-vis a final-status agreement with the Palestinians. “… the last one to try to do that was (Jimmy) Carter, a particularly hostile president to Israel, who just recently said Hamas wasn’t a terror organization…Carter passed similar sweeping resolutions against us at the UN and that didn’t succeed either.”
“All of the US presidents after Carter met the American commitment not to try and dictate to Israel at the Security Council conditions for a final-status agreement. And yesterday, in complete contradiction of this commitment—including specific commitment made by President Obama himself in 2011—the Obama administration carried out a disgraceful anti-Israeli underhanded move at the UN.”
“Here on the eve of Hanukkah, I stand next to the modern-day Maccabees—IDF soldiers and wounded soldiers. I salute you and say this clearly: Light will banish the darkness. The spirit of the Maccabees will come out on top.”
Earlier, Israeli government officials said Washington’s decision to abstain from the vote and not veto the resolution “was President Obama’s final ploy. This is an act that exposed the administration’s true face.”
Now it is easier to understand what we’ve been dealing with over the past eight years… This move was expected. Prime Minister Netanyahu warned it might come.”
The government officials also claimed the US had a hand in the writing and promoting of the resolution. “We know this from Arab and international sources.”
“President-elect Trump, the US Congress and the Jewish organizations have all worked to try and prevent this move by the Obama administration,” a government official added.
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz told Ynet that “the Obama administration has decided to abandon Israel to the anti-Israeli trend in the UN. This wasn’t an anti-settlement resolution, it was an anti-Israel resolution.”
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) also pointed an accusatory finger at the American administration, saying “The UN, whose leader only recently admitted that it is an organization that is biased against Israel, made an absurd decision because of the lack of leadership the US has demonstrated over the last few years…”if the Western Wall and Ramot are occupied territory, then the UN must determine that New York should be immediately returned to the Indians.”
Education Minister Naftali Bennett called the resolution “the direct result of the Oslo policy of concessions and withdrawals, and is destined to be thrown into history’s trash like resolutions that came before it. This is the time to make a U-turn, it’s time to move from withdrawals to sovereignty. We must apply Israeli law in Ma’aleh Adumim, the Jordan Valley, Ofra and all of Area C as soon as possible.”
(Incidentally, I disagree with Edelstein’s comparison between New York and the Western Wall, as Jews, like the Indians, were the indigenous people.)
The implications of this resolution are horrendous: the UN has pronounced that the holiest place in Judaism belongs to Arab Muslims, who have only recently claimed it as the third holiest place to Islam. It would be like declaring that Mecca and Medina should be transferred to the Jews – which would make more sense, as until the Muslims came and slaughtered all the Jewish men, taking the women and children as slaves, Medina was 50% Jewish and owed its prosperity to them.
Let’s look at a brief history of the Western Wall:
When Rome destroyed the Second Temple in 70 C.E., only one outer wall remained standing. The Romans probably would have destroyed that wall as well, but it must have seemed too insignificant to them; it was not even part of the Temple itself, just an outer wall surrounding the Temple Mount. For the Jews, however, this remnant of what was the most sacred building in the Jewish world quickly became the holiest spot in Jewish life. Throughout the centuries Jews from throughout the world made the difficult pilgrimage to Palestine, and immediately headed for the Kotel ha-Ma’aravi (the Western Wall) to thank God. The prayers offered at the Kotel were so heartfelt that gentiles began calling the site the “Wailing Wall.” This undignified name never won a wide following among traditional Jews; the term “Wailing Wall” is not used in Hebrew.
The Western Wall was subjected to far worse than semantic indignities. During the more than one thousand years Jerusalem was under Muslim rule, the Arabs often used the Wall as a garbage dump, so as to humiliate the Jews who visited it.
For nineteen years, from 1948 to 1967, the Kotel was under Jordanian rule. Although the Jordanians had signed an armistice agreement in 1949 guaranteeing Jews the right to visit the Wall, not one Israeli Jew was ever permitted to do so. One of the first to reach the Kotel in the 1967 Six-Day War was Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, who helped revive a traditional Jewish custom by inserting a written petition into its cracks…Dayan’s prayer was that a lasting peace “descend upon the House of Israel.”
The mystical qualities associated with the Kotel are underscored in a popular Israeli song, a refrain of which runs: “There are people with hearts of stone, and stones with hearts of people.” A rabbi in Jerusalem once told me that the Hebrew expression “The walls have ears” was originally said about the Western Wall.
In addition to the large crowds that come to pray at the Kotel on Friday evenings, it is also a common gathering place on all Jewish holidays, particularly on the fast of Tisha Be-Av, which commemorates the destruction of both Temples. Today the Wall is a national symbol, and the opening or closing ceremonies of many Jewish events, including secular ones, are conducted there.
Interesting to note that the term “Wailing Wall” was used mainly by gentiles because of the heartfelt nature of Jewish prayers there, and that Snowflakes have adopted the term to demonstrate their heartbreak at the triumph of democracy against media propaganda:
Samantha Lane writes: New York‘s ‘wailing wall’ providing subway therapy in Trump’s America
New York: “This is our new western wailing wall.”
Miriam Blaustein regards a patchwork quilt of sticky notes that’s turning an expanding stretch of Manhattan’s Union Square subway station fluorescent.
Born and bred in Brooklyn (“BBB” is how this 66-year-old proudly identifies), Blaustein has deliberately deviated on her commute. She wants to see, first hand, this technicolour response to Donald Trump’s election as US President.
Troubled profoundly by the result of the November 8 vote, Blaustein has been wondering whether she can continue living in her country of birth with a clear conscience.
While the simple answer is no, a protest move from the grand brownstone she has shared with her artist husband on the other side of the East River for almost 34 years isn’t so straightforward.
Warm, smelly subway gusts cause the carpet of paper squares scrawled with handwritten raw election responses to flutter. Visible and audible, the rustling gives the impression the messages are alive – that the colourful squares are exchanging opinions. One detaches from the wall and disappears down the subterranean labyrinth.
Ylanna, born in Guyana but now a New Yorker, has stopped to see the mural she heard about on television news.
Ylanna’s eyes jump from note to note.
“Be BRAVE #lovetrumpshate”
Sam Lane sits with Matthew ‘Levee’ Chavez, the creator of Subway Therapy, at 14th Street Station, Manhattan.
“What will be our legacy?”
“Spain says: Go away Mr Trump!”
“Love will always win”
“Feels like 9/11 all over again”
“I’m ill about this”
Within the word tapestry there is also a simple, striking “Devastated”.
“It’s the first time I’m looking at it,” Ylanna says of the month-old collage that has been photographed, filmed and read around the clock ever since Trump was declared President-elect.
The collage has been tracked back to a 28-year-old Californian creative arts graduate, Matthew “Levee” Chavez, whose nickname invokes a levee for “channelling meaningful conversations”.
The day after the election Chavez woke up and felt compelled to take a table, chairs, pens and wads of sticky paper notes to a train station. He offered ‘Subway Therapy’ to anyone who was interested and for 12 hours – until 2am after election day – passersby wrote, spoke and stuck.
“This is the morning of November 9,” Chavez reflected four weeks later.
“People are melting down. I wake up and I think ‘people won’t be able to talk to each other, I need to take writing materials to the subway so people can express themselves non violently in an inclusive space’. And people flooded.
“People were crying, people were upset, people were devastated, but they were supporting each other in a group. There was 50 to 100 people reading and expressing. People weren’t talking to each other so much, but they were experiencing this group therapy; group catharsis.”
Chavez, who describes himself as “not partisan” in terms of the election result – that’s important, he says, so the wall does not exclude – spends time listening to people who want to talk as well as write notes.
Ylanna cranes her neck to inspect more messages.
How does the election result affect her?
“I don’t know even know what to say,” she says. “We’ve just got to see. I don’t know.”
She points to a note that catches her darting eyes and reads out loud: “In the most diverse city in the world we must lead starting by standing together.”
I ask her about another square: “Donald Trump is a racist.”
Does Ylanna think that’s true?
“He’s said a lot of stuff in this campaign,” she replies. “If things get worse I just take my plane back home.”
The wall is the brainchild of Matthew Chavez, a ‘non partisan’ creative arts graduate. Maybe he should relocate to Venezuela, the utopian home of his namesake Hugo Chavez. Miriam Blaustein – who has been wondering whether she can continue living in her country of birth with a clear conscience – could also follow him. OK, people are starving and have resorted to giving away their children, but at least they won’t be living under Trump.
Perhaps the most apt comment about the article is from Rightwingdude:
Message to the post-it people. Your side lost. Get over it.