Israel News for January 16, 2017

Paris Summit
The seventy two international leaders attending the Paris conference for peace in the Middle East this weekend, including US Secretary of State John Kerry, released a final statement calling on Israel and the Palestinians to adopt a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders and UN Security Council resolutions and to refrain from unilateral actions.

The statement called on each side, “to refrain from unilateral steps that prejudge the outcome of negotiations on final-status issues, including, inter alia, on Jerusalem, borders, security, refugees and which they will not recognize.” It was also an implied to incoming president Trump not to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Great Britain, which had observer status at the conference did not endorse the statement saying, “We have particular reservations about an international conference intended to advance peace between the parties that does not involve them—indeed which is taking place against the wishes of the Israelis—and which is taking place just days before the transition to a new American President when the US will be the ultimate guarantor of any agreement. There are risks therefore that this conference hardens positions at a time when we need to be encouraging the conditions for peace.”

Israeli sources were actually relieved with the final statement. John Kerry called PM Netanyahu yesterday to reassure him that no further UN Security Council actions will be taken as a result of the conference.

For further reading click here.

UN Funding
Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have introduced legislation in the senate to cut funding to the United Nations until it repeals an anti-settlements resolution passed last month by the Security Council.

The senators released a joint statement saying, “The United States is the largest contributor of funding to the United Nations, providing 22 percent of the U.N. regular budget, the highest of any member state, which gives the U.S. considerable influence over the United Nations. The United States must use this influence to help our allies, in this case Israel, which is crucial to our own national security interests.”

Senate Democrats would likely use the filibuster to block it. Similar legislation will soon be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

For further reading click here.

Peace Man
In an interview with the Times of London, Trump said that Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and newly appointed senior White House advisor, will take on the task of negotiating peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Worth a shot.

Inauguration Guests
While the Prime Minister won’t be attending the US presidential inauguration, other Israeli leaders will. Three members of the Samaria leadership, representing the settler movement will be there, bearing gifts of Samarian agricultural produce. The three are Samaria Regional Council Head Yossi Dagan, Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi and Ma’ale Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel. During his visit, Dagan will meet with senior officials in and connected to the incoming administration.

For further reading click here.

Jewish Bluegrass
What do you get when you combine bluegrass music with tehilim (psalms)? To listen and enjoy, click here.

Israel Books
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