A response to Shmuel Sackett’s Op-Ed, “The UN Vote: It’s Not Obama’s Fault”

T. Belman. I generally agree with this moderate approach. But Oppenheimer missed a key complaint with Netanyahu’s conduct, namely he failed to assert our legal right to the land or even that the settlements were legal. He could have done this every time he said he was ready to meet or he was for the TSS. He would then have staked our claim to the land while are the same time offering to compromise on our rights to achieve peace. By not doing so he left Israel defenseless against the claim that the lands are occupied Palestinian land. By not doing so he left a vacuum for the UN to fill which they did in Res 2334. In that sense he is very much responsible.

Netanyahu was all defense with no offense.

By Rabbi Lenny Oppenheimer, JP

To the Editor:
I read Shmuel Sackett’s “The UN Vote: It’s not Obama’s fault,” with a great deal of distress. In this article, Sackett claimed that there is only “one person responsible for this terrible UN vote. His name is Benjamin Netanyahu”. He then lists Netanyahu’s alleged shortcomings: having publicly supporting a two state solution, being unwilling to completely annex Judea and Samaria, having imposed a freeze on any settlement activity for some time and not allowing new settlements, and arresting Jews for praying on the Temple Mount. Not only that, Netanyahu has publicly stated that “he is ready to sit any time and any place with PLO President Abbas to continue the peace process, and that he envisions “a region where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace with secure and recognized borders”. He finishes, as usual, by saying that only Moshe Feiglin and his employer, the Zehut party, can save Israel.

While I am an admirer of Moshe Feiglin, it is clear to me that this is an awful and foolish thing to write at this time, when Netanyahu has to negotiate so many landmines in the – thankfully – final days of Barak Hussein Obama’s presidency. (It is only surpassed by the brilliance of Israeli AG Mandelblit’s decision to open a corruption investigation against Netanyahu now, and not wait at least a month.) More importantly, it belies a total lack of appreciation of the class, dignity, resoluteness, and wisdom that Binyamin Netanyahu has shown in the face of dealing with the hostility of the Obama administration.

Now that the masks have been removed and the true nature of Obama and Kerry have been revealed, one ought to stand in awe of the way that Netanyahu has handled himself over these many years. We only know a small part of what Netanyahu has been subjected to, it does not take much imagination to think of how often Netanyahu had to control himself and remain diplomatic in the face of the private venom that he received from Obama, Kerry and Hillary.

It is easy to criticize from the outside . . . How would Mr. Sackett have been able to withstand the enormous pressure of, on the one hand, the international community, the UN, the Obama administration and – worst of all – the Israeli Leftists, consistently demonizing him for his policies in the “Occupied Territories” and often for Israel’s very existence; while on the other hand, facing the anger and frustration of the Israeli right and the residents of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem demonizing him for not doing enough to support their agenda? How would he deal with a world press that is horribly biased and unfair with class and intelligence and with their grudging respect? How would Mr. Sackett deal with the rockets and terror tunnels and terrorists in protecting Israelis while at the same time dealing with a hostile hyper-critical world that finds fault in everything that Israel does? Does not Mr. Sackett know and understand, as everyone else does, that when Netanyahu says that he is for a two-state solution, he knows that this costs him nothing (except for Sackett’s approval), because there is no one on the Arab side willing to negotiate a real peace, and that he, in effect, is only calling the bluff of both the Arabs and Obama/Kerry?

I have often thought that Mr. Netanyahu has the hardest job in the world, and he is remarkably good at it. He has handled all the above beautifully, and in addition, has been a good Prime Minister in guiding the vibrant Israeli economy and other domestic affairs. Is he perfect? No one is. But he deserves our support, respect, and admiration, and not ridicule, especially at this time.

Rabbi Lenny Oppenheimer
About the Author: The writer lives in Queens NY and is in the process of Aliyah. He was the Rabbi of several congregations and is also an attorney and mediator with a background in engineering. He describes himself as a passionate lover of Israel and defender of Orthodoxy who blogs at http://libibamizrach.blogspot.com

January 8, 2017 | 19 Comments »

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19 Comments / 19 Comments

  1. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    The French sent 80,000 Jewish men, women and children to die in the Camps during WWII.
    Do you know that there are thousands of apartments owned by deported Jews who were
    never returned to the owners? Swiss Banks who had deposits of funds from Jews during WWII
    were caught destroying records.
    Those who hurt us will pay.
    One day in school, a boy kick my child. Both my chldren’s Greatgrandfathers are Saddikim.
    The next day, the boy came to school with the leg who kicked my child broken in 5 places!
    Just watch what happens next…

  2. I mentioned that my cousin was an electronics engineer who made aliya in 1967 and who worked on robot planes. I was suddenly curious to know more so I googled it:

    “In the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Israel used unarmed U.S. Ryan Firebee target drones to spur Egypt into firing its entire arsenal of anti-aircraft missiles. This mission was accomplished with no injuries to Israeli pilots, who soon exploited the depleted Egyptian defenses. In the late 1970s and 80s, Israel developed the Scout and the Pioneer, which represented a shift toward the lighter, glider-type model of UAV in use today. Israel pioneered the use of Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for real-time surveillance, electronic warfare, and decoys.[7][8][9] The images and radar decoying provided by these UAVs helped Israel to completely neutralize the Syrian air defenses in Operation Mole Cricket 19 at the start of the 1982 Lebanon War, resulting in no pilots downed.[10]”


    Like that old cigarette ad said, “We’ve come a long way, baby!”


  3. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    I suspect an all-volunteer army would also increase Israel’s Jewish population. I met an Israeli pianist over here who left because he did not want to serve in the army. I’m sure there are others like him. It’s all sufficiently high tech these days that a mature and enthusiastic volunteer professional army is a better army and a more reliable one and it’s not necessary for everyone to serve. That’s why we did away with the draft. In the event of the need for civilian participation, say in an emergency in case of invasion, let there be some kind of limited training course for civilians, as part of high school, say. The day after Pearl Harbor, my uncle dropped out of his senior year in college and faked the eye exam to get into the war. My mother’s first cousin made aliya in 1967, I’m guessing on the eve of the war, I forgot to ask. My maternal grandmother’s first cousin dropped out of Columbia Law School to enlist in WWI as a private. At the battle of Belleau Wood, as the highest ranking soldier among the eleven survivors of his two hundred man company after it was decimated by shellling and chemical weapons, he led his men back into battle and took the German position. He fought in the Pacific in WW2 and Korea. He volunteered as an adviser in Israel in 1948. Nobody wanted to be left behind. People ran towards the shooting. Those are the recruits we want. Those overwhelmed by the sense of privilege and honor at being given the opportunity to selflessly serve, defend and protect their country, their families, their loved ones. Of being part of a noble lineage of such heros. Great film that illustrates this from the time. One of my favorites.


  4. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    Maybe the solution is an all-volunteer career army supplemented by a system of compensated volunteer reservists like we have here. Whining by soldiers tired of being shot at led to the withdrawal from S. Lebanon which led to Israeli citizens including off-duty soldiers being shot at. All withdrawal does is bring the war closer to home instead of next to the arab capitals where it belongs.

    George Carlin quipped to environmentalist scare-mongers, “The earth isn’t going anywhere, we are.”

    I fear that if we continue on this path, it will be apt to say, “the war isn’t going anywhere, we are.” “We” in both senses. Even though I am an American Jew, it is far less of a stretch for me to say, “I am in Hevron” than to say, as we are enjoined to at Pesach, “I was in Egypt.” Plus, as was pointed out in that wonderful video from Karnei Shomron I hope you watched, Israel is the West’s canary in the coal mine. If Yesha falls, Israel falls, if Israel falls, Isis will be in the White House cutting off the President’s head. By the way, my cousin said his home is in Ginot Shomron. I kind of fell out of touch, but I am always aware that this is where my family is in Israel. And aside from a cousin who lives with her family in Portugal, and another who with her family lives part of the time in Uganda, the only living relatives I have outside the U.S. If anything is allowed to happen to them, I don’t suppose I have to tell you where the rest of the world can go, as far as I am concerned.

  5. @ Ted Belman:


    This is in response to you saying:

    “@ Birdalone:
    The issue is not whether one wants a TSS but rather whether one wants this TSS. If Israel gets to keep Area C in a TSS then a vast majority will support it.

    But 2334 insists on the ’67 lines being the border. So does the French initiative. This, most Israelis reject. Thus your question should focus on whether such borders are fixed in stone.”

    Let me correct myself. I just discovered this article:


    which says that Israel has been patrolling Area A. But he wants to get out. Thinks it would make things better. I so disagree. Letting the asylum inmates rule themselves has been the problem all along. Obstacles to Arabs selling their land to Jews and taking advantage of opportunities in the West must be removed. As an article you posted pointed out, they are leaving anyway where they can. So, I will amend what I just said to, “Annex Area C” according to the Glick plan and leave the rest as it is except Israel must now start intervening in legislation, un-naming schools after terrorists, managing tv program and schooling, removing laws killing arabs who sell land to Jews, granting and enforcing women’s rights, dismantling the terror organizations, allowing Abbas to remain for the time being only if he agrees to a puppet government. I can’t find it now, but I did read a pro-Israel article that showed how impossible it would be defend a military border drawn around Area C which is in the middle of everything.

  6. @ Ted Belman:
    I don’t think I am ignoring your point unless I am misunderstanding it. I am all in favor of applying full sovereignty and civil law to Area C now, even if that means giving full citizenship to the pals who live there, as in the Glick Plan. What it sounds like you are saying, however, is that Israel should go back to the negotiating table and be open to creating final borders that leaves the rest of Yesha permanently in the hands of the arabs. Aside from the fact that neither Abbas nor anyone who might succeed him would ever acceed to that as it undercuts the 1974 Phased Plan which is their entire modus operandi, any final borders Israel might agree to would prevent the IDF from being able to prevent terror at will as it is doing now. The key word is “State.” It’s like putting a door there with a lock and a “do not enter” sign. It means giving the pals control over their air space. It means no legal way of stopping more Karine A-like shipments of deadly weapons for terror. It means giving them the ability to invite Iranian troops to mass at Israel’s border legally. It means the ability to form military treaties and alliances. It means that an arms blockade can become legal grounds for war with the UN backing them up. Even real autonomy is risky since we’ve seen what they will do with any self-rule they get. The pals may not like their difficult lives under their own corrupt and tyrannical despots but they prefer seeing us murdered to living better lives if they have to choose, most of them. Somebody here pointed out recently that Ben Gurion, himself, stated that no one has or will ever have the legal or moral right to give up the Jewish claim for all time to every inch of historical Eretz Israel. Am I missing something? I advocate that after Jan. 20, Israel should unilaterally apply the Glick plan to Area C, maintain the IDF security presence in area B and extend it to area A. Area A under the Oslo accords gives Abbas sole security control. This has not worked. Has it? When and how to dismantle the PA and what to replace it with can be worked out later.


    I saw in a couple of other posts, what seemed to be both pro-TSS and anti-Israel comments by somebody named, “Mohammad Cohen.” Please yank his posting credentials. Anybody who says it’s self-evident that Israel is the scourge of the region is an anti-semite. Here, at least, anti-semites can be legally suppressed as they should be everywhere.

  7. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    You better look at a map and see what C includes. Also I don’t mean exactly C. I believe that there must be adjustments because it looks like swiss cheese. Don’t take me too literally.

    Besides I said that Israelis would accept it. I didn’t comment on what I thinks.

  8. @ Ted Belman:
    Will any of this even be possible in the event that the pals get a state anywhere of any size? Look at the carnage that was prevented and that which was not precisely because the pals have too much sovereignty now thanks to the short-sightedness that comes from just wanting to get things over with and get back to normalcy! Well, this war will be over when it is over; it’s been going on for many generations and there is zero likelihood that it will be over during our lifetimes. The only thing that will protect Jewish, and for that matter arab lives, is ever-expanding not contracting Jewish Power, Jewish Rule, starting but not ending with the lands of our ancestral birthright. I won’t mention the bible because actually much of the world does not believe in or like the bible. All of the western pro-pal activists that I have spoken to around here are atheists or something close. They openly despise the bible, consider it a collection of pernicious myths and have closed minds so mentioning archaeology or anything historical is pointless. They still believe Israel occupies Gaza. Serious. These people need to be disregarded and replaced. They can’t be convinced.


  9. @ Ted Belman:
    Issues of historic right aside, it has been pointed out that Area C is militarily indefensible. Look at the map. If the PA gets statehood, it will be a terror state with UN granted immunity from the kind of intervention that is a given today, short of war. There will be two Gazas. I posted a link to a site with a chart of terror by year from 1967 to 1997. The years with the least terror were 1972 and 1982, the years that Israel captured and occupied huge swathes of Arab territory. The years with the most terror were 1993 to 1997, each year worse than the last, starting with Oslo. Even straight military occupation until hell freezes over would be preferable to any kind of pal statehood from the perspective of saving Jewish lives. It should be obvious that it is ridiculous and outrageous on the face of it to negotiate final status agreements with people for whom the main goal is to exterminate us. It is territory, easily held but once it is relinquished, it may never be retaken or if retaken, it will be after terrible provocation and at a great price.
    Jewish settlements are also Israel’s buffer. Just found this filmed there:


  10. @ Birdalone:
    The issue is not whether one wants a TSS but rather whether one wants this TSS. If Israel gets to keep Area C in a TSS then a vast majority will support it.

    But 2334 insists on the ’67 lines being the border. So does the French initiative. This, most Israelis reject. Thus your question should focus on whether such borders are fixed in stone.

    I see little daylight in May’s distinction. In both cases, ’67 lines are demanded. Having voted for the Res 2334, how can she complain that Kerry also attacks settlements.

  11. Ted: do you not see Res2334 as the Obama/Kerry post-election move to ‘save the 2-state solution’, cast in stone, fossilized by the Bush-Clinton-Bush43-Obama administrations?

    Had HRC won, no need to preserve that fossil.

    PM Theresa May’s post-Kerry speech made it clear that Res2334 had been pitched ‘to preserve the 2-state solution’, but Kerry’s speech sounded to PM May more like the UN would impose it.

    I would think PM Netanyahu knew, with HRC’s 2009 45-minute rant on apt building permits in Ramat Shlomo, knew he was stuck with a diplomatic minefield.

  12. @ YJ Draiman:
    I agree, though your first sentence is misleading and doesn’t seem to go along with the rest. The commotion is justified. Pretexts precede attack. That is the rule. Even Hitler observed it. I would like to know more about the Jewish communities that were ethnically cleansed by Jordan in 1948. Not enough is being said or done about that.

  13. If Obama was shot or dropped dead in the next 12 days there would be much reason to celebrate. And if those of you who still might be of a Liberal bent enough to cry over this tough. I’ll be nice, maybe he should board a plane piloted by a German nut-case and disappear over the Alps or some other place, or just disappear for good. And take Kerry, Hillary, Rhodes, Power, Kaine, Jarrett and Rice too.

    I’d be very satisfied with that too.

  14. I am somewhat surprised at all the commotion regarding the U.N resolution 2334 which condemns Jewish Communities and Settlements in the West Bank aka Judea and Samaria. It should be noted Israel regained land and rebuilt communities previously taken from it illegally via the Defensive War of 1967 when it had to defend itself from an unprovoked attack from Jordan. If the U.N voted a resolution declaring the Vatican as Muslim territory, is anyone going to abide by it?

    According to my research, the U.N. Charter only provides for the recommendation(s) of a Resolution. In fact, the U.N. has absolutely no legal standing or power to enforce any Resolution(s). Furthermore, it cannot be ignored the U.N. has recommended hundreds of Resolutions against Israel with no legal, or factual standing to support said Resolutions. There is also the U.N. Article 51 which provides for defense against attack. The U.N, and the ICJ have no appeal process and that is against every Democratic law. Their opinions and resolutions are based on false information, there is no procedure to remedy the erroneous biased decisions.

    Israel is on solid legal and historical ground as far as Its’ territorial boundaries west of the Jordan River. In fact, history proves Israel has both a legal and historical claim for a lot of land held by Jordan.

    The World at large has for thousands of years wrongfully persecuted the Jews, confiscated and stole their assets including land. The world at large will try and push us around if we let them. It is time to put an end to such unjustified persecution.
    All the distortions of history up to and including modern day, by biased nations relying upon fictitious make-believe facts and wishful beliefs, must not be tolerated any more. While most of the biased world continues to unjustly assail Israel, the nation of Israel contributes to the world a substantial amount of advancement and technology in all fields, including medicine, energy, water desalination, IT, and much more.

    Today the Jewish State of Israel has the man-power and the resources to defend itself against most world powers. Thus, it is time for us Jews to become unified and stand up for ourselves as was done during the days of Moses, King David and King Solomon.

    We are supposed to be “a stubborn nation” (Am Kshey Oref). Let us utilize our “stubborn” resolve with a strong backbone steeled with our unwavering faith. If we stand our ground without capitulations, we might encounter some obstacles and suffer some set-backs. But in the long run we will be stronger and the world at large will respect us more.

    We must overcome the “victim mentality” we have too easily accepted over thousands of years. It is time for all Jews worldwide to raise our heads, and steel our resolve as a proud nation with proud people.

    YJ Draiman