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Haley Hits the Road, Extended Stay, Abraham or Ibrahim


Nikki Haley Resigns as UN Ambassador, Stays Mum on Next Move

Adam Shaw, Fox News, October 10th 2018

Recap:

Nikki Haley, America’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) and a staunch ally of Israel, will resign from the organization at the end of the year.

The Context:

  • Haley, a former governor of South Carolina, was a fierce critic of UN mismanagement and bias against the US & Israel. Haley oversaw the implementation of an arms embargo on South Sudan and a US withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council – a body she referred to as a "cesspool of political bias.” Congressional Republicans involved in foreign policy matters and some key US allies did not get advance notice from Haley or the White House [1].

  • During Haley’s tenure, the US voted to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and stopped funding the Palestinian refugee organization, UNRWA [2]. Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon thanked Haley "for standing with the truth without fear."

  • United States President Donald Trump is considering Dina Powell to fill the role of Ambassador. Powell was Trump’s deputy national security adviser before leaving the White House this year [3].

  • Haley called her time at the UN a "blessing," but offered no reason for leaving other than a belief that government officials must know "when it’s time to step aside." Haley ruled out a 2020 presidential run in her resignation letter.

Conversation Points:

  • Is Haley setting the stage for an eventual presidential run?

  • Will Haley’s effect at the UN have staying power following her departure?

US Student Held in Israel For BDS Support

Middle East Memo, October 8th 2018

Recap:

American student Lara Alqasem was detained at Ben Gurion Airport due to her anti-Israel activities on college campuses. The United States will not interfere with Israel’s decision whether to deport her or not [4].

The Context:

  • In 2017, Israel passed a law that could deny entry to foreigners engaged in the boycott movement against Israel [5]. The law identifies 20 activist groups from around the world whose members can be denied entry upon arrival and has so far blocked entry to 15 people [6].

  • Alqasem is a graduate of the University of Florida and a US citizen whose grandparents are Palestinian. Alqasem was granted an Israeli visa to study at Hebrew University for a year but was detained upon her arrival. According to the Strategic Affairs Ministry, Alqasem presided over an organization that promoted a boycott against an Israeli brand of hummus, supported a petition against the Israeli funding of a cultural center and called on an international security company to stop its activities in Israel.

  • 400 academics from Hebrew University and other Israeli institutions have called for Alqasem’s entry into Israel [7] saying college is “a place for the exchange of ideas, “and not a place that “shrink(s) from disagreement [8].”

Conversation Points:

  • Is it hypocritical of BDS leaders to engage with Israeli institutions?

  • Is Israel’s anti-BDS law anti-democratic?

  • Is penalizing students for their views against the spirit of higher education?

  • Should the government admit those seeking to financially destroy Israel into the country?

UNESCO: Rachel's Tomb and Cave of Patriarchs Part Of 'Occupied Palestine'

Rina Bassist, Jerusalem Post, October 10th 2018

Recap:

The UNESCO Executive Board deemed the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb "an integral part of Occupied Palestinian territory.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned UNESCO for passing 71 anti-Israel resolutions since 2009 and only 2 against all other countries combined during the same time period [9].

The Context:

  • The resolutions refer to Israel as "occupier" and condemn "Israeli army violations against Palestinian universities and schools." Both resolutions were sponsored by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan, and approved within minutes at the Commission’s meeting, which includes the 59 members of UNESCO’s Executive Committee.

  • Last month, Netanyahu rejected a UNESCO invitation to participate in a conference on fighting antisemitism, saying UNESCO could only “remove (its) mark of shame” when it “stop(s) practicing anti-Semitism [10].”

  • Netanyahu also called on UNESCO to stop passing resolutions denying a connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel. “No matter what UNESCO says, the Western Wall is not occupied Palestinian territory and the Cave of the Patriarchs—the burial site of Abraham and Sara, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob, and Leah—is not a Palestinian Heritage Site [11].”

  • Israel and the US withdrew from UNESCO in response to the agency’s anti-Israeli bias.

Conversation Points:

  • Why do Egypt and Jordan continue to vote against Israel despite their respective peace treaties and shared strategic interests with Israel?

  • How do anti-Israel votes at UNESCO tangibly affect Israel?

  • How do anti-Israel votes at UNESCO intangibly affect Israel?

Notes:

  1. Nikki Haley Resigns as Us Ambassador to United Nations, Al Jazeera, October 10th 2018

  2. Ibid.

  3. Ivanka Trump Says She Won’t Replace Nikki Haley At the United Nations, Times of Israel, October 10th 2018

  4. Us: It’s ‘Up to Israel’ Whether to Grant Access To ‘BDS Supporter’ Student, Times of Israel, October 10th 2018

  5. Erdan Says U.S. Student Must Repudiate BDS To Gain Entry to Israel, Jeremy Sharon, Jerusalem Post, October 9th 2018

  6. Us: It’s ‘Up to Israel’ Whether to Grant Access To ‘BDS Supporter’ Student, Times of Israel, October 10th 2018

  7. Erdan Says U.S. Student Must Repudiate BDS To Gain Entry to Israel, Jeremy Sharon, Jerusalem Post, October 9th 2018

  8. Hebrew University Asks to Join Appeal to Keep BDS Student in Israel, Hana Levi Julian, Jewish Press, October 8th 2018

  9. Pm Snubs UNESCO Invite to Anti-Semitism Conference, Alexander J. Apfel, Ynetnews, September 27th 2018

  10. Ibid.

  11. Ibid.