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Beltway Briefing

Congress gets tough with UN over weak Hezbollah inspections

Congress Unites Against Hezbollah

Two hundred forty members of Congress signed a letter this week urging UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres to fully implement UN Resolution 1701, which called for the disarmament of terror groups and forbids any group from deploying south of the Litani River. Passed at the end of the Second Lebanese War in 2006, the resolution has been more honored in the breach than in the observance. Hezbollah has deployed all over south Lebanon by threatening United Nations observers and infiltrating Lebanese towns. Congress warned Guterres that if he fails to act, Israel may be forced to defend itself through military action.

The letter is the latest effort by Congress to push the United Nations to act against Hezbollah. In August, Israel and the US attempted to force UN observers to note in their reports which villages they don’t visit — which would give an indication of where Hezbollah is stationed. The letter shows that that the United States is not willing to let the matter drop.

Anti-Semite or Anti-Zionist?

Does someone who identifies as “anti-Israel” take issue with the specific policies of the Israeli government, or is the stance simply a contemporary version of millennia-old anti-Semitism?

This was the subject of a symposium hosted by the Israeli embassy in Washington on the initiative of the WZO (World Zionist Organization) and AZM (America Zionist Movement) this week. Both Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador in Washington, and Elan Carr, America’s anti-Semitism envoy, spoke at the gathering. Their conclusion? The two phenomena are indistinguishable.

That is so, Carr said, because Zionism isn’t a phenomenon that dates from 1948 or even the first Zionist Congress, but from parshas Lech Lecha, in which Hashem commands Avraham Avinu to travel the length and breadth of the land.

For his part, Ambassador Dermer spoke of the systemic persecution of Jews for millennia, and asserted that Zionism is neither the cure for anti-Semitism nor its cause. It does, however, allow the Jewish People to defend themselves on their own land.

Yaakov Hagoel, deputy chairman of the World Zionist Organization, said those who call for sanctions on the State of Israel or question Israel’s right to exist are “joining hands obliquely or directly with the forces of anti-Semitism.”

Therefore, the Trump administration’s change of position on the settlements, said Hagoel, represents a “rectification of a historic injustice to Israel and its connection to the Land of Israel.”

“President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo have perpetrated a historic vindication. This is a devastating blow to the BDS movement [and all those who] tag products from Judea and Samaria.”

(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 787)

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