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January 5, 2015 8:34 am

Anti-Israel Forces Are Losing Ground

avatar by Moshe Phillips

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The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Critics of Israel periodically issue doomsday warnings about how the Jewish State will face international isolation if it does not quickly give in to Palestinian demands. Last week’s United Nations Security Council vote shows, once again, how wrong they are.

Earlier this year, Secretary of State John Kerry warned that Israel’s reluctance to make more unilateral concessions would lead to “an increasing delegitimization campaign.” New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and other pundits likewise declared that Israel is increasingly “isolated” and is being treated as a “pariah” state.

But when Palestinian advocates last week presented the UN Security Council with a resolution demanding an Israeli withdrawal from Judea, Samaria and much of Jerusalem, they couldn’t muster enough supporting votes – in a forum which, in the past, has been notorious as the scene of international ganging-up on Israel.

The Third World bloc, which is thought of as being uniformly anti-Israel, suddenly cracked. Two African nations, Nigeria and Rwanda, defied the Palestinians and abstained. Further shifts in Third World attitudes toward Israel might be in the offing. According to recent media reports from India, the New Delhi government is seriously considering adopting a more pro-Israel position at the United Nations. As the founder of the Third World / Non-Aligned bloc, India’s possible new orientation would signal that the underdeveloped nations are no longer in the Arab League’s pocket.

Important Western countries likewise took a stand at the UN last week. Australia voted against the resolution – despite recent Islamic extremist attacks and threats that might easily have intimidated other governments. Great Britain abstained – despite the recent vote by the British parliament supporting the recognition of “Palestine.”

At the time of that British parliamentary vote, there was much hand-wringing in the Jewish world. The vote seemed to lend credence to claims by the doomsday crowd that Israel’s reluctance to make more one-sided concessions was leading “all of Europe” to turn against it. More sober-minded observers pointed out at the time that symbolic resolutions in parliaments are not the final word. Sure enough, when it came to making an actual policy decision, the British government refused to go along with the UN resolution.

Much the same is true with regard to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. The movement’s few successes have generated a lot of attention but do not necessarily indicate some new trend in public opinion towards Israel. Recall that when the American Studies Association voted last year to boycott Israel, it received enormous international media attention. Not many people are aware that the ASA’s action was condemned by the American Association of Universities, the American Association of University Professors, and the American Council on Education (representing 1,800 educational institutions), not to mention the 92 university presidents – including the presidents of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Cornell, and Johns Hopkins – who issued a statement denouncing the ASA’s boycott.

The American public at large likewise remains firmly in Israel’s camp. This year’s Gallup annual World Affairs survey found fully 72 percent of Americans have a “very favorable” or “mostly favorable” view of Israel. Compare that to the number who have a favorable view of the other countries in Israel’s neighborhood: Egypt – 45%; Saudi Arabia – 35%; Libya – 19%; Palestinian Authority – 19%; Iraq – 16%; Syria – 13%; Iran – 12%.

And this is despite decades of unfriendly news media coverage of Israel, and despite the Obama Administration’s frequent statements of sympathy for the Palestinian Arabs.

The gloom-and-doom crowd has an agenda. They want to force Israel to retreat. So they promulgate self-fulfilling prophecies about Israel being isolated, in the hope of browbeating the Jewish State and its friends into giving up. They never win at the ballot box, so they look for alternative ways to bring about Israeli concessions. Demoralization is a tactic. Generating despair is their goal.

Israel and its supporters understandably worry about how the Jewish State is viewed by the rest of the world. But last week’s events at the UN, and other recent trends, show that skilled diplomacy, reasonable arguments, and, ultimately, a just cause, can go a long way towards blunting the international campaign against Israel.

Moshe Phillips is president of the Religious Zionists of America’s Philadelphia chapter.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • Robert Davis

    How can a cattle or sheep herd understant that ISOLATION MAKES STRONG NATIONS AND PEOPLE,they will not frighten anyone with this kind of…threat! Who would have threaten the US in the 30s of…isolationism? isolationists were happy of their stand at least until Pearl Harbour but this action determined them not to capitulate but to enter the war! Likewise isolationism should push Israel to turn the table upside down and stop caring for “inernational community’s” ie left wing’s blames and EXPEL arabs so as to end the conflict once and forever.

  • Wake-up world to the real Muslim mission.

    Israel has no choice but to continue to fight for its survival with a unified people and a unified nation.

    I have long said, this is not about land, but extermination of a nation, religion and culture which is not accepted by another. I have actually asked the question, what if there was no ‘holy land’. Say a natural disaster, dissolving the place into nothing, but not the people. Would the Arabs still fight? Well, the answer was chilling and emphatic, it saddened me greatly. The answer was over and over, “we have the right to kill all non believers”. I have read and re-read everything, from both sides, also, many non-biased writings.

    I have come to the conclusion that Israel must protect herself in every way possible or face genocide. The Arab countries have expelled over a million Jewish people, confiscated all their assets, businesses, homes and land totaling over 120,000 sq. km. (which is 5 times the size of Israel) and valued in the trillions of dollars.

    Those in power in the Arab-Palestinian leadership have rejected again and again any and all attempts to recognize Israel’s right to exist. They continue to teach their children and the masses hate and violence.

    Don’t start with who was there first, even-though in actuality there has never been in history an Arab-Palestinian Nation, but there has been a Jewish Nation homeland in Palestine-Israel for the past 4,000 plus years, although sometimes occupied by various empires. Israel has won and liberated their ancestral land in a defensive war, it is known that possession is nine tenths of the law. Israel is the rightful liberator and successor, having won and liberated its ancestral homeland in war, numerous times. Sadly, it will continue, because when one Arab culture wants another’s elimination, there is no talking.

    I hope Israel does not concede to any of the Arab demands, or give up any more land, because they will only make themselves more vulnerable and endanger the safety and security of its citizens. Israel must not capitulate to world pressure. Israel’s foremost duty and obligation is the safety and security of its citizens at all costs. Any responsible democratic country will do no less. Israel as a responsible democratic country must do the same. The end result will be that the world at large will respect a country that defends its people from harm and terrorism at all cost.
    The Muslim mission in the world is not only Israel but the rest of the infidel non-believers. Might I remind you, on 911, there was Arab terrorists who wished our extermination, right here in America. This will continue until education and humanity replaces a hatred, for no other reason, than to not accept that you exist.

    The Muslims have killed over 50 million people since its inception 1500 years ago, and they will continue to kill anyone who they consider is an infidel. They have colonized the Middle East over the years. Slowly but surely they are taking over Europe, and if we are not careful they will take over the United States and other countries.

  • EthanP

    REALLY! If any one of the abstentions had voted for the resolution, only a US veto would have stopped the resolution.

  • Father Lukas

    Why did not mention Lithuania in the story? This country consistently supports Israel but at the same time continues to be bashed by the Russian groups of influence in Israel and else where.



  • Trish

    Reading comprehension problems, “wow”? (something wrong that you can’t sign your real name?) — uh, no — not “everyone but the US voted against Israel”. That was the point–the automatic votes against Israel were not there, most surprisingly from the African nations who have benefited from Israeli aid and technology and are finally figuring out that Arab racism and violence does has done nothing for them or the rest of the world. Go back and try to read the big words slowly until the meaning becomes clear.

  • Gene

    The US was not the only country to vote against the Palestinians, which is why we did not need to exercise our veto. Learn to read, moron.

    Israel trade with EU up double digits – lol!

    Guidance systems in British jets flying over Syria using Israeli technology – lmao!!!

    So are the computers Israel-haters type their Israel-hating screeds on lolol!!

    Which, of course, includes… you – lolololmao!!!!

  • steven L

    One would wish that the “forces of the left” will collapse. The rest is a piece of cake for Israel.

  • The type of attitude in this article can lead to complacency. The BDS movement does not need to ‘win’. They need the publicity and are happy with a gradual increase in their popularity. By the time they are actually winning – it will be too late to stop them.

    Looking for ways to sugar coat the situation is not helpful. The Jews are facing a serious problem of accelerating global anti-Semitism. Articles like this are helping the enemy by generating complacency. I think we have enough apathy. We don’t need to generate more.

    I am disappointed that the Algemeiner would promote such an attitude.

  • Norm

    Wrong! 8 voted for. 2 against. 5 abstained. That’s not everyone voting for the resolution. The USA usually has many more votes against Israel and is therefore a big improvement in Israel position

  • RobiMac

    Israel, you do what you gotta do. Piss on the rest of the world!

  • Herb Glatter

    Thank you Mr. Phillips for reporting on these issues vital to Israel and Jews worldwide that get short shrift in way too many media outlets.

  • Christopher

    A very well written article that explains a wealth of recent events.

  • wow

    what a moron zionist ….nice try manipulating the story

    now tell us how the vote went – oh thats right- everyone but the US voted against Israel…..

    that definitely shatters the image of israel being isolated. Idiot. Try harder lol

    • Ian Bersten

      It’s not a moron report. Read the facts.
      The UN is not worth taking notice of – most of its members could not pass a test showing whether they apply the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
      If you doubt me try asserting your rights in most of the members and see how far you get.
      Go directly to jail.
      Stay in Jail.
      and then wait for a decision based on no principles that you are familiar with.

    • Leo Toystory

      Again, the Algemeiner Editorial Staff needs to block hostile, dishonest and unproductive comments like this one. As the article makes quite clear Australia voted against the resolution and Great Britain, Nigeria and Rwanda abstained.

    • moshe barak

      The old 1960’s radical alliances lose their appeal as countries progress. what has any arab nation done for these nonaligned countries, while Israel has done a great deal to assist and cooperate. You anti-zionist morons run into reality.

    • steven L

      U must be getting poor quality hashish! It is free in Colorado. You are a blissful ignorant, a leftist fanatic and or an antisemite or all of the above.

    • Rick

      Go back to your cave with your goat. Israel forever! The more Islam shows it true colors, the more the world will back Israel to the END!

    • S.R.

      Wow, you didn’t understand nothing. Australia voted against the Palestinians to and all the abstentions are also against Abu Mazen’s gang. It is time to learn that your petrodollars can’t buy all the World.

    • Paul

      You call the writer a moron and an idiot.
      And then you state he is manipulating the story, and that only the United states voted against last weeks’s resolution.
      If you would care to examine the facts, you will discover that the United states did NOT have to veto the resolution, because only 8 votes supported it out of 12, and 9 votes are required. The writer is right, you are wrong.
      Are you simply in the wrong joke, or on the wrong page, and are referring to some other resolution proposal, and not the one being discussed?
      Or perhaps all the derogatory language and accusations are actually very applicable to yourself and not to the writer. Who is the REAL the moron and idiot here ? To who does WOW and LOL actually apply ?
      You seem to have made an utter fool of yourself.
      Perhaps YOU should try harder.

    • Linden Howell

      Sorry wow; the two votes against combined with five abstentions clearly indicates a shift away from support for the Arabs. And why not? Both Iran and Saudi Arabia are helping Security Council members to see much more clearly that jihad is not something to become friends to. Even the Arab Spring has become the Arab Shame as more and more people are slaughtered for being takfir or kafir.

    • Daniel Gutelman

      The US and Australia voted against and several other abstained. Abstentions is a hidden negative vote. So, you can see that the U.S. was not the only one to vote against the Palestinian request.
      Better learn your math next time.
      Now who is the moron? Idiot.

    • Lynne T

      Gee Wow, someone can’t read very well around here.

      Two “no” votes — US and Australia and nine abstentions isn’t “everyone but the US”. Otherwise the motion would hav passed.

      But Abbas couldn’t have really wanted it to pass or he would have waited for the new members to take their seats on January 1, as those new members are firmly in the Palestinians’ camp.

      So while the above the line comment ain’t brilliant, neither are you.

    • Yale

      Except that your report on the vote is wrong: The US and Australia voted “No”, only eight countries voted “Yes” (Passage requires nine “Yes” votes and no vetoes), and five abstentions.

      The real key to the future is India. If India moves against the Islamist bloc controlling the UN, it will undoutedly take a significant number of “Third World” countries along with it. This may lead to a realignment in the UN along the lines Muslims use to define the world: The dar-al-Islam vs. the rest.