FM Avigdor Liberman has threatened Israel will come down hard on the Palestinians of the West Bank if Mahmoud Abbas goes forward with his UN General Assembly bid to upgrade status as member state. It seems Abbas is willing to concede joining the ICC and International Judicial committee and will not ask for prosecution of Israel’s war crimes. Nice concession, so beyond the great majority of nations who will back a Palestinian UN bid, France has stated it will vote YES. The US will try to embarrass itself by tactics to delay any vote at all. To everyone’s surprise, even Israel is softening its stand on repercussions for President Abbas (he won’t be overthrown).

In about-face, Israel says it won’t cancel Oslo if Palestinians pursue UN bid

(Times of Israel) – Israel is backtracking on its threat to dismantle the Oslo Accords if the Palestinians go ahead with their attempt to upgrade their status at the United Nations later this week, a top diplomatic official said Tuesday in Jerusalem.

This position, expressed two days before the UN General Assembly was set to vote on the Palestinian Authority’s resolution, marks a remarkable alteration of Jerusalem’s previous stance.

“We won’t cancel any of our agreements,” the senior official said. However, the official said, Jerusalem still considers Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s unilateral step to seek nonmember state status at the UN a grave violation of agreements signed with Israel, and vowed that Israel would “respond accordingly.”

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Despite heavy pressure from Jerusalem and Washington, Abbas is determined to put his bid for statehood to a vote at the UN General Assembly this Thursday. An overwhelming majority of the body’s 193 member states is expected to vote in favor of Abbas’s proposal, which would upgrade Palestine from an observer entity to a nonmember state, a development Israeli officials fear would have far-reaching negative implications for Israel.

On Tuesday, France became the first major European nation to sign on, bolstering the already sure-fire bid.

Palestinians have rejected a personal appeal from President Barack Obama to postpone the vote

‘Israeli-occupied’ Congress no more by Abraham Katzman

TEL AVIV (JPost) – Democrats also need to examine their own silent betrayal of the American-Israeli relationship. For those of us in the pro-Israel camp who were disappointed by the reelection of President Barack Obama, there’s more bad news.

While there is no dearth of analysis of the impact of the US presidential election on the America-Israel relationship, Israel’s military and diplomatic strategies or on Israel’s upcoming elections, analysis of the Congress that has just been elected has been in short supply.

Particularly in the offices of Democrats, Capitol Hill will no longer be, as Pat Buchanan once described it, “Israeli-occupied territory.”

The ranks of staunchly pro-Israel legislators have been thinned. Gone are Senator Joe Lieberman, and Representatives Joe Walsh and Allen West (pending a long-shot recount battle). The number of reliably pro- Israel Jewish Democrats in Congress continues to dwindle, as Representatives Steve Rothman, Gary Ackerman, Shelly Berkeley and Howard Berman won’t be returning. In fact, the number of Jewish members of Congress has just been chopped by 20 percent.

How bad is the erosion of the pro-Israel camp? Consider that J Street, the “pro- Israel” group that can never bring itself to articulate even consensus pro-Israel positions, singled out 71 candidates worthy of their support. 70 of them were victorious (all are Democrats).

As one example of this election’s negative impact on Israel, Rothman’s loss may be particularly tough. A 16-year Congressman, Rothman served on the House Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Defense, which apportions how much US military aid goes to Israel.

He was known to have spearheaded efforts behind the scenes to increase aid for Israel’s most critical defense programs and promote an ever-closer military alliance between Israel and the US. He was defeated in the primaries by Democrat and Israel critic Bill Pascrall in a campaign focused on Rothman’s support for Israel – or as his growing Arab constituency put it, “loyalty to a foreign flag.”

From under the bus: A response to Efraim Halevy