A U.S.-born Israeli author and former politician thinks the
financial punishment Israel has announced against the Palestinians
over their successful bid for statehood is "the weakest
response" the Jewish state could have made.
Israel soundly rejected the United Nations endorsement of an
independent state of Palestine after the General Assembly voted
overwhelmingly last week to support the statehood initiative.
Israel announced it would start drawing up plans to build thousands
of settlement homes in the disputed territory.
Rubin is the former mayor of the Israeli town of Shiloh and author
of The Islamic Tsunami:
Israel and America in the Age of Obama. He successfully
predicted that Israel would also retaliate by pledging to withhold
more than $100 million in tax dollars earmarked for the Palestinian
territory, which needs the money to pay for electricity provided by
"They owe the electrical company millions of
dollars," Rubin reports. "So, Israel would deduct the money
that is owed to the electrical authority from some of the tax money
that Israel passes along to the Palestinian Authority each month.
That would be the weakest response."
Rubin believes a far stronger response was called for.
"The strongest response would be for Israel to immediately
declare Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria -- the
areas that the world knows as the West Bank," he offers. "And I
think that would be the proper and right thing to do
... legally and historically and politically."
Israel has already been criticized by the Obama administration
for moving ahead with the settlements.
A Canadian pro-family leader is pleased that the Conservative
government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has taken strong steps
in the wake of the U.N. vote on Palestinian statehood.
John Baird, Canada's foreign affairs minister, recently recalled
senior diplomats from Israel, the West Bank and United Nations
missions to assess the implications of the U.N. General Assembly
vote to recognize the Palestinians as a non-member observer
Baird asserts Canada will review its whole relationship
with the Palestinian Authority, as he is deeply disappointed
by the U.N. vote in which Canada joined Israel, the United States
and a few other countries in voting "no." He believes the only way
to peace in the Middle East is through negotiations -- not through
what he calls "unilateral actions."
Brian Rushfeldt, president of Canada Family
Action (CFA), is proud of Baird's response.
"This is not about an anti-Palestinian situation; it's about
doing the right thing -- that Israel does have the right to exist
and not try to force them to co-exist in a two-party state and have
their land taken over," Rushfeldt comments. "I think if we took a
poll today, the majority of Canadians by far would support what the
prime minister and foreign affairs minister has done."
Baird deems the General Assembly decision an "impediment to
peace," as Rushfeldt notes a growing anti-U.N. sentiment in
"I think this vote on the Palestinian issue actually has
awakened a lot of Canadians to how absolutely ludicrous and
dangerous the U.N. actually is as an organization," the CFA
Rushfeldt now urges Canada to question whether sending any tax
dollars to the U.N. is the proper thing to do.