Op-Ed: Why was Netanyahu in China for Yom Yerushalayim?
Moshe Phillips, AFSIMoshe Phillips is a member of the executive committee of the Philadelphia...
This year, Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, was observed on Tuesday evening, May 7th through Wednesday night, May 8 th and celebrates the 46th anniversary of the reunification of Judaism's holiest city.
Prime Minister Netanyahu was not in Israel for Yom Yerushalayim this year, he was visiting China.
What is so alarming about this is that Mahmoud Abbas was there just hours before Netanyahu arrived. President Xi Jinping, during talks with Mahmoud Abbas,called for "The establishment of independent state based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, with full sovereignty ..."
Immediately after the Old City was recaptured by Israeli forces in 1967 Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook told news reporters "We announce to all of Israel, and to all of the world, that by a Divine command, we have returned to our home, to our holy city. From this day forth, we shall never budge from here! We have come home!"
What was Rabbi Kook speaking about if not East Jerusalem?
Netanyahu should have taken China to task for its support of a divided Jerusalem and repeating Rabbi Kook's words to the world when he does it.
Why was Netanyahu in China for Yom Yerushalayim? Why would he meet with enemies of Jerusalem on this day?
Is it because he want to discuss the Iranian threat with Chinese leaders?
Netanyahu draws a dangerous distinction between the Iranian enemy (and their Hamas and Hizbullah surrogates) and the PLO/Palestinian National Authority/Fatah enemy. If Netanyahu actually believes that simply because their strategies and public rhetoric are different, that one of these enemies can be negotiated with, then he is drinking his own Kool-Aid. If he believes he can rip China's support away from Fatah, he is horribly mistaken.
Let's again refer to the Chinese government's press release on Abbas's visit: "Xi Jinping said that more than half a century, the Chinese people and the Palestinian people is always mutual understanding, mutual trust, mutual support, good friends, good partners and good brothers..."
Communist China has of course been no friend of Israel in the UN and has supported Israel's enemies through its powerful position on the Security Council. China was the first non-Islamic country to officially recognize the PLO.
In the aftermath of Beijing's win at the UN, Arafat was infamously invited to address the UN in 1974. It must be noted that Arafat was invited to address the UN when Kurt Waldheim was its Secretary-General.
Arafat was first invited to China in March 1964. He went to Beijing 14 times; his last visit was in August 2001. Arafat and Fatah reciprocated Red China's support. Alliances were stuck between Fatah and Red China's other terrorist clients. Most notoriously Arafat praised Beijing's bloody response to the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.
The mainstream media paid little attention in August 2009 when Israel sent much needed aid to Taiwan in response to the deadliest typhoon to hit the Chinese island nation in its history. In an interview, Raphael Gamzou, director of the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, explained that Taiwan's people "are incredibly friendly to Israel... [and] this expression of solidarity of the government and people of Israel will strengthen friendly sentiments."
In the Obama era especially, Israel should seek to strengthen ties with those nations like Taiwan that are "incredibly friendly to Israel."
The pro-Israel community in the United States can do much to confront China on Jerusalem. The late Senator Jesse Helms wrote in 1996 that "Israel is the only nation in the world denied the right to choose its own capital. This second class citizenship among nations must end".
Now is the time for American friends of Israel to apply more pressure on the Obama Administration to move the U.S. embassy. The U.S. government has failed to relocate the American Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv for over far too long. The Jerusalem Embassy Act was passed by the U.S. Congress on October 23, 1995 and the law reads that "Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999".
"For Zion's sake I am not silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I do not rest," reads Isaiah 62:1. For Jerusalem's sake contact your Congressman today and demand that the Jerusalem Embassy Act be honored.