Thursday, September 15, 2011


Sunday 18th September

9pm Meet & greet at the Carlton hotel

Monday 19th September

8 – 9 Breakfast
9.15am Welcome briefing by Gil Hoffman,
Jerusalem Post. Magenta Hall.
10.15am Depart for Independence Hall
11am Guided tour of Independence Hall
12pm Free time/lunch in Nachalat Benyamin/Shenkin
1.20pm Meet group
1.30pm Depart for Old City Hall
3.10pm Depart for Bar Ilan University
3.45pm Tour of University
5.30 pm Depart back to the hotel
6 – 7pm Break
7.10pm Walk to the Old Port
7.30pm Group dinner at Badolina
8.30pm Walk back to Hotel

Tuesday 20th September

7.45-8.45 Breakfast
9.00am Guided tour by Miri Eisen to Kfar Kassem & nearby settlements on the green line.
11.30am Depart for Zichron Yaacov
12.30pm Group lunch at Bistro de Carmel
1.45pm Tour of Baron de Rothschild wine cellars
2.50pm Depart for Daliat el Carmel
3.15pm Visit the Mohraka Monastry
4pm Depart for Market in Osfiya
4.10pm Free time at the Shuk
4.45pm Meet back at the coach
5pm Briefing on the history of the Druze community
6pm Group dinner with a Druze family
7pm Depart for Tel Aviv
8.30pm Arrive back at the hotel

Wednesday 21st September

7.15–8.15 Breakfast
8.30am Depart for Jerusalem
10.00am Tour of Herzl Museum + Herzl’s graveside
11am Meeting with Mark Regev
12 noon Group lunch in Ein Karem
1pm Depart for Gilad Shalit tent
1.20pm Show solidarity with Shalit family
1.50pm Depart for Kotel
2.10pm Free time at Kotel
3pm Meet at Dung Gate
3.10pm Depart for Knesset
3.30pm Meet MK’s plus VIP access tour of the Knesset
5.30pm Depart for Tel Aviv
6.30–8pm Free time for dinner
8pm Israel Update with David Horovitz – former
Editor of The Jerusalem Post. Carlton Hotel

Thursday 22nd September

8.30–9.30 Breakfast
9.45am Depart for Rabin Centre
10.30am Welcome by the Director
10.45am Tour of the Centre
1pm Visit Bakery 29 – where all the profits go to helping IDF soldiers
2pm Depart for Design Museum Holon
2.30pm Tour of Design Museum
4pm Depart for Jaffa
4.30pm Meet Frank Meisler at his workshop in Jaffa –
one of Israel’s leading artists
6.30pm Group dinner at Dr Shakshouka in Jaffa
8.00pm Arrive at the Nalaga’at Theatre
8.30pm Watch ‘Not by Bread Alone’

Friday 23rd September

8am Breakfast with & briefing by lone soldiers.
9.30am Check out of rooms
10.30am Walk to Ben Gurion house
11am Guided tour of Ben Gurion’s house
12pm Programme ends

Important Numbers: Police 100 Ambulance 101 Fire 102
Dalia Israel Mobile 0544 453 181 Carlton Hotel 03 – 520 1818

As always, the itinerary had to be tweaked until the last moment,
but it promises to be a truly inspiring five days in Israel. 
We hope you have an enjoyable and informative trip!



Bring modest clothing for Kotel.

09.00 Welcome & Israel Update
Overview of programme, meet the group.
Speaker: Update on current political situation by Israeli spokesperson

11.00 Fruit Picking / Volunteering
Through Project Leket, volunteers, through the support of farmers, go into fields to pick and gather fruits and vegetables that were left and not harvested at the end of the season. All of the collected produce is distributed to non-profit organisations serving people in need of food, located throughout Israel.
An ideal way to get to know the rest of the group in an informal, fun and different setting!

12.50 Lunch

15.00 Tree Planting
Plant a tree in the Lord Sacks Forest in Jerusalem.
Did you know? Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st Century with more trees than it began the 20th Century with. This was achieved in a country that is more than half desert.

16.30 Gilad Shalit Tent
Gilad Shalit is an Israeli IDF who was captured on the 25th June 2006 by Hamas in a cross-border raid. He has been held hostage at an unkown location in Gaza by Hamas since then, with no access allowed by his family, the Red Cross, or anyone. His family (father Noam and mother Aviva) has set up a tent utside the residence of the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem to demonstrate for their relative's release.

17.30 Kotel
The Western Wall, or the Kotel, is known as the most significant site in the world for the Jewish people.

20.30 Dinner in Tel Aviv

22.00 Tel Aviv by night
A chance to let your hair down and get to know the group. Experience Tel Aviv’s incredible night life whilst overlooking the sea.


Down South!
Bring your swimming costume!

08.45 Leaving Hotel

10.00 Sderot Indoor Recreation Center
Over the past few years, the Israeli communities on the border with Gaza have endured continual Kassam rocket attacks. These attacks are untargeted, but some have hit residences and schools, killing 11 citizens and hurting hundreds more. The city of Sderot, located on the border with Gaza, has been hardest hit — its children growing up in the shadow of violence, fear, and uncertainty. To directly impact the lives of the children of Sderot and provide them with the chance to simply be kids the largest indoor playground in Israel in Sderot has been built. The all-inclusive Indoor Recreational Center opened on March 10, 2009 to provide Sderot’s youth with a place to have fun, connect with friends, enjoy stimulating classes, and be children, beyond the conflict. A place to feel strong and free, away from their daily helplessness and anxiety. And parents can have peace of mind knowing that their children are playing and learning in an environment that is safe and secure.

12.15 Halutzit
A remarkable community of pioneers at Halutzit in the Northern Negev who have seen their communities dismantled twice in the name of peace, first at Yamit in Sinai, and then at Atzmona, Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip. Now they are building again from nothing, for a third time. In plastic greenhouses they are growing superb sweet peppers and lettuces that you can find on the shelves of top-quality supermarkets and stores in the UK.

13.45 Lunch & Swimming Pool – Kibbutz Tze’elim

17.15 Ayalim Centre
Built in the middle of the Negev desert, 20 miles south-east of Beersheva, Yerucham was established as a development town in 1951. It has one of Israel's highest unemployment rates, few facilities and is a very challenging place to live. Yet young people are moving here, through an organisation called Ayalim. They are true 21st Century Zionists.

18.00 Dinner at Yerucham
We will spend the evening with the residents getting to know more about them and the project.

22.00 Tel Aviv by night


08.45 Leaving Hotel

09.45 Dialogue in the Dark
Dialogue in the Dark has been presented in over 30 countries and more than 160 sites in over 110 cities throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East and America since it’s opening in 1988. So far, over 6 Million visitors have experienced Dialogue in the Dark worldwide, and over 6,000 blind candidates have found employment through Dialogue in the Dark.

12.30 Lunch at IDC
IDC Herzliya has attracted 850 students from over 50 countries to its International School (RRIS), the only academic institution in Israel that offers three-year Bachelor’s Degree Programs and Master's Programs taught entirely in English. Known for their programmes on National Security and Counter-Terrorism we will see what makes IDC so special, and have a briefing from a top lecturer.

14.30 Rich Confections
Netta Korin grew up in a family that had to be careful with their money. She thought to be happy you had to have money, and thus was determined she would be a millionaire. By 25 she was a investment banker on Wall Street , and was a millionaire. Few years later following a break up with her boyfriend, she realised money wasn’t everything. She wanted to help. She visited the Friends of IDF and heard how some had to stay on base during their leave because there was no food for them at their homes. Now she runs a bakery, with all profit supporting Friends of IDF.

15.15 Free time for shopping/leisure/beach in Tel Aviv

18.30 Dinner in Tel Aviv

20.00 Briefing by David Horovitz - with Zionist Federation Israel Trip Group
David Horowitz is an Israeli journalist, author and speaker, and the former Editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post – one of the biggest newspapers in Israel; widely read around the world.

21.30 Tel Aviv by night
A chance to let your hair down and get to know the group. Experience Tel Aviv’s incredible night life whilst overlooking the sea.


Up North!

08.30 Leaving Hotel

10.00 Navy Base
Israel has four Navy bases – one of the key bases being in Haifa. The Haifa Navy base were responsible for stopping the flotilla in May 2010. A chance to have a tour around the Navy base, and see a different side to Israel’s defence.

12.30 Ein Hod
Ein Hod is a picturesque artists’ village, the only one of its kind in Israel and one of the few such villages in the world. Nestled in natural vegetation and bordered by an ancient olive grove, it lies on the western slopes of Mt Carmel, in a breathtaking landscape looking out toward the sea and the Crusader fortress of Atlit.
Be sure to visit the pub: Danny’s Beer!

14.30 Google Israel
Israel has more companies quoted on the high-tech NASDAQ stock exchange in New York than any other country outside the United States. In innovation it outshines all its neighbours. Between 1980 and 2000 Egyptians registered 77 patents in the US. Saudis registered 171. Israelis registered 7,652.
A chance to visit Google Israel, to see how Israel is competing in the international market, and why Google decided to set up an R&D centre in Israel.

16.30 Wine Tasting at Carmel Winery
A new Center for Wine Culture has opened at Carmel Winery’s Zichron Ya’acov Wine Cellars. At Carmel’s Zichron Ya’acov Wine Cellars, it is possible to see winemaking on both a large and small scale. It is the largest winery in Israel, yet there is also a small state-of-the-art facility for making the upper level wines. Visitors will learn about the history of Israeli wine from the 1880’s right up to the recent quality revolution. The winery provides a fascinating glimpse into the ancient, old and new world of winemaking, all in one setting.

20.00 Dinner at the Winery
’Bistro de Carmel’ is a Mediterranean style diary restaurant situated in the historic house where the winemaker used to live until the 1970’s.

21.30 Tel Aviv by night
A chance to let your hair down and get to know the group. Experience Tel Aviv’s incredible night life whilst overlooking the sea.


09.30 Breakfast with Lone Soldiers
The IDF defines a lone soldier as one who has no immediate family in Israel, primarily made up of those that made aliyah. A chance for discussions with soldiers – a chance to learn about their motivations and challenges, whilst meeting Israeli’s of similar age.

10.45 Rabin Centre
On November 4 1995 the Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, was assassinated at the close of a peace rally entitled, “Yes to Peace, No to Violence” in Tel Aviv. An Israeli Jew shot the Prime Minister three times in the back. The assassination took place at the height of a difficult political struggle centred on the character and future of the State of Israel, a struggle that was accompanied by incitement against the Prime Minister and against the political process he led. The Center is the national institute dedicated to improving the shape of Israeli society by ensuring that the legacy of Yitzhak Rabin continues to impact the youth and people of Israel.

12.45 Sikkum and Goodbyes

13.30 End of Programme

Contact Phone Numbers in Israel
If you are dialing or texting from your British mobile phone, you will need to enter as below.
If dialing from an Israeli phone, replace the digits ‘00972’ with a ‘0’.

Gary Sakol Israel Mobile (from Sunday 18th, PM) 00972 54 793 1126
Melanie Lax Israel Mobile (From Sunday 18th, PM) 00972 54 242 6321
Alan Aziz (emergency only) 00972 52 600 0444
Taxi number in Tel Aviv 00972 3 546 6222
Hotel: Grand Beach Hotel, 250 Hayarkon St., Tel Aviv, 63113 00972 3 543 3333
Police 100
Ambulance 101
Fire 102


The Rt Hon David Cameron MP
The Office of the Prime Minister
10 Downing Street

Dear Prime Minister,

RE: Durban III Conference 22nd September 2011

As a supporter of true principles of human rights and equality, I urge you to oppose the U.N.’s ‘Durban III’ gathering scheduled to be held in New York later this month. It is intended to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 2001 World Conference of Racism held in Durban, South Africa which became a forum to attack America, the West and, in particular, Israel. The conference not only failed to combat racism but has become the worst international manifestation of anti-Semitism in the post-war period.

The result of the 2001 conference was the notorious ‘Durban Declaration’ that charged only Israel with racism, out of 192 member states, and singled out ‘the plight of Palestinians under foreign occupation’. The U.N. sponsored NGO Forum of the Conference formally declared Israel a ‘racist apartheid state’ guilty of ‘genocide’.

The European Union is the most influential bloc of democracies at the U.N. and it must not give legitimacy to a conference that will be dominated by enemies of democracies and human rights, such as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has regularly called for the destruction of Israel and denied the Holocaust.

I urge you to follow the USA, Canada, Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Australia, Austria, Italy, Germany and Israel by withdrawing both Britain’s support and presence at this forthcoming event and to openly condemn Durban III.

Yours sincerely,

Harvey Rose

Thursday, September 8, 2011


On 20th September, the Palestinian Authority will go to the United Nations and request UN membership and international recognition of an independent state of Palestine based on the 1967 borders. The United States of America have announced that they will use their veto against any motion of this kind at the Security Council, meaning that the PA will most likely then turn to the General Assembly to ask for its status to be upgraded from ‘UN Observer’ to a ‘Non-Member State.’ This will require a two-thirds majority to pass but it is felt that there is a strong possibility that this will be achieved. As nothing will change ‘on the ground’, this move by the PA is seen as an attempt to isolate Israel on the international stage and detract from their refusal to negotiate directly with Israel to come to a peaceful resolution to the long running issue.

“Unilateral actions taken by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations, and will not be recognized by the international community.”

Joint statement by the United States, European Union, Russian Federation and United Nations, 26th June 2009

Why is it Wrong?

Any unilateral act is in direct contravention of the Oslo Accords of both 1993 and 1995 which specifically called for a negotiated resolution to the permanent status of Palestinian statehood. The Accords, signed by the PLO on behalf of the PA, explicitly forbids either side from acting in the manner that the Palestinians are now threatening. If the PA violates these agreements the whole premise of future negotiations will be undermined and even the legitimacy of the PA itself will be called into question.

“A final agreement has to be precisely final and that is why it must be reached by negotiation between the parties. Anything else will be a dangerous mirage for the Palestinians.”

Former Spanish PM Jose Maria Aznar, 6th September 2011

Is It Legal?

The Palestinian’s actions are also a direct violation of UN Resolutions 242 and 338, the main resolutions pertaining to the 1967 borders, as they both call for negotiated agreements leading to ‘secure and recognized boundaries’. The 1967 lines was also never seen as an international border, rather an armistice line from 1948, and thus a PA unilateral declaration of statehood based on the 1967 lines is in defiance of these UN Resolutions.

If this motion was to pass the UN General Assembly, it is widely accepted that future negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians become significantly more difficult and complicated as it makes it harder for the Palestinians to compromise on their positions. The Palestinians will also have less incentive to achieve a negotiated settlement while continuing to attempt to isolate Israel in the international arena.

“A unilateral declaration of statehood by the Palestinians at the United Nations can lead to a stalemate between the sides especially when a peace agreement can be achieved through direct negotiations.”

Israel President Shimon Peres, 4th September 2011

What are the Consequences?

It is feared that the UN motion will lead to violence as expectations of statehood on the Palestinian streets will not be met. Expectations of ‘changes on the ground’ that turn out to be clearly false are likely to lead to anger and demonstrations with the real threat of another Intifada.

“It is not going to be a dramatic result and I do not believe it will be right to continue, for there to be preoccupation about something dramatic happening.”

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, 29th June 2011

What is the Alternative?

Israel regularly and openly calls for a resumption of faced to face negotiations between the two sides and that Israel has two main principals that must be agreed for any deal to be made. Firstly, Israel’s security needs must be met and these include a more defensible border than the 1967 lines and a non-militarisation of a Palestinian state. Secondly, Palestinian acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state alongside a Palestinian state, with the implication that there can be no Palestinian ‘right of return’ to Israel as this would end the Jewish majority in the state.

“Now is the time for the international community to tell the Palestinian leadership what it refuses to tell its own people: there are no shortcuts to statehood. They will have to get off the bandwagon of unilateralism and back to the hard work of direct peacemaking.”

Israel Ambassador Ron Prosor Speaking to the UN Security Council, 11th June 2011

What can you do?

The United Kingdom has yet to decide which way it will vote in the United Nations Assembly so there is still time for you to help.

Please write to your local MP urging them to support peaceful negotiations and reject unilateral UN resolutions. Take the time to write, encourage your friends and family to write. Write to your local newspaper or national newspapers making the case for the UK to support peaceful negotiations and reject unilateral UN resolutions.

With thanks to Beyond Images, The Jerusalem Post and BICOM for information in this document


Jonathan Pollard was sentenced to life imprisonment despite never having stood trial for the charges made against him that included spying for Israel. He has never been indicted or charged with treason and those found guilty in a court of law with similar offences to his have been sentenced, on average, for up to four years only. Why is Jonathan Pollard being treated so differently to other US citizens? Despite many years of campaigning for his release, which include personal requests from numerous Israeli Prime Ministers, Pollard remains behind bars. Read the article by internationally renowned lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, which helps to explain the injustices that Jonathan Pollard has had to face.

Pollard's sentence should be commuted to time served
Alan M. Dershowitz - The Jerusalem Post - August 21, 2011

There are several reasons why justice demands that Jonathan Pollard's sentence be commuted to time served and that he be immediately released.
The first is a legal and constitutional argument. Pollard waived his right to trial by jury in exchange for a promise by the government that it would not seek life imprisonment. The government broke that promise. It submitted a perjured affidavit by then Secretary of Defense Weinberger demanding life imprisonment and overstating the damage that Pollard had caused. This was a direct breach of the plea bargain. Unfortunately Pollard's appeal was argued to a panel that included two Jewish judges, at least one of whom aspired to the Supreme Court. The two of them wrote a scandalously inept opinion affirming the sentence, while the third, non-Jewish, judge declared it to be a gross violation of due process and basic fairness. The non-Jewish judge, who had no fear of being accused of dual loyalty, was correct. The two Jewish judges were dead wrong.
I know of no other case in American jurisprudence in which a plea bargain has been so blatantly violated and the violation approved by an appellate court. The legal remedy is enforce the plea bargain as written and impose the sentence that the government promised it would seek. If Pollard had served that sentence, he would be free by now.
Even if the law did not require Pollard's immediate release, principles of fairness and equal justice surely would. The typical sentence imposed on an American who spies for an ally of the United States is in single digits. Such sentences have been imposed on Americans who spies for Egypt and other countries that are American allies. There is no reason in justice or fairness for Pollard to have received the double digit sentence for spying for Israel. The prosecutor in this case tried to justify this sentencing disparity by arguing that since so many Americans support Israel, the need for deterrence is greater. This is an unacceptable double standard.
Finally, there are the humanitarian considerations. Pollard has served longer than any American convicted of spying for an American ally. He is very sick having undergone several surgeries. He will die in prison unless his sentence is commuted.
Why, it might be asked, is he still in prison? The answer is that two groups of people have worked hard to keep him in prison. The first is the intelligence community, led by former CIA Director George Tenet. President Clinton was apparently prepared to release Pollard toward the end of his term when Tenet, former head of the CIA, threatened to quit. This threat violated the law, which expressly prohibits a CIA Director from making policy. Tenet's illegal threat made policy and kept Pollard in prison.
The other group that worked hard to keep Pollard in prison was a group of Jewish senators who wrote to President Clinton insisting that Pollard's sentence not be shortened. President Clinton personally told me that this letter from influential Jewish senators affected his decision. Now even several of these senators are calling for Pollard's release.
Pollard's continued imprisonment, in violation of law, equality, justice and compassion, is a stain on America. This stain can be removed if President Obama commutes Pollard's sentence to time served. A commutation is different than a pardon. A pardon erases the conviction, whereas a commutation simply reduces the sentence, without in any way suggesting that the defendant was not guilty of a serious crime. Pollard has admitted his guilt, not once but several times. The first time was when he pleaded and was sentenced. More recently he has apologized, as has the Israeli government. By pleading guilty and cooperating with the investigation, Pollard spared the government the embarrassment and difficulties inherent in a spy trial. Had he not confessed his guilt, it is unlikely he would have been convicted of the most serious charge of spying, since the only direct evidence outside of his confession was the fact that he had unauthorized possession of classified material.
For helping the government in this way, he was promised that he would not have to spend the rest of his life in prison. But now he is likely to die in prison, a broken and sick man, unless President Obama does the right thing. The time has come, indeed it is long overdue, for Jonathan Pollard to receive proportional justice.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


The Zionist Federation is appalled at Turkey’s expulsion of Israel’s Ambassador and suspension of military agreements in the aftermath of the publication of the UN's Palmer Report. The Turkish Government is playing a very dangerous political game at Israel’s expense and has proved its complete hypocrisy with its recent treatment of the Kurdish population - highlighting its own abysmal record on human rights.
Israel and Turkey have shared strong relations for many years and it is worrying that the relationship has deteriorated under the Erdogan Government. Calls by Turkey for Israel to issue public apologies are shown by the Report to be completely unwarranted. Indeed they represent unhelpful and potentially dangerous political gains.
The Zionist Federation welcomes the conclusions of the Palmer Report that the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip is both legal and justified. The report confirms that Israel has the right to defend itself and its border and acted accordingly during the Flotilla crisis last year.  The organisers of the flotilla were criticised in the Report as reckless for attempting to break the blockade. The Report also questioned the true motives of the IHH.


The boorish behaviour displayed by the PSC (members of whom tried to interrupt last night’s Israel Philharmonic Prom) was vigorously countered by members of the ZF - who were there in force.  More than 100 pro-Israel advocates counter-demonstrated outside the Albert Hall and leafleted members of the audience. After the performance the advocates were outside the stage door with Israel flags to say “kol ha’kovod (well done!) to conductor Zubin Mehta and the members of the IPO. This was greatly appreciated by the IPO as was the rapturous reception they received from 99.9% of the audience.
The PSC yet again foolishly “shot itself in the foot” with Culture Minister Ed Vaizey tweeting "Demonstrators seem to have turned [the] entire audience pro-Israel".  The demonstrators were greeted by boos from almost every member of the audience when they triesd to protest, and were drowned out by the orchestra as the music got louder and were then removed by the venue security.
The ZF advocates waved flags and held banners saying 
Alan Aziz, Chief Executive of the ZF said “It is a disgrace that people who do not want to understand Israel’s challenges choose to obsessively try to disrupt cultural and educational events in the UK. The ZF’s presence here tonight was to counter this ignorant and ill-conceived protest. We will always be there to counter Israel hate and we thank all our allies last night - especially our Christian friends - for supporting Israel”.  The performance will be broadcast again on the BBC on 7th September at 14.30. 
The Zionist Federation thanks StandWithUsUK and the British Israel Coalition for helping advertise the pro-Israel demonstration, and attending. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Written by Solon Solomon, former Member of the Knesset Legal Department, in charge of international and constitutional issues
Back then, in the early days of President Obama in office, U.S. foreign policy seemed to enter a new era. Withdrawal from Iraq, closure of Guantanamo, in other words, recoil from all the “sins” that seemed to stigmatize the Bush administration. Yet, Guantanamo did not close, the Iraq withdrawal has not been total and American presence still exists in Afghanistan. Like the end of history that Francis Fukuyama hailed to predict, yet never came to be, so seems to be the case with U.S. unilateralism in foreign policy.
On the contrary, the Obama administration got entangled in a military operation in Libya on a unilateral base, without congressional approval. True, that unilateralism was an agreed one, stemming from a U.N. Security Council Resolution, whose binding character all U.N. members accept. Still- even agreed- it remains the unilateral imposition of the will of the Security Council’s majority.
If this is so, it brings us back to the 9/11 world reaction, when the world powers appeared determined to pronounce the right to self-defense, not against a particular enemy, but against a particular phenomenon, namely the terrorist attacks. Also then, through an agreed mode-a U.N. Security Council Resolution-the U.S. in particular launched unilaterally what came to be known as a “war on terror.”
This agreed unilateralism served the interests of U.S. foreign policy for almost a decade. Yet, recent events, such as the Arab spring, depicted also its limits. Because, if agreed unilateralism is let to expand in an unrestrictive way, where is the room for bilateralism? What is the point of international agreements and coordination, in the final line, what is the point of international law itself?
Agreed unilateralism -no matter how agreed it maybe- still remains unilateralism. And as such, it does not always work. In the case of Libya, it did not bring to Qaddafi’s fall and the arrest warrant against him, issued by the International Criminal Court, was not executed. Not surprisingly, the international community opted for a more bilateral approach in the case of Syria, based on exerting pressure to Assad to resign, rather than military measures against the country.
Also on a regional level, agreed unilateralism ultimately met its limits. The Egyptian demand for an increase of the Egyptian military presence in demilitarized Sinai was answered positively by Israel’s government on an exceptional basis, yet on blurry-if not non existent- legal grounds. Ultimately, this agreed unilateralism was thwarted by the Knesset Speaker’s request for an advisory opinion on whether the Israeli Parliament should also approve such Egyptian requests.
True, the recent terrorist attack where infiltrators from Sinai caused Israeli casualties coupled with the repeated blowing up of the pipeline carrying gas to Israel, seemingly confirm agreed unilateralism. If Israel had consented to the Egyptian demand, these violent incidents would not have occurred, the argument goes.
But, even if this is true, agreed unilateralism’s application can not be overstretched in order to in essence trample on bilateral agreements. International order is based on coordination. If international diplomacy is translated as unilateral responses to unilateral requests, then it is not negotiations that shape international landscape, but the influence of the side which exerts more efficient pressure. If nowadays, criticism is headed towards international law as the law of the strong, all the more in case of unrestricted agreed unilateralism.
This brings us back again to the United Nations and September. The Palestinians have already announced their intentions to unilaterally quest for a U.N. Resolution acknowledging their status as a state. Their quest will probably be granted. The international community will agree on this.
Yet, the question is if this agreed unilateralism should be harnessed for the interests of international stability and legality. Would a U.N. proclamation of a Palestinian state create also an economically and politically viable one, a real state which could stand to the legitimate Palestinian aspirations? And what message would the international community transmit regarding international law, when previous Security Council Resolutions, such as 242, as well as the Oslo Accords, explicitly endorse a bilateral, negotiations stance?
Ten years after the 9/11 response Resolution endorsing agreed unilateralism, the United Nations is called to define now also its limits. This is how it is after all; from September to September.