Friday’s United Nations resolution is the administration’s final swipe at the Jewish state.
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This UN betrayal was Obama’s final knife in the back to Israel. By refraining from voting and helping Israel, he has not only endangered Israel but I believe he has put America at risk from the judgment of God. MB
Posted by Elliott Abrahms on The Weekly Standard
For all eight years of the Obama administration, Democrats have made believe that Barack Obama is a firm and enthusiastic supporter and defender of the Jewish state. Arguments to the contrary were not only dismissed but angrily denounced as the products of nothing more than vicious partisanship. Obama’s defenders repeatedly used the trope that “Israel should not be a partisan issue,” as if Obama’s views and actions were beyond reproach. A whole corps of Jewish leaders, some at the major organizations and many from Chicago, showed far greater loyalty to Obama than to the tradition of true nonpartisanship when it came to Middle East policy.
All of those arguments have been ground into dust by Obama’s action Friday allowing a nasty and harmful anti-Israel resolution to pass the United Nations Security Council. Just weeks before leaving office, he could not resist the opportunity to take one more swipe at Israel—and to do real harm. So he will leave with his record on Israel in ruins, and he will leave Democrats even worse off.
It’s pretty clear that he does not care. Obama has gotten himself elected twice, the second time by a decreased margin (the only time a president has been reelected by fewer votes than in his first term), but he has laid waste to his party. In the House, the Senate, the state governorships, and the state legislatures, the Democrats have suffered loss after loss. Today’s anti-Israel action will further damage the Democratic party, by driving some Jews if not toward the Republicans then at least away from the Democrats and toward neutrality. Donald Trump’s clear statement on Thursday that he favored a veto, Netanyahu’s fervent pleas for one, and the Egyptian action in postponing the vote show where Obama stood: not with Israel, not even with Egypt, but with the Palestinians. Pleas for a veto from Democrats in Congress were ignored by the White House.
Does the resolution matter? It does. The text declares that “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.” This may turn both settlers—even those in major blocs like Maale Adumim, that everyone knows Israel will keep in any peace deal—and Israeli officials into criminals in some countries, subject to prosecution there or in the International Criminal Court. The text demands “that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.” Now add this wording to the previous line and it means that even construction in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City is “a flagrant violation under international law.” The resolution also “calls upon all States, to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.” This is a call to boycott products of the Golan, the West Bank, and parts of Jerusalem, and support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement.
Yet Barack Obama thought this was all fine and refused to veto. Settlements have been an obsession for Obama since the second day of his term in office, January 22, 2009. That day he appointed George Mitchell to be his special peace envoy, and adopted the view that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the key to peace in the entire region and that freezing construction in settlements was the key to Israeli-Palestinian peace. But even if you believe all that—and looking at the Middle East today, no sensible person can—to allow this resolution to pass goes far beyond a flat demand for a settlement freeze. It is a strike against Israel. The inclusion of the usual language calling upon “both parties” to show “calm and restraint” and avoid “provocative actions” and “incitement” is pablum meant to attract European votes—and perhaps to attract Barack Obama. But in fact, there is no possible way that this resolution will advance the cause of peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
Obama has done us one favor, which is to settle the long argument about his attitude toward Israel. No partisan of his, no apologetic Democrat, can henceforth say with a straight face what we’ve been hearing for years about him. In 2012, for example, Thomas Friedman wrote in the New York Times: “The only question I have when it comes to President Obama and Israel is whether he is the most pro-Israel president in history or just one of the most.”
Sorry, Tom, but statements like that are now simply embarrassing. Obama has done what he could for eight years to undermine Israel’s elected government, prevent its action against Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and create as much daylight as possible between the United States and Israel. So when the crunch came yesterday, Israelis had to turn to Egypt to postpone a U.N. vote. Think about that: there is more trust between Israel and Egypt today than between either of them and the United States. That’s the product of eight years of Obama foreign policy. Israelis can only wish American presidential terms were just four weeks shorter.
Obama has cast a veto, all right: he has vetoed the kind of close relations between Israel and the United States that Bill Clinton and George W. Bush carefully built and maintained. The remaining question is whether Jewish leaders and Democratic politicians who vouched for Obama and defended him for eight years will now tell the truth.