Wake up! President Obama showed his true colors last week when he instructed US Ambassador Samantha Power to abstain on a Security Council resolution indicting Israel for building houses for Jews in the Jewish homeland, including in Jerusalem, the Jewish capital for 3,000 years. (Even the Western Wall and the Jewish Quarter were declared to be “occupied.”) This supposed attempt to promote negotiations for a two-state solution tops all the other damage the Obama administration has done to Israel, except perhaps for the rehabilitation and empowerment of Iran. Now, watch out for the unintended consequences of Obama’s untoward act/s. Incoming President Trump may go out of his way to undermine the former president’s prized initiatives, especially where they have injured Israel.
Obama and the UN have been fixated on Israel’s construction policies for years, despite Syria’s disintegration, which has caused the death of a half million people, the destruction of entire cities and towns, and the exodus of millions of Syria’s former residents (along with many Muslims from other countries) to refugee camps in the Middle East and to Europe.
The root of the new resolution is Israel building communities on land conquered from Jordan, which illegally occupied it from 1948-1967, land which the Palestinian Arabs supposedly want for their own state. One of my readers wrote me: “Until the whole matter of Israel / Palestine is resolved, I believe Judea and Samaria [the Jewish homeland] is ours. We should deal with the matter of settlements very carefully and not push it into the forefront all the time. But that is politics!”
Sorry to say, but the whole matter will never be fully “resolved,” because the Palestinian Arabs have turned down numerous offers of a state of their own. (http://www.camera.org) There wouldn’t be a State of Israel if Ben Gurion and the others had “not pushed” for a state; instead, they seized the day and proclaimed independence. Israel would have been stillborn but for President Truman’s stubborn adherence to his promise to Chaim Weizmann (the first president of Israel) to recognize the Jewish state immediately, which was almost universally opposed by his administration, including Secretary of State Marshall (Marshall Plan). Since then, the US State Department has seen Israel as a burden on America, not an asset, despite the many benefits the US has gained from a strong Israel, America’s most stalwart ally in the Middle East.
Prudence and caution can’t be Israel’s overriding principles in this world, with even Christian nations joining the Muslim ones to tear us down (unwittingly participating in the fall of Europe). Israel must act smartly, boldly, powerfully, and justly, relying on our resolve, and not forgetting our reliance on the Almighty. The right time never comes by itself. As Robin Williams said so powerfully in a different context, “Carpe Diem!” (Dead Poets Society)
President Obama, despite the impression of many that he has been a stalwart friend of Israel, from the beginning of his two terms as president shared the State Department’s mantra: support for Israel hinders the US from having better relations with the Arab/Muslim world. This concept has been disproved. Obama himself created a wedge between America and its former Arab allies when he pivoted from them to Iran (of all countries!) during the early days of his first term. Israel, in contrast, has grown closer to that segment of the Arab world, based on mutual interest: resistance to Iran’s hostile actions, overt and covert.
President Obama played his cards close to his vest immediately after the recent election. With good reason, Israelis worried that he would break precedent and fail to veto a one-sided resolution against Israel in the Security Council. In the aftermath of the brouhaha over the US abstention, Ambassador Power cited as justification a 1982 statement by then-President Ronald Reagan that the US, “will not support the use of any additional land for the purpose of settlements” and that “settlement activity is in no way necessary for the security of Israel.” Rather than validate President Obama’s decision, Reagan’s statement proves the opposite. Building communities in Judea and Samaria, aka the West Bank, with their attendant IDF forces, are necessary to deter terrorist attacks.
Proving this contention, the full evacuation of Israelis, civilian and military, from the Gaza Strip in 2006 has been a disaster from its inception. Not only has Israel had to defend itself from thousands of rockets and terrorist incursions emanating from Gaza, thousands of Palestinian Arabs were killed in Israel’s defensive operations (along with Israeli casualties). Arab civilians used as human shields inevitably pay a heavy price, which Hamas is happy to pay, just to make Israel look bad. In sum, Arab terrorists will fight Israel “to the last civilian.” Hamas, the terrorist organization ruling Gaza, makes no excuses over its goal: to defeat the Jews and destroy Israel.
Do the nations of the world have a rationale why they obsessively blame Israel for the lack of a Palestinian state? The Security Council condemns Israel’s construction beyond the 1949 Armistice Line, claiming that it is the biggest obstacle to peace – stop building and supposedly the Arabs will quickly set about concluding a peace treaty to end the conflict. This, in spite of the fact that the PLO’s goal since its founding in 1964 (3 years before Jordan lost control of the West Bank and before any “settlements” existed), has been to eradicate Israel and replace it with a Jew-free Palestine. The Hamas terrorist movement, rulers of Gaza, are even worse, intending to replace Israel with the Islamic Caliphate .
Aside from this impediment to peace, would any Western country contemplate making a peace deal with the Arabs, who can’t kill each other fast enough? 400,00 dead, or is it 500,000 dead or more, plus millions of refugees flooding Europe, some with evil intent?
Before the Security Council vote, President-elect Trump requested that Obama veto the resolution. After the vote Trump tweeted, “As to the UN, things will be different after Jan. 20th (presidential Inauguration Day).” Trump doesn’t need to overturn the resolution, which would be very difficult. There are easier and more efficient ways to ignore the UN, which by its ridiculous resolutions (total denial of Israel/Judaism/Christianity’s connection with Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, being the most recent) has proven itself to be much worse than useless; in fact, malevolent. As mentioned previously, there is also the probability of unintended consequences.
The Republican Party, which controls Congress, can carry out Trump’s threat. Sen. Lindsay Graham, who heads the Senate panel in charge of US payments to the UN, has already said that he would “form a bipartisan coalition to suspend or significantly reduce” funding to the UN, which America currently contributes nearly 25%. Graham added that countries receiving US aid could also be penalized for supporting the resolution. (timesofisrael.com)
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Israel’s culpability in the American abstention in the Security Council. Prime Minister Netanyahu has mothballed his most potent weapon, the 2012 Levy Report. This report, compiled by world class experts in international law, concludes, “According to international law, Israelis have the legal right to settle in Judea and Samaria and the establishment of settlements cannot, in and of itself, be considered to be illegal.” To accede to an anti-Israel (for me, anti-Semitic) interpretation of international law without a fight is unforgivable.
Last week, outgoing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council, “Decades of political maneuverings have created a disproportionate volume of resolutions, reports and conferences criticizing Israel. In many cases, rather than helping the Palestinian cause, this reality has hampered the ability of the UN to fulfill its role effectively.” Following this week’s wretched vote in the Security Council, Ki-moon hailed the resolution against Israel as a significant step, a sign of leadership, and urged Israelis and Palestinians to get back to the negotiating table. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, “Some step, some leadership.”