A few weeks before President Obama is leaving office, an anti Israel vote has been casted at the UN’s Security Council creating resolution 2334 that condemns Israel for violating international law, calls the current settlements illegal and prohibits Israel to build more settlements in Judea and Samaria, the ancient homeland of the Jews.
The expected US veto turned out to be an abstention which enabled this new anti Israel resolution to pass. Obama’s bias against Israel throughout the 8 years of his presidency materialised on that day when US ambassador to UN, Samantha Power, abstained instead of casting the expected veto by the Jewish state’s closest ally. Obama’s refusal to cast the veto on the last moments of his presidency is a reflection of his Cairo speech which he delivered on his first moments as president, marking the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the center of Arab politics.
Secretary of State John Kerry has tried to justify Obama’s actions by stating repeatedly how the settlements are an obstacle to peace while failing to acknowledge the countless times where Israel was turned down by their supposed peace partners Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas.
In 2000 Camp David initiated by former President Bill Clinton, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has offered an unprecedented deal: shared sovereignty over Jerusalem, full control of Gaza, 92% of Judea and Samaria and control over Jordan valley. Some reports are also saying that Barak was even prepared to give up the Golan Heights. The only demand that Ehud Barak refused was the right of return of the new generation of the Arabs that fled during the Nakba. Yasser Arafat refused to negotiate that proposal by failing to come up with a counter proposal.
In 2008 former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered President Abbas even more with 94% of Judea and Samaria, Palestinian sovereignty over Arab neighbourhoods of Jerusalem and offered to transfer the sovereignty over the Temple Mount and other sacred places in Jerusalem’s old city to an international body. He even offered a limited right of immigration to truncated israel to descendants of Arabs who fled israel in 1948-49.
This proposal was refused as well.
John Kerry failed to include these proposals to his nearly 2 hour long speech for the obvious reason that this would interfere with Obama’s narrative and ultimately make the absence of a veto unjustifiable.
Having said that, one can wonder if Obama’s support of this resolution was even about Israel.
If it were really about Israel, why wait until the end of his term to introduce the 6 points framework for peace. Perhaps one could argue that this move was about Obama’s failed policies in the Middle East. He created the mess in Syria and enabled the Russians to settle there and support the Assad regime. This Russian presence is unprecedented as the US never allowed the Russians to come near its allies. Today they are set on Israel’s northern border.
Furthermore, Obama failed the deal with Iran by signing a weak deal which gives Iran the possibility to prosper and at the same time continue with its terror activities throughout the region, namely providing the terror group Hezbollah with the most sophisticated missiles pointed in the direction of Israel. Much to Netanyahu’s horror, this deal was signed by the P5+1 countries under Obama’s leadership while allowing Iranian leader and spiritual leader to continue with their daily genocidal threats against Israel. Just recently at an Iranian military ceremony, the tanks parading in the streets of Teheran had writings on them which said: “we will turn Tel Aviv and Haifa into dust”. Therefore, it comes as a surprise that Obama, a fervent liberal democrat experienced Netanyahu’s opposition to this deal as a personal insult and dismissed Netanyahu objections as illegitimate and arrogant.
In addition, Obama’s weak foreign policies led to a major uncontrollable refugee crisis in the EU. Britain already pulled out from the EU and the rest of the nations of Europe are starting to doubt EU’s policy on immigration and may well vote for far right parties that advocate to dissolve the EU altogether. In March, Holland’s far right party, the PVV is expected to be the largest party. In France, the far right Front National’s leader Marine Le Pen has a chance of winning against rightist ultra liberal François Fillon, as Le Pen has a more socialist program that could attract some of the leftist voters as well.
The UN’s track record reveals one very troubling issue: Israel is UN’s top priority which is made to believe that most of the problems in the world can be solved with a resolution against Israel. It is used like a bandage for external wounds. The EU leaders are still blinded by this illusory belief that if Israel gets punished, this will appease the Muslim citizens of Europe, create stability in the Middle East and ultimately make the refugee crisis cease. While in fact the contrary is true: if terror in Israel is being rewarded, then eventually terror in Europe will be rewarded as much. Obama strengthened this false illusion with his abstention and attempted to cover up his failures by using Israel as a bargaining chip.
Most pro Obama’s analysts have been misleading readers into believing America’s interest in keeping Israel as its closest ally is weakening. This can’t be any further from the truth.
The US has 3 permanent interests in the region: First, preventing radical regimes to cause catastrophic harm. Secondly, maintaining its own capacity to project its power in the region in order to protect its national security and defend its allies. And last, preventing hostile regimes from artificially inflating the price of oil, through embargo’s (like the oil embargo in 1973) and enduring the maritime flow through the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal.
Israel is ensuring some of these interests by preventing regimes from acquiring means to cause unmeasurable harm. For example: Israel destroyed both Iraq’s Osirak reactor and the Syrian nuclear reactor in al Kibar. Netanyahu attempted to do the same with Iran’s nuclear reactor in 2012 but was stopped by Obama. Israel is also a reliable ally since no Arab state will agree to form a permanent alliance with Israel. As a consequence Israel will never join forces with another nation against a third nation.
And lastly, believe it or not, Israel is a non expansionist state, in fact it has no appetite or any ideological motivation to expand more than the borders required for its security. Ironically, despite the current hassle with Obama, this makes Israel the most stable state in the region for Americans to rely on.
Netanyahu rightly concluded in his response speech that the Israel-US alliance stems on shared values and hopes and dreams. This unbreakable bond will transcend Obama and his legacy. President-elect Donald Trump, regardless of his awkward style, flaws, and many times unknown and often unpredictable policies is more than welcome to get America back on its feet and claim its place right where it belongs: by Israel’s side.