Obama throws Israel under the busShavua tov, a good week, once again. Unlike the two previous posts and the two following posts, all of which I prepared before the Sabbath, this one is more or less live.
The United States vetoed the 'Palestinian'-sponsored UN Security Council resolution. But the Obama administration did not miss the opportunity to slam Israel anyway.
In explaining her veto, US Ambassador Susan E. Rice said the vote should not be misunderstood as support for settlement activity.Rice was not alone. Shortly before the UN vote, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told ABC's Christiane Amanpour that Israeli 'settlements' are 'illegitimate' (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
“On the contrary, we reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity,” she declared. “Continued settlement activity violates Israel’s international commitments, devastates trust between the parties, and threatens the prospects for peace…
“Every potential action must be measured against one overriding standard: will it move the parties closer to negotiations and an agreement? Unfortunately, this draft resolution risks hardening the positions of both sides. It could encourage the parties to stay out of negotiations and, if and when they did resume, to return to the Security Council whenever they reach an impasse.”
In an exclusive interview with "This Week" anchor Christiane Amanpour taped on Friday afternoon, Clinton said, "I think it is absolutely clear to say, number one, that it's been American policy for many years that settlements were illegitimate and it is the continuing goal and highest priority of the Obama administration to keep working toward a two-state solution with both Israelis and Palestinians."Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney got it right in this piece in National Review (Hat Tip: Memeorandum) in which he tears apart the idea of a UN Security Council 'Presidential statement,' which the US offered as a 'compromise' earlier in the week.
In December 2010, Clinton took a similarly harsh line against continued Israeli settlements.
"We do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity," she said in a speech at the Brookings Institution. "We believe their continued expansion is corrosive not only to peace efforts and two-state solution, but to Israel's future itself."
For one thing, the U.N. condemnation put forward by the president puts Israel, our closest ally in the region, in an untenable position. In exchange for peace, previous Israeli governments offered radical border concessions, surrendering most of the West Bank and even portions of Jerusalem. In 2005, the government of Ariel Sharon withdrew from the Gaza Strip, uprooting thousands of its own citizens. Yet all such proposals and steps toward peace have been met by Palestinian rejection, by intifadas, by suicide bombings, and by Qassam rocket fire. Isolated more than ever in the region, Israel must now contend with the fact that its principal backer in the world, the United States, is seeking to ingratiate itself with Arab opinion at its expense. Will an increasingly tenuous relationship with the U.S., at the very moment when it is becoming more vulnerable, encourage Israel to be as flexible as it has in the past, or the reverse? The answer is clear.Finally, there's this from Anne Bayefsky (which I also received by email).
For another thing, even on its own terms of supposedly promoting the Arab-Israeli peace process, this is not a step forward but a step back. By taking up and embracing a core Palestinian demand, as the president has done repeatedly on this issue over the past two years, the United States is removing incentives for the Palestinians to parley with Israel at all. They are induced to believe that they can simply wait until their demands are handed to them on a silver platter by Washington. The administration’s contemplated compromise in the U.N. thus would punish Israel and reward Palestinian intransigence.
The harm wrought by the Obama administration’s diplomatic decisionmaking is doubly driven home by the fact that it is taking place in that chamber of double-standards, the United Nations. For decades the U.N. has been the epicenter of the worldwide campaign to delegitimize Israel, a campaign that has often devolved into naked anti-Semitism. Democratic and Republican administrations alike have long resisted this vicious business. It was Daniel Patrick Moynihan who in 1975 denounced the U.N.’s “Zionism Equals Racism” resolution as an obscenity, and it was Pres. George H. W. Bush who in 1991 won its repeal. The Obama administration is abysmally remiss in departing from our proud tradition of standing by a democratic ally when the world’s most unsavory regimes gang up on it.
To understand just how evil the scene is, it is necessary to talk about what happened to Lara Logan. The CBS reporter was in Cairo last week covering the aftermath of the overthrow of Mubarak, when she was brutally sexually assaulted by democracy-celebrating Egyptians heard yelling “Jew, Jew.” It does not matter that she wasn’t Jewish. It does matter that the hatred and anti-Semitism which runs so deep among the masses screaming for tolerance, for everybody but Jews, is precisely what is driving the diplomatic mobs at the UN. Ganging up on Israel at the UN Security Council is an ugly and contemptible scene.Read the whole thing.
Iranians are rioting today against a vicious government that stones women for alleged adultery, murders homosexuals for the crime of existing, amputates limbs by judicial decree, brutalizes anyone wanting free speech, and is currently holding two Americans hostage for hiking. Is there a Security Council resolution in the works on the dying and the dead in Iran? Bahrain? Libya? Tunisia? Egypt? Algeria? Not the slightest possibility.
The only thing on the table at the UN is a statement that it is illegal for any Jew to live on any land that is claimed by Palestinian Arabs. Not only is this a racist recipe for an apartheid Palestine, it is also a direct violation of the American and UN-sponsored “Middle East Roadmap.” The Roadmap states that the settlement issue will not be finally resolved until final status negotiations – “Phase III:… a final, permanent status resolution . . . on borders, Jerusalem, refugees, settlements.” This Security Council resolution is intended to take the settlements issue off the table and pre-determine the outcome without having to negotiate or actually live with Jewish neighbors.
It is a familiar pattern. The Obama administration has repeatedly used the UN to do its diplomatic dirty work of backstabbing an ally while assuring voters of the reverse. Last May, it agreed to Arab demands to hold Israel up as the world’s gravest nuclear threat at a major 2012 international meeting. Last August, it foisted upon Israel a UN Secretary-General investigation over nine Turkish extremists killed on a boat while attempting to pave the way for an Iranian port on the Mediterranean. In 2009, it joined the UN Human Rights Council, the most notorious anti-Israel UN body of them all, immediately lending it undeserved credibility. And it is still refusing to pull out of the UN’s latest “anti-racism” bash known as Durban III — scheduled for New York City in September — though demonizing the Jewish state is the meeting’s raison d’etre.
Last week UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay held a news conference in Jerusalem to make it clear that her first priority was to condemn Israelis for building and living, not Arab states for destroying and killing.
There is an evil administration blowing an evil wind from Washington. All we can do is take cover, and hope and pray that 2012 yields better results.