How R2P might be used against IsraelI've discussed the possible use of R2P ('responsibility to protect') against Israel a couple of times already. R2P is the doctrine behind the current intervention by the 'international community' in Libya. This is probably the simplest scenario for its use against Israel (Hat Tip: Lisa Graas).
Might R2P also be invoked by Israel’s enemies to target the Jewish State in its war of national survival against the Palestinians? This has already become a reality. Michael Rubin, writing at Commentary Contentions, reports that the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arnç said last week, “We wish that the United Nations had made such resolutions and countries had taken action in the face of incidents in Gaza, Palestine and the other regions.”So how do we fight against this? I would say that when we have to go into Gaza (and it's when, not if), we go in quickly, we get everything we can done quickly and then we withdraw quickly, before the UN has a chance to deploy troops against us. I'd guess we have no more than a day or two.
Does this explain the surprising decision of the Arab League to allow for R2P to be invoked for Libyan intervention? Recall that the Arab League, the African Union, and numerous other regional developing world organizations originally opposed the concept of R2P. Could the prospect of a UN intervention in Gaza have encouraged the Arab League to back the Libyan adventure?
Even if it didn’t, you can rest assured that the next time Israel feels compelled to defend itself by going into Gaza and taking out terrorists who are attacking it, the League will be crying out for an international response to the “atrocities.” It will contend that Israel is not living up to its “responsibilities” to protect Palestinians. Such an argument will convince many — especially those who are predisposed to hate Israel in the first place. The US will then be in the unenviable position of being forced to veto such action in the Security Council, opening itself up to charges of hypocrisy.
Would we veto such a resolution? With NSC adviser Samantha Power‘s influence on Obama, it is highly questionable. Power is an avid R2P advocate; her 2002 book on the issue, A Problem from Hell, so affected Obama that he invited Power to join his Senate staff as a foreign policy fellow. She also briefly served on his campaign foreign-policy brain trust.
Power is also credited with influencing the president to adopt R2P as part of his foreign policy. But it is her views on Israel that should concern us most of all. She has a long record of antipathy toward the Jewish State. In a widely scrutinized interview with UC Berkeley’s Institute of International Studies, Power said that “a mammoth protection force” through an “external intervention” were “required” to impose a settlement between Israelis and the Palestinians. Her rather rambling and convoluted statement on the conflict clearly accused Israel of human rights violations, which warranted (R2P) intervention in the same way that the Rwandan genocide did. Such an action “might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import” and would involve sacrificing billions the U.S. spends “servicing” the Israeli military to “invest” in a Palestinian state. Clearly, Power is someone who would readily impose a R2P solution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But with her anti-Israeli disposition so apparent, one shudders to think what this would actually look like.
Read the whole thing.