The Associated Press called it “a striking rupture with past practice.” But it was more than that. It was an intentional slap in the face to Israel, President Elect Donald Trump, and all prior presidents who had manfully resisted the recent UN declaration made possible by lame-duck President Barack Obama’s decision to abstain from a UN Council vote that condemns Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as a “flagrant violation of international law.”
Mr. Obama’s decision to abstain from the council’s 14-0 vote, the AP reported, “is one of the biggest American rebukes of its longstanding ally in recent memory. And it could have significant ramifications for the Jewish state, potentially hindering Israel's negotiating position in future peace talks. Given the world's widespread opposition to settlements, the action will be almost impossible for anyone, including Trump, to reverse.”
Following the abrupt reversal of longstanding American policy towards Israel and its numerous enemies in the Middle East, “Israel’s government publicly accused the Obama administration Sunday of helping create and push the recently passed United Nations resolution condemning settlement activity,” according to a Fox News report.
A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, David Keyes, dropped the anvil on the Obama administration: “We have rather ironclad information from sources in both the Arab world and internationally that this was a deliberate push by the United States and in fact they helped create the resolution in the first place.”
Information supplied to Israel through its various sources has been far more reliable than the laundered data fed to the American media by Obama operatives, many of whom are concerned with burnishing the legacy of departing president.
At first taken by surprise, the response from Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu was typically straight forward:
“Israel categorically rejects the despicable anti-Israeli resolution at the UN, and will not adhere to it. While the Security Council does nothing to prevent the massacre of half a million people in Syria, it is shamefully singling out Israel — the only democracy in the Middle East. The Obama administration not only failed to defend Israel from this harassment at the UN, it cooperated with it behind the scenes.”
And the usual corners of the Obama campaign boxing ring are no longer crowded with reliable Democratic congressmen.
Connecticut U.S. Senator Dick Mr. Blumenthal, who fulsomely supported Obama’s ruinous deal with Iran, issued a demurral, while patting himself gently on the back:
“Support for Israel on this issue has been and will continue to be strongly bipartisan. Consistent with past policy, this Administration must now veto this most recent misguided and one-sided attempt backed by the Palestinian Authority to isolate Israel and weaken the peace process. The draft United Nations resolution directly contradicts the Senate resolution I authored – and passed unanimously last year – condemning Palestinian terrorism and calling on all parties to return to the negotiating table immediately and without preconditions. Direct discussions remain the best avenue to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This United Nations resolution would undermine, if not undo, the chances for productive discussions between the two sides.”
US Senator Chuck Schumer recorded for posterity his own dismay: “It is extremely frustrating, disappointing and confounding that the administration has failed to veto this resolution. Its actions will move us further from peace in the Middle East."
Both Mr. Blumenthal and Mr. Schumer, whose frustration wires are intimately connected, are prominent American Jews, and both, presumably, have an abiding interest in the survival of Israel.
The mischievous U.N. resolution will, in fact, render less possible what has been called a “two party” resolution of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians in Israel. The United Nations, many of whose members are concerned only with measures that weaken the state of Israel, is not, and never has been, a disinterested player. Israelis and Palestinians living in peace in Israel both know that peace will not abide in the absence of a two party solution that does not disturb the present, largely peaceful accord between Israelis and Palestinians residing in the state of Israel. Any accord that assures both the dignity of Palestinians and the survival of Israel as a state is endangered by outside forces bent on the destruction of Israel and the subordination of Palestinians living in Israel who do not wish to be forcibly inducted into the prolonged war on western civilization now roiling in the Middle East – and places in Europe that have welcomed the orphans of war and the terrorist scorpions tucked among them.
Mr. Blumenthal’s recent concern with “consistent past policy” in an administration that has rather too consistently thumbed its nose at friendly nations in the Middle East, while slyly supplying through back doors, without the affirmation of Congress, hidden support to the traditional enemies of the United States, is just too touching for words. One paper noted archly that Mr. Blumenthal had agreed with President Elect Donald Mr. Trump on the veto issue. One wonders if Mr. Blumenthal and Mr. Schumer will as ardently support a measure proposed by Lindsey Graham and supported by Mr. Trump that will “significantly reduce or even eliminate U.S. funding of the United Nations, and also to seriously reconsider financial support for the nations that supported this resolution."
Support for such a measure will place both Democrats in a Republican camp that has rarely wavered in its support of Israel. Behind the barricades, they will find themselves fighting on the side of Netanyahu and – horrors! -- Ted Cruz, who tweeted on Friday, the day preceding Hanukkah, “Spoke w/ Israeli PM @netanyahu tonight to wish him Happy Chanukah & assure him of strong support in Congress. No US $ for UN until reversed.”