At 2:20PM Friday afternoon, the anti-Israel team of Barack Obama & John Kerry directed UN Ambassador Samantha Power to abstain rather than veto an anti-Israel resolution in the UN Security Council. Since the abstention allowed the resolution to pass, the Obama action had the same effect as an anti-Israel UN Vote.
Not only did the Obama directed action in the anti-Israel UN vote give the Palestinians a free pass to continue to avoid negotiations, and it locks Israel into the 1948 Armistice line and declares Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem occupied Palestinian land. As Security Council resolutions create international law, this means that the Jewish State’s presence in East Jerusalem, commonly known as the “Jewish Quarter” is illegal. This absurd action ignores the fact Jews have been living in the “Jewish Quarter” since the time of King David, except for the period of 1948-1967 when Jordan kicked out the Jews and destroyed many of the Jewish holy sites in the “Jewish Quarter.”
The resolution that passed thanks to Obama’s anti-Israel UN Vote also asks UN member states not to use Israeli products that were created in the disputed territories.
New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal were co-sponsors of the draft resolution despite the fact that the original sponsor, Egypt requested the anti-Israel UN vote be delayed indefinitely.
Barack Obama who has proven to be the most anti-Israel president in American history allowed resolution to pass, rather than casting its veto. Then in a cynical move, UN Ambassador Samantha Power who once called for the militarily imposing a peace solution on Israel followed her abstention vote by railing against the United Nations for its anti-Israel bias. She also contended that opposition to the settlements was a bi-partisan position of American Presidents which is not really true.
After the vote, I participated in a conference call that included Ned Price the Spokesperson for the National Security Council, who was joined by Ben Rhodes (who made the claim that he fooled the press to sell-in the Iran deal, and Robert Malley who was made a career of trashing Israel and who’s dad was a close friend to Yasser Arafat.
Mr. Price said the contention in the press, made by an unnamed Israel source that Obama administration was “abandoning Israel” and that the United States was really behind the resolution was totally untrue. He added that no administration has been as supportive of Israel as the Obama administration (that statement was also not true).
Price reiterated Samantha Powers contention about the bi-partisan objection to any settlement building, including those in existing communities. He added that there was a significant up-tic in new housing units in existing and new communities.
The truth is objections to settlement activity has not always been bi-partisan as Mr. Price claims. In a 2009 Wall Street Journal commentary, written Elliot Abrams who served in the Bush #43 administration as deputy national security adviser for Global Democracy Strategy, Mr. Abrams said he negotiated a deal between the U.S. and Israel in which the Jewish State agreed not build any housing units outside the existing communities (no new settlement communities), and the U.S. would not object to the construction in existing communities.
Interestingly, it was only after the Obama administration refused to acknowledge agreement, that the up-tic in housing units began.
In August 2009 Prime Minister Netanyahu announced a ten-month “settlement” freeze. It was approved by the cabinet and implemented on November 25, 2009 and was to run till September 25, 2010. Despite pressure from the United States, the Palestinians refused to join any talks the first 9+ months of the freeze; they did not come to the negotiation table till September 2010, three weeks before the freeze ended.
As the end of the construction halt approached, the US began to negotiate with the Israel to extend the freeze. Based on their experience with Clinton denying the deal negotiated by Elliot Abrams during the Bush Administration, Israel demanded that any proposal be presented in writing, as any they considered any oral deal with Clinton and the Obama administration was worth the paper on which is was printed on.
That written version of the offer never came because Clinton, the Secretary of State wasn’t negotiating in good faith. Instead Ms. Clinton working in conjunction with President Obama was playing “Bait and Switch.”
An Al-Jazeera report on Oct. 11, 2010 revealed that Netanyahu was willing to extend the ten-month settlement freeze he unilaterally implemented, if the Palestinian Authority would recognize Israel as the Jewish State. Netanyahu made a similar offer in May 2011, when he spoke before congress (Israel as the Jewish State was part of the original UN Partition resolution (UN Resolution 181) Both times Palestinian President Abbas rejected the offer outright.
Despite what seemed to be an opening to Obama’s goal of stopping construction, there did not seem to be an administration follow-up to either of Netanyahu offers. But if settlements were such an important issue to President Obama, why was there no follow-up? And why were settlements such a big issue for this Administration anyway? During the Bush 43 reign there was construction and negotiation at the same time. Only after Obama made it an issue did it become an issue for the Palestinians.
It seems as if the Obama Administration has been trying to delegitimize the Jewish State for as long as it’s been in power; ignoring previous US/Israel deals, publicly berating Israel at every opportunity, leaving Israel’s Premier to sit and stew with the Israeli delegation in a White House conference room for an hour because they wouldn’t capitulate to the President’s demands, and even blaming Israel and American Jews for pushing the U.S. into the Iraq war while he was trying to sell-in the disastrous Iran Deal. While this president has criticized Russia for (in his opinion) trying to skew the American election toward Donald Trump, he sent some of his political advisers to Israel and allowed the State Department to spend money, all in an attempt to defeat Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Israel’s most recent election.
With all that in mind, why is anybody surprised that Obama who has proven to be anti-Semitic as well as anti-Israel during his White House tenure, abstained in this UN vote?
Certainly, not Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), he strongly objected to Obama’s anti-Israel UN Vote:
“This is absolutely shameful. Today’s vote is a blow to peace that sets a dangerous precedent for further diplomatic efforts to isolate and demonize Israel. Our unified Republican government will work to reverse the damage done by this administration, and rebuild our alliance with Israel.”
In a very rare move, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who will be the senate minority leader in January, making him the most powerful Democrat in the federal government voiced his displeasure of the action by the president of his own party, abstaining in the anti-Israel UN Vote
“It is extremely frustrating, disappointing and confounding that the Administration has failed to veto this resolution. Whatever one’s views are on settlements; the U.N. is the wrong forum to settle these issues. The U.N. has been a fervently anti-Israel body since the days of ‘Zionism is racism’ and, unfortunately, that fervor has never diminished. Knowing this, past Administrations – both Democrat and Republican have protected Israel from the vagaries of this biased institution. Unfortunately, this Administration has not followed in that path and its actions will move us further from peace in the Middle East.”
It is no surprise that this president abstained in this anti-Israel vote, allowing it to to be passed by the UN Security Council with less than a month left in his administration. Like the Arctic Drilling ban announced earlier this week, Friday’s UN action is not easily un-done by the Trump administration. The only way to overturn a UN Security Council resolution is another UN Security Council resolution. Since Russia and China each have a veto, it is very unlikely that will happen.
Obama vetoed a similar Security Council resolution about a year ago. But there is a major difference between the two votes. This vote occurred after the Presidential election and almost two years before the mid-term elections. Obama is cynically counting on the fact that the major Jewish donors to the Democratic Party, as well as the traditional Democratic voting bloc of Jewish voters will forget this action before the next election.
Sadly he is probably correct