Twas the night before Hanukkah… and Barack Obama chose the moment to stick it to the Jewish state. He repaid the loyalty of his many Jewish supporters by betraying Israel at the United Nations.
Throughout his administration Obama received the unwavering support of American Jews. And yet, now that it no longer matters, now that he doesn’t need their votes or their funding, he can show what he really believes. Or better, he can show what he learned in two decades at the feet of Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
That’s how Obama repays loyalty.
By all appearances Obama has behaved with the utmost decorum during his years in the White House. People often compare his good behavior with the bad behavior of his successor. And yet, how did it happen that such a genteel president could have presided over a period of widening social divisions? How did Obama divide the nation against itself?
When Obama decided to abstain from a United Nations Security Council Resolution condemning Israeli settlements he broke with decades of American policy and showed us the truth behind the appearance.
When it comes to show, Obama is all for comity and for supporting our friends and allies. When push comes to shove, he lets his pique get the better of him and has decided, when facing his administration’s abysmal failure in the Middle East to do what Rev. Wright taught him: to blame the Jews.
And to punish the Israelis.
It’s not just that the United Nations has declared hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers to be living illegally, it has formally recognized that East Jerusalem, where 200,000 Jews live, is, at the least, up for negotiation.
Some have even suggested that these matters can now be referred to the International Criminal Court.
But, Obama needed to find a scapegoat, because it beats taking responsibility for his own failures.
Compare the Middle East today with the situation that Obama inherited in 2009. Obama turned Iran from a member of the Axis of Evil into a regional hegemon, capable of funding terrorism against Israelis and on the road to possession of nuclear weapons. Let’s not forget his allowing Iran to humiliate American sailors and to make America look submissive.
As for Syria, what need be said? As we watch the pictures from Aleppo, we see that the United States has been marginalized by Russia in the new peace talks.
And there’s a war in Yemen, a destabilized Iraq—which Obama declared to be completely stable and pacified in 2011—and tattered relationships with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.
And let’s not forget the rise of ISIS, and the invading hordes of refugees who are bringing terrorism to the European continent.
When Obama looks over his handiwork, he does not take any responsibility for what is happening. He prefers to blame it all on Israel. If only the dastardly Israelis had stopped building settlements, none of it would have happened.
Otherwise you can say that Obama is just settling a score, acting on personal pique and certainly not being presidential.
Alan Dershowitz explained:
The outgoing president does not have to listen to Congress or the people. He can selfishly try to burnish his personal legacy at the expense of our national and international interests. He can try to even personal scores and act on pique. That is what seems to be happening here. Congress does not support this resolution; the American people do not support this resolution; no Israeli leader — from the left, to the center, to the right — supports this resolution. Even some members of Obama’s own administration do not support this resolution. But Obama is determined — after 8 years of frustration and failure in bringing together the Israelis and Palestinians — to leave his mark on the mid-East peace process. But if he manages to push this resolution through, his mark may well be the end of any realistic prospect for a negotiated peace.
Thank you, President Obama for completing your 8 years of failed foreign policy with a final blow against, peace, stability, and decency.
This may feel simplistic, but Obama’s inaction at the United Nations yesterday, rewarding Palestinians for their campaign of terrorism against Israeli amounts to little else than blame shifting. Certainly, it counts as anti-Semitism.
Agence France-Presse reported:
Michael Oren, the deputy minister for diplomacy in the premier's officer and a former Israeli envoy to Washington, said he saw the resolution as "a lot like anti-Semitism".
"Of all the conflicts in the world, just one party's being singled out, and that's the Jewish party," said Oren.
While there are still a few holdout American Democrats who will defend Obama while he is backstabbing Israel, most American Jewish Democrats found his abstention yesterday to be abhorrent.
Among them Sen. Charles Schumer, who denounced Obama’s abstention in the strongest terms. Considering the effect Obama’s betrayal will have on relations between Jews and the Democratic Party, one is obliged to note that Schumer-- and other Jewish Democrats-- apparently had no power to influence Obama’s decision. Apparently, Jewish votes do not matter. Which is strange indeed. Otherwise one would take the more cynical approach and say that Schumer spoke out forcefully in order to give himself some cover with his own constituents.
In Israel all politicians oppposed the Obama abstention. The Wall Street Journal reported:
In Israel, the U.S. decision to abstain and allow passage was met with widespread disapproval. “There is wall-to-wall agreement within Israeli society that this is a dangerous and harmful step and won’t promote peace in any way,” said Yair Lapid, the head of the opposition Yesh Atid party. “A decision like this will provide a tailwind for terror and violence, it won’t advance negotiations.”
It feels exceptionally naïve to think that the Palestinians have any interest in negotiating with a nation whose legitimacy they refuse to accept. Yesterday’s resolution will enhance the international community’s ability to marginalize and to harass Israel.
The Wall Street Journal editorialized:
Instead, the resolution will live on as Barack Obama’s cat’s paw, offering support in every European capital, international institution and U.S. university campus to bully Israel with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
Dershowitz added some other problems that the Resolution creates:
…a Security Council resolution declaring the 1967 border to be sacrosanct and any building behind those boarders to be illegal would make it impossible for Palestinian leaders to accept less in a negotiation.… And a Security Council resolution siding with the Palestinians would give the Palestinians the false hope that they could get a state through the United Nations without having to make painful sacrifices.
In other terms, the United Nations has just told the Palestinians that terrorism pays.
One understands that the Resolution cannot be undone. So, now Republicans and the incoming Trump administration are marshalling their forces to counterattack. Donald Trump has already tweeted that, on January 20 a new sheriff will be in charge.
The Journal editorialized:
House Speaker Paul Ryan called the Administration’s action “shameful.” Senator Lindsey Graham said he will form a bipartisan coalition to suspend or reduce U.S. financial support for the U.N. That should proceed.
Dershowitz recommended this:
Congress can ameliorate the impact of this destructive resolution by enacting a statute declaring that the resolution does not represent the United States’ policy, which is that peace will not come through the United Nations but only by direct negations between the parties. The law should also prohibit any United States funds to be spent directly or indirectly in support of this Security Council resolution. I suspect that the incoming president will be willing to sign such a law.
And Sen. Ted Cruz offered this:
Every Obama foreign policy official should be ashamed of today's UN resolution, and any official who disagrees with or hopes to avoid the anti-Israel legacy of this Administration should resign on principle today.
I also emphatically second the call of my colleague Sen. Lindsey Graham that the consequences of this disgraceful UN resolution should be severe. I look forward to working with Sen. Graham, and with the incoming Administration of President-elect Trump, to 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. For those who have put your name to this despicable attack on Israel, you did so with full knowledge of the consequences of your actions.
And for those who acquiesced or facilitated the UN resolution--especially President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and Ambassador Power--history will record your abiding and shameful legacy undermining our friend and ally Israel. I am hopeful at least some Senate Democrats will choose to repudiate your anti-Israel actions, and I am grateful that the new Administration has committed to once again restoring our strong and unequivocal support for the Nation of Israel.
And you were worried about Steve Bannon, formerly of the strongly pro-Israel site—Breitbart.com.
Here is the way Breitbart reported the story:
President Barack Obama set the tone for his future attitude toward Israel during his infamous June 4, 2009, speech at Cairo University, where he claimedthe Palestinians suffer “daily humiliations — large and small — that come with occupation,” and referred to Palestinian terrorism as “resistance through violence and killing.”
Obama would go on to warm to the anti-Israel, anti-Western Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt; repeatedly single out Israeli settlement activity for criticism; and ink a nuclear deal with Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, an agreement that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to as a threat to Israel’s security.
The text of the resolution repeatedly and wrongly refers to the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem as “Palestinian territory occupied since 1967.” This fraudulent language technically places the Western Wall and Temple Mount plaza under the “Palestinian territory” qualification.
In actuality, the Palestinians never had a state in either the West Bank or eastern Jerusalem, and they are not legally recognized as the undisputed authority in those areas.
Jordan occupied and annexed the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem from 1948 until Israel captured the lands in a defensive war in 1967 after Arab countries used the territories to launch attacks against the Jewish state. In 1988 Jordan officially renounced its claims to the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.
The text of the resolution declares that the Israeli settlement enterprise has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”
It calls for Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”