* “Obama breaks with decades of U.S. policy to declare Western Wall ‘Occupied Territory’ at the UN.”
* This isn’t about settlement policy. This is about totally biased resolutions that increase Palestinian intransigence and make peace far less likely.
ADL AND TRUMP UNITE TO CONDEMN OBAMA FOR ANTI-ISRAEL MOVE
[Note by Tom Gross]
The left-leaning Anti-Defamation League (ADL), run by a former Obama aide and Obama loyalist Jonathan Greenblatt, within the last few minutes has issued a fierce attack on President Obama for his failure to veto a highly biased UN resolution passed against Israel this afternoon.
“We are outraged over the U.S. failure to veto this biased and unconstructive UNSC resolution on Israel,” said Greenblatt. “This resolution will do little to renew peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians. It will only encourage further Palestinian intransigence vis-à-vis direct negotiations with Israel in favor of unilateral, one-sided initiatives.”
And within 5 minutes of the anti-Israel UN resolution today, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump tweeted: “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20.”
“FOR SEAN PENN, MAYBE”
The ADL press release is below. But before that is a piece for Tablet magazine by Lee Smith which went online a short time ago.
In it, Smith writes:
“The Obama Administration’s abstention isn’t just about Israel or bilateral relations with a vital partner in a key region. It’s also about the prestige of the United States and its power – the power, for instance, undergirding international institutions like the United Nations. Consider how the Obama Administration has used the UN the last several years – to legalize the nuclear program of Iran, a state sponsor of terror, and make it illegal for Jews to build in their historical homeland. In Turtle Bay, the White House partners with sclerotic socialist kleptocracies like Venezuela in order to punish allies, like Israel. Is this American moral leadership? For Sean Penn, maybe...”
“What matters is dismantling the alliance system that has kept America and much of the rest of the world secure in favor of a new system of the President’s own devising, in which the U.S. partners with Iran and stands idly by while 500,000 civilians are massacred in Syria, and Russia and China launch cyber-attacks targeting key U.S. institutions without fear of retribution or reprisal – actions that are reserved only for America’s friends.”
OBAMA BREAKS WITH DECADES OF U.S. POLICY TO DECLARE WESTERN WALL ‘OCCUPIED TERRITORY’ AT THE UN
Obama Breaks With Decades of U.S. Policy to Declare Western Wall ‘Occupied Territory’ at the UN
The lame-duck president is dismantling the alliance system that has kept America and much of the rest of the world secure
By Lee Smith
December 23, 2016
This afternoon several non-permanent members of the UN Security Council will submit a resolution that declares all settlements illegal under international law and demands that the country cease construction in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and other territories captured in the 1967 Middle East war. There is nothing new about such wildly unbalanced resolutions at the UN, of course – except this time, the Obama Administration will reportedly refrain from using the U.S. veto and will rather abstain from the vote, breaking with decades of American statesmanship that has protected its strategic Middle East ally from the legal consequences of UN rhetoric.
The resolution was authored by Egypt, which shelved the draft after the Netanyahu government reached out to the transition team of President-elect Donald Trump, which then pressured Cairo to drop the resolution. Venezuela, Malaysia, Senegal, and New Zealand say that if Egypt doesn’t push forward, they will. The resolution will permanently enshrine as a matter of international law that the Western Wall is “occupied Palestinian territory,” and that Jews building homes in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem is illegal. One prominent member of the pro-Israel community in Washington called the resolution “a nuclear bomb.”
The Obama Administration is already briefing friendly press organizations that they’re showing no animus toward the Jewish state in refusing to veto the resolution. Rather, it’s “tough love”: for an Israel that seems not to have the will or vision to take chances for peace.
That’s not how Israel sees it. As a senior Israeli official in Jerusalem told Tablet: “President Obama and Secretary Kerry are behind this shameful move against Israel at the UN. The US administration secretly cooked up with the Palestinians an extreme anti Israeli resolution behind Israel’s back which would be a tailwind for terror and boycotts and effectively make the Western Wall occupied Palestinian territory. President Obama could declare his willingness to veto this resolution in an instant but instead is pushing it. This is an abandonment of Israel which breaks decades of US policy of protecting Israel at the UN and undermines the prospects of working with the next administration of advancing peace.”
In a sense, the UN vote is a perfect bookend to Obama’s Presidency. A man who came to office promising to put “daylight” between the United States and Israel, has done exactly that by breaking with decades of American policy. It is also seeking – contrary to established tradition and practice, which strictly prohibit such lame-duck actions – to tie the hands of the next White House, which has already made its pro-Israel posture clear.
No doubt that many of those critical of the U.S.-Israel relationship will defend and applaud the administration’s action, even as the effects of the resolution are obscene. So what if it enshrines in international law the fact that Jews can’t build homes or have sovereign access to their holy sites in Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish people for more than 3000 years? Israel, as Kerry said, is too prosperous to care about peace with the Palestinians. Maybe some hardship will shake some sense into the Jewish State – which after all, could easily have made a just and secure peace with the Palestinian leadership at any time over the past two decades, if that’s what it wanted to do. Accounts to the contrary, from Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, say, or left-wing Israeli politicians like former Prime Minister Ehud Barak and the late Shimon Peres, are simply propaganda generated by the pro-Israel Lobby, whose wings the President has thankfully clipped.
But the Obama Administration’s abstention isn’t just about Israel or bilateral relations with a vital partner in a key region. It’s also about the prestige of the United States and its power – the power, for instance, undergirding international institutions like the United Nations. Consider how the Obama Administration has used the UN the last several years – to legalize the nuclear program of Iran, a state sponsor of terror, and make it illegal for Jews to build in their historical homeland. In Turtle Bay, the White House partners with sclerotic socialist kleptocracies like Venezuela in order to punish allies, like Israel. Is this American moral leadership? For Sean Penn, maybe.
Israel is likely to profess not to care that much about the actions of a lame-duck President in a forum that has long been famous for its antipathy to the Jewish State. But in private, Israeli officials are said to be panicking at the fresh gust of wind that the President Obama has blown into the sails of the BDS movement, especially in Europe.
Also panicking are Democratic members of Congress whose re-election prospects in 2018 may have just been sacrificed by the departing leader of their Party. Democratic Senator and reputed Presidential hopeful Sherrod Brown of Ohio, a J Street favorite who is up for re-election in 2018 in a state that Donald Trump won by a 9 percent margin, showed the extent of his own distress on Friday by issuing a statement opposing a U.S. abstention. That statement read in part: “Earlier this fall I joined Senate colleagues urging the Administration to uphold its position opposing one-sided resolutions at the U.N. Security Council regarding Israel. Any lasting peace must be negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians, not imposed by the international community.”
Whether issuing such statements will be enough to keep swing-state Jewish voters and other pro-Israel Democrats in line in 2018 remains to be seen – but clearly, the health of the Democratic Party, which lost over 1000 officeholders during Obama’s tenure, is hardly the first thing on the President’s mind, either. What matters is dismantling the alliance system that has kept America and much of the rest of the world secure in favor of a new system of the President’s own devising, in which the U.S. partners with Iran and stands idly by while 500,000 civilians are massacred in Syria, and Russia and China launch cyber-attacks targeting key U.S. institutions without fear of retribution or reprisal – actions that are reserved only for America’s friends.
ADL CONDEMNS U.S. FAILURE TO VETO BIASED SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION AGAINST ISRAEL
ADL Condemns U.S. Failure to Veto Biased Security Council Resolution Against Israel
New York, NY, December 23, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned the passage of a United Nations Security Council resolution that holds Israel and its settlement policy “in the West Bank and East Jerusalem” responsible for the lack of progress on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. ADL stated that it was outraged with the U.S. failure to veto this “biased and unconstructive” resolution, which only further complicates efforts to renew trust and restart peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians.
The resolution, which initially had been introduced and then postponed by Egypt, was reintroduced today by New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal. It effectively blames the current impasse on Israel, pointing out specific Israeli policies as responsible for “imperiling the two-State solution” while only referring to other issues, including terrorism and violence, in a generic, unspecific manner. The resolution passed with a vote of 14-0, with the U.S. abstaining.
Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:
We are outraged over the U.S. failure to veto this biased and unconstructive UNSC resolution on Israel. This resolution will do little to renew peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians. It will only encourage further Palestinian intransigence vis-à-vis direct negotiations with Israel in favor of unilateral, one-sided initiatives.
We know that Israeli settlement activity is of concern to the U.S. and many members of the international community and are pleased that Ambassador Samantha Power recognized the centrality of other issues obstructing the peace process, including Palestinian incitement and a complete unwillingness to engage in bilateral negotiations. However, we are incredibly disappointed that the U.S. still chose not to exercise its veto power and stop this resolution at the Security Council.
The Obama Administration repeatedly stated that a solution to the conflict cannot be imposed on the parties but must be achieved directly by the parties themselves. It is deeply troubling that this biased resolution appears to be the final word of the Administration on this issue.
ADL previously called on the U.S. to veto the Egyptian resolution, and made a similar request in a letter to Ambassador Power. In November, ADL urged U.S. restraint at expected action at the Security Council.
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