Susan Rice’s Illegitimate U.N. Folly
To call the performance of the Obama administration at the UN, through Ambassador Susan Rice, “folly” would be far, far too kind.
Mahmoud Abbas, despite repeated U.S. requests, insisted on pressing for a U.N. Security Council resolution declaring Israeli settlement construction “illegal.” The U.S. vetoed the resolution.
Standing in isolation, all was good.
But the fact is that the U.S. was all too happy to sign onto a Presidential Statement from the President of the Security Council denouncing the “illegitimacy” of Israeli settlements. This proposed compromise was rejected by Abbas, despite a phone call from Obama. The U.S. was willing to throw Israel under the bus, but not all the way; throwing our friends only half-way under the bus is what passes for standing by our friends these days.
But it was far worse. The statement made by Susan Rice immediately after the vote was outrageously one-sided, the type of pandering to the worst elements in the world which has become a pattern for Obama’s foreign policy (emphasis mine):
Our opposition to the resolution before this Council today should therefore not be misunderstood to mean we support settlement activity. On the contrary, we reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity. For more than four decades, Israeli settlement activity in territories occupied in 1967 has undermined Israel’s security and corroded hopes for peace and stability in the region. Continued settlement activity violates Israel’s international commitments, devastates trust between the parties, and threatens the prospects for peace…
While we agree with our fellow Council members—and indeed, with the wider world—about the folly and illegitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, we think it unwise for this Council to attempt to resolve the core issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians. We therefore regrettably have opposed this draft resolution.
In the telescopic view of the Obama administration, more than 60 years of Arab rejectionism means nothing.
The rejection of the 1947 U.N. partition plan never happened; the war to drive the Jews into the sea never happened; the terrorist attacks on Israel prior to 1967 never happened; the rejection of multiple attempts at territorial compromise during the Clinton administration never happened; the deliberate launch of “intifadas” after Israel proposed compromise never happened; Hamas in Gaza never happened; dozens of suicide bombings killing hundreds of Israelis never happened; continued anti-Semitic propaganda throughout the Palestinian territories never happened; and I could go on and on.
No, the only thing the Obama administration deemed worthy of condemning in Amb. Rice’s statement was Israeli settlement activity.
What precisely is a settlement? When Israeli Jews build homes in Hebron, those are condemned as settlements. But never mentioned is the fact that there was an 800-year old Jewish community in Hebron which was driven out by Arab riots in 1929, almost two decades before the creation of Israel. And of course, the entire Palestinian national identity was a creation of the 1960s; until the 1967 war, the West Bank was part of Jordan and Gaza was controlled by Egypt.
Almost everyone recognizes that there will have to be some sort of territorial compromise, but the Obama administration’s actions in trying to force Israel back to the precise and indefensible 1967 borders is a prescription for disaster. The Palestinians have shown almost no willingness to compromise over the course of more than half a century.
Palestinian rejectionism, which continues to this day, is the problem, and Amb. Rice should have said so. Or at least balanced her criticisms of Israel with the recognition that the settlements did not happen in a vacuum.
Jennifer Rubin has it right:
Sure, the U.N. once again has proven itself to be a hot-bed of anti-Israel rhetoric. But let’s be clear what really happened this week. The U.S. representative, while reluctantly casting a veto, joined the pack of jackals that seek to make Israel the culprit for all that ills the Middle East. Shouldn’t THAT be the headline?
The actions of this administration, by joining the pack of jackals, were the real illegitimate folly.
Update: Carl in Jerusalem asks, Where is the American Jewish community?, accompanied by an appropriate graphic. The unfortunate fact is that to many American liberal Jews, love of Obama exceeds love of Zion, and the farther left one goes the wider the gap grows. Get used to it.
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44 years. It's been 44 years and we still let the so-called media to call this land 'occupied territories'. Why? Does England still call New York an 'occupied territory' no. Israel fought a war and won. Unfortunately, american jews let this go on and on, supporting Obama and keeping quiet about the ambassadors foot-in-mouth disease.
Why is it, that with clear facts that there are many more friends of Israel and Jews on Americas right than left, jewish leaders still can't stop pulling that democratic lever? If jewish americans look carefully, they will find a million or so reasons to stop supporting failed left-liberal-union loving politicians.
Every other immigrant group entering the US moved to the right as they became rooted to this country, improved their education and their incomes. They became businessmen, republicans, even conservatives. I can see nothing to be gained for the cause of Israel by american Jews clinging to the liberal democrats. As long as Obama thinks he's got jewish support he will continue with his appeasement policies as other presidents have before him. The UN is not the only group that needs a change….
Just one objection to the original post.
"Almost no willingness to compromise."
Almost? Find even one example.
Obama's foreign policy: sign onto and support a Rice, even if she's the wrong one. What does spilt morality matter as long as the name is spelt right?
If you read Dinesh D'Souza's book The Roots of Obama's Rage and Stanley Kurtz's book Radical-in-Chief you will understand Obama and why this administration is what it is. Very clearly.
I seem to recall when Ms. Rice was made ambassador there were questions about her views on Israel, in particular. I would love to know more about her background. She is proving to be a very useful tool (or is it useful idiot?) for this administration.
I hope that now that "swing block" of Jewish voters will vote AGAINST Obama in 2012.
Rice is neither tool nor idiot. She is pursuing her real beliefs as part of an Administration of like-minded people.
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