After the US Elections, Will Obama Betray Israel at the UN?
Wikileaks recently exposed an email, written by former White House official Stuart Eisenstadt, which discussed the Obama administration’s deteriorating relationship with Israel. The email warned, “There is a distinct possibility that the Administration may seek a new UN Security Council Resolution embodying the two-state, with [pre-] 1967 lines and agreed land swaps, and some vague statements about Jerusalem.”
Is this possible? Is President Barack Obama intending to abandon the bipartisan US policy of vetoing anti-Israel UN Security Council resolutions? Specifically, is Obama preparing to permit the UN Security Council to pass a resolution supporting or recognizing a Palestinian Arab state, and declaring Jewish communities built within it to be illegal?
The signs that this is indeed true are numerous. President Obama is laying the groundwork to rationalize, and make palatable and understandable that he may take unprecedented unilateral action against Israel. Consider:
- On September 9, 2016, Obama’s State Department wrongly criticized Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s valid and accurate explanation that the Palestinian Arab leadership’s repeated demand for a state with “no Jews” constituted “ethnic cleansing.”
- On October 5, 2016, Obama’s State Department “strongly condemned” Israel for approving plans to build 98 apartment units within the existing Jewish community of Shiloh in Samaria, for Jews who will be forcibly evicted from their homes in Amona. The State Department falsely claimed that Israel was approving a “significant new West Bank Settlement,” and that this undermined a two-state solution and “called into question Israel’s commitment to achieving a negotiated peace.”
- The State Department’s October 5 condemnation also stated: “With regard to the UN Security Council and any action at the UN, our position hasn’t changed. We’re always concerned, frankly, about one-sided resolutions or other actions that could be taken within the UN, and we’re always going to oppose those kinds of resolutions that we believe delegitimize … Israel and undermine its security. But we’re going to carefully consider our future engagement, if and when we reach that point, and determine how to most effectively pursue and advance the objective that we all at least claim to share, which is that of achieving a negotiated two-state solution” [emphasis added].
- Shockingly, that same day, someone in the Obama administration may have questioned whether Israel was a “friend” to the United States. White House spokesman Josh Ernest reiterated the State Department’s unfounded criticism of Israel, wrongly stating, “We did receive public assurances from Israel that contradict this announcement, I guess when we’re talking about how good friends treat one another, that’s a source of serious concern as well.”
- After the October 5 condemnation, the same “echo chamber” method that Obama aide Ben Rhodes boasted of using to promote the Iran deal — namely, using the media to promote the Administration’s agenda — was in full swing. A New York Times article quoted former Obama administration peace negotiator Martin Indyk as saying: “At a certain point … the Administration may well decide that there needs to be consequences for what it now sees as an effort to close off the two-state solution.”
- On October 6, a New York Times editorial entitled “At the Boiling Point With Israel,” parroted the State Department’s false accusations against Israel, and called for Mr. Obama to “lead the Security Council to put its authority behind a resolution to support a two-state solution.”
- During his September 30 speech eulogizing Shimon Peres, Obama falsely implied that Israel is “enslaving” Palestinian Arabs. Obama quoted the left-wing Peres as saying, “The Jewish people weren’t born to rule another people,” and “we are against slaves and masters.” Obama also called Israeli’s founding “flawed.”
- Later the same day, after the White House official transcript of Obama’s eulogy listed “Jerusalem, Israel” as the speech’s and burial’s location, the White House crossed out “Israel.”
In sum, there are good reasons to believe that the ground is being prepared for a major change of US policy, and major US betrayal of Israel.
Obama’s refusal to veto a potential UN Resolution unilaterally establishing or laying out borders for a Palestinian Arab state would sabotage any chance of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and peace.
As President Lyndon Johnson wisely said: “We are not the ones to say where other nations should draw lines between them that will assure each the greatest security…[L]ines must be agreed to by the neighbors involved.”
Congress can and should play a decisive role here: it can pass legislation mandating a cut-off of US funding for the UN and/or the Palestinian Authority if the Obama administration permits a Palestinian state resolution to pass in the Security Council. This resolution would endanger the one, tiny Jewish state in the world, and its eight million inhabitants.
Morton A. Klein is the President of the Zionist Organization of America.