The UN Votes to Expel 400,000 Jews. Now What?
The UN Security Council vote, made possible by the Obama Administration’s historic decision to abstain, has effectively nullified the Oslo Accords, which were premised on direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
By short-circuiting direct talks on the most complicated of the “final status” issues — the fate of 400,000 Israelis residing over the Green Line — the UN’s condemnation of settlements is simultaneously a vote of support for the Palestinian narrative.
As such, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has been given the green light to pursue his policy of making the West Bank “Judenrein.”
How should the Israeli government proceed?
On the Right, Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennet used the news to push for de facto annexation of large parts of the West Bank. On the Left, opposition leader Isaac Herzog called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign, while Tzipi Livni said that the anti-settlement resolution was a direct result of the Right’s proposed Regulation Bill, which aims to legalize thousands of Jewish homes in the West Bank.
For his part, Netanyahu responded quickly and vigorously to the vote, ordering a halt in funding to five UN institutions that are especially hostile toward Israel. In addition, Bibi vowed to have UN Security Council Resolution 2334 revoked in the same way that the 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism was ultimately rescinded.
But do implied threats to reassess Israel’s ties to the United Nations best serve the interests of the Jewish state?
Rather than work to mend diplomatic fences or engage in brinksmanship with Security Council members, Israel should expose the United Nations for what it is: a hypocritical den of thugs who routinely ignore the most egregious human rights crimes around the world. Israel should also respond by immediately renegotiating all its bilateral trade deals with the Security Council members that either supported or abstained on Resolution 2334.
While the idea of strong-arming China may seem implausible, let’s not forget that the government in Beijing, similar to the leaders of other regional powers, is actively seeking to transform the country into a knowledge- and intellectual property-based economy. And in a world where innovation and technology are key economic drivers, Israel has emerged as a crucial factor in the global economy. While some may point to the passage of Resolution 2334 as proof of Israel’s growing international isolation, 2016 was a record year for mostly foreign investments in Israel’s high tech companies, with nearly $5 billion invested.
Lastly, no one can deny that there is indeed a humanitarian crisis taking place in the territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority. But it is primarily the fault of the PA, which is committing an increasing number of human rights offenses against its own people.
So, perhaps the United Nations should consider recalibrating its condemnations and start targeting its pro-Palestinian resolutions against the growingly repressive regime of Mahmoud Abbas.