Israel-Advocates Protest US Role in UN’s Anti-Settlement Vote
JNS.org – While US Secretary of State John Kerry was delivering his anti-Israel tirade on December 28, a different crowd took the streets of New York City to protest America’s inaction on the recent UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel for settlement construction.
Organized by the New York-based Jewish Voice newspaper, the rally outside the US Mission to the UN featured speaker after speaker deriding President Barack Obama and Kerry for the administration’s policies, while encouraging attendees to remain strong and to stand with the Jewish state.
“While Aleppo fell, while Arab children were facing attacks from the air with mustard and sarin gas, [the Obama administration] was too busy condemning Israelis for growing pomegranates in [the Samaria community of] Shiloh. To ignore a genocide while you obsess with the Jews is an abomination,” said well-known author and TV host Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.
Boteach continued, “[US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power] did not pass a single resolution condemning the Syrian genocide. She was too busy to focus on the fall of Aleppo or the slaughter of Arab children because they [wanted] to pass a resolution attacking Israel. The United Nations assaulted decency itself. [It was] an assault on humanity, on peace and freedom.”
By abstaining rather than exercising its veto power in the Security Council, the Obama administration broke from a decades-long American policy of defending Israel against one-sided UN resolutions. Yet the 14-0 vote in favor of the measure did not take Israel completely by surprise. Hints of the Obama Administration’s intentions surfaced soon after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s September meetings with presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
At the New York protest rally, pro-Israel activist Richard Allan called for an economic boycott of products produced by the nations that voted for the Security Council resolution. “There is a price to pay, a consequence for a vote against Israel,” he said.
“I believe it is hideous that the United Nations voted to take historic Israeli land away from the historic people of Israel,” said Christian radio host Mike McConnell. “To make the argument that the wall of prayer (the Western Wall) and the Temple Mount itself are no longer the property of the Jewish people is insane. I say that as a Christian.”
McConnell added, “It is impossible to accept with any degree of seriousness what President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry have said. We (America) have not been a good friend of Israel over the last eight years and it’s time we stopped kicking them in the teeth at every opportunity.” McConnell reminded the crowd that “there has never been an Arab state on Israeli land…There have been three Israeli states on that property. We must raise awareness … The idea of going back to the 1967 armistice lines is just bogus …. It puts Israel at risk.”
Similarly, Americans for a Safe Israel said in a statement, “The US should end its funding of the United Nations, and better yet, relocate that bastion of infamy to another country, say, Syria or Angola. The US action in the UN harms not just Israel, but the US itself. There is bipartisan understanding in Congress that Obama’s action to abstain in the UN was a terrible decision, and detrimental to the US.”
Maxine Dovere is a veteran journalist and a contributor to the Haym Salomon Center news and public policy group.