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The United States abstains

PETER O’CONNOR
Staff Columnist
oconnor@lbknews.com

“The U.N. resolution is a defining act of the Obama Presidency.”

Raising her hand in abstention our ambassador to the United Nations marked the vigils of Hanukkah and Christmas with maybe her last vote in that body, thus masking the action from the press over a holiday weekend. Typical.

“The decision by the United States to abstain from a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israel over its settlements on the West Bank is one of the most significant, defining moments of the Obama Presidency.

It defines this President’s extraordinary ability to transform matters of public policy into personal pique at adversaries. And it defines the reality of the international left’s implacable opposition to the Israeli state.”  (Editorial, The Wall Steet Journal, Saturday/Sunday, December 24-25, 2016)

“Earlier in the week, Egypt withdrew the Security Council resolution under pressure from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  President – elect Donald Trump also intervened, speaking with Egypt’s government and, via Twitter urging Mr. Obama to block the resolution, as have past U.S. Administrations and Mr. Obama himself in 2011.”

The Journal Editors continue: “As was widely reported Friday (12/23) after the U.N. vote, the White House decided to abstain-thereby allowing

The pro-Palestinian resolution to pass – in retaliation against the intervention by Messrs.  Netanyahu and Trump.  Mr. Obama’s animus toward Prime Minister Netanyahu is well known. Apparently Mr. Obama

Took it as an affront that the President-elect would express an opinion  about this week’s U.N. resolution.

It is important, though, to see this U.S. abstention as more significant than merely Mr. Obama’s petulance.  What it reveals clearly is the Obama Administration’s animus against the state of Israel itself.  No longer needing Jewish votes, Mr. Obama was free , finally, to punish the Jewish state in a way no previous President has done.

No effort to rescind the resolution, which calls the settlements a violation of ‘international law’ will succeed because of Russia’s and China’s vetoes.”

More on the resolution from the WSJ:  “Instead, the resolution  will live on as Barack Obama’s cat’s paw, offering support in every European capital, international institution and U.S. university campus to bully Israel with  the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer implored the Administration to veto the resolution, noting rightly that it represents nothing  more than the ‘Zionism is racism’ bias at the U.N.  Let Senator Schumer note the true nature of his party’s left wing.

House Speaker Paul Ryan called the Administration’s action ‘shameful’.

Senator Lindsey Graham said he will form a bipartisan coalition to suspend or reduce U.S. financial support for the U.N.  That should proceed.

For Donald Trump, meet your State Department.  This is what State’s permanent bureaucrats believe, this is what they want, and Barack Obama delivered to them,

Tweets won’t change this now-inbred hostility to America’s oldest  democratic ally in the Middle East.  Mr. Obama’s pique, however, has made it crystal clear to the new Administration where the lines in the sand are drawn.”

Of course a few days later, Saturday, 24 December, we heard from another ex U.S. President on the subject.  President Jimmy Carter called on President Obama to recognize a Palestinian state in the waning days of his term.  Not a likely help…  in spite of Carter’s earlier successes in the region.

And then, on that same Saturday the outgoing Secretary of State makes a 70+ minute televised speech on the subject.  This was equally unimportant, even as a rationale for the abstention; it wasn’t.  Could Kerry be hoping to again be the Democrats’ standard-bearer?

P.O’C.- 12/29/16

 

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