A strange euphoria seems to have blinded some Israelis and American Jews
concerning the context of President Barack Obama’s veto of a UN
In the past, blatantly one-sided anti- Israeli resolutions
were vetoed as a matter of course. On this occasion, the issue was complicated
because of the Obama administration’s disastrous, long-standing obsession with
the settlements, which paved the way for the unprecedented Palestinian demand
for a settlement freeze as a precondition to negotiations.
avoid employing the veto, Obama extended extraordinary concessions to the
Palestinians if they agreed to modify the language of the resolution.
offered a Security Council “presidential statement” expressing identical views
to the resolution condemning the Jewish presence in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
He was willing to endorse a Russian proposal for a Security Council fact-finding
mission on settlements and a proposed expansion of the Quartet’s involvement to
cover areas ranging from the 1967 borders to the political status of
According to The Wall Street Journal, at the last moment Obama
phoned PA President Mahmoud Abbas offering to endorse or abstain on the
resolution if the Palestinians agreed to replace the word “illegal” with
“illegitimate” in relation to settlements.
Normal procedure after such a
vote would have been a simple US statement that the resolution was one-sided and
that the Security Council was not the venue to engage in this issue. It could
also have noted that Israel had frozen settlements for 10 months while the
Palestinians still refused to negotiate.
Instead, US Ambassador Susan
Rice made a supplementary statement condemning settlements, employing some of
the most vehement language against the Jewish state ever used by a senior US
THAT ABBAS refused to accept Obama’s extraordinary offers
reflects the fact that the Palestinians are now being hoisted by their own
petard. Their incitement has been so effective that following the Al Jazeera
disclosures of concessions discussed behind closed doors – which they had no
intention of ever implementing or even revealing to their people – they cannot
now contemplate the slightest compromise without being condemned as
With global anti-Israeli hostility combining with the seething
cauldron of revolution in the Arab world, Abbas is confident that by avoiding
negotiations, he will oblige the Obama administration to intensify pressure on
He also appreciates the effectiveness of engaging in “lawfare”
rather than terrorism, with a massive program of demonization, boycott and
delegitimization in the UN pipeline where the most outrageously anti-Israeli
resolutions are guaranteed an automatic majority. We can anticipate a cascade of
resolutions seeking to transform Israel into a pariah state, accusing it of
breaching international law, branding its leaders as war criminals and seeking
to drag it into the International Court of Justice.
The US relationship
now assumes even greater importance to our security, both militarily and
diplomatically. In this context, despite harsh criticism from the political
Right, full credit should be accorded to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for
his diplomatic tightrope walk with the Obama administration.
concessions, but succeeded in resisting the most outrageous demands, thus
averting a catastrophic breakdown in relations.
It is likely that despite
the disastrous consequences of Obama’s failed efforts to engage with rogue
states, were he not facing reelection, he would not allow Israel’s security to
stand in the way of his efforts to appease the Islamic world.
his groveling to the Palestinians before and after the UN Security Council
resolution, he was ultimately obliged to exercise the US veto for the first time
since he gained office. He did so only out of a realization that he would have
faced widespread condemnation from Congress and even his own party had he failed
to do so.
But our problems will intensify in the months to come. It is
chilling to contemplate how the administration may seek to “balance” its veto by
imposing new pressures on Israel, which could soon be facing rejectionist states
on most of its borders.
We must now invest all our resources into
strengthening US-Israel ties. We are fortunate that the military support under
the Obama administration has been strengthened. But in light of uncertainties
with the new Egypt, and Iran’s growing regional influence, that support assumes
an even greater importance.
The Netanyahu government must now ensure that
the Obama administration does not have a pretext for abandoning us in the
diplomatic arena. It must urgently craft strategies to deal with the difficult
We need to reiterate our willingness for a two-state regime.
But that can only be implemented when the Palestinian leaders are ready for
peace, are willing to tell their people the truth, and when it is clear that as
the IDF departs, the West Bank will not be transformed into
UNFORTUNATELY, THIS is unlikely in the foreseeable future. For
now, all we can do is continue enhancing the economic status of the Palestinians
and seek interim solutions. This may give them the incentive to choose leaders
willing to accept peace.
There are difficult decisions to be made on
issues that impinge on our national security that can no longer be held in
abeyance because of short-term political interests. If we fail to move in this
direction, we will face determined efforts to impose a solution which could
place our future in jeopardy. We should also identify those territories we would
annex if the Palestinians unilaterally abrogate the Oslo Accords and declare an
Our government – preferably a unity government – can
no longer prevaricate; it must now bite the bullet and make the tough decisions
about borders, security and settlements that a majority of the nation will
We must have a comprehensive plan if we are to persuade the
American public and Congress to remain steadfast.
Otherwise, the Obama
administration might throw us to the email@example.com