On the Way Out, Obama Administration Throws Israel Under the Bus
As Jews around the world are celebrating Chanukah this week, an eight-day festival to commemorate the freedom of the Jewish people, the Obama administration has used one of its last actions of his presidency to completely throw the world’s only Jewish state under the bus.
On Friday, the United Nations passed a resolution condemning the Israel for establishing settlements in the West Bank in which the Jewish state has had within its borders since 1967. Resolution 2334 states “that the establishment of settlements of Israel in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law….” This resolution blatantly ignores the historical fact that the territory was won by Israel after they had to fend off several Arab nations during the Six-Day War.
The outrageous thing about this resolution is that it would not have passed if the United States, supposedly Israel’s closest ally, had not chosen to abstain from voting. The United States abstaining was akin to having your best friend sit back and watch while you are being jumped by a gang of your enemies.
It was a shocking move that was encouraged by President Barack Obama himself. On his vacation in Hawaii, the President reached out to UN Ambassador Susan Rice and instructed her to have the United States to abstain from voting.
Immediately, there was sharp criticism from Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “The resolution is distorted. It states that the Jewish quarter and the Western Wall are occupied, which is absurd.” Then pointed fingers at President Obama, “The Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the U.N., it colluded with it behind the scenes.”
Over the years, Obama has had an antagonistic relationship with Netanyahu. On several occasions, both men have bumped heads on various matters, most noticeably the US-Iran nuclear deal in which Netanyahu addressed a joint-session of Congress to discourage the deal concerned that it would leave the State of Israel vulnerable to nuclear attack by Iran.
The allegation that the Obama administration colluded to get the resolution passed at the United Nations greatly disturbed Secretary of State John Kerry and he made a scathing speech against Netanyahu declaring that Netanyahu’s government is “the most right-wing in (Israel’s) history with an agenda driven by extremists.” He added that “We cannot in good conscience do nothing and say nothing when we see the hope of peace slipping away,” inferring that Israeli settlements on their own territory is a threat to peace. Kerry spent a whole hour blasting Israel for settling on land that has been in their possession for almost fifty years.
The most inflammatory of all Kerry’s remarks was when he stated that Israel “either can be Jewish or democratic but they cannot be both.”
The Israeli head of state fired back, “For more than hour, Kerry obsessed over the issue of settlements and hardly touched on the root of the conflict, Palestinian resistance to a Jewish state with any borders.” He also added that “Israel do not be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders.”
Every American should be deeply offended and alarmed by the way that this current administration has treated one of our closest allies. The State of Israel is the only country in that area of the world that share our values and that we do not have to worry about their government undermining American interests.
However with these recent actions against Israel, Obama has let his personal animosity with Netanyahu shape American foreign policy endangering the safety of both nations.
Fortunately, any damage that might have been done in this last week can be repaired by the incoming Trump administration in which new president-elect has tweeted in strong support of Israel’s position, “We cannot let Israel be treated with such disdain and disrespect….Stay strong, Israel! Jan 20 is fast approaching.”