Wall Street Journal
December 24, 2016
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
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.
As was widely reported Friday 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
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.
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 it 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.