Obama Preparing a Parting Shot at Israel?
week, the U.N.’s premier cultural agency, UNESCO, approved
a resolution viciously condemning Israel (referred to as “the
Occupying Power”) for various alleged trespasses and violations of the Temple
Mount in Jerusalem. Except that the resolution never
uses that term for Judaism’s holiest shrine. It refers to and treats
it as an exclusively Muslim site, a deliberate attempt to eradicate its
connection — let alone its centrality — to the Jewish people and Jewish
Orwellian absurdity, part of a larger effort to deny the Jewish connection to
their ancestral homeland, is an insult not just to Judaism but to Christianity.
It makes a mockery of the Gospels, which chronicle the story of a Galilean Jew
whose life and ministry unfolded throughout the Holy Land, most especially in
Jerusalem and the Temple. If this is nothing but a Muslim site, what happens to
the very foundation of Christianity, which occurred 600 years before Islam even
came into being?
UNESCO resolution is merely the surreal extreme of the worldwide campaign to
delegitimize Israel. It features the
BDS movement (Boycott, Divest and Sanction), now growing on Western
university campuses and in some mainline
Protestant churches. And it extends even into some precincts of the
Sanders tried to introduce into the Democratic Party platform a plank more
unfavorable to Israel. He failed, but when a couple of Hillary Clinton campaign
consultants questioned (in emails revealed by WikiLeaks) why she should be
mentioning Israel in her speeches, campaign manager Robby
Mook concurred, “We shouldn’t have Israel at public events. Especially
dem activists.” For whom the very mention of Israel is toxic.
what to make of the White House’s correction
to a news release about last month’s funeral of Shimon Peres? The
original release identified the location as “Mount Herzl, Jerusalem,
Israel.” The correction crossed out the country identifier — “Israel.”
where else is Jerusalem? Sri Lanka? Moreover, Mount Herzl isn’t even in
disputed East Jerusalem. It’s in West Jerusalem, within the boundaries of
pre-1967 Israel. If that’s not Israel, what is?
such cowardly gestures are mere pinpricks compared to the damage Israel faces in
the final days of the Obama presidency. As John
Hannah of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies recently wrote (in
Foreign Policy), there have been indications for months that President Obama
might go to the U.N. and unveil his own final status parameters of a two-state
solution. These would then be enshrined in a new Security Council resolution
that could officially recognize a Palestinian state on the territory Israel came
into possession of during the 1967 Six-Day War.
is a reason such a move has been resisted by eight previous
U.S. administrations: It overthrows the central premise of Middle East
peacemaking — land for peace. Under which the Palestinians get their state after negotiations
in which the parties agree on recognized boundaries, exchange mutual recognition
and declare a permanent end to the conflict.
for peace would be replaced by land for nothing. Endorsing in advance a
Palestinian state and what would essentially be a full Israeli withdrawal
removes the Palestinian incentive to negotiate and strips Israel of territorial
bargaining chips of the kind it used, for example, to
achieve peace with Egypt.
result would be not just perpetual war but incalculable damage to Israel. And
irreversible, too, because the resolution would be protected from alteration by
the Russian and/or Chinese veto.
for the damage, consider but one example: the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem,
destroyed and ethnically cleansed of Jews by its Arab conquerors in the war of
1948-1949. It was rebuilt
by Israel after 1967. It would now be open to the absurd judicial
charge that the Jewish state’s possession of the Jewish Quarter constitutes a
criminal occupation of another country.
would be hauled endlessly into courts (both national and international) to face
sanctions, boycotts (now under color of law) and arrest of its leaders. All this
for violating a U.N. mandate to which no Israeli government, left or right,
could possibly accede.
the election, Obama dare not attempt this final legacy item, to go along with
the Iran deal and the Castro conciliation, for fear of damaging Clinton. His
last opportunity comes after Election Day. The one person who might deter him,
points out Hannah, is Clinton herself, by committing Obama to do nothing before
he leaves office that would tie her hands should she become president.
supporters who care about Israel and about peace need to urge her to do that
now. It will soon be too late. Soon Obama will be free to deliver a devastating
parting shot to Israel and to the prime minister he detests.