At UN, US sides with Israel’s enemies on settlement issue

At UN, US sides with Israel’s enemies on settlement issue

Rick Moran


It’s being billed by the administration as a
“compromise” – a move to forestall a Palestinian motion that would almost
certainly force the US to use a veto to block it.

In reality, it is just
another demonstration of the Obama administration’s hostility to


Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, outlined
the new U.S. offer in a closed door meeting on Tuesday with the Arab Group, a
bloc of Arab countries from North Africa and the Middle East. In exchange for
scuttling the Palestinian resolution, the United States would support the
council statement, consider supporting a U.N. Security Council visit to the
Middle East, the first since 1979, and commit to supporting strong language
criticizing Israel’s settlement policies in a future statement by the Middle
East Quartet.
The U.S.-backed draft statement — which was first reported by Al Hurra —
was obtained by Turtle Bay. In it, the Security Council “expresses its strong
opposition to any unilateral actions by any party, which cannot prejudge the
outcome of negotiations and will not be recognized by the international
community, and reaffirms, that it does not accept the legitimacy of continued
Israeli settlement activity, which is a serious obstacle to the peace process.”
The statement also condemns “all forms of violence, including rocket fire from
Gaza, and stresses the need for calm and security for both peoples.”
U.S. officials argue that the only way to resolve the Middle East conflict is
through direct negotiations involving Israel and the Palestinians. For weeks,
the Obama administration has refused to negotiate with the Palestinians on a
resolution condemning the settlements as illegal, signaling that they would
likely veto it if it were put to a vote. The Palestinians were planning to put
the resolution to a vote later this week. But Security Council statements of the
sort currently under consideration are voted on the bases of consensus in the
15-nation council.

Why seek a compromise in the first place? Either Israel is within its rights
to build settlements in some areas of their territory or we oppose them. This
“middle ground” baloney is being considered only to appease the Arabs who know
full well that Israel’s settlement policy is legal, but choose to make an issue
of it because the Palestinians are.
If the compromise fails, will the Obama administration use a veto at the UN?
Given their attitude toward our ally to date, anything is possible but it would
be political suicide not to stand by Israel on such a sensitive issue.
That may be the only thing that Obama considers more important than
supporting the Palestinians in their efforts to stop Israel from building
legitimate settlements.

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