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Friday, February 18, 2011

Obama's Passive-Aggressive UN Israel Vote

As expected, the United States vetoed a UN Security Council Resolution that would have condemned Israel for its "settlements" in the disputed territories of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem. This followed a week where the US tried to substitute a toned down resolution to be issued as a statement which would have limited the objections to future building activity, and at the same time would have discouraged any non-negotiated change of status (such as a unilateral declaration of Palestinian Statehood) and condemned terrorism. President Obama had issued a personal plea to Palestinians for compromise on the issue, but that plan was rejected and the more severe resolution came to a vote. The outcome: 14 to 1 to condemn Israel, with U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice casting the lone no vote.

However, with her veto, Rice decided to launch into a speech where she said she agreed with the resolution:
"While we agree with our fellow Council members and indeed with the wider world about the folly and the illegitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, we think it unwise for this Council to attempt to resolve the core issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians," Ambassador Rice said. "We therefore, regrettably, have opposed this draft resolution."
Translation "We should have voted for this but we wanted to be all things to all people so we decided to veto the resolution while ripping Israel at the same time."

Notice there was no mention of terrorism or non-negotiated change of status.  Nor was their any mention of the fact that the Palestinians refusal to negotiate. No negotiations are needed, they are are just biding their time till the spring when they will fight in the same venue for a unilateral declaration of Palestinian Statehood.

President Obama has forgotten the key rule, "When you sit on the fence all you get is a sore butt." In one passive-aggressive stroke he angered the Arab world and increased the level of mistrust felt by the supporters of Israel. After playing with this resolution for a week, the US finally (and barely) voted no. I shudder to think what that vote would have been if Obama's approval ratings were higher or if it occurred during a (God forbid) second Barack Obama administration. In the safety of a second administration, Barack Obama's passive-aggressive treatment of Israel will be simply aggressive.

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