Wednesday, January 19, 2011

US Says Will 'Resist' Any UN Resolution On Israeli Building

The US administration has said it will 'resist' efforts to put the issue of Israeli construction in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem before the UN Security Council.

In the battle within the Obama Administration between ideology and domestic politics, it appears that politics has won, so far.

The US position was put to the council today by Rosemary DiCarlo, deputy US envoy to the UN.

“US policy on settlements has not changed and will not change. We believe that continued settlement expansion is corrosive – not only to peace efforts and the two-state solution – but to Israel's future itself.

However, she added: “The fate of existing settlements is an issue that must be dealt with by the parties, along with the other permanent-status issues. But like every US administration for decades, we do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity.”

The second paragraph is an outright lie, since US acceptance of Israeli building in East Jerusalem and large Jewish communities like Ariel and Gush Etzion already existing in Judea and Samaria was one of the conditions under which President Bush got Ariel Sharon to sign on to the Road Map.

In fact, construction by Israel or the 'Palestinians' was never an issue in any peace negotiations until President Obama made it one and pushed the 'Palestinians' up a tree they now can't climb down from.

The draft resolution was authored by the Palestinians and the Arab states was ready to be put before the Security Council today, but may be tabled for now because of US opposition and a likely veto.

There is a meeting of the so-called Quartet-the US, Russia, UN and European Union - scheduled to meet in Munich on February 5th that could result in a statement critical of Israeli construction that would be milder and have less impact than a formal Security Council resolution. That may be the end game here.

The US voting or abstaining from a UN Resolution dubbing Israeli construction in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem would violate both the Oslo Accords an dthe Road Map, both of which the US is a signatory to. And the congressional opposition and fallout would be immense.

In a letter yesterday to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a bi-partisan group of 16 US senators urged the US to exercise its veto to block the resolution if it ever came before the council. "Attempts to use a venue such as the United Nations, which you know has a long history of hostility toward Israel … will not move the two sides closer to a two-state solution,” said the senators, led by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand(D-NY) a of the Senate foreign relations committee.

Another letter was also received urging the US to back the resolution. But it came signed by the usual Arab Lobby fixtures, foreign policy establishment types,former diplomats ( many of them currently on the Arab payroll), Leftist Academics and Israel bashers like Andrew Sullivan and Peter Beinart. Oh, a couple of Rabbis for Obama as cover.

The letter itself is profoundly ridiculous, but I think I might address that issue and take it apart in a separate piece.

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1 comment:

B.Poster said...

My first tentative thoughts on this are how exactly are settlements contrary to Israel's future as Ms. DiCarlo seems to suggest? Is this woman next going to argue that settlements in places like Arizona and Texas are detrimental to the future of the United States. After all, Mexico regards these lands and others lost in the Mexican/American war as theirs and they want them back.

For the US to give up these lands would make it harder for the US to defend itself and it would deprive the US of valuable natural resources. As such, the US should not give up these lands or halt settlements on them. Neither should Israel halt settlement on their lands either. To do so makes Israel harder to defend, it deprvies an ally of valuable resources assoicated with this land, and it sets a dangerous prcedent. Might we be next to be pressured into a land for peace deal?

Now IF we MUST be opposed to Israeli settlements, there is a better way to achieve this than to take heavy handed actions against Israel. Essentially halt all aid to the Palestinians. Right now the aid they are receiving puts them in a VERY favorable position. As such, they are less inclinded to negotiate with Israel in a serious manner or to make any of those "painful compromises" politicians have been keen to talk about.

Without the aid this would put them on an equal footing with the Israelis. In this situation the Palestinians might be more inclined to negotiate in good faith. As part of a comprehensive peace settlement, the Israelis just might give up the so called settlements in exchange for real peace with the Palestinians and the broader Arab world.

As long as things are as they are now, Israel cannot give up the settlements. Cutting off the aid to the Palestinians would change the realities on the ground and would make long range peace much more likely. Then should the Israelis choose to give up the settlements, from a geo political point of view, it might actually make sense, however, there is one other factor to consider.

Even as part of a comprehensive peace agreement, if I were an Israeli leader, I would be very reluctant to give up the settlements. You see God promised this land to the Jews as an eternal possession. How would God react to someone giving away something He gave to them? I'm thinking He might not look favorably upon such an action. I don't think I'd want to find out. I'm not going to risk it. I'd say keep the land rather than risk incurring God's displeasure.