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U.S. Vetoes Palestinian Resolution

In other news, someone should be fired for diplomatic malpractice

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The United States just vetoed the Palestinian Authority-backed resolution that would have declared Israeli settlements illegal. The draft resolution failed in the U.N. Security Council by a 14-1 vote. “Our opposition to the resolution before this council today should not be understood to mean we support settlement activity,” said U.N. ambassador Susan Rice. “We reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity.” Actions, words, etc.

Look. The point of the resolution was always not to be passed, but to put the United States in this particular spot. That gave the administration three options:

1. Say absolutely nothing about it in the days leading up to it; when the vote comes, veto it, issuing a quick statement, let people who thought you should have not vetoed it complain (validly) about the contradiction between rhetoric and action, and watch the story quietly fade away into the Friday afternoon of a three-day weekend.

2. Don’t veto the bill. Let it pass. You now have Israel and many American supporters of Israel, including a significant majority of representatives from both parties in both houses of Congress, and many of your own constituents, extremely angry with you, because, while it was bad enough (to them) for you to press Israel on settlements in private and at the negotiating table, you simply do not let the U.N., known for an anti-Israel bias, to be able to hold sway over Israel. On the other hand, you have matched your deeds to your stated opinions, stood up for what you claim to believe in, and shown the newly empowered Arab masses that you care about an issue that they care about. More importantly, you have shown every country that you are to be taken seriously because when you say something, you mean it and will follow through on it.

Speaking personally, I would have wished for option 1: I just don’t think the U.N., given its history and the motives of some of its member states, is the correct venue for this sort of thing. But there are absolutely arguments for option 2 as well, and I would have been very intrigued by it, and I may have been persuaded to back it.

But let’s not forget option 3!

Option 3: Try to get around options 1 or 2 by putting a non-binding, purely rhetorical statement on the table, thereby inflaming Israel’s supporters at home and abroad, as well as giving potential Republican presidential opponents superb ammunition against you while getting nothing in return; while at the same time confirming, if any further confirmation were needed, that your words and your binding actions don’t add up. Of course, because the Palestinians know option 2 is exceedingly unlikely, they call your bluff, showing the world that you cannot throw your weight around at the Security Council. But you’re not done yet: Keep digging! Call the Palestinians and alternately cajole them and threaten them to try to get them to withdraw the resolution, so that the world has the image of the ostensible leader of the free world supplicating himself to the disputed leader of a stateless authority. Have him tell you to screw off, showing further how little power you have. Then, when crunch-time comes, veto the resolution.

The pro-Israel side still mistrusts you more, because you considered even toying with the U.N.; the pro-Palestinian side still mistrusts you more, because you vetoed their resolution; and people who don’t really care about this still mistrust you more, because you flailed about seeking an alternative and failed. The main difference? Because you spent the past week trying to find a way out of this, everyone’s paying attention now. Congratulations, and thank God it’s Friday.

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Win the battle, lose the war.

James from Philadelphia says:

The Arab masses care about the enormous poverty they have been kept by their leaders. The Israel Palestinian problem? ??was used as a distraction, so they can continue exploiting the “”masses”” That is the real problem poverty oppression religious fanaticism violence.

Why is the building so repugnant ? If or when there is a Palestine that includes the area of building won’t it be ok to have buildings there and will it be impossible to have Jews living there too? After all there are lots of Arabs living in Israel so what’s the difference? I know this may sound naive but I’m really asking.

marzipan says:

What’s annoying is how rhetorical all this is. The P.A. tried and failed to get Arabs to refuse to work in construction, etc. in settlements. BUT, the reality is that on the ground, settlements bring employment and prosperity to neighboring villages. Israeli Arabs have the highest standards of income and medical care in the Middle East, and Palestians are next in line.

Israel and the settlements are an economic boom for the Arab population–that’s why Jordanians, Egyptians, Syrians, and Lebanese jump the border looking for wages far better that they can get at home. That’s why they rioted in Egypt, dudes. But the non-dhimminess of Israellis sticks in the craw.

Jewish settlements are obstacle to peace? Since when? Were they obstacle to peace in 1948? Or in 1967? Or maybe they were the reason for the hostilities in 2006 on the Lebanese border? Even the second intifada erupted not because of the settlements but because Mr. Sharon visited Temple Mount, according to the same sources that now claim that the settlements are obstacle to peace. So, taking this whole information into account, settlements never caused any war. Why then they suddenly became the obstacle to peace?

The pity of it all is that the majority of the Palestinians want and need the settlements because of the jobs they provide. The Palestinian government is not producing situations to provide gainful employment.

The first step in making peace is to provide information to the political world where and to whom the money given to the PA by various organizations is going. Is it not true that the leadership of the suffering peoples is become billionaires. Check their bank accounts. It is the PA leaderships (and of course the Gaza terrorists) who do not want peace because a war footing helps them become richer. If they wanted peace, they would create jobs by building up the land.

Congratulations to TABLET
I agree with all comments here. The Tablet has been able to attract a group of intellectual readers who are able to understand the reality of existence of Israel in the Middle East.

ken gold says:

Israel legally annexed East Jerusalem…so why can’t Jews live there?
Samaria and Judea were part of the San Remo agreement. Years of Arab intransigence, rejectionism and war mongering has nullified their legal rights to the 1948 Palestinian borders. Settlements are not “illegal”, they are on disputed land, not grabbed land. Mr. Abbas and his crowd, unelected and illegitimate and tyrannical, knows going to the UN is easier than negotiating and compromising. I guess the West Bank has to be Judenrein in the eyes of the world….

This is an argument constructed backwards from it’s obviously predetermined conclusion. There were more alternatives than these, all of which are spun negatively against the Obama administration, while they could easily be spun the other way. Imagine how Obama critics would spin #1 with NO diplomatic effort beforehand, just an unprepared Veto. What incompetence. Or #2 – oh, the cries of naivete and perfidy. But Marc Tracy and George Galloway, perhaps, would praise the administration for its integrity. Please, And this when, in fact, the administration’s position IS an honest one – to oppose settlements AND oppose (for so many reasons) the Security Council as a venue for addressing the issue.

This is partisanship masquerading as analysis.

aubrey Massias says:

President Obama has again made an ASS of the United States when he allowed / condoned such an apology to the UN body.
Everyone already knew that the United States would, and Rightly so,Veto the ARAB resolution.
Abbas and his bunch of jokers now have the support of most of the UN community,the United States should immediately stop any financial support,let their Arab brothers,whomhave
a lot of oil money,give generously,but they know where that money will end up,so they will not give more than a token amount.Obama,spend our money on returning The United States
to first world status. [you havealready screwed up our name in the M/East].Obama and diplomatRice should be fired immediately,there are many of us ,whom supported Omaba for President,now have our regrets
and are anxious for the next opportunity to cast our votes.

I guess Mr. Obama will prostate himself in front of the Arabs and other Moslems because of this action. In reward for this cowardice, the Arabs will raise he price of oil. Oh wait a minute, they are doing that already.

The fact that you state that “the newly empowered arab masses” actually care about the Palestinians show how little you understand. Does this care extend to the fact that according to law they are discriminated against in Lebanon and Jordan? How about the fact that Gaza was under Egyptian military rule from 1948-67 when it was supposed to be the Palestinian state? How about now when Egypt is blockading Gaza and Hussein takes away citizenship from thousands of Palestinians?.

The position taken by the Obama administation on the Security Council resolution was correct. It was appropriate to both veto the resolution and point out that the veto should not be taken as an endorsement of the settlement activity, which it has consistently opposed as an obtacle to peace. The discomfort of the situation results not from the diplomatic position of the United States but rather from the shortsighted self-defeating policies of the Netanyahu government and its predecessors that have permitted and encouraged continuing settlement activity in the West Bank while delaying meaningful negotiations with the Palestinians to implement a two-state solution



Marc, the “meaningful” negotiations have been going for … at least since 1993 (18 years?) under different Israeli governments (Labor, Kadima, Likud), different approaches (Clinton, “quartet”, “road map”, Obama, Blair, Mitchell, etc, etc) and different circumstances (Oslo, intifada, yudenfrau Gaza, etc). Just tell us: how many more years of these “meaningful” negotiations need to pass before you realize that they have no meaning at all?

Yaakov Hillel says:

Yes there many obstacle to peace. the Jewish nation is the 0bstacle to peace. The American Jews are the obstacles for peace the Jews in general are the obstacles to peace, If you do not believe read it in Mein Kampf , you will also find it in the first chapter of the koran on the seventh and final line. Those who were created in order to go into everlasting damnation. The jews who for the last 1550 years have ursuped the muslims and took away everything from them. The Jews who Murdered Muslims and palestinians from the beginning of time. Maybe it is really time to become serious and wake up. What the Muslim have done to the Jews they are doing through out Europe Africa and their long arms are reaching south America and Canada. It is time for the world to wake up and take the stand of Geert Wilders of Holland before it is too late. the price and the stake of solving this problem has become very dear, It is like the Giant Snowball comming down the hill and gaining mass and momentum. If the problem will be solved by a united nato or American West European peace we will have a nightmare far worse than Orvilles 1984. This cannot be done through negotiations nor can it be done through convincing. Today Every country has its fifth column, that it will have to deal with. Instead of incarcerating J.Pollard America must wake up in spite of its pro Muslim President.Time is short and they are multiplying like insects. In most countries in Europe they are every second birth, they are collecting billions of dollars, in child support add free health and education, which was suppose to be for the purpose of enhancing the natives to have children. They are emptying the treasuries of the western european nations to build mosques and support their families. When the going is going to be tough the Jews will be blamed as it has been over the to last 2 millenia. The settlements in Judea and Samaria have nothing to do with anthhing. As usual the Arabs are throwing sand in the worlds eyes

Yaakov Hillel says:

The land of Israel has never belonged legally to any Arab people. The Land before it was held by the English for the reason of building on it a Jewish homeland after the Turks have turned it a wasteland as you will see in all the histories frem Clemens to Mcgregor. The largest population of the time being Jews then Christians and lastly as Moslems. The Jews were more than threefold the population of Muslims in Jerusalem. The land of the settlements are not the private land that yhe muslims recieved as presents from the Turks. You cannot count the area where every sheep or goat of a bedouin yriated as legal territoy of the bedouins. The land of the settlements people are paying to the government for building and since the time of Shamir-Peres governments there has not been serious settlement activities. There are over 300,00thousand Jews living in the pre 1967 territory which by natural birthrate rate will reach in ten years time reach 1000000 Jews and in ten years afterwaeds will be 3000000+ Jews. There is no posibility in the world that Israel will vacate these Jews the ten thousand Jews that were vacated from the Katif Area magine what they would do with a group 30 times that size. Beside every child in the middle east knows that giving up the Israeli Sudeten lands will be the end of the state of Israel, which is the dream of every Muslim probably including Obama.

Yaakov Hillel says:

To Marc Were did you cook up this two state junk? Jordan is more than ^0% Palestinian. Gaza under Hniye is also 99% Palestinian Muslim. Meaning today you have already two failing Palestian States. In 1948 1200000 Jews were misplaced from Arab countries from the Persian Gulf Till Morroco. Most of them from the countries bordering Israel. Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan. The Jews that were thrown out of their lands were let out with one small suitcase. Those of them that came to Israel, approximately two thirrds, left in the countries they left much property wealth and cash never to be seen again. At the same Time 550000 Muslims left Israel, mainly because they were convinced by their original ArabStatesto do so. Many Arabs that left only reached Israel after 1944, read Joan Peters book “From Time immemorial” She will give you the exact population facts as the British and UN authorities had it exactly known who and when they reached the Land of Israel including the areas some call the West Bank or as we call it in Israel Judea and Samaria. The switch over of property and population was more than two fold practically three fold in population and maybe ten fold in means and money. For these reasons it would be more on the fair side that the Arab countries give land to Israel than Israel giving land to the Arabs. The Muslims have done everything in their power to denigerate Israel and blame them for all the ills that they have suffered. Not better than the Christians in Europe like the British Banning the Jews from the British Isles for a few hundred years or the treatment the Jews recieved in France (see the Dreyfus affair). Germany and Austria we do not have to speak about, the treachery of Spain and Portugal which today they are recieving their punishment in the shape and form of Islam. Today you have a hard time making the Jews suffer so you are trying to shrink it to death. Israel is actually only one third its actual size, people do not live in the two thirds desert.

A.L. Bell says:

It’s wrong for Israel to build new settlements just to show it can throw it’s weight around. But, on the other hand, the UN focus on the problems in Israel is hypocritical.

If people in the UN were humbly, gently saying, “Look, we all have problems; we’ll work on our problems next week, and yours the week after that,” then we could take UN action on this sort of thing seriously.

But, instead, the UN uses Israel as a scapegoat that all of the nations in the world can use to punish for THEIR OWN sins.

Israel has pretty much the same conflict with the Palestinian that, say, the United States has with the Native Americans, but where are the UN resolutions telling the United States to give its land back to the Native Americans, or the descendants of the Norman invaders in the United Kingdom to give their land back to the Picts? Why doesn’t the UN tell Belgium to split in two? Because it’s a lot easier for nations other than Israel to say “Bad Israel, bad Israel!” than to deal with their own faults.

And, really, Israel has roughly the same kind of conflict with its young, angry guys raised in an abusive, patriarchal culture that most European countries have with the young, hot-headed Muslim Arab guys in their midst, and that, really, Muslim Arab countries have with the young, angry, frustrated guys in their own midst.

I think people in Israel are just scared of the Palestinians and don’t always understand their perspective very well but mean them no harm. But even allegedly liberal people in Western Europe are seriously racist towards Arabs and Muslims that no normal, non-Kahane Jewish person would ever be. Where are the UN resolutions telling France to stop discriminating against Muslim girls who happen to want to cover their hair in school?

And, sure, the UN should try to get Israel to stop dropping missiles on Palestinians, and it should get Palestinians to stop firing rockets at Israel. But Khadafi has been dropping bombs on ordinary protesters. When will we see the UN be as zealous about getting countries like Libya and Bahrain to treat their protesters well as it is about squeezing Israel

Yaakov Hillel says:

To A L Bell. not every country lives in the same type of atmosphere or goals. You can not compare the USA to Zambia or vietnam. There are contries have different goals and different religious ideals. Yes it is hard to believe that there are countries that refuse the right of other religions to exist. Jews because of their religion alone atre not let in to Saudia Arabia. Do you understand this, can there be a greater apatheid than this I bearing an Israeli passport am not allowed into certain Arab contries. In Israel we have a system where there are two area counsels working with in the same area block one Arab and one J>ewish each one supplying the needs of their populations in the areas of health education and welfare. This can work with Israel holding on to the Borders originally promised them. The Arabs run the police, education, health and old age welfare with out stepping on each others toes. No body claims that they are treated more unfairly than the other. Jericho Ramallah can fly any flag they want, they alone will take taxes and serve the population under their control. This was agreed upon by Begin and Sadat thirty five years ago. The Moslems have their religious rights more so in Israel than in France. Women and girlswho want to speak Arabic and wear their black Abaya’s have no problem.There are internal Arab problem where the Muslim Arabs chose not to get along with Christian Arabs. The Moslem Arabs in Israel and Judea and Samaria have the Highest standard of living, Arabs in the middle east. This is one of the reasons Israel is so much hated by the Arab countries. Their new religion has made rules to hate Jews and Christians they say this a religious rule Some 22 times this verse is repeated in their five daily. The Jews are those known as the people Allah created to hate and destroy and they will burn in the eternal fires of hell, they did not accept the prophet and his rulings.Jews do not have the right to bring an Arab to court or sit on a horse.

Yaakov Hillel says:

The Arabs hold their refugees in substandard conditions in order to make Israel look bad. Well over sixty years they are allowed to do only menial tasks, in most Arab contries thy are not allowed to a higher education. They are not allowed to live outside the refugee camps. They may not hold on to private property. These are the only group of refugees in the world that are not allowed to make their position better. When they reach other Arab countries they are not allowed to apply for citizenship, Also i those countries they are permitted to do menial tasks. Israel tried to improve their standard of living and this is what started the first intifada (Arab rebellion in Israel around 1985) The Refugees thst were supposed to move to new housing were fired upon by their non refugee cousins who live in Gaza city Hebron Ramallah Bethlehem and a few other Arab cities. They are let out to wokk in Israel with a manager who collects their salary and gives them pittance. This is is prevalent over all the areas where Israel has no control/ Giving these lands to Arab control will take the hope away from these people of one day being free and building a normal life. Now you ask how can this be? I/ tried to explain to you that you donot understand the Intelligence and customs of the Muslim world. But Mr. Bell you may yet have that opportunity to enjoy this knowledge when the muslims who in your country in a few short yers become a majority. The Sha’aria muslim law will be mandatory. Then you will understand why a girl who is aped against her will will be either burnt to death or hung in the town square, because she brings shame on her family. A man caught of petty theft will have his hand chopped off, or his toungue removed becase he was heard saying something that sounded as if it is against the Prophet. These people do not come out of the middle ages, they were here all along, we just did not pay attention untill it reached our door step.

marzipan says:

yo! a.l. bell! that was new homes in existing settlements. like the empty lot at the end of the block? like, finishing up the synagogue, or adding on a bedroom. not enough, but better than the lunatic freeze we’ve had.

I’ve said that least 3510172 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

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U.S. Vetoes Palestinian Resolution

In other news, someone should be fired for diplomatic malpractice

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