Thursday, February 17, 2011

US Backs UNSC Slam of Israel on Settlements

Any country that in the current environment in the Middle East--in which Israel faces a double threat on its Northern border from Hezbollah, its southern border with an Egyptian unrest, and now, a triple threat from Iranian warships seeking to cross Suez for the first time in 30 years--any country in which THIS environment chooses to craft a security council resolution condemning Israel for settlement building, is either deeply morally and geopolitically misguided or extremely weak in the international Arab-dominated arena.

Several days ago, this blog commented on NYT columnist Tom Friedman, who has called Israel's settlement building 'madness'. (He also called claims that justify terrorism in places like London 'outragerous', but failed to issue the same strong moral language regarding Palestinian murder). The current US administration is now buying into the world's dysfunctional moral compass, which views threats against Israel from North, South, East and West as understandable, while Israelis building bedrooms, schools, hospitals, universities and synagogues is suddenly the world's threat to world peace.

Only Hashem can help us in a state in which the world's moral compass is corrupt.

The song above was sung by a group of schoolchildren outside of the Old City on Passover 5770 (2010). The words are: And that which stood for our ancestors and for us, for not only one stood against us to destroy us, but the Holy Blessed One saves us from their hands.

Right now it seems like the only ally Israel has are the speakers (and their supporters) from the most recent CPAC conference in Washington, in which 2012 Republican candidates made remarks on the current fashlot (Israeli world for debacles) of US foreign policy, the embarrassingly misguided US response on Egypt, the shame of US' abandonment of Israel and the wisdom of Israel's foreign policy assessments, which are currently the bastion of realism in international relations.

In another rare exhibition of realism and moral integrity, Harvard professor Niall Ferguson praised last week's Herziliya Conference which took place at the Interdisciplinary Center in Israel, in which world leaders and experts shared views and visions on the future of the region. Ferguson implied that while the US is blinding itself with wishful thinking, the Israelis are doing the hard work of shaping real policy.

Anyone who defends Israel's point of view in today's world is precious in Hashem's eyes like a diamond in a ghetto of moral corruption and self-hatred of humanity. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. (Genesis 12:3)

Below are the details from the US' most recent sell-out of Israel. According to Foreign Policy's Turtle Bay blog by Colum Lynch:
The U.S. informed Arab governments Tuesday that it will support a U.N. Security Council statement reaffirming that the 15-nation body "does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity," a move aimed at avoiding the prospect of having to veto a stronger Palestinian resolution calling the settlements illegal. 
But the Palestinians rejected the American offer following a meeting late Wednesday of Arab representatives and said it is planning to press for a vote on its resolution on Friday, according to officials familar with the issue. The decision to reject the American offer raised the prospect that the Obama adminstration will cast its first ever veto in the U.N. Security Council. 
Still, the U.S. offer signaled a renewed willingness to seek a way out of the current impasse, even if it requires breaking with Israel and joining others in the council in sending a strong message to its key ally to stop its construction of new settlements. The Palestinian delegation, along with Lebanon, the Security Council's only Arab member state, have asked the council's president this evening to schedule a meeting for Friday. But it remained unclear whether the Palestinian move today to reject the U.S. offer is simply a negotiating tactic aimed at extracting a better deal from Washington. 
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."

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