There have been rumors that the US would support a UN resolution condemning Israel for being Jewish (that’s what we in the business call editorializing). Even that we would make a deal with the Palestinians, supporting one sort of resolution, but not another, and the Palestinians refused.
Now we have the facts. Given the choice between vetoing yet another UN resolution critical of Israel and joining in the beat down, we did both.
It’s a new spin on voting “present”.
Our opposition to the resolution before this Council today should therefore not be misunderstood to mean we support settlement activity. On the contrary, we reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity. For more than four decades, Israeli settlement activity in territories occupied in 1967 has undermined Israel’s security and corroded hopes for peace and stability in the region. Continued settlement activity violates Israel’s international commitments, devastates trust between the parties, and threatens the prospects for peace…
It is the Israelis’ and Palestinians’ conflict, and even the best-intentioned outsiders cannot resolve it for them. Therefore every potential action must be measured against one overriding standard: will it move the parties closer to negotiations and an agreement? Unfortunately, this draft resolution risks hardening the positions of both sides. It could encourage the parties to stay out of negotiations and, if and when they did resume, to return to the Security Council whenever they reach an impasse…
While we agree with our fellow Council members—and indeed, with the wider world—about the folly and 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. We therefore regrettably have opposed this draft resolution.
Israel can handle itself against implacable Jew-hating enemies. It can handle itself against the anti-Semitic viper’s nest of the UN. It can even handle itself against hostile elements in American government.
But it can be undermined by the dishonest use of language.
I drive by “settlements” all the time—only we here call them “housing starts”, or sometimes “economic activity”. Is there another nation or another people in the world condemned by “fellow Council members—and indeed, with the wider world” for housing natural population growth? Is it the wider world’s policy that baby Israelis be homeless? (If it was good enough for Jesus…)
Now, hold on, BTL, you say. It’s not that they build, it’s where.
Really, why? What some call the West Bank, others call Judea and Samaria. Jews have lived there for millennia. What is it about 2011 that’s changed that fact? Or 2010 or 2012?
Certainly not the original UN resolution 242. It was quite specific (as its drafters later confirmed) that final borders were to be negotiated, not imposed (and certainly not by the UN). As Israel has returned the Sinai and Gaza to Egypt and the Palestinian entity (I don’t know what else to call the authority over the Gaza Strip), it has handed back over 90% of the land it occupied after repelling the invading armies of the Arabs. Why shouldn’t Jews build on stateless land traditionally Jewish, retaken by Jews, bordered by a Jewish state? Was France prohibited from building maisons in Alsace? The Polish city of Gdansk used to be the German city of Danzig. Are there UN resolutions citing Lech Walesa as a war criminal? I bet we could put our collective minds together and find dozens of similar examples in recent history alone.
Yet here we are, the United States of America, condemning Israel in all but vote, for exercising the right of any nation to house its people, and to support the ethnic cleansing of Jews from any land, let alone land with a historically and culturally undeniable Jewish presence.
Would anyone have imagined a few years ago we would ever come to this place? Will we look back a few years from now and wonder how we let it get this far? Arabs across their lands are demanding freedom, giving their lives for it, and yet we condemn the freest land in the region, among the freest in the world, for both Arab and Jew.
The world is a mean and crazy place, and this narcissistic self-described citizen of the world currently leading us has brought us down to its level.