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Thanks to U.S., Enemies of Israel Gaining Strength

Thanks to U.S., Enemies of Israel Gaining Strength
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (AFP via Getty Images)

Micah Halpern By Wednesday, 03 April 2024 12:20 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Round one: On Friday, March 22, 2024, the United States sets forth a resolution in the United Nations Security Council calling for a cease fire in their war with Hamas.

China and Russia veto the resolution proposed by the United States and the resolution fails.

Round two: On Monday, March 25th a second resolution — not proposed by the United States, calling for an immediate ceasefire — passes in the Security Council by a vote of 14 to 0 with one abstention.

China and Russia vote in favor of this resolution. The United States is the country that abstained. By abstaining, the United States permitted the resolution to pass.

It was, in no uncertain terms, a watershed event.

Why is the United States of America, the country that often calls itself the big brother of Israel, disciplining Israel so publicly.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations explained away the U.S. abstention saying that the Monday resolution did not condemn Hamas and lacked other important components linking the ceasefire to the release of hostages — elements that were embedded in Friday’s resolution.

What she did not explain is why the United States chose to abstain and chose not to veto the resolution, much as Russia and China had done. Had the United States used their veto power, the resolution would have been squelched. The fact that the resolution is non-binding is secondary to the fact that the United States removed their protection of Israel in the U.N.

Of course, if you get your news from the Arabic press or watch and listen to media as it is presented throughout the Middle East, you would never know that the resolution was non-binding. The Iranian media and English-language Arabic media also chose to portray the non-binding resolution as a binding resolution.

And then, twisting the proverbial dagger even more, they referred to the world’s outrage against Israel. They breathed an audible sigh of relief because with this resolution, finally, the world is seeing the real Israel.

Iran and Hamas entirely embraced the resolution.

And still, the United States did not veto the resolution. The support of Hamas and Iran alone should have been enough to tip the scales of U.S. decision-makers to veto the resolution.

In the span of four days, from Friday to Monday, the world witnessed a dramatic change in U.S. diplomatic policy.

On Friday, the United States was, diplomatically speaking, gung-ho about condemning Hamas. On Friday the United States was adamant about linking a ceasefire to the release of Hamas-held hostages in Gaza.

On Monday the United States, through the grace of their abstention, waved through a resolution that made no mention of, no reference to, the hostages.

Even if the United States is disappointed, angry, peeved with Israel, why allow this resolution to be on the record? It would have been so easy for the world’s greatest, largest democracy to veto that resolution — especially if they disagreed with its tone and wordage.

With this abstention, the United Staes broke with the longstanding tradition of protecting Israel in the Security Council. While it is true that there were previous presidents who permitted resolutions critical of Israel to pass by not vetoing, never, ever was this done at a time this critical to Israel.

At this moment, Israel is literally fighting for its existence.

At this moment, enemies of Israel are gaining strength in the world — and the United States just enabled them.

On December 23, 2016, during the final weeks of the Obama administration, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power abstained in a vote condemning Israeli settlement activity.

In November of 1981, Ronald Reagan refused to have his ambassador veto a resolution condemning the Israeli bombing of Iraqi nuclear plants. And in 2004, Bush’s ambassador abstained in a resolution condemning Israel for destroying Palestinian homes.

None of those abstentions compare to the Biden abstention of March 25th, 2024.

The timing of this abstention is clearly political. President Joe Biden and others, like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, want Netanyahu out of office.

Washington wants to distinguish between support for Israel and support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. That was the essence of Schumer’s speech from the Senate floor calling for new elections in Israel and calling for Netanyahu to step down. A sentiment echoed and supported by President Biden.

Washinton thinks, as do certain people in Israel, that Netanyahu is acting and making decisions based on his desire to resuscitate his political career. That he is catering to his right flank. Correctly, they have assessed that Israel will hold Netanyahu accountable for the snafus and tragic failures that led to the unthinkable, the unimaginable, the gruesome Massacre of October 7th.

But what U.S. leadership does not see is that the vast majority of Israel is in favor of finishing the job. In favor of going into Rafah. In favor of destroying Hamas.

What U.S. leadership refuses to understand is that now, after October 7th, the vast majority of Israelis understand what Hamas really stands for. Israelis understand, with their hearts, their souls and their minds, that recent polling of Palestinians demonstrating that the majority of Palestinians believe that October 7th was justified, that Hamas did not perpetrate mass murders or rape, is real.

Palestinians believe Hamas. Palestinians believe in Hamas.

And while Russia and China were teaching the United States a lesson by vetoing one resolution and then voting for the other resolution, they showed the region — and the world, that they have input. That they can protect and can protect Israel from the United States.

What a royal screw-up on the part of the greatest democracy in the Western world.

Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern," a weekly TV program, and "My Chopp," a daily radio spot. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. Read Micah Halpern's Reports — More Here.

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Why is the United States of America, the country that often calls itself the big brother of Israel, disciplining Israel so publicly.
israel, biden administration
Wednesday, 03 April 2024 12:20 PM
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