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Drain UN Swamp to Reverse Obama Israel Blunder

Drain UN Swamp to Reverse Obama Israel Blunder

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Tuesday, 27 December 2016 02:28 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Any hope for the peace process in the Mideast was extinguished Friday when the U.S. made a stunning departure from a many decades old commitment to defend Israel against malicious U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Rarely has a resolution been so damaging to U.S. and Israeli national security interests.

It will plague the U.S., Israel, and even the Palestinians for many years to come.

Peace will only come when both sides believe that their best option is to negotiate a peace agreement. Israel already has extended an open invitation to negotiate peace with no pre-conditions. It has offered a Palestinian state multiple times over the last 16 years and unilaterally evacuated Gaza to create the first Palestinian state in history.

In contrast, the Palestinians believe that they can get anything they want by means other than peaceful negotiations. For example, they have incited multiple intifadas, believing that terrorism will force Israel to acquiesce to their demands. More recently, the focus has been on trying to get the international community to pressure Israel to knuckle under.

This is why we see the Palestinians inventing war crimes accusations at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and promoting boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS).

This resolution will cement the Palestinian leadership’s belief that they can get their demands met without giving up anything at the negotiating table because it resolves some of the most hotly disputed issues 100 percent against the Israeli position, completely bypassing direct negotiations. In addition, it supercharges international political and economic pressure on Israel alone while at the same time marginalizing the role of the United States.

The following are just 10 of the disastrous effects of this resolution, any one of which separately required a veto by the United States:

1) Warping international law. The status of the "West Bank" (historically called Judea and Samaria) and East Jerusalem is clearly at the core of the dispute in the Middle East. Israel has substantial Biblical, historical, and legal claims to what it calls Judea and Samaria. The League of Nations granted the right of Jews to settle throughout the “Palestinian Mandate” and the U.N. never addressed this right – until Friday. Furthermore, the laws of war give Israel substantial claims because the 1967 Six Day War was a defensive war. Before Friday, both sides had disputed legal claims and that was a good place to start negotiations. Now the U.N. has declared by fiat that the establishment of any settlements in the "West Bank" or even East Jerusalem "has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law." This gives the Palestinians exactly what they want. If the Israeli presence in all the land is "flagrantly" illegal, why should they negotiate at all or offer any land swaps to give Israel a defensible border?

Why not demand that every settlement be eviscerated?

Why negotiate rather than wait for the next U.N. edict?

2) Dividing Jerusalem. The resolution lumps East Jerusalem, which contains Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount, into what it calls "occupied Palestinian Territory." It has been recognized for decades that the final status of East Jerusalem is a distinct issue that must be addressed by final status negotiations. Now every Jew who lives in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem where Jews have been for millennia is there illegally. Perhaps this implies that a Jew who prays at the Western Wall has made an illegal incursion into "Palestinian territory." What could be more malicious? Even the 2016 Democratic Platform called for Jerusalem to “remain the capital of Israel, an undivided city,” but now East Jerusalem is said to be part of occupied Palestinian territory. Why should the Palestinians be open to negotiation when the U.N. declares they have already won?

3) Unilaterally creating Palestinian territory. The resolution refers to "Palestinian Territory" in the present tense. This is a very short step from unilaterally declaring by U.N. fiat the existence of a Palestinian state today, bypassing negotiations. One should ask, what Palestinian territory? There has never been a Palestinian state — at least until Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza. Judea and Samaria were part of the British Mandate, and then illegally occupied by Jordan after it attacked Israel in the War of Independence. A Palestinian State — and the borders of its territory — were only supposed to be created by negotiations, until Friday.

4) Encouraging "lawfare" against Israel. By declaring the settlements to be a “flagrant violation under international law,” the U.N. is encouraging the Palestinians to try to haul Israel before the International Criminal Court. Even worse, one can imagine them trying to convince countries hostile to Israel to arrest anyone living in Judea or Samaria or even East Jerusalem. Doing so would be highly inappropriate, but it doesn’t mean that the Palestinians will not try and judges not versed in international law will not be duped. Again, why negotiate when you are given other means to force the result you want?

5) Encouraging BDS against Israel. The resolution calls on countries to "distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967." This all but expressly requests that the world join the BDS movement and boycott any company or person who has a connection to Judea or Samaria, including East Jerusalem! Since many companies in the Western part of Israel may have connections to the east, it could lead to boycotts against Israel generally. Is it paranoid to think that the U.N. is actually advocating a boycott of Israeli companies? It turns out that earlier this year the U.N. Human Rights Council began assembling a database of Israeli companies that operate in Judea and Samaria.

This database serves no purpose other than to facilitate a boycott of Israel.

6) Declaring Israeli settlements are the only obstacle to peace. Although the resolution gives lip service to preventing "all acts of violence" and terrorism, it also gives the Palestinians a free pass for inciting and conducting the violence. This is because only the settlements – not any Palestinian incitement or violence — are said to be "a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace." Violence is not said to be an obstacle to peace. In fact, the resolution calls on both parties to refrain from incitement. The upshot is only Israeli actions stand in the way of peace. This gives a green light to the Palestinian leadership to incite another intifada rather negotiate peace because the world will not accuse them of creating an obstacle to peace.

7) Marginalizing the United States. The resolution memorializes America’s increasing irrelevance in the Middle East. It expressly states the importance of ongoing efforts such as the Arab Peace Initiative and French initiative, as well as the efforts of the Quartet, Egypt, and Russia. While France, Egypt, and Russia are mentioned by name, the U.S. is not, instead only still relevant as part of the Quartet which also includes the U.N., the EU, and again Russia. The U.S. did not protect its ally Israel against this resolution, and the resolution makes clear that the U.S. should not have a major role going forward. Israel is on its own, with the peace process to be run by countries none too friendly toward it.

Why should the Palestinians make any concessions in negotiations?

8) Sustained pressure against Israel. The resolution calls for status reports by the Secretary General every three months and says the Security Council will “remain seized of the matter.” Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has already admitted that the UN is obsessed with Israel; this will make matters that much worse, ensuring that the UN attacks Israel on a quarterly basis.

Why should the Palestinians negotiate when they can count on ever mounting U.N. pressure?

9) The end of bipartisanship. This may be the death knell of bipartisanship regarding Israel, which is a tragedy for U.S. national security. I hope Democrats wake up to prove me wrong, but if not, Israel will realize that it has no friend in the U.S. when progressive Democrats are in power. If the protection of the U.S. at the U.N. does not apply when there is a Democratic president, can Israel rely on the U.S. in other ways at all times? It will be forced to continue its strategic realignment towards Russia, India, and China.

In time, the U.S. may lose its one steadfast ally in the Mideast.

10) Condoning Judenrein. Perhaps most egregiously of all, the resolution parrots the idea that settlements prevent peace without questioning why or addressing the sinister assumption that is rarely made explicit: a Palestinian state must be Judenrein (ethnically cleansed of all Jews) and the world condones it. Palestinian Authority President Abbas has made it explicit that no Jews will be allowed to live in a Palestinian state. If this is the case it follows that the land upon which Jews live must remain in Israel or the residents must be forcibly removed. This creates complication, but would be no problem at all if the Jews were allowed to continue to live there in peace. The borders would go where they go, and the Jews could stay or move on their own.Settlements would not matter at all.

How can the progressive liberals who supported this resolution accept this?

I challenge these champions of tolerance to explain why they become apoplectic about any perceived injustice by Israel, even though Israel has nearly two million Arab citizens, including Arab members of the Knesset and Supreme Court, any yet are completely complacent that the Palestinians would expel all Jews, or worse.

It is hard to imagine one resolution causing more harm. A presidency filled with national security blunders has found a way to add one of its most troubling with just days to go.

Can the damage be repaired by President-elect Trump and Governor Haley? In a future article I will show that there still is hope, but it will take a bold use of U.S. power to drain the ultimate swamp, the United Nations. Fortunately, on Jan. 20, we may just have leaders with the vision and guts to do it.

Dr. Philip J. Rosenthal is the co-founder and president of Fastcase, Inc. (www.fastcase.com) and was the 2016 Republican, Conservative, and Independence Party nominee for Congress in the N.Y. 10th, the district that includes Wall Street and Ground Zero (www.rosenthalforcongress.com). To read more of his reports — Go Here Now.

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PhilRosenthal
Any hope for the peace process in the Mideast was extinguished Friday when the U.S. made a stunning departure from a many decades old commitment to defend Israel against malicious U.N. Security Council resolutions.
resolution
1741
2016-28-27
Tuesday, 27 December 2016 02:28 PM
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