Obama Turns His Back on Israel

While Bibi is profusely thanking Obama for his veto, he obscures the real issue which Romney in this article nails. Even if William Crystal wrote it, Romney signed it.

By Mitt Romney, National Review Online

The Obama administration has been seeking a way to avoid vetoing a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel. It has floated the idea of meeting Israel’s critics halfway with a U.N. “presidential statement” calling Israeli settlements “illegitimate.” Whether or not such a statement is actually issued, the very idea is a mistake. Indeed, we have here in this single idea a display of multiple foreign-policy failures of this presidency. Let us count the ways the administration’s proposed action has already injured Israel and the United States.

For one thing, the U.N. condemnation put forward by the president puts Israel, our closest ally in the region, in an untenable position. In exchange for peace, previous Israeli governments offered radical border concessions, surrendering most of the West Bank and even portions of Jerusalem. In 2005, the government of Ariel Sharon withdrew from the Gaza Strip, uprooting thousands of its own citizens.

Yet all such proposals and steps toward peace have been met by Palestinian rejection, by intifadas, by suicide bombings, and by Qassam rocket fire. Isolated more than ever in the region, Israel must now contend with the fact that its principal backer in the world, the United States, is seeking to ingratiate itself with Arab opinion at its expense. Will an increasingly tenuous relationship with the U.S., at the very moment when it is becoming more vulnerable, encourage Israel to be as flexible as it has in the past, or the reverse? The answer is clear.

For another thing, even on its own terms of supposedly promoting the Arab-Israeli peace process, this is not a step forward but a step back.

By taking up and embracing a core Palestinian demand, as the president has done repeatedly on this issue over the past two years, the United States is removing incentives for the Palestinians to parley with Israel at all. They are induced to believe that they can simply wait until their demands are handed to them on a silver platter by Washington. The administration’s contemplated compromise in the U.N. thus would punish Israel and reward Palestinian intransigence.

The harm wrought by the Obama administration’s diplomatic decision making is doubly driven home by the fact that it is taking place in that chamber of double-standards, the United Nations. For decades the U.N. has been the epicenter of the worldwide campaign to delegitimize Israel, a campaign that has often devolved into naked anti-Semitism. Democratic and Republican administrations alike have long resisted this vicious business. It was Daniel Patrick Moynihan who in 1975 denounced the U.N.’s “Zionism Equals Racism” resolution as an obscenity, and it was Pres. George H. W. Bush who in 1991 won its repeal. The Obama administration is abysmally remiss in departing from our proud tradition of standing by a democratic ally when the world’s most unsavory regimes gang up on it.

Finally, the episode reveals a strategic failure that transcends mishandling of the Israeli-Palestinian problem alone. For its first two years, the Obama administration downplayed the importance of promoting democracy around the world. Reflexively shunning the foreign-policy approach of its predecessor, it sought to engage adversaries like Iran and North Korea, coddle autocratic allies, and distance itself from democratic friends.

True, over the last few days the administration has belatedly recognized that, in the wake of the revolutions sweeping the Arab world, supporting aspirations for human freedom might be important. It has finally, for example, issued strong statements condemning the Iranian ayatollahs for their violent suppression of the democratic opposition. But one step forward, two steps backward. President Obama’s decision to lean hard on Israel has the U.S. once again currying favor with dictators and distancing itself from democrats.

Putting forward a misbegotten U.N. statement as a compromise was a tactical, strategic, and moral mistake. The administration may conceive of its action as a low cost, split-the-difference gesture, but it has harmed an ally, sent a dangerous signal of inconstancy to allies and adversaries alike, and betrayed basic American principles. That’s three mistakes in one. I hope in the end the U.S. vetoes the anti-Israel resolution, but significant damage has already been done.

February 20, 2011 | 13 Comments »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

Leave a Reply

13 Comments / 13 Comments

  1. ” However, you paint our president as some oaf, non-American, who has turned his back on the nation and that is just pure and complete crap.”

    I would say it’s not complete crap. By analogy, it’s like going on a date with a girl and having her flirt briefly with an outlaw biker. She didn’t exactly turn her back on me, but it does make me question her loyalty as well as her taste in men.

  2. julia coriat says: You may the same for all of Asia, Africa, and the world in general. Israel has one significant friend left and that is Israpundit. Which would not buy you a cup of Starbucks coffee

    Julia, wanna fight?

  3. nathan zuckerman says:
    February 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    However, you paint our president as some oaf, non-American, who has turned his back on the nation and that is just pure and complete crap.

    Nathan, the president Mr. Obama is full of crap.

    First and foremost he is “An Acorn community organizing pamphlet distributing anti-Semite, pretending to be a Christian (for political reasons of course)who embraces Islam, incompetent president”.

    Beware of what is he doing and has already done, forget what he says.

    He is no friend of Israel regardless what he says.

    He cannot and should not be trusted.

    Liberal democrats all drank the kool-aid provided by Georg Soros and company and the liberal left media.

    If you drank the kool-aid seek immediate help.

  4. Nathan Zuckerman, are we supposed to be impressed because the administration vetoed the resolution?

    That’s three mistakes in one. I hope in the end the U.S. vetoes the anti-Israel resolution, but significant damage has already been done.

  5. Nathan Zuckerman, no one said Obama was non-American, so what gives with your bare assertion that those who say that are full of crap.

    If you think Obama is good for America and for Israel, make a cogent case for your position.

    I am sure there are many who would be happy to make a cogent fact based reasoned case to counter you.

    Consider this a challenge. Are you up to it?

  6. Ted Belman

    Ted Belman says:
    February 20, 2011 at 6:58 pm
    That goes for all Europe

    You may the same for all of Asia, Africa, and the world in general. Israel has one significant friend left and that is Israpundit. Which would not buy you a cup of Starbucks coffee.

  7. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) newsletter, which posts bios of all major Presidential candidates, describes Romney’s Middle East policy as, essentially, very close to that pursued by George W. Bush when he was in office. I don’t take tremendous comfort in that, since most of Obama’s policies have been merely logical conclusions of policies Bush initated — all built on the backbone of W’s statement that “Islam is peace”. Obama, of course, used his affirmative action status to push that policy to an extent unthinkable had a Republican (such as CFR member John S. McCain) taken office; but the general direction was already in place under Bush.

    I mention the CFR, which Romney has DENIED being a member of, because that group has been prominent in every US Administration for as far back as I can remember. Vice President Joe Biden is a lifetime member, along with Bush’s Vice President, Dick Cheney. Bill Clinton was and is a member, as was his predecessor, W’s father George H. W. Bush. Before Papa Bush, anti-Israeli cabinet members such as James A. Baker and George Pratt Shultz were CFR members. Carter’s National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was also a member; as was his predecessor under Nixon and Ford, Henry Kissinger. The anti-Israel views and policies of both those men are legendary.

    In the upcoming election, you can bet that the CFR will field its own candidates (Conservative favorite John Bolton is a CFR member), and oppose them with sympathizers. CFR is intentionally bipartisan, so that its program will be advanced no matter who gets elected; and massive funders such as former CFR President George Soros will lend considerable support to their favorite pick.

    In the upcoming election, the Republicans have a couple of candidates, in the persons of Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, whose pro-Israel credentials are unmistakeable. I am leery of Huckabee, because of his deep connections with Homeland Security — The Bush-created Agency to Defend America from Bogeymen (ADAB, if you will) that specializes in getting US citizens used to massive Big Government intrusion into their freedom, privacy and dignity. Neither does Palin enchant me with her political connections with John McCain — whom I liberally supported, not knowing his CFR status.

    No matter who wins the Republican and Democrat primaries, we can be certain that special interests such as the “Homeland Security” (read, “Schutzanstaffel”, or “SA”) industry and the CFR, will have prominent seats in the Oval Office; and we will have to content ourselves with the lesser of two evils. Be that as it may, the upcoming election is bound to be engineered by the “Big Boys” as none before it; and they all have a deep, common stake in ensuring an outcome that continues current policies. They will confuse their machinations first of all, by presenting us with a veritable fog of candidates (nearly 2 dozen, at my last count) to confuse the voters; and Romney is one of many.

    The gist of this, is that I will vote for one of the candidates which survives the Primary process (which in my case as an Oregonian amounts to saying “yes” or “no” to the one viable candidate chosen in earlier primaries). Come November, 2012, we will again be able to select between a rattlesnake and a laughing hyena; and if a truly decent contender makes it that far along in the game, a third party candidate to draw off enough votes to ensure the other creature’s victory. For all the above reasons, put me down as decidedly unenthusiastic about all the candidates.

  8. ted, note that angela merkel’s envoy in the unsc voted in favour of the arabs. all the talks of an israel-friendly german chancelor are nothing but pure lies.

  9. If yhou lads and ladies would slow down a bit and stop ragging on all Democrats, you would know by now that the US vetoed the resolution to
    bad mouth Israel for settlement building. However, you paint our president as some oaf, non-American, who has turned his back on the nation and that is just pure and complete crap.

  10. I agree that Obama’s actions undermine the peace process, since it gives the Arab side hope that Israel can be isolated and brought down like South Africa.

    Still, I’m kinda glad that Obama is undermining the peace process. After witnessing the events in Egypt, I’m more skeptical than ever about the value of these peace deals. It seems very likely that if the Egyptian people assert their will, Egypt will break off the treaty with Israel. And if that happens, will the world be outraged that Egypt reneged on a deal? Of course not. Instead, Israel will be blamed.