It is a decision that will live on in reproach and infamy, bringing further shame to the legacy of President Barack Obama: Just one day before the beginning of Hanukkah and Christmas, our departing president threw Israel under the bus.
Shame on you, Mr. President. Your betrayal will not be forgotten.
For weeks now there has been talk that Obama would take one last shot at Prime Minister Netanyahu, with whom he has had an icy, often tense, relationship. There were even accusations that he actively worked against Netanyahu’s 2015 reelection, accusations that make Obama’s indignation over Russia’s alleged involvement in our 2016 elections all the more ironic.
Would he try to push again for a two-state solution, even arguing for 1967 borders, as he once did?
It turns out there was another plan, one that would use the UN Security Council to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem — the so-called disputed, Palestinian territories — with one Israeli official claiming that the Obama administration helped the Palestinian leadership craft the resolution.
This much we know for sure. On Thursday, when the vote was to go before the security council, President-elect Trump reached out to Egyptian President el-Sisi, asking him to withdraw sponsorship of the bill, and remarkably, el-Sisi complied.
It appears that Egypt wants to have Israel as an ally in its war against Isis and the Muslim Brotherhood, not to mention Egypt’s desire to be on good footing with our new president, and so, the resolution was tabled for the day.
On Friday, however, New Zealand, Malaysia, Senegal, and Venezuela reintroduced the bill for a vote, and for the first time, rather than using our veto power as a permanent member of the security council to stop this biased attack on Israel, President Obama instructed Samantha Power, our Ambassador to the UN, to abstain from voting. And so, with the direct help of the President of the United States, the UN Security Council condemned the nation of Israel for building settlements in the “occupied territories.”
I’m aware, of course, that there are legal and moral disputes over the settlements, with Israel constantly reaffirming its legal and moral right to continue to build. A spokesman for the president gave this simple justification for our actions on Friday: We stand with Israel — after all, we “just concluded a $38 billion tenure (memorandum of understanding) for security assistance to Israel” — and we join the international community in opposing the settlements, which are an obstacle to peace.
But there is no coincidence that, with just days left in his administration, and with the reality that much of his legacy will quickly be undone by incoming President Trump, outgoing President Obama committed this act of betrayal against our one true ally in the Middle East, America’s historic close friend, Israel.
The fact is, there are more than 1.5 million Palestinian Arabs living as full-citizens in Israel, serving on the Supreme Court, holding seats in the Knesset, enjoying the unique benefits and freedoms that Israel offers to its people. (For the record, when polled, they have no desire to be under Palestinian leadership.) In contrast, the Palestinians do not want any Jews living in their disputed territories, all the more so if there is a two-state solution.
In other words, the Palestinian Arabs will continue to live in Israel, but a Palestinian State must be Judenrein — entirely free of Jews. Where is the world outcry over this?
The bottom line, though, is this.
The UN has been infamously anti-Semitic through its history – that is to say, it has been so unjustly and blatantly anti-Israel that it has demonstrated actual anti-Semitism – and this latest UN resolution was just another manifestation of that ugly pattern.
At times like this, regardless of whether America was supportive of Israel’s settlement policy, there was only right thing for us to do, namely, veto the resolution and stand with Israel. Instead, President Obama was complicit in condemning Israel on the world stage shortly before leaving office, thereby confirming the criticisms of the many who always questioned the depth of his solidarity with the Jewish state.
Ironically, this has paved the way for President-elect Trump to make his solidarity with Israel (and his antipathy to the UN) all the more clear, as he tweeted out yesterday: “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.”
As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2016
And on the allegedly anti-Semitic Breitbart.com, Orthodox Jewish columnist Joel B. Pollack has already written about, “Five Ways Trump Could Avenge the Anti-Israel UN Vote,” all of which are very feasible.
President Obama, then, has shown his true colors in the closing days of his presidency and immediately before the beginning of Christmas Eve and the first day of Hanukkah.
But the timing of his infamous act reminds me of this: God’s purposes for the world through Jesus will continue unabated, and in the Hebrew words commemorated by the Hanukkah miracle, Am Yisrael Chai, The People of Israel Live. (For more from the author of “President Obama Throws Israel Under the Bus the Day Before Hanukkah and Christmas Eve” please click HERE)