The news obviously wasn’t good for conservatives this week on the Obamacare front. On the spy vs. spy front, the news was mixed and confusing.
However, there was plenty for conservatives to be happy about. First and foremost, Neil Gorsuch was terrific at his Senate hearing, and the Democrats seem determined to maximize the damage his confirmation will inflict on them. In addition, President Trump’s approval of construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline represents a nice win.
Finally, lost in the avalanche of big news, the Trump administration has taken a vehement pro-Israel position at the United Nations. The Washington Post reports:
The Trump administration is strongly condemning what it calls a systemic anti-Israel bias at the United Nations, arguing Friday that U.N. monitoring of West Bank settlement activity allowed by the Obama administration is the latest example.
Michele Sison, the No. 2 U.S. diplomat at the United Nations, spoke against what the United States says is the unfair singling out of Israel during a closed session of the U.N. Security Council on Friday. There and elsewhere, the Trump administration is arguing that the United Nations has allowed valuable time and attention to be hijacked for bashing Israel.
The Obama administration featured prominently in the Israel bashing. On its way out the door, it promoted a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements — a position the U.S. had always prevented the Security Council from adopting.
The resolution cannot be undone, but the Trump administration can still lash out against the U.N.’s treatment of Israel. In fact:
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley and other U.S. officials are taking every opportunity to point out what they say is institutional mistreatment of Israel at the United Nations and its member bodies, and the United States is expected to use its presidency of the U.N. Security Council next month as a megaphone.
In addition, the Trump administration is using its voting power to stand up for Israel:
Earlier Friday, the United States voted against five resolutions it calls anti-Israel at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva. The Trump administration lobbied allies to also vote no. No major U.S. ally did so, but Britain issued a warning that it would follow the United States’ suit if the U.N. body continues to single out Israel for opprobrium.
“Today we are putting the Human Rights Council on notice,” British Ambassador Julian Braithwaite said. “If things do not change, in the future we will adopt a policy of voting against all resolutions concerning Israel’s conduct in the occupied Syrian and Palestinian territories.
It sounds like Great Britain is trying to play on both teams.
The “Human Rights Council,” a bad joke, approved all five anti-Israel resolutions, of course. Ambassador Haley has said that the U.S. will boycott discussions related to these “outrageous, one-sided, anti-Israel resolutions.”
Our backing of Israel at the U.N. doesn’t mean the Trump administration has no concerns about Israeli settlement activity. As the Post reports:
The new Trump White House has sent mixed signals on settlements. Trump publicly endorsed a hiatus on settlement building during Netanyahu’s visit to Washington last month, but the White House has also said it does not necessarily see the issue as a hindrance to peace.
Obviously, a U.S. administration can try to persuade Israel to limit settlement activity while still sticking up for Israel at the U.N. Indeed, one can argue that the U.S. is likely to be more persuasive if it defends Israel against the jackals.
Conservatives should be delighted that the Trump administration is doing just that.