Donald Trump’s success in blocking a U.N. resolution condemning Israel was short-lived. Yesterday, as we discussed here, Egypt pulled the resolution in response to Trump’s expression of disapproval.
Today, however, four Security Council members revived it for consideration. They were New Zealand, Malaysia, Senegal, and Venezuela, a failed socialist state.
Obama’s abstention was cowardly. Clearly, he wanted the resolution to pass, but Obama lacked the guts to have the U.S. vote for it.
But what can we expect from the guy who voted “present” as a state legislator when controversial matters came up?
Obama’s U.N. ambassador Samantha Power, an Israel basher in her own right, claimed that the U.S. abstained because the administration didn’t agree with every word of the resolution. This is rubbish. It’s rare to agree with every word of a resolution or a piece of legislation. One votes “yes” if one agrees with it on balance; otherwise one votes “no” (or in this case exercises a veto).
I imagine this is how things will be under Donald Trump. He’s not an abstaining, voting “present” kind of guy. The contrast with Obama probably helped him win the presidency.
The U.S. should have blocked this resolution. As Chuck Schumer said:
It is extremely frustrating, disappointing, and confounding that the Administration has failed to veto this resolution. Whatever one’s view are on settlements, the U.N. is the wrong forum to settle these issues.
The U.N. has been a fervently anti-Israel body since the days of “Zionism is racism” and, unfortunately, that fervor has never diminished. Knowing this, past administrations — both Democrat and Republican — have protected Israel from the vagaries of this biased institution.
Unfortunately, this administration has not followed in this path and its actions will move us further from peace in the Middle East.
The passage of the anti-Israel resolution was greeted by applause in the Security Council. The Palestinian delegation was giddy.
It should be. The vote will sting in Israel.
But let’s look at the big picture. What’s more important to Israel, the passage of the resolution or the replacement of Obama by Donald Trump? I think it’s Trump’s ascension.
The U.N. is a debating society. Its resolutions can give aid and comfort to Israel’s enemies, but Israel can ignore them.
Israel cannot easily ignore the U.S. With Trump as president, it may well be that Israel won’t have to choose, as it has for the past eight years, between upholding its security interests and displeasing the American president. Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu seem to be on the same wave length.
Today’s U.N. action may very well inform Trump’s attitude towards the U.N. The president-elect tweeted: “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20.”
This is music to my ears.
If Trump treats the U.N. with an extra dose of contempt as a result of this vote, some good will come out of Obama’s disgraceful decision to take this parting shot at Israel.
UPDATE: The U.N. is so contemptible that it can unite Lindsey Graham and Donald Trump. Sen. Graham had this to say about the U.N. resolution:
This provocative action by the United Nations is an outrage and must be dealt with sternly and forcefully.
As the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I oversee the United States assistance to the United Nations. The United States is currently responsible for approximately 22 percent of the United Nations total budget.
If the United Nations moves forward with the ill-conceived resolution, I will work to form a bipartisan coalition to suspend or significantly reduce United States assistance to the United Nations.
In addition, any nation which backs this resolution and receives assistance from the United States will put that assistance in jeopardy.
There is a reason the United States has long opposed these type efforts directed at Israel — the only way to achieve a lasting peace by the parties negotiating directly and not using the United Nations as a blunt instrument against Israel. This was President Obama’s position in 2011 and it should be his position today.
I’m skeptical that much will come of this in Congress. But wouldn’t it be great if President Obama’s parting shot at Israel produces an enormous set back for the U.N.? There’s a fitting legacy for the man who fancies himself a towering internationalist.
Maybe one day, Obama can be Secretary General of a shrunken U.N.