Are we about to ditch Israel at the UN?

Rick Moran
The Obama administration is making noises about withdrawing our unconditional support for Israel at the UN as a means to put pressure on the Israelis to 'freeze' settlement growth.

This move is not unexpected, even if the freezing of settlements - whatever that means - were not an issue. Our UN ambassador Susan Rice has had a stone in her shoe regarding Israel since she walked through the UN doors and would have found some other excuse to stick it to the Jews.

Not only is this move stupid on several levels, but according to this piece by Helene Cooper in the New York Times, the Obama administration is absolutely clueless about Israeli domestic politics as well as the danger such "smart diplomacy" entails:

Mr. Obama is to give a much-anticipated speech to the Muslim world from Egypt on Thursday. "There are things that could get the attention of the Israeli public," a senior administration official said, touching on the widespread belief within the administration that any Israeli prime minister risks political peril if the Israeli electorate views him as endangering the country's relationship with the United States.

But, the official added, "Israel is a critical United States ally, and no one in this administration expects that not to continue." He spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.

White House officials said Mr. Obama would not make the Cairo speech entirely about the Arab-Israeli conflict, but would instead seek to engage Muslims on the panoply of issues facing Islam and the West, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.

But the core issue, administration officials said, is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. "I want to use the occasion to deliver a broader message about how the United States can change for the better its relationship with the Muslim world," Mr. Obama told reporters last week. "But certainly, the issue of Middle East peace is something that is going to need to be addressed.

On matters of national security - which most Israelis see the settlement issue - the public is supportive. The idea that the US-Israeli relationship is more important to the Israeli people than the security that the settlements give the Jewish state is almost certainly wrong. This is especially true if Netanyahu can paint the administration's demands on a settlement freeze as unreasonable and unachievable - as indeed they are. Obama's "no growth" demand is laughable. Not only has the Obama administration demanded that Israel stop construction but that there should be no allowance for "natural growth" of the settlements.

A frustrated Netanyahu has simply thrown up his hands according to Herb Keinon of the Jerusalem Post, and has decided to defy Washington on the issue:

Israel will not freeze settlement construction for natural growth, despite intense pressure from the Obama administration to do so, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

While Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has indicated that he will remove illegal settlement outposts, he is determined, the Post has learned, to continue building for natural growth in settlements beyond the security barrier.

In Netanyahu's view, it is further understood that there is no reason housing units cannot be built inside the major settlement blocs for people who want to move there, as well as for natural growth.

In light of unequivocal comments made over the last week by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling for an end to all settlement construction, including for natural growth, as well as US and Israeli officials' failure to reach an agreement on this issue in London last week, there is a great deal of frustration over the matter in the Prime Minister's Office.

I don't think anything that happens at the UN matters much to the Israelis although it might cause Obama some problems domestically. But with the anti-Israel crowd at State and the White House now fully in charge, we should expect more trouble for the strategic relationship between Israel and America in the future.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky




The Obama administration is making noises about withdrawing our unconditional support for Israel at the UN as a means to put pressure on the Israelis to 'freeze' settlement growth.

This move is not unexpected, even if the freezing of settlements - whatever that means - were not an issue. Our UN ambassador Susan Rice has had a stone in her shoe regarding Israel since she walked through the UN doors and would have found some other excuse to stick it to the Jews.

Not only is this move stupid on several levels, but according to this piece by Helene Cooper in the New York Times, the Obama administration is absolutely clueless about Israeli domestic politics as well as the danger such "smart diplomacy" entails:

Mr. Obama is to give a much-anticipated speech to the Muslim world from Egypt on Thursday. "There are things that could get the attention of the Israeli public," a senior administration official said, touching on the widespread belief within the administration that any Israeli prime minister risks political peril if the Israeli electorate views him as endangering the country's relationship with the United States.

But, the official added, "Israel is a critical United States ally, and no one in this administration expects that not to continue." He spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.

White House officials said Mr. Obama would not make the Cairo speech entirely about the Arab-Israeli conflict, but would instead seek to engage Muslims on the panoply of issues facing Islam and the West, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.

But the core issue, administration officials said, is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. "I want to use the occasion to deliver a broader message about how the United States can change for the better its relationship with the Muslim world," Mr. Obama told reporters last week. "But certainly, the issue of Middle East peace is something that is going to need to be addressed.

On matters of national security - which most Israelis see the settlement issue - the public is supportive. The idea that the US-Israeli relationship is more important to the Israeli people than the security that the settlements give the Jewish state is almost certainly wrong. This is especially true if Netanyahu can paint the administration's demands on a settlement freeze as unreasonable and unachievable - as indeed they are. Obama's "no growth" demand is laughable. Not only has the Obama administration demanded that Israel stop construction but that there should be no allowance for "natural growth" of the settlements.

A frustrated Netanyahu has simply thrown up his hands according to Herb Keinon of the Jerusalem Post, and has decided to defy Washington on the issue:

Israel will not freeze settlement construction for natural growth, despite intense pressure from the Obama administration to do so, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

While Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has indicated that he will remove illegal settlement outposts, he is determined, the Post has learned, to continue building for natural growth in settlements beyond the security barrier.

In Netanyahu's view, it is further understood that there is no reason housing units cannot be built inside the major settlement blocs for people who want to move there, as well as for natural growth.

In light of unequivocal comments made over the last week by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling for an end to all settlement construction, including for natural growth, as well as US and Israeli officials' failure to reach an agreement on this issue in London last week, there is a great deal of frustration over the matter in the Prime Minister's Office.

I don't think anything that happens at the UN matters much to the Israelis although it might cause Obama some problems domestically. But with the anti-Israel crowd at State and the White House now fully in charge, we should expect more trouble for the strategic relationship between Israel and America in the future.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky