Anna Bayefsky says Obama is Sacrificing Israel
Anne Bayefksy is one of the most astute and indefatigable observers of the United Nations. When she is not busy being a Hudson institute Fellow, College Professor, lawyer, human rights scholar, and activist she runs the www.EyeontheUN.Org website.
She has a column in Forbes magazine with important revelations about our State Department and the team Barack Obama’s administration sent to the planning conference for Durban II.
Recall that the US boycotted the first Durban Conference because it was clearly going to become (as it did) an anti-American, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic hatefest. The second conference looked to become a repeat performance. Neverthe less, Barack Obama sent a team to this year’s planning conference, assuring people that his team would work to prevent the next conference from taking the same turn as Durban I.
They failed. Not only did the officials Obama send not object to a raft of anti-Israel and Holocaust-denying actions being taken and becoming part of the agenda but they are now peddling a fictionalized version of what did happen. In other words, they are lying.
The Obama administration's decision to join the planning of the U.N.'s Durban II "anti-racism" conference has just taken a new twist: cover-up. On Friday, State Department officials and a member of the American Durban II delegation claimed the United States had worked actively to oppose efforts to brand Israel as racist in the committee drafting a Durban II declaration. The trouble is that they didn't.
The Feb. 20 State Department press release says the U.S. delegation in Geneva "outline[d] our concerns with the current outcome document" and in particular "our strong reservations about the direction of the conference, as the draft document singles out Israel for criticism." One member of the delegation told The Washington Post: "The administration is pushing back against efforts to brand Israel as racist in this conference." In fact, tucked away in a Geneva hall with few observers, the U.S. had done just the opposite. The U.S. delegates had made no objection to a new proposal to nail Israel in an anti-racism manifesto that makes no other country-specific claims.
The reality, however, was nothing of the sort. Instead, Obama's Durban II team slipped easily into the U.N.'s anti-Israel and anti-Jewish environs, taking the approach that "fitting in" was best accomplished by staying silent.
That is, they voted present in the face of anti-Israel, Holocaust-denying and dismissing actions. When Palestinians laid out an anti-Israel proposal before the drafting committee, Obama’s team did “Nothing. Absolutely Nothing”.
Bayefsky points out they were not silent when other actions were taken that had nothing to do with Israel but concerned, for example, profiling or free speech. The team was there for four days and were quite active; except when it came to anti-Israel and anti-Semitic actions. They remained mute. Their silence was deafening, in Bayefsky’s words. Silence is acquiescence.
Bayefsky feels that it is inevitable that the momentum to attend the Durban II conference is overpowering; to step back and boycott would cause harm to the multilateralism and outreach to the world that Barack Obama promised would be a hallmark of his reign.
If the Obama administration does not immediately announce that its foray into the morass of Durban II has led it to decide this is no place for genuine believers in human rights and freedoms, there is only one conclusion possible. His foreign policy of engagement amounts to a new willingness to sacrifice Israel and an indeterminate number of American values for the sake of a warm welcome from the enemies of freedom.What about that transparency? The openness ? The end of politics as usual? All promises made on the campaign trail? All forgotten-probably as soon as they were spoken. One promise does appear to be true: Change is happening.