Behind the scenes of the American betrayal of Israel
In 1979, then-U.N. ambassador Andrew Young was fired by President Carter for meeting on the sideliness of the U.N. with a representative of the PLO. The U.S. had promised Israel that it would not meet with the PLO until the terrorists acknowledged Israel's right to exist.
Flash forward to 2016, where the Israelis say they have "ironclad proof" that U.S. officials conspired with the Palestinians to pass the most anti-Israel resolution in the U.N.'s history.
Doubling down on its public break with the Obama administration, a furious Israeli government on Tuesday said it had received "ironclad" information from Arab sources that Washington actively helped craft last week's U.N. resolution declaring Israeli settlements in occupied territories illegal.
The allegations further poisoned a toxic atmosphere between Israel and the outgoing administration in the wake of Friday's vote, raising questions about whether the White House might take further action against settlements in President Barack Obama's final weeks in office.
With the U.S. expected to participate in an international peace conference in France next month and Secretary of State John Kerry planning a final policy speech, the Palestinians hope to capitalize on the momentum. Israel's nationalist government is banking on the incoming Trump administration to undo the damage with redoubled support.
Although the U.S. has long opposed the settlements, it has generally used its Security Council veto to protect its ally from censure. On Friday, it abstained from a resolution calling settlements a "flagrant violation" of international law, allowing it to pass by a 14-0 margin.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has had a cool relationship with Obama, called the resolution "shameful" and accused the U.S. of playing an active role in its passage.
On Tuesday, his spokesman went even further.
"We have ironclad information that emanates from sources in the Arab world and that shows the Obama administration helped craft this resolution and pushed hard for its eventual passage," David Keyes said. "We're not just going to be a punching bag and go quietly into the night."
He did not identify the Arab sources or say how Israel obtained the information. Israel has close security ties with Egypt, the original sponsor of last week's resolution who, as the lone Arab member of the Security Council, was presenting it at the Palestinians' request. Under heavy Israeli pressure, Egypt delayed the resolution indefinitely — but other members presented it for a vote a day later. Egypt ended up voting in favor of the measure.
The Obama administration has vehemently denied Israel's allegations.
"We did not draft, advance, promote, or even tell any other country how we would vote on this resolution in advance of the Egyptians putting it in blue last week," said White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes.
Is Rhodes lying? The Times of Israel has published a transcript of meetings between the U.S. and Palestinians that appeared in an Egyptian newspaper ("Arab sources?") that show just how far the U.S. conspired with terrorists against their allies:
In a meeting in early December with top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, US Secretary of State John Kerry told the Palestinians that the US was prepared to cooperate with the Palestinians at the Security council, Israel’s Channel 1 TV said, quoting the Egyptian Al-Youm Al-Sabea newspaper.
Also present at the meeting according to the report were US National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and Majed Faraj, director of the Palestinian Authority’s General Intelligence Service.
White House national security council spokesman Ned Price on Wednesday told the Times of Israel that no such meeting took place. “The ‘transcript’ is a total fabrication,” he said.
While the State Department confirmed meetings that Erekat and a Palestinian delegation had with Kerry and separately with Rice, no tripartite between all of them took place, according to Price.
Kerry is quoted as saying that he could present his ideas for a final status solution if the Palestinians pledge they will support the proposed framework. The US officials advised the Palestinians to travel to Riyadh to present the plan to Saudi leaders.
Israel fears that Kerry, who is slated to give a speech Wednesday on the subject, will then lay out his comprehensive vision for two-state solution at a Paris peace conference planned for January. Israel has refused to attend. Israel further fears that this Kerry framework could be enshrined in another UN Security Council resolution.
From what we know of the administration's attitude toward Israel, the transcript rings true, although any information originating from a source in the Middle East must be accepted with some skepticism. Still, to think it was possible that two of the top foreign policy representatives of the United States would actively conspire with terrorist-supporting Palestinians against one of our closest allies is remarkable in a historical context.
Great Britain is also singled out for working to pass the anti-Israel resolution, reportedly urging New Zealand to introduce the measure at the Security Council:
According to Haaretz, in an article titled “Britain Pulled the Strings and Netanyahu Warned New Zealand It Was Declaring War: New Details on Israel’s Battle Against the UN Vote” According to Haaretz: “The British secretly worked the Palestinians and urged New Zealand to move ahead with the resolution, and a call from Netanyahu to Putin triggered a real drama at the UN HQ just one hour before the vote.”
Last Friday, a few hours before the UN Security Council vote on the settlements, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu phoned New Zealand’s foreign minister, Murray McCully. New Zealand, together with Senegal, Malaysia and Venezuela, was leading the move to resubmit for a vote the resolution from which Egypt had backed down the day before.
A few hours earlier, a senior official in the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem called New Zealand’s ambassador to Israel, Jonathan Curr, and warned that if New Zealand’s move came to a vote, Israel might close its embassy in Wellington in protest. Ambassador Curr noted this and reported it to his government, but when dawn came in New York Israel understood that things were still moving ahead.
Netanyahu’s phone call to McCully was almost his last attempt to prevent the vote, or at least to postpone it and buy a little time. Western diplomats say the conversation was harsh and very tense and Netanyahu let loose with sharp threats, perhaps unprecedented in relations between Israel and another Western country.
“This is a scandalous decision. I’m asking that you not support it and not promote it,” Netanyahu told McCully, according to the Western diplomats, who asked to remain unnamed due to the sensitivity of the matter. “If you continue to promote this resolution from our point of view it will be a declaration of war. It will rupture the relations and there will be consequences. We’ll recall our ambassador to Jerusalem.” McCully refused to back down from the vote. “This resolution conforms to our policy and we will move it forward,” he told Netanyahu.
The idea that New Zealand would introduce a resolution chastising Israel for "occupying" land not its own is absurd, when you consider that country's colonialist history:
New Zealanders are no strangers to settlements—or to the cavalier denial of the rights of an indigenous people in their historic homeland. Coincidentally or not, this December marks the 153rd anniversary of The New Zealand Settlements Act, which shows that the denial of indigenous rights, and the deliberate destruction of a two-state solution in favor of an illegal land grab, are the bedrock on which the modern state of New Zealand was founded. Given that history, and the current realities of New Zealand’s treatment of its indigenous Maori population, the country’s steering of a UN Security Council resolution pronouncing the Jewish connection to our historic homeland to be illegal passes well into the territory of historical denialism.
The story of New Zealand’s continuing illegal occupation of Maori land is best told by numbers: in 1831, there were fewer than 1,000 Europeans living in New Zealand, a population dwarfed by that of the local Maori tribes. By 1881, that number had mushroomed to 500,000, largely the result of British policy that shipped off settlers to the new continent and encouraged them to stay. It goes without saying that these Europeans had neither historical attachment nor any legal claim to the land. While the Maoris were happy at first to trade with the newcomers, they eventually realized that the Pākehā, their name for the white settlers, would not be satisfied until they seized all of the land and eliminated the Maori way of life. Wars broke out, and treaties were signed, which finally divided sovereignty in the land between the European colonialists and the aboriginal inhabitants.
But dividing the land in half between the Maori and the European colonialists wasn’t enough to satisfy the ancestors of today’s New Zealanders. In 1863, the colonial government ordered all Maori to lay down their arms. Those who did not, according to the newly passed land confiscation clauses contained in the New Zealand Settlements Act, would “forfeit the right to possession of their lands.” Four million acres of Maori lands were subsequently seized by the government in Wellington without the slightest pretense of due process and handed out as prizes to European colonialists, and Maori sovereignty in their ancestral homeland was effectively eliminated.
Perhaps it is fitting that one of the Obama administration's last acts would be to attempt to undermine Israel's security. Ironically, for a president who prides himself and his legacy for all the "firsts" he has been able to accomplish, it's probably safe to say that his administration's cynical absention at the U.N. will be a "last."