Time for a new treaty with Israel

The perfidy of President Obama's actions thru the United Nations last week admits of a deed that would foreclose the possibility of such actions ever being repeated: an Israel-America Relations Treaty.

With the exception of the “FRIENDSHIP, COMMERCE AND NAVIGATION Treaty, with Protocol and Exchange of Notes, between the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and ISRAEL,” there does not appear (aside from numerous agreements, etc.) to be any formal treaty between the parties that spells out the status of Israel, per se, or that deals with the relations of the two countries between each other or with how each deals with other entities or countries vis-à-vis that status.

Ira Stoll, who once was vice president and managing editor of The (now defunct) New York Sun newspaper, has written, definitively in my opinion, of the need for such a treaty at the Sun website:

Jewish national self-determination has found itself so often at the mercy of gentiles[.] ... [Not] a single ... [nation] other than Israel itself could be dependably relied on for Jewish security or even survival. If America does want to try to turn this around, the U.S. Constitution provides a path forward for both the Congress and President-elect Trump.

Mr. Stoll recounts how, thru the ages and especially during the past 70 years  Israel has benefited from the goodwill of many peoples only to see the benefits of such good will shattered by subsequent betrayals and reversals by those same peoples.

This sickening cycle, Stoll argues, and I agree, has brought us to this present situation, wherein Israel and every Israeli lies subject to persecution, retribution, and harm at the fickle will of anyone and everyone in the world.  And that is not rash hyperbole.

The contemptible Resolution 2334 passed last week guts the tenuous Resolution 242 (passed in 1967) that has provided Israel paths to dealing with friends and foes alike in a somewhat civilized manner.  But now, Israel has lost its position in Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter and has been branded as a criminal with respect to its position elsewhere on its borders, particularly those with the West Bank.

Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer spelled out the actions that can be taken against Israel and Israelis in a remarkable series of appearances recently.  Some of those actions are prosecution of soldiers, officers, and officials for any military doings in the specified areas; expansion of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement; exclusion of access by Israelis to the Wailing Wall and the tombs of Abraham and Rachel; limits on travel of all Israelis; and diplomatic and economic isolation of Israel.

Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, writes:

The Palestinians have completed the hijacking of every major UN institution ... nineteen resolutions condemning Israel and nine critical of all other UN states combined ... one resolution (on Women's Rights) condemning Israel and zero on any other state ... ten years of adopting more [Human Rights] resolutions and decisions condemning Israel than any other place on earth. And now ... [the] Security Council ...  Obama’s failure to veto the resolution is at odds with long-standing American foreign policy that has insisted on peace through negotiations, and not UN-fiat, as the only way to ensure genuine and long-lasting recognition and cooperation[.] ... [T]his UN move is a head-on assault on American democracy. President Obama knew full well he did not have Congressional support for the Iran deal, so he went straight to the Security Council first[.] ... Doing nothing is not an option for our new President and our incoming Congress.

More from Mr. Stoll:

... the assistance of foreign powers, while crucial, has also proven erratic[.] ... [Absent] such a treaty, the U.S.-Israel relationship will rest on tenuous legal ground no matter how deep it is in other ways ... [and] other agreements ... memoranda of understanding ... countless other documents governing the relationship ... were undercut by Friday’s vote[.] ... [The] treaty [would] make it clear that neither America nor Israel recognize the validity of or will be bound in any way by ... [Resolution 2334 and] that the two nations are united in their dedication to pursuing peace and security in the face of the threat of extremist Islamist terrorism[.]

In my opinion, implicit in such a treaty would be the recognition that the two-nation myth is just that, and that the two parties would work together on all status issues with Palestinians and other nations and entities.

Now, there will be howls from all directions and uncountable diplomatic repercussions at even the suggestion of such a treaty, but movement on the proposed treaty would follow congressional and administration measures after January 20 next regarding funding of the U.N., sanctions on BDS proponents, and other matters.

I’m confident that Mr. Trump will deal with the problems following the immediate steps that he and Congress will be taking, and I surely hope that he will heed Mr. Stoll’s suggestion.

The author is retired, his profile may be found on LinkedIn, and he may be argued with at bilschan@hotmail.com.

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