December 28, 2016

Obama’s Betrayal

In an administration that has moved from one low to the next when it comes to foreign policy and our role in the world, Obama set a new low last weekend as Jews and Christians were preparing to celebrate Chanukah and Christmas. If you are confused about how damaging last week’s UN Security Council vote is, all you need to know is that decent people on the left and right are condemning it, while Hamas and Islamic Jihad are dancing in the streets.

In an administration that has moved from one low to the next when it comes to foreign policy and our role in the world, Obama set a new low last weekend as Jews and Christians were preparing to celebrate Chanukah and Christmas. If you are confused about how damaging last week’s UN Security Council vote is, all you need to know is that decent people on the left and right are condemning it, while Hamas and Islamic Jihad are dancing in the streets.

One of the favorite tactics of the jihadists in the last year has been to run up behind innocent Israeli women, children and the elderly and to plunge knives, axes and screw drivers into their backs. That is what Barack Obama tried to do with his diplomatic pen last week. But Israel will survive this treacherous blow.

Why It Matters

It would be tempting to shrug and say “So what?” at the news that the United Nations passed a resolution that would make Hitler smile. But resolutions like this form the foundation of international deliberations and law.

There are elites all over the world — academics, media empires, judges sitting in places like Brussels — who will use this resolution to advance an agenda that threatens Israel first and foremost, and ironically the United States. This is at least as bad, if not worse, than the UN vote equating Zionism with racism. That resolution did untold damage and took 16 years to repeal.

What It Does

Last week’s UN resolution delegitimizes Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, as well as East Jerusalem. These are places where Jews have lived and worshiped for thousands of years, since before the birth of Jesus. Now the UN, with the blessing of the Obama administration, has declared that Jews have no right to live there.

For Christians, these are places with tremendous significance. Great events of our faith took place in this land of the Jews. The effort to delegitimize the Jewish history and current presence in these places is also an attack on Christianity and its history.

By calling East Jerusalem a “settlement,” even the Western Wall is delegitimized, and Israel is being told that the Western Wall cannot remain under its sovereignty. If East Jerusalem is not part of a Jewish city, then the great historic Christian sites in East Jerusalem are not legitimate either. This biased resolution legitimizes the worldwide movement to boycott and isolate Israel.

Does It Advance Peace?

Contrary to the claims of the Obama White House, the resolution makes peace much less likely. The Obama administration and the UN argue that Jews living in East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria are somehow jeopardizing a two-state solution. But the Palestinians have been offered a state repeatedly. They have rejected it repeatedly. What stops a two-state solution is the Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

It has been widely understood that a peace deal cannot be imposed on the parties, and certainly not on Israel. Peace can only be accomplished through direct negotiation between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

Such negotiations would have at their core some sort of land agreement likely involving the swapping of land between the two parties. But last week’s UN resolution just blew up that central component of any future negotiation.

The only thing Israel has to give in peace talks would be some of its land. The Palestinians can now say, “You cannot give what is not yours.” The United Nations, with the cooperation of the United States, has said that this land belongs to the Palestinians.

No Israeli government — current or imagined in the future — would go into negotiations in which the major issue has already been resolved in favor of the Palestinians and all other concessions would have to come from Israel.

Here is the most important point: In spite of what Obama and much of the media are saying, this resolution has nothing to do with a two-state solution or peace. This resolution had one main purpose — to delegitimize the existence of the state of Israel. That is why Hamas and Islamic Jihad are celebrating.

A Fundamental Transformation

For eight years, Obama and those who have served him, including Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Vice President Biden, have fundamentally transformed American foreign policy. They have systematically hurt our friends and rewarded our enemies.

At the same time Obama was pulling off this betrayal at the United Nations, his administration was working frantically to ensure the security and survival of its Iranian deal. The Weekly Standard and others reported on additional secret agreements that the administration made with Iran to help its nuclear program.

Moreover, Obama did not have the decency to give the Israeli government formal notification it was abandoning decades of traditional foreign policy in spite of repeated Israeli requests for Obama to clarify his position. But it wasn’t only an abstention. It was far worse.

The Israeli government says it has clear proof that President Obama was working behind the scenes to guarantee that the resolution would come up for a vote. Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer said [Monday] that his government will turn over the evidence to the incoming Trump-Pence administration. As a matter of courtesy, Israel will leave it to the new administration as to whether it wants to share the details with the American people. I pray that it will.


Reaction to these events was swift and crossed ideological lines. Leading conservative Republicans, including Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, as well as President-elect Trump condemned Obama’s betrayal. Condemnation also came from many on the left, including incoming Senate Democrat Leader Charles Schumer and former Democrat National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz said he will never forget the day when he was called into the Oval Office and Obama vowed that he would “always have Israel’s back.” Dershowitz added, “I didn’t realize what he meant is that he would have (their) back to stab them in the back.”

What Can Be Done?

This will not be easily reversed. In the Security Council, any one of the five permanent members can veto a resolution, as the U.S. has done in the past. Undoing this resolution will require the cooperation of Russia and China.

Israel recalled its ambassadors from the countries that supported the resolution. Prime Minister Netanyahu cancelled meetings with the Ukrainian leader and British Prime Minister Theresa May. Israel also cut off foreign aid and cooperation with other members of the Security Council.

The Trump-Pence administration can make it clear that it will give no legal credence to this resolution. We could significantly cut back our foreign aid to nations that supported it. We provide 22% of the U.N.‘s budget. We have leverage there.

It is possible that this resolution may be the final straw in the U.N.’s viability and existence. Even Secretary General Ban Ki-moon admits the U.N. is biased against Israel.

On a weekend when the images coming from Aleppo touched the hardest heart, how is it that the United Nations was consumed with delegitimizing the one nation in the Middle East that most effectively stands for democratic values and guarantees human liberty and dignity to all of its citizens?

I assure you that I will continue to expose the U.N.’s hostility to the world’s democracies. Fighting its ugly anti-Semitism will be one of our primary projects in the year ahead.

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