Israeli hysteria over UN vote is solidifying country’s new status, as a rogue state

US Politics
on 78 Comments

President Obama’s decision to allow passage of a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements as illegal has done more to change the shape of the conflict than any other action in the last ten years, even than Israel’s massacres in Gaza. He has nudged Israel, and the media, toward recognition of the country’s new status, as a rogue state; he has split the Israel lobby right down the middle, or down the side anyway; and he has given huge impetus to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).

That is why Israeli leaders are going crazy this weekend, flinging accusations against the president on the cable networks and national news too. Because what Obama did is so meaningful.

Israel’s supporters long claimed that Israel only makes progress if you embrace it and tell Israel you love it. (Dennis Ross says this all the time.) Obama heeded that advice for years and got nothing. Now he has made one gesture against Israel, and the progress in a few days is amazing.

The media are talking about settlements as never before. Every time I turn on National Public Radio, I hear a story about the settlements. It is about time our country talked about the occupation, as it approaches its jubilee year. And any reasonable person hearing this discussion accepts the simple truth of the U.N. resolution: Israel should not have transferred its population into territories conquered by war. It has destroyed the two-state solution by colonizing the 22 percent of the original territory that the two-state solution treated as Palestinian.

The hysteria against the resolution from Israeli leaders is a reminder to even-moderately-well-informed Americans of ideas that were once heresies but are now hardening into public attitudes here: We give these people tens of billions of dollars and they act like spoiled brats. They have ignored our presidents’ warnings for decade after decade and thumbed their noses at critics because they have the powerful Israel lobby at their beck and call.

Now the country is exposed as never before for Americans, and guess what– the place is haywire! Their prime minister is having a tantrum about American betrayal and non-friendship at his Cabinet meeting, even as they take our $38 billion. His chief diplomat berates President Obama and Ben Rhodes as liars on MSNBC, and does small talk about the Miami Dolphins. These people don’t have a clue: the entire world is against them; the vote was 14-0-1.

Obama’s Failure to Veto signals to Americans that U.S. policy is not going to be dictated by the Israel lobby any more, or at least this once. Certainly the lobby is now split. The centrist and right wing groups that dominate the leadership are all appalled by Obama’s decision and issuing denunciations. The ADL is “outraged” and “incredibly disappointed,” the Conference of Presidents and AIPAC are boiling. The Trump-addled Zionist Organization of America is accusing our president of anti-Semitism.

But liberal Zionist groups have never been so happy. Peace Now, the New Israel Fund, and J Street are supporting President Obama. They do so because their own base is highly critical of Israel– American Jews overwhelmingly support action against settlements– and because the Democratic Party base is even further to the left; and so Israel has become a partisan issue at last, with real debate.

The potential loss of the lobby’s uniform support is what so animates the Israeli political classes right now. As Shmuel Rosner rightly observes, echoing Walt and Mearsheimer of 10 years ago, America is all that Israel has. Its entire foreign policy is a domestic policy: pressure tactics carried out by the lobby on American politicians and media, resulting in a uniformly-supportive policy. Those pressure tactics having failed, Israelis are in full crisis mode.

These people are hysterical for a good reason. They are losing the most important thing they have to maintain the status quo of Jewish supremacy and apartheid, an order that serves the bulk of Israeli society.

They know that Obama’s defection could have great consequences. It could lead to Palestinian actions in international fora. It will give enormous encouragement to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, because Obama’s action is perceived by Israel’s supporters as a mild form of BDS– so why not try the hard stuff?

The consequences are already evident in Israeli society. The Jewish left is correctly accusing the right of isolating Israel. “Bibi” is now BBDS, per a liberal messaging campaign. The right seems determined to isolate Israel even more. Several rightwing Israelis are speaking out against Netanyahu.

A shakeup is happening inside Israeli Jewish society and its political structure that might actually change the country’s direction. It has long been my bet that an Israeli leader is going to emerge who says, “World, we hear you. We are making changes.” I believe that day is approaching more rapidly than people think, and Obama can claim some of the credit. (Though what effect those changes will have is a different question.)

The questions for students of US politics are: How will Trump change Obama’s orientation? And why didn’t Obama act sooner?

Obama vetoed a similar resolution in 2011 because of the Israel lobby; because he was being hounded by establishment Jewish voices who were saying that he was being too tough on Israel, and he could not afford to ignore them as he approached his reelection year. It’s that simple. Presidents take actions in their final months because they finally have some political autonomy.

As for Trump, he also can claim credit for the UN Resolution. If he had not won and not appointed David Friedman, a settler hero, to be his ambassador to Israel, and Steve Bannon, a white nationalist, as a White House strategist, we would be seeing an entirely different political terrain. Hillary Clinton would be the president-elect, and her traditional/conservative Democratic/Jewish establishment fear of alienating her megadonor Haim Saban would have caused President Obama to veto the resolution in the name of continuity. The lobby would be coalescing around right-centrist articles of faith, such as: Settlements are an obstacle to peace, but that’s all. As it is, Saban, and the Democratic Party’s dependence on rich elites, is blamed for the election debacle; and Saban has lost influence.

But will Trump reverse Obama’s actions re settlements? I don’t know. His tweets have actually been careful on this subject; suggesting that he might take Obama’s side against the spoiled child of Israel. Whatever Trump does, the lobby will continue to fragment. That is the larger process at work, and it is good news for Americans and Israelis and Palestinians.

Thanks to Yakov Hirsch, Scott Roth, and Adam Horowitz. 

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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78 Responses

  1. jon s
    December 27, 2016, 10:40 am

    Netanyahu’s hysteria, including his instructions not to meet leaders of countries considered friendly – cancelling the state visit of the Ukrainian PM!- is being criticised here as “self -BDS”.

    • Citizen
      December 28, 2016, 7:58 am

      Bibi has already rebuked and acted against 12 of the 14 states that voted for the resolution. What about the other two, Bibi? Fox News has been non-stop Pro-Netanyahu, anti-Obama for days now. Even the relatively objective show, Outnumbered acted in unison in support of Israel’s stance–& the ladies & their guest never actually discussed those settlements, nor even suggested Palestinians might have a few points in their favor–like agreeing with international law.

      • Atlantaiconoclast
        December 28, 2016, 10:34 am

        I used to watch Fox quite a lot, and what is so ironic is that at the height of the suicide bombings within Israel, even Fox would regularly have on Palestinian voices or those sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. However, at the same time that the violence from the Palestinians began to seriously wane, the mainstream networks stopped bringing on pro Palestinian voices. Things have gotten much worse since the mid 2000s in terms of media fairness, and even prior to that, things were not good!

        I think they key reason is the perception among Americans that Israel is our best friend and besieged by Islamic terror. Somehow, our side has to find a way to dismantle this meme.

      • Mooser
        December 28, 2016, 12:49 pm

        “I used to watch Fox quite a lot, and what is so ironic is that at the height of the suicide bombings within Israel, even Fox would regularly have on Palestinian voices or those sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.”

        Do tell.

  2. Maghlawatan
    December 27, 2016, 10:54 am

    Israels foreign policy is in bits . So sad it had to happen under Milikovsky
    So sad Israel was not run on the Hillel model.

  3. AddictionMyth
    December 27, 2016, 11:16 am

    More good news: Trumpkins despise Israel, always have. It’s hilarious watching them have to defend Israel on other message boards – which they can’t do for long before devolving into drunken rants about “The J00S”. They would gladly rip up the $38B deal with them – until they realize it’s used to incite violence with Muslims – which they need to justify nuking them. So it’s quite a bind. Also, Nikki Haley is a wild card – independent and principled – a dangerous combination. She won’t vote the way Trump wants, meaning he’ll have to fire her and appoint Bolton. Which of course will turn out even worse for him, due to the backlash from all sides. It’s pretty funny. Another victim will be the ultra-orthodox constituency that Boobi relies upon. It’s a cult and it’s about to be exposed – just like Scientology and AA. Americans will have no sympathy.

    • Atlantaiconoclast
      December 28, 2016, 12:43 am

      Most Trump supporters that I have come across are either neutral about Israel or hardcore pro Israel.

      Very few complain about aid to Israel.

      • AddictionMyth
        December 28, 2016, 12:55 am

        Most Trump supporters are pre-Nazis. Your mileage may vary.

      • Citizen
        December 28, 2016, 8:00 am

        Same here. Also, Niki Haley is on record as being against BDS.

      • chinese box
        December 28, 2016, 10:22 am

        Agree. I don’t know why people keep insisting otherwise.

        Maybe the Ron Paul subset of Trump supporters, but not the group as a whole.

    • Misterioso
      December 28, 2016, 12:48 pm

      “Sleeping” with Trump will prove to be a major factor in Israel’s ongoing and accelerating plunge into pariah status. “Lie down with dogs, expect fleas” is applicable to both Trump and Israel.

  4. broadside
    December 27, 2016, 12:07 pm

    “It has long been my bet that an Israeli leader is going to emerge who says, “World, we hear you. We are making changes.”

    Doing okay right up until here, Phil, where you revert to kidding yourself. Israel is on the road to hell, there’s no turning back.

    • Maghlawatan
      December 27, 2016, 3:57 pm

      Israel is going back to Masada

      • Mooser
        December 27, 2016, 4:22 pm

        Or as some prefer to call it, with Wagnerian overtones the “Masadadammerung’.

      • Citizen
        December 28, 2016, 8:01 am

        What do the Christian Zionists call it, the end of days, whereupon they will rapture up?

    • Mooser
      December 27, 2016, 4:25 pm

      “Israel is on the road to hell, there’s no turning back.”

      That may be, but it won’t be Mondo which shuts the gates behind them. Nor should it be. They will have to do that for themselves.

    • Marnie
      December 28, 2016, 12:10 am

      I agree broadside. Nothing but lies come out of the zionist state, lies and empty promises. There is no ‘over the rainbow’ scenario here imho. Knives are drawn and the zionist enterprise are falling on their swords left and right (no pun intended). No one is going to believe anything they say, except Phil – please Phil, you can’t keep turning the other cheek on these folks. Tough love Phil, at a distance and only after major changes. This is a 70-year jones they’ve got going on, a few smiles from the phony ‘left’ has got to be seen as ‘the check’s in the mail’. Offer nothing until the check has cleared the bank.

      • echinococcus
        December 28, 2016, 1:13 am

        Marnie,

        please Phil, you can’t keep turning the other cheek on these folks. Tough love Phil, at a distance and only after major changes.

        Even with the huge progress he’s made these last years, Phil Weiss is still a tribal who views the enemy in a shooting war as family. He sees them as honest humans and continues to accept the enemy’s “sincerity”.

        “Tough love” my backside, anyway –this is a war. Who wants to redeem anything from that excrement of a Crusader state? How much you wanna bet that there is no “major change” anywhere that will make the Palestinian people whole?

      • Mooser
        December 28, 2016, 12:54 pm

        “Echin, on Phil Weiss:

        “Even with the huge progress he’s made these last years, Phil Weiss is still a tribal who views the enemy in a shooting war as family. He sees them as honest humans and continues to accept the enemy’s “sincerity”.”

        “Hophmi” on Phil Weiss:

        “Fall away? (from Judaism) He renounced his Judaism. He hates the religion. He’s been quite clear about that. There’s nothing for him to fall away from” http://mondoweiss.net/profile/hophmi/#sthash.tECGkIwS.dpuf

        Poor Phil. Just a soul whose intentions are good, dear Lord, don’t let him be misunderstood.

      • Marnie
        December 28, 2016, 1:54 pm

        “Tough love” my backside, anyway –this is a war. Who wants to redeem anything from that excrement of a Crusader state? How much you wanna bet that there is no “major change” anywhere that will make the Palestinian people whole?”

        I wasn’t talking to you. I was going for nuance versus my usual fuck all.

      • MHughes976
        December 28, 2016, 5:14 pm

        Rhetoric can be bemusing but hophmi, as I read him, was talking about Yoni F, rather than Phil, as the one who had fallen so far that there was no going lower.

      • gamal
        December 28, 2016, 5:24 pm

        ‘Echin, on Phil Weiss:’

        Yes myself i would be cautious when thinking that if Mr. Weiss is expressing views more in harmony with my view that he could be said to be making “progress” unless he craves the state of injurious hooligan like my humble self, someones got to do it delinquency will have it’s say.

        Remember its a Weiss Weiss world and only getting Weisser,

        to my mind Philip Weiss has always shown the courage to call it as he sees it and god bless him for that, i think his site stands alone, do you all know the words to auld land syne, let me compose myself and i’ll do the bass others the descant, i think the Arabic part is in Weiss Arabic because i don’t get a word (be misunderstood..does no one read deeply, its not pearls before swine but they are peanuts at least (fuck off)…so take my hand and with your pink martini

        but genuinely respect Mr. Weiss, you have certainly earned mine.

        https://youtu.be/dfarJuLT-Cs

      • Mooser
        December 28, 2016, 6:26 pm

        ” but hophmi, as I read him, was talking about Yoni F, rather than Phil”

        Same difference. “MHughes976”, can you imagine growing up in this atmosphere of religious backbiting? Think it’s healthy?

      • gamal
        December 28, 2016, 7:03 pm

        “there was no going lower”

        no there’s always lower my sweet innocent friend, the pit is bottomless, i have the t-shirt.

  5. HarryLaw
    December 27, 2016, 2:43 pm

    Netanyahu will refuse to talk with UK Prime Minister T May at upcoming conference https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/26/netanyahu-snubs-may-over-un-settlements-vote-israeli-media-says this after May’s slobbering speech full of lies at a recent Conservative Friends of Israel meeting, here is the text of the PM’s speech http://www.conservativehome.com/parliament/2016/12/mays-speech-to-the-conservative-friends-of-israel-full-text.html

    • John O
      December 27, 2016, 5:22 pm

      Can’t you just hear every other government leader at that conference muttering under their breath, “Lucky woman!”

      • RoHa
        December 27, 2016, 10:18 pm

        Interesting story from (dare I link to him?) Gilad Atzmon.

        http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2016/12/27/hot-off-the-press-britain-pulled-the-strings-behind-anti-settlement-resolution

        Says that May was behind the resolution! A Cunning Plan to get her out of having to talk to Netanyahu?

      • Annie Robbins
        December 28, 2016, 12:57 am

        Interesting story from (dare I link to him?) Gilad Atzmon.

        i expected something new there roha, but there’s nothing. he just reiterated what haaretz already reported (which seemed like a lot of israeli speculation). and i didn’t see where atzmon mentioned “A Cunning Plan to get her out of having to talk to Netanyahu?”

      • Annie Robbins
        December 28, 2016, 1:16 am

        roha, here’s another article on the same topic http://www.timesofisrael.com/transcript-claims-to-show-us-worked-with-palestinians-on-un-resolution/

        i find the focus of the article strange, it is like a who-done-it. the big catch/reveal — that the US may have talked to palestine or who was behind the resolution!

        it would seem like a normal thing to do for the countries to have talked about it together. it would seem like a normal thing to do, in the face of talk of moving the embassy to jerusalem, having this settler ambassador, and these extreme zionist advisors of trumps, for the outgoing administration to council palestinians on how to handle it or for them to make efforts to impact the situation after obama left office. but instead of looking at the implications of the resolution, the whole focus is on who said what when. it’s kind of astonishing. am i the only one who reads it that way? did anyone else notice (aside from echi who will no doubt inform us it’s all totally irrelevant anyway).

      • RoHa
        December 28, 2016, 2:00 am

        The Cunning Plan bit was my addition.

        Was it the evil British or the evil Americans who colluded with the evil Palestinians and evil Egyptians, and then pushed the evil Malaysians, evil New Zealanders, evil Senegalese, and evil Venezuelans to propose the resolution?

        Perhaps they could check to see if the resolution uses British or American spelling.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 28, 2016, 2:56 am

        ha! exactly, like what difference does it make how they planned it? it’s not a surprise this is what the US has been advocating, or it shouldn’t be anyway. they act like it’s some radical new idea. the israelis have had endless opportunities to put a plan forward and they have not. so what if they get some pressure. expose them for being no partner for any kind of a deal and let’s hope there’s some consequence put forward in the next resolution after jan 15 paris plan.

      • Kay24
        December 28, 2016, 3:40 am

        It really does not matter who initiated, or was responsible for, this resolution. The main thing is, just like the Iran deal, many other nations accepted and voted for it. Israel is looking more and more like a rogue nation now, and it is Israel versus the world now. History shows it is a losing battle, but Nutty apparently is too full of arrogance to realize it. Only Obama haters will make hay with this, while folks who want the Palestinians given their rights and freedom, will not care who was behind this, or why. I hope this is only the beginning. Pride goes before a fall, and at the rate Israel is stubbornly refusing to do the decent thing and stop building and talk peace, the precipice is around the corner.

      • echinococcus
        December 28, 2016, 6:46 am

        RoHa,

        US vs Commonwealth spelling gets diluted when using Cyrillic characters.

      • oldgeezer
        December 28, 2016, 8:58 am

        @Kay24

        Exactly right. It doesn’t matter one bit who planned it.

        This is more hysterics and theatrics from the perpetual whiners and victims and it is designed to divert attention away from their crimes. And it is working!

        Whether the media is complicit or incredibly incompetent remains to be determined.

      • irishmoses
        December 28, 2016, 9:19 am

        Per Annie, “i find the focus of the article strange, it is like a who-done-it. the big catch/reveal — that the US may have talked to palestine or who was behind the resolution!”

        I see this as a clever way of controlling the narrative, to keep the focus away from the plight of the Palestinians and get the MS media to focus on some imagined conspiracy on the US’ part to sanction poor Israel.

        As usual, it’s worked brilliantly. The Palestinians are invisible in the discussion; it’s all about poor Israel and how it was betrayed by its US ally and its feckless outgoing president seeking last minute revenge.

        Straight out of Luntz’s playbook, control the narrative.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 28, 2016, 9:23 am

        exactly irish, it sucks up all the energy.

  6. pabelmont
    December 27, 2016, 6:30 pm

    Maybe the really good fall-out of the UNSC vote is the cast-in-concrete (one hopes) OKing for DEMs to criticize Israel, ask for another policy.

  7. pabelmont
    December 27, 2016, 6:41 pm

    At 972.mag we read: a possible reason for Israel’s leaders to be more upset at the UNSC vote than the Resolution itself justifies:

    One pereivable consequence of the Security Council resolution is that it might embolden the International Criminal Court prosecutor to decide to open a formal investigation into the Israeli “war crime” of building, expanding and populating settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. The prospect of Israeli political and military leaders facing prosecution for war crimes over their support and administration of the settlement enterprise is one of the few X-factors these days that could possibly alter the trajectory of Israel’s otherwise stable occupation of Palestine. It’s an unlikely scenario, but considering the clarity of international law on settlements — now explicitly reaffirmed by the UN Security Council — combined with the ICC’s desperate need to show that it does not only indict black African despots, it could be enough to move an investigation forward.

    • HarryLaw
      December 28, 2016, 6:40 am

      pabelmont. It is difficult to see how Israel can offer any defence on their ongoing settlement enterprise, declared to be illegal by the World Court [ICJ] in 2004. Then all 15 Judges, including the US one declared, in its opinion, the settlements [all of them] are in breach of article 49 paragraph 6 of the Geneva Conventions. The ICC are at present conducting a preliminary investigation and recently put out a report… “Another issue where Bensouda took the Palestinians’ side is regarding Jerusalem’s status.

      She mentioned Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem, as she had in her 2015 report, but for the first time added, “The UN Security Council and International Court of Justice, among others, have regarded the annexation of east Jerusalem as a violation of the jus cogens norm prohibiting the acquisition of territory by military force.”

      While it is unclear what impact her statement about Jerusalem’s status will have on the war crimes examinations, it may show her leaning toward viewing Israel’s settlement enterprise as illegal as much of the world does, and perhaps even as war crimes.

      Whether settlements built since June 2014, the start of the period Bensouda is examining, constitute war crimes is a central issue of the ICC probe. The Palestinians say they are war crimes while Israel argues that they are disputed areas whose status can only be resolved by negotiations between the parties”. http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/New-ICC-report-takes-Palestinians-side-despite-Israeli-optimism-472856

  8. yonah fredman
    December 27, 2016, 7:17 pm

    I am not surprised that Obama ended his term in office with a (UN) statement against the settlements.

    I am not surprised that the un statement made no distinction between the Jewish quarter of the old city and all other past the green line settlements.
    (Obama via samantha powers could have made that point in her statement. She didn’t. Was that careless or intentional?)

    I am surprised that bibi has over reacted. I’m not sure what his rationale is. I think it is primarily for domestic consumption. I think it would have been difficult to react calmly, but a clear calm statement of his settlement policy would have been better than this tantrum.

    I think that even if olmert livni or ehud barak had been prime minister the last 8 years it would have been difficult for the Palestinians and Israelis to have reached a peace treaty, but I believe that Obama would have given it his all and he might have gotten close.

    (I think the easiest issue is borders and the toughest issue is Palestinians ‘ “Right of return” and a delineation of borders signed by the leaders even without agreement on refugees could have solved the conflict over settlements.)

    I think the israeli people (a majority) chose bibi over olmert livni and barak, because they opposed the delineation of borders that I consider worthwhile. Bibi is not prime minister despite his tough stance against the Palestinians, he is prime minister precisely because of his tough stance. He wants to solve it all ( on terms that Abu mazen cannot accept) and he does not want the borders delineated unless a complete end of conflict is signed.

    • Mooser
      December 27, 2016, 10:21 pm

      “and he does not want the borders delineated unless a complete end of conflict is signed.”

      Another words, all the things Israel signed and stated before were just lies, simply meant to buy time and lives?

    • oldgeezer
      December 28, 2016, 12:08 am

      @yonah

      Why should the resolution have made a distintion over the Jewish quarter?

      If it is not Israeli territory it is not Israeli territory. If it was once property owned by Jewish people then that does not make it Israeli territory. Not even in a month of Sundays. The conflation of Jews = Israel is even more risible and vile than Israel = Jews. No that is not the sMe as A = B and B = A. In actuality that would be part of the problem.

      Deep attachment or connection is not a property deed. If the Jewish quarter is so near and dear to Israeli hearts it could trade off other parts recognized as Israeli territory in an exchange with the Palestinians it has victimized for over a half century.

      Baby doesn’t want to solve it. He wants to steal it. And he wants to rid himself of the non Jewish irritant. That is clear to the most casual observer and I don’t believe for a second that you are that naive. He was elected leader because the majority of Israelis are die hard racists and supremacists. Not the majority of Jews. Isrealis. Don’t do a completely bogus conflation of the two.

      Or was that your escape hatch with the phrase on terms Abbas can not accept …. which means he wants to take everything he wants and leave the Palestinians nothing.

      Israelnis a rogue state heading full speed to pariah status. You go baby. It is what that state deserves. It could so easy join the civilized world instead of ranking with North Korea and ISIS if it wanted. There is not enough people left in the country with the moral backbone to select that choice. Spin spin, down the drain. After a half century of warninhs nothing more is required and cerrainly not deservex.

      Dump zionism into the same dustbin that gave rise to nationalisms in the late 1800s. All rotten to the core.

    • oldgeezer
      December 28, 2016, 9:07 am

      @yonah

      The right of return should not be a major issue in negotiations. The documents disclosed by wikileaka showed the PA had agreed to a symbolic return of about 10,000. This should not be a problem to an Israel desiring peace. Whether it could have been agreed to by the Palestinians in a referendum is another issue.

      • CigarGod
        December 28, 2016, 11:39 am

        I don’t understand how you can reason that, oldgeezer. Between 4 and 8 million Palestinian refugee’s in the world…mostly in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria (and WB and Gaza) .
        You think a 10K number extracted under dubious circumstances is going to be able to neutralize 8 million Palestinians who have a mantra similar to: Next year in Jerusalem?

      • oldgeezer
        December 28, 2016, 2:01 pm

        @cigargod

        You are assuming I am reasoning it…. my gut feel is the same as yours which is why i said whether it would be approved in a referendum remains to be seen.

        Coming up with a peace deal to put to a referendum should not be hindered by ror though as the PA has basically agreed to give away the store.

        My own take on the lack of a peace deal is that it isn’t there as Israel doesn’t want one and prefers to use the conflict to perpetrate more crimes.

  9. dbroncos
    December 27, 2016, 9:05 pm

    Instead of qualifying the vote and emphasizing Israel’s BFF status, I wish Obama would thwack the hornets nest for real by clarifying a few things for Americans who may not understand what all the fuss is about:

    – that settlements are not a personal issue between POTUS and Netanyahu.

    – that every POTUS since LBJ has opposed settlements at the UN

    – that POTUS just approved an American tax-payer financed, multi billion dollar increase in foreign aid to Israel which already receives more than half of all American foreign aid in spite of being a wealthy nation

    A speech like this would put Israel and her supporters on the defensive and help Americans recognize the outrageous arrogance on display here. Americans may not understand a lot about the history of I/P but if they’re presented with just these facts they’ll know ingratitude when they see it.

    • oldgeezer
      December 27, 2016, 11:53 pm

      @dbroncos

      It is not an unreasonable question to ask why the msm is not pointing out that the resolution merely affirms what has been long standing US policy. Particularly as it is the US msm.

      In the UK we see the same. The focus is on poor little betrayed Israel without a single article focussing on the UK position and why it voted in favour.

      It truly is not unreasonable to ask.

      You are correct…. Obama needs to state the facts direcrly to the people and cut out the media filters which have a clearly obvious desire to reflect the position of a foreign nation.

    • Citizen
      December 28, 2016, 8:14 am

      Hopefully, Kerry will make all those points today, as he is scheduled to speak to the public. It’s not likely, but he could also specifically say that since 1948 US taxpayers have gifted Israel directly over $163 billion dollars, making it the number 1 welfare recipient of US foreign aid in US history, and Israel got much more indirectly. He could point out that Israel is the size of NJ, and its citizens have universal health insurance, and it is, e.g., # one in drone sales; and recently sold at big profit part of the Iron Dome missile defense system US largely paid for, for starters; he could also point out that USA’s very first FTA was with Israel, and that it’s nearly totally one-sided, and obtained by Zionists in USA spying on US negotiators, giving away the US strategy; and this has never been corrected since 1985.

  10. RoHa
    December 27, 2016, 9:28 pm

    It looks as though Netanyahu has taken lessons from Enver Hoxha.

    Albania rejected Soviet revisionism, and sided with China. But then the Chinese began to stray from the path of Marxist-Leninist purity, and Albania had to denounce China as well. No more Albanian support for China. From then on, China had to manage by itself.

  11. Kay24
    December 27, 2016, 10:49 pm

    Israel was acting like a rogue nation from a long time ago. It has been propped up and kept protected by the US, who it seems they are never grateful to. If you take away the American aid, support, and protection from world condemnation, Israel would have been treated like a pariah and called what it is, and behaves like – a rogue state. When eventually the rest of the world start boycotting and sanctioning Israel, I hope they will take it better than how their PM is now reacting to that UN resolution. When you behave like an arrogant jerk in your neighborhood, stealing your neighbor’s property, and pay absolutely no attention to the law, you will always be considered, and treated like, a pariah in your neighborhood. Blaming others and not taking responsibility for your actions only makes you look worse.

  12. Ossinev
    December 28, 2016, 5:09 am

    @RoHa
    “Says that May was behind the resolution! A Cunning Plan to get her out of having to talk to Netanyahu?”

    Two weeks ago at a”Conservative Friends of Israel” conference she descibed Isreal as “a remarkable country ” + “”a beacon of tolerance” + “A crucial ally”.

    Now that the Yahoo has given her n explicit non – Churchillian two fingered salute perhaps she may revise her opinions somewhat. Who knows in fact who cares. Hopefully the British people themselves and particularly those who were lukewarm BDS will respond to an explicit expression of contempt for them.

    BTW during all of this UNSC Resolution drama haven`t heard a peep from the Yahoo`s pet wallaby Mark Regurgitev. In fact he doesn`t appear to have been “clear” about anything for ages. Is he perhaps depressed , disorientated , bewildered at being banished to Pommieland I think it is sad to think of him squirreled away in his plush embassy knocking back cans of Fosters Lager and pining for dear old Melbourne. However in his absence I think we all should be clear that it would be inappropriate to comment until we know the full facts.

  13. Maghlawatan
    December 28, 2016, 7:19 am

    Rogue nations tend to be led by despots. Israel is different because it is a Western country with an educated but brainwashed populace.

    • Citizen
      December 28, 2016, 8:27 am

      How “Western” is Israel really when it has no identifiable “Israeli” Nationality for its citizens, but divides them by religion-ethnic groups? US mainstream media repeats endlessly that Israel is the only democracy in the Middl East; thus it defies its own constitutional mandate to bring informed consent to the American public, the bedrock of a real democracy. Sure has been a piss-poor Faustian bargain the representatives of 98% goy US citizens have made. There’s a freier born every minute as Barnem & Baily said, but they used the goy term “sucker.”

  14. Ellen
    December 28, 2016, 8:13 am

    I fear it will get so much worse.

    When the editorial board of Bloomberg View/News writes:

    President Barack Obama’s ill-advised decision to order the U.S. to abstain on a United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlements breaks with past U.S. policy, undermines a vital ally and sets back the cause of Middle East peace.

    we can wonder what planet we are on. But this is the message throughout MSM and what is being fed to the public. Most Americans who even think about this absorb this line of thought as it is the only side they are fed.

    As the Zionist hysteria increases it will be taken out on the Palestinian population.

    As an assault onto the Palestinian population happens, there will be cries from Israel that “they made us do it! ” And the American public will agree — why yes! Those Palestinians were throwing stones and bottle bombs, there were knifings (all terrible acts of desperation) and this made the Israelis drop cluster bombs and bunker busters to kill thousands and thousands of Palestinians. They had to do it! It was self defense against the natives!!

    The Genocide will continue. “It was their fault! Israel will say. ” They asked for it!”

    Israel is a creation of the West — it is their baby –and that is why the West will have done too little too late.

    The west does not care. So we have opinion makers writing inanities like :

    President Barack Obama’s ill-advised decision to order the U.S. to abstain on a United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlements breaks with past U.S. policy, undermines a vital ally and sets back the cause of Middle East peace.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-12-27/obama-s-betrayal-of-israel-at-the-un-must-not-stand

    • Citizen
      December 28, 2016, 8:36 am

      It’s very clear, for all those who work in the US mainstream media and Congress, that Palestinians are chopped liver. What they need is a handful of Palestinian Adelsons, Soros, Sabans & their own version of Aipac. Fox News was peddling their Judge yesterday, telling Dick and Jane that CAIR was simply an anti-Semitic organization. This morning, MSNBC, is telling us Kerry wanted to give the speech he will make today, two years ago, upon the failure of his huge amount of time toward I-P peace. NYT spoke David Singer is telling us all Israel will show how US sneaky was behind the resolution….it was also behind the vote for Israel recognition in the UN, wasn’t it? It got economically dependent small states to vote in favor, remember?

  15. David Plimpton
    December 28, 2016, 9:50 am

    For Israel to change course meaningfully and work out a solution which brings justice for Palestinians will take more than BDS and the UN Resolution.

    Although they are good starts and will do much to change American public opinion about Israel, Israel needs to be held responsible for its decades of actions and wrongs against (1) the Palestinians and (2) the true interests of most people in the U.S. This means changes in our leadership so that we have leaders who will take away the carrot and administer a stick, namely withdrawal of uncritical and unrequited financial, media and policy support for Israel, like the $38 billion without asking anything in return, all to the detriment, impaired security and cost of the U.S. Unfortunately, current policy is what our leaders, the mainstream media, our cultural institutions and our educational institutions have corruptly supported for many decades, because of the massive power and influence of the Israel Lobby. They are still strong Israel firsters

    It’s true more people are becoming aware of Israel’s brutal oppression and war crimes against the Palestinians. But the powers that be or were, including Obama, Hillary and Trump are still mostly taking and advocating strong action against BDS, for example, including laws and policies which are clearly unconstitutional restraints of free speech. Experience has shown it’s not well-calculated to promote change in Israel.

    Bernie Sanders made an effort to support of a more balanced approach to the Israel-Palestinian situation by appointing surrogates to advocate for policy changes with the DNC platform committee. But in the end, they were rebuffed and Bernie left them high and dry, deciding instead to support Hillary Clinton in spite of her atrocious record supporting Israel and war in the Middle East.

    So, yes, we must continue to demand change from our leaders. But given the outcome of the Presidential election (and it wouldn’t have mattered if it was Trump or Clinton), and the continuing power and influence of the Israel Lobby in Congress and the White House, I don’t see much prospect of change from those quarters for the next four or eight years.

  16. HarryLaw
    December 28, 2016, 11:03 am

    Netanyahu reportedly told New Zealand’s foreign minister that support for a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlement-building in the occupied territories would be viewed as a “declaration of war”.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/28/netanyahu-told-new-zealand-backing-un-vote-would-be-declaration-of-war Does New Zealand realize Israel has nuclear weapons? Does RoHa know the fall out range encompasses his home?

    • Kay24
      December 28, 2016, 12:52 pm

      War is top priority in Netanyahu’s mind. He seems to enjoy being able to threaten and kill.
      Illegal settlements must be a close second.

  17. Vera Gottlieb
    December 28, 2016, 11:44 am

    And in good company with the other rogue nation: US of A.

  18. HarryLaw
    December 28, 2016, 12:13 pm

    Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced his plan to control “all of the territory” and “live forever by the sword.” http://www.mintpressnews.com/netanyahu-we-will-forever-live-by-the-sword-indefinitely-control-all-palestinian-territory/210700/
    The US will find that 38 billion over 10 years will not be anywhere near enough. The Middle East is changing, the GCC countries are losing their Hegemony and the ‘arc of resistance’ Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon [Hezbollah] and possibly Egypt, Yemen and Libya backed by Russia will be imposing their influence on the region after GCC proxy head choppers are defeated.

    • Maghlawatan
      December 28, 2016, 1:20 pm

      Israel has an open economy that trades with the world and delivers Jews a nice standard of living. Plus it has a colonial project. It is coming close to the point where Israel must choose .

  19. James Canning
    December 28, 2016, 1:26 pm

    I continue to think Obama did Israel a good service, by allowing the UNSC resolution to be adopted. Trump’s foolish response in itself is an indicator of the merits of the event.

  20. afmeyers
    December 28, 2016, 1:49 pm

    A Modest Proposal

    Our President-elect’s selection of David Friedman as the next U.S. ambassador to Israel represents to many the nail in the coffin of the two-state solution, and thus poses the inevitable Demographic Question that torments the Israeli polity: if there is to be One State between the river and the sea, how will the Palestinians of the occupied Palestinian territories be integrated – or not – into the Jewish state? Will they have equal voting rights? With similar numbers of Jews and Palestinians currently living in the future One State, and Palestinian fertility rates considerably higher than that of Jewish Israelis, at some point Palestinian voters would outnumber Jewish voters. In such a scenario, how could Israel remain a democratic and Jewish State? Will Israel have to choose between theocracy and democracy?

    Well, Israel’s theocrats could take a page from our Constitution: the original version, Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3, which reads:

    Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

    The deal cut with Southern slaveholding states augmented their representation in the House of Representatives and the Electoral College by granting their chattel three-fifths of citizen status, for the purpose of determining population size. Of course, Israeli theocrats could opt for the other option offered by this clause: considering Palestinians as equivalent to the “Indians not taxed” who are excluded from the head count. But consider the elegance of Israel’s adopting the “three-fifths solution”: Palestinian citizens of the Jewish State would still get to vote, but their votes would only comprise 60% of the Jewish vote. And if, due to shifting demographics, the Palestinian population should surge too far ahead of the Jewish population, why the three-fifths proportion could just be adjusted downward, as needed. Another benefit: what to do with, e.g., Israeli citizens who might have one Jewish and one Palestinian parent? Simple: just divide their votes by two. Problem solved!

  21. just
    December 28, 2016, 2:03 pm

    What is going on???

    MSNBC has Netanyahu on speaking Hebrew! Who is he speaking to on US teevee?

    Bibi can speak in english {lies}, can’t he?

    Anyone think that Israel, not Russia, hacked the US?

    • amigo
      December 28, 2016, 2:58 pm

      Hi Just , he was just on CNN Europe version and spoke in english –same old shit , blaming the Palestinians and playing eternal poor us victims.

      I might have preferred to listen to him in Hebrew.

      CNN had James Woolsey , (former CIA dir) on and he was so uninformed about the P/I issue it was almost sad.Imagine this jerk running the CIA . CIA in his case must mean –Central Idiots Association.

      • just
        December 28, 2016, 6:47 pm

        Hi amigo, and Happy New Year soon…

        I have been enriched by your thoughtful comments and efforts for a long while.

        Thanks for another! Whether Netanyahu speaks in Hebrew or English, it’s lies and ziopoop 24/7.

        (btw, Brad ‘ La- La’ Sherman has outed himself as an Israel- firster and American- laster on MSNBC today~ he’s another unrepentant zioliar, too.)

  22. oldgeezer
    December 28, 2016, 3:12 pm

    I don’t see how you call rogue status as something new. For decades Israel has refused to accept or follow IL, IHL and GC.

    By definition it is and has been a rogue state.

    • just
      December 28, 2016, 4:58 pm

      Always has been. It just gets worse,

      Thanks, oldgeezer.

  23. just
    December 28, 2016, 4:54 pm

    omg.

    Now Trump escorts Lauder out of his gilded palace.. may I borrow a bucket? Mine are full.

  24. scott9854958
    December 28, 2016, 5:38 pm

    To my mind, Obama gets no credit for this action. He’s been a no-show on standing up to Israel for 95 months. In month 96 of his overrated Presidency, he suddenly gets tough. My hunch is Israel and the Lobby are laughing at him. They’ll slough this off just as easily as they sloughed off George HW Bush’s stand on the loan guarantees. In 6 months no one will even be talking about this.

  25. Amar
    December 28, 2016, 5:56 pm

    I like how HuffPo is handling this. With big bold headlines:

    FINALLY: THE TRUTH
    KERRY UNLOADS: Two-State Solution ‘In Serious Jeopardy’… ‘Friends Need To Tell Each Other Hard Truths’… Under A One-State Solution ‘Israel Can Either Be Jewish Or Democratic — It Cannot Be Both’… ‘Occupation’ Is ‘Destroying Hopes For Peace’… ‘Virtually Every Country In The World Other Than Israel Opposes Settlements’…

  26. Rashers2
    December 28, 2016, 7:31 pm

    Positive news as was the UNSC vote on settlements in the OPT I fear that our founder may be detecting a false dawning and that the black bat, night, is not yet ready to fly.

    However pathetic, infuriating and – at times – laughable is the outraged hyperbole spewing from the lips of Mileikowsky, Bennett and their fellow stamping butterflies towards those treacherous, Jew-hating countries which had the effrontery to vote in favour of the UN resolution and in support of international law, I’m not convinced that public opinion on I-P is about to undergo a seismic shift.

    “Public opinion”, after all, is largely formed of what it is fed by the MSM. The MSM aren’t about to forsake the long-discredited shibboleths concerning Israel (“ally; beacon of democracy in a sea of tyrants…; yada, yada, yada”) when they realise that to do so could diminish the value of their current, multipurpose demon, Islam. Muslims, as far as the MSM in the USA and Europe are concerned, are the “new Jews”; and very convenient they are, too, to the media, to populist demagogues and to Israel’s pretensions to a legitimacy that its behaviour daily contradicts. This post is not the place to examine the major factors in the rise of “radical Islam”; or indeed to conclude that the USA and its blind subvention of the Zionist colonial enterprise must shoulder much of the blame for this. It may, though, be a place to question whether the MSM are truly ready to adopt a more even-handed approach to I-P, which could help to reshape widespread public perceptions.

    I hope that my scepticism is misplaced and that the court of public opinion swiftly determines that Israel should be left to wither alone in an isolation of its own creation to the point that repentance becomes its only avenue of survival; but I’m not holding my breath.

  27. JLewisDickerson
    December 28, 2016, 7:40 pm

    RE: “Now the country is exposed as never before for Americans, and guess what– the place is haywire! Their prime minister is having a tantrum about American betrayal and non-friendship at his Cabinet meeting, even as they take our $38 billion. His chief diplomat berates President Obama and Ben Rhodes as liars on MSNBC . . .” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: We did have a little taste of this towards the end of the Bush/Cheney administration.

    SEE: “Israelis Claim Secret Agreement With U.S.” | By Glenn Kessler | Washington Post Staff Writer | April 24, 2008

    [EXCERPT] A letter that President Bush personally delivered to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon four years ago has emerged as a significant obstacle to the president’s efforts to forge a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians during his last year in office.

    Ehud Olmert, the current Israeli prime minister, said this week that Bush’s letter gave the Jewish state permission to expand the West Bank settlements that it hopes to retain in a final peace deal, even though Bush’s peace plan officially calls for a freeze of Israeli settlements across Palestinian territories on the West Bank. In an interview this week, Sharon’s chief of staff, Dov Weissglas, said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reaffirmed this understanding in a secret agreement reached between Israel and the United States in the spring of 2005, just before Israel withdrew from Gaza.

    U.S. officials say no such agreement exists, and in recent months Rice has publicly criticized even settlement expansion on the outskirts of Jerusalem, which Israel does not officially count as settlements. But as peace negotiations have stepped up in recent months, so has the pace of settlement construction, infuriating Palestinian officials, and Washington has taken no punitive action against Israel for its settlement efforts.

    Israeli officials say they have clear guidance from Bush administration officials to continue building settlements, as long as it meets carefully negotiated criteria, even though those understandings appear to contradict U.S. policy. . .

    CONTINUED AT – http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/23/AR2008042303128.html

  28. Eric Blair
    December 28, 2016, 11:38 pm

    While it’s good that Obama did the right thing here, he did wait until the last minute when there was little risk to his own skin and his gesture really is just the bare minimum.

    Does anyone remember his grand speech in Egypt and his empty hope and change rhetoric? Of course you do. All in all Obama is a neoliberal stooge and a coward who knows how to spin a good line.

    I’d love to be optimistic about the future but I don’t see any of the present players lining up on the US and Israeli sides coming to their senses and acting like reasonable human beings. Nope, it will be double down on hateful and divisive rhetoric and more Palestinian blood spilled.

    The level of crazy infusing politics these days will lead to dysfunction and paralysis and I don’t see a way out if present trends continue. (If you think things would be so much better had Hillary won, yer dreaming and part of the problem. Just sayin.)

  29. mbraverman
    December 29, 2016, 1:20 am

    Very good piece, Phil. Whatever we think about Obama’s record on this for his entire administration, this move really serves to tip things re how Israel is perceived, with implcations domestically for Israel as well as for the US, although where it leads is anyone’s guess.

    But on the issue of Israel domestically — we need to be aware of what that anti-Netanyahu ad actually says — the translation on the side leaves out the most interesting part. Here’s what it says:

    For the sake of a few isolated caravans, Netanyahu has brought our entire country into a condition of isolation. Bibi has to go! — The Zionist camp.”

    It’s that first line that is interesting, right? “Caravans” is the Israeli term for the trailers that are brought in to establish an illegal “outpost” that then grows into a full-fledged city-colony. They all started that way. One wonders what this “Zionist camp” really means to do by kicking Bibi out. If it is characterizing the project of colonization, annexation, and Apartheid warehousing as “a few isolated outposts” then I don’t think we’re looking at any kind of change. It’s about finding a way to make the project acceptable, all they’re doing is calling for a smarter diplomatic policy now that they see they are in danger of losing the US along with the rest of the world.

  30. rosross
    December 29, 2016, 2:06 am

    It has always been ironic, if not tragic, that the US, a country which claims to support freedom and human rights, should support the occupying, colonising and apartheid State of Israel.

    It is Israelis who are debased and destroyed by occupation and apartheid, not the Palestinians.

    And in truth, every new home, settlement, or grab of Palestinian land just brings the only outcome, one state shared equally by indigenous and coloniser alike, that much closer.

    Israel is insane if it thinks it is building homes for Jews – it is building homes for Palestinians. And all to the good.

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