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Posted at 12:15 PM ET, 01/28/2011

Bipartisan support for veto of anti-Israel UN resolution

By Jennifer Rubin

House Foreign Committee chairwoman U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen yesterday released a letter in support of a veto of a U.N. resolution condemning Israel. The letter was also signed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virg.); House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.); Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Howard L. Berman (D-Calif.); and U.S. Reps. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) and Gary L. Ackerman (D-N.Y.), the Chairman-designate and Ranking Member-designate, respectively, of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia. The letter contained these remarks:

Instead of negotiating directly with Israel to achieve a peaceful solution to the conflict, Palestinian leaders continue to seek to circumvent the negotiating process by advocating anti-Israel measures by the UN Security Council, UN General Assembly, and UN Human Rights Council. In fact, Palestinian leaders are currently seeking consideration of a Security Council resolution that would condemn Israel for the aforementioned housing construction and demand that Israel cease all such activity. Mr. President, the passage of this resolution would simply isolate Israel and embolden the Palestinians to focus on further such pyrrhic victories, immeasurably setting back prospects for achieving real peace.

Substantively, the resolution before the Security Council is without merit. Israel's withdrawal of both its civilian population and its military from the Sinai in 1982 and from the Gaza Strip in 2005 are more than ample proof of Israel's willingness to take difficult decisions and make painful sacrifices when it believes that doing so would ultimately lead to security and peace.

Josh Block, a long-time pro-Israel Democratic activist and former spokesman for AIPAC, emailed me last night to praise the bipartisan letter:

Allowing the United Nation's Security Council become another UN venue for the unfair effort to single out and isolate Israel is not just morally and strategically wrong for America, it also undermines prospects for peace.

Israel is our steadfast ally, and for 60 years they have had their hand outstreatched in peace, only to have their repeated peace offers spurned by the Arabs and the Palestinians, again and again.

As Block put it, "honest folks who follow these issues" understand all that. That is why, Block explains, "you see such diverse and senior Congressional leadership standing up in support of America's decades-long role in vetoing anti-Israel resolutions at the UN Security Council and refusing to allow the moral abyss that is the UN to become yet another forum for dishonest anti-Israel expression that harms the cause of peace." In a sense, the bipartisan letter is not only commendable, but predictable.

And what of those clamoring for the U.S. to fall into that abyss by supporting a resolution of condemnation? Well, they appear to have not a scintilla of support in Congress. Block says of those urging the Obama administration to depart from longstanding U.S. practice at the U.N., "It's no surprise that the voices calling for America to go along with the twisted effort to isolate Israel and allow a one-sided, biased and counterproductive resolution to succeed there comes from a chorus of people with strong histories of anti-Israel criticism, like Chas Freeman, [Stephen] Walt and [John] Mearsheimer, not to mention Andrew Sullivan and Peter Beinart."

During the 2010 election the left accused conservatives of "politicizing" and thereby weakening support for Israel when Republican candidates and third party groups examined the voting records of liberal lawmakers and questioned whether those who affixed the "pro-Israel" label really were supportive of the Jewish state and a robust U.S.-Israel relationship. A number of those whose records didn't match their rhetoric were defeated..

Holding lawmakers accountable for their votes and records didn't make Israel into a partisan issue; instead it left us with a House and Senate that are resolute in their defense of Israel, more so, I would suggest, than the last Congress. And those pleading with lawmakers and the White House to turn on our democratic ally are, thankfully, increasingly isolated and irrelevant.

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 28, 2011; 12:15 PM ET
Categories:  Israel  
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Comments

Jennifer


What is going on in Egypt right now is extremely serious.

If this government falls, an Islamic Revolutionary government will take power. Make no mistake, this is not a democracy movement. This is a pro-Islamic movement.


The Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty will be out the window.

I can not emphasize enough how serious this is.


This is like having a Hamas-like government in Egypt. The current co-operation that Israel is getting along the Hamas-Egypt border on the Gaza Strip will be open season for supplying all sorts of weapons.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 28, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

This seems like small potatoes compared to Egypt, but still it will be interesting to see how many left wing Dems vote against this commonsense resolution.

Posted by: eoniii | January 28, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

So Rainforest supports the dictator?

Curious!

Posted by: Amminadab | January 28, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Tiresome.

Posted by: jckdoors | January 28, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: eoniii | January 28, 2011 2:03 PM

"This seems like small potatoes compared to Egypt, but still it will be interesting to see how many left wing Dems vote against this commonsense resolution"

When it comes to Israel, there's no such thing as a left wing.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 28, 2011 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 28, 2011 12:38 PM

"If this government falls, an Islamic Revolutionary government will take power. Make no mistake, this is not a democracy movement. This is a pro-Islamic movement."

Sorry, but you're wrong and ignorant about what's taking place. The Muslim Brotherhood weren't even participating in these demonstrations until today.

"The Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty will be out the window."

If it involves Egypt cow towing toe Washington and Tel Aviv (as it has done for 30 years) then yes, it will be out the window.

"The current co-operation that Israel is getting along the Hamas-Egypt border on the Gaza Strip will be open season for supplying all sorts of weapons."

No more shooting fish in a brrel for Israel.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 28, 2011 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Shingo, at least you're open about your support for Hamas and your desire for Egypt to resume its previous role as a front-line enemy of Israel (before Israel defeated it in three straight wars).

I just don't understand why you hate Jews so much that you're willing to side with Islamic terrorists. Those terrorists want to kill people like you as much as they want to kill the Jews. If the Muslim Brotherhood takes over Egypt, the secular democrats will be among the first to face the firing squad, as in Iran.

Posted by: eoniii | January 28, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I don’t support Hamas eoniii,

I support the right of Palestinians to chose their own leadership, as opposed to you, who clearly believes it’s up to Washington to decide.

Nor do I wish for Egypt to become an enemy of Israel, but nor do I think it’s appropriate for Egypt to cow tow to Washington and Tel Aviv. The peace that Israel and Egypt have had has been on terms which are contrary to the will of the people of Egypt,so it was always going to be unsustainable.

This debate has nothing to do with Jews, and your reflexive insinuation that it does is simply beneath the pale and reveals that you cannot make a cogent argument without ad hominess. Mush as we disagree, I thought you were better than that.

The Muslim Brotherhood has rarely resorted to violence, certainly much less than the tyrannical regime that you have such affection for. Even the wealthy class in Egypt is supporting this revolution. You can whine about it all you like, but what is taking place in Egypt is not about you.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 28, 2011 7:56 PM | Report abuse

"I support the right of Palestinians to chose their own leadership..."

Yes. So do I. But the thing that somehow has a habit of getting lost in the discussion is that along with this right -- as with other rights -- comes responsibility. As soon as a majority of the Gaza population voted for Hamas, that majority simultaneously implicated themselves in a terrorist enterprise. And if they are eventually made to pay a price for that, they'll have no right to complain (speaking of rights).

P.S. It's kowtow (borrowed from Chinese).

P.P.S. Nothing can be "beneath the pale" unless it's underground.

Posted by: Jeroboam | January 28, 2011 8:38 PM | Report abuse

P.P.P.S. "ad hominess" is gibberish.

Posted by: Jeroboam | January 28, 2011 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Jeroboam,

1.Israel elected 2 terrorist leaders to the office if PM
2. Hamas stuck to the 2008 ceasefire until Israel broke it. So yes,the Pslestinians in Gaza held to the ceasefire and Israel broke it
3. Collective punishment, which is what you're endorsing, is a war crime.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 28, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

1.Israel elected 2 terrorist leaders to the office if PM

Tendentious.

2. Hamas stuck to the 2008 ceasefire until Israel broke it. So yes,the Pslestinians in Gaza held to the ceasefire and Israel broke it

Tendentiousness on stilts.

3. Collective punishment, which is what you're endorsing, is a war crime.

It's only collective punishment if non-combatants are purposely targeted. Who endorsed that?

Posted by: Jeroboam | January 28, 2011 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Shingo, how can you hate Israel without hating the Jews who live there? Do you support the Helen Thomas solution (return them to Europe where they have such a felicitous history) or the Ahmadinejad solution endorsed by Hezbollah and Hamas (wipe them off the map)?

This has nothing to do with the Jews? Oy vey!

Posted by: eoniii | January 28, 2011 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jeroboam | January 28, 2011 9:42 PM

"Tendentious."

Inconvenient.

"Tendentiousness on stilts."

Inconvenient sqared.

"It's only collective punishment if non-combatants are purposely targeted. Who endorsed that?"


Isael, as Ze'ev Shiff (Israeli journalist and military correspondent for Ha'aretz. ) explains:


"The Israeli army has always struck civilian populations, purposely and consciously. The army has never distinguished civilian from military targets, but has purposely attacked civilian targets."

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 29, 2011 12:07 AM | Report abuse

"It's only collective punishment if non-combatants are purposely targeted. Who endorsed that?"

Isael,

But you said *I* endorsed it. If you're not going to be honest, there's no point in an exchange of views. Admit it: You misread or distorted what I said.

as Ze'ev Shiff (Israeli journalist and military correspondent for Ha'aretz. ) explains:

I don't call that an explanation. I call it a claim. I also dare say that it's a claim that one could find widely contradicted by any number of other journalists and correspondents, both Israeli and otherwise. We'll get nowhere by cherry-picking authorities to parade.

Posted by: Jeroboam | January 29, 2011 1:24 AM | Report abuse

"shingo" repeatedly hijacks the discourse here for his own purpose ....to disparage Jews.
It's the old "I am only against Israel, not Jews.....blah, blah, blah."

You are simply a bigot .... and a not very clever one at that.

Posted by: MartinChuzzlewit | January 29, 2011 1:46 AM | Report abuse

Is it not perhaps beneath your dignity to behold a pale horse that is beyond the horizon, or is it beyond the pale to behold a dark horse if it is beneath the horizon?

Maybe Sarah will let us know the answer soon from her backyard...?

The closer she gets, the better you look!

Posted by: aardunza | January 29, 2011 3:21 AM | Report abuse

Gregory's peckish but Anthony's in Quinn's book!

Posted by: aardunza | January 29, 2011 3:38 AM | Report abuse

thee's thtill feeling a bit pence-thive but thtill mitch pawlenty of rom for a newt christ figure to emerge thometime thune -- mebbe marco paulo could prove sarahndipitouths and groan on one...

(thorry)

Posted by: aardunza | January 29, 2011 3:56 AM | Report abuse

it's the second coming of christ before "figure" that's a mistake on my part -- can we call a truce?

Posted by: aardunza | January 29, 2011 4:04 AM | Report abuse

"But you said *I* endorsed it. If you're not going to be honest, there's no point in an exchange of views."

Of course you did. You dclard that everyone who voted for Hamas was complicit in terrrorism therefore deserving of retribution.

"I don't call that an explanation. I call it a claim."

I don't care what you call it. A highly respetcted military reporter from Haaretz
reported that Israel has always targetted civilians to achieve an outcome.

"one could find widely contradicted by any number of other journalists and correspondents"

Not with Shiff's cedentials.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 29, 2011 4:57 AM | Report abuse

eoniii,

"Shingo, how can you hate Israel without hating the Jews who live there?"

Do you hate all Ameircans for attaching Iraq on the basis of lies?

Do you hate all Iraqis becase fo what Saddam did to the Kurds?

Do you hate all Germans based on what Hitler did?

Do you hate all Russians based on what Stalin did?
"Do you support the Helen Thomas solution (return them to Europe where they have such a felicitous history) or the Ahmadinejad solution endorsed by Hezbollah and Hamas (wipe them off the map)?"

Helen Thomas was referrign to Palestine (is. not Israel), but in any case, I do not support what she said.

Ahmadinejad never said anything about wiping anyone off the map.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 29, 2011 5:02 AM | Report abuse

MartinChuzzlewit,

"You are simply a bigot .... and a not very clever one at that."

Thank you for adding such substantive conribution to the debate.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 29, 2011 5:06 AM | Report abuse

""But you said *I* endorsed it. If you're not going to be honest, there's no point in an exchange of views.""

"Of course you did. You dclard that everyone who voted for Hamas was complicit in terrrorism therefore deserving of retribution."

You're either kidding or desperate. I said "...that majority...implicated themselves in a terrorist enterprise. And if they are eventually made to pay a price for that, they'll have no right to complain..." This is merely to say that the full consequences of conflict can exact a steep price indeed from an electorate whose choices border on the criminally stupid. Just ask the Germans. They paid quite dearly for having trooped dutifully to the polls and voted in great numbers for the party that gave them their new chancellor in 1933. I don't know about you, but I would reject the claim that the German population was subjected to "collective punishment" (at least not by us or the Brits) in the aftermath of their electoral choice. Is it really so hard to tell the difference between saying that the voters of Gaza have laid themselves open to to some dire consequences and that they are deserving of being rounded up and systematically punished? Not for me.

Posted by: Jeroboam | January 29, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Just to clarify before somebody happens or chooses to misinterpret: The penultimate sentence of what I wrote just above was meant to say:

Is it really so hard to tell the difference between saying (1) that the voters of Gaza have laid themselves open to to some dire consequences and saying (2) that they are deserving of being rounded up and systematically punished?

Posted by: Jeroboam | January 29, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I know what you said Jeroboam. By declaring that "..that majority...implicated themselves in a terrorist enterprise" you innevitably imply that the popuation are complicit in terrorism and therefore deserving of collective punishment.

"This is merely to say that the full consequences of conflict can exact a steep price indeed from an electorate whose choices border on the criminally stupid."

Of course, the same could have been said of America havign elected Bush for 2 terms, or for Israel having elected at least 2 terrosit leaders to th ehighest office in the land. In fact, in 2006, Israel celebrted the 60th anniversary of a terrorist attack in it's name - a celebration attended by Bibbi. Does that not imply that Isrl's choices were criminally stupid when they elected him in 2009?

"Is it really so hard to tell the difference between saying that the voters of Gaza have laid themselves open to to some dire consequences and that they are deserving of being rounded up and systematically punished? Not for me."

Of course it's not hard for you to come to this sadistic conclusion. So long as it's Palestinians and not Israelis suffering the consequences.

The Palestinians in Gaza are already effectvely rounded up due to the fact they are unable to leave. It's a matter of fact that they are beig systematically punished - via the sirge and via attacks like Cast Lead.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 29, 2011 7:20 PM | Report abuse

"I know what you said Jeroboam. By declaring that "..that majority...implicated themselves in a terrorist enterprise" you innevitably imply that the popuation are complicit in terrorism and therefore deserving of collective punishment."

All you show here is that in fact you DON'T know -- or rather choose not to. There's nothing "inevitable" (and yes -- just one n) about what YOU say I imply, as I already explained. You seem not to know or care what "collective punishment" actually is.

"the same could have been said of America havign elected Bush for 2 terms, or for Israel having elected at least 2 terrosit leaders to th ehighest office in the land."

This is just the old moral equivalence wheeze in its most infantile form. Please.

"The Palestinians in Gaza are already effectvely rounded up"

Pure sophistry.

"So long as it's Palestinians and not Israelis suffering the consequences."

The whole point was that there may in fact be consequences for electing certain "leaders" rather than others. So?

"It's a matter of fact that they are beig systematically punished - via the sirge and via attacks like Cast Lead"

Not a word about thousands of rockets fired into Israel, of course. Israel has a right to defend itself against that. They don't just have to sit there and take it because you say so. If anything, they showed too much forbearance.

Posted by: Jeroboam | January 29, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

"There's nothing "inevitable" (and yes -- just one n) about what YOU say I imply, as I already explained. You seem not to know or care what "collective punishment" actually is."

It's very simple. It is puniching an entire population for the crimes of a few.

"This is just the old moral equivalence wheeze in its most infantile form. "

Yes, "moral equivalence" is another way of saying "I don't have a response that doesn't sound hypocritical".

"Pure sophistry."

Sophisticated perhaps, but there is no doubt that Gaza has become an open air prison.

"The whole point was that there may in fact be consequences for electing certain "leaders" rather than others. So?"

So, we've seen what those consequences are...namely collective punishment, or as Israeli leaders admitted, forcing Gaza to collapse.

"Not a word about thousands of rockets fired into Israel, of course."

That's becasue there were no rocekts fired during the 4 month ceasefire, which Israel chose to violate.

Yes, Israel does have the right to defend itself, but it must do so by exploring all options, including diplmatic ones. Israel did not defend itself when it violated a 4 mionths ceasefire and attacked Gaza on november 4th, and put it's own citizens in danger.

Israel ws also derelict in it's responsiblty to defend it's citizens when it rejected a call from Hamas to return toa ceasefire in mid December.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 29, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

“..."collective punishment"...”

“... puniching an entire population for the crimes of a few.”

In that case there’s been no collective punishment here in at all, since the “crimes” (your word) have certainly not been those of only “a few.” But even so, Israel is less guilty of collective punishment than most. They have not purposely targeted non-combatants (which is the *entire strategy* of their sworn enemies) -- the endlessly replayed nugget from the late Mr. Shiff notwithstanding.

“"moral equivalence" is another way of saying "I don't have a response that doesn't sound hypocritical".”

How so? There’s nothing hypocritical in pointing out the fallaciousness of equating a mote (or an atom) with a beam.

“Sophisticated perhaps, but there is no doubt that Gaza has become an open air prison.”

If you don’t know the difference between sophistry and sophistication (Or is it conceivable that that was supposed to be clever?), I can recommend many good dictionaries.

You keep saying the Gazan Palestinians can’t leave. Well, why won’t the Egyptians open their border and let them out? If the outrage is that they’re not allowed to leave, I just suggested a viable solution. If the “problem” is that they’re not allowed to overrun Israel, that’s something else and I’m afraid nobody can help them. They really won’t be allowed to do that. Honest.

“we've seen what those consequences are...namely collective punishment”

No sale. Inadvertent and unavoidable casualties to non-combatants who are being used as human shields precisely in the hope of casualties among them (and thus as a political weapon) doesn’t qualify as collective punishment.

“or as Israeli leaders admitted, forcing Gaza to collapse.”

Admitted? Why deny it? It would obviously be in Israel’s perfectly legitimate interest (and that of the rest of the civilized world) if the Hamastan set up in Gaza did in fact collapse, with the reestablishment of the authority of the Abbas crowd. As bad as they are, they’re not quite as low-grade as your heroes in Gaza.

Posted by: Jeroboam | January 30, 2011 2:02 AM | Report abuse

“...no rocekts fired during the 4 month ceasefire, which Israel chose to violate.”

Violate? Hamastani talking point. The infiltration tunnel into Israel was not something they were obligated to tolerate.

“Yes, Israel does have the right to defend itself, but it must do so by exploring all options, including diplmatic ones.”

It’s not up to you -- or anyone outside the Israeli government exploring such -- to decide when all of this exploring has decisively turned into a wild goose chase.

“Israel did not defend itself when it violated a ... ceasefire and attacked Gaza ... and put it's own citizens in danger.”

It was indeed defending itself, as I just explained. But I’ll grant that it didn’t do so vigorously enough. They broke off Cast Lead too soon. My own opinion is that that was a mistake, but the Israelis get to make that decision too.

“Israel ws also derelict in it's responsiblty to defend it's citizens when it rejected a call from Hamas to return toa ceasefire in mid December.”

Yeah -- like you really care whether Israel defends its citizens or not. Such an accusation can be made by someone with your attitudes and opinions only out of the profoundest cynicism and the desire to multiply charges, no matter how ludicrous, against Israel. Both sides rejected all kinds of ceasefire and truce proposals during the run-up to and the execution of Cast Lead. I’m not especially impressed by the mid-December attempt of the Hamas big-wigs to save their skins when they feared they’d pushed Israel too far.

Posted by: Jeroboam | January 30, 2011 2:03 AM | Report abuse

“ But even so, Israel is less guilty of collective punishment than most. They have not purposely targeted non-combatants (which is the *entire strategy* of their sworn enemies”

Of course they have, which explains why the majority of those killed are non-combatants. Even Tom Friedman acknowledges this fact. So has
Ze'ev Shiff (Israeli journalist and military correspondent for Ha'aretz. ) who reported quoted Mordecai Gur(Israeli politician and the 10th Chief of Staff of the IDF) when he said:
“The Israeli army has always struck civilian populations, purposely and consciously. The army has never distinguished civilian from military targets, but has purposely attacked civilian targets.”

“You keep saying the Gazan Palestinians can’t leave. Well, why won’t the Egyptians open their border and let them out?”

Because Washington and Tel Aviv complain very loudly when they do. After all, it’s Washington that it building and paying for the underground steel wall that is being built along the border with Egypt.

No sale. Inadvertent and unavoidable casualties to non-combatants who are being used as human shields precisely in the hope of casualties among them (and thus as a political weapon) doesn’t qualify as collective punishment.”

Debunked Israeli talking point. Israel made the same claims about Hebollah in Lebanon and those claims were debunked. Furthermore, it was the IDF, not Hamas, caught on camera using human shields.

“ It would obviously be in Israel’s perfectly legitimate interest (and that of the rest of the civilized world) if the Hamastan set up in Gaza did in fact collapse”

Which brings us back to collective punishment.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 30, 2011 2:54 AM | Report abuse

“Violate? Hamastani talking point. The infiltration tunnel into Israel was not something they were obligated to tolerate.”

Hasbara talking point. The story about the plot to use a tunnel to kidnap IDF soldiers was such a lame excuse, even the Israelis stopped using it.

“”It’s not up to you -- or anyone outside the Israeli government exploring such -- to decide when all of this exploring has decisively turned into a wild goose chase.”

No it’s Israel’s obligation to explore all options, not just militaristic ones. In any case, the fact that Israel rejected a return to ceasefire and allowed their citizens to be subjected to another 22 days of rocket attacks debunks the claim that the actions were self defense.

“ My own opinion is that that was a mistake, but the Israelis get to make that decision too.”

It’s easy to be so sadistic when your own tribe has nothing to fear from their enemy.
Haaetz revealed that that Cast Lead was planned more than six months prior. Israel has a long track record of breaking ceasefires because as Tzipi Livni said, “a long ceasefire is not in Israel’s strategic interests”. In other words, self defence is secondary to other aims.

“Yeah -- like you really care whether Israel defends its citizens or not”

As I explained, if defends its citizens was the goal, the IDF would not have initiated hostilities and broken the ceasefire. Far from defending it’s citizens, the Israeli government deliberately put them in danger so as to create a pretext to attack Gaza.

Posted by: Shingo1 | January 30, 2011 3:32 AM | Report abuse

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