What will Obama do at the U.N.?
It takes a bit of detective work to figure out where President Obama is going on his Israel policy. Peace talks have stalled, but his secretary of state has rebuffed calls for an imposed peace and for unilateral declaration of the Palestinian state. Meanwhile, the Palestinians, fresh from walking out of peace talks and rejecting the idea that will they need to recognize a "Jewish state," are preparing another condemnation of Israel for the U.N. Security Council. So what is Obama going to do -- veto or go along?
Clue #1: The usual crowd of Israel bashers has sent the president a letter urging him to go along with a U.N. resolution condemning Israel for its settlements. But, oddly, not a single signatory from the ever-anxious-to-bash Israel crowd at J Street. It's a bit strange considering that the group itself has excoriated Israel for building not only in the West Bank but in its own capital. A perceptive observer reminds me that J Street, more than its left-wing agenda, has devoted itself to being Obama's "blocking back." In other words, J Street isn't going to get on the opposite side of this issue from its beloved president.
Clue #2: Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and sixteen Senate colleagues have also written to the president. They urge the opposite course:
We are very concerned about reports that the Palestinian Authority is drafting a resolution intended for consideration at the United Nations Security Council regarding issues that have been and should continue to be pursued through direct negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, namely borders and settlements. We believe such a move hurts the prospects for a peace agreement and is not in the interest of the United States.
We strongly urge you to make clear that the United States will veto such a resolution if it is raised at the Council, and to clearly communicate United States' intent to do so to other Security Council members. . . .
Attempts to use a venue such as the United Nations, which you know has a long history of hostility toward Israel, to deal with just one issue in the negotiations, will not move the two sides closer to a two-state solution, but rather damage the fragile trust between them.
Now, do we think the signatories to Gillibrand's letter, including prominent Democrats, would have taken this step without some clear indication from the administration as to which way it was leaning?
Take it to the bank: Obama will veto the U.N. resolution, signaling once again that an American president cannot follow the agenda of the far-left (in this case joined by a hodge-podge of Republican Israel bashers who've been out of power for a generation) and expect to protect America's vital interests.
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