The un­kind­est cut of all, right in the back

Obama’s treach­ery at the U.N. unites the bi­par­ti­san friends of Is­rael

The Washington Times Daily - - COMMENTARY - By Suzanne Fields Suzanne Fields is a colum­nist for The Wash­ing­ton Times and is na­tion­ally syn­di­cated.

If Is­rael were a na­tion in hu­man form, like Un­cle Sam or Mar­i­anne, the fem­i­nine sym­bol of France, long, bloody knives would be pro­trud­ing from both back and breast.

The man with blood on his hands would be Pres­i­dent Obama, who de­parted from decades of Amer­i­can pol­icy un­der sev­eral pres­i­dents both Re­pub­li­can and Demo­crat, and re­fused to veto a United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion re­buk­ing Is­rael for set­tle­ments on land which the Jewish state hopes to use in a land swap to se­cure a last­ing peace.

The pres­i­dent’s ac­tion, or rather lack of ac­tion, is noth­ing less than treach­ery by the man who pre­sents him­self as a great friend of Is­rael. His long knives cut deep, a malev­o­lent farewell ges­ture of con­tempt for the only democ­racy in the Mid­dle East. Com­ing from the United States, for so long Is­rael’s most re­li­able friend, this was “the un­kind­est cut of all.”

The re­ac­tion across Amer­ica has been swift and an­gry, from left and right, lib­eral and con­ser­va­tive, Demo­crat and Re­pub­li­can. Lib­eral Demo­cratic law pro­fes­sor Alan Der­showitz re­calls in dis­be­lief that soon af­ter Mr. Obama’s first in­au­gu­ral the pres­i­dent called him into the Oval Of­fice to seek his sup­port, promis­ing “he would al­ways have Is­rael’s back.”

Mr. Der­showitz didn’t get the pres­i­dent’s real mean­ing at the time, he tells Fox and Friends, “that he would have Is­rael’s back so he could stab it in the back.” The pres­i­dent’s fad­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion tries to wrap it­self in sheep’s cloth­ing, blam­ing the “ab­sence of any mean­ing­ful peace process, as well as the ac­cel­er­ated set­tle­ment ac­tiv­ity,” but the text of the res­o­lu­tion goes far be­yond the set­tle­ments,

The res­o­lu­tion would make the West­ern Wall, or the Wail­ing Wall as it is com­monly known, Is­rael’s holi­est site, il­le­gal in in­ter­na­tional law. Roads that are path­ways for both Is­raeli and Arab stu­dents to study at the He­brew Univer­sity, and of­fer ac­cess for Is­raeli and Arab pa­tients to the Hadas­sah Hos­pi­tal would sud­denly be ren­dered “il­le­gal,” too.

Is­rael opened its doors to Pales­tini­ans in an­swer to the Pales­tini­ans clos­ing theirs to Is­raelis. For two decades be­fore the Wail­ing Wall was lib­er­ated in the Six-Day War, Jews were de­nied ac­cess to the an­cient stones once stained by their an­ces­tors’ prayers and tears.

John Bolton, the for­mer U.S. Am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions, agrees that “Barack Obama stabbed Is­rael in the front” with en­dors­ing the Pales­tinian nar­ra­tive and re­duc­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties for “land for peace,” but all is not lost. Don­ald Trump now has am­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties to pivot away from his pre­de­ces­sor’s per­fidy. Mr. Bolton joins a cho­rus of politi­cians who sug­gest cut­ting con­tri­bu­tions to the United Na­tions, where the United States con­trib­ute up to $3 bil­lion an­nu­ally.

If Alan Der­showitz and John Bolton vi­su­al­ize bru­tal stab­bings in both the front and the back of Is­rael, Sen. Lind­sey Gra­ham of South Carolina de­scribes the Obama treach­ery as aban­don­ing “the only democ­racy in the Mid­dle East that shares our val­ues.” House Speaker Paul Ryan calls the be­trayal “ab­so­lutely shame­ful,” and prom­ises a clear fo­cus of a uni­fied Re­pub­li­can gov­ern­ing party to forge a new, strong al­liance of the United States and Is­rael.

If the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion an­tic­i­pated Re­pub­li­can fury, it seems sur­prised by the an­gry roar from the Democrats. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, who will be the new leader of Se­nate Democrats, calls the fail­ure to veto the res­o­lu­tion “frus­trat­ing, dis­ap­point­ing and con­found­ing.” Ge­orge Mitchell, a for­mer Demo­cratic sen­a­tor who was spe­cial en­voy to the Arab-Is­raeli peace process in the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion, tells MSNBC News that the be­trayal hurts the peace prospects of both Is­rael and the Pales­tini­ans. One Demo­crat, in the sharpest cut of all, says Barack Obama is “worse than Jimmy Carter.”

Anger be­comes farce as crit­ics sug­gest what to do with the valu­able piece of real es­tate now oc­cu­pied by the United Na­tions in the Tur­tle Bay neigh­bor­hood of New York City. One critic says the iconic New York build­ing over­look­ing the East River could be­come an­other Trump ho­tel with great views of the sky­scraper canyons. If the diplo­mats would pay their park­ing and traf­fic tick­ets, it might sop up some of the red ink in the na­tional bud­get.

Fun is fun, but change at the United Na­tions, which be­gan with such ide­al­ism as a har­bin­ger of world peace, of­fers lit­tle hope now for any­thing but more cyn­i­cism, more vit­riol. As the Pres­i­dent-elect might tweet, “so sad.”

Mix­ing ab­sur­dity with tragedy, Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry of­fers his grandiose rhetoric in a long speech that is heav­ily slanted against Is­rael, ob­sess­ing over set­tle­ments while barely touch­ing upon the root of the con­flict, as Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu ob­served, “Pales­tinian op­po­si­tion to a Jewish state in any bound­aries.” Lead­er­ship from this pres­i­dent’s ad­min­is­tra­tion is, as usual, too late, too lit­tle — and headed in the wrong di­rec­tion.


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