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Facts and Logic About
the Middle East
P.O. Box 590359
San Francisco, CA 94159
Israel dodges a bullet in the UN, but suffers a humiliating attack from the Obama administration
Dear Friend of Israel, Friend of FLAME:
As the Arab world reels from unprecedented protests by its people---mostly notably in Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan, Bahrain and now Morocco---the authoritarian governments in those countries are responding with brutally violent crackdowns. Indeed, including some 300 deaths in Egypt, the number of people killed in the recent wave of Arab demonstrations is now well over 500.
Yet in the face of these murders of Muslim citizens exercising their human rights to assemble and protest oppression, how did the United Nations Security Council spend its time last Friday? It was considering---and nearly passing---a motion sponsored by the Palestinian Authority to declare illegal Israel's construction of housing and services in its capital, Jerusalem, and in disputed West Bank territories.
Here's the good news: The U.S. vetoed the Security Council resolution---standing its ground as the sole dissenter among 15 current Security Council members. For this outcome, we can thank pressure on the administration from the U.S. Congress, Israel, and citizens like you and me, who urgently called and wrote to our representatives last week. Because make no mistake: President Obama and U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice didn't want to do it---they did everything they could to avoid exercising that veto.
Right to the last moment, Rice and the U.S. State Department were trying to convince the Palestinians to withdraw their resolution in favor of a softer version that would "merely" rebuke Israel for constructing new settlements in seized Arab lands. But the Palestinians refused, and, as this week's FLAME Hotline makes clear, Ambassador Rice's bitterness at having to exercise the U.S. veto was palpable. In fact, she stated that she agreed Israel's recent construction is illegitimate.
But what was the motivation of the Palestinian Arabs in bringing this resolution to the U.N. in the first place? Clearly it was yet another smokescreen to cover their intransigence in returning to peace talks. Instead of negotiating the status of borders and territories occupied by both sides, the Arabs want the U.N. to preemptively decide the question---in their favor, of course.
My friends, Israel is under siege, and its ability to withstand international criticism and physical attacks from all sides is threatened as never before. Not only is the Arab world seething, but Israel stands to lose its peace treaties with its close neighbors, Egypt and Jordan. To make matters worse---much worse---thanks to President Obama, Israel is being abandoned by its most trusted ally, the United States.
No wonder I urge you to forward the brief, but powerful article below to your friends and colleagues, so they will understand why the threat to Israel has just been raised a notch and why it's more critical than ever to support the Jewish state.
Thanks for your support of Israel and your support of FLAME.
As you know, in addition to many other threats upon Israel, a worldwide attack by the so-called BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement is in full swing. This is a vile attempt to slander Israel in the name of "ending the occupation" and "freedom for Palestine." To get the truth about this hateful group and the lies it tells, take a look at a new FLAME position paper that's now being published in media that reach more than 5 million Americans. Please read this outspoken position paper, "The BDS Movement: Does it stand for Middle East peace or does it seek Israel's destruction?" If you agree that this kind of outspoken and wide-reaching advocacy on Israel's behalf is critical, I urge you to support us. Remember: FLAME's ability to spread the truth and influence public opinion comes from individuals like you, one by one. I hope you'll consider giving a donation now, as you're able---with $500, $250, $100, or even $18. (Remember, your donation to FLAME is tax deductible.) To donate online, just go to http://www.factsandlogic.org/make_a_donation.html. Now more than ever we need your support to ensure that Israel gets the support it needs---from the U.S. Congress, from President Obama, and from the American people.
The U.N. veto and the real headline
By Jennifer Rubin, "Right Turn" (blog), washingtonpost.com, February 18, 2011
There are two versions of analysis going around concerning today's grudging veto by the Obama administration of a U.N. Security Council resolution seeking to condemn Israel's settlements as "illegal" and claim that they "constitute a major obstacle to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace."
The first take goes like this: "All's well that ends well. Bravo, Mr. President for exercising the veto!" The second goes like this: "Obama messed up big time by trying to negotiate a 'compromise.' He disappointed the Arabs and Palestinians, broke his own pledge not to exercise the veto, upset American friends of Israel, and unnerved the Israeli government yet again."
The first is preposterous, but, regrettably, it's the tack taken by a number of Jewish organizations [ed. AIPAC, ADL]. This preserves the fiction for the groups' liberal members that the president is a great friend and stalwart ally of the Jewish state. It ignores the willingness of the U.S. to join in public excoriation of the Jewish state and to emphasize that the U.S. and Israel can be separated diplomatically with very little effort.
The second is correct, but incomplete. The U.S. did not merely exercise a veto, it issued a statement that was unprecedented in its one-sidedness and harshness. As The Post reported:
U.S. Ambassador Susan E. Rice said that the U.S. veto should not be seen as an endorsement of Israel's settlement policies, which the Obama administration has repeatedly denounced. But she said adoption of the resolution "risks" undermining U.S.-led efforts to pursue a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
"We reject in the strongest term the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activities," Rice said after the vote. "For more than four decades Israel's settlement activities have undermined Israel's security and eroded hopes of peace and security in the region."
But she added: "Unfortunately, this draft resolution risks hardening the positions of both sides and could encourage the parties to stay out of negotiations."
Remarkably, not a single pro-Israel group made much notice of that. Not even one chastised the administration for singling out Israel—the party that repeatedly has offered a peace deal, that offered a ten month freeze, and that engaged in direct negotiations -- while foregoing any hint of criticism of the Palestinians who walked out of talks, refuse to recognize the Jewish state, and continue to incite terrorism.
Sure, the U.N. once again has proven itself to be a hot-bed of anti-Israel rhetoric. But let's be clear what really happened this week. The U.S. representative, while reluctantly casting a veto, joined the pack of jackals that seek to make Israel the culprit for all that ills the Middle East. Shouldn't THAT be the headline?
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