"Only the daring of the Jews founded this country and not some Um-Shmum [stupid UN] resolution."
- David Ben-Gurion on the establishment of the State of Israel, March 29, 1955
With the Jewish holiday of Passover, a festival of freedom from slavery, just around the corner, The New York Times has "graced" us with a guest op-ed entitled "Israel’s Unsung Protector: Obama" by Lara Friedman. Friedman, the director of policy and government relations for Americans for Peace Now, would have us know that President Obama has "completely shielded" Israel from UN Security Council resolutions "specifically critical of Israel." Friedman's conclusion:
"The two-state solution is the only path to preserving Israel’s security and its character as a Jewish state and a democracy, while delivering freedom, dignity and sovereignty to the Palestinians. We can hope that President Obama may now recognize that preserving this solution for the future is the most important legacy he can leave in this arena. But to accomplish that, he must be willing to resist, rather than court, the anti-peace bullies in Israel and the United States; he must be willing to stand up for American interests in obtaining a Middle East peace, and to stand with America’s allies in the Security Council in supporting a two-state solution.
If he does that, President Obama will not be betraying Israel. He will be Israel’s true friend. And he will walk in the footsteps of all eight other presidents since 1967, Democrat and Republican alike."
Guess what? I also support a two-state solution, but what doesn't Friedman tell us? Back in 2008, Palestinian Authority President Abbas refused Israeli Prime Minister Olmert's peace offer, providing the Palestinians with an independent state along the 1967 lines together with agreed upon land swaps and Palestinian control of east Jerusalem. One year later, after Netanyahu declared a 10-month settlement freeze "to restart peace talks" at the request of Obama, Abbas delayed entering negotiations until the last moment and then walked away from the discussions.
Apparently unbeknownst to Friedman, it is hard to make peace with someone who doesn't want to make peace.
Obama has protected Israel from the United Nations? Perhaps Friedman would do well to read Yair Rosenberg's November 15, 2013 Tablet article entitled "Caught on Tape, a U.N. Interpreter Wonders Aloud at its Israel Bashing," which noted:
"Yesterday was 'bash Israel' day at the United Nations–which is to say, Thursday. The U.N. General Assembly, which last year passed 22 resolutions condemning Israel and only four against other individual countries, approved nine such resolutions lambasting the Jewish state. Naturally, it had nothing to say about violations in the rest of the world, though it did manage to lament the situation in Syria–that is, Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights.
You don’t have to be a Zionist or a supporter of Israeli policy to recognize the profound injustice at work in the U.N.’s treatment of the Jewish state. In fact, as it turns out, even an official U.N. interpreter would be hard pressed not to notice it. Thus, during yesterday’s session, between the sixth and seventh resolution against Israel, the interpreter on the floor expressed her mystification with the body’s obsession with Israel at the expense of other global concerns, not realizing her microphone was still on:
I mean, I think when you have five statements, not five, like a total of ten resolutions on Israel and Palestine, there’s gotta be something, c’est un peu trop, non? [It’s a bit much, no?] I mean I know… There’s other really bad shit happening, but no one says anything, about the other stuff.
As you can see in the video below, the remark was greeted by laughter among the assembled delegates, after which the mortified interpreter apologized. The proceedings then continued, with Mauritania asking to retroactively add its voice to the sixth resolution condemning Israel’s human rights abuses. Mauritania, of course, boasts nearly a million people in chattel slavery. It is also the vice president of the U.N. Human Rights Council."
The UN Human Rights Council? Throughout its illustrious history, it has condemned Israel more times than all other countries combined.
But more to the point, what about Friedman's claim that Obama is Israel's "protector"? Friedman forgets to mention how, at the height of Israel's 2014 war with Hamas, which was busy firing missiles at Israel's towns and cities, Obama blocked arms shipments to Israel. Friedman also forgets how Obama attempted to force Israel to accept Turkey and Qatar, countries implacably hostile to Israel, as arbiters of that same conflict with Hamas. At the time, Obama remarked: "I trust Qatar and Turkey. Israel is not in the position that it can choose its mediators." Yup, Obama was one heckuva "protector."
More recently, as part of his unsigned nuclear deal with Iran, Obama bargained away the language prohibiting Iran from conducting ballistic missile tests. As a consequence, Iran has conducted ballistic missile tests in October, November and March, and one of the two missiles fired last month had "Israel should be wiped off the Earth" written on it. What did Obama do about this? Effectively nothing. After all, this narcissistic president's foreign policy "legacy" is at stake.
In short, with friends like Lara Friedman (and "protectors" like Obama), who needs enemies?