Abstained

Swimming ObamaThe World against Israel or Israel against the World

The question about whether Obama would deliver a last minute FU to Israel by abstaining on a UN Security Council vote has been answered. YES HE WILL

    That leads to two additional questions. The first is will he repeat the gesture when France, as predicted, offers another anti Israel proposal in January? The second is what are the possible consequences of a United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlement construction in disputed Palestinian territory.

Five Minutes for Israel takes no credit for anticipating this turn of events. We were one of several and not the first but the question we proposed as a postscript in Red-flagging November 8th remains. We asked whether Hillary Clinton speak up before the election? We now ask whether, as the losing candidate, she will speak up now?

The Turtle Bay Screwjob

Samantha Powers

Amb. Samantha Powers”… because the United States does not agree with every word in this text that the United States did not vote in favor of this resolution”

As I see it, the answer to the question of whether if given the opportunity to screw Israel again at the United Nations, Obama would take it is clear. As ‘lame duck’ President determined to make his final mark on history he would see no reason not to.

He doesn’t have to worry about his action negatively rebounding on Hillary Clinton – she lost. He doesn’t have to worry about his action negatively rebounding on Democrat candidates – they lost. He doesn’t have to worry about his action reducing financial support from wealthy Jews  – he’s not running.

Obama’s rationale for allowing the settlement vote is that he is only supporting long term bipartisan US policy. Indeed his ambassador made it clear that had the wording been a little different they would have voted for it, making it unanimous.

So how much different would it be if the French or for that matter the Uruguayans propose a  resolution declaring the ceasefire lines of 1948 the permanent and recognized boundaries or any number of misconceptions that have been long-term policy? They have up to January 20th to do it. They needn’t worry too much about the wording.

Expect a 14:0 or even a 15:0 vote from five permanent members: China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States and ten non-permanent members Angola. Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, Spain, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of).

… and after?

Chapter V Article 25 United Nations Charter
The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.

“Israel rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the UN and will not abide by its terms”. Prime Minister Netanyahu

Chapter VII Article 41 United Nations Charter
The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.

Just this evening I heard an Israeli ‘expert’ on television informing us that the resolution has no practical effect. I beg to differ.

By definition Security Council resolutions are international law. As much as I respect efforts by academics such as Dr. Harel Arnon  and Prof. Eugene Kontorovich and others, as well as the Israel Foreign Ministry to proof the legality of Israel’s policies, fourteen members of the Security Council have voted otherwise. The legal arguments were not so much rejected but completely ignored. Few states will look further.

Paraphrasing the memorable words of Abba Eban, late Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, the Security Council could vote that the Earth was flat and Israel flattened it but it would still be quoted as international law.

The resolution makes a negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians very much harder, since the Palestinians will now have no incentive to negotiate the boundaries of a future Palestine state.

But that’s not all. Expect efforts by the Palestinians or their proxies for sanctions against Israel under Article 41, sooner rather than later. Whoever Mr. Trump appoints as ambassador will have plenty of vetoing to do.

Would someone please remind me why Israel remains in the United Nations?

stab-in-the-back

Extra credit

About David Guy

B.A./B.C.A. (Communication and Media Arts) University of Wollongong, AUSTRALIA M.A. in Government (Diplomacy and Conflict Studies) Inter Disciplinary Center, Herzliya, ISRAEL Twitter @5MFI
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