Barack Obama, the least gracious and most vindictive president in memory, isn’t about to take Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election as Israeli prime minister Tuesday lying down. He will do something to make the entire country of Israel suffer in retaliation.
The president isn’t likely to get anywhere cutting financial and military aid to Israel — not with Congress firmly in the hands of the GOP. But that’s hardly his only option.
There’s one more legislative body in which Obama has a solid footing — the United Nations. And the U.N. has the added bonus of already being anti-Israel.
The White House has already made statements to this effect, fueled by Netanyahu’s assertion late in his re-election campaign that there will never be a Palestinian state — not on his watch at any rate.
“The positions taken by the prime minister in the last days of the campaign have raised very significant substantive questions that go far beyond just optics,” a senior administration official said, according to Politico.
The same official indicated that the United States may now amend its traditionally protective stance toward Israel, despite reports that Netanyahu may walk back his Palestinian statement.
“We are signaling that if the Israeli government’s position is no longer to pursue a Palestinian state, we’re going to have to broaden the spectrum of options we pursue going forward,” the official said.
The administration isn’t necessarily buying the possibility of Netanyahu reversing his position on Palestine. According to a former senior Obama official, the Israeli leader has “shown his true colors.”
The possibility that the United States may engage in backstabbing on an international scale has Israel’s supporters concerned.
“I do think the administration is going to look very closely at the possibility of either joining, or at least not blocking an internationally-backed move at the U.N. to restate the parameters for ending the conflict [between Israel and the Palestinians],” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of the left-leaning pro-Israel group J Street.
The United States — often acting alone — has always been available to run interference in the U.N. for its most important Middle East ally. Recent examples include, according to Politico:
Last November, the U.N. Security Council considered a draft resolution, pushed by the Palestinians and Arab countries, demanding an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank within three years. The U.S. quietly quashed the effort.
In February 2011, Obama exercised his first Security Council veto to strike down a resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity in Palestinian territory. Every other one of the Security Council’s 15 members supported the resolution.
But this may soon come to an end.
The U.S. is actively looking at supporting a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for peace talks and a comprehensive settlement with the Palestinian authority, Foreign Policy reported Thursday.
“The more the new [Israeli] government veers to the right the more likely you will see something [at the United Nations] in New York,” a Western diplomat told Foreign Policy.
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