Ending the Good Times at the UN

Like a resentful professor who leaves the faculty club a mess before the next University President arrives, Obama and his administration are hard at work ensuring that Trump and his incoming team will have to deal with a few disasters by the time they move in later on January 20th next.

Obama had to tell UN Ambassador Rice to abstain in the security council vote to condemn Israel's settlements, and by extrapolation, the very wailing wall itself apparently. Given Obama's leanings, both political and philosophical, it is hardly surprising that he would harbor a deeply felt hostility towards Israel. That he would act on that hostility in the final days of his administration shows a lack of respect for the transition itself. And an enormous ego. One at least as big as Trump's much maligned ego.

It was up to Trump to act more like a Commander in Chief. He has - yes it was through a tweet - questioned the UN and America's relationship to it: give them money and bear their constant attacks. For many, it is high time America re-evaluates it's role in the UN. What was an American creation - forged by Truman in the immediate aftermath of WW II, and built on the razed foundation of the failed League of Nations - is now an antagonistic body, often opposed to the founding principles of America, and run by the greased wheels of corruption and the fruits of patronage. Paid in large part by the American taxpayer.

When you get Trump and Senator Lindsey Graham expressing the same reaction, you know this is more than just an irritated outburst. Change is coming for the top-heavy bureaucracy at the United Nations. And Trump will be the impetus for that change. As a New Yorker, and the owner of a business that includes high-end hotels, he knows full well how many senior and mid-level UN officials spend their salad days in Manhattan. Having a good time, as he pointedly put it in a tweet. Although he specifically mentioned jawboning at confabs, his tweet hints at the various ways UN officials have been known - like so many libertine tourists - to have a good time in New York City.

Kicking the UN out of America, and lowering America's participation both financially and diplomatically is likely far too strong a solution. For now. But some form of increased accountability, produced precisely by tightening the purse strings, should be able to effect some needed change at 760, United Nations Plaza. If not, maybe the UN can indeed get a new address somewhere else in the world. Delhi? Rio? Riyadh? Let governments elsewhere worry about the cost of the move.

Posted by Keeley at December 27, 2016 6:49 PM
Comments
Comment #411647
Given Obama’s leanings, both political and philosophical, it is hardly surprising that he would harbor a deeply felt hostility towards Israel.

No. No. No. Obama is the greatest friend Israel has ever had. Note that until last week, the Obama administration was the first President since 1967 to prevent the UN from passing a single resolution critical of Israel. Unfortunately, Israel suffers under the terrible leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu. If Bibi had the sensibility to not stab his best ally in the back at every opportunity, this would never have happened:

you can inveigh against President Obama all you want, but the one who actually owns this debacle is Prime Minister Netanyahu. If you truly want to be upset at someone, direct your ire at him….Netanyahu brought his country to this point, either never believing the myriad warning signs he received or knowing that this was coming and thinking that it did not matter. Either way, it gives him the ignominious distinction of presiding over a disastrous diplomatic failure that was entirely predictable and entirely avoidable.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 27, 2016 7:22 PM
Comment #411653

Without a doubt, the UN is most definitely “opposed to the founding principles of America.”

There is no doubt that President Obama has never viewed Israel as one of our greatest allies, and openly despises Netanyahu.

There is no doubt that President Obama has no regard for the office, the transfer of power, or the President elect.

There is no doubt President Obama is putting his personal politics before the country.

There is no doubt that Obama and his administration are intentionally hard at work creating more division and disasters to mask the failures of the last 8 years, and to negate any possible success over the next 4.

The lefts actions have been nothing but despicable and pathetic.

Posted by: kctim at December 28, 2016 9:18 AM
Comment #411655

kctim,
Why has the US been protecting Israel in the UN while it continues building illegal settlements on Palestinian land? Can you explain that to me? Can anyone? Every single nation in the world condemns it. Truly, I do not get it. I believe I understand Netanyahu and the extreme right wing Israelis. They believe God gave them that land, so they can kick off the Palestinians and build additional settlements because they are the Chosen People and God approves. God gave them that real estate and therefore the Palestinians need to leave. But why does the US go along with that? No one else in the entire world buys that, not one country. Please explain.

Posted by: phx8 at December 28, 2016 10:28 AM
Comment #411659
There is no doubt that President Obama has never viewed Israel as one of our greatest allies, and openly despises Netanyahu.

Good Israel isn’t one of our greatest allies and Bibi should be despised. Your display of rigid right wing thought is why we have these problems IMHO kctim. Your appeasement at any price is reminiscent of Chamberlain back in the ‘30’s, why am I not surprised.

Can you understand that when friends invade the lands of others they are doing wrong, friend or not? That helping them by condoning the land grab isn’t friendship it is turning the other way when they are wrong.

BTW please don’t justify the land grab because of some centuries old boundaries as that is just what Chamberlain did, isn’t it?

Posted by: j2t2 at December 28, 2016 11:41 AM
Comment #411660

Phx8,
Israel won the Six Day War and the territories. It is also responsible for the safety of its people. It is ridiculous to demand that they cede land to enemies who refuse to acknowledge their right to exist and are intent on destroying them.

Israel is a close friend and ally of the US. The terrorist organizations that control “Palestinian land,” are not. At least it used to be that way.

Israel has succeeded as a country and is the only side that attempts peace. The Palestinians have failed, refuse to coexist, and engage in constant terrorism and murder innocents because their God tells them that is their real estate.

IMO, Israel should have said ‘You either become a citizen of Israel, or you GTFO,’ a long time ago.

Posted by: kctim at December 28, 2016 12:11 PM
Comment #411661

J2,
I don’t hate people simply because of their politics, nor do I allow it to cloud my judgement, as you seem to do. I also most definitely don’t despise Jewish people, or feel the need to sympathize and support the underdog and side against Israel. Especially when the underdogs engage in terrorism.

To the victor go the spoils. That is why you’re not sitting in a tepee on the prairie drawing on rocks, and that is why I could care less what Israel does on this issue.

Posted by: kctim at December 28, 2016 12:52 PM
Comment #411662

Netanyahu screwed his own people and himself by throwing his lot in with the Republicans. What if the GOP Loses Congress in two years, and Trump loses the White House within the next four years? You’ve alienated the other party, leaving them your only option.

Right Wing people across the world seem willing to burn bridges and paint themselves into corners, just so people know how hardcore they are. It’s childish, immature, and poor leadership.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 28, 2016 12:58 PM
Comment #411668
To the victor go the spoils. That is why you’re not sitting in a tepee on the prairie drawing on rocks, and that is why I could care less what Israel does on this issue.

kctim,

The recent resolution has nothing to do with ceding land and everything to do with the Geneva Convention. Israel occupied those territories as a result of the ‘67 war and as an occupying power and signatory of the Geneva Treaty, they have a legal obligation to refrain from “deport(ing) or transfer(ing) parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

Now, Netanyahu and the Israeli Right do not seem to have respect for the notion of rule of law. That is there prerogative, but understand that this is “opposed to the founding principles of America”. It is unfathomable how you construe the UN’s enforcement of the rule of law as contrary to American principles. Understand that we are a nation founded upon the premise that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”. The Geneva Treaty established that one of those unalienable rights is the right of an occupied people to be free from colonization of their land or demographic subjugation.

I fully understand that this is a difficult issue for Israel. Ever since the 12th century, Palestinian Arabs have not only lived in the Jewish homeland, but outnumbered other groups overwhelmingly. Ultimately, Israel faces a trilemma: They want be a peaceful, democratic, Jewish state. Unfortunately, all three of those are not possible and one must be sacrificed. Currently, Netanyahu has chosen to sacrifice peace in favor of the other two. The long-term plan seems to be to sacrifice democracy in exchange for peace sometime in the future. You raised the proposal of offering Israeli citizenship to the Palestinians:

IMO, Israel should have said ‘You either become a citizen of Israel, or you GTFO,’ a long time ago.

Understand that this destroys Israel’s Jewish nature. It is a non-starter within Israeli politics. If a majority of Israel’s citizens are not Jewish, Theodore Herzl’s Zionist dream disappears.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 28, 2016 2:07 PM
Comment #411669

You cannot burn a bridge that the other side has already blown up.

Like elections, wars have consequences, and at the end of the day, Israel won. Dismissing that fact as nothing more than some desire to be viewed a certain way, is exactly why ‘left wing people’ still have no clue as to why they have lost so much over the past six years.

It’s time to put the rainbows and unicorns to rest, and start dealing with reality again.

Posted by: kctim at December 28, 2016 2:08 PM
Comment #411672
wars have consequences

Of course. As you might have noticed, despite the hemming and hawing of diplomats in New York, Israel will continue to build settlements in Judea and Samaria just as they did before.

At this point, the question is one of rule of law. Israel signed the Geneva Treaties in 1949. Under those treaties, Israel has certain legal obligations to the native inhabitants of the people living in the territories it occupied half a century ago.

The consequence of the 1967 war is that the fate of millions of Palestinians was placed in Israeli hands. As victors, they have the power to choose their future. They can choose to stand alongside the United States and the international community by respecting the Geneva Treaty or they can choose to blaze their own path just as North Korea and other nations have chosen to do.

Just understand that just as with war, these decisions have consequences of their own as Bibi just discovered. I am quite sure Israel does not want to face the ostracization that usually befits a violator of international law, which is why Netanyahu is so upset. Netanyahu needs to learn that he needs to play along in order to get along. Being a full member of the international community means respecting norms such as those espoused by the Geneva Treaties.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 28, 2016 2:52 PM
Comment #411675

sd & wp

you two are laughable

you put a lot of letters in a row and some how they say something

like sd saying “what if”. that is funny but nobody is laughing

and wp bringing up Geneva convention rules. the 67 war disputes are what is at hand and the Hamas not allowing the Israel nation to exist

So sad that adult men cannot formulate anything that makes sense

Posted by: tom humes at December 28, 2016 4:32 PM
Comment #411676

Warren,
Israel captured territory by winning the Six Day War. It agreed to “withdraw from the sovereign territories it had captured from Egypt and Syria.”
Territory that “did not belong to any sovereign, would remain under Israeli control.” It is Israeli land and it is vital to the safety of Israel’s people and national security.
Claiming that Israel is some kind of bully occupying land that is not theirs dismisses history, the consequences of war (which the Arabs started) and the importance of the land to the security of Israel.

“They want be a peaceful, democratic, Jewish state. Unfortunately, all three of those are not possible and one must be sacrificed.”

Really? Why is that Warren?

“Israel has certain legal obligations to the native inhabitants of the people living in the territories it occupied half a century ago.”

What does the law say about dealing with groups who refuse to acknowledge your country’s right to exist, who engage in coordinated attacks to murder your people, who demand you give up your country’s land and culture to placate their fanaticism?

Posted by: kctim at December 28, 2016 4:35 PM
Comment #411678

Most of the world hates Israel. We know for certain that Obama does. How else could one understand his ordering our ambassador to abstain and allow the UN resolution to pass?

Was there some strategic change in the US or Israel that forced Obama to act in a way other president have not?

Obama is an ass. Obama is a spoiled child getting revenge before he becomes powerless.

Obama is a stain on America’s honor and fidelity.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 28, 2016 5:38 PM
Comment #411680

Can any of our Leftie Pals tell us how many Jews are citizens of Arab countries?

“Israelis are citizens or permanent residents of the State of Israel, a multiethnic society that is home to people of different ethnic backgrounds. The largest ethnic groups in Israel are Jews (75%), followed by Arabs (20%) and other minorities (5%).”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israelis

“Today, non-Jewish citizens of Israel constitute about 25% of the population, with 20% being Arabs. Arab Israelis have equal voting rights and their own political parties, serve on the Israeli Knesset, Cabinet, and Supreme Court; hold diplomatic positions; actively participate in the Israeli music and arts scene; and represent Israel on the national soccer team, including winning the Israeli national championship. They are granted all fundamental civil liberties, including freedoms of religion, speech, and assembly, and in fact enjoy more civil rights than Arabs living in any other Middle Eastern country. Israel is also the only country in the Middle East where Arab homosexuals can live without fear of prosecution, which is why many Palestinian gays have fled for Israel.

http://www.arabisraeliconflict.info/arab-israel-facts/fact-2-arab-israeli-citizens

“According to official Arab statistics, over 989,000 Jews were forced out of their homes in Arab countries from 1948 until the early 1970’s. Some 650,000 resettled in Israel, leaving behind personal property valued today at more than $990 billion. Jewish-owned real-estate left behind in Arab lands has been estimated at 120,000 square kilometers (four times the size of the State of Israel). Valued today at about 15 trillion dollars.

In 1945 there were more than 995,000 Jews living in Arabic speaking countries. Today, there are less than 6,000. Some Arab states like Libya are completely judenrein, i.e., cleansed of Jews, as the Arabs’ best friend, Hitler, liked to say.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 28, 2016 6:08 PM
Comment #411681

Ooops…here’s the link to my last quote.

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/arabs-expelled-the-jews-from-all-their-countries-confiscated-their-assets/

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 28, 2016 6:10 PM
Comment #411683

Secretary of State Kerry spent nearly 2 hours talking about the settlements. The settlements are not the issue. It is the Palestinians demand to not recognize the state of Israel. It is really simple. But Kerry and the Obama administration is committing hypocrisy and lying to the world about the real reason of the dispute. Those on the left will make up all kinds of reasons as to why the Israelites are not moving forward on a 2 state solution. Those words, “2 state solutions” are a farce. Hamas will not allow their own people to become part of a “2 state solution”.

The Obama administration cannot leave WDC soon enough. The Benedict Arnolds of todays world are just as guilty of treason as the Rosenbergs, Arnold and a few other traitors.

Shame, shame on them.

Posted by: tom humes at December 28, 2016 6:29 PM
Comment #411685

kctim,

Israel captured territory by winning the Six Day War. It agreed to “withdraw from the sovereign territories it had captured from Egypt and Syria.”
Territory that “did not belong to any sovereign, would remain under Israeli control.” It is Israeli land and it is vital to the safety of Israel’s people and national security.
Claiming that Israel is some kind of bully occupying land that is not theirs dismisses history, the consequences of war (which the Arabs started) and the importance of the land to the security of Israel.

I don’t know what you are quoting from, but it isn’t UNSCR 242.

Really? Why is that Warren?
Last July, there were 1,753,327 Gazans + 2,697,687 West Bank Arabs + 1,779,100 Israeli Arabs = 6.23 million Arabs living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Compare with 6.7768 million Jews, non-Arab Christians and people without religious affiliation.
What does the law say about dealing with groups who refuse to acknowledge your country’s right to exist, who engage in coordinated attacks to murder your people, who demand you give up your country’s land and culture to placate their fanaticism
The Geneva Treaty addresses none of those things. It merely places sets rules for what a country may and may not do when it conquers and occupies territory. As I said, it is a matter of rule of law. If Israel does not want to follow the Geneva Treaty, it can choose to disobey it just as North Korea and other countries have done.

TH,

you two are laughable

you put a lot of letters in a row and some how they say something

Talk is easy. Solutions are hard. UNSCR 2334 is no solution, but it reaffirms certain basic facts that all must understand before a solution can be had. Extremes on both the Israeli side and the Arab one are to blame for the lack of peace in the Middle East.

RF,

Obama to act in a way other president have not

I’d like Royal Flush to name a single instance when the United States formally endorsed the Israeli settlement program.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 28, 2016 7:44 PM
Comment #411686

Very poor spin Warren. I’ll ask again…”Why did Obama to act in a way other president have not.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 28, 2016 7:52 PM
Comment #411687

Obama acted just like every one of his predecessors, none of whom gave Israel a blank check to build settlements unabated.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 28, 2016 8:19 PM
Comment #411696

A question - if the Palestinians are unwilling partners in a two state solution, as apparently they are, why would a viable solution not be for Israel to cede back Gaza to Egypt and portions of the West Bank to Jordan? Those entities, although not perfect, at least have functioning governments and recognize Israel as a legitimate entity.

Posted by: Mike in Tampa at December 29, 2016 9:07 AM
Comment #411697

Warren,
The settlement issue is dependent on if the land is Israeli land, or if it is Palestinian territory occupied by Israel.
The facts show that it is Israeli land that Palestinians live on.

“Last July, there were 1,753,327 Gazans…”

I understand that, Warren, but there is no reason citizenship cannot be controlled. So what’s the real reason why Jews cannot live in peace surrounded by Arabs?

“The Geneva Treaty addresses none of those things.”

I bring those things up because Palestinians are still taking part in hostilities against Israel on Israeli land, and I view that to be an internal conflict, not an international one.

Posted by: kctim at December 29, 2016 10:32 AM
Comment #411700
why would a viable solution not be for Israel to cede back Gaza to Egypt and portions of the West Bank to Jordan

There are three very big problems:

Firstly, this solution does nothing to solve the problem of Palestinian refugees who claim residency in what is Israel proper. A “just solution” to the refugee issue has always been among the most contentious debates ever since Israel was founded 7 decades ago.

Redividing the city of Jerusalem and ceding the holiest sites in Judaism (such as Hebron) is a complete non-starter for religious Israeli Jews. Likewise, 800,000 settlers live beyond the Green Line, which is about an eighth of Israel’s total Jewish population. Consequently, this would be total electoral suicide for the Israeli Right. If the portions of the West Bank with Israeli settlements are retained, then the territory given to Jordan would amount to ungovernable Swiss cheese.

This leads to the final and most difficult impediment to your idea. Egypt and Jordan ceded all claims to those territories in the respective peace treaties with Israel. Neither of those nations want the responsibility of governing a very rowdy group of Palestinians. In particular, Jordan wants nothing to do with governing a huge mass of inaccessible enclaves.

kctim,

there is no reason citizenship cannot be controlled

“Controlling citizenship” in order to ensure a Jewish majority will inflame Palestinian passions. By necessity, annexation of the territory conquered in 1967 means Israel will either have to surrender its Democratic or Jewish identity.

what’s the real reason why Jews cannot live in peace surrounded by Arabs?
Significant numbers of Jews want to live in places presently occupied by Arabs and significant numbers of Arabs want to live in places presently occupied by Jews.
Palestinians are still taking part in hostilities against Israel on Israeli land, and I view that to be an internal conflict, not an international one.
The West Bank has never been annexed by Israel so it is not Israeli land. Because it is occupied territory, the conflict is international, not internal.

Also, understand that both sides of the conflict undertake hostilities against one another. It is why Abu Mazen cannot live in his childhood hometown of Safed (and the same can be said for Mizrahi Jews as well).

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 29, 2016 1:44 PM
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