by James Corbett, The International Forecaster:
Strangely, though, there is no word yet out of Tel Aviv on whether Israel will be declining the record-setting $38 billion aid package the Obama administration promised earlier this year.
From the way Israel is reacting you would think that someone had dropped a nuke on Tel Aviv. Prime Minister Netanyahu summoned the US ambassador to deliver an official diplomatic protest.
He went public with his condemnation, too, calling the recent actions against Israel “reckless and destructive” and excoriating John Kerry and President Obama for their own part in this fiendish skullduggery.
He has ordered the Israeli diplomatic machinery to start curtailing their working ties with UN Security Council members, including minimizing diplomatic visits and denying foreign ambassadors access to the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
Not to be outdone, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, executive vice president of American Friends of Lubavitch, turned the National Hanukkah Menorah lighting ceremony in Washington on Sunday into a weapon of diplomacy when he squeezed in a not-so-subtle dig about the “darkness” of the UN Security Council’s recent actions.
Even Newt Gingrich got in on the act, finding an excuse to blame the whole fiasco on (who else?) those dastardly Russkies.
So what unthinkable, egregious violation did the Security Council commit? Why, they dared to condemn ethnic cleansing, of course.
More specifically, the Security Council passed Resolution 2334 last week, condemning “all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions.”
For those not well versed in the subject, compare the resolution’s language to the literal dictionary definition of etchnic cleansing: “the expulsion, imprisonment, or killing of an ethnic minority by a dominant majority in order to achieve ethnic homogeneity.”
What countries on the planet could possibly object to a resolution condemning ethnic cleansing? Well, for a long time the only two countries on the planet that have objected to this type of resolution have been Israel and the United States, with the US specifically vetoing resolution after resolution on the crimes of Israel in occupied Palestine. But the US sat this one out, choosing to abstain from the vote rather than veto it; hence Netanyahu’s ire at the Obama administration.
The US’ abstention on this resolution is not just unorthodox; it is almost without precedent. As Jean Shaoul points out in a recent article on the resolution:
“According to a Security Council Report, the US has vetoed 30 resolutions relating to Israel and the Palestinians, and another dozen relating to Israel and Lebanon or Syria. Combined, these make up more than half of its 77 vetoes since the UN was established in 1946.”
So unusual is this inversion of the diplomatic status quo that we were just treated to the pinnacle of bizarro politics: a speech by US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power—humanitarian love bomber and wife of Cass “Cognitive Infiltration” Sunstein—that wasn’t complete nonsense.
“The total settler population in the West Bank and East Jerusalem now exceeds 590,000. Nearly 90,000 settlers are living east of the separation barrier that was created by Israel itself. And just since July 2016 – when the Middle East Quartet issued a report highlighting international concern about a systematic process of land seizures, settlement expansions, and legalizations – Israel has advanced plans for more than 2,600 new settlement units. Yet rather than dismantling these and other settler outposts, which are illegal even under Israeli law, now there is new legislation advancing in the Israeli Knesset that would legalize most of the outposts – a factor that propelled the decision by this resolution’s sponsors to bring it before the Council.”
Feel free to insert your own wisecrack about broken clocks being right twice a day here.
So what does all of this mean? Luckily for Israel, it means almost nothing.
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