Is U.S. Israel’s Ally “When It Matters”?

Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, says the U.S. will no longer automatically exercise its veto in the UN Security Council to protect Israel.

In testimony before the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, Power specifically declined to rule out support for resolutions on Palestinian statehood or the “peace process.” “We will look to see what will advance Israel’s security and what will advance peace in the region… Our objective as an administration is what can we do to defuse tensions, what will it take to get those negotiations back on track.”

When Committee members expressed skepticism, she replied, “We will continue to work extremely closely with Israel in New York. As you know well we have a record of standing when it matters with Israel.”

When, exactly, does it matter? Who decides? Apparently not Israel.

The “peace process,” first codified in the Oslo Accords, commits Israel and the Palestinians to resolve differences bilaterally, not through the dictates of a third party or organization. No one thought it would be easy, but successive U.S. administrations ensured that the UN — which Israel finds hopelessly biased against its interests — would not have veto power or enforcement power. Now it may. Power and the U.S. have thrown in the towel on an issue that “matters” to Israel.

In 2014, the Palestinians stepped out of Oslo and joined a number of UN bodies and commissions, including several for which the PA would immediately be deemed ineligible if the UN were a serious institution — particularly as the Palestinian Authority (PA) is in, at least on paper, a “unity government” with Hamas.

Amb. Power, now, appears to agree. But Israel can no longer be assured that the U.S. will support either a key provision of Oslo, or its own position: that internationalization of the conflict by the Palestinians is a mistake, and an affront to American diplomacy. She is, in this, a faithful representative of the current administration.

The President has expressed his belief that Israel is a secure party to whom, perhaps, this should not matter. While Hamas was firing rockets into civilian communities across the Jewish State last summer, the President said:

“I don’t worry about Israel’s survival. … I think the question really is how does Israel survive? And how can you create a State of Israel that maintains its democratic and civic traditions? How can you preserve a Jewish state that is also reflective of the best values of those who founded Israel? And, in order to do that, it has consistently been my belief that you have to find a way to live side by side in peace with Palestinians… You [Israel] have to recognize that they have legitimate claims, and this is their land and neighborhood as well.”

Full article: Is U.S. Israel’s Ally “When It Matters”? (Gatestone Institute)

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