A meeting of the United Nations Security Council / Wikimedia Commons
A meeting of the United Nations Security Council / Wikimedia Commons

Security Council fails to see that settlements aren’t the problem

The passing of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 taught one important lesson: When someone tells you he has your back, be very, very wary!

Harvard law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, a dyed-in-the-wool liberal Democrat, related last week how he was called to the White House by President Obama before his second inauguration in 2013. The president asked him for his support, Dershowitz said, “and he told me he would always have Israel’s back.”

“I didn’t realize,” Dershowitz continued on “Fox and Friends” on Dec. 26, “what he meant: That he would have their back so he could stab them in the back.”

The odious, one-sided resolution, which passed 14-0 (the abstention of the United States was tantamount to an aye vote), “reaffirmed that Israel’s establishment of settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, had no legal viability, constituting a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the vision of two States living side-by-side in peace and security, within internationally recognized borders,” according to a UN.org summation.

This resolution says that all the territory gained by Israel in 1967 (in what I will point out was a defensive war against Arab states) is illegally occupied — and that includes the Western Wall and the holiest site in Judaism, the Temple Mount. According to the U.N. Security Council vote, it should be part of a future Palestinian state.

Shockingly, the Obama administration did not veto such language, thereby reversing decades of U.S. support for Israel in the hate-filled, anti -Semitic chambers of the United Nations.

Rather, it threw its only democratic ally in the fiery cauldron that is the Middle East under the bus and joined “the jackals” (a phrase first used by the late Sen. Daniel Moynihan) of the United Nations. This group of “jackals” includes two co-sponsors of the resolution, Venezuela, whose Maduro regime has imprisoned opposition leaders and caused mass starvation, and Malaysia, a hotbed of anti-Semitism.

Eran Lerman, of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University, wrote the following last week: “Anyone who encourages the Palestinians to believe that the forced removal of hundreds of thousands [of Jews living beyond the 1949 armistice lines] is preferable to a convoluted but practical compromise that would involve human dislocation on a much smaller scale — and that leaves Jerusalem a living, united city — is abetting a pipe dream.”

Perhaps the most unkind cut of all in this situation is the allegation that not only did the Obama administration collude with Israel’s enemies in presenting the resolution, but that it also orchestrated it.

The State Department has vigorously denied this, but Israeli Prime  Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he has “ironclad” proof that the United States pushed the U.N. vote.

According to reports, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Youm Al-Sabi published a detailed account of a secret meeting on Dec. 15 between senior officials in the Obama administration and key Palestinian figures. The newspaper claims to have received a transcript of the meeting and its report is detailed, naming names and even providing quotes made at the meeting. (U.S. officials said the newspaper report was false, according to the Washington Post.)

Additionally, there is clear evidence that outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry visited with New Zealand’s minister of foreign affairs, Murray McCully. This was reported in the New Zealand Herald, the country’s leading newspaper. Was Kerry’s visit to Wellington to discuss rugby or the potential resolution by the U.N. Security Council on a two-state solution? New Zealand was one of the resolution’s three sponsors.

If Jews living in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) is the impediment to peace, why did the brutal uprooting of thousands of Jews from Gaza in 2005 lead not to peace but to thousands of rockets being fired into Israeli towns and villages, a murderous terrorist organization on Israel’s doorstep and the loss of cherished youth in three wars?

As every Jew left the Gaza Strip, it surely would have been the ideal opportunity for the Palestinians to establish a successful enclave with a robust economy akin to a city-state like Singapore. Instead, it had the exact opposite effect. Every vestige of Israel’s former presence (including greenhouses that yielded millions of dollars in export value) was smashed and destroyed; beautiful homes left behind were razed to the ground.

And then the deadly rockets started raining down on Sderot and elsewhere in Israel’s south.

The supposition that  “settlements” represent the obstacle to peace is a false one and nothing more than a red herring. The Palestinian Arabs’ refusal to accept Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, a Jewish state existing in the Middle East, is the true obstacle.

Arabs have waged war after war to destroy Israel, and before 1948 Jews were murdered in the British Mandate. In 1929, more than 65 Jews were murdered in the Hebron massacre, effectively snuffing out the Jewish community there.

Yes, the goal of the Palestinians may be a state — but not one confined only to Judea and Samaria. They are aiming for one that includes the entire area from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. They view Haifa and Jaffa as occupied land.

In the past, they did not accept offers of statehood made by Israel, generous, far reaching offers. In 1947, U.N. Resolution 181 divided the Mandate into two states, one for the Jews and one for the Arabs — and was rejected by the Arabs. In 2000 at Camp David, a meeting with President Bill Clinton, PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak culminated in Arafat walking away from the offer and instigating the second intifada.

In 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas 97 percent of Judea and Samaria. Again, it was rejected. Palestinian Arabs have turned down statehood three times.

Israel and the Jewish world yearn for peace. We mention the word “shalom” several times in the daily prayers we offer. But peace will come only when the Arabs accept the reality of the presence of a Jewish state in the Middle East — and not through sanctimonious and heavily biased resolutions passed in the cesspool of the U.N. Security Council.

Mervyn Danker
Mervyn Danker

Mervyn Danker is the past regional director of AJC and served as head of school for Jewish schools in South Africa, Australia and the U.S., including at the Ronald C. Wornick School in Foster City. He lives in San Mateo.