I suggest you read this excellent piece by Scott Johnson at Powerline. It’s a summary of what Obama actually accomplished in his seemingly-passive abstention in the Israel vote at the UN, and what it means for Israel.
Please read the whole thing. But I especially call your attention to this:
• The next act is the Orwellian-named “peace conference,” to be held in Paris on January 15. It has but one objective: to set the stage to eradicate Israel.
• In this new “Dreyfus trial,” the accused will be the only Jewish state and the accusers will be the OIC and officials from Islamized, dhimmified, anti-Israel Western states. As in the Dreyfus trial, the verdict has been decided before it even starts. Israel will be considered guilty of all charges and condemned. A draft of the declaration to be published at the end of the conference is already available. And another vote just happens to come up in the last days (literally) of Obama’s presidency…
• The declaration is most likely meant [to] serve as the basis for a new Security Council resolution on January 17 that would recognize a Palestinian state inside the “1967 borders,” and be adopted, thanks to a second US abstention, three days before Obama leaves office. The betrayal of Israel by the Obama administration and by Obama himself would then be complete.
How much of this will the new administration and new Congress be able to reverse? I don’t know.
In terms of the recent UN resolution on Israel/Palestine—the one that took place right before Chanukah and Christmas of 2016—the White House has denied the reports that it orchestrated that resolution rather than merely being a passive abstainer:
On the heels of the hotly contested resolution, which condemned Israel for building homes in its capital, Jerusalem, senior Obama administration officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden, have been identified as leading the charge to ensure the anti-Israel measure won approval by the U.N. Security Council.
The administration’s denials of this charge broke down during the past several days as multiple reporters confirmed the Obama administration worked behind-the-scenes to help shape and forward the resolution.
Actually, I don’t see why everyone—both Obama supporters and opponents alike—wouldn’t just assume that this is exactly what occurred (or something very much like it). And I don’t see why everyone—both Obama supporters and opponents alike—wouldn’t just assume that the administration would lie about it after the fact.
This is the Obama pattern: work behind the scenes on something the majority doesn’t want, then deny it and lie about it.
Who on earth would be convinced that this resolution just happened to come up at this particular moment, and because it was so very different from previous ones the US decided to react by abstaining rather than vetoing it? Sure. And I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn…
For example, in 2011 Obama vetoed a resolution that was remarkably similar. There was nothing especially pressing about the recent one, or the one to come in January. There has been no special crisis occurring in Israel or Palestine at the moment.
The only thing that has occurred that is different right now is that Donald Trump was elected president and Obama will be leaving office on January 20. Obama is in a hurry and his window of opportunity was small.
Are we really to believe that it was just a coincidence that this resolution (or resolutions, if the second one occurs as well) just came up without any pushing by the US, and that it just happened to be during the seven or so weeks that constitute Obama’s sweet spot (lame duck) period for doing this? Are we really to believe this resolution had such different characteristics (objectively speaking) from previous ones Obama had vetoed, that this time it seemed like a great idea to let it pass? Are we really to believe that when Egypt (the original sponsor) withdrew it, New Zealand just felt so strongly about it that it just had to leap into the fray and bring it to a vote? That all of this happened with the Obama administration sitting on the sidelines, twiddling its collective thumbs and saying “well, whatever”?
Did Obama think his administration’s role in this would go unreported and unleaked? Maybe. I think he may have hoped for that, but he knew there was a risk of the truth coming out and he just didn’t care. After all, what is anyone going to do to him now? Impeach him? He has a goal, and he accomplished it: the vote went forward, and it will hurt Israel, Netanyahu, and even Donald Trump (or at least give the latter a big fat headache).
For some details on how Obama’s decision may have gone down, see this Wapo article:
Skeptics, including Vice President Biden, warned [there would be] fierce backlash [to the UN referendum] in Congress and in Israel itself. But most agreed that the time had come to take a stand.
“The time had come to take a stand” all right, but not because anything had significantly changed on the ground in Israel and Palestine. It was because time was about to run out for Obama:
The resolution’s sponsors, four countries in addition to Egypt, were determined to call a vote before Obama left office.
They’re not dumb. Nor is Obama.
And now I come to this sentence in the WaPo piece—basically, an admission of what I’ve been saying, and what is obvious anyway. But I’m surprised to see the WaPo say it on the record:
Israel had been a third rail of U.S. political debate for decades, but Obama, aides noted, never had to run for office again. He had nothing to lose.
The push seems to have started around September, in anticipation of a Clinton victory:
The first public hint of the move came in the heat of the U.S. presidential campaign in September, just after nominees Trump and Hillary Clinton held meetings with Netanyahu in New York. In an Israeli television interview, Dan Shapiro, U.S. ambassador to Israel, said Obama was “asking himself” about the best way to promote a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“This could be a statement we make or a resolution or an initiative at the U.N. . . . which contributes to an effort to be continued by the next administration,” he said.
Shapiro clearly anticipated a Clinton victory, reflecting thinking within the administration that if Obama took the heat for a critical statement or resolution, she would be in a better position to play the “good cop” and move Israel toward substantive negotiations. For her part, Clinton had expressed no interest in a resolution.
So, this wasn’t just about tying Trump’s hands; that effect was just an unexpected bonus. The Obama camp didn’t think that a Trump victory was at all likely (they certainly were not alone in this). But even in the event of the much-anticipated Clinton victory, they figured that they couldn’t count on Hillary to do it, so they had to squeeze this in before an inauguration no matter who was elected. But it absolutely had to be done after the election, so as not to jeopardize her chances by tainting her as a successor to Obama:
Trump’s Nov. 8 victory increased Israeli concern of a preemptive move by Obama…
I bet it did.
And rightly so.