Dennis Ross rips Obama over abstention, says it's not likely to matter
Former peace processor par excellence Dennis Ross has ripped President Obama
for failing to veto Friday's UN Security Council resolution.
If there is one issue on which the President has been consistent
vis-à-vis Israel, it has been settlement construction in the territories
that Israel occupied after the 1967 war. From the outset of his
administration, he called for a freeze on the building of Israeli
settlements to include natural growth. Even when he vetoed a settlements
resolution in 2011, he had his then UN ambassador, Susan Rice, make a
tough statement about our opposition to settlements even as she
explained that the one-sided nature of the resolution left us little
choice but to veto.
Perhaps, President Obama felt this resolution was more balanced. Truth
be told, resolutions in international forum about Israel are rarely, if
This one creates the veneer of balance by referring to the need to stop
terror and incitement, but of course it never names the Palestinians so
this effectively refers to stopping all such actions by both sides.
Moreover, the resolution is criticizing only Israel and calling on it to
cease all its activity beyond the June 4, 1967, lines — which is
defined as a violation of international law. Nothing is asked of the
Sounds just like Obama administration policy all along, doesn't it? Nothing asked of the 'Palestinians.' But Ross also has some good news for the Israelis.
While the Israelis clearly opposed the resolution and hoped it would be
vetoed by the U.S., one can ask: Does this resolution create a
precedent? It is hard to see how. President-elect Trump was clear about
his opposition to it and has already tweeted in response to the
resolution that things will be different in his administration.
Even in UN terms, the fact that the resolution was considered under
Title 6 and not Title 7 means it cannot serve as a predicate for
imposing sanctions later on — clearly a path the Palestinians would like
to go down.
If there is one area in the resolution that may be potentially
problematic for the future, it is the reference to the settlements being
illegal. That could create problems for the one possible formula for
resolving the border at some point: settlement blocs and territorial
swaps. One way to absorb a significant number of settlers is to permit
settlement blocs which are on a small part of the West Bank to become
part of Israel; in return the Israelis would swap territory as
compensation to the Palestinians. Will that not be more difficult if all
settlements are deemed illegal?
Killing what was left of the 'two-state solution' through his bumbling is clearly right up Obama's alley. The mamzer.
Labels: Barack Hussein Obama, Dennis Ross, Middle East peace process, settlement blocs, settlements, two-state solution, United Nations Security Council