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Sunday, May 02, 2010

UN 'no veto' threat confirmed

The Obama administration has in fact threatened to abstain rather than veto a UN Security Council resolution regarding Israel. It's just that the resolution in question is narrower than what has been reported previously.
Mr. Mitchell’s deputy, David Hale, indicated to the Palestinians that if Israel proceeded with the construction of 1,600 housing units in Jerusalem’s ultra-orthodox neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo, the United States would abstain from, rather than veto, a resolution in the United Nations Security Council condemning the move.
Ben Smith notes that the White House has not denied this story. Smith adds:
This isn't inconsistent with yesterday's denial, and the U.S. posture seems to be that they'd abstain from a resolution attacking a specific Israeli move, but continue to veto broader censure of Israel.

That would still be a major shift. The traditional U.S. posture isn't that the U.S. vetoes anti-Israel resolutions because they're specifically incorrect, but on the grounds that the U.N. is broadly unfair and overly focused on Israel.
Jennifer Rubin is justifiably upset about this.
So much for defending Israel in international institutions, and so much for past promises by the U.S. to leave disposition of Jerusalem to final-status talks. A knowledgeable source reminds me that the Bush administration regularly vetoed anti-Israel UN resolutions, the sole exception being an abstention in January 2009, which called for a ceasefire in the Gaza War. But the notion that we would threaten prospectively to permit a condemnation of the Jewish state by the UN Israel-bashers is frankly shocking. We’ll abstain no matter what the UN says? As the source tells me, “Resolutions are vetoed one by one; language counts.” So the Obami are either making a promise to the Palestinians that can’t be relied upon, or the Obami are giving Israel’s UN foes a blank check to bash, condemn, and vilify Israel to their heart’s content.

Once again, one asks, where are the mainstream Jewish organizations? Do they find Obama’s platitudinous assurances and pretty letters so irresistible that they can’t bestir themselves to discern the true nature of Obama’s Middle East policy? The evidence continues to mount that Obama will keep turning the screws on the Jewish state and will countenance, if not encourage, the UN’s crusade to delegitimize Israel and impose a “peace” on an unwilling ally. American Jewish “leaders” better rouse themselves from their slumber before it too late to knock the Obami off their desired course. Or maybe it already is.
I suspect that most of the 'mainstream Jewish organizations' don't know or care where Ramat Shlomo is or what it is about.

Some of you may have heard about the corruption scandal known as the Holyland Park, a huge luxury apartment complex built on the site of the former Holyland Hotel, which seems to have gotten its zoning permits only because they bribed just about everyone in sight. What you may not realize is that Jerusalem has had almost nothing but 'luxury apartments' built for the last 20 years. Those luxury apartments are purchased by people who live abroad, and they sit empty for the entire year except for the weeks of the Pesach and Sukkot holidays. That's great if you can afford it, but what it means for Israelis is that there are no apartments we can afford, that the shopkeepers in those neighborhoods have little or no business and that the schools in those neighborhoods have few or no students. On a macro level, it's been devastating to the city. Housing prices have skyrocketed, and young couples are either living in storage rooms converted to apartments or have left the city altogether. That's why we're still fighting an uphill battle to keep Jerusalem Jewish.

There have been two new neighborhoods in the last twenty years in which they housing was (originally at least) affordable: Ramat Shlomo and Har Homa. Both were built in the 1990's. Those 1,600 apartments that were supposed to be built in Ramat Shlomo were 3-bedroom 2-bathroom starter apartments (according to a weekend JPost article that as far as I can tell is not online yet) that would keep young, Jewish couples in the city. Meanwhile, the Arabs continue to build in Jerusalem without any need for permits. The city is no longer enforcing its own building code when it comes to Arab buildings.

So by ignoring Ramat Shlomo, those 'Jewish leaders' are greatly increasing the risk that they will wake up one morning to discover that Jerusalem no longer has a Jewish majority.


At 9:12 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Which is exactly what the Israeli Left and some in the Israeli government secretly want anyway. To make it politically possible to redivide Jerusalem.

What could go wrong indeed

At 5:11 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

let Osama abstain. One of the final nails in the coffin of Carter's admin was not vetoing an anti-Israel vote. true back then there were more non-ortho Jews concerned with Israel, but there are now many more pro-Israel goyim.
Bibi needs to grow a pair (albeit I don't know what "brutal pressure " is being applied.)


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