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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bolton demolishes Obama's UN record

Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton has a scathing review of the Obama administration's record at the United Nations. Naturally, a lot of that review deals with Israel. Here are some of the Israel parts.
Obama’s first mistake was announcing immediately after his inauguration that the United States would join preparations for the 2009 “World Conference against Racism,” known as “Durban II” after the South African city that hosted its 2001 predecessor. Durban I denounced Israel as racist and was, just below the surface, profoundly anti-American. Then secretary of state Colin Powell, announcing the withdrawal of the U.S. delegation in protest, rightly stressed that Durban I was “a throwback to the days of ‘Zionism equals racism’” that we would not dignify with our presence. In later years, the U.S. walkout was routinely cited as evidence of Bush-administration unilateralism. Durban II, coming just months after Bush left office, was therefore widely seen as an important signal of how his successor would treat multilateral affairs.

Contradicting Powell, Mary Robinson, Durban II’s secretary general (and former U.N. high commissioner for human rights), said Durban I’s outcome was “remarkably good, including on the issues of the Middle East.” Obama soon realized, however, with Canada withdrawing and several EU nations planning to do the same, that he had been too hasty: Durban II’s planned endorsement of Durban I’s anti-Israel rant wasn’t going to change. Accordingly, with obvious regret, Obama cut his losses, announcing in February 2009 that he was pulling out. The reaction was predictable. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said, “I am shocked and deeply disappointed by the United States’ decision not to attend.” U.S. congresswoman Barbara Lee, a California Democrat, said, “This decision is inconsistent with the administration’s policy of engaging with those we agree with and those we disagree with.”


And the anti-Israel bias continues unabated. While Obama was receiving the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, the HRC was voting overwhelmingly to accept the Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s 2008–09 Gaza incursion. The report lacerated Israel, concluding chillingly that if Israel and the Palestinian Authority didn’t conduct full investigations, the International Criminal Court should take up the issue. The HRC’s own resolution was even harsher, provoking Goldstone to say he was “saddened” it contained “not a single phrase condemning Hamas as we have done in the report.” Twenty-five of the HRC’s 47 members (including Russia and China) voted in favor of the resolution, and only six (including the United States) voted no. Sixteen either abstained or did not vote, including our allies Britain, France, Japan, and South Korea.

The Goldstone pattern was repeated in the wake of the May 31, 2010, Gaza-flotilla confrontation, where the HRC voted two days after the incident to conduct another investigation of Israel. This time the vote was even worse: 32 in favor, three opposed (United States, Italy, Netherlands), and twelve abstaining or not voting (again including Britain, France, Japan, and South Korea). One can easily imagine what this latest report will say. Moreover, even after the Obama administration browbeat Israel into accepting a separate inquiry by a panel appointed by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the HRC investigation continued. That’s what “fair and balanced” means at the U.N.: two panels, one biased, one supposedly not.

Contemporaneously with the Gaza vote, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty’s pentennial review conference was wrapping up at U.N. headquarters. Obama’s negotiators agreed to a text that, among other bad ideas, called for a meeting no later than 2012 (i.e., during Obama’s presidency) on eliminating weapons of mass destruction from the Middle East. Innocuous on the surface, the conference’s not-so-hidden agenda will be to demonize Israel for its nuclear-weapons program (long one of the world’s worst-kept secrets). The administration accepted this outcome, but later criticized the anti-Israel passages. Those unfamiliar with arcane U.N. procedures probably missed the point that Obama could have blocked adoption of any language to which he objected. To accept the document but complain about it later is at best hypocritical; “cowardly” would be a more precise description. Of course, standing by Israel — consistently with past administrations, Democratic and Republican — would have roiled the review conference’s smooth waters, which explains the ease with which Obama threw our ally to the sharks.


One of Obama’s clearest aims in advancing “global governance” is drawing the United States ever more deeply into the International Criminal Court (ICC). Secretary Clinton lamented last year, as a “great regret,” that “we are not yet a signatory” to the treaty creating the ICC. In Rice’s first Security Council speech, she said the ICC “looks to be an important and credible instrument for trying to hold accountable the senior leadership responsible for atrocities committed in the Congo, Uganda, and Darfur.” More recently, the Obama administration participated in negotiations among ICC members to define the crime of “aggression,” and lost on almost every key point. Despite Obama’s affection for the ICC, fierce congressional opposition still limits his ambition.
Read the whole thing.

Obama's mendaciousness on the nuclear conference may yet come back to haunt Israel. Although the Obama administration has asked the Arab and Muslim states to take the nuclear free Middle East plank off the agenda for the next IAEA conference, for some strange reason they refuse to do so.


At 12:19 AM, Blogger Juniper in the Desert said...

Mendacious! Obama, the goat of mendel.


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