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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Facing our fears

Caroline Glick wonders just what makes our Prime Minister so afraid of the Obama administration.
ACCORDING TO sources close to Netanyahu, it is his fear of US abandonment at the Security Council that has convinced him to capitulate so profoundly to an administration so weak that it couldn't even get South Korea to sign a free trade agreement with it. What most concerns Netanyahu these days is that the US will fail to block a Palestinian bid to have the Security Council recognize a Palestinian state in all of Judea and Samaria and in large swathes of Jerusalem even if the Palestinians refuse to sign a peace treaty with Israel.

Since this is what Netanyahu fears the most, it is important to consider what is at stake. While harsh, the truth is not as bad as he thinks it is.

If the Security Council recognizes a Palestinian state in all of Judea and Samaria, in Jerusalem and Gaza, it would be a diplomatic blow to Israel. But it would only be a symbolic step. The situation on the ground would remain unchanged.

What is more problematic is what might happen in the wake of such a resolution. The worst case scenario would be for the Security Council to pass a subsequent resolution deploying forces to Judea and Samaria to fight the IDF.

Given the political maelstrom such an effective US declaration of war against Israel would cause him domestically, it is very unlikely that Obama would support such a resolution. He would have to veto it despite the fact that Samantha Power, who holds the UN portfolio on Obama's National Security Council, called in the past for US forces to be deployed to Judea and Samaria to fight the IDF.

The other two possibilities are that Israel will become the target of economic sanctions and that Israeli citizens who live beyond the 1949 armistice lines or who have served in the IDF will risk arrest on war crimes charges if we travel abroad. The purpose of such sanctions would be to strangle Israel slowly, in a manner reminiscent of the economic and political warfare that brought down the apartheid regime in South Africa.

In both these cases as well, it is unlikely that Obama will risk the domestic outcry that administration support for such resolutions would provoke. And even if he enabled such resolutions to pass, Congress would likely block US participation in enforcing them. This is not to say that Israel should ignore the threat. But such hostile action is best deterred by working quietly with Israel's allies in the US to point out the dangers of a runaway UN campaign against a fellow democracy.

At the same time, these threats of economic and legal warfare should sound familiar, because they are already being implemented against Israel. The Palestinians do not need a new UN Security Council resolution to advance their political and economic war against Israel.
Read the whole thing.

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At 5:58 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The point Israel is going to have to fight. Israel can fight now when its in a stronger or it can fight later when its in a far weaker position.

All Netanyahu would be doing is to buy time when Israel has to fight that battle. Why not fight it now? He and his supporters have given no clear and convincing answer as to why it is not possible for Israel to fight now.

At 7:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carl, well, I don't know that a willful Obama is not capable of inflicting some pretty serious short-term damage if Bar Mitzva Boy Barry throws a snit and acts out of pique--but even so, might as well be sooner rather than later. Meanwhile fans of Pollard should be encouraged that JPost says Bibi has now put his release on the table as another um, inducement for the freezamaslurpy. We live in interesting times. Let's put that freeze down and pull that car out of the ditch!

At 7:17 AM, Blogger Y.K. said...

Agreeing to a freeze now will not prevent the UNSC threat - at best it may delay it. Now, delay and bargaining does have its uses. After all, waiting two years did help weaken Obama considerably, and the original freeze might have played a role in this.

However, Nethanyahu will have to be ready to confront Obama sooner or later - the Palestinian deadline for a unilateral move is late 2011, we cannot rely on them deciding otherwise. And even if Obama is not ideologically motivated against Israel (many, reasonably, think he is), appearing as a doorstop cannot but raise Obama's appetite to get a foreign policy "accomplishment", even it means screwing Israel.

Nethanyahu must get his courage, and be ready to stand his ground very soon. If he cannot (and this article is not a positive sign - after all, the UNSC threat remains even if he declares another freeze), he must be replaced with someone who is willing to fight.


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