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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Yes, Israel would really like to see the UN defunded

I heard the name Zvi Krieger for the first time on Wednesday. Now, he's back again, claiming that 'Israel's diplomats' (you know the Leftist holdovers from the Peres-Ben Ami-Livni days) don't really want the United States to defund the UN. I'll tell you a secret: There is nothing a whole lot of Israelis would like better (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
According to multiple sources in the State Department and the U.S. mission to the United Nations, as well as Israeli officials, Israel continually asks the U.S. to remain engaged at the UN -- and often to ramp up its engagement. "Every time an Israeli diplomat comes to meet with us, they thank us for being so involved on their behalf at the UN -- particularly places like the Human Rights Council," one high-level State department official told me. As to the recent anti-UN campaign by self-described "pro-Israel" groups and individuals, he said, "Israel is not thrilled this is happening."
What do you expect the State Department - which orchestrated the ridiculous policy of joining the 'Human Rights Council' - to say as an election campaign gets underway? That they made a mistake?
U.S. involvement in the UN, and particularly its significant financial contributions, gives it leverage with other member states. That leverage can be especially crucial at times such as last month, when the U.S. furiously lobbied other UN member states to vote against the unilateral Palestinian statehood declaration at the General Assembly. "If we don't pay our UN dues, not only will we face penalties and potentially losing our vote in the General Assembly, but we also lose our leverage," the State Department official said.
You've got to be kidding. The UN would take away the US's vote? They might not have a place to camp all their expensive bureaucrats if they did that. And the US has withheld dues before and nothing of the sort happened.
U.S. engagement at the UN brings other tangible benefits to Israel, allowing the U.S. to fight against the Arab League-sponsored Israeli Nuclear Capabilities resolution at last year's IAEA general conference, which would have called on Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty. [Is he referring to this? CiJ] (The resolution did not even make it onto the agenda for this year's conference.) UN engagement also enabled the U.S. to muster broad support for United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929, which created the most comprehensive and biting international sanctions regime ever faced by Iran.
You've got to be kidding. The UN sanctions were completely watered down and Obama sought to avoid imposing additional sanctions by the United States until he was forced to do so by Congress. Talk about rewriting history....

And then he starts quoting unnamed Israeli diplomats - unnamed because both Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon would be pleased to see the UN defunded but would not interject themselves into an American domestic debate by saying so.
Defunding the UN would not only decrease U.S. leverage there, it could also harm Israel. "If the result [of Ros-Lehtinen's bill] is that UNWRA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East] has less funds, and that leads to a situation where schools and health clinics close down, that plays into the hands of Hamas, that is bad for Israel," the Israeli diplomat said. "If funds for UNIFIL [United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon] get cut, that would be very bad for Israel. ... There is a lot we don't like about the UN, but they do a lot that is critical for us."
Like I said at the top of this post, the 'Israeli diplomats' making these kinds of statements are holdovers from the period when the Foreign Ministry was controlled by the Left. I don't know who said these things, but this guy (also here) could be one of them. So could this one or this one.

But leaving the best for last, Ben Smith points out Krieger's rather lame excuse for why Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn't say that Israel loves the UN.
So why aren't we hearing more about this from Israel? "The Israeli politicians with a public profile, they'll demagogue the issue to whip up support from their base," a State Department official told me. "But if you talk to Israeli diplomats, the ones who are out in the field, defending Israel every day in the international community, they'll tell you how important U.S. engagement at the UN is to Israel's interests."
If you believe that one, I have a bridge across the East River to sell you.

Bottom line: Krieger is an Obama shill (what do expect from someone who works as Bob Wexler's assistant at the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace?) and his column was likely ghost written by someone in the White House or State Department. There's an election campaign on!

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At 1:27 AM, Blogger BH in Iowa said...

As a US taxpayer, I'd like to see the Useless Nations defunded as well.


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