Obama gives up on Israeli-Palestinian peace during his Administration

Ma’an News Agency | – –

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — United States president Barack Obama concluded that a peace treaty or direct talks between Israel and Palestinian leadership would not be carried out in his time left in office, a White House spokesperson said Thursday.

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Israeli media reported that Obama’s senior adviser on the Middle East, Rob Malley, said in a press briefing that despite the failure to forge an agreement, Obama would still push Israel to forge a feasible two-state solution in the future.

President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are set to meet on Monday in the US.

Earlier this week critics argued that US-Israel relations had been pushed after Netanyahu’s newly appointed spokesperson, Ran Baratz, alleged that Obama was anti semitic.

US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said in a press meeting Thursday that following a conversation with the Israeli PM, Secretary of State John Kerry understood that Netanyahu would be “reviewing this appointment” upon return from his US visit.

Asked if disparaging remarks recently exchanged between senior US officials and members of Netanyahu’s cabinet indicated a downturn in relations between the two countries, Kirby said the behavior did not help to advance the relationship.

“It’s certainly not helpful when you’ve got bigger fish to fry,” Kirby said.

Despite recent verbal skirmishes between the two governments, Israel has reportedly asked the US for $5 billion in annual defense aid for a decade, according to Reuters.

The annual aid would far surpass the $3 billion per year currently being received by Israel on a budget agreement set to end by the year 2018.

On Thursday, White House spokesperson Jon Earnest was unable to confirm exact plans for the 2018 budget for US aid to Israel, but reiterated the Obama administration’s commitment to Israel’s national security.

“We are committed to the Israelis continuing to have a qualitative military edge in the region,” Earnest said.

Despite criticism that Israel has neglected two-state solution as well as warnings to hold aid during the 2014 Gaza War, the Obama administration has done little to curb Israeli violence against Palestinians or stop ongoing settlement expansion.

Via Ma’an News Agency

19 Responses

  1. What the USA should do is very, very quietly work with the Europeans, Russians and Chinese to come up with a UNSC resolution that defines Israel’s borders with Palestine, Lebenon, Jordan,and Syria. The Europeans should introduce it and then the entire USA delegation to the UN should go out to a long lunch while the rest of the UNSC voted on the resolution which would pass 14-0 with the USA not present.

    Then when Israel failed to comply, the same gang should pass sanctions while the USA was once again “out to lunch.”

    Sure, the USA Israel supporters would howl, but there would be exactly zero they could do. Since it takes only 34 votes in the senate to derail an impeachment, Obama could finish out his term while causing massive upheaval in USA politics where support for Israel would be unmasked for Americans to see just how much the USA foots the bill.

    It is long past time for the USA to play really hard ball with Israel.

    • Of course that’s the answer, Spyguy. What happened to the French Resolution? Did it die in the dark? It was designed to become international law by adoption in the UNSC. A Palestinian State declared and defined by international law is exactly consistent with American policy in place over decades.

      As to the U.S. delegation going AWOL, the idea is amusing but weak and humiliating. All that has to be done is to refuse to veto the Resolution on the basis that refusal is the result of the Administration’s review of the veto policy announced months ago. That’s clearly an Administration decision, not an impeachable offence. The failure to see that the Resolution succeeds will be just that, a failure.

      The demand for five billion a year is characteristically impertinent. All Obama has to do is to announce that he will fight any increase to the bitter end as unnecessary and an unconscionable waste of the taxpayers resources. In any event once sanctions take hold, the necessity for American aid will be diminishing.

      • Paul Pillar has written an article posted today on Lobelog:

        “Acknowledging Reality in the U.S.-Israeli Relationship”

        I don’t criticise anyone here, but He calls for following the truth in our relationship with Israel. He doesn’t shrink from speaking in public about the underlying facts and their impact on the interests of the American People.

      • “It was designed to become international law by adoption in the UNSC.”

        The Security Council is not a world legislature, therefore its resolutions can not “become international law”.

        The UN is a political body, and therefore a resolution in the SC is a political pronouncement by the countries who currently have a seat on that council that *this* crisis or *that* threat can/should/could (there is a sliding scale) be dealt with *thus* and *so*.

        The reason why there is that sliding scale is because:
        a) various chapters of the Charter allow the council to make recommendations (“calls upon”) or to issue orders (“decides that”) that range from a mild We Do Not Approve all the way up to We’re Slapping Sanctions to the ultimate, which is Bang! You’re Dead!.

        But they are all political solutions to practical problems, not “international law”.

        The “international law” part isn’t the resolutions themselves, but the UN Charter (the pre-eminent multinational treaty) itself which gives the Security Council the authority to vote on those resolutions.

        In particular, Article 25, which makes any “decision” of the council something that all states have already agreed to abide by.

        So a UNSC resolution that “calls upon” states to do something is not compulsory. But a UNSC resolution that “decides that” this must be done… well…. it’s gotta be done.

        • “More recent discussions of the sources of international law, recognizing the growing role of international organizations, include the resolutions and other acts of international governmental organizations, such as the United Nations, as sources or evidence of international law.” (Northwestern University on the sources of international law.)

          So, is it not the case that relevant UNSC Resolutions may provide legitimate bases for the issuance of sanctions by, say, the U.N. itself, the E.U. or individual European nation states? Or more particularly by the United States itself? If they may provide standards in international litigation about such issuance, they are a part of the international law system.

          “It was designed to become international law by adoption in the UNSC.”

          The Security Council is not a world legislature, therefore its resolutions can not “become international law”.

          Custom is not a legislature either, yet it can constitute binding precedent in international legal proceedings.

          Your definition of international law is a bit short of mine. If it can be admitted in as binding precedent in international litigation regarding sanctions, it’s a part of the overall penumbra of international law.

          And of course the UNSC is a legislature of sorts. It exercises broad powers delegated to it as you say by the UN’s entire membership.

          By the way, Israel is a member of the U.N. Hasn’t it committed itself to abide by UNSC Resolutions? And isn’t a refusal to do so a pretty good definition of a rogue state?

        • HW: “So, is it not the case that relevant UNSC Resolutions may provide legitimate bases for the issuance of sanctions by, say, the U.N. itself, the E.U. or individual European nation states?”

          Err, no, and your use of the weasel word “legitimate” instead of “legal” suggests very strongly that you don’t believe yourself either. UN Resolutions can only provide a legal basis for sanctions imposed by the Security Council itself under the authority that it has been granted by Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

          HW: “If they may provide standards in international litigation about such issuance,”….

          ….except that they do not; if the USA and/or the EU decide that they want to Go One Better than the UNSC by imposing their own (i.e. unilateral) sanctions then the legal basis for those sanctions stand or fall entirely on their legal authority to impose those unilateral sanctions on other sovereign states.

          They can’t hide behind the UNSC’s coat tails while they do so, precisely because there is nothing in the UN Charter that says that member states are entitled to Go One Better Than The Security Council.

          HW: ..”they are a part of the international law system.”

          And since they don’t, well, gosh, they aren’t.

          HW: “Custom is not a legislature either, yet it can constitute binding precedent in international legal proceedings.”

          You might want to brush up on what constitutes “custom” in “customary international law”.

          There is no “custom” that says that the member states have a right to play a game of one-upmanship on the UN Security Council, and the fact (and it is a fact) that the USA and EU regularly do so does not make that one-upmanship a “custom”, precisely because The Rest Of The World does not play that particular game.

          There is a reason why the USA calls itself “the exceptional nation”, Hunter, and that self-proclaimed reason goes a long, long, way towards explaining exactly what its oft-displayed bullying behaviour Does Not A Custom Make.

          HW: “And of course the UNSC is a legislature of sorts.”

          And, of course, there is no such thing as a “world legislature”, and the UNSC is in no was “a sort of one”.

          International treaty law isn’t made in the UNSC, it is made by states signing binding pieces of paper.

          International treaty law isn’t made in the UNSC either, it is made in the state practices of an overwhelming majority of states.

          Honestly, it really is that simple.

        • Sorry, slip of the keyboard:
          International customary law isn’t made in the UNSC either, it is made in the state practices of an overwhelming majority of states.

    • There is nothing “impeachable” in the POTUS instructing his Ambassador at the UN to vote “Yes”, or to vote “No”, or to remain silent.

      Politically there will be consequences, but there can no “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” in faithfully carrying out the office of the President.

      And there is no question – none whatsoever – that this includes the authority to instruct the USA Ambassador how to cast vote his/her vote in the UN.

      • Yeah, Right said:

        “There is nothing “impeachable” in the POTUS instructing his Ambassador at the UN to vote “Yes”, or to vote “No”, or to remain silent.”

        Of course not. Can you take a joke?

        “Politically there will be consequences…”

        There will be no consequences of consequence. Our President is a lame duck. And America’s Jews are liberals who generally are very nerved-up by Israel’s reckless conduct.

        “…but there can no “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” in faithfully carrying out the office of the President.”

        Of course not. We all understand that even though only a few of us are lawyers.

        And there is no question – none whatsoever – that this includes the authority to instruct the USA Ambassador how to cast vote his/her vote in the UN.

        In this realm we all understand the elements of an impeachable offence.

        • “Of course not. Can you take a joke?”

          So you are presuming to speak for Spyguy as well as for Hunter Watson?

    • Paul, I agree with you as I once worked and lived in the West Bank and Israel. I also believe that Israel knows they are putting off the inevitable, while also knowing each passing day makes the resolution more violent; just witness the increasing violence of “price tag” attacks. I am positive Israel will eventually lose American support, and the IDF will be forced to violently evict the settlers. Most of the latter are Americans and will run when faced with IDF attacks instead of support.

      • Unfortunately that is Israeli’s future. . .

        Either bloody civil war between the main Israeli population and the settlers and religious extremists or . ..

        a bloody war with the Arabs that all of Israel will lose because Israel no longer has military superiority (although they delusionally think they do).

        As for Israel losing USA support, that is guaranteed by the past 200+ years of USA behavior, especially if the economic gains stay with only the USA 1%. The USA “middle class” will not give a darn about Israel if their own economic situation is dire.

        A note about the civil war – the settlers make up a large part of the IDF, so the settlers have access to ALL the weapons the IDF has, so both sides in a civil war will be heavily armed and reasonably trained – it will be a terrible war.

  2. If Israel want a “qualitative” edge, then they better go and talk to the Russians.
    Iran and Syria with S-400s would totally negate the IDF air force.
    Hezbollah with Laser guided Kornet has already dealt with the Israeli tanks and chased them back into Israel
    Which leaves only the really tried and tested Hezzi and Iranian and Syrian ground forces, Battle tested and highly experienced against IDF who generally shoot unarmed children and call it “active service”.
    I guess the “Samson Option” will be the only alternative, which will lead to the “Glassing” of Israel from the Golan to the sea.

    • HW: This is done without going to the books.

      Yeah, Right said:

      HW: “So, is it not the case that relevant UNSC Resolutions may provide legitimate bases for the issuance of sanctions by, say, the U.N. itself, the E.U. or individual European nation states?”

      Err, no, and your use of the weasel word “legitimate” instead of “legal” suggests very strongly that you don’t believe yourself either.

      HW: I suggest you break down the word legitimate. Take notice of the first three letters.

      HW: And you do err here. Relevant UNSC resolutions are, inter alia, admissible in evidence in international litigation on subjects such as whether sanctions imposed by members or other organisations must be set aside as violative of law. The venue would probably be in the International Court of Justice, an independent wing of the U.N.

      HW: You affect that that such Resolutions are meaningless but that will be useless at least as to state members of the United Nations. As you say, they are already bound to what the UNSC resolves and sanctions are a recognised means of enforcement whether by the UN or other international bodies. Israel is a member of the U.N. And Israel, I’m afraid, has made a mess of her history when it is seen in light of the applicability of sanctions against her.

      UN Resolutions can only provide a legal basis for sanctions imposed by the Security Council itself under the authority that it has been granted by Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

      HW: Those aren’t our facts now are they? The U.N. has not issued sanctions. What we expect it to do is to declare a Palestinian State in accord with all the precedents and admissible history and to provide a formula for finalising its borders. The question of sanctions would arise upon failure of Israel to obey its terms.

      HW: “If they may provide standards in international litigation about such issuance,”….

      HW: Do you expect me to reply to myself, especially after you’ve butchered my language?

      ….except that they do not; if the USA and/or the EU decide that they want to Go One Better than the UNSC by imposing their own (i.e. unilateral) sanctions then the legal basis for those sanctions stand or fall entirely on their legal authority to impose those unilateral sanctions on other sovereign states.

      HW: Of course. Who would have thought otherwise? And they will rely upon the precedents found in the international arena, one of which I expect to be the UNSC Resolution we’ve been discussing.

      HW: I don’t know how the sanctions regime itself might be structured most advantageously in this case, but if you are current you are well aware of the fact that the major western governments and the U.N. know how to get the job done. I want the foundations for the successful application of sanctions against Israel to be laid so that if IF AND WHEN she violates the anticipated UNSC Resolution they may be implemented expeditiously. Economic sanctions have more and more been used in international relations. I haven’t the slightest doubt that absent American vetoes it can be done in the UN and I don’t believe the U.S. will have to be involved much.

      They can’t hide behind the UNSC’s coat tails while they do so, precisely because there is nothing in the UN Charter that says that member states are entitled to Go One Better Than The Security Council.

      HW: That makes no sense at all. The members are sovereign and involved in many other relationships. The sanctions don’t even have to be sponsored by the U.N. It might be better if they aren’t.

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