With Barak Obama drawing Israeli blood with a sucker punch on the Middle Eastern country’s broad nose, talk of the U.S. recognition of a Palestinian state has been swung onto the agenda… and with cries of ‘shameful’ and ‘betrayal’ from Tel Aviv, Obama’s keeping his next set of cards close to his chest.
The clear stench of Israeli belly-aching is pouring into the chambers of the UN and into diplomatic cycles. A last ditch attempt to summon president-elect ‘Trump’ power and scare off Cairo almost succeeded, but Venezuela, Senegal and Malaysia regurgitated the motion and Friday the 23rd proved to a humbugish Hunnaka Shabat, as the highest council in the world, UNSC voted 14-nil-1 to condemn illegal Israeli settlements. Obama’s ‘no show veto’ ending the session with a fanfare of applause!
Since the UN Resolution 242 which called on Israel not to expand outside the 1967 boarders of Palestine, successive Israeli governments have either had difficulty understanding the resolution or have found it impossible to get Israeli translators to work out what was meant by the words, - ‘don’t build’. Their parliaments have happily approved building in the West Bank and taken the letters ‘I’ and ‘L’ off the world ‘legal’ to legitimize the erection of sand, cement, wood, steel, iron and glass in the shape of houses and giving Israeli occupants full citizenship and rights in Israel.
The official ‘frigging fuming’ Israeli response to this new 2016 translation of those annoying words and new 2334 resolution was to say that they will continue to pursue unauthorised building projects – presumably until an official Israeli translator can be appointed to find out what the words, ‘cease all settlement activity’ actually mean!
After Danny Dannon, the Israeli ambassador to the council’s condemnation of the vote, 10 of the 15 country ambassadors who voted in favour of the resolution have been summoned to Israeli foreign ministries to be told how ‘evil’ they all are…and how they had voted for (more Israeli) terror and scored a victory for hatred and violence…(my words in brackets)!
Tel Aviv have accused the wily Kenyan refugee who is about to have his home repossessed of colluding against Israel and they say they hope the new tenant - the erstwhile businessman - will help work against the harmful effects of the ‘absurd’ resolution.
Meanwhile, 92-year ex-president Jimmy Carter is in a battle against time to persuade Obama to play the last ‘trump’ card - ''the joker" - before leaving office. Recognizing the Palestinian State, he says, would be the best way to ensure peace and security for Israel, and the best way forward under a two-state solution that gives a 78/32% split to Israel, maintains the Jewish character of the Israeli state and allows a limited return home of 4 million Palestinians.
Obama has no love lost for the Israeli president and has been repeatedly disrespected by Netanyahu who once showed up to address the US Congress without a normal diplomatic ‘presidential’ invitation. After five decades of private and public requests for settlements to stop, the US now believe Israeli must make a choice. But the direction of play might also depend on the legacy that the outgoing President wants to leave. It's already cause his unruly friend, Bebe, to step back and catch breath after the first blow; Will Obama be pushed to swing the recognition of Palestinian as the final blow.
Samantha Power may have given the world a clue, "One cannot simultaneously champion expanding Israeli settlements and champion a viable two state solution that would end the conflict. One had to make a choice between settlements and separation," she told the Council after the vote.
Obama has twenty odd days to make a clear two finger hand signal to Tel Aviv - that with settlements firmly condemned, a two state solution begins with the official US support and recognition of Palestine!