President Obama's Unprecedented Betrayal of Israel at the UN: An Addendum

Written by Alexander J. Segal on

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Introduction

Earlier today, I drafted a long blog post about President Obama's betrayal of Israel and of American values at the United Nations [see blog].

After finishing my post, I came across a very interesting op-ed on the same issues by the Jerusalem Post's Caroline Glick, titled “Our World: Obama's war against America” [link].1 In this post, I will examine some the salient points in Glick's op-ed, and offer my thoughts as an addendum to my main blog post. To read more about the United Nations is willing to obliterate logic to spew venom at Israel, please see an additional blog that I posted on the subject [see blog].

Glick's Column and My Thoughts

Glick began her post by citing to a 1989 column in Commentary by our former Ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick (I discuss Kirkpatrick in brief in my first blog post on the United Nations' bias against Israel [see blog]). In the passage Glick cited to, Kirkpatrick stated that:

“But having succeeded so well over the years in its campaign to delegitimize Israel, the [Palestinian Liberation Organization] might yet also succeed in bringing the campaign to a triumphant conclusion, with consequences for the Jewish state that would be nothing short of catastrophic.”

To be sure, no United States President did as much to prove Kirkpatrick's warning correct as did Barack Obama on December 23, 2016. In my post, I addressed many of the reasons why President Obama decided to betray Israel, but noted that in the end, he most likely acted on beliefs that he had long before he took the White House. In considering reasons, I alluded to President Obama's efforts to cater to the Iranian regime and to establish it as a powerful actor in the Middle East.

In her article, Glick offered further reasons in support of the assertion that President Obama's decision was without precedent and made to achieve nefarious ends. Glick starts from an important assertion — to which I agree — that defending Israel is in the U.S. interest. Indeed, it is not logically inconceivable that one could harbor anti-Semitic sentiments and still recognize that supporting Israel is in the distinct interest of the free world. This would be no more inconceivable than European countries with longstanding rivalries working together in broad coalitions to confront evil actors in both World War I and World War II. Israel's detractors — such as President Obama on the left and Patrick J. Buchanan on the right — endeavor to drive a wedge between America's interest and Israel's interest by asserting that the interests are clear and distinct, and thereby use this false premise to smear supporters of Israel as putting foreign interests above America's. In truth, nothing could be further from the truth.

Glick explains that over the last 70 years, America's support for Israel has not only been to stand by its ally, but also to “stand for American power and the inherent justice of American superpower status and global leadership.” She explains that the Soviet Union endeavored to delegitimize Israel at the United Nations “as a means to undermine the moral basis for the US-led west.” It is no surprise given the Soviet Union's record on individual liberty and human rights that it would make common cause with anti-western countries and movements that had little to no regard for either. The Soviet's hoped that by using the United Nations to bludgeon Israel, it would also delegitimize western values and American leadership around the world. As Glick notes, these efforts unfortunately did not end with the demise of the Soviet Union, for many of the remnants of the Soviet Union made common cause with Islamists and leftists to continue trying to delegitimize Israel, American leadership, and western values at the United Nations.

Having developed her argument, Glick explains that President Obama did not only join the “anti-Israel lynch mob” at the United Nations Security Council to act on his long-held beliefs, but to deliver “a strategic victor to the anti-American forces that seek to destroy the coherence of American superpower status.” To this effect in my blog, I discussed actions that President Obama has taken to empower and embolden Iran, coddle Islamists, and make common cause with other enemies of western values. After President Obama's much-derided “apology tour” through the Middle East after taking office, his agenda should have been no surprise. However, Glick makes an even broader point — based on a careful study of the relationship between the United States, the United Nations, and Israel — that President Obama's objective was to undermine the moral basis for decades of American leadership in the world.

In my article, I discussed in brief that leading members of the United States Senate, such as Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, and Tom Cotton, have pledged to work with President-Elect Trump to take concrete action against the United Nations in response to its slander against Israel and liberty (while saving a more detailed discussion for a later date). All three of these Senators propose defunding the United Nations. For his part, President-Elect Trump has worked tirelessly against President Obama's efforts to delegitimize Israel, and has pledged to change America's relationship to the United Nations when he takes office. The United States may move to defund the United Nations as well as reassessing its involvement entirely.

In her op-ed, Glick made an interesting proposal for a response that neither the three Senators I mentioned nor President-Elect Trump has suggested yet. Glick argued that after defunding the United Nations, the United States could use its “Security Council veto to end the [United Nations'] role as an arbiter of international peace and security, by among other things, ending the deployment of [United Nations] forces to battle zones.” In taking this action rather than only defunding the United Nations or completely ending U.S. involvement, Glick argues that we would “[strip] the [United Nations] of its financial wherewithal to assault U.S. allies and American interests by denying it the institutional and operational capacity to serve as an arbiter of disputes morally and legally superior to the [United States].”

To be sure, President-Elect Trump and the U.S. Congress will have many options available for responding to the disgraceful United Nations based on January 20. Glick offers an interesting proposal that will merit strong consideration from the Trump Administration and by Congressional leaders. Additionally, her proposal to use the Security Council veto to severely limit the scope of the United Nations would be something that a President Trump could do unilaterally in the event that a large number of members of Congress work to shield the United Nations from the just consequences of its disgraceful actions.

I look forward to posting more about these important issues as the situation continues to develop.

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  1. Glick, Caroline, “Our World: Obama's war against America,” jpost.com, (Dec. 26, 2016)