Many friends of Israel are concluding that President Obama’s speech at the United Nations is a monumental victory for the State of Israel. Setting aside that Israel would not be facing a Palestinian State vote if President Obama did not call for the recognition of a Palestinian State last year at the UN, or if he would have backed legislation that would cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority if they went through with this stunt, the fact is Obama (at this point) has only delivered words. Even promising and casting a veto on the Security Council is not what Israel needs at this time. As Caroline Glick argues, Israel needs a quick veto but for that to happen the United States must demand a quick vote at the Security Council. At this point it looks like this will be a long drawn out deliberation which will play into the hands of the Palestinians.
Caroline Glick writes:
From Israel’s perspective, the best possible outcome of the current standoff at the U.N. is for the Palestinians to present their resolution for statehood to the Security Council and for the U.S. to immediately veto it. Such a move would provide closure to this particular round of anti-Israel aggression. But it certainly wouldn’t end the danger. The Palestinians can renew their request as often as they please. And given the sympathetic — indeed enthusiastic — reception they have received at the U.N., there is little reason to doubt that they will do so.
The worse scenario from Israel’s perspective is quickly becoming the more likely one. That scenario is that the Security Council will not bring the Palestinian-statehood resolution to an immediate vote but will instead delay voting on it for an indeterminate period. During that period, the U.S. and the EU will exert massive pressure on Israel to capitulate to whatever Palestinian preconditions for renewing negotiations are on hand.
Israel will face the prospect that if it fails to surrender to all the Palestinian demands, the U.N. will retaliate by passing the Palestinian-statehood resolution. At a minimum, Israel will find itself under a constant barrage of criticism blaming it for the Palestinian decision to abandon the peace process and ask the U.N. to grant them what they refuse to negotiate with Israel.
All of this could have been averted or at least mitigated if the Obama administration had behaved differently. If the White House had announced at an early date that it would automatically veto any resolution calling for Palestinian U.N. membership and would end all U.S. financial and political support for the Palestinian Authority if it went through with its stated aim of applying for U.N. membership as a state, the Palestinians would likely have set aside their plans. But still today President Obama has refused to take any punitive action against the PA and, according to the New York Times, forced Israel to lobby Congress not to cut off foreign aid to the PA.