U.S. Congress with a 342 to 80 vote, passed a resolution calling for the repeal of the UN Security Council resolution 2334. Majority of the votes against the resolution  to repeal came from the democrats.

House Speaker Paul Ryan on Resolution 2334:
"These types of onesided efforts are designed to isolate and delegitimize Israel. They do not advance peace, they make it more elusive."

The UN General Assembly voted to divide the British Mandate controlled area of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. The Jews have accepted the plan, while Arabs rejected it outright.

Agenda item 7 mandates that UN Human Rights Commission must debate Israeli human rights abuses against the Palestinians during each session. No other nation has such a standing agenda item. Israel boycotts that agenda item which is debated three times a year.

Following 2014 Israel vs. Hamas war in Gaza, the UN Human Rights Council selected a Canadian law professor W. Schabas to chair the a Commission of Inquiry. Following the revelation that he had done some consulting work for PLO, Mr. Schabas was forced to resign.



2334 - The Misguided Resolution

On December 23rd, 2016 the UN Security Council has adopted a non binding resolution 2334 concerning the Israeli settlements. The language of the resolution states that: "establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law." Resolution was passed by 14-0 vote while the U.S. who has a veto power has abstained.

The original sponsor of the resolution was Egypt, who formulated the text with the assistance of British diplomats and with full approval of the Palestinian representatives. Under the intense pressure from the U.S. President-elect, Donald Trump, Egypt agreed to postpone the resolution, but the next day it was reintroduced by Malaysia, Venezuela, New Zealand and Senegal.

Resolution 2334 was passed under Chapter 6 of the The UN Charter which makes it non binding and can not force any sanctions against Israel. Never the less, it helps the Palestinians with their desire to internationalize the conflict rather then engage in direct negotiations with Israel. This resolution helps them in their future attempts to deligitimize Israel in other international forums such as an upcoming Paris peace conference to be held on January 15th. Israel has declined to participate in it.

The last twelve months were not particularly good for the Middle East peace initiatives. The entire region is on fire, but you would hardly know it by looking at UN resolutions for that period. Iran and Saudi Arabia are currently engaged in the proxy wars all over the region and are the main promoters of instability, but you will not find ether one of them mentioned in any of the UN resolutions.

Over 65 million people became refugees last year, yet the UN relief efforts were not particularly successful due to the lack of cooperation from member countries. UN was not able to properly address the underlining causes of the conflicts that result in displacements because of its internal politics and the veto power of several of it's members who are protecting their allies.

UN Security Council Meeting 

                                                                   UN Security Coucil Meeting

So just days before 2016 was over, this "bastion of truth and fairness" took their frustrations on the old reliable punching bag, namely Israel, knowing full well how one sided the venerable members of the Security Council are in their treatment of the Jewish state.

The final UN voting tally for 2016 was very similar to the one from 2015 and a year before. During the last year, the UN General Assembly adopted 20 resolutions against Israel and only 4 against the rest of the world combined. There are tens of thousands of people being killed every month in the countries situated around Israel and yet it is the Jewish State who has to absorb the contempt from the international community.

The bias against Israel in the UN so blatant that even the departing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, acknowledged, in his last press conference on December 16th: “Decades of political maneuvering have created a disproportionate number of resolutions, reports and committees against Israel". Ban went on to say that "in many cases, rather than helping the Palestinian cause, this reality has hampered the ability of the U.N. to fulfill its role effectively."

There is good saying by 19th century French novelist Alphonse Karr: "the more things change, the more they state the same." The millennia old hatred of Jews has now evolved into the pathological hatred of Israel that results in grossly disproportionate voting at the UN. The exception has been the bipartisan support of the U.S. government that for many years, among other things, has used its veto power in UN against having Israel being bullied by the Palestinian lobby.

When Resolution 2334 was passed by the Security Council in December the 23rd, it was not the 14-0 vote that created a huge controversy, because of the UN track record when it comes to Israel speaks for itself. It was a U.S. non vote that made for this lopsided resolution to be possible and upset many Israel supporters around the world.

The differences between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu over the last eight years are well documented. The contentious relationship between the two leaders never really improved after the Iran nuclear deal debacle. It seems like a few weeks before the end of his term and with Hilary Clinton's failed presidential campaign, Barack Obama decided to put politics aside and show how he really feels about the Jewish state by ordering to abstain rather than veto the resolution.

Unfortunately, President Obama has also shown that he has not grown beyond being a leftist Chicago activist who has never warmed up to Israel despite his public pronouncements. For years he followed the accepted party line and at least publicly tried to come off as Israel's loyal friend. Anyone who reads the latest resolution 2334 would come to the conclusion that with friends like Barack Obama and John Kerry you do not need enemies.

As hard as President Obama tried, one could easily see that he barely tolerated his meetings with Bibi Netanyahu. It was not just about the personalities. President Obama, by his own admission, is a follower of the progressive leftist ideology and hating Israel is one of the basic tenets of that ideology often disquised during the political seasons.

The leftists disdain for the Jewish state is universal and not limited to geography. It can be found across the globe from U.S. to Europe and as far as New Zealand. In fact, there are plenty of Jewish Israel hating leftists, like Bernie Sanders, living in America and many can be found in Israel itself. Some of their rhetoric against Israel is just as bad as the one coming out from radical Islamists. As the American journalist Bernard Goldberg once noted, when commenting about the Hollywood leftists: "They are liberals first and Jews second, the religion is liberalism".

They hate Israel because it encompasses several traits that many liberals despise. Israel is unapologetically capitalist, religious, patriotic, nationalistic but still democratic. Loving your culture and taking steps to preserve it are not the characteristics that go well with progressive ideas of socialism, multiculturalism, internationalism and open borders.

So when when you combine a 68 year old festering conflict, persived victimization of Palestinians by Israelis, strong Israeli military machine and a strange affection many liberals have for Muslim radicals you get a toxic cocktail that no self respecting leftist can tolerate.

President Obama in his September 21, 2011 speech in the UN made a statement that: "Peace is hard work. Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations - if it was that easy, it would have beenen accomplished by now. Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians - not us who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and on security, on refugees and Jerusalem."

Why then the change in policy? Probably because of the lack of progress in dealing with other international conflicts where "lead from behind" strategy that resulted in one fiasco after another. President Obama's foreign policy got its rocky start in 2009 by calling for a "new beginning" with the Middle East in a landmark speech in Cairo. It was followed by Administration's moral support for Arab Spring that shortly turned into the nightmare as it produced civil wars, failed states and sectarian violence. It also emboldened Russian, Iranian and Turkish imperial ambitions not to mention the emergence of the Islamic State, the most powerful terrorist entity the world has ever known.

In the process the U.S. has lost a lot of the cache it had in the Middle East. So much so that recent peace talks held in Moscow over Syria included Iran and Turkey but not the United States, which only a decade ago would have been unthinkable. Secretary of State John Kerry had to learn about the results of the talks by speaking with foreign ministers of Russia and Turkey on the phone. It would be a stretch to think that he got the full transcript of these negotiations from either one of those parties.

With so many seemingly unsolvable problems, Obama administration's refusal to veto an anti Israel resolution in the United Nations was just a walk in the park. They did not even have to vote. The new strategy is if you can not beat your enemies just turn on your friends. That will teach them!

It's a continuation of his idealistic philosophy that enemies and friends need to be treated equally. Iran gets billions of dollars in cash delivered by plane while Israel gets a resolution from the UN, telling them that the Western Wall is a settlement.

Israel's Ambassador To UN, Danny Danon, minced no words in his address to the Security Council: “The resolution you just voted on is the peak of hypocrisy. While thousands are being massacred in Syria, this Council wasted valuable time and efforts, condemning the democratic State of Israel for building homes in the historic homeland of the Jewish people.”

He also correctly noted that "those who had voted yes on the resolution had voted no to negotiations, to progress and to a chance for better lives for both Israelis and Palestinians, and to the possibility of peace. The resolution would continue to provide excuses for the Palestinians to avoid recognizing Israel’s right to exist."

Palestinians refuse to participate in the direct negotiations preferring to act through international bodies where they are almost assured a one sided decisions in their favor. Their game is to build a portfolio of these resolutions with a hope of gradually strengthening their position. The other part of the strategy is to keep buying time with the hope that within the couple of generations they will overwhelm the Jews demographically. No Palestinian leader will ever sign an agreement with Israel, that would allow for the Jewish state to survive in its current form, as he will be signing his own death warrant.

In the meantime, in light of this resolution, the murderous Syrian regime and the terror sponsoring Iranian Ayatollahs must be giving President Obama and John Kerry a standing ovation in. In a single swoop their worst enemy, Israel, was denounced by the Security Council while taking away the negative attention from their own bad behavior. The complicity of the U.S. administration in the matter has been just an icing on the cake.

What is even more disturbing is that allegedly the White House was actively promoting the resolution. In his weekly Cabinet meeting, Bibi Netanyahu let it be known to the rest of the world: “From the information that we have, we have no doubt that the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated on the wording and demanded that it be passed".

Bibi Netanyahu is not entirely off the hook here. His decision making when it comes to settlement activity in the West Bank can be questioned and even criticized. But the resolution that was passed on the 24th of December is not really about the few settler outposts that can will be dismantled if the Final Status deal is reached with the Palestinians.

The problem is with the language of the resolution that talks about East Jerusalem and 1967 borders. While adopting resolution 2334, the Council reiterated "its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem." It underlined that it would not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the two sides through negotiations.

Few days after the resolution was passed, on December the 28th, in response to the mounting criticism of the administration regarding its role in passing the resolution 2334, Secretary Kerry gave an impassioned speech that lasted over an hour. He covered a lot of ground going over every little nuance of the Israeli Palestinian conflict, and almost every time ended up blaming Israelis for the failed peace process. He made it sound as if the Obama administration had no other choice but to abstain and tried his best to downplay the harm their action is going to have on the peace process by offering the following summary.

Secretary Kerry Delivers Remarks on Middle East Peace in Washington

      Secretary Kerry Delivers Remarks on Settlements and Middle East Peace in Washimgton

"We fully respect Israel’s profound historical and religious ties to the city and to its holy sites. We’ve never questioned that. This resolution in no manner prejudges the outcome of permanent status negotiations on East Jerusalem, which must, of course, reflect those historical ties and the realities on the ground. That’s our position. We still support it."

Mr Kerry can dance around the wording of the resolution as much as he wants to while explaining how he and President Obama understand its consequences. What really counts is how Palestinians and their supporters understand it and how it's going to be used against the Israelis in potential future negotiations.

In his article in National Reviews from December the 28, 2016 Charles Krauthammer said that: "For the last 35 years, every administration, including a reelection-seeking Obama himself in 2011, has protected Israel with the U.S. veto because such a Security Council resolution gives immense legal ammunition to every boycotter, anti-Semite, and zealous European prosecutor to penalize and punish Israelis. An ordinary Israeli who lives or works in the Old City of Jerusalem becomes an international pariah, a potential outlaw — to say nothing of the soldiers of Israel’s citizen army."

John Kerry in his now infamous speech also said the following: "Far too often the Palestinians have pursued efforts to delegitimize Israel in international forums. We have strongly opposed these initiatives, including the recent holy unbalanced and inflammatory UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) resolution regarding Jerusalem."

Secretary Kerry was referring to a UNESCO resolution sponsored by Arab countries and passed on October 18, 2016. Within the text of this resolution the holy sites in Jerusalem's Old city were specifically and purposely referred to only by their Arabic names. The Western Wall was called the Al-Buraq Plaza the Temple Mount as Al Haram Al Sharif. In other words, according to UNESCO, the holiest sites in Judaism have no Jewish roots and a 3000 year old history of Jews in the Holy City is a myth.

Right after the UNESCO vote, it's Director General, Irina Bokova, criticized the agency's executive board for adopting a resolution that completely disregards the connection between Judaism, Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

The Director General noted that: "To deny, conceal or erase any of the Jewish, Christian or Muslim traditions undermines the integrity of the site, and runs counter to the reasons that justified its inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list". After those remarks she promptly started receiving the death threats from the Palestinian supporters.

Israel is referred to by the UNESCO Executive Board as the "occupping power" over and over again. In addition, it "deeply deplores the failure of Israel to cease the persistent excavations and works in East Jerusalem". Of course they deplore it because the archeological works done around Jerusalem only reinforce the unbreakable historic ties Jews have to the Holy city.

What the Board has failed to mention is that Arabs do their own digging under the Temple Mount compound. In the process, they destroy any traces of Jewish culture they find and then dump them into the adjacent Kidron Valley as trash.

Palestinians have been peddling the Jewish Temple denial for years. Their National Charter specifically expresses that any claims of historic and spiritual ties between Jews and Palestine are not in agreement with the facts of history. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, and his minions angrely respond to any suggestions to the contrary. Based on the one-sided UNESCO resolution their propaganda efforts have been paying off. 

Question is, how this UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem is that much different from the UN resolution 2334, which Obama administration failed to veto. In its text regarding the East Jerusalem, UNESCO resolution refers to Israel an "occupaing power" 29 times while Security Coucil in their text repeteadly calls East Jerusalem  an occupied territory. Both resolutions try to delogitimise Israel's claims to its heritage in East Jerusalem. For all practical purposes, the language of the Security Council resolution 2334 is just an extension of the shameful UNESCO resolution.

The portion of the resolution 2334 speaks about the demographics and character of the Holy City: “Condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem". The people that wrote this either do not know the history or purposely are trying to ignore it. East Jerusalem, referred to in the resolution as an occupied territory, includes the Jewish Quarter and Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism. There are numerous religious and historical sites in the Old City with the Jewish roots that are going to be in grave danger if not protected by Israelis.

Speaking of "altering demographic composition", is was altered by Arabs back in 1948, when the Jewish Quarter and thousands of its Jewish residents fell under the Jordanian control and in no time every single one of them was expelled. Right after the expulsion was completed, the Jordanian commander in charge of the operation reported back to his superiors that "for the first time in 1,000 years not a single Jew remains in the Jewish Quarter. Not a single building remains intact. This makes the Jews' return here impossible." It was an ethnic cleansing in its purest form.

Dozens of synagogues, yeshivas and other Jewish institutions in the East Jerusalem was destroyed in a planned eradication of any traces of the Jewish presence. That pattern of behavior of the desecration of Jewish holy sites repeated itself many times over every time Jews have turned the territory over to the Arabs, with Gaza being the most recent example.

In April of 1949, Israel signed an Armistice Agreement with Jordan. Israelis got the control of West Jerusalem and Jordanians were awarded control of East Jerusalem. Under the terms of the signed agreement, the Jews were provided with the visitation rights to the Western Wall. Unfortunately the Arabs never kept their part of the bargain, never allowed the Jews to pray there and in fact planned to turn the Jewish Quarter into the park.

For the next eighteen years, the Jewish holy sites remained under Arab control only to be liberated in1967 during the Six Day War. So if the four countries, namely New Zealand, Venezuela, Senegal and Malaysia, who sponsored resolution 2334, and the other members of the Security Council who signed up on it, think that Israelis will just return to the 1967 borders and allow the history to repeat itself, then they must be out of their minds.

Given the track record of Arab treatment of the Jewish heritage sites, there is little doubt that none of them will survive if they ever fall under the full Palestinian control. Just a suggestion to voting members of the Security Council. If you really want to see what the Jewish holy sites will look like in Palestinian hands and you do not have pictures from 1948, just take a look at the ruins of the city of Palmyra in Syria after the Islamic State was done with it.

According to Arab Human Development Report 2016: "increasing levels of armed conflict are destroying the social fabric of the Arab region, causing massive loss of life not only among combatants, but also among civilians. Conflicts also are also reversing hard-won economic de­velopment gains by destroying productive resources, capital and labour, within a larger territory neighbouring countries where they are fought. Between 2000–2003 and 2010–2015, the number of armed conflicts and violent crises in the region have risen from 4 to 11, and many of them are becoming protracted in nature."

One of the reasons that these conflicts are becoming perpetual in nature is because the international bodies like the UN fail to properly deal with them. So what does the UN do to address those problems? Adapt another anti Israeli resolution! It would be laughable it the consequences of the wasted efforts were not so severe.

Beating up on Israel may feel good for a while and win political points for the Palestinians and some members of the Security Council. Unfortunately, it will not change the facts on the ground between the Israelis and Palestinians and definitely will not resolve the ongoing conflicts ravaging the Middle East which are causing the untold misery for millions of people.

For as long as United Nations find time to adapt 20 resolutions against a single state for building few houses while ignoring the continuous industrial scale atrocities perpetrated by other states, there will not be the light at the end of the tunnel.