In doing Israel’s bidding, Obama helps the Palestinians

Obama Strengthens Palestinian Case for UN Membership and Recognition of Statehood

In doing Israel’s bidding, Obama digs a hole for himself and Israel and ends up helping the Palestinians make the case for UN recognition of Palestinian statehood and membership in the organization.

In a recent interview with the BBC [1], US President Barack Obama unwittingly helped the Palestinians rather than the Israelis by criticizing the Palestinian plan to have the United Nations (UN) General Assembly (GA) recognize Palestinian statehood [2].

He most probably criticized the plan because — if it is pursued properly — it would 1) help level the negotiating-leverage playing field, and 2) result in international law becoming again a factor in resolving the dispute.

During the past almost two decades of primarily US-dishonestly-brokered/facilitated [3] Sisyphean peace negotiations, Israel has had, courtesy of the US, an unconscionably immoral negotiating leverage.

The leverage has been amplified by the success of the US and Israel at 1) not allowing international law to be a factor in the negotiations for resolving the dispute and 2) preventing many others, who have an interest in seeing justice and international law upheld, from speaking or acting without fear of retribution, much less participating.  Only those who are subject to Israeli and Zionist intimidation or manipulation have been allowed (and trusted by Israel) to participate in the peace negotiations [4].

Obama’s comments open door to history Israel needs desperately to be ignored

In response to the question of whether the US would veto [5] a General Assembly resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood, Obama stated (in the reverse order in which he made his statements): 1) that the US (, which has not been sympathetic to symbolic efforts in the past,) “is [not] going to be particularly sympathetic towards” such efforts; 2) that such an effort would be symbolic; 3) that the problem cannot be solved at the UN; and 4) that the union of Hamas and Fatah makes it very difficult for Israel to say that it is going to sit across the table from somebody who denies its right to exist.

Given the nature of the indisputable historical context into which his words emerge, nothing of what he said helps Israel, or even the US to the extent that the US wants to maintain Israel’s unfair negotiating advantage and allow it to continue its egregious flouter of international law.  Each of the four foregoing points will be examined below in its proper historical context.

At the conclusion of the examination, the reader will agree, at the very least, that Obama’s statements 1) harm Israel’s case significantly by opening again the door to the examination of a history that Israel and the US need desperately to be ignored and 2) will actually help pave the way for the Palestinians and others to get recognition of Palestinian statehood at the UN, with or without US support, and ultimately membership in the UN in accordance with Resolution 181, as hard as it might be to believe such a thing right now.

The combination of Obama’s harmful statements and the likely favorable outcome for the Palestinians — and even though an ardent, knowledgeable Zionist would have almost certainly said exactly what Obama stated — might make one wonder whether Obama secretly intended [6] to help the Palestinians, but one most likely will also recognize that for positions with little or no merit — and Israel’s position is a classic example — both honest or disingenuous defenses unavoidably lead to the same unfavorable conclusion and ultimately a full and honest reckoning….

1 Transcript: Andrew Marr interview with President Obama, BBC News,
2 Palestinian officials have also mentioned the possibility of seeking full UN membership for Palestine despite the risk of a US veto.  It would be desirable to put the US in the position of being forced by Israel to veto full UN membership for Palestine.  Unlike the US, irrespective of which of the two possible outcomes holds, the Palestinians win, and the US can only win if the Palestinians succeed in their bid for full UN membership.
3 See Naseer Aruri, Dishonest Broker: The Role of the United States in Palestine and Israel, South End Press, Cambridge, 2003.
4 That’s the most honest and accurate description of the category in which the Quartet resides.
5 The interviewer, Andrew Marr, actually asked him twice whether the US would veto a resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood when such a resolution, as opposed to one for gaining membership in the UN, is presented in the General Assembly, where the US does not have the power to veto.
6 Given Obama’s atrocious record in supporting Israeli war crimes and violations of international law and his recent speeches regarding Palestine, it is highly unlikely that Obama would now suddenly want to ‘secretly’ help the Palestinians.