Great heat has been generated by the recent American decision to abstain at the UN Security Council on Israel’s settlements in the West Bank (or Judea and Samaria, as some of us Jews call the area). I have strong mixed feelings about the matter except in one category: an unconditional, unwavering commitment to the security and welfare of the State of Israel. This also translates into American security because the two nations are inextricably linked in terms of military and social values and interests.
That is exactly why the American desertion of its good friend and strategic confidante at the UN is so troubling and even hurtful. It’s not about the settlements when it comes to the United Nations. This point has now even been made by the British Prime Minister Theresa May, who scolded Secretary of State John Kerry for his strong anti-Israel rhetoric in defending the American abstention.
The UN has no moral currency when it comes to judging nations and truly being fair and useful. As so many others have already stated, the UN spends little, if any energy on the atrocities of Syria and other ongoing carnages all over this globe.
The American desertion of its good friend and strategic confidante at the UN is troubling.
The UN is ethically dysfunctional—a gathering of despots and hypocrites to which the United States surrendered as it abandoned the only democracy in the Middle East over a singular issue. As if Ohio, Wyoming, and Florida were not historical settlements built on the ashes of the Shawnee, Comanche, and Seminole peoples, or Texas a pilfering of Mexico. Why are facts on the ground accepted everywhere except in the case of Israel?
Here are the facts in general: Israel stunningly defeated an historic build-up of Egyptian/Syrian/Jordanian forces that was publicly committed to remove Israel from the earth in June 1967. Following the Six Day War, Israel committed to return the territories it won while routing the Arabs in exchange for full diplomatic recognition on the part of the vanquished nations. The people who are now called Palestinians were actually folks living under Jordanian occupation in the West Bank and Egyptian oppression in Gaza.
The Palestinian charters still call for the destruction of the Jewish state; various Palestinian terrorist groups have killed countless Israeli civilians, including children, since 1967. All potential agreements for a two-state solution have been met with Palestinian rejection, terror, and wars. All this time, Israel has been the “safe house” for American intelligence operations against Islamic terror syndicates and the two nations are intimately bound together culturally.
Regardless of how “problematic” the settlements have been, how can this issue compare to the problems and evils created for Western civilization by jihadism—which has been absolutely lauded and supported by various Palestinian groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah? How could the United States have betrayed its only democratic ally in the Middle East, its friend, its surrogate by calling Israel out that way in the Security Council?
Israel does have a moral prerogative in this matter of the settlements and it is found in the Bible held holy by both Jews and Christians. Hebron, Bethlehem, Jericho and many other “West Bank” towns are referenced and found in exclusively in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). Jerusalem is mentioned 700 times in the Bible and not once in the Holy Quran. This was Jewish territory six centuries before Muhammed even existed.
Does this mean that the settlements should remain in place given the 21st century reality of the Palestinian people? I really don’t know. But I do know that the presence of Jewish people on historically Jewish land should not have been condemned, de facto, by the United States government.