Obama's Parthian Shot at Israel

John Kerry's speech Wednesday responding to allegations that the Obama administration was the driving force behind last week's United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlements was everything that we have come to expect from him: long, self-referential and mostly beside the point. Security Council Resolution 2334 states that Israel's settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and demands that it stop. The resolution passed because 14 of the 15 states on the council voted for it, and the U.S., usually the bulwark against anti-Israel measures at the U.N., abstained. The resolution is both absurd and disgraceful. It suggests that Jewish occupation of the area where King Solomon built the first great temple in Jerusalem 1,500 years before Islam existed, is illegal. It rejects Israeli building even in areas that Palestinians acknowledge would be part of Israel in any final peace settlement. It promotes terrorism and undermines U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 (the basis of the land-for-peace policies of the past half century) by removing the land in question from negotiation and hands it all theoretically to the Palestinians. It will cause more violence and death where the Obama administration claims it seeks peace. And it does so on the assumption that Israel will not hand over land in which it has built homes, despite the fact that Israel did precisely that in both Gaza and Sinai.

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