Determined to give the nation of Israel one final kick in the butt on his way out the door, President Obama has sided with those determined to put the very existence of the Jewish state at risk.

The United States yesterday formally abstained from a vote on a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem and insisting that existing Jewish settlements there “have no legal validity.”

“Our position is that there is one president at a time,” said Ben Rhodes, the White House national security adviser. “President Obama is the president until Jan. 20, and we are taking this action of course as US policy.”

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, explained that since 2011 when the U.S. used its veto to kill a similar resolution, “circumstances have change dramatically” and that the Jewish settlements “put a two-state solution [with the Palestinian Authority] at risk.”

What has changed, of course, is that back in 2011 Barack Obama was about to run for re-election. Not so now — now he is free to abandon all those phony pledges of friendship and forced smiles.

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Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, expressed his disappointment at the vote: “It was to be expected that Israel’s greatest ally would act in accordance with the values that we share, and that they would have vetoed this disgraceful resolution.”

Yesterday’s action followed a move Thursday in which the Egyptian delegation, which had initially sponsored the resolution, asked to indefinitely postpone action. That came after President-elect Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued nearly identical statements urging a U.S. veto.

An Israeli official told the Associated Press yesterday, “The U.S. administration secretly cooked up with the Palestinians an extreme anti-Israeli resolution behind Israel’s back which would be a tail wind for terror and boycotts and effectively make the Western Wall occupied Palestinian territory.” He called it “an abandonment of Israel which breaks decades of U.S. policy of protecting Israel at the U.N.”

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The resolution is largely symbolic, but in international relations, symbols do matter. And this final bit of international mischief by Obama — even while basking on a beach in Hawaii — was intended to wound Netanyahu in a very personal way.

But it also deeply wounds the region’s only democratic nation and an ally. How is that good policy?


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